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  1. Aircraft Upgraded to X-Plane 12 : Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 by JustFlight Thranda If you want to fill a void that has been left by Carenado, then the best place to look to is JustFlight, the British based developers. Who work in conjunction with Thranda Design, and ironically also Thranda that used to do the X-Plane development for Carenado. This was in recreating a market for nice and authentic single prop, and twin-engined General Aviation aircraft. Covered by JustFlight/Thranda has been the Archer TX/LX, Archer lll, Warrior ll and the Arrow lll/lV. A few in the Archer TX and Archer lll have already been converted to X-Plane 12, but a lot of the JustFlight stable are only still X-Plane 11. A Twin-Engined aircraft that was released for X-Plane 11 in April 2019, was the Beechcraft Duchess Model 76. It was a very nice twin, and now here it has been extensively upgraded to X-Plane 12, note this is an upgrade, and earlier purchasers of the Duchess XP11 can get 10% discount off the new Duchess X-Plane 12 aircraft. The aircraft is developed out of the Beechcraft Musketeer family of single-engined aircraft family line, and at first glance you would be pushed to see any family resemblance, between the model 24 low-wing standard low elevator design to the Series 76 twin-engined high T-Tail configuration, and an all round far larger aircraft in a 32 ft 9 in (9.98 m) to 38 ft 0 in (11.58 m) wingspan and longer fuselage 25 ft 8 in (7.82 m) to the 76's 29 ft 0 1⁄2 in (8.852 m) overall length. But get down into the parts catalogue and you would be amazed on how many of the same spec are on both aircraft. Its main rival is the Cessna 310 and other references in this category include the PA-30 Twin Comanche and the PA-34 Seneca V. The original Duchess looked really great in X-Plane 11, but the Model 76 now jumps out at you far more with the X-Plane 12 lighting effects, you never get used to it, it has that extremely visible realism factor in the better PBR lighting. Also notable here are that the textures both external and internal are now 8K, and used here to produce a far higher texture clarity, and you notice the difference immediately... vibrantly. Note the newer 8K textures actually use less framerate than the old double 4K textures, in the way they are produced and used here, a Thranda development speciality. Modeling and detail was also good, but again it is all the more highlighted here (that lighting thing!) the feel is actually Carenado, not Thranda... as with their other Cessnas and what not, that is not a bad thing, as that was Carenado's major attraction with the worn (if sometimes heavy) feel of their aircraft, or authenticity. Get in close and you won't at all be disappointed, it's perfection here with the aircraft skin and rivets, love that wing camber at a NACA 632A415 airfoil shape, so smooth and really well done... At this US40+ price your expecting a lot of high end quality, and yes it delivers here in buckets, as the detailing is very professionally and expertly done, as is the excellent glass, thickly tinted and lovely to look at, it all reflects with perfection (you can turn off the reflections, but why would you). The engine pods are also beautifully modeled, again those smooth curves scream out quality. They house two Lycoming O-360-A1G6D air-cooled flat-four engines, 180 hp(130 kW) each, and right through out the full production run 1978-1983 there was no updated or engine revisions, except for one in house turbo development aircraft. All the undercarriage came directly from the Musketeer spare parts bins, so it is exactly the same trailing link layout and structure, all the craftwork is expertly done in detail and animation, it is a complex gear system but fully realised here, with all the components highly visible. Two cabin doors open, and there is a rear baggage door, really nicely done with both external and internal door latches that work. Internally the layout is the same, but the materials are all very different. The X-Plane 11 Duchess had a very all grey (dull) interior design, here it is a dark blue cloth with slightly darker blue wall and door trimmings, roof is a weave texture mocha brown, with light grey walls... lovely in style and depth of an older period... the layout panels are actually very Carenado Bonanza, of which I love... classy! Instrument Panel The instrument panel doesn't have that 'wham bam, thank you mam" factor. that you are expecting... even if at first looking slightly flat, but get in and look at it all more closely, and the detail is extremely very well done. Dials are rusted, dusty and worn out, with plasters even stuck to the panel from past use. Instrument gauges all have faded graphics, and the lighting studs are also well worn and even rusted from use. As noted, if you are Carenado man (or woman), then this is heaven, a trip back into the glory days. Yokes up close are quite authentic and gloriously faded from their 70's heyday, you can hide them individually, and can also use the switch electric trim... Panel layout is in three layers of dials to create a deep feel of instruments... The Standard Six (SS) flying instruments are front and centre... Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator are on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial/Course and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the SS is a clock, backup Attitude Indicator and lower EGT (Exhaust gas temperature) needles. Right of the SS is a twin-needle Manifold pressure and below a twin needle RPM gauges, lower panel centre are two Bendix/King dials ADF (yellow) VOR2 (green) pointers driven by KR 87 ADF/VOR2 and the other is a VOR 2 / ILS indicator driven by KX 165 (NAV 2). Both heading and OBS rear dials/cards are adjustable. Lower panel is a Instrument air (vacuum) gauge and electrical starting and lighting switchgear with the neat gear knob. Top panel left is the label NAV 2 over the clock, very weird? Twin (engine sets) of six rows of gauges are centre panel, with from top: Fuel L&R quantity gauges, Fuel pressure gauges, Oil pressure gauges, Oil temperature gauges, Cylinder temperature gauges and Alternator load meters with Alternator-out under/over voltage warning lights inset (are beautifully done). Top of the gauges sits a DME indicator which displays range, ground speed and time to station for NAV 1 or NAV 2 frequencies. An outside air temperature (digital) matches the manual pressure left window type, and a Hobbs hour meter is far right. The circuit breaker panel is active and can be used and is noted in the twin-bus layout of BUS 1 and BUS 2, it is very good and highly authentic in use. Flap lever and display are below the avionics with 0º - 10º - 20º - DN settings, but the flaps are not section driven, but are continuous in operation and so the degree markers are for display only. There are no instruments for the right seat pilot/passenger with the equipment stack dominating the area. Avionics stack is the usual Bendix/King KMA 28 TSO radio top which is above the GNS430 below (the Reality XP's GTN 750 unit can also be fitted, but this is an addon extra and costs you another $49.95) There is a really nice Bendix/King KT 76A transponder unit with a Bendix/King KX 155 COM/NAV 2 radio and Bendix/King KR87 ADF radio receiver bottom. Top far right is the Century IV autopilot which is (speaking to the passenger) "can you press the second button the top row, thanks very much" as it is located pretty in being well as far away from the pilot as reachable possible (there is thankfully a pop-up panel), and below is a WX-8 Stormscope. Twin Throttle levers, Propeller control levers (feathering on both 2-bladed Hartzell 7666A constant speed propellers does work) and Mixture levers are all excellent and well worn and feel nicely authentic to use. Note... unless there is power on, the feathering won't work. Pitch trim is situated between the seats and is well done, but requires help in key settings in a simulation environment (electric trim is available on the yokes), fuel levers are really nice as are the engine vents that can be opened, closed or set half way.... fuel crossfeed is active and the (working) Carb heat is here as well. Note how the passenger seat is offset to the pilot's, a nice authentic touch. Internal Lighting Both internal and external lighting is still quite basic... panel has only two adjustments for instruments (noted as "Post Lights") and Instrument flood. But you can find that nice night time flying lighting sweetspot. However the worn graphics engine readouts look like early washed out X-Plane 2d panel, and they have no depth, but otherwise the panel looks good. Overhead light (and red torch) selection STILL does NOT work? so that gives you a very unusable dark cabin? External lighting Again very basic, even poor. The main wing and taxi lights are dull, and are missing their usual Thranda sparkle. Navigation lights (Red, Green and rear White) are fine, as are the wing strobes. Menu The Menu system is all changed for X-Plane 12. Gone are the side tab and the generally average looking tab menu. Here it is replaced by an iPad style tablet, stuck to the left window... But you do have options, as the tablet can also be placed on either yoke and windscreen right... You can pop-out the screen as a window as well... ... the tablet is also adjustable (movable) via the hot-spot, top frame. But because of it's size and shape, the view-point is not really square or head on, the yoke position is better, but now also situated lower in your eyesight. It's too far away as well for any detailed inspection and use. But the new layout and art does look far more modern, making it far nicer to use than the old version. The earlier version had eighteen tiles for selection, here it has been reduced down to twelve... Top row : Aircraft Options, Weight & Balance, Instr Options, Engine Config, and Static Liveries Middle Row : Configuration, Log Book, Checklist, Ground Handling and Dynamic Liveries Bottom row : Flight Computer and Avitab (Plugin required) Aircraft Options: Covers the three doors; Pilot, CoPilot and Baggage Door (Open /Close), Window and Instrument Reflections, Cockpit Lights, Ground Equipment, Swap Pilots and Altimeter (IN.HG/MB) Open (close) doors are as seen before... Cockpit lights, just turns full on the Instrument Lighting? but could have been more useful if used for the (missing) cabin light? Ground Equipment is as terrible as the earlier set up. A single option to add in a ground puller on the front wheel, chocks, tie-downs and to hide the pilot, it still does not work? The puller does not work (neither do the tie-downs) if you just want to park the aircraft after a flight. No tags or flags and engine inlet covers are here either, and even a windscreen cover would be nice? Dan Klaue and his wife turn up as your pilots, and basically they are same two animated pilots as in the Thranda Aircraft, by the menu option, you can swap the seat position of the pilots. Weight & Balance: The weight and balance window is very good, if basic to look at (it is the original W&B window). It comes with adjustable weights for all four passengers, and baggage, fuel can be set here also as can the change from kg - lbs. There is the option to load the Aircraft "Half" or "Full" tanks. A full list of weights, CG and a large graph of your settings are all very helpful into balancing the aircraft. Press "Save Configuration" to save your preferred load setup, and "Load Configuration" to set up the aircraft. Lowering the Co-Pilot weight will make Him/Her disappear, but there are no passengers if weight added in the rear, or any bags added to the baggage area, such is shrinkflation today. You can open most pages into a "Window" via the arrow logo right top. Instr Options (Instrument Options) include two pop-ups for the GNS 430 and the Century IV (autopilot). The old "Refill Menu" has been changed here to the Engine Options; this allows you to view the fuel and oil status as well as the status of spark plug fouling and Vapour Lock, and you can also recharge the battery if it goes flat, of which it does with regularity. Static Liveries; You can rotate through all the liveries with the Model 76 via the Static Liveries menu. An option here (new) is that you can adjust the Dirt (dirtiness) between 0-100%. Configuration: Here you can change the aircraft configuration, and there are three options; Engines Running (power up to flying mode), DynaFeel and the tablet (screen) Brightness. "DynaFeel" is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect. It is based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. If you fly Thranda Aircraft, then you will be familiar with the system. Logbook: This icon brings up the X-Plane standard Logbook. Checklist: There is a 27 page checklist that you can tick off... very good, but even though there is a "End of the Checklist" tickable box, it doesn't oddly reset all the boxes to a reset... that is a return of 27 pages and an average of twelve boxes per page to untick, so you do the maths... Ground Handling: All JustFlight menus have odd useless tools, here is one... the X-Plane "Ground Handling" tool, for "Pushback" and "Request Ground Service"? It's a GA, not a Boeing 737. Dynamic Liveries: Here is another Thranda feature now available on the JustFlight Series. Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery called DYNAMIC LIVERIES. You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the three RGB colours for that certain area, and the selected colour (here blue) is shown in the square. You can also separately change the aircraft registration number, the Beechcraft logo can be added as well. Another option is that changes can also be made to the Metal or Rough surfaces, this can be applied to any of the liveries. When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes with some weird screen changes, but the results are excellent and now the Beechcraft is in your own nice livery design... Flight Computer: The flight computer panel provides a wealth of information that is very handy in flight, with highlights including OAT (Outside Air Temperature), GS (Ground Speed), range (available), endurance (time), and FF and used fuel flow, Winds.... fuel burn can be reset. Units can also be changed from Metric to Imperial.. AviTab: The AviTab tool can also be used, and with Navigraph charts, if you have an account. There is no tablet rotation from landscape to portrait, and to get back to the main menu, you press the right centre section of the frame. Missing from the earlier options are the Sound Panel and the Flashlight. ____________ Flying the X-Plane 12 Duchess Model 76 You have to prime the engines via a button in the middle of the starter switch before turning the starter switch, but it is a bit of a trick on how long to hold the primer button and not to flood the engine, not a lot I believe... engine starts are excellent. But I found several times the No.2 right engine has a tendency to foul it's plugs far more than the left one, if it does it is tricky to even hell to restart it again. The Model 76 taxi's like an older Carenado as well... You have to adjust both the Propeller and Mixture right low to get yourself a lower taxi speed, if not, even on idle the taxi rate is too fast. I'm used to this caper by now, but I don't remember the X-Plane 11 version having such a high throttle idle? The Hartzell constant speed propellers are counter-rotating, turning counter clockwise engine left and clockwise engine right, this is to balance the aircraft's thrust and it is very helpful on takeoff, keeping you clean on the centreline. With no set flap degrees you can set the angle that you want, here I go for 5º to create lift, but with as little drag as possible.... the flap display can be hard to see at this distance, harder to see and set on landing. You do adjust each throttle (slightly) to absorb the different engine performance... but that felt highly realistic. Around 95 knts and your climbing out. Climb out is around 1000 fpm (Feet Per Minute) and that is a nice number here, officially the rate of climb limit is 1,248 ft/min (6.34 m/s), so you are using the climb to maximum effect, it doesn't feel like there is any strain on the engines or the aircraft. The memories come flooding back... this is such a smooth Twin, super-smooth with tons of power. First climb is to 6,000ft, then Trim out... nice to trim and settle the aircraft. The electric Trim won't work unless you turn it on, on the panel behind the Yoke. Then you get the two up/down arrows on the Yoke trimmer button for trim adjustment. Same with the Autopilot, there is another panel switch for power, then another on switch on the Century IV panel... it's very hard to read (certainly with the bright daylight), so the AP pop-up is the recommended tool to use it most of the time... ALT will hold your current altitude, but to climb or descend you then press ATT and then set your pitch, you click and don't scroll the buttons to change the aircraft's pitch. The ATT setting can also be used just to hold your current pitch if you like that angle or rate of climb, so the AP is again very easy to use. Now we settle-in for the 2h 30m flight to Portland, if any aircraft is very capable, it is the Duchess. The Beechcraft looks extremely nice in the air, certainly in it's X-Plane 12 guise, realism 101... checkout ot the underside, fabulously done, remind you of anything? yes those dirty Carenados. Then then also remember to use the EGT needles, the yellow needles represent the best lean to rich mixture for the best fuel flow and hence performance, so you adjust both the throttles and the mixture levers to achieve your golden lean setting.... it works fabulously, and I learn't a lot back in the time on how to "Lean for Speed". Here the mixture levers are really well far back, almost at the engine cut-off point, but the speed is good, and you feel no loss of power. Cruise speed is 158 kn (182 mph; 293 km/h) at the best at 10,000 ft (3,000 m), Range is VOR busting 780 nmi (898 mi; 1,445 km) and the Service Ceiling is a generous 19,650 ft (5,990 m).... I need that height here as well? what is it if you fly North on the West Coast of California, as you always seem to be climbing, I'm finding I'm already up to 9,000ft, but those ridges are still close? It is a nice place to be in is the Duchess, the quality environment is absolutely first rate, a genuine feel. Now descending into Portland, I checkout the Flight Computer numbers, very handy and informative... good tools are always a help. One thing has been enforced during this newer review of the Model 76, and that this is a nice easy aircraft for learners and it comes with a nice stable platform to practise on, yes the 76 is an easy aircraft to fly, but the pro's will get it as well... and love it as much as there is also a great built in depth in there, certainly even better now in X-Plane 12. Sounds are excellent, they should be at this price, but overall and right through the engine ranges, startup and shut down, you will not be disappointed. The sounds cover the full stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill, and different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle... It's a very noisy aircraft as they are first rate and also upgraded to FMOD2. Set up and went into the approach of Portland Intl Rwy 10R. Tricky into getting right is the Flap setting... The JustFlight Duchess as noted uses a continuous movement flap selection... It's hard, because of the angle and distance of the flap dial, worse on this approach as the flat glass on the instrument was washed out, so the setting was a bit of a guess, or feel. Secondly it takes ages to get to the full 30º (DN) setting, extending and retracting, so you think you are there, then look and see it is only half-extended? They are seriously noisy as well, thrumming high noise in the aircraft. With the gear down you can see the excellent lower detail, it's impressive is this JustFlight. 90 knts full flap is a nice approach and losing height of around 200 fpm speed. You have to be careful not to get too nose down on the approach, so the right trim setting and throttle position is vital. Pitch adjustments via the throttle is excellent, but also sedate, so you have to anticipate where you want your speed and pitch angle before you get there... it's a bit of a trick, but it comes to you with the regular flying of the Model 76. Final approach is 80 knts, then you need to get that nose up to flare. The trick (there is always a trick), is to find that throttle sweet spot, so the Duchess has a slow speed landing, but not a lot of loss of lift, the margin is small, but findable, so doable. The timing of the final pitch still however has to be perfect in the flare, to early and the 76 will slightly float... Once all down, it should be at around 73 knts, then you just run out the speed down to the taxi speed, again the right propeller and mixture lever settings are important to get right before you land, to get the transition to taxiing correct. Stall is 60 knts and lethal, you will just fall out of the air because of that high T-Tail effect! Liveries There are seven liveries provided (PAINTED LIVERIES) (down from eleven), and two of the liveries are noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY", these are the currently selected "DYNAMIC LIVERIES". ___________________ Summary A Twin-Engined aircraft was released for X-Plane 11 in April 2019 by JustFlight and Thranda Design, this was the Beechcraft Duchess Model 76. It was a very nice twin, and now here it has been extensively upgraded to X-Plane 12, note this is an upgrade, and earlier purchasers of the Duchess XP11 can get 10% discount off the new Duchess X-Plane 12 aircraft. Covered also by JustFlight/Thranda has been the Archer TX/LX, Archer lll, Warrior ll and the Arrow lll/lV, but this Duchess 76, is the only big twin-engined aircraft of the series. The X-Plane 11 version was an excellent aircraft. But this rejuvenated version for X-Plane 12 is far, far better again, but a few quirks still however remain. Highlights of the changes are the new 8K textures, and the far better PBR effects, and this creates a far more quality exterior and interior. First glances say, old and tired, but on a closer inspection, it will cry out authenticity and a very high quality. The aircraft comes alive in X-Plane 12, highly realistic and gives you a very high quality twin for X-Plane 12. There is also a new menu system, as replacing an old tab system, and it is a quality iPad/tablet, that can be positioned in four different places. Besides a few of the original tabs and pages, there are also three new added features directly from the Thranda Design stable, with now the "PAINTED LIVERIES" function, the build your own livery feature of "DYNAMIC LIVERIES" and the "Dynafeel" tool. Performance, physics and handling have also been highly improved to X-Plane 12 standards, based on real-world performance and handling data (two real aircraft G-BZRT and G-GCCL were used as collation). But the odd quirks oddly remain? The poor Static Objects are still a one click nothing. No cabin lighting is still another odd omission, and the external taxi/landing lights are non-existent in brightness and feel, and you still get the very odd tab and useless elements like the X-Plane Ground Handling? and Logbook?... fillers only. The checklist is another oddity, with 27 pages of checks, you can't uncheck in one operation. When coming back to this JustFlight/Thranda Duchess 76, my thinking was "Why didn't I fly this excellent aircraft more, since the 2019 release as it was so good". In most cases you usually have an easy answer, but not with the Duchess, as it is a very fine aircraft in every area (except for separate chocks and covers). It is also in that high price range of US$40+, and that is fine as the aircraft does deliver exceptional quality, but now even more so in the X-Plane 12 environment. It is excellent, a lovely aircraft, that even the most novice pilot can fly and enjoy... overwhelmingly the main thing about the Duchess 76, is that it brings back into your hangar, something you felt you had lost, Carenado authenticity and feel. So it's like going back ten years but still having all the mod-cons that X-Plane 12 provides as well, a brilliant combination of the very best of both worlds.... Highly Recommended. ___________________ Yes! the Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 by JustFlight Thranda is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 On sale: US$42.99 Requirements: X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download size: 2.2 MB Current version : 1.0 (January 31st 2024) Owners of the Duchess XP11 can get 10% the new Duchess XP12. Installed in your X-Plane Aircraft folder 2.44 Gb. Authorization on startup is required. AviTab Plugin is required for this aircraft Documents Duchess Model 76 ODM X-Plane manual.pdf Duchess Model 76 X-Plane manual.pdf EULAstandardcommercialandacademic2019.pdf Design by JustFlight/Thranda Design Support forum: JustFlight Duchess 76 _____________________ 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 12.09rc5 (This is a Release Candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00 - KPDX - Portland International Airport 1.5 by Mister X6 (X-Plane.Org) - Free Download ___________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th February 2024 Copyright©2024: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  2. NEWS! - Expansion Package REP for DHC-2 Beaver I was a little surprised to see a Reality Expansion Package for the Thranda Design DHC-2 Beaver? Reasons being is that the Thranda design is already a very highly developed aircraft, a high quality Simulation in the first place. One that comes with a very long list of features, so why did it need a REP pack? REP packages are for me, to bring default and sparsely developed aircraft a host of better performance and features up to a higher standard. But here we have them (with Thranda's blessing) and it comes with an extremely long list of performance enhancements and mostly crash and damage effects. Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics Realistic stall speeds & behavior Correct climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Real World Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior with realistic spring-loaded/free-castoring tailwheel Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Economic System Can be enabled/disabled on the fly Earn virtual money when you fly Use virtual money to buy fuel and do maintenance/repairs Realistic fuel prices around the World Fully compatible with FSEconomy and X-CPL-Pilot More info at https://www.simcoders.com/reality-expansion-pack/economy Custom Towing System Driven by the joystick/steering wheel Realistic point of view (POV) Interacts with tie-down and brakes Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Lights checks Engine soft cover removal Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Floats and water rudder check Realistic Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior Engine Logic 100% Custom engine model Realistic power output for given manifold pressure/RPM settings Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Realistic booster coil Switch between conventional and Bendix-Stromberg pressure carburetor (with automatic mixture) Correct fuel consumption Oil System: 1. Realistic oil viscosity 2. Interchangeable oil type 3. Oil pump failures 4. Realistic oil filter Fuel System: 1. Realistic wobble pump 2. Realistic fuel pressure behavior 3. Realistic fuel filter 4. Realistic primer Starter Realistic startup procedure Automatic startup procedure for newbies Realistic engine temperatures Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts wear down when not managed correctly Engine Preheater The engine may be warmed up upon start with the provided electrical heater Once activated, the electrical heater runs even when you close the simulator Realistic Landing Gear The landing gear is damaged by hard landings The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly The steering wheel acts like the real one. Spring loaded under 35° of turn, then free castoring. Electrical & Avionics System Native Virtual Reality Support Complete support of new X-Plane SDK 3.0 Menu visible in VR Windows visible in VR Learn with the in-flight tips A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane Custom simulation of Hypoxia Tunnel vision Hard breathing Popup Kneeboard Normal operations checklist Emergency operations checklist Reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position restores its position when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane The engine restores its cylinders and oil temperature basing on the elapsed time between restarts Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab Instruments tab Economic System tab HeadShake Integration REP drives HeadShake to simulate the correct vibrations of the Wasp Junior engine Developed with love Coded by real pilots Very easy on FPS Written in C++ with no compromises It is an extremely long list of enhancements, and an interesting experiment on how to make the Beaver a much more realistic Simulation. Most of the changes and access to features are done via the "Clipboard menu... This is an add-on to the DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series XP12. It will not work on the Thranda DHC-2 Beaver XP11 or any other aircraft. X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Developed by Simcoders support forums for the REP DHC-2 Beaver _________________________  The Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver XP12 by SimCoders is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver XP12 Priced at US$29.95 Customers who own the Reality Expansion Pack for DHC-2 Beaver XP11, can get the new XP12 version for 30% off. Coupon code can be found in the original invoice. Requirements: This is an add-on to the DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series XP12. It will not work on the Thranda DHC-2 Beaver XP11 or any other aircraft. X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Current version: XP 12 - 4.8.2 (February 10th 2024) ________________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 13th February 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.
  3. NEWS! - Announced : JustFlight brings Beechcraft Duchess M76 to X-Plane-12 JustFlight have announced the update to X-Plane 12 for their Beechcraft Duchess M76, in partnership with Thranda Design. The original X-Plane 11 Duchess had a quick X-Plane 12 conversion back in May 2023. But this coming release is the full X-Plane 12 transition of this very popular aircraft. X-Plane 12 Features Realistic and accurate flight dynamics taking full advantage of the XP12 flight physics, based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from Duchess pilots DynaFeel flight dynamics tweaks, simulating the “strength” of the pilot to over come aerodynamic forces with the control surfaces Authentic sound set, generated using X-Plane's state-of-the-art FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, doors, warnings and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when window or door(s) are opened, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Comprehensive manual with panel guide and performance data PSD Paint Kit included so you can create your own paint schemes The Duchess is a four-seater, twin-engine T-tail aircraft equipped with a retractable tricycle landing gear, and two 180hp four-cylinder engines fitted with counter-constant-speed propellers. Its IFR-capable avionics suite, excellent handling characteristics and counter-rotating propellers make it an ideal aircraft for multi-engine flight training, and the perfect step up from single-engine aircraft such as the PA28. A cruise speed of 155 knots, a range of 780 nautical miles and a service ceiling of 20,000ft also make it a very capable touring aircraft. Accurately modelled Duchess Model 76, built using real-world aircraft plans and comprehensive photography of the real aircraft Numerous animations including multi-animation passenger doors that, when open, respond to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window and sun visors Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs 8K interior and exterior textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Windshield rain effects No actual release date by JustFlight has been announced, but noted as soon. Price will probably be the same as the X-Plane 11 version, which was set at US$45.99. The X-Plane 11 X-PlaneReviews 2019 look at the aircraft review is here: Aircraft Review : Beechcraft Duchess Model 76 by JustFlight and Thranda ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 🎂 16th November 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.
  4. Aircraft Release Review : DHC-2 Beaver DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design In aviation folklore, there are machines that have created an impact by their design alone, but a few have gone even higher into a sort of immortal status, Say Spitfire or DC-3, Concorde and even the Boeing 707. One other aircraft can also join this upper echelons of achievement, and that is the de Havilland Canada Type 2... also known as the "Beaver". Often referred to as the “best bush plane ever built”, the DHC-2 has been instrumental in developing and servicing far-reaching frontiers since it was first introduced in 1947. The DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft that was developed by de Havilland Canada in 1946, and is known as a bush plane, in fact one of the most highly regarded bush aircraft ever created. There was 1,657 Beavers built between 1947–1967 and half are actually still flying and working hard. In fact you can currently buy a zero-time frame and just rebuild your current aircraft and keep the machine flying as long as you can service the radial engine and afford the new airframes... History de Havilland Canada hired Punch Dickins, a famous bush pilot, as Director of Sales who began an extensive program of collecting requests from other pilots and to understand what they needed in a new type of aircraft. Almost without variation, the pilots asked for tremendous extra power and STOL performance, in a design that could be easily fitted with wheels, skis or floats. When de Havilland engineers noted that this would result in poor cruise performance, one pilot replied "You only have to be faster than a dog sled". Other suggestions that seemingly sound mundane but important in the bush plane world; full-sized doors were installed on both sides of the aircraft so it could be easily loaded no matter which side of a dock it tied up on. The large doors (known as Alaska doors) were also made wide enough to allow for a 45 Imperial gallon drum to be rolled directly up and into the aircraft. On September 17, 1946, de Havilland officially put together a design team consisting of Fred Buller, Dick Hiscocks, Jim Houston and W. Jakimiuk, led by Phil Garratt. The new aircraft was designed to be all-metal in using "steel from the engine to the firewall, heavy aluminum truss frames with panels and doors throughout the front seat area, lighter trusses toward the rear and all monocoque construction aft". At the time de Havilland Canada was still a British-owned company and there were plans to fit the evolving design with a British engine. This limited power, so the wing area was greatly increased in order to maintain STOL performance. When Pratt & Whitney Canada offered to supply war-surplus 450 hp (340 kW) Wasp Jr engines at a low price, the aircraft ended up with extra power as well as the original long wing. The result was unbeatable STOL performance for an aircraft of its size. it was decided that the new bush plane was much like the hard-working beaver and so as many aircraft at the time were named after animals, the aircraft was designated after this industrious animal. The first flight of the DHC-2 Beaver was in Downsview, Ontario by Second World War flying ace Russell Bannock on August 16, 1947. The first production aircraft was delivered to the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests, a design partner, in April 1948. The Beaver was designed for flight in rugged and remote areas of the world. Its short takeoff and landing capability made it ideal for areas normally only accessible only by canoe or foot. Because it often flies to remote locations, often in cold climates, its oil reservoir filler is located in the cockpit and the oil can be filled in flight. A series of upgrades to the basic design were incorporated. One major customer introduced the use of flat steps replacing the earlier tubes, a feature that is now almost universal. In 1987, the Canadian Engineering Centennial Board named the DHC-2 one of the top ten Canadian engineering achievements of the 20th century. The current ownership of the certificates and tooling gives Viking Air of Victoria, Canada the exclusive right to manufacture new Beavers. Viking now sells a remanufactured and rebuilt DHC-2T Turbo Beaver upgraded with a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 680 hp (507 kW) turboprop engine. With a maximum gross takeoff weight increased to 6,000 lb (2,700 kg) it can carry 2,450 lb (1,110 kg) of freight. However, Viking Turbo Beavers are only rebuilt from existing air frames, and are not new-builds, unlike Viking's own DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter, which is manufactured from a completely new airframe. (wikipeida) Performance - Maximum speed: 158 mph (255 km/h) - Cruise speed: 143 mph (230 km/h) - Range: 455 miles (732 km) - Service ceiling: 18,000 ft (5,486 m) - Rate of climb: 1,020 ft/min (5.2 m/s) Thranda Design This is the second Beaver for X-Plane by Thranda Design, their first release was the X-Plane 11 version released in November 2020, and this is the totally revised aircraft for X-Plane 12. Current users of the earlier Thranda XP11 Beaver can also get 30% off this new XP12 version of the DHC-2 Beaver. The older XP11 version is still also currently available, if you want to fly the aircraft in X-Plane 11 This version is the Beaver that incorporates the "Holmes Extended Engine Mount", which moves the 917lbs engine forward by almost 10 inches. This modification then moves the center of gravity of the plane forward, and in then allowing additional loads to be carried in the back without exceeding the aft CG limit. First impressions are quite impressive. This is now also X-Plane 12, so you also get that huge photographic realism from the aircraft as well with the X-Plane 12 lighting and effects. In features and detail, there is is not that much difference outward between the two XP12 and XP11 versions, on the surface they are quite the same aircraft package. It is in the hidden areas, like textures (more soon), lighting, aircraft dynamics, aircraft performance, aircraft flight models is in were they differ. One significant difference is that the extra Floats and Amphibious floats variant is already included in this XP12 package, were as with the original version release they came a short few months awhile after, you also get a canoe as well! Thranda quality is extreme in detail and fittings. As noted the new XP12 Beaver comes with 8K textures, a huge pixel area 7680 x 4320. Just because it is 8K doesn't mean that you need a 8Gb Graphic Card to run them. 4 Gb VRAM is still recommended as Minimum. And 8 Gb+ VRAM is however recommended as normal. But like with the earlier Thranda releases, they had more than one 4K texture size, sometimes two 4K textures to fill in the same 8K area. So in reality you are only using the 8K to fill the same gap of the two 4K set of textures before. So Graphic Card size is not the issue, if you can run your current Thranda aircraft with your current graphic card size, then the DHC-2 will be exactly the same, in fact even a bit more efficient in that it only has to load in only the one texture sheet, rather than the load of old 2(K)or 4(K) texture sheets. As a classic Beaver, you won't get any better in modeling and design than this one, there was the original X-Plane Beaver from SoulMade Simulations DHC-2 version a few years back, that aircraft is a pure DHC-2, but without any updates, certainly no upgrade to X-Plane 12, the SMS DHC-2 is now quite dated and in the past. The detailing is exceptional, the mapping of the precision of the rivets are simply excellent, and I love the gap in the cowling, actually done twice with the Holmes extended engine mount if you look closely. The Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine, is rated at 450 BHP at sea level. This is an air-cooled, carburetted, 9-Cylinder radial engine, incorporating dual magnetos and an engine-driven single-stage supercharger. And the engine detail really jumps out at you with the coloured inner components, that aspect should not work on such an old aircraft, but it simply looks brilliant here... Undercarriage is basic, but again very well done in total authentic detail, the DHC-2 is a taildragger, so there is only a small loose swivel wheel at the rear. Notable in the detail are the excellent double metal plate reinforce plates, they are all over the fuselage and they all make the aircraft very authentic. They are beautifully done, and shows the high craftmanship of the aircraft. Rear Rudder, Elevator control surfaces reinforce work is also top notch. Wing shape and camber is perfect, again you have a highly realistic wing, realistically modeled and designed with all the correct rivets. Oddly the aileron goes only about 3º up, but 8º down, note the full barn door flap deflection of 58º, mostly used for slow water landings. There is the debate if X-Plane 12 surfaces are too "shiny, shiny". The X-Plane 11 surfaces were certainly in the opposite of being very flat, but it also bought out the intimate detail, here, or for all current Thranda Aircraft, is that every surface is shiny, reflective.... I'm not sure if I am a total fan of this look. In one aspect aircraft certainly looks realistic in X-Plane 12, but in other ways they just don't, as the shininess can hide a lot of the wear detail that presented well on the older XP11 version of Thranda's Beaver. Glass is superb, thick where it counts (windscreen), with a mottled/scratch wear in the glass. All glass is a heavy green tint, and "Bubble" windows is an option on the passenger doors. Reflections can also be turned off. There are four forward doors, Two for the pilots, and two behind for the front row passengers (note the right side door has no external handle, and can only be opened outside via a hotspot). Rear are two separate large upward opening "Alaska" doors. Space inside was created to be wide enough to allow for a 44 Imperial gallon drum to be rolled up into the aircraft. There are four passenger seats, and one large rear bench seat in the rear, all seats are beautifully done in blue canvas, with metal legs and rear plate supports. All of the five Passenger seats backs can be folded forward. You can take one or all five seats out, to create a huge cargo space. This space can then be filled with cargo, including cases, crates and (small oil drums), cargo is also put in the small baggage area behind the restriction net (bench seat if installed). You can of course also mix the passengers with cargo... Cockpit You sit up there very high at the front of the machine... Both the pilot seats are amazing, with their metal clamshell bucket rear design, and hardwearing blue patterned levi Jean look cushions. Both pilots windows can be opened, or positioned in any place, up or down... you can play with the small window air-vent as well. The Thranda Beaver cockpit is not like the antique cream version like on the SoulMade Solutions DHC-2, that is very much beloved by me as to it's reference to an early Beaver. But this version is very much a more relative version to most of the working Beavers out there and it is extremely well done. The SMS version had a single left side Yoke, but here you get the TwinBar Y double version that disappears if you press the base. The logo we all admire... all in it's chrome and black plate glory "De Havilland" and in the right lighting conditions it just glows and shines like it has just been lovingly and newly polished. The cosmetic detail here is excellent, and you simply can't believe the intimate authentic detail all around you here. There are two choices of the famous throttle quadrant, the older original classic version with the Throttle Lever left, with in order Propeller lever and Mixture right... or the more modern squared off version with the Throttle now centre, Prop left and Mixture right. Centre top are the magnificently large DHC-2 iconic Manifold Pressure and RPM gauges, and the mid-screen mounted whiskey compass. The pilot gets all the flying instruments in the form of the six standard flight instruments in the Airspeed, Artificial Horizon, Altitude, Turn/Slip Indicator, Heading Indicator and the Vertical Speed, left is the main fuel tank selector It has positions of OFF, FRONT, CENTRE, REAR. Top panel is the (very) hard too find "Avionics" switch, and the metal plate flaps indicator is a work of art. There is a sensational JOS. POLLACK CORP Ignition switch, ELT and the logo plated MaxDim panel lighting knobs lower left panel, the metal plate storage box opens as well, to revel the three faces of the Thranda Design team. Right side panel has the avionics and electrical panel... There is an altitude selector top, then an S-Tec Fifty-Five x Autopilot, KX 155 NAV/COMM Radio (NAV 1/COM 1), Garmin GMA 340 Comm radio, and a Garmin GTX 325 Transponder lower... it is to be noted that these items are the default set of avionics, but as we shall see, you can use more different units if you want to. To the far right is an OBS Course Deviation Indicator (CDI) - VOR NAV 2. Lower right panel is a fully active (Fuse) Circuit Breaker panel, with the relevant electrical switches set below for power and lighting (Avionics power switch is as noted is high up on the left side panel facia). Next to the Fuses is the AMP's gauge, and Suction Gauge, and below is a lovely PS radio volume panel. Like with the XP11 Thranda Beaver there are still the two basic panel selections, the iconic version we know so well, but also a flat metal grey facia version, with the fancy LED lights under the glareshield. Centre panel is a default X-Plane GNS 530, but it can be replaced with a Reality XP GTN 750 if you own the extra feature. Mid-Panel are the engine gauges, with the Oil temperature shown on the top of the gauge, oil pressure on the left, and fuel pressure on the right. Next right is the sublime gauges to indicate the quantity of fuel remaining in the three primary internal fuel tanks. From left to right these gauges indicate the Front tank, Rear tank, and Middle tank, and below is a CYL. (Cylinder) Temperature gauge, with a Hobbs hour meter. Three lower levers cover (LtoR) the carburetor heat control lever, the famous Fuel Wobble Pump Lever and the Fuel and Oil Emergency Shutoff Lever. To the right is the internal Oil filler (yellow cap). Detail again comes to the fore with the Manufacture's and Aircraft registration plates. The authenticity is simply mind-blowing and it keeps on coming with the ratcheting carb heat lever, the manually pumped flap system (with direction valve), and the primer system that are all faithfully modeled for maximum immersion. The fuel system is complicated, with three internal tanks Front (35 GAL/132 Lts), Centre (35 GAL/132 lts) and Rear (25 GAL/95 lts), two wing tanks (21.6 GAL/85 Lts each) and an optional Belly Fuel Tank (43.1 GAL/163 Lts)... for a total of 181 GAL/685 Lts of fuel. The main internal tanks are controlled via the red switch upper left panel, the wing tip tanks via a red switch upper door left, and the belly tank via a handle under the instrument panel (Vacuum air pressure is required). On the roof are the manual Rudder and Elevator trim wheels and indicators. Lighting is two side spot lights and ceiling LED lights, note the roof mounted temperature gauge, both (green) blinds twist and turn into place. There are loads of pumps and levers on the Beaver, one is the pump handle for the flaps, down right of the pilot's seat and another is the engine primer pump on the left of the pilot's seat, the actions of both are really well done and authentic. You are probably now thinking "This Beaver is exactly the same as the X-Plane 11 version?". It is, nothing at all is different in here except for the Thranda team image in the storage box. But there is a difference though... in the look and feel. Oddly it feels different in here with the X-Plane 12 lighting, far more grey and dark metal. The centre quadrant(s) are now all black, not the steel metal grey of before, so the aircraft feels more modern now than aged, it has also lost something from the organic feel of a Traditional Beaver in the process. Cabin Lighting You still get the post style instrument lighting, but the brightness (even when adjusted to full), is nothing as bright as the X-Plane 11 panel lighting? And the Avionics are too bright for the main instruments, thankfully you can tone them down a little. The grey metal panel facia, has those lovely LED lights, but the instrument lighting can barely be seen? A switch on the lighting panel (arrowed) will turn on all four forward cabin overhead lights... ... oddly there is STILL no lighting in the cabin? But you can turn the roof LEDs right backwards to give some illumination, but a few rear lights in the cabin would be nice. Overall the lighting although the same, is actually worse? External lighting is also worse than in X-Plane 11. Basic lights and the landing lights have no flare or floor shine? Beacon on the roof and tail light. Navigation and a very bright strobe on the wings. Floats and Amphibious floats In the X-Plane 12 package, the earlier extra Floats and Amphibious floats version are now included. Both variants can be found in the X-Plane "Configuration Menu", The Seaplane version is shown twice, under "General Aviation" and "Seaplane". Both the land (Amphibious) and standard Float design is excellent, all the usual Thranda Design quality detail, both the forward wheels, and rear rudder system, the four float supports are well intergrated into the Beaver fuselage, detail is first rate as well. Both Amphibious and Standard Floats are really well shaped and perform nicely on the water, and with the right amount of drag in the air. The wheeled floats do create more drag than the cleaner "Float", and it is noticeable (slightly) from the cockpit. Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous). Basically it is the standard Thranda default menu. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. General menu selections cover; Engine Mode (Simplified/Realistic), Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off (sets aircraft to full running mode), External Belly Tank, Chocks and Brakes on/off, Steering (Simplified/Realistic). Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot covers, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit doors and the right side luggage door. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights. And finally "Radial Engine Animation". Static Items include Wheel chocks, wing pitot cover and that rugged heavy duty engine cover over the nose. The Engine cover can only be seen/hidden via the forward selection on the General-Menu page (arrowed). Engine Mode - Toggles the engine realism between "Realistic" and "Simplified". When this is set to "Realistic", the engine will require the correct amount of priming for it to start, depending on the engine's temperature. When the Engine Mode is set to "Simplified", it makes starting easier. Electric Tug can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your Throttle (Forwards/Backwards) and Rudder Yaw (Left/Right), brakes can be used as well. Startup Running on/off this switch will re-load the plane either cold and dark or with the engine running. EXT Belly Tank is really well done (note the filler pipe), too much weight? then remove it, but I like the extra range it adds. Steering Toggles between "Realistic" and "Simplified". In Simplified mode the tail wheel steers directly with the rudder, through a range of +- 30 degrees. In Realistic mode it functions as in the real aircraft, becoming free-castoring past +- 25 degrees of deflection. There is an exciting separate animated pop-up window that shows details of the Beaver's engine in operation. At the top of this pop-up is a graph that indicates whether the engine is properly primed for starting. A small indicator line moves horizontally along the bottom of the graph to indicate the current conditions. This graph is only active if the Engine Mode is set to Realistic. There are no pop-up checklists for the Beaver, usually set on the General page, but there is a basic set of checklists in the provided POH Documents. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "Liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 10 liveries and one blank (DynamicLiveryResource) overall Eleven designs, and all the liveries are of extremely high quality and have creative flare with the package. I will note that seven liveries only loaded after I ran the Skunkscrafts Updater to v1.0.1. The X-Plane 11 Beaver is supplied with fourteen liveries, but there is now only eleven on the XP12 aircraft? with the DynamicLiveryResources being the currently selected "Dynamic" livery. Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own! With their earlier release of their Kodiak then Thranda also introduced a clever feature to design your own livery.This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES top. I created this orange, black and grey for this review... You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want, and then adjust the RGB colours for that area, it looks hard but you can easily design a very nice livery in about twenty minutes... You can also change the aircraft's registration number, or have original de Havilland logo on the tail. There are also four effects you can apply. The said "Dirt" and "Scratches", and also "Metal" and "Rough(ness)" this gives the aircraft a dirty rough appearance. So applying these Dirt and scratches on the airplane will make the surfaces rougher, this is giving you the full PBR control in creating stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look, and these aspects will also slightly affect the Beaver's drag, and therefore it's cruise speeds. With full dirt and scratches you can expect a loss of 2 to 3 mph of cruise speed. Cleaning the plane by setting both values back to 0 will give you a smoother and slightly faster plane. ... when done you can then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. It was all quite easy to do. Then the aircraft goes through a sort of transmogrifying process that takes around a minute and a half.... ... you can "SAVE" the livery, in that then the custom livery becomes the "DynamicLiveryResources" livery in the "Painted Liveries" selection. Altogether there are 29 optional Dynamic Liveries to change or use. New to the Dynamic Livery application is ERA options in "Modern' or "Classic".... and of course personal taste is optional! In the Float/Amphibian menu, you can also colour in the float design to your own preferences, or to match the floats in with the same aircraft fuselage design, all the same livery options (29) are available here also. Menu - Weight/Bal The Beaver also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle... Lbs In Green, and Kgs in Blue. There is the weight selection of all the seats. The X option on each seat will toggle the seat off/on, or go from a Passenger to Cargo layout. Fuel (including the EXT Tank) can be added in and the amounts are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above)... pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and all are selected via a scrollwheel... and then all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on two graphs, go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red. When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add back in the set weights. Working out that right CofG balance here is critical, setting just inside the parameters is just not really good enough, as you need for the aircraft to be balanced in it's fuel and load weights, or you will have difficulty in flying the aircraft. So put too much (cargo) weight aft and you are tail heavy and unbalanced in the TakeOff, and in Flight. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot for the external viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the internal viewpoints. The FoV or "Field of View" is adjustable via a slider. Menu - Audio/Slew Sound can be adjusted via the Audio menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel... As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play. Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is used mostly only really with the Amphibian/Floats option in docking the aircraft to say a pier or marina. Menu - PANEL The sixth "PANEL" Tab option allows you to adjust or change the instruments and dials. Scroll the "PANEL BACKGROUND" number to see all the four background preset layouts. Scroll the "Panel Preset" number to see all the five preset layouts. The layouts can include both GNS 430/530 and the Aspen EFD. Even the The Reality XP GTN 750/650 Touch can also be installed if you have that external option, as the 3d bezels are provided. Aspen EFD is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not as highly featured with the GPSS, MAP, 360 and Menu functions all not simulated... all the lower NAV1/NAV2/GPS selections are however available, as is the TPS (Tapes) see/hide option with the MIN (Minimums) selectable as well. and the PFD can be reversed with the EHSI. The EFD 1000 PFD pops-out for convenience. Customising the panel to your own personal layout is just as easy. Just select the "3D EDIT PANEL MODE" (arrowed) that gives you access to all of the 54 individual instruments and avionic units... There some great options including the Aspen EFD 1000, S-TEC 55x Autopilot, Angle of Attack gauge and so on... For those that find instruments are not to their liking, in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter just a bit more to the left", then here you can simply adjust and move that particular instrument, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking. Here I have added in a Reality XP GTN 650 Touch instrument on the right lower panel... You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument. When you can "ADD" (or Duplicate) in a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset /6). So basically you can start off with a completely blank instrument panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout if you have the time and patience... and you can have up to or save 14 different instrument layouts. It is however very important to restart X-Plane to lock in the new instrumentation layout before flying. Panel features include; S-Tec Fifty Five autopilot and the noted Aspen EFD 1000, KR 87 ADF Radio, Garmin GMA 340, Garmin GTX325 Mode C Transponder and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. Both GNS units also require their own installation area. Note that the "Gear Advisory" Panel for the Amphibious/Float version can also be added to the custom panel. The DGS system is certainly very clever and versatile, but a small annoyance is that to get your custom livery or panel, you have to reset everything, every time you fly? Yes the custom SAVES are all there ready for you, but not when you start/load the aircraft. Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page has four panels that cover External; Skis, Wheels; Tires and Mud Flaps. Internal; Windows options and Throttle Quadrant options. Notably missing here is the usual "DynaFeel" Feature. High quality designed "Skis" are available for the Beaver... Tyres can be changed from "Regular" size, to the larger "Tundra" style. The larger tundra tyres however won't work with the skis... On the rear you can have "Mud Flaps", and here they work with either the regular or tundra tyre options. Rear Door windows can be "Flat" or "Bubble"... Throttle Quadrant options include; OLD (classic) or NEW... On most Thranda Design aircraft they have a "Pilot" option in that the pilots can be changed around from Male to Female. There is no Female pilot with the Beaver, but only the Male "Beaver Dan"... he is also fully animated in the arms, legs and head movements. The Float/Amphibian MISC Menu is different. You still have the earlier Throttle Quadrant (Old/New)/Window options (Flat/Bubble). Yes, you get a canoe! Amphibian or Float option... There is a Ventral Fin, that is an option under the tail... You can Retract or Extend the rudders from the MISC Panel There are another two options to raise and lower the rudders, One is a handle and cord in the cockpit, left floor... another (the most simple) is to use the Keyboard command "Toggle Water Rudder". ________________________ Flying the DHC-2 Beaver There are two options to starting the DHC-2, the (very) easy way via the Simplified "Engine Mode" option in the Menu/General panel... and the long winded "Realistic" way. With the full engine start up procedure as is explained in the manual. Did you always want to look actually inside your engine? Well now you can and the idea is to see how the engine is primed to start... here Dan Klaue's genius strikes again! There is the option via a menu selection "Radial Engine Animation" that brings up an animated Wasp Radial engine, you can also "PreHeat" and "Prime" your Wasp ready for start, but you have to be careful not to "OverPrime" the Cylinders. You can also prime the engine via the hand pump, deep left of the pilot's seat, switch the large ignition switch on (Fuel on as well of course)... setting the Mixture to almost full RICH lever and a slight 5th throttle... then flick the left switch under the red cover to start the Wasp.... get the procedure right and the Beaver's prop will rotate then fire into action... and also the Radial Engine Animation" will erupt into activity. On the Animation the pistons are exploding, and the animation is amazing beyond belief, adjust the throttle for a some serious movement, but the animation will also react to the adjustment of not only the throttle inputs, but with the fuel mixture from "Rich" to 'Lean" adjustments as well. Just move the mixture lever (not fully back) and see changes and the weakness in the sparks. These movements and the running of the DHC-2 also compliment the amazing sound range as well, there is a consistent adjustment of the excellent engine sounds to the condition of the running of the engine, that is the "Ugh, Ugh" of low lean to the high power "roar" of the full throttle. Also no two starts will sound alike, as there is coughing, sputtering, and the clanking of valves that all contribute the full aural experience, it's clever and highly realistic as well. The sounds actually also give you clues as to what's happening under the hood as is for the shear band of extensive sound patterns available here that show no gaps or the same patterns that just gets you all tinkly down your back... it is highly, highly aurally realistic... well like a full throated real 450 hp Wasp Jr engine sounds like. As noted you can have a freewheeling rear or locked to the rudder yaw, You really need a set of rudder pedals for the Thranda Beaver with built in toe brakes to use the freewheeling option, that aspect takes a little skill to get right. Taildraggers are a feel thing, and thankfully the Beaver is one of the better taildraggers. Of course experiment with the load and trim until you get that feeling the DHC-2 is rightly balanced. Thankfully the DHC-2 Beaver is one of the easiest taildraggers to taxi, keeping the right speed though is important, otherwise it's just easy to track straight. Thank God, because you can't see anything (sh**) with the nose high profile of the aircraft, so a slight hunch up out of the seat left is needed to follow the runway. I have also become quite adept at twisting the Beaver 180º to takeoff, right speed, then a touch more throttle, and then the full yaw tight turn, then quickly off the throttle again... You sit high, and the view out is quite good for a taildragger, but a slight glance to the left will align you up with the runway... flaps are set to "Takeoff" which feels extreme here, in a very high degree setting. But the Beaver has a very wide flight dynamic in that the flaps can be set to extreme positions, but still be well within the aircraft's STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) performance envelope. Speed builds gradually then suddenly the tail unstick's, and you need a kick of full of right rudder to maintain the straight ahead line... ... another tool is to lightly touch the right toe-brake slightly to maintain the correct aligned course, between the two movements you can keep the Beaver straight. Takeoff is usually around 90 knts, but you don't need to pull back the stick as the Beaver just glides into the air on lift alone (the heavy set flaps), and to climb, it then only requires a little pitch to meet the 600 fpm climb-out you need. You can climb-out to the extreme of 1,000 fpm, but the 600 fpm angle is perfect, the one thing that should be highly noted is the aircraft's weight and feel, it is excellent. Now a slight adjustment to 800 fpm, which is perfect with still no loss of speed, also the Flaps are now at the "Climb" marker, as I need to climb up to 6,000 ft... high? not really as the Beaver can do a ceiling of 18,000 ft (5,486 m)... impressive. Unlike other aircraft you can consistently use the flaps and even in level flight, most aircraft need the flaps in and clean as soon as possible, but not the Beaver, as if you have a slightly uneven balance (front to rear) in the aircraft you can use the flaps to even out the balance without touching the trim, it is a tool every Beaver pilot's use. Stewart River is a 533-kilometre tributary of Yukon River. And heading up river towards Hecate Strait. But I am also not going all the way to the Strait either, just far enough to climb up high to turn west, but with the high mountains surrounding me, it means a climb of at least 6,000 ft, maybe more. Obviously you don't go very fast... 158 mph (255 km/h) or 140 knts is max and your cruise speed is only 143 mph (230 km/h) or 125 knts, but you don't really care about that factor, as this DHC aircraft is an absolute dream to fly. You can see why tourists love this lower Alaskan part of the world, the views are amazing, even X-Plane 12 amazing... I'm now at 6,000 ft, but it's still not enough, so another 2,000 ft to go up to 8,000 ft. Now higher I finally see a gap in the mountains and head west... Trimming the DHC-2 out is easy, the trims are set up up on the roof (But I use keyboard commands), and the Beaver trims out the pitch beautifully, now just small stick and rudder inputs keeps DHC straight, but better still yet is if you trim out the rudder as well, and now you can take both hands and feet off the controls and the Beaver will still fly like a dream straight and level.... this is one amazing simulation of a real aircraft. Fuel management is critical... Six tanks altogether, but basically you switch between three, Front - Middle - Rear, via the big knob, far left panel. The three tanks are shown on the lower console. The Wing tanks are selected via another large knob on the left side above the door. Select Left or Right Tanks or BOTH, and all selections feed to the Front main tank, usually you would leave it on BOTH, for an even balance... The EXT (external) Tank also feeds into another tank, the Middle one. There is a lever under the pilot's instrument panel to turn on the EXT tank flow, this then moves the ancillary fuel into the Middle tank, obviously it is good idea to select the middle tank to use all the extra fuel in there... The EXT tank lever is moved vertical (down) to access the fuel, when done then shut it off by moving the lever left. it will fill up the Middle tank quite quickly. I know why I love the Beaver, as you just purr along doing the job. The Beaver is like a light truck of the aircraft world, it shifts people and cargo with a ruggedness into a wilderness. Your sitting up there high, in charge, master of your own little universe, just shuttling along... heaven is a Beaver in flight, you can easily see why any pilot loves the DHC-2 so much. Ketchikan is rear to my left, Clarence Strait is to my immediate left... ... soon the Stikine Strait comes into view on my right, a glance down and I'm horrified on how much fuel, including the extra top up amount has been used from the middle tank, I switch again to the rear tank, supping more fuel from that one instead, the whole trip distance is only 177 nm, but I'm also using a lot of fuel with that powerful Wasp. Time to turn into the Strait... I have already lost 4,000 ft as I enter, but it was a slow descent. At first the Beaver dropped altitude, then crawled to a stop? the only way to continue the descent was to pull half back on the throttle, then you were moving downwards again. As we already know, the Beaver is known as a "flap-happy" aircraft and you can see and feel that aspect of why here... That is the "Landing" setting, but you can go even slower if you go deeper with more flap and into the red zone to the full 58º degrees... Usually you would never use 58º, that aspect just gives you too much drag, but it is useful for the water landings, as it gives you a far lower speed and more lift at those almost static water approaches. Wrangell pops up now on my right. I'm down to 800 ft, and ready for the approach into PAWG Rwy 10 (6000 ft). Approach speed is around 70 knts, here your altitude is controlled only via your throttle, more power to go up and less power to go down, but even the mixture adjustments can even have an effect, so be aware if you are leaning out the engine more while reducing power. One note I will say is that the touchdown speed is still around 70 knts, dropping to 60 knts on the runway, and that feels a tad fast at full flap? but the speed does still give you full aerodynamic control on the landing and you can finely follow the centreline as good as when you took off... The landing bit is quite easy, the tricky bit is lowering the tail and keeping tracking directly straight, master that and you master the DHC-2. Part of the trick is to use the toe-brakes, but lightly and the rudder (stabs) and find that straight line... I'm not saying it is easy because it isn't, but it comes to you with practise. But let us be thankful, this is an amazing experience of an aircraft, and now the Beaver is available to fly in X-Plane 12. Summary Often referred to as the “best bush plane ever built”, the DHC-2 has been instrumental in developing and servicing far-reaching frontiers since it was first introduced in 1947. The DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined, high-wing, propeller-driven, STOL aircraft that was developed by de Havilland Canada. This version has the "Holmes Extended Engine Mount", which moves the 917lbs Wasp Jr engine forward by almost 10 inches for a better rear load balance (Centre of Gravity). Any aircraft coming from Thranda Design is usually full of amazing features and outstanding quality design, and certainly you are not disappointed here. In the design aspect the aircraft is extremely the best yet from Thranda, the quality is overwhelming to the point of ridiculous... the DHC has full hi-res PBR realistic effects, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision, not to mention the high quality materials internally and externally. Detailing and the modeling is absolutely first rate, this is an outstanding Beaver. Not only is the instrument Panel one of the best yet in X-Plane, it is also fully customised via the "Dynamic Generation Series" in not only giving you your own control over the way the instruments are laid out, but to swap and change other instruments as well including; Aspen EFD 1000, S-Tec 55x autopilot, RealityXP GTN 750 (these are optional addons) and a Collins 614-12 ADF. Eleven liveries are provided, but also again you can create and design your own liveries with the DGS system. Options include, Skis, mud flaps, Old and New quadrants and bubble windows, and the Amphibious/Float version is now part of the X-Plane 12 package. Sounds are outstanding, with High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth transitions and amazing atmospheric effects, 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to propeller, start up and engine mixture variance is also highly realistic. Menus are also extensive, with sound adjustments, weight and balance manager with visual chart, lighting, doors, views, reflections and an amazing radial engine visualisation in a pop-up window, which showcases the inner workings of the engine. Yes a lot in this review is very much like the X-Plane 11 original version, as most in the design features and menus are the same, but a lot of the hidden areas, including the flight dynamics and performance related to X-Plane 12 have all been revised. Also the textures all now 8K, up from two 4K textures for better fidelity, the Skunkcrafts Updater is also now used for direct updates. All earlier purchasers of the Thranda X-Plane 11 DHC-2 can upgrade for 30% off with the new XP12 model. This aircraft is X-Plane 12 only, but the XP11 version is available. But a few things have been affected in the transition with the Beaver. Debatable is the "Shiny, shiny feel" of XP12, although overall the aircraft looks extremely better than XP11. Lighting has lost a lot of it's shine (pun intended) Instruments are hard to read and external lighting is virtually not visible, but to note a lot of X-Plane 12 aircraft are like this, we feel that lighting needs a lot more adjustment from Laminar Research. Thranda Aircraft also extremely dark, hard to see inside and use, but that also may improve over the X-Plane 12 changes. This is the iconic de Havilland Canada Beaver as in depth simulation, with as much quality and it comes with the sheer force of ideas available here, and in reality isn't that is what simulation is really all about, brilliant aircraft with exceptional quality and flying dynamics and a huge feature list. So really want the very best then here it is.... Highly, Hugely Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the DHC-2 Beaver DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design is NOW! available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-2 Beaver DGS Series XP12 Price is US$34.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum. Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version 1.0.1 (October 16th 2023) The plane comes with the Skunkcraft auto-updater Owners of the Thranda DHC-2 XP11 can get this new XP12 model for 30% off. Please find the coupon code in your original DHC-2 XP11 Invoice. ________________ Installation and documents: Download is 1.66Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file. Full installation is 3.27GB Documents supplied are: Changelog.txt Thranda Beaver Documentation XP12 v1.0.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf Checklists and loads of Performance graphs are provided in the extensive manual. 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 12.07r1 (This is a release candidate review). Plugins: Traffic Global - JustFlight-Traffic (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$52.99 : Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Skunkcrafts Updater Scenery or Aircraft - CZST - Stewart - XPORG (formally Beti-x) (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.00 - PAWG - Wrangell Airport, Alaska by NorthernSky Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$16.95 ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 20th October 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
  5. NEWS! - Aircraft Released : DHC-2 Beaver DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design Thranda Design has released an X-Plane 12 version of their DHC-2 Beaver, and this aircraft is also part of the DGS - Dynamic Generation Series. The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver is a single-engined high-wing propeller-driven short takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft developed and manufactured by de Havilland Canada. It has been primarily operated as a bush plane and has been used for a wide variety of utility roles, such as cargo and passenger hauling, aerial application (crop dusting and aerial topdressing), and civil aviation duties. Beloved is the Beaver, and Thranda's version is very good and extremely highly detailed. The X-Plane 11 version is still available here: DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series XP11 for US$29.95. Current users of the earlier XP11 Beaver can get 30% off the new XP12 DHC-2 Feature list is HUGE! Special features: 8k Textures throughout, completely revamped for maximum visual fidelity. Regular Tires, Tundra Tires, Skis, Floats and Amphibious floats Skim over water with tundra tires (Plugin controlled) New: Option to transport canoe in amphibian/float version FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. Over 50 instruments to choose from! (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP GTN750) Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's panel! Comes with 6 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! Instruments can be moved in 3D directly, on a 2D pop-up preview window, or by numerical entry for precise placement. Intricate, realistic fuel tank system, featuring tip tanks and removable belly tank. Overflow logic when transferring too much fuel from other tanks to primary tanks. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility in X-Plane Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak and the Pilatus PC-6) Full PBR control! Create stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look in mere seconds! Additional control over dirt/grime, scratches/nicks, adjustable in real-time to dial in the exact desired amount of wear and tear. Affects airspeed. Clean plane will fly 2-3 MPH faster. Create "virtual" liveries, based on one common design layout, and assign any colour to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls. Previews now include visualization of metallic materials and dirt overlays. Apply selected livery in real-time, right in the sim, without the need to even touch a 3rd party image editor! Option to include/hide manufacturer logo on tail, and control its colour. Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether. (Enter a "space" instead of a callsign number to create a blank tail number.) Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also supports 10 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via checkbox in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision, all greatly enhanced now with the 8k texture sets! Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Realism settings for engine and tail wheel (simplified vs. realistic modes) Radial engine visualization in pop-up window, which showcases the inner workings of the engine. Real-time primer and pre-heat logic, with visualization indicating correct priming range Innovative electric tug, with in-panel controls to move forward/backward at the desired speed, and steer proportionally Control over chocks, individual tie-downs, covers, internal lights, external lights, etc. Option to enable/disable Belly Tank, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics. Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures. Option to run engine in a simplified manner (no pre-heat, no priming, easier starts) Control landing lights, strobes, beacon, and nav lights via pop-up window Detailed weight and balance manager with visual chart, individual passenger seat weight control, Lbs/KG unit toggle, CG control, external tank control, and the option to save and load configuration. Multiple camera snap points, above and beyond what's available by default in X-Plane, so you can perform your walk around checks. Adjust your camera's Field of View without having to go to an X-plane menu, allowing for real-time adjustments. Audio mixer: individually control audio channels in real-time, so you can adjust volumes while hearing them play. Slew control: move your plane around the world, temporarily bypassing flight physics. Includes ground mode and air mode. Dynamic panel control page, with a separate view for the entire panel layout preview, or a per-instrument view, allowing for fine-tuning of instrument position, as well as copy-paste function to quickly replace instruments. The "Misc" page in the fly-out window contains options to customize the plane, such as: skis tundra tires mud flaps bubble windows throttle quadrant model (choose between classic and new design) Canoe transport in the case of float/amphibian planes Flight dynamics and systems: The Beaver has unique flight dynamics, characterized by being a "flap-happy" plane. This is faithfully reproduced in the sim version. (Can require slight flap extension during cruise, depending on conditions). The Beaver is the quintessential Canadian classic STOL workhorse, whose flight characteristics and excellent STOL capabilities are calibrated to maximum precision in the sim. Details, such as the wobble pump, the ratcheting carb heat lever, the manually pumped flap system (with direction valve), and the primer system are faithfully modelled for maximum immersion. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. Advanced FMOD-based sound system Pioneer in procedural engine sounds. (No two starts sound alike: coughing, sputtering, and clanking valves all contribute to a nuanced, rich, immersive sound experience.) High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth transitions and amazing atmospheric effects. Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience, adjustable in real-time (while listening to the sounds) Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds The X-Plane 11 Thranda DHC-2 release review by X-Plane Reviews is here: Aircraft Review : DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series by Thranda Design Thranda's "Dynamic Generation Series" takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications to the currently loaded plane! Custom items can be changed, like customising liveries, also with PBR you can experiment with Metalness and Roughness values, you can also move around instruments on the panel for different panel configurations... and do so in real-time! then save presets of all your favorite layouts, that is DGS. Images are courtesy of Thranda Design Support forum for the DHC-2 XP12 The Thranda Design DHC-2 Beaver is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore for X-Plane 12 only. _________________ Yes! the DHC-2 Beaver DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design is NOW! available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-2 Beaver DGS Series XP12 Price is US$34.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB VRAM Minimum. Download Size: 1.2 GB Current version 1.0 (October 14th 2023) The plane comes with the Skunkcraft auto-updater Owners of the Thranda DHC-2 XP11 can get this new XP12 model for 30% off. Please find the coupon code in your original DHC-2 XP11 Invoice. ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 14th October 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.
  6. Updated Aircraft Review : Cessna 172M Skyhawk DGS Series v1.1 by Thranda Design I'm three thousand feet above County Clare, Ireland. Dribbling along nicely at 130 knts. Life is easy, free... carefree. I'm in the "Skyhawk", the Cessna 172M, the most popular aircraft ever built with 44,000 units constructed, and is still going strong. The C172 is popular because it is just that right perfect fit for it's main role... pilot training. The C152 is good for training as well, but is also a little too small, the C172 came out of the C170, but that aircraft was a taildragger, were as the C172 has the Tri-cycle undercarriage, it also has a slightly more powerful engine 160 hp (120 kW) (C152 has a 110 hp (82 kW) engine, so it was the follow-on larger and faster aircraft... and it hit that perfect spot all round, a sort of Volkswagon Beetle for the air. The C172 was first flown in 1955. Part of the reason it is very good as a training aircraft, is the visual outlook from the aircraft. Being a high-fixed wing, the view internally to the external is very, very good. It wasn't always like this as the earlier 172's, as it had a had a "fastback" rear cabin with no rear window and also featured a "square" fin (tail) design. 1963 172D model introduced the lower rear fuselage with a wraparound "Omni-Vision" rear window and a one-piece windshield. On the 172K the rear windows were slightly enlarged again by 16 square inches (103 cm2). Although a Cessna 172, in later life it became known only as the "Skyhawk" and the 172 moniker was dropped from the name. -Update v1.1- Less than a month on from the original release of the Cessna 172M, here is a significant update to the aircraft in a Float and Amphibian variant. The changes to v1.1 are now all noted in this revised and updated review. This Cessna 172M is another Cessna from Thranda Design, after the Cessna Caravan and the later Cessna U206G Stationair, you could easily confuse this C172M with the U206G, but although they share the same bodyline they are completely different aircraft for different roles. Modeling is of course superlative. Thranda quality in extreme detail and fittings. As noted the Skyhawk comes with 8K textures, a huge pixel area 7680 x 4320. Just because it is 8K doesn't mean that you need a 8Gb Graphic Card to run them. 4 Gb VRAM is still recommended as Minimum. And 8 Gb+ VRAM is however recommended as normal. But like with the earlier Thranda releases, they had more than one 4K texture size, sometimes two 4K textures to fill in the same 8K area. So in reality you are only using the 8K to fill the same gap of the two 4K set of textures before. So Graphic Card size is not the issue, if you can run your current Thranda aircraft with your current graphic card size, then the C172M will be exactly the same, in fact even a bit more efficient in that it only has to load in the one texture sheet, rather than the load of old 2(K)or 4(K) texture sheets. It shows of course, but lately I have found Thranda aircraft to be incessantly dark. Externally and internally with the current development process, with an emphasis of the blackness shadow areas, however hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision is very, very appreciable, you can spend hours going over the finer details of the aircraft. The dihedral of the wing is 1° 44′ and the total wing area is 174 square feet (16.17 square meters). The horizontal stabilizer span is 11 feet, 4 inches (3.429 meters). So it's a nice clean wing as seen here. The M model is important as it was the first drooped wing leading edge for improved low-speed handling. This was marketed as the "camber-lift" wing. The 172K model, introduced those sported fiberglass, downward-shaped, conical wing tips , as seen here. The 172L, sold during 1971 and 1972, Cessna replaced the main landing gear legs (which were originally flat spring steel) with tapered, tubular steel gear legs. The new gear had a width that was increased by 12 in (30 cm). The new tubular gear was lighter, but required aerodynamic fairings to maintain the same speed and climb performance as experienced with the flat steel design. These legs have been well reproduced here by Thranda. Rear legs are fixed, but the nose wheel comes with an oleo strut and scissor-or torque links, it has a 15º degree adjustable turn. Tyres are so detailed that you can read the name "Goodyear Flight Specials", and there is great wear and tear on the hubs and rims. Overall excellent. Glass is very good, as usual with Thranda... here it comes with a nice green tint, always lovely reflections and depth to the thickness, there are also the nice motley glass marks and scratches, some even distracting, like the lines lower left windscreen. Thranda comes up with some really interesting cabin interiors. In the Skyhawk it is the most unusual yet? The U206G had a nice cream and blue fitout, the Islander BN-2 had odd white seats. Here you get a light grey cabin with green highlights on the seats, lower instrument panel and side panels, seats are green with darker green inserts and even the adjustable blinds are green... it's all a bit Shrek? The side panels though are totally exquisite with the highlighted squares, and the cabin roof is dirty and worn with detail, beautifully done. Everywhere you look you see the aged wear, door posts, window surrounds, wing end plates.... all so well done. Instrument panel has a plastic cover plate (70's) design. But the DGS system is still an option here in a dynamic panel, the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Avionics with the fixed panel include Garmin 340 Radio, Bendix/King KX 165 radios, Garmin GTX Transponder, S-Tec FiftyFive X Autopilot and Bendix/King KR87 ADF unit. A EDM 800 Engine Data Management system is also installed, and most pop out, as do almost 50 instruments! You can hide one or both of the Yokes, they also come in two styles "Classic" and "Modern". But the trim (pickles) on the modern yoke (shown) don't work with the yoke options. Lower instrument panel is the trim wheel and fuel selector (19 GAL per wing tank). The 172 is a very basic aircraft, but you have everything you need here. All oddments like ashtrays, in-wing air-vents work, as do both the side windows open.... and the glovebox/cubby opens to revel the Thranda development team. Lighting Like a lot on the C172, the lighting is quite basic. You have the option of having "Light Posts" on the instrument panel, ON or OFF. And they make a big difference on. The one lighting knob has two adjustments, the panel lighting and the overhead red (dome) light. The red overhead light is quite powerful, and baths the cabin nicely, to the rear is a single large cabin light, its bright, but not very effective in the rear? Externally I really like the light spray around the twin Taxi/Landing lights, Navigation light/strobes and a single tail beacon is all just basic lighting. Flying the Skyhawk The Skyhawk is noted as "The Cessna 172 is arguably the most elegant compromise in the history of aviation.” A nice quote and not far from the truth, as the aircraft is perfect in the "right size, feels right" category. Once trimmed, the Skyhawk is a very neutral and balanced aircraft on the central axis, again to make it easy for pilot training, interesting is to do tight turns, very heavy degree turns and you will need very little back pressure on the yoke to keep the same altitude... .... the aircraft will literally "Turn on a dime", stand on it's wing, as you twirl the aircraft around the sky... certainly any aircraft will do this sort of semi-aerobatic manoeuvres, but it is the ease and cleanliness of the actions that make the aircraft so easy to control, and this is a General Aviation machine here, a heavy one by aerobatic standards. It's great fun, you can understand the love for the machine from not only newly born pilots, but from the professional aspect as well. Unlike the C152, the instruments and controls are not totally in the basic, basic category in here. You have your VOR Pointers (again great for point to point training) and for doing circuits with ILS central alignments. Performance of the C172M is good; Cruise speed is 122 kn (140 mph, 226 km/h), with a never exceed speed of 163 kn (188 mph, 302 km/h) (IAS) . The range is 696 nmi (801 mi, 1,289 km) with 45 minute reserve, 55% power, at 12,000 feet (3,700 m) and the service ceiling is 13,500 ft (4,100 m). Time to return to Kerry (EIKY). The Flaps indicator is quite buried (Fixed Panel) right lower, hard to see, settings here are 0º-10º-20º-30º-40º, a lot of adjustment, also they are continuous in operation, but really great for slow speed approaches with plenty of lift and support. But the flap support is great for novice trainee pilots, it gives them time to adjust the aircraft ready for the approach, minimises mistakes. I found this out by dropping the flaps to 40º at the start of the EIKY Rwy 26 ILS approach (108.70 (IKR), then slowly approaching at 70 knts until the point of descent... .... adjusting the speed down to 63 knts, and you will get a nice 300 fpm descent into the runway, smooooth and clean, if a little slow, but again great for practising your approach skills, as the C172M allows you to do this. (note; Rate of climb is 715 ft/min (3.63 m/s) or usually about a 500 fpm). I feel too complacent, as i'm now too high, so an adjustment to 500 fpm is required, but the descent speed stays low enough around 70 knts to pull off the manoeuvre... ... in reality you wouldn't get away with this steep approach, but I feel totally in control of the Skyhawk. 200 ft above terra firma, I pull back the yoke, up goes the nose and I smooth out the descent pitch, the C172M responds perfectly, speed runs off, descent rate slightly climbs, and I'm soon in the perfect touchdown flare. 60 knts on touch... stall is a low 47 kn (54 mph, 87 km/h) (power off, flaps down), and I'm rolling down the centre line, too easy! Again you can see why the Skyhawk is perfect for learner pilots, it's so sure (if a little too safe, that it can distract you into complacency), but the feedback from the controls and airframe are excellent, highly recommended for practising skills or circuits, of which is the aircraft's Modus operandi. It's nice to fly an aircraft so perfect. At taxi speed and idle throttle the familiar "knock, knock" from the Lycoming O-320-E2D is well heard from the cabin, all sounds are perfect here with high-fidelity, multi-track FMOD2 sounds, there is aural simulation of multiple layers of engine and prop sounds, depending on camera angle, distance, atmospheric conditions, doppler as well... well everything you need for a great aural experience, Thranda are good at details like this, and it's important to the overall joy of the aircraft. And it all works to the last splutter of the prop at shutdown (as also the excellent start sounds) are perfect... "perfect", that word comes a lot around the Skyhawk here! There is no doubt on how much I like this Skyhawk, but debatable on still which is the really very best one? I totally loved the Careando Skyhawk with a G1000 avionics suite, flew that 172 everywhere, there are glass instrument options here as well as we shall see, so time will tell if the Thranda Skyhawk can take the title away from the older version? Added in to v1.1. are the optional Float and Amphibian Float Versions. Float design and detail is exceptional, and anyone who has had an earlier Thranda Amphibian (C208B) will know about the high quality here. Float shape and modeling is about perfect, as are the the front strut and main wheel assemblies. Rear rudders are controlled by a push/pull lever left centre console to raise or lower the twin fins... the undercarriage is controlled by the "Gear Advisory" panel right Instrument panel... there is the secondary pump lever between the seats for a manual upping or lowering of the wheels. Option of a "Float" version is also available... the detail is again absolutely "top notch". v1.1... Two other changes to the v1.1 update are the fixed Alt Static Air knob's Dataref, and now also enabled is WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System) in the GPS units. Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous). Basically it is the standard Thranda default menu. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. General menu selections cover; Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off (sets aircraft to full running mode), Chocks and Brakes on/off. Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot covers, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit doors and the right side luggage door. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights. The "Electric Tug" that can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your joystick (left,right-forward,backwards). Static Items include Wheel chocks, Engine Inlet covers, wing pitot cover. One item not shown in the general menu panel is the front nose cowling removal. It's hard to do, but if you click the surround (arrowed) in the engine bay on the pop out menu, it will lift the nose cowling to reveal a fully modeled Lycoming O-320-E2D Engine, very nice it is as well. There is built in "Checklist" (lower right menu, arrowed), and very good it is. But also again changed back to a simple black on red graphic, with green cross-off lines. The Checklist can the moved and scaled anywhere on the screen, but the list can't be reset back again to just the red restart list? and so there are 14 separate pages of the list to uncheck? Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "Liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 8 liveries or two blank (DynamicLiveryResources/Thranda) and six designs, and all the liveries are of extremely high quality and creative flare with the package. Two of the liveries are noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY", these are the current selected "Dynamic Liveries". Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own livery! With their earlier releases of their Kodiak and with the Islander, PC-6, PZL-104 and Caravan. Then Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery. This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES top. You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the three RGB colours for that certain area, and the selected colour (here red) is shown in the square. You can also separately change the aircraft registration number, here I wanted an Irish Rego in EI-677. The Cessna logo can be added as well. When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes with some weird screen changes, but the results are excellent and now the C172 is in your own livery design... If the custom livery does not load? then go to a PAINTED LIVERY, then load one close to the design you created, then go back and reload your custom dynamic livery... and it should now load correctly. A feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt (Ext) Externally, Scratches and Dirt (Int) Internally. Via three percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly.So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. Also changes can be made to Metal or Rough surfaces, this can be applied to any of the liveries. There are already 30 preselected selections in their various designs, all are very good, and like noted you can add in your own version to the list. New to the Dynamic Livery application is ERA options in "Modern' or "Classic".... of course personal taste is optional! v1.1... in the Float/Amphibian menu, you can also colour in the float design to your own preferences, or to match in with the aircraft fuselage design Menu - Weight/Bal The Skyhawk also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle... Lbs In Green, and Kgs in Blue. There is the weight selection of all the seats. Missing is the usual Thranda seat removable X option, as here you can only select the seat weight. Fuel can be added and the amounts are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above)... pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and all are selected via a scrollwheel... and then all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph, go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red. When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add in the set weights. Oddly there are no bags or luggage shown in the rear (behind the rear seat) luggage area like with most Thranda's with the C172M? But the usual two animated Pilot and front seat passenger are still in there when you adjust the seat weights above 36 kgs/80 Lbs. They both will also disappear if the electrical power is switched off and the chocks added. But obviously there is a compromise? If you want a full passenger and baggage load, then you can't have full fuel tanks, as the excess weight takes you over the weight and the CofG limits as shown on the graph. For four passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the longer range and not go into the red. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FoV or "Field of View" is adjustable via a slider. Menu - Audio/Slew Sound can be adjusted via the Audio menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel... As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play. Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is used mostly only really with the Amphibian/Floats option in docking the aircraft to say a pier or marina. Currently there are no plans for an Amphibian version of the C172M, but you never know. Menu - PANEL The sixth "PANEL" Tab option allows you to adjust or change the instruments and dials. First feature here is a new one to Thanda's Dynamic Panel... the selection of a "Molded Plastic Cover" panel, and to add in or takeaway the panels "Light Posts". (hint... nice on). The non-plastic cover look is a flat dark grey facia, actually very nice and the same as the U206G. Scroll the "Panel Preset" number to see all the three preset layouts. Preset 0 is the grey standard panel with the GNS 530, Preset 1 is the Molded Plastic Cover (top)... Preset 2 is the standard grey panel with the Bendix/King KX 165A radios... Preset 3 is the Aspen EFD 1000. Aspen EFD is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not as highly featured with the GPSS, MAP, 360 and Menu functions all not simulated... all the lower NAV1/NAV2/GPS selections are however available, as is the TPS (Tapes) see/hide option with the MIN (Minimums) selectable as well. and the PFD can be reversed with the EHSI. The EFD 1000 PFD pops-out for convenience. Customising the panel to your own personal layout is just as easy. Just select the "3D EDIT PANEL MODE" (arrowed) that gives you access to all of the 53 individual instruments and avionic units... There some great options including the Aspen EFD 1000, S-TEC 55x Autopilot, Angle of Attack gauge and so on... For those that find instruments are not to their liking in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter just a bit more to the left", then here you can simply adjust that instrument, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking. Here I have added in two instruments... A DME ranger and a PS Engineering Incorporated PM 1200 two place panel mount intercom. You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument. When you can "ADD" (or Duplicate) in a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset /4). So basically you can start off with a completely blank instrument panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout if you have the time and patience... and you can have up to or save 14 different instrument layouts. It is however very important to restart X-Plane to lock in the new instrumentation layout before flying. Panel features include; S-Tec Fifty Five autopilot and the noted Aspen EFD 1000, KR 87 ADF Radio, Garmin GMA 340, Garmin GTX325 Mode C Transponder and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. Both the GNS 430/530 GPS units can be selected. But you have to save them, then do a restart to lock them in. The Reality XP GTN 750/650 Touch can also be installed if you have that external option as the 3d bezel is provided. The DGS system is clever and very versatile, but a small annoyance is that to get your custom livery or panel, you have to reset everything, every time you fly? Yes the custom SAVES are there ready, but not when you start/load the aircraft? Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page has four panels that cover External; Skis and Fairings. Internal; Yokes, Windows and Pilot options. Wheels; Tires and Mud Flaps. lower right is the DynaFeel. High quality designed "Skis" are available, and so are neat wheel "fairings" Tyres can be changes from "Regular" size, to the larger "Tundra" style. The larger tundra tyres work with the skis, but not with the fairing option. On the rear you can have "Mud Flaps", again they work with either regular or tundra tyre options. Yoke options include; "Classic" or the more upright "Modern"... I prefer the later upright yoke to the flatter earlier version. Door windows can be "Flat" or "Bubble" You can also swap around the pilots, in Male/Female, or Female/Male in the drivers seat. A nice touch is the change of clothing style with the change of seat position. "DynaFeel" on the right lower is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect. It is based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. v1.1... The Float/Amphibian MISC Menu is different. You still have the earlier Window options (Flat/Bubble), Pilot options and the DynaFeel. New options include a Cockpit V brace, and a Ventral Fin under the tail... ... You can Retract or Extend the rudders from the menu, also select either the "Float" or "Amphibian" variant. The "Slew Mode" only works on water, but it is excellent to move around or or to align the aircraft with a jetty. Links to both the excellent Support forum for the C172M by Thranda, and to download with the newly updated Skunkcrafts v3.0 Updater are also provided. __________________ Summary The "Skyhawk" Cessna 172M is the most popular aircraft ever built with 44,000 units constructed, and the airframe is still going strong. The reason is that simply the Skyhawk is the best ever or the most perfectly positioned aircraft for training and instructional purposes, mainly also for it’s reliable flight characteristics. Thranda Design are one of the best developers in X-Plane, their history and quality is legendary. So that quality build and detailing is always going to be significant from the start, and so it here... exceptional. In every area and detail, modeling, fine details, glass and the interior materials. Feature list is very high (clever) with adaptable weight and balance graph cabin seating and baggage options; Skis, Tundra Tyres, Mud Flaps, Wheel Fairings, Checklists, two Yoke options and Flat or Bubble windows. Menus are also excellent with menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous), that covers all the options and including sound, weights and balances also including graphs, walk-around and camera options and general static elements including chocks, pitot covers, removable engine cover (with detailed Lycoming O-320-E2D Engine) and tie-downs. Thranda always comes with a high range of clever and unique features to give the user a lot of personal options. Known as "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, this is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Here you can change the actual livery to your own designs, but build the instrument panel to your own liking as well, including options of the Aspen EFD 1000 glass instrument and a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on. A new feature here is a standard "Molded Plastic Cover" panel, it sets the instruments in a solid form (so DGS can't be used), but it is more uniform in design... personally I like it a lot. X-Plane 12 dynamics are simply sensational here and a level above in feel and handling with those important C172 characteristics well founded, but also notable is the excellent sound package, in being very rattly lower and loopy in higher revolutions. Note that the Thranda C172 is X-Plane 12 only, there will be no X-Plane 11 version. Now updated to v1.1... the update includes both Float and Amphibian variants, fixed Alt Static Air knob's Dataref, and enabled WAAS in GPS units. Update is at no extra cost, and included in the package. Negatives? more slight inconveniences. Incessantly dark, inside and with the heavy shadows, makes the C172 hard work in the dark cockpit, not excessively bright in the simulator as well with heavy shadows. No saving of current liveries and custom options, means that every time you want to fly, it can take awhile to reset everything back to your previous (custom) choices. loading custom liveries can be tricky as well. Having the classic Cessna 172 in your virtual hanger is always a bonus, and a brilliant aircraft from Thranda Design is always a triple bonus. Hugely engineered to a high quality and all round exception detail, they are some of the best General Aviation aircraft in the X-Plane 12 Simulator... so basically here you have the best of all worlds. Deep down though is the exceptional performance and dynamics of the aircraft that are on display here, so take advantage of those skills and use the Cessna 172M to it's most profound devices.... Highly Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna 172M Skyhawk DGS Series v1,1 by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna 172M Skyhawk DGS Series Price is US$39.95 (Currently on a pre-sale of US$29.95)... you can save:$10.00(25%)) Requirements X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 3 GB Current version 1.1 (September 15th 2023) Special features: Extremely high res textures (1700 pixels per meter). 8K textures. Includes Land, Float and Amphibian Float Versions FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. Fully VR Compatible Interchangeable yoke styles: old fashioned and modern Over 50 instruments to choose from! (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP 650 and GTN750) Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's panel! Optional plastic molded cover for instruments Comes with 4 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Optional 3D light posts per instrument. Lighting is fully 3D, and dynamically move along with the instruments, as you configure the panel. Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! Almost every instrument can be popped up or popped out as a 2D floating window! They can be placed on other monitors as well. Instruments can be moved in 3D directly, on a 2D pop-up preview window, or by numerical entry for precise placement. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility in X-Plane Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak, the Beaver, the Wilga, the Caravan, the C206, the 337, the Islander, and the Pilatus PC-6) Full PBR control! Create stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look in mere seconds! Additional control over dirt/scratches, adjustable in real-time to dial in the exact desired amount of wear and tear. Create "virtual" liveries, based on two basic common design layouts (Modern and Classic), and assign any colour to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls. Previews include visualization of metallic materials and dirt overlays. Apply selected livery in real-time, right in the sim, without the need to even touch a 3rd party image editor! Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether. (Enter a "space" instead of a callsign number to create a blank tail number.) Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also includes 9 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Ability to swap pilot/co-pilot figures Uses SkunkCrafts Updater (Now also available as a standalone app). Option to participate in Beta program, via checkbox in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Lycoming O-320-E2D engine. Windshield ice and rain effects Individual functional circuit breakers. Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Electric tug, with in-panel controls to move forward/backward at the desired speed, and steer proportionally Control over chocks, individual tie-downs, covers, internal lights, external lights, window reflections, instrument reflections, etc. Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures, directly from this fly-out menu. Control landing lights, strobes, beacon, and nav lights via fly-out menu Detailed weight and balance manager with visual chart, individual passenger seat weight control, Lbs/KG unit toggle, CG control, external tank control, and the option to save and load configuration. Multiple camera snap points, above and beyond what's available by default in X-Plane, so you can perform your walk around checks. Adjust your camera's Field of View without having to go to an X-plane menu, allowing for real-time adjustments. Audio mixer: individually control audio channels in real-time, so you can adjust volumes while hearing them play. Slew control: move your plane around the world, temporarily bypassing flight physics. Includes ground mode and air mode. Dynamic panel control page, with a separate view for the entire panel layout preview, or a per-instrument view, allowing for fine-tuning of instrument position, as well as copy-paste function to quickly replace instruments. Option to equip instruments with light posts Option to fit entire instrument panel with molded plastic cover with holes for the instruments Option to swap pilot and co-pilot Option to select different yoke styles DynaFeel panel: Dial in precisely how you wish for the controls to react as a function of speed. Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active 172 pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. DynaFeel: controls that simulate how strongly the control surfaces are affected by oncoming air, and how much strength would be needed to overcome these forces. Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth, finely tuned transitions (actually having calculated the precise beat frequency for each section, to minimize "muddy" transition sounds), and amazing atmospheric effects. Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience, adjustable in real-time (while listening to the sounds) Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Far away sounds include aerodynamic interaction effects between front and rear prop. At a distance, you hear overtones caused by turbulent air feeding into the rear prop. Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Engine has typical cool-down ticking sound, based on engine temperature. Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood. Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds Doors and windows opening, let outside sounds in _____________________________ Installation and documents: download for the Thranda_C172M. is 3Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Download can also be by the Skunkcrafts Updater (file supplied) Full Installation is 5.74Gb Documents supplied are: C172M Performance Charts.pdf Thranda C172M Manual.pdf Thranda Graphics Settings XP11.pdf Thranda Joystick Settings.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf There are a huge amount of Documentation provided here, not only for the Thranda C172M including performance charts, reference guides, but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics. All updates are via the new Skunkcrafts 3.0 Updater Support forum for the C172M by Thranda _____________________ Updated Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 19th September 2023 Copyright©2023: X-Plane Reviews 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 12.05r1 (This is a Release Candidate 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 -EILY - Kerry Ireland by Boundless -EINN - Shannon Airport by Boundless (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
  7. Aircraft Review : Cessna 337F Skymaster by Thranda Design Thoughout the history of aviation there have been many different concepts... fuselage shapes, wing designs, power sources. But in the one area of multiple engines, there is the Twin Engine mounted wing configuration, or commonly known as "Twins". Several twins however use a very different concept, one was the wartime Do 335, another and another was far more famous aircraft the Cessna 337 Skymaster. The concept is called push-pull configuration in that has a combination of forward-mounted tractor (pull) propeller, and backward-mounted (pusher) propeller. In the Cessna 377's case it was two Continental IO-360-C air-cooled flat-six piston engines, 210 hp (160 kW) each, producing a combined 420hp, plus the unique "Twin-Boom" tail arrangement to accommodate the rear (pusher) engine/propeller. Basically the 337 was a standard Cessna forward fuselage, but with a totally different concept at the rear. The first Skymaster, Model 336 Skymaster, had fixed landing gear and initially flew on February 28, 1961. It went into production in May 1963 with 195 being produced through mid-1964. In February 1965, Cessna introduced the Model 337 Super Skymaster. The new model was larger, and had more powerful engines, retractable landing gear, and a dorsal air scoop for the rear engine. (The "Super" prefix was subsequently dropped from the name.) In 1966, the turbocharged T337 was introduced, and in 1973, the pressurised P337G entered production. Cessna built altogether 2993 Skymasters of all variants, including 513 military O-2 versions. Thranda Design are on a roll. Last year in 2022 they released two Cessna's, Cessna 208 Grand Caravan, then later a Cessna U206G Stationair. Now another Cessna joins the fleet in a Cessna 337F, the push/puller icon. This C337 is not the first 337 in X-Plane, that distinction goes to Carenado's Cessna C337H Skymaster v2 HD Series, back in 2013, an iconic and much loved aircraft (by me anyway)... I loved the thing, and you can see on how good it was even a decade ago in the review above. Thranda Design also had a lot of input into that aircraft, as they also managed back then the Carenado fleet for the X-Plane Simulator, so they already know the aircraft intimately. No matter how many aircraft you review, you are still amazed at the quality and detail you get today in simulation. Once you flew models (or modeled aircraft), but today they are realistically miniature aircraft in almost every perfect detail. Every panel, appendage, rivet, screw and the overall shaping is perfect, or perfection, inlets show a mock Continental IO-360-C, but the engine is not accessible (Unlike the U206G). Glass is perfect, a green tint (more visible internally) with wear speckles embedded, it looks and feels nicely authentic. The twin VHF roof mounted aerials are distinctive on the C337, as is the large cooling inlet for the buried rear engine. Note the top oil filler cap, nice detail. The support strut for the tail booms is interesting. It is plastic or early form of glass-fibre to save weight, behind the strut in the boom structure is a sump tank. Flaps are divided on to each side of the boom, so in essence there are four sections. Detail again is excellent, note the boom fairings around the flaps detail... there are three flap degrees. There is the beautiful cambered detailing of the wing tips, that defines the chord. And you have the choice between "Icing Boots", or a blank leading edge. The rear twin booms, with the large central horizontal stabiliser is huge, with built in elevator and trim tab. Each boom has each internal left and right rudder cables and the right hand boom carries the trim cable, the left boom the elevator cable... ... tailstrikes are common, rare that any C337 has no tail damage, both the upper and lower assemblies here are excellent detail. You can't just swap around a Continental IO-360-C engine either... the rear has a very different load bearing (push) to the front's (Pull) bearing (again made tougher to absorb the higher loads). Note the rear engine cooling flaps (open). The landing gear is basic in a complicated way.... the wheel assemblies quite basic, hub and arms, but complicated in that they have to fold up into the fuselage, the nose gear rotates sideways on retraction, the rear spindly legs also have to contort to fit in the rear bays. A lot of owners take the rear gear doors off, as maintenance wise they are a pain (an option here?). Early 337 models used a manual hydraulic floor pump to raise and lower the gear from 65 to 73, then it was converted to two ECSs in the model, each with a 5.5-volt BEC. The front BEC powers a receiver in the fuselage (behind the front engine ) that operates the retracts, doors, nose wheel steering, right aileron and right elevator. The second receiver is in the wing and is powered from the rear ESC. The wing receiver operates the left aileron, left elevator half, both rudders and both flaps. As noted the gear in detail is very well done by Thranda, all assemblies and tyres are first rate, even good enough to spend time and admire the work. Because of the type of undercarriage on this aircraft, there won't be any of the usual Thranda addon features like; Tundra Tyres, Ice-Skis and Float/Amphibian versions. There are a few 337 float conversions out there, but they are very rare. If you want to call it the "Arse End" or "Rear Belly" of the aircraft, the lower rear fuselage is really well detailed with great well designed vortex generators, to create a smoother rear (breakaway) airflow from the aircraft with the powered propeller above. From on-wards with the 337G Super Skymaster version, there was a split airstair entry door, like on the Carenado 337H, great for leaving the upper window open in flight. Here though on the "F" model with Thranda, it is the earlier single entry door, the only other opening door is the smaller cubby door for baggage rear lower right side. Interior Only a single door entry to a six-seater aircraft, so it is tight in there with this seating configuration. Usually you would only use the seats, and so where do you put the baggage? usually on your lap, so the six-seater configuration doesn't work. In a real 337 your on top of each other, so it's small, really small. Note the excellent seating, the lower base and legs are really well designed... nice to look at as well. Unlike most Cessna's, the rear of the cabin doesn't taper away, so it is really inside a tall box. The rear engine which is set just behind the rear bulkhead is close to the rearmost passengers, it is known to be noisy as well. Cabin is tailored in a mixture of creams and browns, again reflecting it's pre-70's age... the headlining has a zip to the rear, again nicely done, with the front high set Fuel tank opposite selectors, for the front and rear engines. Cockpit Forward and the instrument panel is dominated by the huge pedestal, with six levers (THROTTLE, PROP and MIXTURE) for the two engines... ... front side windows are huge and past the front line of the wing leading edge... and reason why most C377's are used for observation, e.g. the Cessna O-2 Skymaster (nicknamed "Oscar Deuce"), fire and maritime observation patrols. Front side window (sometimes known as the paperwork window) opens as does the ash tray (it was the 70's). The Pilot's window is fixed, but the door window can be opened. There are two choices of yokes, "Slim" or "Beefy", the beefy version is the same large centred yoke from the Thranda U206G, but it works in here. Looking at the instrument panel, there is one glaring omission between the Carenado 337H and this version... that lovely green buttoned Autopilot panel... disappointed, as it was a huge feature on the earlier aircraft. Otherwise they are very much alike. As this aircraft has the "Dynamic Panel" system from Thranda, there are no set instrument arrangements, as we shall see that aspect later. Two areas on the instrument panel are standard... the excellent twin engine gauges with Manifold Pressure and RPM. A Fuel Flow (FF) and EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature). The highlight on this side is the engine dials that show (top row) fuel gauges (two tanks, 46 GAL each), OIL pressure. (lower row) CYL head temp, and OIL temperatures. Other dials cover SUCTION, Air Temperature and Volts (amperes). Left lower panel has the VOLTS/BATtery (alternators), IGNITION/STARTERS , Instrument lighting (Flood/Post), Cowl Flaps (Front/Rear) and main electrical switchgear; MASTER, AUX PUMPS, ANTI-ICE, AVIONICS, (External) Lighting. The (hydraulic) gear selector is by the excellent large and handy (pitch) trim wheel. Park brake is a simple push/pull knob lower. The six lever; THROTTLE, PROP and MIXTURE pedestal is large and excellent, with a yaw (Rudder) trim wheel set below. Lower is a ADF Receiver panel. Left side panel is a fully active "Circuit Breaker" (Fuses) panel. In the opening glove box are the happy faces of the "Thranda Team". Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow lower left, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous) Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. General menu selections cover; Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, GPU on/off, Cargo Pod on/off, Chocks and Brakes. Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit door and rear cabin doors. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights. The "Electric Tug" that can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your joystick (left,right-forward,backwards). Static Items include Ground Power Unit, Engine Inlet covers, Pitot covers and Tie-Downs Cargo pod is nicely detailed and comes with a single opening door, you can also add in the amount of baggage according to weight. The excellent "Checklist", can also be found on this tab. Which is the same as the Thranda U206G system... in the red, or the checked green choices you used on the other Thranda aircraft, and not the single white text on the Caravan. On some pages it notes performance and flying tips. You can have checklist pop-up or in a window mode and thankfully you can move it, and scale it even from the very small to the very large size. The two lower arrows give navigation around the checklist pages. The action detail and hints in the lists are simply excellent and the checklist is fully detailed from Pre-Flight to Shutdown. And to reset, it is done at the end by switching all the green completed checklist back to red. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "Liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 8 liveries or two blank (or DynamicLiveryResources/ZZTemplate) and six designs, and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare with the package. Thranda house is default. Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own livery! With their earlier releases of their Caravan and U206G. Then Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery. This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES (Arrowed). Two liveries are "Dynamic" in resources (White)... another New feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt (Ext) Externally, Scratches and Dirt (Int) Internally. Via three percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly.So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. This can be applied to any of the liveries. You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the RGB colours for that certain area, it looks hard but you can easily design a very nice livery in about twenty minutes... the selections of Dirt (Ext), Scratches and Dirt (Int). Metal(ness) and surface Rough(ness) can also be added or adjusted as seen earlier... When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes, but the results are excellent and in your own design... There are already 30 preselected selections in their various designs, all which are very good, and like noted you can add in your own version to the list. New to the Dynamic Livery application is ERA options in "Modern' or "Classic". Of course taste is optional... Here I changed the aircraft registration to an Australian Rego (VH-337), because I didn't like the Australian default aircraft... cool. Menu - Weight/Bal The C337F also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle Lbs/Kgs (arrowed). Fuel can be added, and the amounts are then shown and are also adjustable as well in the menu (above). Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and all selected via a scrollwheel... and then all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are shown on a graph. Go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red (arrowed). When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add in the set weights. Overall it would be nice to have set of loading formats of different configurations, it is slow work setting them individually. Once you go over a certain weight, you will then get two pilot's in the front seats, but no rear passengers. Pilots (Female/Male) are switchable. Note if you turn the aircraft power off, the pilots will again disappear. More cabin options allows you to hide each of the four rear seats, via the small x tickboxes, if the weights for each seat is still set in place (or adjusted) then the area is replace by baggage. This makes for a very versatile cabin. The Cargo Pod can be added or removed on the MISC Tab. This then adds in the Cargo Pod weight options on the right. But obviously there is a compromise? If you want a full passenger and baggage load, then you can't have full fuel tanks, as the excess weight takes you over the weight and the CofG limits. For six (light) passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the range and not go into the red. You can also really pile a lot into the rear cabin two sections, and all the baggage is of very high quality. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view with most of these internal viewpoints. The FoV or Field of View is adjustable via a slider. Menu - Audio/Slew Sound can be adjusted via the sound menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel... As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play. Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is mostly used with the floats option (not really coming to the 337), but for use on the Caravan, Thranda Beaver and PC-6). Menu - PANEL The sixth "PANEL" Tab option allows you to adjust or change the instruments and dials. Scroll the "Panel Preset" number (arrowed) to see the extra six preset layouts (seven choices in all). Sometimes to restart you have to click to "Apply the Settings" for the GPS units. Panel features include; Bendix King KFC-225, and the noted Aspen EFD 1000, KR 87 ADF Radio, Garmin GMA 340, Garmin GTX325 Mode C Transponder, BendixKing IN-182A Weather Radar, S-Tec Fifty Five X Autopilot and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. A EDM 780 Digital EGT (shown lower) is also available. And there is a special 3d bezels for the insertion of RealityXp GTN 750/430 units if you own those two addons (arrowed above). Here is featured the EDM 780 EGT display, a replacement for the twin EGT gauges, the instrument pops-out as well. The Aspen EFD 1000 is a self-contained multifunction digital display that is divided into a Primary Flight Display (PFD) in the top half, and an Electric Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) in the lower half. As EDF 1000 systems go it is not as highly featured with the GPSS, MAP, 360 and Menu functions all not simulated... all the lower NAV1/NAV2/GPS selections are however available, as is the TPS (Tapes) see/hide option with the MIN (Minimums) selectable as well. and the PFD can be reversed with the EHSI. The EFD 1000 here can be used with the S-TEC Fifty Five X Autopilot. Customising the panel to your own personal layout is just as easy. Just select the "3D EDIT PANEL MODE" (arrowed) that gives you access to all of the 53 individual instruments and avionic units... There are some great options including Aspen EFD 1000, S-TEC 55x Autopilot, Angle of Attack gauge and so on... For those that find instruments are not to their liking in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter just a bit more to the left", then here you can simply adjust that instrument, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking. You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument. Optional is to select the type of GPS unit you want GNS 530/430 via the "INSTRUMENT" selection. When done you can "ADD" (or Duplicate) a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset /6). So basically you can start off with a completely blank instrument panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout if you have the time and patience... and you can have up to or save 14 different instrument layouts. It is however very important to restart X-Plane to lock in the new instrumentation layout before flying. Currently the optional "Panel Background" choice (colour) is not available on the 337F, like it was on some other Thranda DGS systems. Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page has four panels that cover Yoke Type (Chunky or Slim) ,De-Ice (wing) Boots, Cargo Pod (Normal or Cargo), Pilots (Option 1 Female, Option Two Male) and DynaFeel. "DynaFeel" on the right is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect. It is based on airspeed and how much the control is deflected. This means the controls will feel light and responsive at low speeds and with small deflections, but will get progressively heavier as the airspeed increases. _____________________ Flying the Cessna 337F Skymaster The 377F is an odd aircraft because of it's push/pull configuration. The front is standard, the rear installation is everything but. In the cockpit it is bit like wearing a very heavy backpack, you know it's there but you can't see it. And that heavily enclosed rear installation causes problems as well.... mostly the heating. So the aircraft is expensive to run, maintenance costs are notably high and so are the insurance premiums. This puts of a lot off buyers, which is a shame as the unique configuration is a very good flying machine. You have to start the front engine first, to push cooling air into the upper vent to keep the rear engine cool... ... even when you have started the rear IO-360-C air-cooled flat-six piston engine, you have to move forward quickly. More air is required by movement via the twin open cowls on the rear, the nose engine has the same cowls under the aircraft, but it also has the forward nose inlet. Sit there for a period of time and it could get very expensive... quickly. And yet you need the "Temps" to come up before moving, my trick is once the needles are showing rear temps, then go... the taxi to the runway will do the rest. And this highlights the biggest point in flying the C337, your eyes are never (ever) far from those Temp gauges, you can't see or feel that rear engine, so the gauges are your eyes and ears to what is happening back there. Sounds when running are obviously different. Although both IO-360-C engines are the same, however they sound very different because of their different locations and installations. So you get Individual sounds for the front and back engines, with different sonic characteristics. Combine that with 3D 360º audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop, and you can even hear the turbulent air feeding into the rear prop. Also the "beats' are all there with the precise beat frequency for each section, to minimise "muddy" transition sounds, in other words the running "ticker, ticker", sounds at idle, the same as any Continental piston engine, but sonically coming at you from both ways... it's all very good. It is up to you if you want to taxi on one engine, or both... personally you don't need the rear engine to taxi, as the front IO-360-C has more than enough power... ... with no stress yet on the rear engine it helps in keeping it a bit cool(er). I use a Yaw setting on my Joystick to steer, but rudder inputs, in mostly the right rudder will fine tune the taxi line, even slight turns like this with the rudder input are easily available... on the ground the 337 is excellent, nice power inputs, that slack off when you reduce the power, so all it's lovely on the ground. Cockpit in detail in X-Plane 12 is realistic as it gets, Simulation 2023... the silhouette is the iconic C337. Because of the unique engine arrangement and rear fuselage configuration, the rear engine creates instant aerodynamic flow over the huge horizontal stabiliser and elevator, so the pitch feel is there from the word go... so you have to be aware in the way you use the pitch earlier than usual. On the real 337, the pitch trim is motorised automatically to compensate for the extra elevator pressure loadings, and will work (trim) from the moment you leave the runway. The rear propeller is highly exposed as well... thrown up rocks from the rear wheels can cause grief (in other words expensive repairs), and you have to leave the runway cleanly, or not a too pitched up, in not catching the ground sort of skill... obviously you can't see it at all. But the unique push/pull engine configuration also works for you in not creating any (depending on the power outputs) yaw, as the inline counter-rotating propellers give no directional thrust pull, so there is no asymmetrical thrust or yaw to the power output of the propeller, basically you go straight down the runway with no corrections or slight rudder corrections... and fast you do go! I usually bring the front (puller) up to 90% power, tracking right I then bring up the rear (pusher) to match it... ... remember the rear engine operates in the disturbed air from the forward engine, which may reduce its efficiency to 85% of the forward engine. Basically the 337 is a small aircraft with two engines on it, so it GOES... well "like shit!". At 100knts you break with the ground, slight pull back with the yoke, and once clear then a 10% pitch to climbout... you have ton's of power behind you, so the 337 will climb-out very easily... Rate of climb is 1,200 ft/min (6.1 m/s), but you can do a 1,000 fpm comfortably... now for the big theatrical production! First the gear doors open, then the nosewheel will twist sideways to fit into the front wheel-well... ... from the rear the fine limbed gear has to then contortion to fit in what is basically four rear bays. The animation work here is difficult and very complex, but Thranda have done an excellent job, in getting it perfectly correct. Then you have a nice clean aircraft. Note... the gear lever will go up, then return to the centre position once the hydraulics have finished the procedure. Once cleaned up, the one thing you realise very quickly, is that the 337F is one amazing aircraft to fly. Maybe it is huge wing arrangement, and twin boom tail, but it is steady as a rock and smooooth, easily trimmed, and can then bank to your will... ohhh it's "so good". You can bank to the extreme, say 80º/90º (See Redbull video), and the 337 will take it all in it's stride, but note the loss of height, if you are doing these sort of very angled manoeuvres. The numbers... Maximum speed: 199 mph (173 kn, 320 km/h) at sea level : Cruise speed: 144 mph (125 knots, 232 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m) (econ cruise) : Range: 965 mi (839 nmi, 1,553 km) : Service ceiling: 19,500 ft (5,945 m) A lot of operators use internal tanks on the 337 for on-station flying (fishing, fire, maritime patrols etc) so the range is expandable. Lighting Internal lighting is quite basic, but effective. There are only four adjustment knobs; POST (those little lights on the instruments), FLOOD, EL PANEL and ENG RADIO. Between them you get a full lit panel with red highlights... ... a Black&White panel, or a Red panel Last adjustment is for the lower left instrument panel. In the rear you have four spot lights that you can adjust the beams, the roof Fuel Switches are also lit up... but missing is a forward flood cockpit light, and you seriously notice the absence? Externally it is pretty basic as well, Landing/Taxi lights in the wings, navigation and strobe lights on the wingtips, a right tail beacon and white navigation lights on the twin tails. There is also a nice left side Ice-light on the wing. Notable is cooling as already noted. Once airborne you can close the cooling vents forward and rear, this nicely cleans up the aircraft. But there a need to keep all eyes on all the temperature gauges. It becomes a bit of a game on how long (or how far) you can go with the vents closed, once the needles are touching the red zones, you are out of there... switches are lower pilot panel right. Cruising you can easily see the 337F's main outstanding elements, as a stable observational platform. You can understand why the US Army grabbed a load of 337s for this purpose. I wouldn't use the aircraft so much in carrying fare paying passengers, it's too cramped and even too noisy to put into commercial service, but for two (Pilots) and a load of gear, it is perfect. A quick look at the Orbx Brisbane City pack... Brisbane is 70 kms north of here and my local state capital. It comes back to my original argument, create the inner city and the autogen will do the rest, it works fabulously well here, as does the complimenting Orbx YBBN Brisbane international... YBBN Runway 01L is all brand new, just completed only a year or so back... time to check it out. Two things are very apparent on the approach, first the 337F's lift is impressive, those wide wings and horizontal stabiliser (with added thrust on it, mind you) keeps you very steady, almost static in the air, which means manoeuvres can be easily controlled. So the old adage applies here, the Skymaster is a very "Sweet" aircraft to fly. Second is that once you reduce the speed on approach, even at 120 kts, off goes the gear alarm? it feels far to early, not even in the flap white zone, so you have to drop the gear early to just "shut it up". I think the alarm is there and early (still a bit too early though), because it takes the gear a very (very) long time to unfurl and lock down, it feels ages from when you drop the lever to when the green light comes on... notably I opened the cooling vents before landing, and instantly all the temp gauges drop. Flaps are 4 phase 3 degree movements; UP - 1/2 - 2/3 - FULL, get the speed right and there is simply no ballooning, just slight drop of speed, even down to the FULL setting, the Skymaster will stay calm and collected with no fighting of the aircraft... critical on approach. Over the threshold and your in the 70 knts range, perfectly stable... ... 60 knts in the flare. The flare has to be perfect, as you are very aware of that rear propeller hanging down. Slight 5º-6º degrees to keep the nosewheel slightly higher than the rears, then let it down. When the rears touch you bring down the nose carefully, the slow landing speed and excellent lift really helps here to get it right. Then back to taxiing with the rudder pedals. It's a long taxi from YBBN runway 01L/19R to the GA area, and i'm watching those temp gauges like a hawk... but I get there. BNE needs to create a shorter taxi route to 01L/19R from the GA Area, which the area is actually close to? I finally get there... notable with the engines now shutdown is the active variable-pitch on the propellers (PROP levers) in being feathered, it is all very well done here by Thranda, authentic, realism... take your pick but still great. Although a very different configuration from the usual, the 337F is actually a very nice aircraft for a pilot, you never oddly fight it, it is SO stable (that word again), a dream in all the aspects of manoeuvres in the air, trims nice, just "Bloody" feels nice as well. All round this a great aircraft, different in most aspects, but that is also it's attraction for a really special simulation. ___________________ Summary The Cessna 337 is a very unique aircraft in the history of aviation. It is only one of the few created and built in the Push/Pull configuration, or a forward PULL engine and a rear PUSH engine, to accommodate the rear push engine it has a two boom and twin tail arrangement, with a standard Cessna fuselage and forward engine layout. Yes it's totally unique, but it works. Last year in 2022, Thranda Designs released the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan and the U206G Stationair, those aircraft in the series are now joined by the Cessna 337F, after Thranda's earlier more rugged utility aircraft Series. This aircraft is powered by two Continental IO-360-C air-cooled flat-six piston engines, 210 hp (160 kW) each, producing a combined 420hp. Thranda Design are one of the best developers in X-Plane, their history and quality is legendary. So that quality build and detailing is always going to be significant from the start, and so it here... exceptional. In every area and detail, modeling, fine details, glass and the interior materials. Menus are also excellent with menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW, PANEL and MISC (Miscellaneous), that covers all the options and including sound, weights and balances also including graphs, walk-around and camera options and general static elements including GPU, chocks, pitot covers, two pilots (Male/Female) and tie-downs. Sounds are excellent with High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth, finely tuned transitions, amazing atmospheric effects, different sonic characteristics (with the engine arrangement) and 3D audio effects, including the "blade slapping" sounds and the aerodynamic interaction effects between front and rear prop. Internal sounds are however a bit too low compared to the external. Thranda always comes with a high range of clever and unique features to give the user a lot of personal options. Known as the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, this is a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. Here you can change the actual livery to your own designs, but build the instrument panel to your own liking as well, including options of the Aspen EFD 1000 glass instrument and a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 and GNS 430 units if you own those add ons. Comments include, Tricky to start, Tricky to keep cool, and the unusual undercarriage bans a lot extra features in Tundra Tyres, Ice-Skis and Float/Amphibian variants. Lighting is good, but there is no overhead cockpit flood light, four rear spots are also small, in making it a dull night cabin, instrument pane is however good, but you feel you need more adjustments. Missing also is that valued green buttoned Autopilot panel that was on the Carenado. Notable that the 337 is a unique aircraft to fly. The in-line engine arrangement gives you almost no asymmetrical thrust, but this also a powerful, but brilliantly handing aircraft that has not only a very stable platform feel in the air, but also on departure and approach procedures, you can see why the US Army bought loads of O-2 Skymasters for observation patrols. So it's a Thranda and that is a sale done right there. At a below US$40.00 price it is also exceptional value for what you get, including free updates for the run of the X-Plane 12 version and all that exceptional quality. A total winner in every department... and positively recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna 337F Skymaster DGS series by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna 337F Skymaster DGS series Price is US$39.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.4 GB Current version 1.0.3* (February 1st 2023) *Updates via the Skunkcrafts Updater Special features: FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. Fully VR Compatible Interchangeable yoke styles Over 50 instruments to choose from! (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP 650 and GTN750) Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's panel! Comes with 4 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Lighting is fully 3D, and dynamically move along with the instruments, as you configure the panel. Ability to assign a lighting index to individual instruments, to allow different lighting knobs to be assigned on a per-instrument basis. Save your own presets, and even share them with the community! Almost every instrument can be popped up or popped out as a 2D floating window! They can be placed on other monitors as well. Instruments can be moved in 3D directly, on a 2D pop-up preview window, or by numerical entry for precise placement. GNS430 and 530 can be swapped out, but a restart of the plane is required, as 430s and 530s are mutually exclusive in terms of compatibility in X-Plane Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak, the Beaver, the Wilga, the Caravan, the C206, and the Pilatus PC-6) Full PBR control! Create stunning metallic liveries, or matte, sand-blasted look in mere seconds! Additional control over dirt/scratches, adjustable in real-time to dial in the exact desired amount of wear and tear. Create "virtual" liveries, based on two basic common design layouts (Modern and Classic), and assign any colour to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls. Previews include visualization of metallic materials and dirt overlays. Apply selected livery in real-time, right in the sim, without the need to even touch a 3rd party image editor! Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether. (Enter a "space" instead of a callsign number to create a blank tail number.) Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also includes 9 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Ability to swap pilot/co-pilot figures Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via checkbox in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Continental IO-320-F front engine. Windshield ice and rain effects Individual functional circuit breakers. Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Electric tug, with in-panel controls to move forward/backward at the desired speed, and steer proportionally Control over chocks, individual tie-downs, covers, internal lights, external lights, etc. Option to enable/disable Cargo Pod, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics. Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures, directly from this fly-out menu. Control landing lights, strobes, beacon, and nav lights via fly-out menu Detailed weight and balance manager with visual chart, individual passenger seat weight control, Lbs/KG unit toggle, CG control, external tank control, and the option to save and load configuration. Show or hide individual seats, to create a hybrid passenger/cargo version. When seats are hidden, cargo fills the space when weight is added via the fly-out menu. Multiple camera snap points, above and beyond what's available by default in X-Plane, so you can perform your walk around checks. Adjust your camera's Field of View without having to go to an X-plane menu, allowing for real-time adjustments. Audio mixer: individually control audio channels in real-time, so you can adjust volumes while hearing them play. Slew control: move your plane around the world, temporarily bypassing flight physics. Includes ground mode and air mode. Dynamic panel control page, with a separate view for the entire panel layout preview, or a per-instrument view, allowing for fine-tuning of instrument position, as well as copy-paste function to quickly replace instruments. Option to swap pilot and co-pilot Option to select different yoke styles DynaFeel panel: Dial in precisely how you wish for the controls to react as a function of speed. Optional de-ice system Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active Stationair pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The C337 is a well-behaved twin airplane, where the engines are in line, with props spinning in opposite directions, cancelling out torque on the airframe A single engine failure doesn't radically affect flight behaviour, as the engines are in line, and don't produce a net yaw force on the plane, as other twins do. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. DynaFeel: controls that simulate how strongly the control surfaces are affected by oncoming air, and how much strength would be needed to overcome these forces. Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth, finely tuned transitions (actually having calculated the precise beat frequency for each section, to minimize "muddy" transition sounds), and amazing atmospheric effects. Individual volume control over different aspects of the sound experience, adjustable in real-time (while listening to the sounds) Individual sounds for front and back engine, with different sonic characteristics, as a result of their placement. Different sounds for front of plane than for back of plane Panning around the plane in exterior view yields awesome 3D audio effects, including "blade slapping" sound when view is perpendicular to prop Far away sounds include aerodynamic interaction effects between front and rear prop. At a distance, you hear overtones caused by turbulent air feeding into the rear prop. Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Engine has typical cool-down ticking sound, based on engine temperature. Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood. Outside wind intensity is affected by slip and AoA. (The more the surface area of the fuselage is hit by oncoming wind, the louder the sounds Doors and windows opening, let outside sounds in Installation and documents: download for the Thranda_C337F. is 1.34Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 1.71Gb Documents supplied are: C337F Manual.pdf C337F Performance Charts Changelog Thranda Graphics Settings XP11 Thranda Joystick Settings X-Plane G430 Manual X-Plane G530 Manual There is a huge amount of Documentation provided here, not only for the Thranda C337F, but including performance charts, reference guides, but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics. All updates are via built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Support forum for the C337 Skymaster by Thranda _____________________ 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 12.01r3 (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 __________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 2nd February 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.
  8. Aircraft Review : Daher Kodiak 100 DGS Series by Thranda Design The Daher Kodiak 100 is the same aircraft as the earlier Quest Aircraft Company, Kodiak. As for the French aircraft manufacturer Daher bought out the designs and also the production of the Kodiak in 2019 from the Japanese firm Setouchi Holdings. During October of that year, the acquisition of Quest Aircraft was finalised, in so expanding Daher's North American footprint and to merger its sales efforts with the former SOCATA's own TBM turbo aircraft series. If the Kodiak looks familiar, then go thinking about a Cessna Caravan 200B, then you certainly would have been on the right track. From a distance and even when you get quite close to the Kodiak it does look like a slightly taller chunkier 200B Caravan, and it is powered by the similar engine in the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 750 hp were as the Caravan uses the PT6A-140 868 hp (647 kW). It's a utility aircraft, a bit noted as a bit more frumpy than the C208, but also well regarded as an all round capable aircraft. Design of the Kodiak began in 1999, it made its maiden flight on October 16, 2004, and was certified on 31 May 2007 before the first delivery in January 2008. By 2021, 300 Kodiaks have been delivered and production is still ongoing. The Kodiak is special to Thranda Design as well. It was their first aircraft released as a solo developer since moving on from Carenado in 2016. Created by Dan Klaue, the Canadian is very proficient in developing aircraft for X-Plane (Carenado had a fleet of 55 aircraft at the end) and was known mostly for his Embraer ERJ 140 Regional Jet now a decade ago. You don't have to acclaim the work of Daniel Klaue, as his talent is spread all over the X-Plane Simulator for ideas and forward looking features. Thranda Design pushes that aspect to the limit as with on the early Kodiak, it came first with the "Dynamic Generation Series" DGS, which takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications to a currently loaded plane. That DGS and other outstanding features will be seen below. This is an all new aircraft for X-Plane 12. Notable the Quest moniker will stay on the earlier X-Plane 11 aircraft, and this new aircraft will be branded the "Daher" Kodiak, and the Daher aircraft will only be available for X-Plane 12 as the with the latest features, 8K textures are also not transferable. As noted, The Kodiak comes with 8K textures, a huge pixel area 7680 x 4320. Just because it is 8K doesn't mean that you need a 8Gb Graphic Card to run them. 4 Gb VRAM is still recommended as Minimum. And 8 Gb+ VRAM is however recommended as normal. But like with the earlier Thranda releases, they had more than one 4K texture size, sometimes two 4K textures to fill in the same 8K area. So in reality you are only using the 8K to fill the same gap of the two 4K set of textures before. So Graphic Card size is not the issue, if you can run your current Thranda aircraft with your current graphic card size, then the Kodiak will be exactly the same, in fact even a bit more efficient in that it only has to load in the one texture sheet, rather than the old 2(K)or 4(K) texture sheets. As for all this release year's aircraft. X-Plane 12 creates a very different feel and look in the Simulator, a 3d look, or another level of realism. The Quest Kodiak was already very good in detail, but here it just jumps out at you in it's superb quality. Obviously more detailed and now better processed with those massive 8k textures, you feel just this aircraft, and it is very much alive on your screen. Don't call me "frumpy", it does look a bit that way with the cargo pod attached, more Caravan without it... just with a more fuller heavier tail section. There are also two other variants as part of the package.... a Cargo version, and an Amphibian seaplane (the Amphibian can also be set in both passenger and cargo configurations), but there is no "Float" variant, only the landwheels. Although it looks the same outwardly, the X-Plane 12 version is actually quite different in it's design, there is a new 3D mesh throughout, based on actual CAD model of the real plane for modeling perfection, with high quality textures with over over 1000 pix/m detail. And it shows... Not only do you get the panels and rivets, but the indentations of the rivets as well in the metal, even skin ripples in the aluminium, everything shows off the absolute realism presented here. Door (external) hinges, vents and fairings are all as on the real aircraft, and their are the vortex generators all over the aircraft, main wings and even on the horizontal stabiliser. Obviously it's all hard to fault anything as it is all so good, certainly a large step up from the X-Plane 11 modeling and quality. The original aircraft was quite glossy, but here we are X-Plane 12 glossy, glossy, as that has become the normal. As previously noted, there the discontinuous leading edge (also known as a leading edge cuff) on the outboard parts of the wing, it is there to improve the stall and spin characteristics of the aircraft. It is that at high angles of attack the cuff discontinuity generates a vortex that acts as a fence, preventing the separated flow from progressing outboard. The lift slope has a flatter top and the stall angle is delayed to a higher angle. To reach high angles of attack, the outboard airfoil has to be drooped, some experiments investigating "exaggerated" drooped leading edges. The physical reason for the cuff effect is not actually clearly explained. Here that effect is extremely well done... Wingtip light fittings (Landing) and navigation/strobe are perfectly done in detail. Flap tracks are well modeled with internal springs highly visible, Flaps are 0º-10º-20º-35º, notable that the Kodiak is a STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft, for rough runways. Window reflections come with realistic scratches and imperfections, but it's not over done, or could be noted as "just a few, here and there", There is however a very nice green tint on all the windows (there is the option to hide, or lighten the window reflections), but the tinting gives the aircraft a nice quality look. Standout detail is the fully modeled Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34, under the front engine bay cowlings, click to open and admire the overwhelming detail of the powerplant and it's ancillary components. Overall the detail and detailing is of course totally superb... It's a Thranda of course. Notable is what you pay for. If you pay more you get in that extra detail, the minute intricate detailing, but the Thranda Kodiak is priced only around sub-$35, so the payoff here is that you get all this extreme detailing and modeling, and at a value price. Internally you have a load of options. First there are two different cabin layouts with "Timberline" and "Executive" decors. Executive is a bright white/cream environment with grey chairs in a Club + 2 seating layout, in the club arena there are also two folding out (animated) work tables. Timberline is a darker more browny sort of interior fit-out. Here you have eight seats two per row. Seats are now a brown/tan matching a beige wall lining, both interiors feel very, very different in style and taste. But the seating detail is excellent and has great quality materials. Cargo is an empty rear space, unless to add up a cargo load by the weight, then it get quite full in here... Cargo uses the Timberline decor interior and is 49 inches (1.2 meters) in height and width. Instrument Panel At first it feels and looks like the same instrument panel as in the Quest XP11. But it's not, in the closer detail it is different, the layout is almost exactly the same however... as it is a Garmin G1000 Avionics suite in a three screen PFD-MFD-PFD display layout. Twin Yokes are sublime... they were nice and chunky on the Quest, but here you can almost small the leather and admire the stitching. Electric Trim and PTT are on the left pilot's yoke (PTT on the right yoke), and either or both Yokes can be hidden. "Kodiak" also replaces the earlier "Quest" logo on the front plate is a nice attention to detail. The panel itself has a very nice mottled effect, that gives it a realism in the metal, ditto the really lovely huge glareshield, also authentic and very feelable. Under the panel and it is highly detailed, not only with the "Kodiak" branded rudder pedals, but also the rear detail. Note the toe-brake effect. Central tall tower throttle quadrant, is also very Caravan in design and even look, only difference is the (working/active) Circuit breakers (fuses) in the front. Coloured Throttle, Propeller and (Fuel) Conditioner levers, are a tight formation, with left an "Emergency Power" lever to get more boost and out also of trouble. Far left is the nice Trim Wheel, far right is the Flap selector. Aileron Trim buttons are set above, and the rudder trim is top left console. The Kodiak unlike the other Thranda instrument panel layouts, only uses the three display G100 setup, ... so there is no build your own DGS panel option here, there is only this one, so the analog dials are out... Power off and it is still a black hole of and Instrument Panel, just like in the earlier Quest XP11, so switch on the power and only the both PFD (Primary Flight Displays) turn on, turn on the Avionics power and the central MFD (Multi-Functional Display )also then switches on. All three PFD/MFD pop-out on windows, panels are also moveable and scalable for home builders. Turning on the third power switch "AUX BUS",(arrowed) will turn on the AC (Airconditioning) Systems panel, that has a pop-up window. There are also two other selectable features on the G1000 system that are in the Menu. First is the switch between having the S-TEC Fifty Five X Autopilot on the facia, or to use the G1000 Bezel autopilot controls. The S-Tec also pops-out for ease of use. The second feature is the selectable standard blue/brown Artificial Horizon, or the "Synthetic Vision" mode. Honestly I'm not overly impressed by the current Synthetic vision screen, so will keep to the standard Horizon format, Lower panel left is the power (rocker) and starter switches, lighting switches and Ice protection. Two Hobbs meters covers flight and engine running times. Oxygen capacity indicator is clever and to the right panel there is a small AC display that covers Cabin Temp, and fan controls that all work and if you increase the fan speed you should be able to hear the fan noise in the background... Left vertical are the three analog backup instruments, Airspeed, Artificial Horizon and Altitude. The great original feature of moving eye air vents on the panel and on the roof, are still the same in here, as you can not only can you move the direction of the vent, but the internal airflow cover as well. There are four vents on the panel and the two vents overhead. 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. Original Quest Kodiak had a Carenado adaption G1000 back in 2016, but it's now all or only the updated Laminar version. 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; Top three segments cover both pages, with; TRQ (Torque), ITT, NP RPM, NG Readouts... Fuel Flow (Gallons Per Hour), RPM, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, Amps, Volts, Fuel quantity for both tanks (320 gal). Lower are the Flaps and both Trims (positions). "System" switch (data) covers the same TRQ, ITT and NP, NG top, "Fuel" page (data) covers Fuel Calculations in FFLOW GPH (Gallons Per Hour), Fuel Pressure PSI, Fuel quantity (L/R)... Fuel Totalizer LB REM (Remain), LB USED... (Electrical) Volts and Amps, Gen A, Alt A, Bus 1v and Bus 2v. Lower screen (menu) are DEC Fuel, INC Fuel and RST Fuel options. Overhead on the roof are the two master Fuel valves, one for each wing tank, and an overhead lighting panel, and nice animated moveable shades. _________________ Lighting The lighting system on the Kodiak is really in two areas... one for the panel and two for the spot overhead lighting. The panel has two knobs with three adjustments. Outer right knob is the Switches panel (highlights) itself, but there is a mostly hidden inner knob that lights the LED lights under the glareshield and this is the one you use the most. The second left knob is the Instrument lights (inner) and glareshield LED lights (outer). The downcasting LED's feel far more dim than I remember, they were quite a lot brighter on the Quest XP11 version? There are two spots overhead and they are fully adjustable to put the spots right where you want them. There are eight spot lights in the rear for each seat that are again fully adjustable, and two overhead lights from a double way switch on the lighting panel... all interior lighting can be turned on or off via one switch in the General menu, you can switch off/on the external lighting the same way. Externally each outer wing has a taxi and landing light, a beacon strobe on the roof, navigation lights and strobes on the wingtips. However the beacon and the rear white navigation light also feels a bit weak. _________________ Menu Thranda's Menus are very feature rich and highly detailed. There is a popout TAB under the arrow, that can be (mouse) scrolled to hide it, that is if you don't like these sort of items crowding your screen (I don't). The Menu system includes the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, a Thranda speciality feature that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications. As noted the "Menu" Tab (arrow) is far left middle of your screen, this will activate the Pop-Out Menu... The Menu has seven menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW and MISC (Miscellaneous). Basically it is the Thranda default menu, but here without the "Panel" Tab. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. General menu selections cover; MODE: Realistic or Simplified, Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off (sets aircraft to full running mode), GPU on/off, Chocks and Brakes on/off. Cargo Pod, when selected then shows the bin door option. Toggles between "Realistic" and "Simplified", and mainly pertains to the engine. In "Realistic" mode, you're much more likely to over-torque or otherwise damage the engine, if you're not flying the plane in such a way as to keep within limits outlined in the POH. If you DO over- torque the engine, the shaft will snap with a horrific sound, and the remaining turbine components will audibly grind against the housing. The engine will catch fire, and the various annunciator lights will go on, and the cabin will fill with smoke? Three selections placed right cover group items, but any one item can be also accessed via "Click Spots" and can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select engine inlet/outlet covers and pitot covers, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit door and rear cabin split doors. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can the ALL INT - Internal lights. The GPU cart (Ground Power Unit) is massive for an aircraft this size, but it is well done. The "Electric Tug" that can be used to move the aircraft around on the ground via your joystick (left,right-forward,backwards). Static Items include Engine Inlet covers, Pitot covers, Tail stand and various Tie-Downs. There is built in "Checklist" (lower right menu, arrowed), and very good it is. But also again changed back to a simple black on red graphic, with white cross-off line. The Checklist can the moved and scaled anywhere on the screen, but the list can't be reset back again to just the red restart list? and there are 18 separate pages of the list to uncheck? Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "Liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 10 liveries or two blank and eight designs, and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare with the package. Note... Only two liveries are delivered in the download package in DYNAMIC LIVERIES and the House Thranda. To access the rest you have to run the supplied "Skunkcrafts" updater, then all the liveries below are loaded into your aircraft liveries folder. Any livery can be used with both the passenger and cargo variants, but some suit more than others... Two of the liveries are noted as "DynamicLiveryResources" and "ZZTEMPLATELIVERY", these are the current selected "Dynamic Liveries". Dynamic Liveries Not happy with any of those designs, then why not create your own livery! With their earlier releases of their Kodiak and with the PC-6, PZL-104 and Caravan. Then Thranda introduced a clever feature of a way to design your own livery. This is done by switching from PAINTED LIVERIES to DYNAMIC LIVERIES top. Two liveries are "Dynamic" in resources (White)... another New feature is the (Quick) selection of Dirt (Ext) Externally, Scratches and Dirt (Int) Internally. Via three percentage selections you can adjust the amount of Dirt, Scratches and Dirt Int on the aircraft (0%-255%) and apply it instantly.So you can have either a pristine or a very grubby aircraft with just a twirl of the numbers. This can be applied to any of the liveries. You have a menu to select on the right that can colour a certain part of the aircraft, like the Roof, Wing, Tail or Wing tips. Select which one you want and then adjust the three RGB colours for that certain area, and the selected colour (here white) is shown in the square. When done you can "SAVE" or ADD the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. The conversion takes a few minutes with some weird screen changes, but the results are excellent and now in your own design... There are already 30 preselected selections in their various designs, all are very good, and like noted you can add in your own version to the list. New to the Dynamic Livery application is ERA options in "Modern' or "Classic".... of course personal taste is optional... Menu - Weight/Bal The Kodiak also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle... Lbs In Green, and Kgs in Blue. There is the weight selection of all the seats,in both Timberline and Executive Selections. Missing is the usual Thranda seat removable X option, here you can only select the layout of the cabin and the seat weight. Fuel can be added and the amounts are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above)... Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and all are selected via a scrollwheel... and then all of the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph, go too far or too heavy and the CofG goes red. When done you can Save the Configuration and then later re-load it, or press Load to add in the set weights. Selecting the Cargo Pod option gives you an extra set of weight zones, add in the weight and you get bags in the pod, same with the rear cargo area, increase the weight and you get bags and boxes. But obviously there is a compromise? If you want a full passenger and baggage load, then you can't have full fuel tanks, as the excess weight takes you over the weight and the CofG limits as shown on the graph. For eight passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the longer range and not go into the red. You can really pile a lot into the rear cargo/baggage section and all the cargo is of very high quality. Set the weight in the front seats (pilot and co-pilot), then you get fully animated pilots in the aircraft, they will also disappear if the electrical power is switched off and chocks added. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. To the right is the default views can be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FoV or "Field of View" is adjustable via a slider. Menu - Audio/Slew Sound can be adjusted via the sound menu. There are seven slider selections with: Master, Aircraft External, Aircraft Internal, CoPilot, Radios, Environmental and User Interface. One other sound setting is on the Flap panel... As noted, on the right and left of the panel you get the audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is beyond excellent as it is a built in audio mixer, so you can individually control the audio channels in real-time and you can adjust the volumes while hearing them play. Slew mode allows you to manually move the aircraft around in a disconnected X-Plane space. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the X-Plane settings, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy and it is used mostly only really with the Amphibian/Floats option in docking the aircraft to say a pier or marina. Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page has four panels that cover (Exterior) Fairings, Ski's,Tyres/Tundra, Mud Flaps and Cargo Pod, (Interior) Timberline or Executive layouts, Pilots (swap)... the noted Synthetic Vision and Autopilot S-Tec/G1000 Bezel and Anti-Ice Equipped. The usual DynaFeel feature usually on this tab has been removed. Shown here are; Fairings and Ski's... Mud Flaps centre, then lower Regular and Tundra tires. You can also swap around the pilots, in Male/Female, or Female/Male in the drivers seat. Last option here on the MISC tab is that you can make the Anti-Ice Panel active. The only menu option change on the Amphibian, is that you can choose the option of having the rear horizonal stabliser winglets visible or not via it's menu selection. _________________ Flying the Daher Kodiak 100 You sit up high and forward in the Kodiak, almost on a pedestal. The 208B feels almost sportscar like compared to this machine, but the Kodiak is what it is, in being a workhorse, getting people or cargo in and out of remote airstrips. It's a medium sized aircraft, not say big and truck like, or even a small GA or bush plane like, it's sort of in the middle of say a big Utility (say a RAM or Ford F160) purposeful, move stuff! Roof Fuel valves on... then set the Conditioner lever (far right blue one), to LOW IDLE. Flaps 10º. Trim is done via the large Trim wheel and the TO (take Off) setting is on the lower left of the MFD in the Trims. Ignition switch ON, then hit the STARTER Switch up... and then the familiar turbine Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 start whine comes from the front of the aircraft. Love this big and powerful monster of an engine... So open the small window for the full effects of the engine sounds which are simply excellent. And if you are of keen hearing then you should note also the friction sounds on the yoke and throttle lever as you move them, as well as independent sounds for brakes, oxygen hissing and electrical inverter buzzing sounds. The P&W soon settles down to a slight roar, and your ready to go... I found in the earlier Quest that I couldn't get a lower thrust for taxiing, a leftover issue from Carenado's as they always had a high thrust RPM on the ground that drove me nuts... here if you keep the COND LOW IDLE setting, in then that earlier over thrust issue goes away, yes being in low idle does mean far more throttle to move the Kodiak off the line, but more importantly you now have a much larger and lower thrust range to find the right taxi speed, so yes I really like it. I adjust the eye air vents to blow fresh air into my face, A small fan on top of the computer screen can give you the same effect! In X-Plane 12 I found that I have far more rudder pedal movement steering while taxiing, its very good here in keeping the Kodiak centred on the line, I only have to revert to the YAW/Tiller movements to the tight 90º turns. Ready enter KRSW Runway 06... My weight is set quite heavy at 3028Kgs... so the Kodiak is going to be a little ponderous not only in the takeoff, but the handling in the air. Entering 06, I put the COND to the HIGH setting, and then you get Upmph as the engine revs upwards... tons more power!. I go almost to the end of the (flap) white line or 105knts before pulling back on the Yoke and then set a positive climb of around 800 fpm, Rate of climb is around 1,371 ft/min (6.96 m/s), quite high, but everything always depends on your weight. Bank to the left and the Kodiak feels really, really good, and far better than I remembered earlier? Okay, time for a confession... I wasn't really dazzled by the earlier Quest Kodiak, maybe because I was so in love with the Caravan. It was nice aircraft but didn't really leave a flying impression on my personality, I flew it I remember only once or twice. But this X-Plane 12 version is a very different sort of aircraft than I remember... far more responsive, flows in the turn (banks) better, and even climbs smoother... "My God!" I'm really liking this aircraft a lot this time around. The better sounds really help... Now there are high-fidelity, multi-track FMOD2 sounds, simulating multiple layers of engine and prop sounds, depending on camera angle, distance, atmospheric conditions, but it is the superb "woo, wooo... roar" as the aircraft climbs hard under the weight. Upping the Flaps to zero, it does give you a little descent bump, but then the speed quickly rises as you power faster forward. You can still use the Emergency (EMER PWR) lever for more power if you need even more of it, but use it sparingly as it can blow your motor to kingdom come... .... as a precaution there is a "Overspeed" governor on the left of the panel to regulate the power. The Laminar G1000 Avionics feel far better than the original Carenado fitout. Back then it was the other way around with the very basic Laminar system. So that just shows how much change of the Avionics in X-Plane over the last four years, both screens are now excellent as LAL (116.00) comes on line, as I reach my 5,000 ft cruise height. I noted in the earlier (Quest) review "The Kodiak is quite sensitive to higher speeds. This is not an aircraft to set the Autopilot and the throttle and then just have a nap, because you will find if it goes a little too fast it will start to pitch and even if the autopilot trim is trying (hard) to compensate for this unseen barrier. So it is the awareness of this speed sensitive area in that it is you that has to find that sweet spot between the best cruise speed and the start of the boundary of the aircraft's aerodynamics." Humm... not finding that aspect here, I'm cruising nicely at 155 kts and she's all calm and collected, basically in X-Plane 12 it just keeps on smoothly cruising along... with the those very comforting, turn up the sound at the "woo, wooo... roar" in that it gets very memorizing as you sync in with the sound, but lets not get the wrong impression that these sounds are repetitive, because they are absolutely not. Kodiak's cruise speed is 211 mph (339 km/h, 183 kn) at a light weight of course, and a range of 1,303 mi (2,096 km, 1,132 nmi). The service ceiling is exactly the same as the Caravan at 25,000 ft (7,600 m). You notice the haze off the exhausts at full power, it sits lower left in the screen, but comforting in the effects mean the engine is running smoothly. Press the RED button between the PFD and the MFD and the G1000 system goes into safety mode, or "Get Home" mode as the two screens combine both flying instruments and engine performance. I'm covering 258 nm, almost the length of Florida, USA from KRSW (South West Florida) to Jacksonville JAX, at GATORS I turn 035º to head finally to KJAX, now only 55nm ahead. 28nm out from JAX and I start my descent to 1,500 ft, adjust the power back a little as I go down to keep the speed high, and use a decent of 800 fpm to adjust my flight level, once at a lower height, then up the power a little to compensate and keep the speed current. Now Jacksonville International is directly ahead, but I am going to circuit to the east, to land on Rwy 26. I now make my turn to the east and parallel fly to Runway 08/26 in the landing circuit. While cruising past JAX, my thoughts go to in what makes a very good simulation? Importantly first is the totally realistic handing of the aircraft, the way it flies, and the way it feels in your control movements, secondary is that the simulation is clean... meaning that from go (startup) to stop (shutdown) the simulation is perfectly non-distracting from the flying, no bugs and certainly no CTD (Crash to Desktop) freezes. Being a reviewer then the Replay is extremely important to me, the first two here are excellent from Thranda, but with the Kodiak I have had a few replay crashes, but thankfully any replays saved always worked, bugs a couple, but overall I found the Kodiak an extremely solid simulation. Jacksonville flows past below, then a 90º turn to DALTN in the beams of IPEK (110.3) ILS, I'm not using the ILS to land, but using the beams to line up my approach to RWY 26. Now in the approach phase and down to a 1,000 ft... ... Flap movements are very clunky, slight lift with every new degree of flap setting used, so you have to get the speed to flap change right, tricky is the aircraft weight pulls you down, creating the opposite in lift, it would be an interesting experiment at a lighter weight on the different effects of the aircraft in this critical approach and landing phase. You sort of settle down at 81-82 knts, full flap with about a 250 fpm descent rate, the Kodiak feels solid, really nice handling, but you feel the weight under the controls... 75 knts over the threshold Slight flare and the Kodiak floats? I'm trying to find the best descent window, and not hit the ground hard(ish), but I have found lately that X-Plane has closed this ground effect window to a very tight one, that is being felt in various aircraft, time for this X-Plane area to be refined? You can set the "Toggle thrust reverse" to give you a "Beta", detent setting that switches on the reverse prop, and the "howl" of the PT6A engine makes as it turns the air in the opposite direction, then in slowing down the aircraft... Back to the taxiing and into the LOW IDLE (COND) to control the thrust, really liking the change here in the better ground conditions... First time into FS Designs KJAX since my review... honestly it looks far better than I remember, loving it, like really liking this far more better Daher (ex Quest) Kodiak as well, its that everything is better here, but still really brilliant value at only $1 more in price than it's X-Plane 11 release four years ago, but you still get tons more in quality and detail, and even better flying dynamics. Remember also the price covers updates and services for the full X-Plane 12 run.... so what is not to like. ___________________________ Summary The Quest Kodiak was the first release from Thranda Design back in 2016. It was their first aircraft released as a solo developer since moving on from Carenado in 2016. Created by Dan Klaue, the Canadian is one of the most proficient developers of X-Plane aircraft, not only in design, but for their excellent features and unique ideas like their acclaimed "Dynamic Generation Series" DGS. Since the release of the original Kodiak, the Quest Aircraft Company was bought by the the French aircraft manufacturer Daher, including the designs and also the production in 2019 from the Japanese firm Setouchi Holdings. So this is an all new aircraft for X-Plane 12. Notable the Quest moniker will stay on the earlier X-Plane 11 aircraft, and this new aircraft will be branded the "Daher" Kodiak, and the Daher aircraft will only be available for X-Plane 12 as the latest features, 8K textures are not transferable. Three versions are included in the Kodiak package, Passenger, Cargo and separate Amphibian, with three interior designs of "Executive" and "Timberline" decors, plus the empty Cargo arrangement (all can be used on the Amphibian variant), animated pilots can also swap front seats. Thranda Design are one of the best developers in X-Plane, their history and quality is legendary. So that quality build and detailing is always going to be significant right from the start, and so it is here again in being... exceptional. In every area and detail, modeling, fine details, glass and the interior materials. Menus are also excellent with menu tabs in; GENERAL, LIVERY, WEIGHT/BAL, CAMERA, AUDIO/SLEW and MISC (Miscellaneous), that covers all the options and including sound, weights and balances also including graphs, walk-around and camera options and general static elements including chocks, tundra tyres, pitot covers, ski's, Mud flaps tie-downs and excellent detailed Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 engine. Settings include pilot/passenger weights, baggage weight and visually placed bags, cargo in the rear of the aircraft and in the large rear baggage area. A large Cargo Pod with bags by weight is also offered. Notable is that the usual Thranda "Panel" analog DGS option is not used here, but the full Laminar Research Garmin G1000 three display Avionics suite, it's very good and now highly detailed. Lighting is very good, but I would like a bit more under glaresheil brightness to match the earlier XP11 Quest lighting, otherwise excellent. Sounds are far, far better than the Quest version, really love those powerful PT6A sounds, when climbing and in cruise... Doppler High fidelity, multi-track FMOD2 sounds, simulating multiple layers of engine and prop sounds, depending on camera angle, distance, atmospheric conditions, yes a really big advancement from the earlier acoustics. Minuses are minimal... lighting externally (taxi/landing) is not good in the daylight (Laminar issue?), aircraft can be dark in overcast conditions, and selecting the replay can cause a nasty CTD (but not in a saved Replay) Note... 8K textures are now used, but have no effect on framerate. Obviously with a Thranda Aircraft I just can't list every feature, but they are some of of the very best utility aircraft in the X-Plane Simulator today. Being honest I didn't really gel with the earlier Quest XP11 Kodiak, it was very good, make no mistake, but there was something that I didn't quite tune into. But four years can make a difference, more so with the revision in X-Plane 12. In every area, flying dynamics, sound and always in the quality of the aircraft, it has been lifted far, far higher than I remember, so this is a brilliant change for the aircraft, you can say it has refined it up to the same high quality standard as the other X-Plane 12 releases from Thranda Design, that is a big ask from the original, but that overall upgraded feel is in there and well worthy of the upgrade price offered at only a $1 more than the original. Any Thranda Design aircraft is a worthy addition to your virtual hangar, and the Daher Kodiak 100, is certainly one of the best in value and features... So all you can finally say is that the aircraft comes... Highly Recommended! ___________________________ The Daher Kodiak 100 - DGS Series XP12 by Thranda Design is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Daher Kodiak 100 - DGS Series XP12 Price at time of writing US$34.95 Requirements: X-Plane 12 (not for XP11) Windows, Mac or Linux 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version 1.0 (July 20th 2023) This aircraft is a full upgrade to X-Plane 12 only, so there are no upgrade deals for the aircraft from the developer. Installation and documents: download for the Daher Kodiak is 1.57Gb (not including liveries) and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 3.86Gb (including downloaded liveries) Documents supplied is: Changelog.txt Thranda Daher Kodiak for XP12 Manual.pdf Thranda Joystick Settings.pdf Thranda Kodiak Quick Reference Guide v2.pdf X-Plane G1000 Manual.pdf There is a huge amount of Documentation provided here, not only for the Thranda Kodiak 100, including performance charts, reference guides, but also X-Plane/hardware settings and custom and default avionics. All updates are via the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater Designed by Thranda Design Support forum for the Daher Kodiak 100 ___________________________ 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 12.05r1 (This is a Release Candidate 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 - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.99 - KJAX - Jacksonville International Airport by FSDesigns (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.99 - Full X-PlaneReviews JAX review is here; Scenery Review - KJAX -Jacksonville International Airport by FS Designs ___________________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 25th 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 Rights Reserved