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  1. Aircraft Update : Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series v1.1 by Thranda Design A common theme from Thranda Design is to release an aircraft, then a few months later release another version with more features and mostly adding in the Amphibian/Floats variant. They did it with the Cessna 208 Caravan, all the other releases, and now the same here with the Cessna U206G Stationair. You can update to version v1.1 either by the Skunkcraft's updater, or do a full download from your account from the X-Plane.OrgStrore. Outwardly the U206G Stationair is the same aircraft as in the release, for a full run down of the features including the "Dynamic Generation Series" or DGS, then read X-PlaneReviews: Aircraft Review - Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series by Thranda Design In this v1.1 update you now have an extra aircraft (acf) to choose from, the "U206G" and now the "Amphibian" option. Amphibian The Amphibian uses the wheels to move the aircraft around on hard surfaces, the Float version does not have any, and both options are available here. Here is the Amphibian. We know that all Thranda Utility aircraft come with the Amphibian and Float options, so it is no surprise that the detail and quality of the floats are exceptional, as they are here. The retracting wheel system is also well done, and as is the high detail with all the spars, nuts & bolts, and wire tensioners which are perfect, you won't get better. Rear are the rudders, again the detail is excellent with working springs and attachments, obviously they lift and lower into the water. Float undercarriage (gear) is controlled via a panel on the lower instrument panel, and the rudder actions are controlled by a lever between the fronts seat, the pump detail shows no compromises in quality from Thranda. On the Amphibian variant, the MISC Menu options are different as well... There are four box selections. Top left allows you to install a brace in the windshield, and to switch the side windows from flat to bubble. Lower left box is the options; lower the rudders, to change the Amphibian version to Floats and to install a Ventral Fin on the underside of the tail. Top right Box on the right refers to Slew mode, which 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 and is especially a great feature to use while on the water for docking the aircraft to a jetty. Lower right box is "DynaFeel" which 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. A final option on the "Wheeled" variant of the U206G now has a skis option. Again the ski detail is excellent, with all the support wires and ski skid assembly required. I'll list the v1.1 updates changelist because it is quite comprehensive and detailed. Version 1.1 (November 11th 2022) Add amphibian seaplane version with plain and amphibious floats Update manual to add seaplane information Add skis option to landplane Remove trim "tick" sound, to hopefully help alleviate repetitive noise while autopilot is engaged Add Instrument #53: Tail number placard Update XP12 compatibility to handle multiple .acf (to handle the new amphibian) Improve XP12 compatibility system error handling Remove automatic reload in XP12 compatibility and Panel popup when using XP12, due to it causing XP12 to crash. It will now prompt the user to manually reload the plane. The automatic reload still works when using XP11. Improve clarity of instructions in ReadMe.txt for XP12 ACF Fix interior engine sound when panning the view around Fix cargo door flaps lockout not working. The flaps should now not move when the rear cargo doors are open XP12 ACF: Add WAAS approach capability. XP12 ACF: Slightly decrease fuel flows to better match the performance charts Fix Inst #11 (KPH/MPH airspeed indicator) 2D pop-up needle calibration, fix color arcs Fix floating screws and instruments in cabin Fix baggage area cargo netting intersecting with rear seats Fix beacon light for XP12 Fix tail section not showing metal effects in dynamic liveries Add gear panel to all default panel presets (only visible when using the amphibian floats) Add glass covers to Inst #14 and 15 (engine gauges) Hook up additional circuit breakers Remove duplicate circuit breakers Fix up some livery inconsistencies Corrections to Inst #25 (ELT) ELT now resets to off when starting a new flight Improve calibration of oil temperature 3D needle Improve calibration of turn coordinator Improved landing gear animation logic Fix potential crash when using docking mode in XP12 Fix "Dirt" overlay for dynamic livery preview popup One new feature is particularly interesting... "XP12 ACF: Add WAAS approach capability". The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is an air navigation aid developed by the Federal Aviation Administration to augment the Global Positioning System (GPS), with the goal of improving its accuracy, integrity, and availability. Essentially, WAAS is intended to enable aircraft to rely on GPS for all phases of flight, including precision approaches to any airport within its coverage area. It may be further enhanced with the Local Area Augmentation System (LAAS) also known by the preferred ICAO term Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) in critical areas. A primary goal of the WAAS system was to allow aircraft to make a Category I approach without any equipment being installed at the airport. This would allow new GPS-based instrument landing approaches to be developed for any airport, even ones without any ground equipment. A Category I approach requires an accuracy of 16 metres (52 ft) laterally and 4.0 metres (13.1 ft) vertically. Obviously X-Plane 12 now has WAAS availability, an area to watch out for... but I know little of it at this moment. In The Air Takeoff is Tricky.... As you have a lot of weight suspended below you, almost another aircraft weight again. Also you need foot brakes to keep the Amphibian tracking straight, but it doesn't gain speed very fast either, flap 10º is highly recommended for lift. In the air you can see the size of the floats relative to the aircraft, speed with the extra weight is compromised here also. Now we can look at the Float option... The floats are slightly lighter and cleaner through the air, look great as well. Detail is of course excellent, highly realistic. The Floats are colour matched to the fuselage, and in the "Dynamic Liveries" you can colour them to to suit your own design. There are altogether 11 liveries or two blank and nine designs, same as the "Wheeled" version. Internally the cockpit is excellent, I'm flying the gauge layout this time (There is also the excellent Aspen EFD 1000 available), highly, highly realistic. Note the window brace, of which I really like. The Floats weight weighs you down, but also creates a supremely stable feel to the small C206G. Any manoeuvres are weighted, so no you can't throw the Cessna around in the sky, but I like this non-swinging feel as the aircraft is heavier (obviously), and the lower centre of gravity gives you a better placement, outright speed is also cancelled, but you are more inclined to enjoy the movements to your advantage, than the other way around. I'm heading to the Shannon Estuary, Ireland just off Shannon Airport EINN, to test out the amphibian variant. I'm a huge fan of the new X-Plane 12 water, you get a real realism from the air, better still with the custom mud flats in the transparency. Coming from the west, you get a nice throttle (power) action to control your descent. I try to get to Full 20º flap as soon as I can. Speed can be low in the approach of around or slightly below 50 knts, but your perfectly safe here. I love the moment you see the ripples on the water through the window, still flashing past. Your only 200ft up now and you give the aircraft a slight pitch. So stable... ... You feel like you are coming in as a big Swan with huge feet outstretched ready to land, the support is there ready and waiting. Slightly more up pitch, but you can't over do the angle... or it will cause you issues later. The idea is in trying not to dig in the front of the floats on landing, but to touch at the centre angled point, CLEAN, is the word in your head. Your touching now around a low 40 knts as you feel the water. Getting the landing right is not the actual landing itself? It is the bit after when you are riding the top of the water, so as the nose does not dig in and pull you over, controlling the drag and keeping the nose clean (high or straight), while slowing down takes a bit of skill, but delivers the exhilarating bit to get it all right. If you do get it all right then the aircraft will settle without any jerks or nose drops. Saying that... this Thranda U208G is a very nice, even easy aircraft to fly in the amphibian (float) variant, and certainly the X-Plane 12 effects help out here with their more wider and custom physics than X-Plane 11, you not only see it, but feel it as well. That water is exquisite! Rudder steering I found like with the wheels (braking) on takeoff, only works with my foot pedals? but I'm sure they can be fixed to the yaw movement. But they are very effective in the water. For takeoff... Flap to 10º, trim to zero, and here I upped the rudders a bit to early. I found the trick later was to start the takeoff run (half-power)... ... then when you feel the rudder control coming in, then quickly up the dragging rudders, its tricky to do but it gives you far more in straight-line control. Up the power and as the aerodynamics come in and the Cessna will surf and then also accelerate quite quickly, then around 85 knts your airborne. Once clear of the water with a nice small climb rate, then clean up the aircraft (flaps) and trim. So the waterborne additions are excellent with great flight and water capabilities, and oddly enough makes the U206G easier to fly. Summary This is the expected update from Thranda Design, as for all their releases, and usually within two months of the original aircraft release, they then release the Amphibian/Floats variant. Not only do you get the Amphibian/Floats feature, but the Ski option has been added as well to the "wheeled" land-plane version. Quality is of course the usual very highly detailed and quality fitout you expect from Thranda. They are renowned for it, but consistently deliver. 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. 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 is also part of this package. There is also a full changelog list of bugs and minor issues done in v1.1, including the added feature of Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) and it's approach capability. If you want a highly capable Cessna, then it would be seriously hard to go past this U206G Stationair, its also X-Plane 12 (X-Plane 11 is also available) capable as well, so it is a match made in heaven and it all comes with a value price for the incredible detail and features. It's the very best!... not much to add into that statement, and now available not only in the air, but on the water as well, obviously highly recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series v1.1 by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series Price is US$39.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (still beta at this stage) or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 2 GB Current version 1.1 (November 11th 2022) Special features: FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. 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 6 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Enable or disable lighting posts per instrument. 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, 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. 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-520-F engine. 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. Control individual seat positions, or hide them altogether, 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. Options for landing gear: Tundra tires, mud flaps, wheel pants (fairings) Option to enable bubble windows for pilot and copilot side windows. DynaFeel panel: Dial in precisely how you with 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 Stationair pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The U206 Stationair is a well-behaved airplane and a very stable IFR platform. 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 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 ___________________________________ Installation and documents: download for the Thranda_C206. is 1.97Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 2.34Gb Documents supplied are: Changelog.txt Thranda Graphics Settings XP11.pdf Thranda Joystick Settings.pdf Thranda U206G Manual.pdf U206G Performance Charts.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 U206G 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 U206 Stationair by Thranda _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 17th November 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 11 Pro - X-Plane 12.00B13 (This is a beta review). Plugins: raffic 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 -EKLY - Kerry, Ireland by Boundless -EINN - Shannon, Ireland 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
  2. NEWS! - Thranda Design releases Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series After exactly a month after it's announcement from Thranda Design. The X-Plane design house have released their latest aircraft in the Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series. The Cessna 205, 206, and 207, all known primarily as the Stationair (and marketed variously as the Super Skywagon, Skywagon and Super Skylane) are a family of single-engined, general aviation aircraft with fixed landing gear, used in commercial air service as well as for personal use. The original 1964 model was the U206, powered by a 285 hp (213 kW) Continental IO-520-A. The “U” designation indicated “utility” and this model was equipped with a pilot side door and large clamshell rear door serving the back two rows of seats, allowing easy loading of oversized cargo. This version is the six seater U206G, powered by a Continental IO-520-F of 300 hp (224 kW), with a gross weight of 3,600 lb (1,633 kg) landplane, 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) seaplane and certified on 21 June 1976. With this aircraft being a Thranda design, then you can expect every bang and whistle feature delivered on the aircraft. It also comes with the the famous DGS Series features. Thranda's "Dynamic Generation Series" takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications to the currently loaded plane, changes can be made live to; Customise a livery Move around instruments on the panel for different panel configurations Adjust and save weight and balance more visually, without using the X-Plane's W&B menu Seamlessly move your plane around in slew mode to position it precisely where you want it in real-time Switch between different aircraft configurations on the fly, without reloading the plane? Cargo, executive, tundra, skis, etc Use high fidelity and precision in flight dynamics, making use of X-Plane's very latest physics engine advances Ultra-realistic, multi-layered soundscapes, inside and out Our planes feature a unique Manifest system, which breaks out logic variables for you to edit for SimPit builders Full C206G Feature List; FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel. 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 6 panel presets, but can easily be expanded by moving instruments around, using a simple and intuitive interface. Enable or disable lighting posts per instrument. 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, 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. 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-520-F engine. 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. Control individual seat positions, or hide them altogether, 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. Options for landing gear: Tundra tires, mud flaps, wheel pants (fairings) Option to enable bubble windows for pilot and copilot side windows. DynaFeel panel: Dial in precisely how you with 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 Stationair pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The U206 Stationair is a well-behaved airplane and a very stable IFR platform. 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 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 Usually from Thranda an Amphibian variant and plain Float options mostly follow the main release by about six weeks, the extra features are also usually free. Note this Aircraft will fly in X-Plane 12, however it is noted as a "Beta" version and not an X-Plane 12 compatible aircraft. Images are courtesy of Thranda Design Support forum for the U206 Stationair by Thranda ________________ The Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series by Thranda Design is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Cessna U206G Stationair DGS series Price is US$39.95 Requirements X-Plane 12 (still beta at this stage) or X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.9 GB Current version 1.0 (September 17th 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 19th September 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  3. NEWS! - Announcement : Thranda announces Cessna U206G Stationair One aircraft I really liked from Carenado was the StationAir. Carenado are now in limbo, but remember that all Carenado aircraft were supported in X-Plane by Daniel Klaue, hence now Thranda Design. The C208B released only a few months ago from Thranda was a step away from the earlier bush utility style aircraft, and this announcement of their next aircraft in the U206G Stationair is a step more into pure General Aviation territory. There are both early renders with showing a very detailed naturally-aspirated version with the IO-520-F engine, but not the Turbo version, and completed flying images. The U206G Stationair is another Dynamic Generation Series DGS aircraft, which means it will be highly configurable, with noted Tundra tyres (and mud flaps shown), and an under fuselage pod. This is Carenado territory, so expect a lot more General Aviation aircraft from Thranda in the future, but for now the Stationair will be very nicely received. No release date yet, but noted as soon, X-Plane12, well yes that too. Images are provided by Thranda ____________ NEWS! by Stephen Dutton 23rd August 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All rights reserved.
  4. Aircraft Review : Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design The Cessna Caravan has been around since Mid-2012, as released back then by Carenado. So it is not an unfamiliar sight to the X-Plane Simulator and by far the most popular and successful aircraft that Carenado ever produced. The Cessna 208 Caravan is also and overwhelmingly the most popular utility aircraft ever produced by Cessna as well. The project was commenced on November 20, 1981, and the prototype first flew on December 9, 1982. The production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984 and its Cargomaster freighter variant was later developed specifically for FedEx. The 4 ft (1.2 m) longer 208B Super Cargomaster first flew in 1986 and was later developed into the passenger 208B Grand Caravan which is mostly known as the "Executive" version. First deliveries were in 1982 and the C208B aircraft is still in production with the current produced numbers of around 2,800 aircraft built. Although the original design of the Carenado Caravan was done in house, most if even all of the conversion to X-Plane and subsequent updates was done by Dan Klaue the renowned X-Plane developer, later formed into Thranda Design. So overall this brand new design of the Cessna Caravan has already had years of X-Plane development behind it both in the Carenado version and now with this fresh new design. The Cessna 208 is a high-wing braced cabin monoplane powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A turboprop in a tractor configuration. The cabin has room for nine passengers and two crew when used as a passenger aircraft with four doors: one for each crew member, and a airstair entrance door on the right side of the cabin and a large cargo door on the left. The basic 208 airframe has a fixed tricycle landing gear but can also be fitted with various types of landing gear and allowing the aircraft to operate in a wide variety of environments. Some common adaptations include floats with retractable landing gear on the Caravan Amphibian model, and skis. The roles for the caravan are huge and flexible; Sightseeing, Regional (hub &) Spoke, Skydiving, Executive VIP Transport, Medivac, Flight Training, Commuter Airlines, Air Cargo and Humanitarian Missions... and one C208 was even fitted with a Hellfire missiles, but sadly not an option on this aircraft. The 208B Grand Caravan is a 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch of the Caravan l, and both the shorter and longer variants are included in the package. Originally in 2012 the Carenado Caravan looked sensational (updated v2 Review), but over the last few years it became a little dated with not really having many changes over the years, extras or features (excluding the Super Cargomaster) were very low as well, so it had become a little tired. So the timing couldn't be more right, than right now, to get a more modern and bettered featured design of the Caravan aircraft. You were never going to be disappointed on quality and detail from Thranda, as they are already renowned for these aspects, in this light the 208B is simply excellent. Every rivet, panel, access panel, lighting detail and the excellent mesh air intakes are absolutely perfect... there is nothing to be picky about here at all, you just can't fault this sort of quality detailing. You can see how far we have come since 2012 by the reflections alone on the spinner and the lighting effects on the exterior panels. Glass is always a big deal to me, I want authentic thick glass with wear and tear, and I am not disappointed here either, it is all expertly done. A huge step forward is that unlike on the Carenado version, you also have opening forward panels to reveal a state of the art reproduction of the sensational Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A, also still commanding is that huge horn style exhaust protruding from the lower right of the engine bay. Some how you always strangely missed this engine feature on the Carenado aircraft, but want no more. You always had a lot of fun with the Caravan on the ground, opening doors and loading in passengers and cargo, it was all part of the simulation. Here all the doors (can be opened inside or externally) are well done... the tight ladder entrance on the right and the swing door on the left, with the two pilot and co-pilot doors at the front with their drilled tall tight steps. Caravans come with an optional lower Cargo Pod, and so you have one here, with the same three opening bins on the left side, but you still can't open each of them individually, it is none or all three. Personally I don't fly the Caravan with the pod attached, I like the more pure look than the bulky heavy feel the pod gives to the aircraft... but then again it is a workhorse aircraft. CargoMaster There is a CargoMaster variant also included in the package, currently set with three liveries... FedEx, DHL and Castle... The same upper hatch and swing door is still on the left side, but the right side passenger door is removed. Internally the seating tracks on the floor are removed and replace with netting. If you want to convert a standard C208B to the Cargomaster, you just move the "Cargomaster.txt" file to the livery you want to change. Cabin Most 208B cabin configurations are twin seats right and a single chair left, or two rows of single seats with up to nine seats available. But you have far more options here, including removing of all the seats completely. Any seat can be made to disappear, and you are also able to move the seat forward and backwards on the floor tracks, and they are switchable from a single to a double seat... you can also have the seats facing forwards or rearwards to make up a club seating arrangement. The rear right single seat is hidden, so you have to make it appear later and place it by the closed door. At the rear you can have the choice of a cargo area and cover net, or a luxurious wide double seat. It is all very clever, but also a bit finicky to use, and so you can easily get the chairs all oddly blended together into each other, and you have to sort them out before each flight? There is a sort of reset as we shall see in the menu, but nothing like the Carenado's sets of seating layout plans, and you feel the need that this is still the overall quicker reset option. Cabin detail is not as heavy handed as the Carenado either which now looks quite bland and very dated, but that is a very good thing, as the detailing here interior wise is exceptional. The beautifully crafted chrome roof lighting and air vents are both fully animated, even down to the inner vent flow adjuster. All lights are LED. Cockpit You never seem to "Sit In" the Caravan, more like "Perch" yourself up on the high tall seats. Not a bad thing. The four armrests can be all folded back for ease of access, they are chunky and nice. Note the excellent wear (worn) dirt on the rear of the two chairs, all nice attention to detail. Both front pilot seats are really well done, but feel a little posh for a utility aircraft in leather. Under seat frame is all lovely steel and again very nicely replicated. That large heavily hooded instrument panel is also very familiar, but set here though in a dull grey, not the more modern Carenado white... ... the quality and detail is exceptionally high, it feels like a very professional panel to use. Left is the same Caravan tall electrical tower (box?)... .... centre is another tall familiar C208B item in the pedestal. With a large chunky trim wheel left, Emergency Power handle, Single T Throttle, Propeller, Fuel Conditioner and Flap selection levers all set on top. Front on is another large rudder trim wheel, Aileron Trim and the fuel cutoff. Note the nicely done metal plated floor, that gives the aircraft a workhorse feel. The short stubby yokes are excellent. They have authentic Caravan branding, active electric trim and working ATC call switch... ... you can hide one yoke or both individually, unlike the only both together on the Carenado, very nice. It is a Standard Caravan layout in the default mode, and all clock instruments. The usual but highly effective annunciator panel, also known in some aircraft as the Centralized Warning Panel (CWP) or the Caution Advisory Panel (CAP). The Caravan panel version is however one of the best (looking) and can be set to DAY or NIGHT brightness, and the engine readouts and gauges are all set out beside the CAP under the glareshield with the two Fuel Gauges (GALs) far right. (External) Lighting panel is below left, Anti-Ice Panel below and the Internal lighting panel lower left. Flying instruments are basically stock standard for each pilot, but in this aircraft they are not locked in as we shall see. Each vent positioned at the end of the instrument panel has two way animated vents, and the glovebox (far right lower) opens to reveal a nice photo of the Thranda Team. 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) 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, Electric Tug, Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, GPU on/off, Cargo Pod on/off, 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 cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for rear fuselage and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both the cockpit doors 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 Engine Inlet covers, Pitot covers and Tie-Downs The "Engine Mode" feature toggles the engine realism between "Realistic" and "Simplified". In Simplified mode the engine will automatically limit the engine to remain below the maximum torque of 1,865 ft-lbs. In Realistic mode it will be up to the pilot to avoid exceeding the engine limitations. There is built in "Checklist" (lower right menu, arrowed). And very good it is, but here not in the the red, or checked green choices you used on the other Thranda aircraft, this checklist is just white text, but far better to read. You can have checklist pop-up or in a window mode and thankfully move it, and scale it even from the very small to the very large. 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. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is "liveries", there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 13 liveries or two blank and eleven designs (three are also cargo liveries), and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare. To note that a couple are very similar except for a different registration. 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. 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 and PZL-104, 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 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 are very good, and like noted you can add your own version to the list. Menu - Weight/Bal The Caravan also has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected and changed via the toggle Lbs/Kgs (arrowed). The Cargo Pod can be added or removed via the toggle top centre. This then adds in the Cargo Pod weight options on the right. 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 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. Same for the Cargo Pod if attached, once the baggage weight goes above 19 Lbs (9kgs) the bags start to appear in the pod. 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 passengers (with maybe a bag thrown in) then can you have your full tanks and the range. Each seating area has another function box. This allows you to control the seating, not only in weight, but the seats themselves as we saw earlier. The left box selects the seat and the type of seat, in say a single or a double. The right box arrow shows the direction of the set, in front facing or rear facing, it is better to set up the aircraft configuration here than using the earlier HotSpots as it is more direct. If you don't put the seats in, but add in the weight to the area... then the seats are replaced by Cargo Crates, it is brilliantly done and the cabin can also be configured to carry both passengers and cargo together. In reality you can spend hours on trying out different configurations for your different flying roles. Adding in passenger weight gives you a pilot (Daniel Klaue) and in the co-pilot seat his wife, but there are no rear passengers, and both are nicely actively body and head animated to the controls. Note... if you turn off the aircraft's electrical power or add the chocks o the wheels, then they both disappear. 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 mostly used with the floats option (not yet on the Caravan, but on the 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 four preset layouts. 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 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, or even swap the instruments around the panel to your liking, here I have swapped the NAV 2 pointer to the top, and the Autopilot Annunciator below the NAV 2 instrument.... because I can. You can even adjust the brightness of the instrument. When done I can "ADD" (or Duplicate) in a new "Preset", and then "SAVE" that new layout Preset (Preset 6/6). 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 is only optional to the boring Steel Grey, but Thanda notes more panel colours and styles are coming in an update, I hope they put in the Carendo white panel, as I liked that facia design a lot and miss it's inclusion here. 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 and the usual GNS 430/530 PS/Nav/Comm units. And there is a special 3d bezel for the insert of a RealityXp GTN 750 unit if you own that add on. The EFD 1000 which 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 KFC225 Autopilot. Highly notable and announced by Thranda is the coming soon option of a twin screen Garmin G1000 Avionics suite, which most modern Caravans now use. Menu - MISC The Misc (Miscellaneous) page is currently mostly under development... notes; COMING SOON - the C208 Expansion Pack, with Tundra Tyres and Mud Flaps, Executive Seats, Option for no De-Ice, Cargo Version, G1000 Version, Synthetic Vision and Amphibian (Floats) options. "DynaFeel" on the right is a system that dynamically adjusts the rate at which the controls deflect, 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. Links to both the Support Forums and to download the built-in Skunkcrafts Updater are also provided _____________________ Flying the Cessna Caravan One of my favorite flights in the (Carenado) C208B Caravan was from Launceston (YMLT) to Hobart (YMHB), but going the long way around via Nine Miles Beach and down the lower east coast of Tasmania, So I was itching to do it again. A sort of sightseeing plus passenger delivery flight in one. There are basically no waypoints on this route (there are very few anyway in Tasmania), so this was all headings and map work, but I know the route quite well anyway. I have a payload of 1,556 Lbs (706 Kgs), with six passengers and their bags, full all up weight was 7935 Lbs (3599 Kgs). Fuel was 261.4 Gal. I set the pitch trim a little nose down, I have a couple of heavey passengers and their bags swinging out in the rear. The Fuel switches are positioned overhead, and as there are only two (wing) tanks, overall there is 332 US gallons (1256.8 liters, 2224 lbs, or 1008.8 kg) for a total of usable Jet-A fuel available in the two tanks. On of the real highlights of the Carenado Caravan was starting that Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-114A, producing 675 SHP here. The startup sequence is full (FADEC) automatic, so all you do is throw the (start) switch... The turbine whine comes from deep inside the machine, then builds up consistently in whine and noise until the McCauley 3 bladed metal, constant speed, full feathering propellers starts to move. Sounds of this starting procedure is as good if not better than the Carenado version, so I'm very happy about that. And soon I have a clean annunciator panel, noting we are ready to go. Like a lot of Carendo aircraft their Caravan had a tendency to have too much power even set at throttle idle, unlatch the brakes you usually headed headlong straight into the scenery. Setting the mixture in the Idle setting here and with the letting go of the brakes, the Thranda Caravan will barely move (just a little), so taxiing is far more easier and wholly more realistic than the Carenado, it is a relief as well not to being always fighting the aircraft to make it slow down, or to continually fight the heavy forward thrust. So on the ground it is an easy aircraft with nice feel to manoeuvre around the airport layouts, I set the Flaps to 10º (0º-10º-20º-Full are all available flap selections). The NAV1/NAV2 pointers are not really usable out here, as there are no DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) or VOR waypoints until Hobart, so I'll use them later. I set the "Course" to 132º or the opposite direction directly from the YMLT departure Runway in 32L as a departure circuit guide. And we are ready to roll... Mixture to full rich, throttle up and off the brakes. The set weight under thrust feels perfect, so you quickly tune into the aircraft. Power builds very nicely until rotation around the 105 knts mark (flap 10º)... ... and climb-out is good around 120 knts and 8º pitch. Rate of Climb is 1,234 ft/min (6.27 m/s), but that depends on your weight, I feel even at the Rate of Climb limit you are pretty safe and will not lose any bleed of speed like here. Powering up out of Launceston, I am already loving the machine, sounds are deep down growling, with that faint turbo-whine on top... always loved the PT6A's sound and it is glorious here. Putting the flaps to retracted always brought a significant lowering of the nose, and so it does here, but it is easily corrected, once done the speed can now start to build faster to around 130 knts. You are always aware of the aircraft's handing on takeoff, but it is in that first turn that you get to grips with the machine, in how it reacts in the turn, how it turns, the feedback drumming into your brain and the back down to your physical commands reacting to the information. Pilots truly love the Caravan and I think I know why. It is not small in a General Aviation sense, so it does not feel too light or nervy, in the opposite the aircraft is not too big either to make it ponderous and heavyish, it has that sweet spot all to itself... the Caravan is just the perfectly sized aircraft. So the handing here is excellent in feedback and feel, and you are the master of the aircraft and not the other way around. Only blot on the landscape is that the nosewheel will always continue to rotate, even if you dab the brakes there is no action because the wheel is freewheeling with no brakes to slow the rotation. It looks good initially, but then you feel it should settle down from rotating later in the flight, it looks odd moving fast consistently even while flying slowly. Another 90º turn in the circuit puts you now going south with YMLT now to our right... still climbing. Up to our cruising altitude of 6,000 ft and I easily trimmed the aircraft out of the climb pitch, not onlt in pitch,, but in yaw as well... all the flying to this point has been in manual and I could have easily flown on the perfectly trimmed Caravan all the way to Hobart, but I wanted to check out the KFC 225 Autopilot. It is a nice bit of kit connected to the Aspen EFD 1000, and they work in nicely together... St Pauls Regional Reserve is to my right and surrounding it are two valleys, the northern one goes to St Mary's, and the southern route takes you to the coast over Royal George, and that is route I will take today. Sitting high and forward, means you view out is excellent, you can easily see the wings (for icing) as well... ... a slight turn to directly East and I head up the correct southern valley. Is it fair to comment when I am already a huge Caravan addict. But this is a far, far more better Caravan than the Carenado version beloved so much in the past. It feels and is far more modern, with better tools to use and everything in here works that you can touch. Take the Voltage selector left panel. Here you can select four different Voltages in; GEN (Generator), ALT (Alternating Current). BATT (Battery) and VOLT (Voltage). They all work as they should, and it is this sort of detail that gives you a more realistic and deeper simulation. As noted the Caravan is a brilliant commuter aircraft, really the best in it's class with really no competitors, so in this role you can't ask for anything better, and I am in my element here. The sounds are as noted to be already very good, but in the cruise there is a little repetitive droning, I got used to it, but think considering all the other perfect sonic areas it could be a little better. This engine feels like a real deep torquey tractor engine and you can run it hard at full throttle until the pressures start to show you that you should need back off a little, but that huge pull is there anytime you need it. Performance is very good depending on your configuration; Max speed is 186 knts (214 mph, 344 km/h) and Cruise Speed is around 159 knts (294 km/h) TAS, for a Range of 1,070 nmi (1,232 mi, 1,982 km), Because you have onboard oxygen the service ceiling is a high at 25,000 ft (7,600 m), but you would very rarely fly that high in this sort of aircraft. Lighting The Caravan's lighting is quite basic in theory. But well done to make it feel very authentic. Both the Taxi and Landing lights are both set into each wing, Navigation lights are simple red/green and a single white light in the tail, there is also a single beacon light on the tip of the tail, and the light touch LED strobes are perfect. The instrument panel lighting is again simplistic, but well adjusted via the four twin (x8) lighting knobs on the lower centre panel. The Caravan has indirect panel lighting and it looks gorgeous here. Left Front/Right Front instruments are separate, and you have Left Flood/Right Flood to cover the left Electrics panel (tower?) and the right hand side. Lower Panel (Pedestal), Overhead, Engine Instruments and Radios all have their own adjustable lighting knobs. Provided are two pilot/reading ceiling lights that are adjustable, and a separate centre placed switchable adjustable light, the roof Fuel switchers are also nicely back lit. As with most lighting today, you can adjust all the lighting down to just the instruments for takeoff or landings, again it looks great even in this basic lighting setting. In the Cabin, there is a "Cabin" switch, that switches on a light above the passenger door and a light left mid-cabin. The bonus is that there are eight (yes count them all) separate seating lights, and they are all fully adjustable. They take time to switch each on and adjust, then the same to turn them all off again with no global roof switch or set lighting preferences available, but it is all very well done. Externally the cabin lighting all looks extremely realistic as well... so the lighting overall is brilliant. Now we are getting well up and over Royal George and in the distance you can now see the Tasman Sea. To my right is my point of reference of the glorious Tasmanian Nine Miles Beach and the Freycinet Peninsula The non reference, non-photographic nature of the X-Plane textures does absolutely no justice at all to the area, in real life it is quite spectacular, but boring here. Now we are heading directly due south for Maria Island, which is again a spectacular National Park. You now have a choice? To get into Tiger Bay (the Derwent River estuary is further south), you can cut across the Marion Bay strip, or go around the full Tasman Peninsula (the famous Port Arthur Colony is on the southern part) and well worth the extra flight, if you have the time. I choose to cut over Marion Bay, reduce my speed and start to descend as I head into Tiger Bay, as YMHB airport can now be seen on my right. Both the VOR 1 and VOR 2 are now set on the EHSI, and so is the runway course 300º. There is no ILS into Hobart's Rwy 30, but there is one on the opposite Rwy 12 (109.90 IHB), so you can still use this Frequency as a guide on the approach into Rwy 30, which I did here. In this case it was a godsend, as the runway was hidden via the direct sunlight... Flaps at 20º, you do get a little flap balloon so you have to know your (or learn) speeds at each drop to smooth out each flap drop to get it perfect, in this way it does remind me very much of the Carenado approaches in the C208B in the same context. Speed is now under a 100 knts, and at 600 ft in the approach. "Full" Flap and your approach speed is now set at 80 knts, and it feels good. Throttle adjustment is nice to control the height, touch more and you hold the altitude, a touch less throttle and you slowly sink... personally I should have given myself slightly more runway as I know the Caravan's characteristics very well, 78 knts, should it be slightly slower?... well stall speed is 61 kn (70 mph, 113 km/h) calibrated air speed, so you do have a bit more movement there. ... I touch down a bit fast, but I have a great tool at my disposal, the C208B comes with significant reverse propeller thrust! Pull the throttle full rearwards and growl at that sound, it is glorious, and the speed quickly drops away. If you have the option, I would recommend using the foot pedal brakes to slow the aircraft, the regular braking action (set to my joystick pinky) is a bit weak, I get a lot more control and braking effort out of my foot pedals. During the last few years you had this horrible sinking feeling. The Carenado Caravan was now certainly feeling it's age, so what of flying it in the future, and in X-Plane12. Well that aspect has been well and truly fixed here and X-Plane12 will be supported when it is released. Even the winding down of the THAT Turbo-Prop engine feels so comforting... ... the Thranda Caravan delivers and easily eclipses the older aircraft, yes Dan Klaue has had his masterful hand over both of them, but here he is more free to add in a bit more (okay a lot more) of that outstanding Caravan magic. _________________ Summary We are no stranger to the Cessna Caravan in X-Plane. Carenado released a C208B way back in mid-2012, it later came with the longer Grand Caravan 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch Executive version and the CargoMaster variant. Over the decade it became the biggest seller and the most popular aircraft ever for Carenado in the X-Plane Simulator. But time marches on and in the last few years the Carenado version has felt very dated, and now out of tune with the current features of the simulator, the future of Carenado in X-Plane is very much in doubt as well. In that decade the Carenado fleet including the Caravan was managed by Dan Klaue, who later became Thranda Design. So here is Thranda's version of the C208B Caravan that has not only the original feel of the Carenado, but also comes with all the bells and whistles of a modern design, so this new version is certainly the best of both worlds, and will be supported in the coming new X-Plane version X-Plane12. Thanda has always lead the pack in design and features for the X-Plane Simulator, and all that energy is packed into any Thranda release, including this spectacular C208B Caravan. It comes with initially with all three variant's, the Standard Caravan, The Grand Caravan and the CargoMaster closed in version. There are both (clever) adaptable cabin seating and freight options, with the required lower Cargo Pod is also available. The Executive, Floats, Skis and Tundra Tyre versions with the G1000 Avionics will come later in an add on package. 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. Detail and modeling quality is off the scale, certainly when compared to the older dated Carenado C208B, but it is the more intricate detailing (animated vents and lighting, and functional areas) that really makes this C208B really outstanding. Highlights are an exposed Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A (under the cowling), great door arrangements, and lovely detailed interiors. Menu features including a very detailed weight&Balance menu with CofG graph, expansive static elements, checklists and a great sound menu. Negatives, your not going to find many as the aircraft is very well developed in the first place, so I will say niggles here. The complex rear seating/cargo feature sometimes has a mind of it's own, so it need a default setting to stop you laboriously having to reset everything back to normal on each flight. Sounds overall are dynamically excellent, but I can't tune into the cruise droning, it maybe authentic, but it feels to looped to me. The Cargo pod bins doors are all or nothing (like on the Carenado), and the extensive seat roof lighting is time consuming to switch all on then switch all off again with only a basic Global default switch setting, notable there is the All Internal lighting on/off, but a save to your lighting preferences would be nice. The missing white instrument panel from the Carenado version, I not particularly attracted to the dull slate grey, but there is a good chance it will be coming in "Executive" Pack. Also to be aware of the large 5Gb Download. The Cessna Caravan is a very unique aircraft, the perfect pilot's machine in not being too small, but also not too big and cumbersome either, it is the sweet spot of aircraft, hence it's huge popularity. Thranda Design have certainly done it justice here, with everything (and more) you would ever want of an almost perfect C208B Caravan. Priced well under the US$50 (US$44.95) it is brilliant value as well. For most it will be a brilliant replacement for an old beloved favorite, for the rest of us the new Thranda version of the C208B Caravan will be one of the best single-prop commuter aircraft in the X-Plane Simulator today, always a legend... this Thranda Caravan just elevates the C206B package to a whole new different higher, and a more modern level... Highly Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here: Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series Price is US$44.95 Two Models in One - Both are included in this package C208 Caravan 675 C208 Grand Caravan Both planes come with passenger and cargo versions Special features: 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 4 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. Realistic custom fuel system. 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, 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, 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, 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 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 11 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Pratt ^ Whitney PT6A-114A turboprop engine Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Realism settings for engine (simplified vs. realistic modes) Custom ITT logic, to get the startup ITT temperature right. 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 Cargo Pod, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics. Individually load weights in different sections of the Cargo Pod via the pop-up menu Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures. 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. Control individual seat positions, or hide them altogether, to create a hybrid passenger/cargo version. 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. Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active Caravan pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The Caravan is a well-behaved airplane and a very stable IFR platform. Easy to fly, but extremely capable! The Caravan is equally comfortable at the world's busiest airports as well as back country dirt strips. Detailed fuel system, including the small reservoir tank and the fuel selector warning alarms. Extensively simulated electrical system, including the battery, avionics busses, generator, starter, external power, and standby alternator system. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. Advanced FMOD-based sound system: 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 Requirements X-Plane 11 Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5 GB (yes, very large file) Current version 1.0.3 (April 13th 2022) ___________________________________ Installation and documents: download for the Thranda_C208_Caravan is 4.67Gb and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder. Full Installation is 5.24Gb Documents supplied are: 208BG1000POH.pdf Caravan 675 Performance Charts.pdf Caravan Manual.pdf Changelog.txt G1000_CessnaCaravan_CockpitReferenceGuide.pdf Grand Caravan Performance Charts.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 C208B 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 C208 Grand caravan by Thranda _____________________ Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton 28th April 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - S1700 Core i7 12700K 12 Core 3.60 GHz CPU / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo M2 2TB SSD - Sound : Yamaha Speakers YST-M200SP Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.55 Plugins: Global SFD plugin US$30.00 : Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : RK Apps XPRealistic v2 - US$34.99 Scenery or Aircraft YMLT - Launceston, Australia 1.60 by CDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free YMHB - Hobart International Airport & YCBG Cambridge Aerodrome 1.0 by TDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free (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 : 208 Cessna Caravan by Thranda Design Back in early February 2022, Thranda Design announced their next aircraft of being the C208 Cessna Caravan. Now the aircraft{s) have been released and just weeks out from Easter. The aircraft comes in two variants with the C208 Caravan 675 and the C208 Grand Caravan, and both planes come with passenger and cargo versions. All the aircraft also come with the Thranda feature of "Dynamic Generation Series". Thranda Design had in a previous life did the developer management of the Carenado 206B Caravan, so Thranda are not new to the design or the dynamics of the 206 Cessna Caravan. The feature list in being typical Thranda is HUGE! Special features: 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 4 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. Realistic custom fuel system. 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, 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, 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, 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 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 11 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Fully modelled Pratt ^ Whitney PT6A-114A turboprop engine. Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Realism settings for engine (simplified vs. realistic modes) Custom ITT logic, to get the startup ITT temperature right. 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 Cargo Pod, with realistically simulated weight, momentum, rotational inertia, and drag characteristics. Individually load weights in different sections of the Cargo Pod via the pop-up menu Option to start up running (all systems ready), or cold-and-dark, for realistic startup procedures. 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. Control individual seat positions, or hide them altogether, to create a hybrid passenger/cargo version. 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. Flight dynamics and systems: Detailed and accurate flight dynamics and weight and balance with the help of multiple real-world active Caravan pilots. This not only gives this aircraft the proper "feel", but also accurate takeoff, climb, cruise, and landing performance. The Caravan is a well-behaved airplane and a very stable IFR platform. Easy to fly, but extremely capable! The Caravan is equally comfortable at the world's busiest airports as well as back country dirt strips. Detailed fuel system, including the small reservoir tank and the fuel selector warning alarms. Extensively simulated electrical system, including the battery, avionics busses, generator, starter, external power, and standby alternator system. Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds. Advanced FMOD-based sound system: 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 Passenger and Cargo options CargoMaster Dynamic Generation Series Developer Dan Klaue notes... "all the Thranda Dynamic Generation Series goodies... dynamic liveries, dynamic panels, dynamic dirt controls, DynaFeel flight dynamics enhancement, dynamically configurable for cargo, passenger, and executive version, and a whole lot more things that can be altered and configured without the need to restart the plane." Images are courtesy of Thranda Design Support forum for the C208 Grand caravan by Thranda ________________________________________ The Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series by Thranda Design is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore!... Here: Cessna 208 Grand Caravan DGS series Price is US$44.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Support for X-Plane 12 when available Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 5 GB (yes, very large file) Current version 1.0 (April 2nd 2022) ________________ News by Stephen Dutton 2nd April 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Right Reserved.
  6. News! - Update : Kodiak Quest G1000 DGS Series v2.2.1 by Thranda Design Thranda Design have updated their Kodiak Quest G1000 DGS Series to version 2.2.1. The update covers both the Aircraft version and the Expansion package that added in the; Cargo version, Ski Version, Amphibian (Float) Version and a Tundra tired version (both aircraft packages still have to be downloaded separately and merged). Version 2.2.1 (January 27th 2021) Tweaked airfoils so less nose-down trim is required in cruise flight Fixed yaw damper being stuck on when using the G1000 bezel autopilot Fixed missing menu clickspots for tiedowns when using the Amphibian Increased idle fuel flow to be more realistic Added green Engine Inlet Norm annunciator STEC55 Autopilot: AUTO mode for yaw damper will turn it on and off with AP servos Added visual feedback to "Load" and "Save" buttons on Weight and Balance pop-up Fixed range of anti-ice intensity knob Fixed water rudder to retract/deploy depending on where you start Amphibian tie-downs can be independently removed ELT sound fixed Basically the Kodiak is another option to the Cessna Caravan in size, and the aircraft powered by the same Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop, 750 shp (560 kW) takeoff power (700 shp (520 kW) continuous) engine. The aircraft also comes with Thranda's unique "DGS - Dynamic Generation Series" that takes full advantage of X-Plane's flexibility for in-sim, real-time modifications to the currently loaded aircraft. You can update the Thranda Kodiak via the Skunkcraft's Updater or redownload the v2.2.1 version from the X-Plane.OrgStore which is now available for download... Support forum for the Kodiak Quest is here ____________________________________ Yes! the Quest Kodiak by Thranda (Dan Klaue) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Quest Kodiak G1000 DGS by Thranda Price is US$33.95 If you already own the original Quest Kodiak then this update is free, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and upgrade to v2.2.1 The original separate packages of the Kodiak Aircraft and the Expansion Pack have now been merged under one price and a single package! Features Include (Expansion Pack): AMPHIBIAN VERSION (Floats with Retractable Landing Gear) SKI VERSION (with animated skis that adapt to ground angle and bumpiness) EXECUTIVE INTERIOR (with seats facing each other, and animated slide-out tables). Weight and balance manager graphics adapt to seating configuration. CARGO VERSION (featuring covered windows, flat loading area, and cargo visualization that adapts to the weight set in the weight and balance manager) TUNDRA VERSION (featuring larger balloon tires to tackle any rough terrain. Affects flight dynamics and ground handling) Amphibian version includes control for retractable water rudder, extra aerodynamic surfaces on the tail of the plane, retractable gear, and dynamic paint scheme adapted textures. Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version 2.2.1 (January 27th 2021) The plane comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 (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)
  7. NEWS! - New Aircraft from Thranda Design - Cessna Caravan! Thranda Design have announced their next project. It will be a Cessna Caravan in two different variants, a C208 Caravan 675 and a C208B Grand Caravan. Nice! The Cessna 208 Caravan is a utility aircraft produced by Cessna. The project was commenced on November 20, 1981, and the prototype first flew on December 9, 1982. The production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984 and its Cargomaster freighter variant was developed for FedEx. The 4 ft (1.2 m) longer 208B Super Cargomaster first flew in 1986 and was developed into the passenger 208B Grand Caravan. The strutted, high wing 208 typically seats nine passengers in its unpressurized cabin, is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A tractor turboprop and has a fixed tricycle landing gear, floats or skis. By November 2017, 2,600 have been delivered and 20 million flight hours logged. Caravans are used for flight training, commuter airlines, VIP transport, air cargo and humanitarian missions. There is an old version Carenado Caravan in X-Plane, but it is now highly dated. No word on if a CargoMaster variant will later become available, but I am very confident it will be added on as a upgrade. Production images have been released here. Dan Klaue notes... "all the Thranda Dynamic Generation Series goodies... dynamic liveries, dynamic panels, dynamic dirt controls, DynaFeel flight dynamics enhancement, dynamically configurable for cargo, passenger, and executive version, and a whole lot more things that can be altered and configured without the need to restart the plane." Release time, who knows but Thranda note that "but we are now entering the final stages of production... and it's feeling great! " Notable is that Thranda has in a previous life did the developer management of the Carenado Caravan, so Thranda are not new to the design or dynamics of the Cessna Caravan... Put it on your wish list now! Developer thread is here.... Thranda Cessna 208 Caravan / Grand Caravan ___________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 4th February 2022 Copyright©2022: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  8. Aircraft Review : Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter by Thranda Design The de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver was a jack of all trades sort of aircraft, but the one thing it was and built on it's success was that it was versatile. But it was also a very old design in being created in the late forties and by the sixties there was the need for a replacement aircraft with better all round capabilities. The requirements required more power, more range and more carrying capacity than the DHC-2 had to offer and oddly enough the challenge came not from Canada or even the United States, but from Pilatus Aircraft of Switzerland. The first version with a 254 kW (340 shp) pistoned-engined aircraft PC-6 first flew in 1959. But it was when an early turboprop powerplant version that became available for the PC-6 with the Garrett Air Research TPE 331 that the aircraft really came then into it's own class. But the TPE 331 didn't last long either as in May 1996 with the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A engine performed its own maiden flight and the PT6A really then cemented the Porter's reputation and a direct replacement for the DHC-2, the Beaver's production ended just two years later. Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter by Thranda Design Considering the popularity of the PC-6 Porter the aircraft has been thin on the ground for X-Plane users. There has been a few freeware versions but nothing substantial. This PC-6 version was started as a project by Daniel Klaue (now Thranda Design) that if X-Plane wanted a PC-6 it was going to be the best PC-6 he could deliver, But as Thranda grew the project was slowly put in the background around all the other commitments. It was of course never forgotten and In reality the aircraft is now totally redone as is required by the demands of modern simulation, so there is not much relation to the original version, and of course Dan Klaue has to put his own innovative spin on the aircraft. The Pilatus PC-6 looks brilliant, this is a high quality Porter to die for... let us look at the detail. Modeling and design is now at a very high level, certainly from certain developers. Daniel Klaue is one of the most prominent X-Plane developers so you are going to get nothing more that the very best, and certainly that is the case here. The detailing is simply astonishing, every panel and every rivet is accounted for, and the PC-6's unique tail design is very well replicated. Also is the overall lovely modeling curves as there are no square edge shapes in here. Wing aerofoil shape is gaze over beautiful in design... Main front wheel gear is very frame like in design, even simplistic in keeping with the rugged utility design of the aircraft, but the detail of the struts and supports is excellent, even the frame welds can be seen... note the extended suspension rubbers and nut and bolt assembly... amazing detail. And so is the complex rear stabiliser, and here you can highlight the perfect detail of the aircraft in the rear wheel assembly, control cables and even the labels on the rear wheel strut is perfection. Note the cable controlled fine trim edge tabs, and they work. A lot of the glass areas are just flat, but the main windscreen is a complex, convexed and has a large helicopter feel... here again with all the glass it is highly realistic and you can have the tint on or clear glass. Cabin The cabin has two-abreast six seats, in check blue trim, very modern. Side doors can be left open in flight if required, but would scare the bejesus out of anyone actually sitting in there, unless you were going for a parachute jump. Under seat detail is excellent, with no thin spindly legs here... Wall panels are pure metal with rivets and so good you want to wipe them down, and perfect detailing is highly realistic with lovely circular windows around the green tinted glass, note the first aid box. Currently there is no cargo version, but I expect Thranda to do that version as most Porter's are used for remote field delivery services. Cockpit The PC-6's cockpit is very basic in a utilitarian way, with just metal frames with all the controls or instruments added or bolted on... ... control sticks are too low to hide, so there is not that option, rudder pedals are as basic as the ones you use with your simulator, it is a simple moving bar and extra pedals for brakes, air and heat piping is visible and again something you would buy from your hardware store. Entry doors are quite narrow, but again helicopter deep glass, so looking down is easy, to note the whole cockpit with the high ceiling glass and long glass doors feels very open and you are sitting far up and higher than the cabin behind. I like the roof mounted slung seatbelts, they flow nicely down from the bar. Note those big red handles on each side of the cockpit eject the full door in an emergency, but sadly that doesn't work here The prominent forward metal frame bar creates a shelf, but items like the quadrant and flap switch/rudder trim, clock (right) and Interrupt and Alternate trims are bolted directly on to the frame... ... three levers control "Prop", Throttle "Power" and Mixture "Idle" which has a safety gate. The lever to the through the panel push-pull rod is expertly crafted and has excellent realistic animation, T shaped throttle lever looks like a twin throttle handle but it isn't. Flap selections are UP (0 degrees), TO (28 degrees) and LND (35 degrees). Instrument Panel The instrument panel in this Thranda PC-6 is unique as it can be configured to your own personal preferences, but first we will look at the default layout of the panel. The Porter is a strictly one pilot aircraft, rarely does it have two but the stick and rudder controls are provided in the second seat. So all the instrumentation is set to the left and around the pilot's eyes. Clear and concise, most instruments are quite large and really well done here. Standard Six covers Airspeed Indicator (knots), Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row. Below is a ADF/VOR pointer, Heading Dial and Backup Attitude Indicator. Third row has a Vertical Speed Indicator, Turn Coordinator and Fuel Gauge (litres), far left lower is a Radar Altitude Dial. A note about the two Altitude Indicators in that the top row version only moves per hundred feet in a click, which I really like, unlike the backup standard clock dial version. Centre panel left has four dials with two small top and two larger lower to cover the engine performance with (small) Prop RPM speed x 100 and gas generator RPM or Ng %, and below below (large) are the Torque psi and ITT or Inter Turbine Temperature gauge. Avionics package includes both the GNS 530 and the GNS 430 GPS units, a Garmin GTX327 transponder and bottom is a Garmin GNA 340 radio set. Right side instrument panel has a few more engine readouts, these include the Indicators for the oil temperature, pressure, and fuel pressure which are combined into a single gauge top... ... below is a ammeter and an voltmeter, the PC-6 utilises a 28V electrical system. A single 24V battery is installed to provide power for engine starting and as a secondary source for DC power. A 300-amp starter generator provides normal power at 28 volts. Far right is a suction gauge (Vacuum). Centre right panel is a Hobbs counter and a lovely Whisky Compass centre screen. There are two wing tanks of 170 US gallons each (643.5 liters, 1147.5 lbs, or 520.5 kg) of total of usable Jet-A fuel. These wing tanks gravity-feed into a small 2.9 gallon collector tank located behind the cabin rear bulkhead, which feeds the engine. The twin fuel tank gauges are lower right, in compliment with the total fuel gauge at the lower SS position. Dials are really well done and look really nice. All lower circuit breakers are active and here (arrowed) fuses 5 and 10 are pulled... The electrical switchgear is set out in two rows, top external lighting and lower Master (Power), Generator and various other generic electrical power switches. There is a panel each end of the instrument panel. To the right is a De-Ice system with ampere gauge. Left is the optional external fuel tank panel... ... each under-wing external tank holds 49 additional gallons (185.5 liters, 330.7 lbs, or 150 kg) of usable fuel. The external tanks are really well done, but makes the Pilatus look very military. Notable is the ADF panel sitting down between the two seats, hard to use in a simulator way, but again well done. Each of the end of shelf airvents are fully animated, for movement and flow. Customising The Thranda PC-6 Porter can be highly customised to suit your taste. So in reality there is no default instrument setup. Menu is selected via an arrow tab left screen (it can be scrolled clear), on the menu is the "PANEL" selection. This brings up the dynamic panel options... Top row of options are 4 different panel backgrounds, Default Grey, White, Black and Blue. (Note all options can be mouse scrolled) Below is the "PANEL PRESET" that has six different Presets. Items include, Pilot glareshield switch panel, Aspen EFD 1000, RealityXP GNS 530W/430W or GTN 750/650 Touch 3D bezels (these are optional addons) and (arrowed) S-Tec 55x autopilot. But that is not all for the tinkers! You also have an "EDIT MODE" that gives you access to all of the 44 individual instruments and avionic units... .... basically you can start with a completely blank panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout... and have up to or can save 14 different layouts... for absolute layout choice it is crazy! For those that find instruments are not to their liking in say, "I wish I could move that altitude meter a bit more to the left", then here you can adjust that, or even swap instruments around to your liking, here above I have swapped over the DME range with the Airspeed Indicator, why because I can. This customised panel feature is a very Thranda (Dan Klaue) sort of options galore "I'll give you everything" sort of fun aspect of their aircraft. It is very clever and will make a lot of users very happy out there. Alpine Avionics Evolution Final instrument note is the EFD 1000 which 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 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 can be used with the S-TEC 55x and all panels as seen above pop-out. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. Three selections cover group items but any one item via "Click Spots" 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 propeller and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both cockpit doors, both cabin sliding doors and the twin engine cover doors, and open the panels and it exposes inside a lovely recreated PT6A-27 turboprop, flat-rated to 550 SHP (47.3 psi at 2000 RPM) this is the Pilatus PC-6 B2/H4 version represented. The Engine can be set into two modes... SIMPLIFIED or REALISTIC In Simplified mode the engine will automatically limit the engine to remain below the maximum torque of 47.3 psi. In Realistic mode it will be up to the pilot to avoid exceeding the engine limitations. The propeller gearbox or propeller shaft can break if the torque limit is exceeded by a certain margin, resulting in engine failure and smoke in the cabin (the smoke can be cleared by pulling the firewall air shutoff control closed). There is a very nice GPU (Ground Power Unit) and an Electric Tug on the rear tailwheel, that is controlled via your joystick. There is the selection of a SIMPLIFIED or REALISTIC tailwheel actions. in Simplified mode the tailwheel is standard X-Plane rudder connected yaw in a range of +- 30 degrees, In Realistic mode it functions as in the real aircraft. There is a section in the manual relating to steering in the freewheeling mode. Other General menu selections cover Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, External Fuel Tanks show/hide, Chocks and brakes on/off. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can ALL INT - Internal lights. The lights can also be accessed on the aircraft graphic including the extending and retraction of the end of the wing landing/taxi lights, this action can be a bit fiddly and slow but clever. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is liveries, there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 16 liveries or one blank and fifthteen designs, and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare. To note that a couple are very similar except for a different registration. 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. 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... ... when done you can "save" the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. It was quite easy, but I found the dash symbol - couldn't be inserted in the registration except for the lower case version? So I had to take it out. Two extras can also be added to the livery with the PC-6 logo which is very nice and the Pilatus Manufacturer logo as well, the final result is excellent. Menu - Weight/Bal The PC-6 has a great Weight and Balance menu. Lbs and Kgs which can be selected via the toggle... .... Fuel can be added and use the twin-external tanks and they are then shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above). Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are all shown on a graph, when done you can save the configuration and reload it. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. To the right is the internal default views to be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FOV or Field of View is adjustable via a slider. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. 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... press the left-hand screw and you get a audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is excellent. Slew mode Slew mode is experimental, but allows you to manually move the aircraft around in X-Plane. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the plane, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy! Having a go, I suddenly found myself dangling in the air, with a ground crash coming very soon after, so use with care? Menu - MISC The Misc page is currently just a placeholder for future content. It is noted to check regularly for more information on upcoming features and configurations for the PC-6, noted coming is a "Expansion Pack" like Thranda did with the Kodiak. Flying the PC-6 Porter First you have to understand the unique attraction to the PC-6 Porter. It is as they say a "Seat of the Pants" aircraft, true pilot's love the Porter because of the feel and reaction the aircraft has under their control. So if you need to get into an impossible remote landing strip then in most cases it will be with a Porter... short, rough even steep gradients are all challenges that the PC-6 can take on with it's incredible STOL - Short Takeoff and Landing capabilities. But also remember that in front of you is a PT6A-27 turboprop flat- rated to 550 shp, turning a large Hartzell 4-bladed constant speed propeller. It is like having a powerful V8 engine attached to a Go-Kart, and your case a monster of an engine attached to a frame that you are sitting in... so the PC-6 is unique in the way you handle it, or fly it... overall you can see the immense attraction to pilots it has. Also it is a taildragger, or in this case a dragging tail with a load of power at the other end, so you really have to put the throttle up sensitive slow unless you don't want to cartwheel into scenery, really all you need is slight bit's of power until the tail lifts and you get some aerodynamic control, easy? no. That unusual tail design feels a bit small against the power and huge asymmetrical side thrust, so you really need to work hard early to keep the Porter straight, and you will use a fair bit of left rudder to counter the powerful thrust effects in the lower takeoff speeds. Once that tail is in the air you can now feel more control of the aircraft and also put the throttle up to takeoff power, but still build up the speed slowly... .... certainly the weight of the aircraft (say fully loaded) and then using flaps can make a huge difference in the takeoff run distance, but around just under 90 knts in the white zone you can finally leave the runway... If you have the runway then I say use it, as you have more control that way. The PC-6 has a rate of climb of 1,010 ft/min, or a 1,000fpm. But it can easily climb that rate at the limit and still gain speed. Service ceiling is 8,197 m (26,893 ft). Thranda do note the engine limits and to certainly the need not to exceed the parameters, as that would be easy with the power you have available, but now in the air and at your altitude it is time to trim the Porter. The electric trim is on the joystick and very easy to use (I have a keyboard trim setup), the trim display is left top on the instrument panel (arrowed). The PC-6 is super easy to trim via the vertical and a couple of flicks left of the rudder trim should have you easily flying hands off stick neutral, in fact you don't need an autopilot as the Porter will fly trimmed straight into the horizon very easily... Maximum speed is 232 km/h (144 mph, 125 kn) Vno, Vne: 151 knots or cruise at 213 km/h (132 mph, 115 kn). Range is 730 km (450 mi, 390 nmi) with maximum payload and Ferry range is around 1,612 km (1,002 mi, 870 nmi) with maximum internal and those twin-underwing fuel tanks. Banking requires a bit of back-stick pressure to keep the nose up... ... trimmed correctly the PC-6 is more like playing a musical instrument than flying as you are so tuned into the feel and controls, with then only the slight stick movements to guide or move the aircraft... you are flying like an artist. You can even adjust your altitude just by reducing the power, pull the throttle back and down you go, too steep then you can climb by pushing the throttle back up to counter the fall, and all without moving the stick... If you are quite good at this flying thingy... you can set the approach into a nice glide down just by using only the throttle, and with only slight direction movements that can point you directly onto the runway... ... at the right height flare off the nose down attitude to rub off the speed... when the speed is around 80 knts and a good 15 knts into the white zone you can drop the flaps to 28º, this effect will then drag the speed down to the approach speed of 60 knts, lovely is fact there is no flap lift, or unbalance as the aircraft slows down, you feel the lift but not that secondary sinking feeling with less power... and it is all smooth as. Drop the flap to the full 36º and your speed will rub off to 55 knts, you are still flying at this speed but any less power and then you will lose height. Stall speed is only slightly below your approach speed at 96 km/h (60 mph, 52 kn). Approaching the runway you become extremely aware of that huge four poster prop sticking right out there in front of you... ... so I do an almost three point landing to keep the nose up, this also gives me a very short landing distance, but I don't have to touch the brakes either to run off the last of the speed., two wheels landing are fine, but you habitually still keep the tail down, braking too quickly of course could tip you up nose first, broken propeller second. Yes the flying was easy, but let us not get too cocky here as this aircraft is not for total amateurs, skills were needed to do the right procedure, right speed at the right place to get that extremely exciting landing, but if you are good at flying like this, then the Porter will reward you back a thousand times over... the PC-6 is brilliant to fly. Note that you can update the PC-6 Porter by the SkunkCraft's updater, also you can opt in to the "beta" program on the updater if you want to be brave, but to be aware in having some interesting things happen to the Pilatus, as Dan Klaue is always coming up with something different. Lighting Overall the PC-6 lighting is quite basic, but still good. The main instruments can be adjusted via a knob left panel. Overhead cockpit lighting is one simple on/off red light. In the rear are just two rear sidewall cabin lights. I wondered if the Porter should have a couple of those adjustable map spotlights that Thranda do so well and one for the pilot and one for the front seat passenger? External has two end of wing drop down LED landing/taxi lights which are quite powerful, and you can adjust the beams angles to suit your landing approach which I like to do... Nice red flashing beacons can be top or both, but you can switch to flashing strobes (whites) instead. Navigation lighting is very good for wings and tail. Only note is that the lighting panel is slightly confusing to use, and it's placement lower right panel is also hard to use (reach) so the menu is usually the better option. _______________________________ Summary One of the most versatile and even a workhorse background utility aircraft, the Swiss built Pilatus PC-6 Porter is on of the most coveted pilot dream machines for its basic but powerful design, extremely flexible for its amazing STOL capabilities this is one of the most rugged and the best get in and then out of remote areas fixed-wing aircraft available. Daniel Klaue needs no introduction if you have been in X-Plane for a period of time, certainly one of the most innovative but talented developers that is highly regarded within the simulator. This is Thranda's second official release after the Kodiak of which was another if larger utility aircraft. This is a Dan Klaue aircraft and so you expect a lot of ideas and clever features and certainly the PC-6 Porter does not disappoint in that department. Modeling and detail is absolutely first rate, this is an excellent Porter aircraft with a lovely design and high quality. Detaining is excellent, nothing to comment on as every detail and more is covered. You can though a innovative menu system create your own instrument panel layout or layouts as up to 14 different layouts of 44 instruments and avionics can be saved with 6 default layouts including a Aspen EFD 1000 with S-Tec 55x autopilot, and the panel is also RealityXP GNS 530W/430W or GTN 750/650 Touch with 3D bezels ready. A huge selection of 20 liveries is still complimented with a feature to create your own colour scheme and livery, then you can save them as well. Advanced FMOD-based sound system is of course recorded from a real PC-6 and PT6 engine, a full audio-mixing desk gives you total control with detailed cockpit sounds... in other words it is pretty damn good. Negatives are very few, internal lighting is basic and some lighting controls are hard to use (reach) but compensated for in the extensive menu. Really wanted a cargo version, but that is noted as still coming? Simply a pilot's aircraft to fly and love, the Pilatus PC-6 Porter is extremely responsive to your inputs, but that is why you love this aircraft, skills are required to get the very best out of the machine as it is a powerful taildragger, but even the most early cadet pilots will love it. Huge feature list and a great value price, this is the perfect PC-6 Porter you always dreamed of, what more can you ask for! _______________________________ Yes! the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter Price is US$34.95 Features First plane to include FULLY configurable 3D instrument panel Move any instrument to any location on the panel, or even between pilot and copilot's seat! Supports 3rd party RealityXP GTN750 instrument. 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. 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. Dynamic livery editor (like in the Kodiak) Create "virtual" liveries, based on one common design layout, and assign any color to any available paint segment. Quickly create preview of livery in real-time, using intuitive controls Apply selected livery in real-time Option to include/hide manufacturer logo and "PC-6" sign Option to change the tail number in real-time, or disable it altogether Easily and quickly create dozens of paint schemes in-sim! Also supports 12 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window SkunkCrafts Updater Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision Feature-rich elegant fly-out menu with the following features: Realism settings for engine and tail wheel (simplified vs. realistic modes) 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, engine compartment enclosure Option to enable/disable wing tanks, 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 Control retractable landing lights via scroll wheel (independent left/right, Infinitely variable tilt, to use lights for both taxi and landing purposes.) Ground power unit, with modeled cart 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 will be updated as progress on the expansion pack continues. Now it's a placeholder page that provides links to support forums, SkunkCrafts Updater, and the Kodiak Flight dynamics and systems: The PC6 has quite a few very unique flight characteristics, including the ability to enter Beta mode in flight, and these are faithfully reproduced. (This allows for very steep descents.) The real PC6 is considered to be a real STOL workhorse, whose flight characteristics and excellent STOL capabilities are calibrated to maximum precision in the sim Details, such as the condition lever latch mechanism and a functional throttle gate add to the realism Sliding passenger doors respond to G-forces, so when returning from a parachute drop, while on a steep descent, the doors will roll shut. Over-torquing the engine will cause shaft damage, when in "realistic" mode. This can result in prop loss, cabin smoke, terrifying turbine shaft friction sounds, etc Smoke in engine can be brought under control by killing the "Firewall Air" via cabin lever Tie-downs and chocks actually keep the plane from moving, even in high winds Advanced FMOD-based sound system: High fidelity, multi-track sounds with smooth transitions 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 Prop pitch produces characteristic aerodynamic aural effects, especially during Beta and Reverse mode. Individual buttons and switches in the cockpit each have their own unique sound. Realistic electrical sounds, based on bus load and other factors (Sounds actually give you clues as to what's happening under the hood) Realistic oxygen flow sound effects Combustion roar sound typical for turboprop engines -recorded from real PT6 engine 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) Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4Gb VRAM Minimum. 8Gb+ VRAM Recommended The plane comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 Current and Review version 1.1 (June 6th 2020) _______________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 1.60gb 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. Documents supplied are: PC-6 Manual.pdf Thranda Pilatus PC6 Joystick Settings.pdf Thranda Pilatus PC6 Graphics Settings XP11.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf Thranda PC6 Documentation.pdf A Blank Livery (PNG) of four files are provided for painting. Checklists and loads of Performance graphs are provided in the manual. ______________________________________________________________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  6th June 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.41 and X-Plane 11.50b10 (fine in the beta, but the Librain effects don't work?) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Skunkcrafts Updater Scenery or Aircraft - CZST - Stewart by Beti-x (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$25.80
  9. Aircraft Update : PZL 104 Wilga 2000 Dynamic Generation Series v1.1 by Thranda Whoa! That was seriously quick... usually the time from the initial release to the nice little extras is around two to three months, but weeks! Thank You very much, I'll take that one! And nice little extras they are as well. The Polish PZL 104 Wilga now comes with both a Float and Amphibious version of the aircraft. X-PlaneReviews covered the huge feature list and the details in our exclusive review here: Aircraft Review : PZL-104 Wilga 2000 by Thranda Design. Download this v1.1 update and install (replace?) the release version in your aircraft folder, and you will now get two (.acf) versions of the Wilga... One selection is the original wheeled "Wilga PZL 104", and the second is the new variant of the "Wilga PZL 104 Seaplane". Amphibious version There are two options with the "Seaplane", one is the "Amphibious" version and the other is the "Floats" version. We will look at the Amphibious version first. The land based Amphibious version, is excellent... if you have already most Thranda aircraft (DHC-2 Beaver, Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter) you would know the sort of design and quality that you would get with this option on the aircraft... the detail of the Floats and gear is of the usual high quality from Thranda... the days of front sticks and bland rudders are now well and truly behind us. Detail is right down to components and even the nuts and bolts of the detailing, plus the springs and screw levers set out on the rudder boards, and all the required and detailed (Warning) signage... they are really very well professionally modeled to perfection, right down to even the perfect riveting of the pontoons. Raising and lowering of both the undercarriage and the twin rudders is via controls in the cockpit. The Rudders are lowered and raised by a pulley system situated on the left window screen pillar, touch the ring and the pulleys goes down to the lower hook and that action lowers the rudders.... very simple but very effective. You can also raise and lower the Rudders via the pop-out MENU/MISC that is situated on the tab on the far left centre of your screen. Notable here, is that it is the same Menu option point to switch from the "Amphibious version" to the non-wheeled "Float version" lower left box. The undercarriage is retracted and lowered via a panel set centre instrument panel... the panel's lights can also be set to be bright or DIM, if flying at night. On the water the floats... "well float nice". You are certainly (obviously) sitting far higher up than in the wheeled version, but this aspect is more noticeable in such a small aircraft... the other point to make is power... ... the Wilga 2000 Textron Lycoming IO-540-K1D5 naturally-aspirated rated engine at 290 horsepower at 2,575 RPM is a powerful powerplant for an aircraft of it's size, but you are now also weighting it down with a huge platform and the pontoons sitting below you, so it takes out a lot of your speed and drag, both in the water and in the air... the Wilga is not sluggish by any means, but you more than feel the extra load you are carrying around. So the usual is required, a bit of flap (not too much because of flap drag), keep the nose up (heaven's... you don't want that pontoons to go under nose first), and at around 50 knts you should clear the water... once up retract the flaps and rudders for more forward and climb speed. In the air the Wilga looks really good, even and if actually better proportioned than with those usual bendy wheels out front. Floats version Like noted, you switch over to the clean float version via the MENU/MISC selection... again even without the undercarriage it shows off the nice lines of the floats, the high quality textures and built in PBR (Physical Based Rendering) looks and also gives you some very natural and nice reflections. Slew Mode With the Float and Amphibious versions now available, it also allows you to use the Thranda feature "Slew Mode"... this feature over-rides the X-Plane positioning and movement dynamics. It is accessed again on the MENU/AUDIO-SLEW panel far right. Basically you can control the heading (Delta) in degrees, and move the aircraft in any 2d direction via a cross-hair control... It is a cool little tool that is mostly used to dock or manoeuvre the aircraft into jetties or docking areas. But remember however to turn the Slew feature off when going back to X-Plane or using the replay mode... if not then you can then find yourself in Space! Elon Musk would be jealous... Liveries The Floats are all matched up to the same liveries as on the aircraft, giving the aircraft a completeness... no grey standardised pontoons here. Two other updates areas with the release of v1.1 includes : -Fixed strobe lights and improved nav light visualizations -Touched up some PBR graphics ________________ Summary Very quickly after their release of the Polish PZL 104 Wilga 2000 from Thranda Design, now comes the additions of both a Float and Amphibious versions of the aircraft. Usually released months later, these great new features have come at a quick clip to expand out the versatility of this great little aircraft, this also brings in the use of the great "Slew" tool that allows you to manoeuvre the aircraft into jetties or docking areas. Detail and quality is guaranteed, with top rate modeling and clever aircraft detail which is also and as usually totally excellent, and you can (again) also dynamically change the Dirt, Grunge, scratches and nicks externally and internally on the fly, so this lovely aircraft can be as clean or as dirty as you want. This Wilga is also part of the "Dynamic Generation Series", that allows a customised 3D instrument panels with 50 options, (Including Aspen EFD 1000, and support for RealityXP GTN750) and you can also "Create" your own liveries and the package includes the advanced custom flight dynamics tool "DynaFeel" This new feature option of Floats and and Amphibious version is also free! So all you have to do is redownload the aircraft from the X-Plane.OrgStore, or use the provided Skunkworks updater tool. If you are a regular user of Thranda Design aircraft, then you know already what a great deal and that the huge list of features provided are both excellent, for everyone else the PZL 104 Wilga 2000 comes obviously... Highly Recommended. ______________________________ Yes! the PZL-104 Wilga 2000 v1.1 by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Wilga PZL 104 Dynamic Generation Series Price is US$39.95 Now priced at US$34.95 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.3 GB Current and Update Review version 1.1 (October 13th 2021) The plane comes with an auto-updater _____________________ Update Review by Stephen Dutton 15th October 2021 Copyright©2021: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) All Rights Reserved
  10. Updated Aircraft Review : DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series v1.1 by Thranda Design Mention the word "Beaver" and "de-Havilland" and any pilot will go misty eyed, and gaze at you blindly lost in cloud of personal memories, it is an emotive aircraft. 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 afford the new airframes... so why replace perfection. 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) DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series v1.1 by Thranda Thranda Design seem to want to develop, strong rugged utility aircraft, first was the Caravan like Quest Kodiak, then the excellent Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter and now the greatest of them all in the DHC-2 Beaver. 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. Comparisons are going to be made with the original X-Plane Beaver from SoulMade Simulations DHC-2 version a few years back, that aircraft is a pure DHC-2, were as this version is a more slightly modernised version, the SMS version is also now slightly older with only a few updates, were as this version is all completely wizz-bang and up to the current state of X-Plane dynamic standards. This is an updated version of the release review, and the update v1.1 comes with the promised Seaplane version, both with amphibious (landing gear) and standard floats... see Seaplane section below. A first look at the aircraft reveals a very nice and very authentic feeling aircraft, you know that this DHC-2 is going to be really good... even when covered over to protect the aircraft from the elements, that rugged engine/window cover is a brilliant start. Those first impressions are highly important, you know that certainly the Thranda Design ethics are always going to be some of the very best in X-Plane, that is always a religious known, but that extremely high standard we always expect from Thranda does not come easy either... but there is always value and quality abound, and again here you feel every aspect of that as well as see it. Time to pull the cover off, and see the aircraft below... That is better, "Magnificent" isn't it! 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 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 looks simply brilliant here... ... note the chrome valve guides and oil circulation, insanely good, and detail to die for. The Wasp Jr is connected to a single 3-bladed constant speed propeller mounted at the front. The aircraft will easily support the most discerning eye, the detail is so, so good, note the upper engine vents, exhaust, and the excellent landing gear support detailing as it is mounted on the fuselage. You can look at the landing gear assemblies is absolute detail, because the quality will support your critical eye, note the lovely disk brake assembly and it's attachments. Your paying for minute detail and you are certainly getting your money's worth here. Cast your eyes over the rear, the elevator detail is excellent with great mapping detail and note the fine elements of only a few simple metal rods (arrowed) that control the vertical aerodynamic surfaces... these rods are all there is between you and certain death. The rear tailwheel is also highly detailed with excellent control cable animations for realism. Tailwheel can be either free castoring or locked to the rudder. There is a complete lovely raw roughness and wear to all the surfaces with again that excellent rivet mapping that gives you such a heightened realism... lovely stuff. One of the requirements was that the DHC-2 had great STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) performance, the depth of drop of the flaps at a 58º degree show this performance, again the detail is very good. Thranda pioneered great glass and reflections in X-Plane, and that same skill is on show here. Main windshield is a work of art, but so are the amazing bubble windows in shape, and wear (note the excellent glass streaks). You also have the option of either bubble or flat side windows. DHC-2 Internal Looking up into the cockpit and you know this is going to be good, and the detail even from seen down here is excellent. On the left side there are four opening doors, cockpit, underwing side door and a twin set of "Alaska" doors that are made wide enough to allow for a 44 Imperial gallon drum to be rolled up and inserted into the aircraft. On the right side is the Co-Pilot front door, and another underwing door. All doors can be opened via the internal latches, or from the menu. Cabin is in a dark grey, and highlighted by some nice chrome support rings. Seats are basic but beautifully modeled in detail, all seats have metal plate cushion supports. There are four forward seats and a twin-bench seat rear, the cabin fit-out is a bit drab, but very authentic to the period... .... note the very large rear and curved side (bath) metal construction of the Pilot and Co-Pilot seats, the metal construction and floor supports is simply extremely well done, with even with wear and tear on the metal surfaces. Note the nice individual door trim screws. Up onto the foot support and a look into that iconic cockpit... and wow! 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, so well done. Roof trim and blinds and under seat (metal seat bucket frame is also insanely great) detail is excellent. The famous name plate says it all. There is a leather surround with the internal metal facias. The polished metal reproduction is simply extraordinary, just outstanding... and in the right lighting conditions it just glows and shines like it has just been lovingly and newly polished. There is real craftmanship here, You wonder if ever you would get aircraft detail like this to fly in Microsoft FlightSim, if aircraft detail is what you want, you could never get this extreme quality over there, but you can access it in X-Plane. 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 centre, Prop left and Mixture right. Cenrte top are the magnificent 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. Cosmetic detail is astounding, metal flaps indicator is a work of art, and you can't believe in intimate authentic detail here, like the ACK ELT and the logos MaxDim panel lighting knobs lower left panel, the metal plate storage box opens as well. 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 an active (Fuse) Circuit Breaker panel, with the relevant electrical switches set below for power and lighting (Avionics power switch is high up on the left side panel facia). Next to the Fuses is the AMPs gauge, and Suction Gauge, and below is a lovely PS radio volume panel. 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 modelled 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 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). Another notable feature in the cockpit is that you can open or lower both front door windows, and into any position you like... ... and the forward window air vent can also be rotated. 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. Internal Lighting Turn on the power and adjust the instrument lighting and it is.... "oh WOW, WOW!" "Totally stunning" is the one set of words you can find, "blown away" is another, the panel lighting is simply gorgeous, as there is a real depth to the lighting and in the detail. Overhead lighting is provided by two fixed side spot lights... and two highly adjustable LED roof mounted lights... ... oddly there is 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, it is just a little too dark back there. Customising If you have the Thranda PC-6 Porter, then you will be aware of the instrument panel customising feature to suit your own tastes. So in reality there is no default instrument setup... and that same system is available also here in the Beaver and it is called DGS or "Dynamic Generation Series". Menu is selected via an arrow tab left screen (it can be scrolled clear), on the menu is the "PANEL" selection. This brings up the dynamic panel options... There are two basic panel selections, the iconic version we know so well, but also a flat metal grey facia version. Panel choices become endless, angled avionics, better fuel switch positions, and both either the GNS 430 or GNS 530 can be used... .... and the grey flat panel is far better with the more modern squared off throttle quadrant to which gives you even more layout variations... Optional Items include; Aspen EFD 1000, S-Tec 55x autopilot, RealityXP GTN 750/650 Touch 3D bezels (these are optional addons) and a lovely Collins 614-12 ADF... There are over 50 instruments to select from or to rearrange around on the panel facias... .... basically you can even start with a completely blank panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout... and have up to or you can save 14 different layouts and there are five defaults to get you started... for absolute layout choice it is simply crazy! Menus The menu is selected via the arrow (the arrow can be scrolled translucent) on the left side of your screen... ... and there are seven tab selections; General, Livery, Camera, Audio/Slew, Panel and Misc. The menu PANEL selection has already been covered above, the rest of the selections are covered below. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. Three selections cover group items but any one separate item via "Click Spots" can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select the huge engine canvas cover and pitot cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for propeller and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both cockpit doors, both cabin underwing and twin "Alaska" doors. The Engine can be set into two modes... SIMPLIFIED or REALISTIC In Simplified mode the engine will be automatically limited the engine and engine start up is instant start. In Realistic mode it will be up to the pilot to avoid exceeding the engine limitations, and go through the full procedure of starting the Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial engine, which means a lot of lever and knob setting and a lot of hand pumping. Other General menu selections cover Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, Use the External Fuel Tank, Chocks and brakes on/off. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can ALL INT - Internal lights. The lights activation can also be accessed on the aircraft graphic and finally the "Radial Engine Animation" of which we will look at soon. The Electric Tug is attached to the rear tailwheel, that is controlled via your joystick (for motion forward or backwards), with the yaw turning the rear tailwheel and the attached tug. There are an fully animated pilot (actually Dan Klaue) and his lady friend (actually his wife) as a Co-Pilot, both will disappear if the power is off and the wheel chocks are set, if you don't select a Co-Pilot, then Dan flies alone. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is liveries, there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 14 liveries or one blank and thirteen designs, and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare. One is a ZZTEMP that is just totally clear (not shown). Note the Dirt and Scratches (arrowed) numbers, as they are important later. 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. 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... ... when done you can "save" the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. It was quite easy, but I found the dash symbol - couldn't be inserted in the registration except for the lower case version? So I had to take it out. This is why there is an transparent aircraft in the liveries? 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. Two extras can also be added with DH logo which is very nice and the said registration number, the final result is excellent. Menu - Weight/Bal The DHC-2 has a great Weight and Balance menu. Both Lbs and Kgs weights are shown... Fill one wingtip tank full and the Beaver will seriously lean, and so will the other tank... this shows how sensitive you are going to have to be to balance out the aircraft. .... Fuel can be added to all the tanks in the three internal, twin-wingtips and the Aux external tank and they are all shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above). Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are also all shown on a graph, when done you can save the configuration and reload it. Working out that right CofG balance is critical, setting just inside the parameters is just not really good enough, you need for the aircraft to be balanced in it's fuel and load weights, or you will have difficulty flying the aircraft, put too much (cargo) weight aft and you are tail heavy. Note in that taking out the Co-Pilot here will make her disappear in the cockpit, but pilot Dan stays. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. To the right is the internal default views to be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FOV or Field of View is adjustable via a slider. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. 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... press the Audio slot and you get a audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is excellent. Slew mode Slew mode is experimental, but allows you to manually move the aircraft around in X-Plane. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the plane, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy! In reality you don't use "Slew Mode" on the ground, it is mostly for manoeuvrability on water and for docking... If you want to see this in action then check out the PC-6 Adventure pack review and the Seaplane flying section below. Menu - MISC The Misc page covers options on the Beaver, and there are four options; Skis, Tyres, Windows, and Throttle Quadrant. We have seen the Bubble Windows and Throttle Quadrant options above in either "Flat" or "Bubble Windows", and the "Old" or "New" quadrants. Skis Ski quality and design is again exceptional, with no ordinary straight planks here, they are all highly realistic and the same as on the PC-6. Bush (Tundra) Tyres and Mud Flaps Another option is for the larger Bush tyres or "Tundra" tyres, the over-sized wheels also come with another option of having "Mud Flaps" attached (The mud flaps can be used on both the Normal and Tundra tyre options). Seaplane The Seaplane feature is now also available in v1.1 and also part of the aircraft package, and not as an extra addon cost. The float pack comes with both the amphibious (with landing gear) and standard floats options. The full v1.1 changelog is attached below. You have to do a full download and reload of the updated v1.1 aircraft, there is no merge function or addon pack. Once loaded and authorised you now get two aircraft to choose from on the Flight Configuration page with a wheeled version and a float version. If you are familiar with the PC-6 "Adventrure Pack" version of the floats, then there are the same similarities in design here with the Beaver, but adjusted to fit the bulkier DHC-2 aircraft fuselage. Float shape is again highly authentic, lower and upper sections, and the retractable wheels are also again beautifully designed and modeled as is the strut assembly, front support struts and wheels will bear out any inspection, and you get the ladder and paddle attached as well, but there are no wing ladders, unlike on the PC-6. On the Seaplane variant the MISC section of the Menu is different to reflect the aircraft. Top upper left is the same choice of straight or bubble side windows, upper right is the the switch to raise or lower the rudders... ... lower left will select the amphibious (with landing gear) or floats option, and the option of showing the rear Ventral Fin... we will look at the lower right panel "SLEW" later on the water. The solution to raising or lowering the rudders on the floats is quite bare-bones, in a cable and hoop on the lower left side of the pilot! You have to make sure you get the right selection zone as otherwise you will open the left front door, as the two active zones are situated quite close together. The Seaplane liveries are really well done to match the upper fuselage, and are all the same as the wheeled version designs, not just a set of floats thrown on here, as they are all designed to match in together. __________________________ Flying the DHC-2 Beaver There are two options to starting the DHC-2, the (very) easy way via the option in the Menu/General panel... and the long winded way. The full engine start up procedure is in the manual. Did you always want to look inside your engine? Well now you can and the idea is to see how the engine is primed to start... Dan Klaue genius strikes again! There is the option via a menu selection "Radial Engine Animation" that brings up an animated Wasp Radial engine, you can PreHeat and Prime your Wasp ready for start, but you have to be careful not to "OverPrime" the Cylinders. The starter switch can be hard to find because it is not labeled, but it is under the left red switch cover, if primed correctly then switch on the starter (no more than 15secs a try) until the Wasp finally coughs and powers up, the animation can give you exciting feedback on what is going on in the ignition phase of the engine, and then when it runs it is another "Wow" moment... yes. 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 the fuel mixture from "Rich" to 'Lean" adjustments as well. 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. The sounds actually 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 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, and the hope that your neighbour and you are on (very) good terms. So yes the sounds are good, or totally excellent. A note that with v1.1 that the exhaust will now puff, puff smoke on the startup procedure! External lighting is very good, but on an aircraft like the Beaver quite limited to the basics, there is a nice red beacon top fuselage, and the navigation lights are nice and pert as is the tiny wing strobe lights. Main landing lights are both LED, and very good in the distance, but can't be seen close up on the wing? As noted you can have a freewheeling rear or locked to the rudder yaw, You really need a set of rudder pedals with built in toe brakes to use the freewheeling option, which I don't have, so I have to use the yaw option. Your have to find a nice balance with the mixture and throttle levers so there is a need to experiment to find that right balance... but it is there to be found and highly realistic, and the feel is excellent. So a bit of throttle and you are moving, the Beaver is excellent on the ground as taildraggers can be twitchy, but you can actually feel the weight and the aircraft is quite smooth in it's movements. 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 set (to Takeoff) and your ready to go. Speed builds gradually then suddenly the tail unstick's and you need a kick-full of right rudder to maintain the straight ahead line... ... but don't get me wrong, the aircraft is not twiddly in this phase but beautifully controlled as it is all very easy tail up to steer directly on the centreline, most taildraggers are nasty and nervy at this point, but not the DHC-2... Takeoff is around 90 knts, but you don't need to pull back the stick as the Beaver just glides into the air on lift alone, to climb only requires a little pitch to meet the 600 fpm climb you need. You can climbout at a 1,000 fpm, but the 600 fpm is perfect, the one thing that should be highly noted is the aircraft's weight feel, this is a huge bonus in me holding that centreline, but also when you lift you really feeeel that WEIGHT of the aircraft, and that is rare in X-Plane, it is so very, very good is this DHC-2. Unlike other aircraft you can 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. 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, this aircraft is an absolute dream to fly. 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. So for any novice pilot, this is a brilliant aircraft to learn to fly on, even if it is a taildragger (all the better), as it's balance is second to none, but you also feel the aircraft weight in every manoeuvre that you do, but this is not an aerobatic machine, it is a workhorse only, like a large Clydesdale horse it is heavy, slow and incredibly docile... that is the word to note here in docile, but I simply love it as the aircraft is very comforting and I have had enough nervy aircraft lately to last me a lifetime.... this is a true pilot's aircraft in every form... and I simply love it. The DHC-2 is so docile and neutral I am am not quickly reaching for the autopilot (S-Tec in this case), as the Beaver is just nicely (but noisily) cruising through the air and I certainly don't need any artificial help in flying the aircraft at all... open the side window to get the full throaty roar of the Wasp Jr, it is certainly noisy but exciting as well, I note the aircraft as docile, but that is in it's character, it is still however an immensely exciting aircraft to fly because it is "that good". Do a hard turn and the DHC-2 needs a little more power and a slight pitch back to slightly compensate for a loss of speed and altitude, but these reflexes come naturally each time you manoeuvre the aircraft in large variations. Thranda have already noted that an Amphibious version of this DHC-2 is coming and soon, maybe in the new year (2021), that will be another worthy add-on, and give the aircraft an even greater capability and versatility (if it is anything like the recent PC-6 version). Cockpit is stunning in the air. We are soon back over Bella Coola and heading back to the strip at CYBD... Interesting are the flaps... lower the flaps and you don't need to change your throttle position either, the Beaver just slows down to the lower speed of the flap position, with any or no sudden expected lift (Interesting though would be the aircraft at a very light loading weight, I didn't try that aspect out).... 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... 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. Final approach and you are under complete control of the aircraft, you and the machine are as one, even slight reductions of power and you lose height, but you also have uttermost confidence in the aircraft, in other words it is easy, but skillful in the same aspect. 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 question begs is that could a headwind change the aspects of a landing such as this... ... so the big trick is rubbing off the speed without touching the brakes, tricky, and that aspect may need a bit of practise is needed before getting it right, I would be more happy with a landing speed of around 50 knts or less in these circumstances. But let us be thankful, this is an amazing experience of an aircraft... the best aircraft of the year 2020? Seaplane The first thing you notice is the speed with the floats attached.... the attachment is far heavier and the amphibious floats are approximately 470 lbs heavier even more than the plain floats. Drag, tons of drag, so you feel the weight and the drag as you fly along, and it does make the Beaver a bit cumbersome low down, but authentic, but far better for landing slow on the water. 70 knts, full landing flap and the aircraft is set up perfectly for a water landing... reduce the throttle a little and the DHC-2 will sink (in the air not in the water!), nice and slowly... ... lowering the power to around 65 knts on approach is perfect, if you feel it going down too quickly, then only a slight more power will arrest the descent, it feels very, very comfortable, and you are very much in control.... I think the X-Plane water effects are very, very good, and the Beaver thrives here... ... open the side window to hear the rush of water and feel the spray, Thranda have adjusted in v1.1 the sounds to create great water effects and water landing sounds, the sound effect and difference when close to ground and airbone are noted as well. The little air vent in the side window also makes noisy sounds, DHC-2 fliers complained a lot about this (some people are just simply too hard to please)... .... a touch of flare and less throttle and the DHC-2 will settle slowly at around 60 knts.... there is a nice water roll sound as well. Control on the water is very good with the aerodynamics still working, depending on your wave height, but over a meter, the aircraft will bob then up and down a bit too heavily. So you reach and quickly grab the rope to lower the rudders for control as the speed drops, v1.1 does also give you the ability to skim the water on tundra tires as well, as you do Power up to the wharf, but then switch on the SLEW MODE. It is on the MISC tab, but the control panel is actually on the AUDO/SLEW tab of the Menu... .... here you can position the aircraft by overriding the X-Plane controls and forces, move the large dots forwards, backwards and sideways (slowly), you can also change the heading (delta) via the dot on the slider... .... SLEW MODE is a huge amount of fun and very easy to use, externally or from the cockpit. _______________ Summary This is the third aircraft in a series of rugged utility aircraft from Thranda Design, the first being the Kodiak, then the excellent Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter and now here comes the most iconic and the most famous bush aircraft of them all in the DHC-2 Beaver. 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. Fourteen 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 an amphibious version is noted as coming soon. Notable is the instrument lighting, it is simply awe-inspiring. Updated version v1.1 has both the amphibious (with landing gear) and standard floats options now included, not an extra but part of this already outstanding package, Float design and quality is also first rate and comes with the same liveries as the wheel version, but enhanced for the matching floats 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. Again like the PC-6, you would want, or like a cargo option? and there is no lighting in the rear of the cabin? Yes I have been gushing in this review, extraordinary and brilliant are full of the praise of what is delivered here from Thranda Design, not only in the options, effects and in the sheer experience available, but also in the way this Beaver flies as well... it is the full package and in my guess for the aircraft of the year in 2020. So the note here is to the converts of Microsoft's "ground breaking" new simulator, because aircraft like this coming out of X-Plane changes the dynamics of simulation. Yes MSFS may have pretty scenery, but it will never have aircraft such as this iconic Beaver as in depth, with as much quality and come 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, and only top level developers like Thranda Design will be in the X-Plane simulator and not the other one, so if you really want the very best then here it is.... Highly, Hugely Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the DHC-2 Beaver-DGS Series by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-2 Beaver-DGS Series Price is US$39.95 (Currently only US$34.95) Features Special features: 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 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 12 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. Floats and amphibious floats <-- New 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) 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 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 1.10 GB Current and Review version 1.1. (16th December 2020) The aircraft comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 (note you can't use the updater to update to the v1.1 float version, it requires a full new download of the aircraft. _______________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 1.10Gb 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. Documents supplied are: v1.1 Changelog.txt Thranda DHC-2 Beaver Joystick Settings.pdf Thranda DHC-2 Beaver Graphics Settings XP11.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf Thranda DHC-2 Beaver Documentation.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf A Blank Livery (PNG) of four files are provided for painting. Checklists and loads of Performance graphs are provided in the manual. v1.1 Changelog v1.1 Changelog.txt ______________________________________________________________________  Updated Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  16th December 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.51 Plugins: Skunkcrafts Updater Scenery or Aircraft - CYBD - Bella Coola by XPORG (formally Beti-x) (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$17.50
  11. Aircraft Review : DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series by Thranda Design Mention the word "Beaver" and "de-Havilland" and any pilot will go misty eyed, and gaze at you blindly lost in cloud of personal memories, it is an emotive aircraft. 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 afford the new airframes... so why replace perfection. 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) DHC-2 Beaver - DGS Series by Thranda Thranda Design seem to want to develop, strong rugged utility aircraft, first was the Caravan like Quest Kodiak, then the excellent Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter and now the greatest of them all in the DHC-2 Beaver. 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. Comparisons are going to be made with the original X-Plane Beaver from SoulMade Simulations DHC-2 version a few years back, that aircraft is a pure DHC-2, were as this version is a more slightly modernised version, the SMS version is also now slightly older with only a few updates, were as this version is all completely wizz-bang and up to the current state of X-Plane dynamic standards. A first look at the aircraft reveals a very nice and very authentic feeling aircraft, you know that this DHC-2 is going to be really good... even when covered over to protect the aircraft from the elements, that rugged engine/window cover is a brilliant start. Those first impressions are highly important, you know that certainly the Thranda Design ethics are always going to be some of the very best in X-Plane, that is always a religious known, but that extremely high standard we always expect from Thranda does not come easy either... but there is always value and quality abound, and again here you feel every aspect of that as well as see it. Time to pull the cover off, and see the aircraft below... That is better, "Magnificent" isn't it! 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 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 looks simply brilliant here... ... note the chrome valve guides and oil circulation, insanely good, and detail to die for. The Wasp Jr is connected to a single 3-bladed constant speed propeller mounted at the front. The aircraft will easily support the most discerning eye, the detail is so, so good, note the upper engine vents, exhaust, and the excellent landing gear support detailing as it is mounted on the fuselage. You can look at the landing gear assemblies is absolute detail, because the quality will support your critical eye, note the lovely disk brake assembly and it's attachments. Your paying for minute detail and you are certainly getting your money's worth here. Cast your eyes over the rear, the elevator detail is excellent with great mapping detail and note the fine elements of only a few simple metal rods (arrowed) that control the vertical aerodynamic surfaces... these rods are all there is between you and certain death. The rear tailwheel is also highly detailed with excellent control cable animations for realism. Tailwheel can be either free castoring or locked to the rudder. There is a complete lovely raw roughness and wear to all the surfaces with again that excellent rivet mapping that gives you such a heightened realism... lovely stuff. One of the requirements was that the DHC-2 had great STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) performance, the depth of drop of the flaps at a 58º degree show this performance, again the detail is very good. Thranda pioneered great glass and reflections in X-Plane, and that same skill is on show here. Main windshield is a work of art, but so are the amazing bubble windows in shape, and wear (note the excellent glass streaks). You also have the option of either bubble or flat side windows. DHC-2 Internal Looking up into the cockpit and you know this is going to be good, and the detail even from seen down here is excellent. On the left side there are four opening doors, cockpit, underwing side door and a twin set of "Alaska" doors that are made wide enough to allow for a 44 Imperial gallon drum to be rolled up and inserted into the aircraft. On the right side is the Co-Pilot front door, and another underwing door. All doors can be opened via the internal latches, or from the menu. Cabin is in a dark grey, and highlighted by some nice chrome support rings. Seats are basic but beautifully modeled in detail, all seats have metal plate cushion supports. There are four forward seats and a twin-bench seat rear, the cabin fit-out is a bit drab, but very authentic to the period... .... note the very large rear and curved side (bath) metal construction of the Pilot and Co-Pilot seats, the metal construction and floor supports is simply extremely well done, with even with wear and tear on the metal surfaces. Note the nice individual door trim screws. Up onto the foot support and a look into that iconic cockpit... and wow! 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, so well done. Roof trim and blinds and under seat (metal seat bucket frame is also insanely great) detail is excellent. The famous name plate says it all. There is a leather surround with the internal metal facias. The polished metal reproduction is simply extraordinary, just outstanding... and in the right lighting conditions it just glows and shines like it has just been lovingly and newly polished. There is real craftmanship here, You wonder if ever you would get aircraft detail like this to fly in Microsoft FlightSim, if aircraft detail is what you want, you could never get this extreme quality over there, but you can access it in X-Plane. 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 centre, Prop left and Mixture right. Cenrte top are the magnificent 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. Cosmetic detail is astounding, metal flaps indicator is a work of art, and you can't believe in intimate authentic detail here, like the ACK ELT and the logos MaxDim panel lighting knobs lower left panel, the metal plate storage box opens as well. 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 an active (Fuse) Circuit Breaker panel, with the relevant electrical switches set below for power and lighting (Avionics power switch is high up on the left side panel facia). Next to the Fuses is the AMPs gauge, and Suction Gauge, and below is a lovely PS radio volume panel. 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 modelled 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 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). Another notable feature in the cockpit is that you can open or lower both front door windows, and into any position you like... ... and the forward window air vent can also be rotated. 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. Internal Lighting Turn on the power and adjust the instrument lighting and it is.... "oh WOW, WOW!" "Totally stunning" is the one set of words you can find, "blown away" is another, the panel lighting is simply gorgeous, as there is a real depth to the lighting and in the detail. Overhead lighting is provided by two fixed side spot lights... and two highly adjustable LED roof mounted lights... ... oddly there is 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, it is just a little too dark back there. Customising If you have the Thranda PC-6 Porter, then you will be aware of the instrument panel customising feature to suit your own tastes. So in reality there is no default instrument setup... and that same system is available also here in the Beaver and it is called DGS or "Dynamic Generation Series". Menu is selected via an arrow tab left screen (it can be scrolled clear), on the menu is the "PANEL" selection. This brings up the dynamic panel options... There are two basic panel selections, the iconic version we know so well, but also a flat metal grey facia version. Panel choices become endless, angled avionics, better fuel switch positions, and both either the GNS 430 or GNS 530 can be used... .... and the grey flat panel is far better with the more modern squared off throttle quadrant to which gives you even more layout variations... Optional Items include; Aspen EFD 1000, S-Tec 55x autopilot, RealityXP GTN 750/650 Touch 3D bezels (these are optional addons) and a lovely Collins 614-12 ADF... There are over 50 instruments to select from or to rearrange around on the panel facias... .... basically you can even start with a completely blank panel and then create your own unique or personal instrument layout... and have up to or you can save 14 different layouts and there are five defaults to get you started... for absolute layout choice it is simply crazy! Menus The menu is selected via the arrow (the arrow can be scrolled translucent) on the left side of your screen... ... and there are seven tab selections; General, Livery, Camera, Audio/Slew, Panel and Misc. The menu PANEL selection has already been covered above, the rest of the selections are covered below. Menu - General The menu "General" sections covers quite a lot of options, the layout is highly detailed and very comprehensive. Three selections cover group items but any one separate item via "Click Spots" can be individually selected or hidden via the aircraft graphic. "ALL COVERS" will select the huge engine canvas cover and pitot cover, "ALL TIE-DOWNS" for propeller and wing tie-downs and "ALL DOORS" for both cockpit doors, both cabin underwing and twin "Alaska" doors. The Engine can be set into two modes... SIMPLIFIED or REALISTIC In Simplified mode the engine will be automatically limited the engine and engine start up is instant start. In Realistic mode it will be up to the pilot to avoid exceeding the engine limitations, and go through the full procedure of starting the Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial engine, which means a lot of lever and knob setting and a lot of hand pumping. Other General menu selections cover Window and Instrument Panel Reflections on/off, Startup Running on/off, Use the External Fuel Tank, Chocks and brakes on/off. All EXT - External Lights can be switched on and off as can ALL INT - Internal lights. The lights activation can also be accessed on the aircraft graphic and finally the "Radial Engine Animation" of which we will look at soon. The Electric Tug is attached to the rear tailwheel, that is controlled via your joystick (for motion forward or backwards), with the yaw turning the rear tailwheel and the attached tug. There are an fully animated pilot (actually Dan Klaue) and his lady friend (actually his wife) as a Co-Pilot, both will disappear if the power is off and the wheel chocks are set, if you don't select a Co-Pilot, then Dan flies alone. Menu - Liveries Second Menu option is liveries, there are two options here with the first being "PAINTED LIVERIES". There are altogether 14 liveries or one blank and thirteen designs, and all are of extremely high quality and creative flare. One is a ZZTEMP that is just totally clear (not shown). Note the Dirt and Scratches (arrowed) numbers, as they are important later. 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. 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... ... when done you can "save" the livery and then "APPLY" it to the aircraft. It was quite easy, but I found the dash symbol - couldn't be inserted in the registration except for the lower case version? So I had to take it out. This is why there is an transparent aircraft in the liveries? 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. Two extras can also be added with DH logo which is very nice and the said registration number, the final result is excellent. Menu - Weight/Bal The DHC-2 has a great Weight and Balance menu. Both Lbs and Kgs weights are shown... Fill one wingtip tank full and the Beaver will seriously lean, and so will the other tank... this shows how sensitive you are going to have to be to balance out the aircraft. .... Fuel can be added to all the tanks in the three internal, twin-wingtips and the Aux external tank and they are all shown and are adjustable as well in the menu (above). Pilot, passengers and cargo can all be set for individual weights and the CofG (Centre of Gravity) parameters are also all shown on a graph, when done you can save the configuration and reload it. Working out that right CofG balance is critical, setting just inside the parameters is just not really good enough, you need for the aircraft to be balanced in it's fuel and load weights, or you will have difficulty flying the aircraft, put too much (cargo) weight aft and you are tail heavy. Note in that taking out the Co-Pilot here will make her disappear in the cockpit, but pilot Dan stays. Menu - Camera There is a camera feature under the menu "Camera" selection. To the right is the internal default views to be selected via a menu, or press the keypad to select the view. The FOV or Field of View is adjustable via a slider. The left side of the panel is the "Walkaround" views, just pick the dot viewpoint you want to see to rotate around the aircraft. 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... press the Audio slot and you get a audio simulation of an active noise canceling headset, which is seen as wearing a headset. Sound quality is excellent. Slew mode Slew mode is experimental, but allows you to manually move the aircraft around in X-Plane. It functions by temporarily overriding the various aerodynamic and physical forces on the plane, it is to allow the user to reposition the plane as desired. This feature is however highly touchy! In reality you don't use "Slew Mode" on the ground, it is mostly for manoeuvrability on water and for docking... If you want to see this in action then check out the PC-6 Adventure pack review. Menu - MISC The Misc page covers options on the Beaver, and there are four options; Skis, Tyres, Windows, and Throttle Quadrant. We have seen the Bubble Windows and Throttle Quadrant options above in either "Flat" or "Bubble Windows", and the "Old" or "New" quadrants. Skis Ski quality and design is again exceptional, with no ordinary straight planks here, they are all highly realistic and the same as on the PC-6. Bush (Tundra) Tyres and Mud Flaps Another option is for the larger Bush tyres or "Tundra" tyres, the over-sized wheels also come with another option of having "Mud Flaps" attached (The mud flaps can be used on both the Normal and Tundra tyre options). Flying the DHC-2 Beaver There are two options to starting the DHC-2, the (very) easy way via the option in the Menu/General panel... and the long winded way. The full engine start up procedure is in the manual. Did you always want to look inside your engine? Well now you can and the idea is to see how the engine is primed to start... Dan Klaue genius strikes again! There is the option via a menu selection "Radial Engine Animation" that brings up an animated Wasp Radial engine, you can PreHeat and Prime your Wasp ready for start, but you have to be careful not to "OverPrime" the Cylinders. The starter switch can be hard to find because it is not labeled, but it is under the left red switch cover, if primed correctly then switch on the starter (no more than 15secs a try) until the Wasp finally coughs and powers up, the animation can give you exciting feedback on what is going on in the ignition phase of the engine, and then when it runs it is another "Wow" moment... yes. 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 the fuel mixture from "Rich" to 'Lean" adjustments as well. 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. The sounds actually 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 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, and the hope that your neighbour and you are on (very) good terms. So yes the sounds are good, or totally excellent. External lighting is very good, but on an aircraft like the Beaver quite limited to the basics, there is a nice red beacon top fuselage, and the navigation lights are nice and pert as is the tiny wing strobe lights. Main landing lights are both LED, and very good in the distance, but can't be seen close up on the wing? As noted you can have a freewheeling rear or locked to the rudder yaw, You really need a set of rudder pedals with built in toe brakes to use the freewheeling option, which I don't have, so I have to use the yaw option. Your have to find a nice balance with the mixture and throttle levers so there is a need to experiment to find that right balance... but it is there to be found and highly realistic, and the feel is excellent. So a bit of throttle and you are moving, the Beaver is excellent on the ground as taildraggers can be twitchy, but you can actually feel the weight and the aircraft is quite smooth in it's movements. 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 set (to Takeoff) and your ready to go. Speed builds gradually then suddenly the tail unstick's and you need a kick-full of right rudder to maintain the straight ahead line... ... but don't get me wrong, the aircraft is not twiddly in this phase but beautifully controlled as it is all very easy tail up to steer directly on the centreline, most taildraggers are nasty and nervy at this point, but not the DHC-2... Takeoff is around 90 knts, but you don't need to pull back the stick as the Beaver just glides into the air on lift alone, to climb only requires a little pitch to meet the 600 fpm climb you need. You can climbout at a 1,000 fpm, but the 600 fpm is perfect, the one thing that should be highly noted is the aircraft's weight feel, this is a huge bonus in me holding that centreline, but also when you lift you really feeeel that WEIGHT of the aircraft, and that is rare in X-Plane, it is so very, very good is this DHC-2. Unlike other aircraft you can 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. 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, this aircraft is an absolute dream to fly. 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. So for any novice pilot, this is a brilliant aircraft to learn to fly on, even if it is a taildragger (all the better), as it's balance is second to none, but you also feel the aircraft weight in every manoeuvre that you do, but this is not an aerobatic machine, it is a workhorse only, like a large Clydesdale horse it is heavy, slow and incredibly docile... that is the word to note here in docile, but I simply love it as the aircraft is very comforting and I have had enough nervy aircraft lately to last me a lifetime.... this is a true pilot's aircraft in every form... and I simply love it. The DHC-2 is so docile and neutral I am am not quickly reaching for the autopilot (S-Tec in this case), as the Beaver is just nicely (but noisily) cruising through the air and I certainly don't need any artificial help in flying the aircraft at all... open the side window to get the full throaty roar of the Wasp Jr, it is certainly noisy but exciting as well, I note the aircraft as docile, but that is in it's character, it is still however an immensely exciting aircraft to fly because it is "that good". Do a hard turn and the DHC-2 needs a little more power and a slight pitch back to slightly compensate for a loss of speed and altitude, but these reflexes come naturally each time you manoeuvre the aircraft in large variations. Thranda have already noted that an Amphibious version of this DHC-2 is coming and soon, maybe in the new year (2021), that will be another worthy add-on, and give the aircraft an even greater capability and versatility (if it is anything like the recent PC-6 version). Cockpit is stunning in the air. We are soon back over Bella Coola and heading back to the strip at CYBD... Interesting are the flaps... lower the flaps and you don't need to change your throttle position either, the Beaver just slows down to the lower speed of the flap position, with any or no sudden expected lift (Interesting though would be the aircraft at a very light loading weight, I didn't try that aspect out).... 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... 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. Final approach and you are under complete control of the aircraft, you and the machine are as one, even slight reductions of power and you lose height, but you also have uttermost confidence in the aircraft, in other words it is easy, but skillful in the same aspect. 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 question begs is that could a headwind change the aspects of a landing such as this... ... so the big trick is rubbing off the speed without touching the brakes, tricky, and that aspect may need a bit of practise is needed before getting it right, I would be more happy with a landing speed of around 50 knts or less in these circumstances. But let us be thankful, this is an amazing experience of an aircraft... the best aircraft of the year 2020? _______________ Summary This is the third aircraft in a series of rugged utility aircraft from Thranda Design, the first being the Kodiak, then the excellent Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter and now here comes the most iconic and the most famous bush aircraft of them all in the DHC-2 Beaver. 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. Fourteen 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 an amphibious version is noted as coming soon. Notable is the instrument lighting, it is simply awe-inspiring. 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. Again like the PC-6, you would want, or like a cargo option? and there is no lighting in the rear of the cabin? Yes I have been gushing in this review, extraordinary and brilliant are full of the praise of what is delivered here from Thranda Design, not only in the options, effects and in the sheer experience available, but also in the way this Beaver flies as well... it is the full package and in my guess for the aircraft of the year in 2020. So the note here is to the converts of Microsoft's "ground breaking" new simulator, because aircraft like this coming out of X-Plane changes the dynamics of simulation. Yes MSFS may have pretty scenery, but it will never have aircraft such as this iconic Beaver as in depth, with as much quality and come 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, and only top level developers like Thranda Design will be in the X-Plane simulator and not the other one, so if you really want the very best then here it is.... Highly, Hugely Recommended. _______________________________ Yes! the DHC-2 Beaver-DGS Series by Thranda Design is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-2 Beaver-DGS Series Price is US$39.95 (Currently only US$34.95) Features Special features: 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 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 12 traditionally painted liveries, all visible in a convenient pre-selection preview window. Uses SkunkCrafts Updater. Option to participate in Beta program, via check box in SkunkCrafts Updater. Excellent hi-res PBR realistic materials, featuring true-to-life plate deformation and to-the-rivet precision. 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) 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 Requirements X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 4 GB VRAM Minimum. 8 GB+ VRAM Recommended Download Size: 988 MB Current and Review version 1.0.2 (November 23rd 2020) The aircraft comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 _______________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 998.10Mb 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. Documents supplied are: Changelog.txt Thranda DHC-2 Beaver Joystick Settings.pdf Thranda DHC-2 Beaver Graphics Settings XP11.pdf X-Plane G430 Manual.pdf Thranda DHC-2 Beaver Documentation.pdf X-Plane G530 Manual.pdf A Blank Livery (PNG) of four files are provided for painting. Checklists and loads of Performance graphs are provided in the manual. ______________________________________________________________________  Aircraft Review by Stephen Dutton  25th November 2020 Copyright©2020 : X-Plane Reviews   (Disclaimer. All images and text in this preview are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications:  Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit -32 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 1TB SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.51 Plugins: Skunkcrafts Updater Scenery or Aircraft - CYBD - Bella Coola by XPORG (formally Beti-x) (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$17.50