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  1. Aircraft Review : C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado The single Turbo-Prop Cessna 208B Grand Caravan was one of the earliest X-Plane aircraft releases back then in mid-year 2012, that is five years ago now to date. The first Carenado releases were really average to good, basically test pieces for X-Plane. Both the Mooney and the PA 32 Satatoga felt old before their release, but then in May we got some release images of the Caravan and then in June 2012 the aircraft was released in X-Plane. Finally X-Plane users got the glimpse and a taste of why in Flight Sim Land of all the reverence and praise that was lavished on Carenado. It was back then and to a point still now a great aircraft, but we also saw Carenado for what they really were and more importantly they were also taking X-Plane as a simulation platform seriously. That gamble paid off massively for Carenado as they now dominate most General Aviation releases in X-Plane, although I will admit a few other developers like vFlyteAir and Aerobask are now pushing them harder in quality in what was once only a Carenado domain. There is no doubt that the C208B Caravan has been a huge seller if not their best seller year in and year out for Carenado, and it is not hard to see why. It is an amazing aircraft but versatile as well. The aircraft is basically a workhorse, a short hop regional gap filler for two pilots and eleven passengers, or a single pilot and twelve passengers, and it's speciality is island hopping. Carenado also then broadened the C208B's already great attraction by an add-on and an extra in the form of a cargo version called the "Super CargoMaster", so now not only could you move your passengers point to point, but also cargo was now also the go. The great suddenly became the brilliant. I am not going to hide the fact that in the last five years I have done a huge amount of flying of both the passenger and cargo versions in this brilliant aircraft, the hours spent in the C208B's left seat are simply to large to count, but it must be a lot. So of the many aircraft I have spent flying in X-Plane then the Caravan must be at the top of my list and it is in my all time list as it came in at number 3. But I will admit with the transition to X-Plane11 the old bird was starting to feel a little worn around the edges, and that is despite a few nice upgrades (v2/v3) in the X-Plane10 run. So here is the X-Plane11 upgrade. And now this C208B aircraft is now X-Plane11 compatible. You will have repurchase the aircraft in full as well, but the cost covers all updates throughout the X-Plane11 run or about four to five years and Carenado have noted that there will be some great new features coming to the Caravan but not until the other listed aircraft have been upgraded as well, and don't forget that there is still the G1000 Executive version still waiting in the wings. C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 This is both a light overall review and an upgrade review in one, because the original X-PlaneReviews Caravan review is now quite old from 2013 and so I think it requires an update and refresh on the aircraft. The first most significant detail is that the original add-on "Super CargoMaster" package is now part of the overall package. In other words you don't have to purchase a separate package and merge it with the main Carenado C208B Grand Caravan purchase to get both versions, and you can also change to both versions from within the one aircraft and not have two separate aircraft to switch between or reload. The standard three Carenado left lower screen tab menus are still here with C for the Views, Field of View and Sound adjustment which the same as usual for Carenado. D covers "Doors" in the Pilots and Co-Pilots door(s) (with a great swing down ladder) and a double (upper and swing lower) main Cargo door and on the passenger version a passenger door on the right rear side of the aircraft. The Caravan comes with a detachable lower cargo pod with opening doors, but the selection of opening the pod doors is a separate selection on the cargo, however the pod doors can then only be opened with the right side passenger door on the passenger version which is slightly odd. You can also switch to each the passenger or the cargo version here on this menu tab as well, via the lower left tickbox. (if you change the livery to either a passenger or a cargo version the type will also change automatically). Livery selection can also be done from this menu in selecting left or right to go through the options, personally I use the XP11 menu as it was quicker. O covers the "Options" on the lower third tab. First selection is the optional cargo pod and the then the static elements of Chocks, Tow Tractor, Pivot Cover, Engine and Prop covers. Lower selection allows you to have tinted or clear windows. This options menu also allows you on the passenger version to select the rear seating arrangements with either single seating for eight or single/double seating for eleven. I usually use the eleven seater. The option menu on the cargo version is the same except that there is no seating but cargo options. “Load Configuration 1” is with the parcels loaded and that adds “1607” Pounds to the aircraft’s weight. “Load Configuration 2” is with the parcels removed and no penalty of weight. The cargo area is very well presented with the webbing hanging with the space empty and everything tied down tightly with the load on board and when not used the hand aircraft puller is strapped to the rear bulkhead, there is a nice touch to the cockpit rear with a net over the the entrance to keep the cargo in place. External Detail I usually fly with the pod off, my flying in the Caravan is mostly passenger sightseeing or point to point airport connection services. The Caravan style is between a pure utility aircraft, but still has a miniature airliner feel as well with all those side windows (seven). For the job it is about perfect and in the real world it is extremely popular and would be a very hard aircraft to replace and most operators usually don't but with another Caravan. Since its first flight on December 9, 1982 and into service in 1983 there has now over 2,500 Caravans built and flying at a cost of US$1.95 million each (2017 costing). External detailing is phenomenal. Every rivet is counted for, all latches, hinges and handles are perfect, (ice) lighting surrounds, lovely flap tracks, vents, animated static wicks and antennas. Glass is superb with great reflections and a very slight convex look. In reality the earlier detailing on the Caravan is not much different here, but it has been totally enhanced with X-Plane11 features and of course with PBR or Physical Based Rendering (material shines and reflections) and the textures are all 4K and have been reprocessed for the best quality to FPS (framerate) optimization. So the most noticeable factor from the earlier Caravans to this version is the sheer gloss on the aircraft and the highlighting of the aircraft's construction. This is mostly highly noticeable with the wing construction and detailing, it is beautiful work, almost perfection. But in certain lighting conditions you get a frazzled feel, it can be a little over shiny for the eye, a slightly more wear and tear feel would be more authentic, but don't get me wrong this is the best of the best in detailing. The spinner is now chrome, real chome. Carenado always did do great chrome fittings but the extra shinyness now adds to the effect (X-Plane11 metalness effects). This shinyness is highlighted by the lovely curves of the lower fuselage and the air cooling vents. The Caravan has a powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A engine connected to that lovely crafted Hartzell 3-Blade Metal, Constant Speed - full feathering propeller... great stuff. Note that huge if slightly ugly right sided exhaust, but it does give off a great whine sound. The aircraft undercarriage support is also superb, there is a lot of animated flexibility and dynamic loading/unloading of the gear that adds amazing authenticity to the simulation. Minor detailing on the internal construction of all the wheels and braking systems are pinch perfect. Open the doors and the extreme detailing is even more evident. Looking into the cockpit you are immediately reminded on why the Caravan was such a big deal back when Carenado first released the Caravan. It was a modern cockpit (mid-80's compared to the other far older Mooney and the PA 32 Satatoga cockpits). Internal Detail That light on dark panel was and still is amazing as is the whole of the Caravan's cockpit. The panel is now even more dynamic with the X-Plane11 dynamic lighting effects, more realism and even more of a great place to be. All instrument and glass is reflective, instruments are all of the highest quality Checking around the panel there hasn't been much changed or added except that those tree style manipulators have been replaced by the standard half-moon style manipulators, this is for another reason as well as for just easier manipulation as they are required for the coming VR interaction. Those lovely hide away yokes do also have a working elevator trim, which is very usable. And above your head is still the standard tank switches and oxygen switch and dial readout. Your workplace seating still looks very comfortable and the quality is mindblowing, again the dynamic lighting brings something new to this already very familiar cockpit. Instrument Panel In reality this is not a really over complicated instrument panel and I think that is the overall sweetness on flying and using the Caravan. The row of engine status dials on the top row are (left to right) Torque, RPM Prop, ITT (Interstage Turbine Temperature), Gas Generator RPM, Oil Pressure PSI & Oil ºc Temperatures, Fuel Flow and both L&R fuel tank gauges dominates the panel, the lovely set of excellent annunciators that can be set for day and night visual brightness or test mode. Full Standard Six instruments for the flying pilot and the co-pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the ADF dial, Heading Dial/HSI and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Pilot has added Turn/Slip indicator below and Radar altitude (x100) meter. Left of SS is a VOR OBS pointer and Bendix King VOR data panel below. Far left is Prop Anti-Ice dial, Clock, and Engine Suction dial and approach marker lights. A nice working feature is the Voltage dial that has four switchable selections with Gen (Generator), Alt (Alternator), BATT (Battery) and Volt lower left is the external lighting switches and lower panel is six switches that covers the aircraft's Anti-Ice protection. There are also four rotary knobs for the instrument lighting which is in-direct and not back lighting, also here is the bottom brake pull and the Inertial Separator T handle that blocks debris coming into the main engine inlet. Air-conditioning and cabin heat switches and knobs are lower panel as well. There is a stand alone electrical and fuse raised box structure to the pilot's left... ... switches cover top - External Bus (GPU), Main Battery, Generator and fuel boost. Lower panel - Standby Power, Ignition, Engine Starter, Avionics Standby, Avionics Bus Tie and Avionics 1&2 OFF/ON. By today's standards the avionic package here is quite basic for a working aircraft. Top is a Bendix King KMA 24 radio set, with below a default X-Plane GNS 430 (COMM 1 and NAV1) settings. Mid-panel is a Bendix King KX 165 COMM 2 and NAV 2 (VOR) radio and a Bendix King RDR 2000 weather radar with the X-Plane radar overlaid below. Right stack has top a Garmin GTX 320 transponder then below a Bendix King KR87 ADF radio with finally the Bendix King KFC 150 autopilot. The autopilot has a indication panel and altitude adjustment, vertical speed adjust panel on the pilot's side top right. Throttle Pedestal Mid lower panel is a nice throttle pedestal. Left to right there is a power lever to be used only in emergencies, then a single main "Throttle" lever with a "beta" reverse gate. The "Prop" lever is for MAX and MIN RPM and gated lower is the feather adjustment. Then there is the "Condition" lever again gated with High and Low idle and the lower gate is the shutoff. Far right is the "Flap" setting in Up - 10º (150knts) - 20º Full (125 knts). Left pedestal is the elevator trim wheel and front panel is the aileron trim knob and rudder trim wheel. There is the main fuel shutoff pull knob as well. Flying the C208B Grand Caravan I have done this YMLT (Launceston) to YMHB (Hobart) route about twenty times so I know it backwards, with a few heading notes I don't even have to put into the GNS430 a flightplan. It is my usual passenger transfer with a little bit of sightseeing thrown in to the deal. I tank up per tank of 765lbs or 1531lbs total with a full weight of 7840lbs, a fair bit of fuel, but then I wanted to return to YMLT directly without refueling at Hobart. A glance around and all the seven passengers are in and the baggage is loaded. I have asked (nicely) for Carenado to put their excellent animated pilot and co-pilot as passengers for years, but still we have to pretend that there people in the rear. Starting up of the Caravan is still one of the great aircraft engine starts in X-Plane. You don't get FMOD sounds here (yet), but Carenado's 3D 180º controlled sounds are just as good if not better for all the different sound ranges and bass depth. Put the ignition switch on and set the starter... you get nothing for a short while and then that familiar faint whine grows from somewhere deep in the front of the aircraft, still the whine grows louder until finally the propeller starts to turn in to action. The start sequence is full automation, hit the switch and just wait. Even after years of flying the Caravan I still question if the External (GPU) actually works? I have pressed the switch (arrowed) but there seems to be no action and the battery has a habit of quickly discharging, so my guess is no. Once the engine temps are good I pull the condition lever back to idle and a RPM of around 650RPM. The original Caravan was a little bit faster in the idle, but it looks the new X-Plane11 performance settings have settled it down a little, for taxiing you don't have to fight it as much as you did in the past with far too much power. In fact the 208B feels quite perfect now. Power up and the whine builds, but so does also the deeper turbo grind, so familiar but still neckline hair raising fantastic, this is the Caravan we totally love. As noted the 208B is far easier to taxi without fighting the too powerful thrust now in the condition low idle setting, a big nice change... but don't forget to put the condition lever into the "High Idle" position before takeoff... or you won't, well takeoff. The asymmetric thrust will still pull you really hard to the left with all that very powerful 675shp Pratt & Whitney pushing you forward. So you have to be aware right from the point you let the brakes go to give only a little thrust until you can lock the nose-wheel in straight and then give it full power after a certain speed and usually around 45knts. It works but still with a little deft right rudder. The C208B will however still try to wander and you are working hard with the yoke and the rudder to keep it sweet on the centreline I’m also very heavy here ( 7840lbs) so that slightly helps, but the speed climbs quickly to a rotate at around 95knts. Climbing out and into a turn to the due southwest (210º) I settle in at a 1000fpm (feet Per Minute) climb as 1,234 ft/min (6.27 m/s) is the maximum. But even with this weight the Caravan takes the tight turn and climb all in it's stride. As I am so familiar with the Caravan I know its limits, I know how far to push the aircraft before it will fail me, and the 208B has a fair bit of slack in that area, it is a very sturdy aircraft, sweet to fly and manoeuvre but you need a firm straight hand on the yoke and rudder. One thing I do notice more on this XP11 version is the green window tint is quite strong in the glass reflections, it is highly noticeable if not slightly distracting. There is the short straight route to YMHB, or the scenic route which is going straight southeast out from Launceston and hitting the coast around the spectacular Freycinet National Park and the famous Wineglass Beach, clients don't mind the extra cost or time as the Tasmanian east coast views are worth the detour. But first you have to climb high to clear the Ben Lomond National Park, and so I set the altitude to 7500 AMSL. My passengers were also not getting a lot of views for their cash either as the cloud cover was pretty extensive... The Caravan has a Cruise speed of around 197 mph (171 kn; 317 km/h) and a Range of 1,240 mi (1,078 nmi; 1,996 km) with max fuel and reserves. Your ceiling is an amazing 25,000ft as you have oxygen on board, but I have never really flown over 15,000ft. The Bendix King KFC 150 autopilot is a treat to use, quite simple but effective. Vertical speed can be a simple up or down, or you can set the separate digital display in the rate of climb and then ARM the altitude you want to hold. I found that you can't have the manual trim set (via your joystick or in my case x56 throttle twist knobs) as it interferes with the aircraft's trim systems, so I had to disconnect the x56 controls. As I neared the east coast I could descend down through the thick cloud to see if the views would be better and more effective. But I would still have to be careful as there is still a fair bit if land elevation around the Wineglass Bay area, in other words it is hilly. Note the blue ignition on warning light? I have lived with this one for years, in the fact that if you start the Caravan with the engine running then the ignition light stays off, but start the 208B from cold it stays on even if the ignition switch is now off, it is more annoying than you think. Coming out of the lower 4000ft cloud base I got a real "whoa" moment. It wasn't dangerous in a sense of the word, but it still needed a hard turn south so it wouldn't become an issue, my altitude was set at 3500ft for the sightseeing. My passengers only got a quick glimpse of Wineglass Bay, the weather is nothing I can control, and thankfully the further south I flew the brighter the weather became. You get a great view out of the Caravan's cabin windows, that is why these aircraft are great in the sightseeing role, but in some lighting conditions the the glass reflections can be very strong. In the new strong light you can see the excellent X-Plane11 PBR lighting effects and how beautiful they are on the Caravan, it certainly is glossy and the light is fantastic (I popped the pod back on for the full dynamic effect) but I will admit to debating (with myself) if the Caravan is too glossy in this form, sometimes it feels like there is to much gloss and other times it is just right, so I am in neither camp. I have spent countless hours over the years looking over this view out of the Caravan, I still totally love it and you still admire how great an aircraft it is. The Caravan is one of Carenado's greatest successful aircraft even after all these years, that actually comes with no great surprise, and now in X-Plane11 form it certainly goes up a notch again. Time is getting on and the light is starting to fade. I usually go further south and around the peninsula and give the patrons a view of the Port Arthur Convict site as part of the deal, but today I am taking a short cut over Blackman Bay and directly to Dunalley Bay which leads into Frederick Henry Bay. The views are still spectacular, and once over the passage I see YMBH's lights far to the west of Frederick Henry Bay . I drop the altitude another 1500ft to 2000ft and start the approach phase as the light faded more... The Caravan's amazing instrument panel in-direct lighting (the main Standard Six dials are also backlit) is still spectacular, it is adjustable as well. Overhead lighting is provided by a single roof mounted light that gives the cockpit area and the panel a more workable light, the adjustments knobs though even with the new manipulators can still be hard work, you have to grab and pull hard to make the knobs turn, there is also plenty of spaces for extra lighting switches on the lighting panel. But the lighting overall is disappointing. Carenado pioneered great lighting effects that allows spot lighting to be adjustable, fade in and out and manoeuvrable in aircraft cabins. But here it is just plain dark back there, and the external Ice/Wing light doesn't work either? Externally you have taxi and landing lights on both outer front wing edges, and the standard beacon and great strobe effects. It may or may not be correct per the performance of the C208B but I always put the condition lever to the "low Idle" position before landing, yes you lose a slight bit of performance... but rather that than the huge fight to control the speed after landing with the thrust level too high to stop you cleanly and without wavering all over the runway and then losing direction in trying to bring "that damn lever back" to control the aircraft, I find I still have enough power and more control with it set even in the "low idle" position. I am learning that the performance of aircraft in X-Plane11 is quite different than before in X-Plane10. Certainly in the final landing phase. In the Caravan that sense is heightened. The area in question is throttle management, the ratio of speed to power. The stall point of the Caravan is 70knts, but let the airspeed drop below 100knts here on approach and you suddenly lose height, this is becoming a common theme if you have been reading other reviews since X-Plane11's release. The control is there and luckily the flap limits are quite high on the Caravan with 150knts for 10º and full (20º) at 125kts, so you drop 10º then adjust your speed then later the full 20º to 75knts on final approach. But by controlling the throttle (which you do a lot) can gain you either more height with more power or with less throttle to lose height, pure aircraft control. Certainly this effect was there before in older X-Plane versions, but the effect in X-Plane11 is certainly more finer and more noticeable now in the feel factor. I find it quite exciting and I feel I am having more control over the aircraft in flight, a fine tuning area but a very important one and the Caravan really brings that effect out more than other aircraft I have flown lately in the past. In other words you are flying far more by you throttle inputs as much as your hand and feet input. Get it right and you will boast about your landing for days, but it does take a fair bit of practise to be perfect. One highly noticeable change in the XP11 version is the "beta" or reverse thrust position that gives you full reverse thrust after landing. It still works as usual by the gauge (arrowed) on the Prop dial, but you don't get that "roar" of sound you used to have? It is now more of a whimper? (I checked both high and low idle positions). Passengers note the trip as "exciting" and "amazing" but I have flown the route in better conditions, but there is overall a more intimate feel with this X-Plane11 version than I can remember in the past with the older X-Plane versions of the Caravan, and that is a really great thing. Liveries The sets of liveries for both the Passenger and Cargo versions are the same as in the past, and any older liveries that you have collected don't work either. Included is for the Passenger version the: standard blank, Camo (camouflage), Exec 1, Exec 2 and that excellent GoTropical. There are three Super CargoMaster liveries with the: Civil, FedEx and DHL. You get the Civil Cargo livery with the package and the two other liveries in the FedEx and DHL can be downloaded here.: Carenado FreeLiveries Summary This Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and optional Super CargoMaster has been one of the most successful Carenado aircraft in X-Plane to date, and it is really not hard to see why. I have loved the Caravan and more than most aircraft in X-Plane over the last four years because it is so versatile and just really a great aircraft to fly. The release of the Caravan in X-Plane11 bring certainly all the great features of the new platform including PBR (Physical Based Rendering) and the performance enhancements that are really noticeable in the pilots seat. The added feature of both the passenger and super cargomaster versions together in one package also adds hugely into the appeal. A lot of work has gone into the quality of the detailing for X-Plane11 and quality is what Careando are known for. But in another point of view, if you know the Caravan really well you won't really notice anything new or different in new features, from the pilot's seat you have the same position as you always have had but just only now in X-Plane11 with its excellent features, that is a positive but also a slight negative. The lighting feels old, because internally it is compared to most later Carenado releases and the no Ice/wing light is highly noticeable, no new liveries over four years is not going to be fun either and since now the older custom ones now don't work either. (I lost fifteen liveries, gulp) Carenado have noted though that FMOD audio, full VR support, SASL 3.0 upgrade, re-vamped pop-up windows and more are coming along in the update path, so my advice is to enjoy now and that more changes and features will come along as part of the overall package. This is as noted a new purchase of the aircraft in full as well, but the cost does cover all updates throughout the X-Plane11 run or for about four to five years and any new features that Carenado have promised to add in to the overall package and I think that is overall a very good deal. So here is one of the greats, and the Grand Caravan now comes in X-Plane11 clothes and performance. If you have read this full review, then you would know how important this aircraft is to my X-Plane flying, now in X-Plane11 the flying can now go on (and on) and I know I will absolutely love every moment of it, as a validation of a great aircraft this Grand Caravan is then one of the very best and you simply can't go any higher than that... _____________________________________________________________________________________ The C208B Grand Caravan HD Series XP11 by Carenado is NOW available! at the X-Plane.OrgStore 208 Grand Caravan HD Series Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Features: Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Requirements: Windows XP - Vista - 7 -10 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 570MB available hard disk space Installation and documents: Download for the C208B Grand Caravan HD Series is 498.40mg and the unzipped 589.20mb file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder with this aircraft version X-Plane11 only. Documents C208B GC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B SC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B GC Reference document PDF C208B SC Reference document PDF KFC150 Autopilot PDF Recommended Settings XP11 PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th August 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - YMLT - Launceston, Australia 1.2.0 by CDG (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YMHB - Hobart International Airport & YCBG Cambridge Aerodrome 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - AustraliaPro 2.03 Beta by Chris K (X-Plane.Org) - Free (recommended for any Australian flying!)
  2. News! - Aircraft Upgraded to XP11 : 208 Grand Caravan HD Series by Carenado You would actually be surprised on how old Carenado's 208B Grand Caravan actually is in X-Plane. The original release is now five years old, with a big v2 update a year later in 2013. As I fly this aircraft quite a lot I did find it feeling quite old lately as it is, but I didn't realise that overall it was over five years old. So the upgrade to X-Plane11 will be certainly really welcome for this grand machine, the C208 is one of the best and I would guess one of the biggest sellers for Carenado in X-Plane. Like all older upgrades to X-Plane11 from Carenado you have to repurchase the aircraft, this is not an update, but a completely new version. With that there is an interesting change to the package in that the Super CargoMaster add-on is now included in the full package and not as an add on purchase, so buy one and you get both versions. I know this excellent aircraft more than most machines in X-Plane, it is a brilliant simulation of one of the world's most versatile aircraft. The C208B is the most workable local short route aircraft you can fly and there are a lot of great features and options to get the best out of this aircraft. The Super CargoMaster version also comes with an extra download of DHL and FedEx liveries as well. Features Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. I haven't flown the new XP11 Caravan yet but those specifications look excellent. Note the different engine performance, better flight physics both in the air and on the ground and the X-Plane11 feature Physically Based Rendering (PBR) has been incorporated in the new version as well. Included in the package 5 HD Liveries 1 HD Blank Llivery 2 models: Grand Caravan (GC) and Super Cargomaster (SC) C208B GC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B SC Normal and Emergency Procedures PDF C208B GC Reference document PDF C208B SC Reference document PDF KFC150 Autopilot PDF Recommended Settings XP11 PDF Recommended System Requirements Windows XP - Vista - 7 -10 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 570MB available hard disk space The X-Plane11 Grand Caravan 200B and Super CargoMaster package is now available from Carenado ______________________________________________________________________ The 208 Grand Caravan XP11 HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : 208 Grand Caravan HD Series Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 10th August 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  3. Aircraft Upgrade : Beechcraft 1900D HD XP11 by Carenado In my monthly "Behind The Screen" post back in August 2016 I noted my overall "best of" ten aircraft. Listed at number six was the Carenado B1900D regional 19 passenger airliner. It is not hard to not really like the B1900D, it has everything to want you to keep jumping back into that left-hand seat and to do another flight. It is best of course in the regional point to point routes, nothing too long and something that can easily fill in a few hours of you leisure time. But more than that the 1900D is simply a great simulation, very intimate, involving and with the just sheer great feedback from a great twin turboprop airliner. So here is the X-Plane11 version of the B1900D from Carenado, an upgrade to the new simulator is always going to be a good thing, but with an aircraft like the B1900D its got to be a great thing. Overall there isn't anything really new on the XP11 version except to configure the aircraft to the X-Plane11 specifications. There is more change in here than what you would think that is required but everything here is mostly under the hood in more than what can be visually. The only noticeable visual areas are the textures. Even in the Scottish gloom of EGPH (Edinbourgh) the 1900D looks far more glossy and the panel work is far more pronounced and with better normal mapping. (normal mapping is the raising of pixels to simulate say panel lines or rivets) The Carenado B1900D was never a lightweight, or frameweight aircraft. And the new textures are going to have a slightly more heavier effect again and another side-effect of the texture changes is that it effects the xEnviro weather plugin quite severely to the point I couldn't fly the B1900D with the plugin activated, were as the earlier B1900D has no framerate issues. (The effect on xEnviro could be the current v1.06 in having not being updated as to this review's date). Carenado has also invested in for these PBR (Physical Based Rendering) materials authored with some industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. And the resulting effects are very good. The B1900D does look outstanding in the right lighting conditions and the effects work well even with an older livery like my FlyBe colours. The performance and flight physics have also been adjusted to the new X-Plane11 thrust parameters as has the newer ground fiction physics that will also need to be adjusted to. The Beechcraft is still quite tricky on the takeoff, so you will need a fair bit of skill to keep the 1900D central to the line, but this is still a great simulation, I mean you wouldn't want the aircraft to fly on rails now would you... The X-Plane lighting effects have been adjusted so they look authentic, no blobs here. This is one aircraft to love in the manual aspect, the aircraft is lovely under your rudder and yoke control. Instrument Panel is still one of the very best in X-Plane. Sheer authenticity abounds. It is a complicated cockpit, but still based on the famous King-Air series of Beechcraft aircraft. The Physically Based Rendering materials and textures have gone overboard in here, all areas are better and the reflections perfect. The PBR lighting effects lift the cockpit's realism as well. There is still great features, like the lovely yoke with it's built in trim buttons that actually work. Pedestal is a piece of art... nice to look at and to use. Carenado have gone back to the standard X-Plane manipulator system and away from it's own featured tree style scroll manipulator. There are two reasons for this. One is that now the default manipulators have a scroll wheel function now built in, but the second reason is more interesting in that it sets up VR compatible click spots for the use of Virtual Reality that is coming to X-Plane11 in the future (October 2017 is noted, but I wouldn't hold that as completely kosher, it may change yet). Aircraft comes with a great (resizable) autopilot that is part of the Electronic Flight Instrument System by Rockwell Collins, which includes the Electronic Attitude Director Indicator (EADI) & Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) and the altitude selector. The default Garmin GNS530 is updated to the X-Plane11 version which includes the built in navigation data. Cabin fit-out is excellent, very high quality as design and detailing is top notch. For the back seat flyers the views are excellent. Rain and Ice effects have been updated, and with the better X-Plane11 environment engine it is very effective and realistic. Liveries The original liveries have not changed from and still have their very fancy names... AzureWisp, BlackGold, OrangeWisp, BlueShark and SwissAir the white/blank is default. There are six extra airline operator liveries that you can download from the Carenado site once you have purchased the aircraft, and these include - ERA, Air Canada, Air NewZealand new and old, Next Jet and United Express and loads more on the X-Plane.Org including my lovely Flybe. For a full comprehensive overview review of the Carenado Beechcraft 1900D then go here: Aircraft Review : Beechcraft 1900D HD Series by Carenado Summary To fly my sixth favorite aircraft in my hangar and it is now natively in X-Plane11 is always going to be a great thing. The Beechcraft 1900D is one of the very best regional aircraft in X-Plane11... strike two. One of the best and needs the required skills to fly really well... strike three, and I can go on like this all day. Mostly there is nothing really new to the original package than the upgrading of the performance, systems, physics and the complete overhaul of the textures and materials to take advantage of the Physical Based Rendering effects. It may not on the surface feel or look a lot, but it makes a big difference in the flesh, what was great is now even greater. The vB1900D is still heavy on your framerate, nothing has changed there and I feel it is a little more heavier again, not by a significant amount, but noticeable. Otherwise there is little to fault it, textures, sounds and that excellent Carenado quality is all in here. As the B1900D is released longer than six months ago. Then this new X-Plane11 package is a new initial release, or you will need to repurchase the aircraft in full to own it, but the deal comes then for the full run of X-Plane11. No upgrade deals either as it is either at full cost or wait for the sales. Could I not have this Beechcraft 1900D in my online flying career, I doubt it, it is just too big a part of my everyday flying experiences and just to big a hole not to fill. This is one of the very best regional turboprop aircraft in X-Plane, based on the great King-Air Series this version is the top of the line in size and performance... It is just one of the very best and now available in X-Plane11 as well. __________________________________________________________________ The Beechcraft 1900D HD XP11 by Carenado is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : B1900D HD Series XP11 Price is currently US$34.95 Version 1.0 (June 30th 2017) Initial X-Plane 11 release Also available and developer site : Carenado.com Features: HD quality textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Ice and Rain effects Included in the package: 5 HD liveries - 1 HD Blank Livery B1900D Emergency Checklist PDF - B1900D Normal Procedures PDF B1900D Performance Tables PDF - B1900D Reference PDF B1900D EFIS X-Plane PDF - B1900D EVVI X-Plane PDF Recommended Settings PDF Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows 7+, MAC OS 10.7 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System 16GB RAM/ 4GB VRAM Version 1.0 (last updated June 30th 2017) Download size is 425.60mb, that is deposited into your X-Plane General Aviation Folder at 732.00mb (I created a separate folder called "Regional for these aircraft." _____________________________________________________________________________________ Upgrade Review by Stephen Dutton 5th July 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - EGPH - Edinburgh Airport UK 1.0.1 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - EGHI - Southampton Airport by Pilot+Plus (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.95
  4. News! - Aircraft Upgraded to XP11 : B200 King Air HD Series by Carenado Carenado has upgraded their wonderful B200 King-Air HD to X-Plane11. This aircraft is one of the big hitters in X-Plane in the large twin category, a lovely aircraft that is a real treat to fly. So how good... well it is my second all round favorite via my Top 10 list and so you can't get a higher mark than that. This is the upgraded XP11 version which includes: Features Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections). Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11. Flight physics designed for XP11 standards. Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics. Physically Based Rendering materials and textures. PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries. 2 X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly) Ice and rain effects VR compatible click spots. Goodway Compatible. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic Weight and Balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Carenado are now using high-end professional software to create the very best textures for PBR (Physical Based Rendering) that is the cornerstone of X-Plane11 features. Cockpit and Cabin is first rate, best in class... one thing Carenado do best is excellent detailing and quality textures. Included in the package: 6 HD liveries 1 HD Blank livery. B200 EFIS PDF. B200 Emergency Checklist PDF. B200 Normal Checklist PDF. B200 Performance Tables PDF. B200 Terrain Awareness Annunciator Control Unit PDF. Recommended Settings PDF. Recommended System Requirements Windows XP - Vista - 7 or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5 ghz or faster. Memory: 16-24 GB RAM or more. Video Card: a DirectX 12-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) 400MB available hard disk space (incl. free downloadable extra liveries) Note: This upgraded aircraft is new to X-Plane11 and is not an update of the original B200 King-Air for X-Plane. So a full purchase cost is required to acquire this version. The XP11 version is however valid for any updates thoughout the X-Plane11version run. ______________________________________________________________________ The B200 King Air HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : B200 KING AIR HD SERIES Price is US$34.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 23rd July 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  5. Aircraft Review - Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado Can you have your head in the clouds. Of course you can, and you can even let your thoughts wander a little as well. It helps if you are more than 6000ft above a Greek island, and it is the largest Greek island at that, which is named Crete (Kríti) and as it is the first day of spring you are also in a happy disconnected from reality frame of mind. The transport is a very nice SR22 from Cirrus, and your first thought would be "hang on, haven't we been here before lately?" Well you have in vFlyteAir's version of the SR20 that X-PlaneReview's reviewed only six months ago. But this is the SR22 version that is a development of the SR20 and this aircraft has the larger wing, higher fuel capacity, and the more powerful Continental IO-550-N 310-horsepower (231 kW) engine. It is Turbo-Charged as well for a bit more Vroom, Vroom which is never a bad thing in a small aircraft. The flight is from LGKC on Kithira to LGIR - Heraklion which is on the central northern coast of Crete. And on how I got into this happyish frame of mind started back only a few hours ago when I first saw the SR22 back at Kithira Island National Airport. SR22 Menus There are three menu tabs on the lower left side of the screen. Standard Carenado in the (C) or Views/Volume menu that has the standard internal and external views plus two for switches and the G1000 screens, the volume slider is up/down on the side and point of view slider across the top. Center tab is the (O) or Options tab that covers Window and instrument reflections (always very good on a Carenado), Static elements in mostly just tags and bollards. Mouse Scroll, which is important for me with a single click mouse. Pilot, Passenger and baggage doors, which all can be separately opened and closed, both main doors can also be opened by the latches inside. Bottom (A) tab is a big popup centre panel that covers the A/P Autopilot. HDG (Heading), CRS (Course) and ALT SEL (Altitude Select) knobs. And G1000 input keyboard and control panel. The panel can be resized but is better in the full size for easy button and knob manipulation. Internal Cabin Nicely fitted out cabin is pure Carenado detailing. A lot darker than the vFlyteAir version, but then Carenado cockpits are always like this. In the cabin you have four seats that are beautifully rendered and designed with great almost to the touch signature leather padded textile upholstery. Cabin fit out is bar perfect, very real and well detailed, no complaints in anywhere here. The instruments and panels are all angled and set around the flying left seat pilot. The right hand seat pilot can fly the aircraft with a yoke and rudder set, but the screen panel and switchgear would be offset to them. Overall the aircraft has minimum switchgear and controls, just the basics you require and nothing more. That does not mean the aircraft is not well equipped because it is, but unlike the older generations of aircraft these modern versions have been refined to a higher easier flying level. Yoke or flying handles are unique, in their push/pull and twist actions, but they also clear a lot of space in front of the pilots. Here they are both beautifully rendered. SR22 Instrument panel The SR22 is the second aircraft to have Carenado's unique Garmin G1000 twin-panel display system after the CT182T Skylane G1000 HD Series last year (2015). It is a totally comprehensive system that requires its own separate GPS database that has to installed in the X-Plane root folder, it is a big download at 870mb. The G1000 system for X-Plane has been in development at Carenado for some time and it is almost a fully working direct copy of the real world G1000 system. When you turn on the aircraft's (battery power), you have to wait (a fairly long time) while the database loads into the system. Power is supplied by the first two rocker switches in BAT 1 & 2 on the switch panel located on the shelf under the left hand panel, next two switches are the ALT 1 & 2 (alternator) switches but the last rocker switch to the right of the set is the "Avionics" switch to start up the right hand G1000 screen. When the avionics are switched on you still have to activate the screen by pressing the ENT (Enter) button on the middle console panel or the menu button far right on the display. Before we go into the complexities of the G1000 system, let us look at the instrumentation and the rest of the switchgear. The rest of the main switchgear panel covers the Ice Protection On-Off, MAX or NOR Ice setting, Pitot Heat, Exterior lighting (Nav - Strobe - Land). Three knobs on the far right adjust the panel and interior lighting. First knob adjusts the instrument lighting, then the red cowl lighting and the last right knob covers the overhead spotlights. The red cowl lighting is quite vivid at the full setting, I tuned it down to be more somber in tone, but it looks very good against the fake wood grain paneling. Directly in front of the pilot are three lower standby dial instruments in "Airspeed", "Artificial Horizon" and "Altitude". All backup dials are very clear and well presented. On the centre console at the top is dominated by the huge A/P Autopilot and G1000 input keyboard and control panel, that we mentioned earlier and as noted then it pops up via the menu for ease of use. Then a standard Garmin GMA 350 radio set and lower an ADF Bendix King KR87 TSO direction set. Lower centre panel is the Oxygen selection and Flap selection in "up", "50%" with a 119kias restriction and "100%" flap with a 104kias restriction. Nice big throttle lever dominates the lower console in look and feel. This "Single Lever Throttle Control” automatically adjusts the propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever on the aircraft. To the right is the red knob "Mixture" lever with "Rich" to "Lean" adjustment. You can switch to each fuel tank via the switch, but have to press the red "OFF" panels to turn it off. Very nice tank gauges are set out above and are very clear for use. Sets of fuse breakers are on the left inside of the centre console. Very right of the main panel is an environment control panel for fresh air and heating turn switches. Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit Garmin twin panel G1000 gps sets are now becoming common in X-Plane. These systems are menu driven, which means you select the different functions you require via the lower row of buttons and the changing menu selections to show the items you need. Yes they are very good these G1000 sets but you can get lost in the various menu trees to find sometimes something very simple as say the VOR2 pointer. There are some real world layouts of the various menu trees and the Carenado manual does give you an excellent overview of the complexities of the system, but it does need some study to not find yourself spending a lot of time going through all the many various combinations of menu selections to get to the function of what you want. There are many on screen options and featured here in the lower displays around the heading rose is your NAV1, ADF and right VOR2 pointers. You can fill up your PFD panel with a lot of information. Including NEAREST Airports, A small view of the MAP, References and an engine monitoring side panel. But all this takes away the main objective of these huge displays to deliver clear simple information of flying the aircraft. The objectivity is the use of the huge artificial horizon that covers the whole display. It has built in Pitch, Rate of Roll (very nice with built in indicators called "Trend Vectors"), speed and altitude tapes (built in Vertical Speed - or +) and lower Heading, noted Lower rose heading dial has built in CRS (course) and The Course selector is also your Nav 1, Nav 2 and GPS (autopilot) selection modes and built in CDI (course deviation indicator) for runway ILS alignment. Top of the PFD is an information grid that covers "Engine Power%", Autopilot status, Prev and Current waypoints when the flightplan is active, Distance to the next waypoint, Est time to next waypoint, COMM 1&2 Frequencies. displayed also in the top lower grid is your active GPS/NAV1/NAV2, AP (autopilot), ALT and VS (Vertical Speed) status, Altimeter and VVI and bottom are Baro and OAT temp. If you are familiar with the default X-Plane GNS 430/530 GPS system then the knobs and buttons down the right of the display will be a no brainer. Comm 1&2 selector, CRS/Baro adjustment, Map range, (buttons) Direct-to, FPL (flightplan), Clear and Enter (ENT). PFD/FMS inner/outer is at the bottom. The right hand MFD (Multi-Function Display) display is the more flexible screen that covers a lot more variations and different areas of the aircraft's position and condition. Note that both screens can be swapped around if required for use. There are two main modes for display on the MFD, in MAP (Navigation) and ENG (Engine) modes. We will cover the ENG mode first. Note first the engine here is not running. Engine parameters covered are "Engine Power%", "Engine RPM", "Man In HG" (Manifold Pressure), "FFlow" (Fuel Flow), "Oil" Pressure and Temp. "Engine Temperatures" are covered in CHT ºF and EGT ºF. Anti-Ice Amount (in GAL) and Oxygen Pressure. Electrical output section covers both Current (A) and Bus Volts (V). The Fuel section displays "Fuel Qty" (in GAL) for both tanks, and fuel calculation data in "Used" - "Rem" (remaining), "Time Rem" and "Range" on the remaining amount of fuel in both tanks. I found the fuel data really helpful in planning and in flight on managing your range and fuel tank selection. Air data in altitude and OAT (outside Air Temp). Switch to MAP mode and the engine status parameters are located on a side panel that covers the RPM, FFlow, GAL used (fuel), Oil Pressure and Temp, Current (A) and Bus Volts (V), CHT ºF and EGT/ITT ºF. This engine status panel is the one that can also be visual in the PFD. At the top of the MFD is a duplicated grid of information that is situated across the top of the PFD except the PWR % is missing and is replaced by the NAV 1&2 Frequencies with adjoining adjustment knobs and slider button. Biggest feature of the G1000 is the huge GPS map and terrain options, One thing to keep in mind is that to show a screen of terrain data at this size requires a lot of processing, and a huge task of your computer processing needs. This can make the screen sometime quite slow in responding and mostly if the screen (or the aircraft) is turning to a new heading or redrawing the images on the display. Terrain options include, Traffic - Topo (topographic) - Terrain - Airways. You have a built elevation guide to evaluate the current terrain. Creating and using flightplans are accessed by the FPL button (Green Arrow) on the G1000 Control Unit panel. This button brings up flightplan panel on the MFD display, and here you can create, save, adjust, reload and delete flightplans. To start to create a new flightplan then use "FMS Knob" in the centre of the top part of the main programming control panel. This will give you the standard half-moon manipulators in large and small and also note your current GPS position on the display. The large manipulators are used to move down or up a line of your flightplan (segments), the same as your standard GNS GPS. The smaller higher manipulators will open another window to insert the Nav-Aid/Fix and these inputs are done via the alphabet/numeric keyboard. Note I found the console manipulators really hard to use (mostly the small right half-moons, Carenado note it is the angle you use the manipulators, but it is still too hard) but the manipulators used on the popup panel with the menu tab was fine, and the inputs on mostly the first letter of a waypoint/fix was also very slow and or had to be backtracked and done a second time to insert, the rest of the digits were not so bad. When the GPS Nav-Aid/Fix is done then press ENT to insert the waypoint in the flightplan. Again select the second waypoint by using the inner manipulators to bring up the insert window and inserting in waypoint code. When entered you will note the first departure point of the flightplan the altitude for the airport is automatically inserted. On the second waypoint line you have to insert the altitude you want to use when you arrive at the waypoint. This is inserted in the right hand selected (larger manipulators) box. Then again ENT to save the waypoint into the flightplan. You repeat the process until you have the full route from Departure to Arrival airports completed then you activate the first waypoint of the flightplan (departure airport) by using the MENU (Options) button and selecting "Activate Leg" and pressing ENT to load the flightplan into the system. You can SAVE your flightplan here also, INVERT it (or swap the whole flightplan backwards to start at the current arrival airport) or DELETE the flightplan from the full list which is shown in a separate page window. Basically the G1000 system is still like the standard X-Plane GPS GNS430/530 system, just slightly different on the way you access it. You can zoom in or change the range of the flightplan in MAP mode via the large knob on the right (RANGE). DCLTR will "declutter" the map in three positions. Also like the X-Plane GPS GNS430/530 system, you have a menu system along the lower right part of the MFD. Changed by the manipulators (High/Low) it gives you access to a lot more information. Most are a replica of the standard Garmin system in MAP, WPT (Waypoint), AUX, FPL, NRST. The different one here is the AUX (Auxiliary). AUX has many display pages starting with TRIP PLANNING, UTILITY (timing), GPS STATUS, SYSTEM SET UP ... ... SYSTEM STATUS and CHECKLISTS (Standard and Emergency). A lot of the data shown above is not full realised because the aircraft is stationary and not running, so we will revisit a few moments when in flight to see how they perform in action. Menu panels and G1000 displays all pop-out for ease of use and can be moved around your screen for the best position to access. Pop-outs are just as clear and the same resolution as the fitted panels and that is sometimes very rare. Flying the SR22 GTSX Turbo I tanked up the CIRRUS to give me 5.0hr of flying. You need to select a tank with the pointer selector on the centre console. The "Mixture" lever is moved to "Rich" but it is hard to get at as it is hidden by that large throttle handle, from the Pilot's position you can't move the mixture unless you move the throttle itself, or move your view right over to the passengers right hand seat. You can close the doors from the inside via the latches, and they close with a nice "thunk". Adjusting the panel lighting and you are ready to start that Continental IO-550-N 310. Pump boost on and a turn of the key allows the engine to turn, churn then roar into life. Sounds are as per usual Carenado's in very good if not excellent here. Set the CDI to "GPS" and that it is now ready and waiting for the flightplan locked in once you are airborne. The SR22 has the new Carenado feature that allows castoring of the front steering. I found it a bit too twitchy for my liking, and you need a bit of momentum before it will actual release from the straight ahead position. A lot of Carenado steering is like this and you get used to it, but the slightly higher speed required here to get the steering working smoothly can have you putting on too much speed initially to bring it quickly down again to find your taxi line with it then suddenly locking up again. Once you do get the right momentum and speed it is fine but a bit more usability would be nice. On the line and your ready to go... The Cirrus will track the centre line quite nicely without too much rudder adjustment and you can rotate up at around 100knts. Feel in the air is good and you can easily change the altitude and bank to keep the right momentum and climb with ease. Once leveled out and clean, I selected the A/P on the centre console to take control of the NAV (flightplan) and the rate of climb to the set altitude of 6500ft. The layout of the autopilot and controls on this console panel are excellent, very easy to use and operate. Rate of Climb is around 1000fpm (official is 1,250fpm) and here the Turbo comes into its own, more importantly is the performance as you go higher. The aircraft's ceiling is 25,000 feet, but it's easy enough to estimate that at an average of close to 1,000 fpm for the entire climb would take between 25 and 30 minutes from sea level to FL 250. You would never really do that height as you would waste too much performance. The turbo performance makes a lot more sense down low at the non-oxygen-required altitudes from 9,000 to 12,000, but this is far better performance than the non-turbo normally aspirated Cirrus, or any other non-turbocharged airplane for that matter, because once you get much higher than around 6,000 or 7,000 feet, the lack of air starts to cut down on the airplane's performance, reducing your rate of climb substantially, but not with the turbo as you can keep on giving on with all that extra power, but below 5000ft though the aircraft flies the same with either the normally aspirated Cirrus and turbo versions unless you need that extra push when required. Most sales now are with the turbo versions of the SR22 than the normally aspirated Cirrus. Top speed in the thin air is 215knts but the average at 12,000ft is 194knts in cruise mode. Range is 1,049 nmi (1,207 mi; 1,943 km) with reserves at 65% power. Now as we leveled out at our 6500ft altitude you can see the engine performance on the ENG mode page and the huge amount of data available on the AUX-TRIP PLANNING mode page. Both are impressive in flight. NRST (Nearest) options include AIRPORTS, NDB, VOR and Waypoints and there is a DIRECT-TO function that can be accessed and activated if required. These menu page screen provide so much information you can't cover everything here, but they are excellent in operation and detail. We are cruising now high above the Greek Islands, yes it is nice place to be... best moment in a while actually. The view forward is quite restricted and the blinds tend to make it even narrower to look through the windscreen than it needs to be. You can easily move them to the side while flying and that gives you a more open fuller screen vision. External design of the SR22 is excellent, this is a Carenado after all and you would think of nothing else from them. The tri-gear is a fixture, so don't go looking for an undercarriage lever because there isn't one. But the detailing is superb, first rate and you simply can't fault it. The aircraft's textures are quite shiny, so it can be very washed out in the high Greek sunlight at certain angles, but overall the external aircraft is excellent. Terrain mode on the MAP display is very good. As I skimmed along the Crete northern coast the mountainous ranges were well represented on the display. A must for flying at night or with minimum visibility. You have to watch your fuel usage and be ready to switch tanks as you hit the minimum section in the earlier selected tank, you can lean the mixture a little to find the best performance to economy range and experiment to get performance you like the best. The Cirrus has a built in safety feature of a parachute called the "Cirrus Airframe Parachute System" in case the engine goes wonky or you forget to switch over the fuel tanks. It is set out on the roof and you can pull off the cover and pull the handle. It is however not advisable to use if you are running well on the flightplan. Unlike the VflyteAir SR20 version were as the parachute does actually work... here you are just sent to the closest airport runway in an instant. LGIR - Heraklion “Nikos Kazantzakis” is now just over the next range, time to slip down and get ready for landing on RWY27. At 1500ft I turn off the flightplan and select a heading to be in a circuit parallel line with the runway and a pass and return to the airport is required for the 27º heading landing. Tight, tight 360º turn is neck straining as I search then find the direct line back to RWY27, speed down and flaps down two positions. Flaps and mechanism are very well constructed, but the inside wing texture is a little dubious. Note the excellent panel work on the wings and fuselage... "Heads up mate we are landing!" Even with a small slight crosswind the aircraft is very stable, around 70knts in the final approach and a slow clean descent can give you little bounce on contact. You have to rub off a lot of speed before touching the brakes... I mean a lot. If you are tempted earlier you will simply disappear off the runway to the left and go off straight into the scenery, get it right and you will turn neatly on to the side taxiway. Shutdown and when opening up the door the hot humid Greek air fills the cool cabin, Job done. Liveries Standard Carenado blank/white livery and five designs are all very high 4K quality. Night Lighting There are three adjustment knobs for Instrumentation and displays, the red cowl lighting and overhead lighting. There are four overhead spot lights that are + manipulator adjustable to shine in any direction in the cabin, two front and two rear. The front spots however are under the front blinds, and so to be used effectively you need to move the blinds out of the way. You can certainly find the right feel in the cabin, but full on red under cowl is a bit stark and distracting. External lighting is basic with just Nav, Landing (single light) and flashing strobes. Nice touch are small sets of LED lights located at the front of each wingtip. Summary It is a Carenado and with this brand you know that quality, features and flight dynamic depth are usually first rate to excellent. That is certainly delivered here at a quality price. So you get a lot for your investment. The SR22 is a great aircraft to fly and the depth of instrumentation and details are certainly first rate, that is a given as well. The G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit is certainly a huge feature here, but it comes with a big stick. It is a colossal complex sized system that has a huge amount of data to process. It takes time to separately load in all that 3.83gb, yes gigabytes worth of data (It thankfully does not use it all at the same time but just loads a few area tiles). But it does all have a significant impact on your frame-rate and Carenado aircraft are not the lightest aircraft in the hanger in the first round and so your computer processor has to cope with a large chunk more with this GPS G1000 system on top of the aircraft again. My i5 Mac computer just scraped through with its average processing performance, so it is usable. But I would highly recommend a machine with a pretty grunty or powerful sets of processors and memory to give you a fair amount of working headroom and data space. Only other quirk is the twitchy castoring steering which will need mastering at slow speeds. Overall the Cirrus SR22 ticks all the right boxes and gives X-Plane users another great step forward in sound, design, features and even more better quality in a general aviation aircraft. A real nice aircraft to fly as well and with all that Turbo power for great performance. So another great winner from Carenado. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Cirrus SR22 - GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series by Carenado is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : SR22 GTSX Turbo G1000 HD Series Price is US$34.95 Developer Site: Carenado Dev Support : Carenado Support _____________________________________________________________________________________ Special Features Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit All-new surround sound architecture. Volumetric side view prop effect. Features Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Aux- Trip Planning Window Checklist mode Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Ice and Rain effect _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download is 209.50meg and the aircraft is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 256.90 meg. Installation key is required on start up and is supplied with the purchased download file. Carenado G1000 data package is also required and has to be installed in the X-Plane root folder (Main X-Plane folder) before using the aircraft. Data download pack is here; GPS database and it is a big download at 870mb. Documents supplied are: Carenado G1000 Perspective PDF SR22 Emergency Checklist PDF SR22 Normal Procedures PDF SR22 Performance Tables PDF SR22 Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows 7, 8, 10+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.40 (or higher) running in 64bit mode 2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.1 (last updated Feb 29, 2016) Carenado G1000 Database must be installed ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 4th March 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - LGKC - Kithira Island Airport Greece 1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - LGIR - Heraklion International Airport Greece by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  6. News! - Aircraft Upgraded to XP11 : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado Earlier this year Carenado released their excellent PA-34 Seneca V HD Series aircraft. They did note at the time that as soon as X-Plane11 was in a final release they would then update the aircraft to X-Plane11 specifications. This has now been done with the v1.2 release and now available for download from the X-Plane.OrgStore or Carenado. As this aircraft was released under the six month purchase point then this upgrade is free to all current owners of the aircraft. I am a big fan of this aircraft, lovely to fly and it has great avionics in the Garmin G500 navigation system. The v1.2 upgrade includes: The package includes two aircraft files: one updated file for X-Plane 10.5x, and one completely re-authored file for X-plane 11, which is calibrated to X-plane 11’s new flight dynamics engine, PBR materials, and other XP11-native features. -Added full support for X-Plane11 (new .acf file for XP11) -Implemented PBR (Physically based rendering), both interior and exterior -Replaced “SuperManipulator” (proprietary scroll wheel) with X-plane -native scroll wheel control. -Re-did entire flight dynamics for XP 11 version of the aircraft -Calibrated fuel consumption -Calibrated ground handling -Calibrated interior HDR lights. -Tweaked flaps and elevators -Nav To/From indicator fixed A full X-PlaneReviews review of the release version of the PA-34 Seneca V is available here : Aircraft Review : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series Price is US$32.95 Update notes are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com Requirements : Windows 7+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System X-Plane 10 fully updated (any edition) - 64bit mode 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. CARENADO G1000 database must be installed ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 17th June 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  7. News! - Aircraft Released! : PA22 Tri-Pacer By Carenado The Tri-Pacer is a family of four-seater, strut braced, high-wing light aircraft that was built by Piper Aircraft in the post-World War II period. And the PA22 with the 125 hp (93 kW) Lycoming O-290-D engine and tri-cycle landing gear arrangement is that aircraft released here by Carenado. In a way this Tri-Pacer is an odd aircraft for Carenado to release? These niche types of aircraft are usually released under the Alabeo brand and not under the house Carenado name, but it would denote a slightly higher feature set and better quality HD textures (The differences lately between Carenado and Alabeo have also been closing release by release, so it is not as big as a quality difference as say even a few years ago), however the aircraft is noted as licensed by Alabeo. The Pacer features a steel tube fuselage and an aluminum frame wing, covered with fabric, and much designed like Piper's most famous aircraft, the Cub and Super Cub. This is an aircraft prized for its ruggedness, spacious cabin, and, for its time, impressive speed and many Pacers still continue to fly today after the last Pacer (a colt) was completed on 26 March 1964. No doubt there will be the usual Carenado quality and detailing, and features include: Custom sounds Full Xplane 10.5 and X-Plane 11 compatible GoodWay Compatible Superb material shines and reflections (full PBR in XP11). Volumetric side view prop effect. High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit FPS-optimized model. Included in the package: 4 hd liveries 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance Tables PDF Recommended Settings PDF Technical Requirements Windows XP -7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux Fully XP11 Compatible or X-Plane 10.5x i5 (or equivalent) 2.5 GHz - 8GB RAM - 2GB Video card 295MB available hard disk space The PA22 Tri-Pacer HD SERIES is available right now from Carenado... ______________________________________________________________________ The PA22 Tri-Pacer By Carenado is NOW available! here : PA22 Tri-Pacer HD Series Price is US$24.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 9th June 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  8. Aircraft X-Plane11 Update : AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado It was not hard to fall in love with Carenado's AeroCommander Shrike 500s. It was from the start one of the more of the recent times simply one of the easiest aircraft to slip into, lovely layout and had a great feel behind the controls. So it was an instant favorite. Here is the X-Plane11 upgrade noted as v1.2, and it is free as the aircraft was released under the six month line banner between update and upgrade. As the aircraft was only released late into 2016 there is not a lot of changes, mostly contained to re-calibration of gauges including the OAT gauge, fuel consumption (to match XP11), ground handling. I would note that the new XP11 engine thrust modelling has had a few adjustments as it feels spot on, but the adjustments are not noted in the upgrade notes. Of course any new aircraft needs changes in X-Plane11 for the PBR (Physically based rendering) feature and that has been done here for the exterior and interior areas. Your 500s now looks like you have spent a very hard afternoon with the wax polish, and the results look amazing. Shiny and it now shows off the fuselage to its best condition since the aircraft came out of the factory. The excellent detailing looks better as well, Carenado are masters at making aircraft look realistic, and the Shrike looks every bit of the part of that. The instrument panel was always a little flat in that grey primer feel, but PBR and new the texture work does lift it a little. The lighting has had a few tweaks and the “SuperManipulator” (proprietary scroll wheel) has been replaced with a X-plane-native scroll wheel control. In some ways it is a lot better than the SuperManipulator, it was very good but very twiddly to use sometimes, the default scroll wheels are far easier to use. Ground objects are still a little scarce, just a few cones, engine inlet covers and tags, but all the doors work with an opening baggage compartment (no bags). The AeroCommander Shrike 500s was pretty complete on release, but this upgrade does bring it right up to X-Plane11 compatibility. The 500s was brilliant before and it is totally brilliant now, well worth the upgrade or purchase. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : AeroCommander 500S SHRIKE HD Series Price is US$32.95 There is now two version of this aircraft for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11 (the review is for the X-Plane11 version) If you have already purchased the Carenado AeroCommander 500s then go to your X-PlaneStrore account and upgrade to v1.2 (free). More detailed X-PlaneReview of the AeroCommander Shrike 500s release can be found here: Quick Flight Review : AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado Features Include: Part of the HD Series - High-Definition Aircraft: Amazingly realistic interior - almost indistinguishable from photographs Makes full use of HDR lighting for realistic interior and exterior illumination Old, weathered, gritty textures that reflect the age and usage of this plane. Around 100 wave files for detailed and immersive 3D audio Cockpit switches' sounds are placed in 3D space, which affects loudness and pan. Outside engine sounds spill in through open doors and windows. Custom programmed Shadin digital fuel flow management instrument Custom programmed electronic CHT/EGT instrument Custom programmed classic Bendix/King Autopilot The above instruments come with 2D pop-up windows Custom programmed flight dynamics, to match POH values with more precision Immersive visual cockpit effects, such as dynamic reflections on instrument glass High resolution 4k textures throughout, with optimized 3D mesh and FPS-friendly logic Copilot figure appears/disappears, depending on set payload weight. Features: Original 500S Aero Commander autopilot installed New and improved multi-function scroll support Volumetric side view prop effect. Default X-Plane GNS530. HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Custom audio plugins with extra effects for added realism 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50+ Windows 7+ or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 2Gb+ VRAM Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.2 (last updated May 15th 2017) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 501.70 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Fighter folder at 544.00mb. Key authorisation is required. Documentation : includes 500S Emergency Checklist PDF - 500S Normal Checklist PDF 500S Performance Tables - 500S Reference PDF 500S Autopilot Operation PDF - Recommended Settings PD ______________________________________________________________________ Quick Flight Review by Stephen Dutton 18th May 2017 Copyright©2017: 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)
  9. Aircraft Update - CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado + Reality Expansion Pack by SimCoders The main v3 updates for the Carenado aircraft were done this time late last year, this v3.1 update is not a full complete version change, but more of a tweaking in bringing the aircraft current and to update with the finalisation of Laminar Research's v10.42 X-Plane serial change. A note that the whole Carenado range will be updated to this v3.1 version by Christmas, so check your accounts to download the newer versions. As there has also been released an addon Reality Expansion Pack (REP) by SimCoders, I have included that package as part of this update review and so this post is divided into two parts with the v3.1 update first and the REP later. The CT210 is the aircraft with the retractable spindly landing gear. This gives you a very clean aircraft with just the fuselage, tail and the highset wings in profile. The Centurion II is a six-seat, high-performance aircraft with retractable-gear, and a single-engine turbo IO-520-L engine with 300 hp (224 kW) that covered the versions K,N and R and was built from 1972 to 1986. Our Review : Mini Review : Carenado CT210M Centurion II HD Series - Ver 2.0 is here. This is a very nice but tight cabin aircraft with the inside and outside detailing it delivers all the usual Carenado qualities, the main panel is outstanding. I love the blue tinged lighting, it is a really nice place to fly an aircraft, the CT210 is very well equipment wise fitted out as well. The Autopilot is a Bendix King KFC225, with the highlight of the great digital readout, which I really like. CT210 Centurion II v3.1 update The v3.1 update is not very large but still quite significant in what it changes and delivers. First off is the KFC225 Autopilot panel now pops out for use, which is very handy on approaches. A lot of work has been done on the aircraft sounds. The linked volume to the internal sound now allows for the X-Plane's (audio) settings to transfer to the plugin-based sounds. The mute button is now also directly controlled the same way. The sounds differences are certainly noticiable in and outside of the aircraft, in being more clearer and distinct. The undercarriage gear sounds have been highly improved to match that excellent gear stowaway animation. The main lighting in taxi and landing lights have been made 10.40+ compliant (Halo size remastered, so it doesn’t look huge on large monitors) Carenado have got the halo sizing correct, as too many aircraft now in X-Plane have blobs of light and not aircraft lighting, here it is excellent. The Garmin 430 GPS units (Two Sets here) where installed in the v3.0 update but are still a significant feature in this aircraft. The POV (Point of View) has had a tweak change from 120 to 150, this is for multi-monitor use. Interestingly Carenado have shied away from .dds files and brought back .png textures. They note because of the .dds poor appearance, and some transparency problems. The excellent texture efficiency of the aircraft is not changed, but I agree the aircraft does look (a little) better. Finally the flight dynamics have been tweaked and the auto-toe-brake infrastructure has been removed, since X-Plane 10.40 now has that feature built-in. The panel lighting has had some fine tuning, and very nice it is. The overhead lighting is red (above on the roof) and you can control the left and right sides of the panel lighting... Outside the lighting feels tighter and more sharper. That covers the v3.1 update. Full changelog notes are listed below. _____________________________________________________________________________________ You can purchase for the Carenado CT210 Centurion II v3.1 an addon extension pack from SimCoders. This extensive package will change the aircraft into a more deeper simulation very similar to the style on the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs. Installation The Expansion pack comes with a large set of files (left) that have to be inserted within the Carenado aircraft folder, I made a duplicate aircraft and noted the Expanded version REP. There is a full set of instructions provided to understand of how to set up the files correctly and what folders certain files have to changed or replaced (right). Note, this REP package is not in any way connected or endorsed by Carenado, so any changes, bugs or failures are not the responsibility of the developer. Also required are two extra plugins from the SimCoders site: HeadShake Plugin - HeadShake v1.5 Xsaitekpanels (lin+win+mac+32/64) 2.46 - Xsaitekpanels If you have a set of Saitek instrument panels, this plugin will allow you interact with them. the "xsaitekpanels.ini" has to be inserted in the Carenado CT210 Centurion II v3.1 (REP version) aircraft folder to work. Once the installation is complete you will need a key code to activate the Expansion Pack that is included in your purchase receipt. On start up you will notice an added menu to the left side of your screen, this menu covers from top to bottom: Checklist Walkaround Tow Maintenance Hangar Weight and Balance But you can't access it? If you try any of the tabs (except the Checklist tab) you get a warning that you can only use it if your "aircraft is on the ground and the engine is off"? Well there is no doubt I am sitting on the ramp and I guess with the propeller sitting straight up and not moving would mean I do actually conform to the arrangement? Turn off all the electrics and I am still in a no go mode, with the warning boxes still telling me to put the aircraft in a static position? Then I get another banner to note that my (inert non-moveable, unpowered) engine is experiencing a "Vapor Lock"? and to turn on the fuel pumps.... hummmm. To get out of this cycle of warning boxes you have to restart the aircraft in X-Planes" startup in the "Cold and Dark" setting (operations and warnings menu). Then the side tabs will work. The banner for the "Vapor Lock" is joined then by another jolly fun alert strip in "The Engine is flooded with fuel" which is fine, but if you turn on pumps then it will be won't it? And on it goes? The odd thing is that the aircraft is still turned off electrically... even the pumps? You can thankfully actually disable the in-flight tips on the screen by going into "Plugins" then "SimCoders.com - REP" and into "Settings" and change them there. I understand what it is in this aircraft in what it is supposed to do, so don't get me wrong here in the idea to create a cantankerous old aircraft that does not live by the rules. Note: the above notes were written in the context of my introduction to the REP package, that was ver2.0... Since then v2.1 has fixed the issues and include the annoying you don't now need the aircraft to be in the "Cold and Dark" mode (yahoo for that) and with the main battery switch turned off you don't get the another annoying "Flood" alert. But as the images are done in the V2.0 context the alerts will still show. You can fix the "Vapor Lock" by turning on the power and the pumps, but again it flooded the engine. To start the engine you have to close the "Mixture" Push in the throttle to "full" and crank the engine till it runs your battery down? The trick is to turn the pumps on and to only really prime the engine and then quickly turn them off again, and with that the CT210 will actually thankfully start, if you don't get the process right and you will lose 30 minutes of trying and flatten sixteen sets of batteries? By this time in the standard Carenado CT210 aircraft I would usually be half way across Florida to Miami from Lakeland. While we let the fuel slowly vaporise out of the carburettors we will look at the menu tabs... Checklist: There is three page checklist that covers : Normal Operations" - "Emergency" - "References" the pads can be moved around the screen for the best reference. Only annoying thing is that they have a habit of appearing if you are adjusting the radios. The checklists do however pop up when setting the radios because a mouse gesture is enabled by default, the kneeboard opens when you move the mouse over the right-hand side of the screen. You can disable this in the Plugin "settings" as well. Walkaround: The "Walkaround" tab (feature) is very good, on pressing the tab you get a map of the aircraft with the various points that you go around and checkoff your list. You not only get a checklist of what you have to do around the aircraft, but you can by pressing the buttons check each of the aerodynamic surfaces (move them) and hide the separate static elements like chocks and tie-down lines. Other clever ideas are the wear of the tyres and the removal of the pitot tube and engine inlet covers. All round it is very good (no Pun intended). Tow You can move the aircraft around on the ground by using the "Tow" feature. This is best ground tow unit I have ever used. If you have a joystick then the more you pull back or push forward increases the speed in that direction, to turn just move the joystick sideways... brilliant. Maintenance Hangar The aircraft's maintenance and general wear and tear is controlled from the "Maintenance Hangar" tab. This gives you a popup with four top tabbed pages that cover "Engine" - "Electrical/Avionics" - "Oxygen System" - "Landing Gear/Brakes". Engine This page shows you your wear and tear of the engine status, and very good it is too. It covers the condition of each of the six cylinders and the time in h/m before an overhaul, you can then do an engine overhaul. Lower is the Oil status with again time h/m before oil change and type, you can top up and watch the colour change as the oil gets older. Bottom of the page is the starter, you can fix this and considering the time you spend churning the engine to start then you fix this a lot. Electrical/Avionics Here on this tab you can see the charge left in your battery (usually not much, see above) so you can recharge to start churning again, you can disconnect the battery which is a good idea as the battery will discharge overnight if you don't. A note is that all items on the aircraft wear and are used in long term conditions, so they change and details are remembered over a long period of use and don't reset up every time you start up the aircraft in X-Plane. Another small note is that when you start up the aircraft the Avionics are switched off, and you leave them switched off until the engine is running as it may cause issues with the radios, the switch to activate the avionics is on the lower fuse panel by the pilot. Part of the package is to give you guidance and warnings on operating the aircraft, It works but can get a little annoying after using the aircraft for a period and you know then what to do, a switch off option of the feature would be a welcome relief. Oxygen Next Maintenance Hangar tab is the "Oxygen. On this page you can note the amount of Oxygen available via the number of people aboard the aircraft, and refill the tanks if necessary (On the ground). The Oxygen controls and Gauge are above your head on the forward cabin roof. Landing Gear/Brakes Wear and tear on your tyres and brakes are actually critical on this aircraft, you have to be light on the brakes as well in case you don't bend those spindly outset wheels. So braking heavily from speed is a no, no. You can see the status of the gear in the tab Landing Gear/Brakes page, your tyre wear and brake pad condition. All can be "Fixed" and repaired. Weight and Balance Final menu tab is the "Weight and Balance" page. On this page layout you can set your weight and distribution of the weight on the aircraft. There is an excellent graph to note your CoG (Centre of Gravity) and one image above is set with too much baggage to see the out of bound effect, other images note the passenger weight and different fuel weights. On the out of CoG settings the aircraft was sitting almost on its tail on the ramp so it shows the weight and CoG is correctly transferred the aircraft. You can refuel here and there is a complete summary of the completed choices. In flight the Extended package changes a lot of the original Carenado settings in noted... Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior It certainly felt a little better to fly actually than the Carenado version, as I have had problems rubbing off speed even in a shallow down pitch, but in the REP I was able to get down into the 60kt - 70kt zone to make a smoother less faster (less bouncy) landing. But the headshake and extra bounce on the front wheel can bounce you up and down more than I wish too, it doesn't work well with turning front wheel either. And you can actually damage as noted the undercarriage if you are not kind to it. There is realistic simulation of alternate static air, with the airspeed indicator, the altimeter and the vertical speed indicator can introduce a reading error when the alternate static air is on. There is a complex "Damages System" that is triggered by the pilot actions based on real world data that targets every system in the aircraft and this is to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane. In the realistic realistic startup procedures and other advanced TSIO-520 Engine Simulation, it is a balance between being realistic and frustrating. I think it is just on the border of frustrating in that you will find it quite slow if you want to get the aircraft airborne quickly, in part you have to wait, sometimes too long for the temperatures to stablise, and the vapor lock and starting procedure just a little too much on the dramatic side. No doubt the information has been gathered by a real CT210 performance data and real world operations, but the aircraft used must have been a really old cantankerous thing to operate. Certainly familiarity and use of the aircraft over a long period of time will reduce these operational matters. Sounds are certainly very good, but as noted above Carenado have updated the sound package in the v3.1 release, and personally I prefer the Carenado version... At low revs you get a lovely bass thrum and were as the REP package is more a higher dum, dum sound. At speed outside the REP version is a high very buzzy noise but the aircraft sounds nice inside at the controls. Open windows or dropping the undercarriage for great wind noise or in the walkaround you have realistic sounds if you check out the aerodynamic surfaces. So overall it is a great sound package. Summary I starting this review with the original v2.0 version it was fraught with frustration and the REP package was just buggy, to the point this review could have been a more negative result. I left the comments in to show that a reviewer's life is not easy sometimes, and how easily a few wrong set items (bugs) can deride a result that is detrimental to the plugin and reflect on sales. Thankfully v2.1 fixed the issues at hand and the REP package is certainly a great addition to the excellent CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado, however if you are a setup and go straightaway pilot, then you may find the REP package a little slow and frustrating in just wanting to fly. For the absolute fanatical sort of person that likes the ticking of a cooling engine then the addon REP is right down your street. Certainly a good addition to the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs as they are very similar in this disguise. The manual must be read to get the best performance and tips on using the aircraft with this package, it explains how to fly the aircraft in these conditions and what to do when you go outside those flight parameters or aircraft performance positions. So both the CT210 Centurion II v3.1 update from Carenado and this additional REP package is a great combination together. There are certainly slight differences of if you have the REP package installed or go for standard Carenado aircraft, it in a way in the end it really depends on how you want to fly or approach the CT210 Centurion II for your simulation needs. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the CT210 Centurion II HD Series v3.1 by Carenado is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - CT210 Centurion II HD Series Price is US$29.95 If you have already purchased the CT210 Centurion II HD Series then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account, log in and download v3.1 from your account. Developer site : Carenado.com Developer Support : Carenado - Alabeo Support X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Reality Expansion Pack for Cessna Centurion (REP) by Simcoders is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack for Cessna Centurion Price is US$19.99 Developer site : SimCoders ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.30+ - 64 bit compatible 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 250MB available hard disk space version 3.1 (last updated November 3rd 2015) The CT210 Centurion by Carenado above is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft Current version: 2.01 (last updated November 17th 2015) ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 19th November 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic v2 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note: personal added items in an office (okay demountable building and vehicles) ______________________________________________________________________ CT210 Centurion II HD Series V3.1 change log -Broadened FOV to 150 (Useful for multi-monitor use, where 120 didn't cut it). -Linked volume to internal sound infrastructure (No more detached control over plugin-based audio and X-Plane internal audio. Now, X-Plane's settings transfer to plugin-based sounds). -Created mute button, which is synchronized with X-Plane’s internal sound infrastructure -Deleted .dds files, due to poor appearance, and some transparency issues. -Fixed lights to be 10.40+ compliant (Halo size remastered, so it doesn’t look huge on large monitors) -Flight dynamics tweaked (Removed auto-toe-brake infrastructure, since X-Plane 10.40 now has it built-in, and could cause conflicts with plugin). Additionally, the CT210 received the following updates: -Added pop-up autopilot -Tweaked landing gear sound -improved panel night lighting
  10. Aircraft Review : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado In one form or the other the Twin-Engined PA-34 Seneca has been in production since 1971 and that is now 46 years of continuous sales and development. The Seneca was developed as a twin-engined version of the Piper Cherokee Six which was a very popular aircraft of the late sixties. The prototype for the Seneca was a Cherokee Six that had wing-mounted engines installed and still retained its original nose engine. The prototype was flown as a tri-motor aircraft in the initial stages of the test-flying program, but the nose motor was discarded for production. Still in production there are over 5000 of these twin-engine PA-34 Pipers now built. This is the latest release by Carenado of the Seneca Twin. It is not the only Seneca by Carenado as there is already an original Seneca ll version the 200T which is the mid-seventies version of the aircraft. This V or Five version is the current version of the PA-34 and it comes with the G500 glass cockpit system and not the olde world clockwork cockpit of the Seneca ll. We will look at both aircraft soon. To get a feel of the new Seneca V I took a short passenger delivery trip from the Gold Coast to Ballina/Byron, Australia to deliver a few cashed up visitors to the area, and yes I am running this review in X-Plane11. Don't worry as I have run the same flight in X-Plane10 so nothing is amiss and there isn't and this aircraft is noted as compatible with X-Plane11 and is pretty what to expect when X-Plane11 goes final. A small note is that this is in XP11b9 and I am currently finding it very stable after a lot of testing and flights, not totally perfect yet, but the basics are very good. Detailing is exceptional, and the X-Plane11 PBR gives the the Seneca V aircraft a really nice added gloss. But realism in detail has never been higher, note the louvre grills on the engine housings and the door hinges and lock, the riveting is well... riveting in the pure detail of it all. Externally the Seneca V isn't that much different than the Seneca ll 200T which had the Lycoming O-360 E series 210 hp (157 kW) at 2800 rpm, as this V version has the Continental IO-360RB which is almost the same name but a different engine which produces 220 hp (164 kW) at 2600 rpm and that is the significant difference as the engine housings are very different on the Seneca ll as shown below. You do feel the evolution of time though between the 70's Seneca ll and the current Seneca V, small things but the V does feel far more modern as the windshield is now one piece and not the two separate panes with a central bar, and the nose is not quite as pointed. It is only around 144kms to Ballina Airport from Coolangatta and so you get there very quickly if by the scenic coastal route. Takeoff and cruise around 170knts is quite comfortable in the V, but landing is a bit more tricky and in comparing the Seneca ll it is very much the same deal. I found my joystick a bit notchy, so small inputs are the go. But the real focus is on the throttle for landing. Stall speed is noted as 61knts (113 km/h, 70 mph), but you have to be aware that it comes in with a crash or a very sudden loss of lift. So 90knts - 80knts is the lowest fail safe zone on approach with full flap, less than that and you are falling quickly and using 100knts until full flap is a good idea as well. And so you have to hunt the throttle to keep the aircraft airborne and find that right speed to let the aircraft down at a slowish rate, get it wrong in the flare and you will bang down on the runway with a crash, it took a few landings to perfect the approach and flare (using the pitch slightly (up and stall) is a good trick for controlling the last of the descent). Menus Standard Carenado menus apply here, with the usual three tabs on the lower left in C, O and A. C is Carenado or really "Views" with "Field of View" and two sound adjustments. O is for "Options" including opening Co-Pilot door, Passenger door, Luggage door and front baggage compartment door. I like the detail in the front compartment, really well done as if there is a little space to put your bags. Static elements are in the 'hardly worth the effort" zone with two cones and a few pitot covers and flags, You see the differences here on the older Seneca ll with a lot more on show including the excellent baggage. Other selections here include the scroll visualization choice, window and instrument reflections and the choice of changing the liveries without going to the main X-Plane menu. Our passengers delivered and it is time to return to Coolangatta. If you are still sitting on the fence on if X-Plane11 will deliver, then enlarge the images below and look at the detail, as a new era of realism has now been born. Cockpit and Cabin Carenado's new Garmin G500 navigation system dominates the panel, and a very nice installation it is as well and I personally like it better than the bigger display G1000. Backup instruments are to the left and lower with a OBS direction pointer and twin sets of engine dials are excellent, with a high switchable information panel above. Equipment upper panel includes a Garmin 347 audio panel, a S-Tec Autopilot, Two GNS 430 GPS units. Lower panel are an old Bendix-King KR87 ADF and a Garmin GTX 327 Transponder/Time unit. There is a very nice if basic pedestal unit and rudder pedals with under panel alcoves are highly detailed. Roof mounted Lighting and Electrical switchgear is well done but very fussy to use on the lights with three way switches. Nice blue lighting looks cool but ineffective. Looking hard at the pedestal you notice there are no trim wheels attached? They are both mounted deep between the front seats, beautifully done, but awkward to use... A pop-up screen would help here. Cabin is leather luxury, quality detailing is "want to touch" real, you are amazed that this sort of detailing could get better, and it does... look at the really small detail like seatbelt webbing, clasps and the leather seating folds and it is beyond good. Fold out table is in Veneer. Rear luggage bay is empty but very well presented, and the window blinds work. To see the differences and period changes let us look at the Seneca ll. The Seneca ll panel is padded and filled with dials and switchgear 70's style compared to the clean modern look of the V. The cabin in here feels daggy and used, and you can almost smell that old aircraft worn tired aroma and want to remove those tired crappy curtains. G500 I am not a big fan of the push button Menu style modern instruments. I find I am more head down looking through pages of menus than setting the instrument to the action of what I require. That said I like the G500 as it does the setting adjustment better than the G1000 units. The unit has two screens with the Artificial Horizon and Heading rose with Speed and Altitude tapes and bank guide on the left screen, and the Navigation display on the right screen. The G500 also pops out for ease of use. Most of these Gamin units use the left hand knob to change settings, but on the G500 it is easier to use because the main items in HDG (heading), CRS (course), ALT (Altitude), V/S (Vertical Speed) and BARO (barometer) are buttons down the left hand side of the display. And so making the adjustment easy as selecting the item you want and then adjusting it with the lower knob. Sometimes you wonder if that new ideas are really better than the old ones as this system works very well compared to fiddling with the G1000 menus. There is the ADF 1/ADF2 and VOR1/VOR2 pointers that is selectable from the menu. They are both extremely thin and I am not sure if effective in this need to look down and gather information quickly mode, but they are at least available. Navigation display is very good, but the zoom is not very close for local airport flying, zoom out and you get those unused blank tiles showing and it is still slow and jerky when turning quickly. The DCLTR (declutter) is good and you can also bring up a compass rose on the moving aircraft on the map to help with directional headings. A note in that to use the Carenado G500 or the G1000 units you have to download a separate data folder that is deposited in your main X-Plane root folder, it is a hefty download at 870mb that expands to 3.63gb when unzipped and installed. Autopilot The Seneca V uses the S-Tec (now Genesys) Fifty Five X Autopilot. The system is well intergrated into the aircraft's systems, with a centre panel main unit and above the G500 is a situation display and the unit pops-out from the "A" menu tab. It works well. Only note is that you have deselect ALT to move higher or lower and then reselect ALT when you have reached the required altitude. One slight annoyance is that the AP switch is right over on the Co-Pilots side? I can use a joystick buton to turn off or on, but a stretch if you don't have that setup and actually finding the switch? A nice feature is a six position selectable information panel that gives you details on: TEMP, FUEL, INST (engine read out), ELEC, TIME/DATE and %PWR (Engine power outputs). the panel will pop-out for ease of use. Arrival at YBCG Passing over Terranora and a sighting of the coast means we are back on the Coast or the Goldie as is is sometimes called. Like on the Seneca ll those huge engines spoil the view and make looking down quite hard, there is only a small area between the panel and the window frame that you can use. I fall into the circuit over the water that gives you a hard left to hard left and along the beach to YBCG's RWY 14. You aim at the Currumbin Highrises on the beach but the bigger boys in the Jets use the Burleigh Heads Highrises further north for the same job and at only a 1000ft to get the approach right. Tugun Hill and Tugun below makes this approach exciting, you come in low and fast over the forever complaining residents, flaps are three stage and don't give you that nasty lift feel if you get down around 100knts. Tugun Hill makes you give a slight steep slope angle into YBCG, but as noted earlier I found I took a lot of runway before settling the Seneca V easily and far and right down past the usual touchdown zone, but you need to be as slight as you can to get that flare and wheel touch right and perfect. Ground View Back on the GA line and you can admire the aircraft's (and Carenado's) wonderful design work. Bad panel and glass gaps are now non-existent, we are simply now getting brilliant design, and X-Plane11's lighting effects brings us closer to perfect reality. Power off and the excellent reflections on the displays are highlighted. Lighting Internal lighting is very good with lots of great spot lighting in the rear. The rear spot switches are hard to find as they are low and facing the passenger on a panel, and not on the roof in the usual position. There is a very strong spotlight over the Co-Pilot's door, that helps in boarding... Panel lighting looks good and is adjustable, but the blue roof switch lights are not very effective. It doesn't help in that the switchgear is three way awkward, with "off" in the middle hard to find? And the landing lighting (outboard) can be made to flash. External lighting is good but not brilliant. Taxi light is quite weak, and so are the outboard landing lights. Liveries One blank (white) and four American with two Brazilian liveries are provided, but well done but not much choice and nothing really special here. Seneca ll A few notes on the original Carenado Seneca ll that is also available. For its age in X-Plane (it was the very first Twin I reviewed) the old girl scrubs up very well in X-Plane11, it is a nice companion to the more modern V and has that clockwork panel and a great side electrical/starter panel. The only visual note is the forward gear doors don't close. But before you send off a nasty telegram to Carenado it is not actually a Carenado issue but a Laminar Research X-Plane11 bug issue and all early Carenado's are affected as is my beloved A33F. So a fix should come soon as X-Plane11 heads towards final. Summary Nice, Nice, nice. There is a lot to like here if you love Twins as the Seneca is one of the all time great and successful Twin-Engined aircraft of the world. You are probably bored by now at the accolades thrown at Carenado, but give credit due here as the detailing is just so good and so well done and it shows how far we have moved on since the earlier Seneca ll in that level of sheer design. It is with those HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) in size with 422 pixels / meter texture deep and that is detail, that is a lot of detail. It is a thoroughly more modern aircraft to fly as well with the well intergrated G500 unit, and from the user angle wise I think is better than the more menu focused G1000. The ADF/VOR pointers are a bit on the very thin side, and they have gotten all the earlier gremlins now worked out, so it is a now nice bit of kit. Great Autopilot and Information panel features this aircraft is a sub 1000nm distance hauler. It is slightly tricky to land, and has great sounds (a little too quiet in the cockpit though) but overall it one of the best Twins out there. The Seneca V also flies well in X-Plane11, as I saw no issues and thoroughly enjoyed myself flying in our new realm, so it is certainly XP11 ready. The Seneca V is a General Aviation Classic, and you can now own one (if a brilliant simulated version) of this aircraft, quality and thorough design is also part of the deal, so it is a very nice addition to your X-Plane hangar. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the PA-34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-34 Seneca V HD Series Price is US$32.95 Note: If you purchased the first release 1.0 version then redownload from Carenado to v1.1, as a few details have now been upgraded. The original Seneca ll Is also available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore: Piper PA-34 Seneca II Price is US$27.95 Seneca V Special Features Carenado G500 compatible with X-Plane GNS430 (included) Optimized for XP10.5x - X-Plane 64 bit required All-new sound architecture Volumetric side view prop effect Features Carenado G500 GPS Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original Seneca V autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : Windows 7+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System X-Plane 10 fully updated (any edition) - 64bit mode 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. CARENADO G1000 database must be installed Current Version: 1.1 (last updated Feb 5th 2017) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 392mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane folder at 478.00mb. Documentation : includes Carenado G500 PDF PA34 Emergency Checklist PDF Normal Procedures PDF Performance Tables PDF PA34 Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF Aircraft checklists are provided, but no overall aircraft manual. ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 8th February 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2017 Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11beta9 / Checked install in X-Plane10.51 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : Headshake by SimCoders Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : WorldTraffic US$29.95 Sceneries: - YBCG : Gold Coast International v1.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YBNA - Ballina - VOZ Australian Scenery by Barry (Bazza) Roberts (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  11. News! Early Preview : Phenom 100 by Carenado Early facebook images of Carenado's next plane project is Carenado's first X-Plane jet with the Phenom 100! Jet aircraft from Carenado have been in the works for quite awhile and also available in FSX/PrePar3d for quite a few years now and there is actually two version in the Phenom -100 and -300 Series. But no doubt the coming release will make the wait worth it, for the Phenom comes with a full G1000 avionics suite as well, and is a HD Series (High Definition) Aircraft. As the FSX version is also noted as US$39.95, it could be also the most expensive Carenado released in X-Plane yet as well. It might be a good idea to start saving now, no actual release date or detailed aircraft features are yet available, but my guess is a release around Easter. Images are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 13th March 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  12. Aircraft Review : Pilatus PC12 HD Series by Carenado There is already a significant PC12 in X-Plane by Shade Tree Micro Aviation, with their Pilatus PC12/47G. And X-Plane Reviews, reviewed (Aircraft Release : Pilatus PC-12/47G by Shade Tree Micro Aviation) that upgraded aircraft back in January 2015. The STMA version has been around for a few years and has a lot of very devoted followers, as it should have because it is very good aircraft. Now released for X-Plane is the Carenado version, and in reality they are quite different in their approach to the same aircraft, and there is no need really to do a one to one comparison between them, so any notes noted here are really just a summary of the differences. But one area that we have to keep in mind is the price... The STMA PC12 is noted as US$26.95 and the Carenado version is nearly a whole US$8 more at US$34.95. Pilatus announced PC12 in October 1989, and the two prototypes were completed on 1 May 1991, with the first flight taking place on May 31, 1991. A delay in certification in mid-1991 was required as a redesign of the wings with an increase of wing span and addition the of winglets was to ensure the performance guarantees were met. The Swiss certification finally took place on 30 March 1994, and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval for the aircraft followed on 15 July 1994. Performance : Cruise speed: 500 km/h (312.5 mph/270 KTAS) : Stall speed: 120 km/h (74.8 mph/ 65 KCAS) : Service ceiling: 9,150 m (30,000 ft) : Rate of climb: 512 m/min at sea level (1,680 ft/min) : Power/mass: 3.7 kg/shp (8.2 lb/shp) Range 0 passengers: 3,389 km (1,830 nm) - Range 9 passengers: 2,804 km (1,753 mi) (1,513 nm) tdg has been doing some great scenery in Ireland lately, so I wanted to check them out and the PC12 is the perfect machine to do that in. So we start at EINN - Shannon on the west coast of Emerald Isle. The Pilatus PC12 comes in several different fitouts. There is the 9 seater commercial or the six-seat corporate transport. There is also a 4seater/combi version and a medical fitout, but this aircraft is only in the six-seat corporate layout. But I personally wish it had been the 9 seater working machine for tourism/regional network routes. The PC12 is powered by the powerful single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop engine (the PT6A-67B), and the PC12 is certified for single-pilot IFR operations, although a second pilot is usually the normal. For a single-engined aircraft the PC12 is quite large in size with a length of 14.40 m (47 ft 3 in) and a Wingspan of 16.23 m (53 ft 3 in). You are not going to dismiss this aircraft on the ramp, because it has a real presence and it just oozes quality. First thing that takes your eye is the spinner on the nose? Carenado have noted that one of the drawbacks of X-Plane is that the simulator does not show chrome very well? Well they fixed that issue? This spinner is chrome like gorgeous, beautiful in every way. The engine air-inlet behind is also nicely chromed as well, and its not faked either but changes to your point of view... You are wanting in nothing with the details of the aircraft. This is detail overload and everything is done right down to each single rivet around the cockpit windows, oh and the latches on the engine cowls as well. You can spend a significant amount of time just looking at this PC12, admiring it and the design. all the panels are noted and fitted to perfection, and the riveting on the rear fuselage and tail is astoundingly good. Undercarriage is totally perfect, struts, linkages... bolts holding it all together... Let us look at the lighting for instance... Lights out and the detail of the glass and rear internal reflector is realistic, turn on the light and you just don't get that X-Plane dot of a spot lighting but it is a full lit lamp, the wing and taxi lights are both this complete in design. You wonder again how how can you lift that already Carenado excellent quality, but you can and the results are here, the trick is in the really small stuff and not the overall design, it takes time and money to do this sort of incredible design of course, but that is what you pay for in this category. Quality is helped by using HD quality (4096 x 4096) and very detailed 350 pixels / meter sized textures. If you think that they will bring your computer to its knees, then that won't happen either. As all the textures have been totally optimized to not have a big hit on your frame-rate. Menus Menus are standard Carenado. Both tabs on your left lower screen you have the C - Camera and O - Options tabs. Options covers Windscreen and Instrument reflections, Static Elements (handpull tractor, cones and tags), Opening/closing buttons for both the forward passenger door and large rear baggage door (there are excellent animations and great sounds with both actions) and Scroll Highlights (we will note that option later). You now also change your livery on this tab menu as well. Menu C is programmed built in views. With mostly cockpit focused positions, only one external (TailCam) and one cabin view in Passenger L. You can adjust the "Field of View" and the aircraft's sound "volume" as well. Cockpit Climb the stairs inside and you are in another world, and a great one at that. Don't fool yourself, as this is as real as it is going to get. looking into the cockpit you are faced with a realism of great proportions. It is as close to perfect in every sense. You would swear you were in a real cockpit. Get in closer and the detailing is simply totally overwhelming... just look at those glass reflections, absolutely incredible. You just want to touch everything and run your hands down those woolly sheepskin seat covers. You don't have to do anything but sit in here and admire the design work. On detail then how about this... You can adjust the rudder pedals to your liking by twirling the handle? Totally absolutely useless really, but still a great detail. Mouse manipulators have again had another workover. For me I use a single click (Apple) mouse and the last manipulators (as good as they were) just didn't work very well with them? Here it actually shows a mouse in a one or two click mode and excellent the change is. You can still scroll fast and slow in those different directions, but most changes are now the half-mood manipulators that are rock steady. The highlighted scroll items can be turned off on the O - Options menu. Cabin Before we get down to business then we will have a quick look at the cabin. Dden's lovely Challenger 300 has for years held the gong for the best cabin in X-Plane, but now it has serious competition from the PC12 for the title. This is one fully rendered cabin, luxury leather seating and lovely wood grain panels Animated fold-out tables and window screens that you can set anywhere you like, you want home, then here it is... Even with all this the 9 seater still would have been a nice option. It is just the way I want to use the aircraft. Panel Power (battery) is on the overhead panel, there is also an external switch for "External" power, but there is no GPU (Ground Power Unit) outside which is the norm these days... an oversight perhaps? The switching system is clever. First right switch turns the item on and you select the choice by the second switch for two selections. Very easy to get used to and visually great. Power on and the panel looks excellent... very realistic. The panel layout is quite straight forward but is dominated by the EFIS or Electronic Flight Information System, we will get more into the system in flight. The EFIS takes in two of the six standard flight instruments in the Artificial Horizon and the Heading Indicator. The others are the Airspeed, Altitude, Vertical Speed and RMI or automatic direction finder. There is a backup CDI (Course deviation indicator) but that is also built into the EFIS and two other backup instruments in another Artificial Horizon and Altitude dials. Co-Pilot's side is the same EFIS standard six layout without the backup dials. Center panel top under the extensive glareshield is the excellent Benedix/King KFC 327 Digital/Electronic Flight Control System (EFIS) and the autopilot panel pops out. Next to the autopilot is the GARMiN GMA 340 Radio Comms Panel. Your ADF unit is the standard KR 87T50 Bendex/King ADF receiver. Below in another pop out is the engine/fuel display (digital) with large digital readouts for YRQ, ITT and NG and below the RPM, Fuel QTY (analog and digital). GEN 1 and GEN 2 readouts are duplicated from the overhead panel, and you also have the engine oil pressure and temp gauges in digital form. You have a save button and panel alert lighting test button that includes the extensive CAWS (Central Advisory and Warning System) that shows you your alerts and caution items for attention. As standard now are two large GARMiN GNS530 gps units which are fully 10.30 functional and both pop out for ease of use. There are two GARMiN 327 Transponders, with one center panel and one right down behind the co-pilots yoke. Climate controls are on the co-pilots left lower panel and the Oxygen lever is on the pedestal. Stabiliser Trim is electric and the display is on the upper right of the pedestal, but no yaw adjustment. Center lower panel is the fairly useless AvDyne display... pretty but still useless. The armrest hides a lot of the pedestal from the pilot's point of view, almost annoyingly so, so it is a good job it can be retracted back behind the seat. But still the throttle hides the condition/feather lever (in one) which you use a lot, so I had to set out an X-Plane view to get access to it. There are more rocker lighting switches for panel, cockpit and cabin lighting, but the above adjusters don't work which is unusual for Carenado? And in this aircraft that would have been a very nice feature to have. Flap selection lever of 0º - 15º - 30º and 40º of flap, and the indicator is positioned in very top left of the pilots panel. Startup Aircraft closed up and condition lever set to idle, and you are ready to press the "Start" button on the overhead panel. One click and you don't have to hold it down and the engine start sequence begins. Flick the "Flood" lighting switch and the panel changes colour... Personally I didn't like this look of the panel at first? It would have been nice to tone it down a little or have some adjustment? And it is bright, but I did (eventually) get used to it... The problem is you need it on to highlight the EFIS panel controls. Aircraft lighting switches are on the overhead panel for Taxi, Landing, Nav, Wing (ice), Strobe and Beacon. It is not the given thing but leave the passenger door open when starting the aircraft... then close it. You get a clever change in volume sound as the door bumps closed and clicks, which is a great aural soundscape. Sadly the small window on the pilots side does not open to the same effect? The engine sound brilliant in the start up and when running, great 3d sounds are recorded from a real PC12 and they are very realistic. The sweet spot is for the "Conditioner" lever is just above the idle position. Full up position will see the aircraft power off the ramp and into the scenery. But you need it set here for any taxiing and a moderate movement. The PC12 requires a little push of power to get it moving, and certainly if you are going straight into a turn around, but quickly get your throttle back into the full idle position for the straight taxi speed. You get Stab trim and GEN 2 alerts (a lot) on the taxi to the runway, but ignore both, as the GEN 2 switch is actually on? The second generator kicks in later than the main one. Flaps are set to 15º. Adjust the "COND" (condition) lever back to full power for takeoff from idle... and listen to the change in engine pitch as the changes show on the engine display. It take a fair while to adjust, but you have glorious sounds in the process. Flying the PC12 I'm flying from EINN - Shannon to EIDL - Donagal (not to be confused with Donegal itself as it is 71km to the south) which is a "lovely part of the world" The airport is "as the crow flies" 146nm north of Shannon, Western Ireland. The PC12 is a very powerful single propeller aircraft and that will mean a lot of asymmetrical thrust pushing you to the left, the aircraft is quite jiggly at very slow speeds so you need to be on your toes and ready for the machine to behave quite savagely at the start of the run position. I build the speed as I control the straight line down the runway, and it takes a little practise to get it just right... but it can be done with skill. Once you are out of the white band and around 130knts you can rotate and climb easily above 2000fpm. In the aircraft is amazingly good under the yoke and pedals, and a smooth climb and turn will give you a nice big smile on your face. Flaps in and UI settle into my head of which I set almost dead north on the ADF dial ENNIS (352 - ENS) as my first waypoint in the flightplan. My altitude is set at 10,500ft, and is set on the ALT/Vertical Mode control panel (also known as the Altitude Preselector). If you are happy with the pitch and climb speed then click on both the ENG and ARM on the Altitude Preselector and the aircraft will hold that pitch for you... the Autopilot (A/P) does not have to be activated. You can adjust the pitch by pressing the center of the knob for either the altitude or the V/S vertical speed. click either side of the knob to change - or + or scroll. Once ready I activated the A/P and locked in the GNS 530 flightplan. No doubt this aircraft is powerful, The PC12 will climb all the way to heaven if you want it to, to the 9,150 m (30,000 ft) service ceiling, you can't of course keep that V/S all the way up, a sweet spot is around 1,500fpm and the offical Rate of climb is 512 m/min at sea level (1,680 ft/min). The Electronic Flight Control System (EFIS) is a nice system, if you have flown any of Carenado's KingAir's you would be already familiar with it as the installation is the same here. Only difference is that the central positioned EFIS Control Panel does not pop out (There is a second panel down on the right of the co-pilot's yoke) and that is slightly annoying as you have scroll the screen down every time you want to make a change to the heading or switch your ADF and VOR pointers. (it is not a pop out on the image above) It is a slightly complicated system that is controlled between the Autopilot and the lower EFIS Control Panel with the Altitude Preselector, but it covers almost every area you need and everything is shown on the two main displays in the Electronic Attitude Director Indicator (EADI) as the top display and the lower Electronic Horizontal Situation Indicator (EHSI) display. EADI includes angle of attack, rate of turn, flight director, artificial horizon, marker beacons, lateral deviation Indicator (LDI), decision height and altitude. EHSI includes heading, course indicators, wind vectors and speed, nav source and built in CDI (Course deviation indicator). Both all NDB (1 and 2) and VOR (1 and 2) selections can be set on two pointer needles, that helps with heading decisions. The Autopilot settings are noted at the top of the EADI and you can have both "ARC" or "Rose" headings in the EHSI (I prefer the rose for 180º heading changes). Carenado provide a 7 page manual for the EFIS, if you have not used it before then I recommend to get familiar with the system before really flying the aircraft seriously. Stick Shaker The aircraft comes with a new feature of a "Stick Shaker"! Stick Shakers are a warning device on the yokes to warn you of an aircraft stall. There are several way ways to seriously stall an aircraft, low speed in either landing, wing slip or climbing. Here I tried it out by the climbing the aircraft because you have more altitude to recover. Just under a 4000ft per minute climb and down goes your speed into a serious stall. And yes the yokes "shake, and "rattle, hard! So yes a great feature, I found that on another landing I let the speed drop too low and in came the "shake, and it works as advertised. Cruising speed is around 240knts and the engine sounds are excellent internally, Externally they are a lighter more buzzy sound that doesn't quite translate for this deeper rumble of the PT6 turboprop engine. But that does not takeaway on how good this aircraft looks in the air, you admire those beautifully sculptured wingtips and this modern if few decades old design. The weather radar on the port wing is lovely in the softer light. The two Carenado pilots do a good job as well, even if they do give you filthy looks now and again. Timer/Clock and Hobb's meter are buried down to the pilots left, and the flightplan looks on target. Moveable blinds are excellent but not very deep to cover the side windows more effectively and you have to be careful with the EFIS control panel, because if you set the VOR to active it will disconnect the flightplan from GPS to Vlock, and may not notice it until you are well off the your planned route... I did that twice! My flightplan only goes as far as EIDL itself, but I have to be going slightly more north to return to land on runway 21, So I slip into a circuit at 1400ft... ... If there is an ILS freq you can check your distance from the runway on the EHSI lower display. At around 12nm I do nearly a 180º degree turn back towards the airport, just make sure you have turned off the half-bank function on the A/P. Flaps down (40º) to a 100knts gives you a good approach speed. The RWY20 ILS (IFN 110.30) is only a horizontal alignment? It will center the aircraft on the runway but it won't grab you and lower your altitude to the threshold. The Autopilot however has an excellent pitch adjustment. It is very easy to set an minus-300ft descent angle and correctly reduce your height as you would on the beam. It is very fine in adjustment as well, so it is again very easy to fine tune your pitch correctly in the approach phase. 100knts on approach and I turned off the A/P about 200ft from the runway. The aircraft is very steady, lovely at this flare phase, but you have to watch the PC12 doesn't float. Reduce the throttle lightly and your on the runway. You have a powerful reverse thrust, and that is problem... it is very powerful and when you release it back to the normal direction the aircraft at a slowing speed the aircraft can be very jittery in your hand's so you have to be really ready for it. Taxi and park position and you want to again open the passenger door early to hear that lovely engine wind down, and easy with the options menu. Lighting Overall the lighting is simply excellent... Externally you have a great landing light spread with four lights across both wings and the taxi central light filling in the middle, so it is about perfect. The ice wing light by the door is a handy light for passenger embarking or disembarking the aircraft. In the cabin you have brilliant strip lighting for on the ground, then reading/spot lighting when in flight... both are simply perfect, and you don't really need them both on at the same time. differential lighting tones are excellent. I found I turned them both off for a night landing as there is no door to stop the reflections. Four rocker switches on the rear pedestal panel turns on your lighting in the cockpit. From left to right. First is PNL (Panel) that turns on the basic instrument lighting. Second switch is ADVISORY for highlights around important areas of functions. Third rocker switch is the overhead dome lighting that gives you full cockpit lighting. And finally the FLOOD lighting that lights up the panel and switch gear. As noted this effect is quite bright and on all and especially on the FLOOD you wish for adjustment? Mostly I found the dome lighting switch to be off and the rest on... the last two far right rocker switches are for the cabin strip and reading lights. Rain Effects The PC12 comes with great rain and ice effects, the rain dribbles down the windows, but looks just as effective from the outside as well as the inside of the aircraft. Liveries One default white livery and five design liveries. The registration number of the aircraft changes on the panel as you select the livery of your choice. All liveries are certainly very high quality but missing any real design variations or corporate based user interaction designs like RFDS (Royal Flying Doctor Service) which has 31 PC12's Summary The Carendo Pilatus PC12 is a great aircraft to fly manually, lovely under the yoke and pedals. But the aircraft also demands time and hours on the airframe to fly the aircraft really well. The EFIS system is slightly complicated and you need time to really become one with it. I have flown this aircraft a lot over the last few weeks and it is so rewarding, but also so demanding to get your skills tuned into the aircraft... overall that again is what simulation at this level is all about, but if any aircraft demands a though pilots manual, this is it. Negatives are small, but the adjustment of internal lighting is top of the list? That panel is a "I like it" or "hate it" moment, you get used to it... but you wish you could just tone it down just a little. A GPU is certainly an oversight here, it looks odd with power switched on without it, and you need that EFIS control panel at your fingertips in a pop out window. External sounds are not up to par with the internal, this engine has a gorgeous sound and you want to hear it. You do in most cases in starting up and pitch changes and the great thrum inside, but not where you want to. Frame-rate was fine considering the complexity of the aircraft and quality of the textures, it looks heavy... but it isn't really with no issues except at least a 1gb graphic card. Features work well, with the great "Stick Shaker" working (and scaring you) when you get it wrong. The new manipulators are a great step forward as well than the older versions... certainly for my one clicker... clicker. Carenado aircraft are noted for their design and quality (that word again), but they always deliver, and the PC12 again raises the bar. This is without doubt simulation at its best for X-Plane, but demanding simulation at that. The bar is certainly set high to say this is the best aircraft in this category. In design, features and its overwhelming quality, the Carendo Pilatus PC12 is certainly jaw dropping "oh my god" so good. certainly the most life-like aircraft I have seen up to date in design and that cockpit and cabin is to die for. So value to quality is really a none issue... it actually blows it out of the water and even at that high price. You get what you pay for, and you get certainly a lot of aircraft here. The best in class, yes I think so, but for how long... the next Carenado! The Pilatus PC12 by Carenado is now available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : PC12 HD Series and is priced at only US$34.95 Installation : Download is 433.10mb that is unzipped to 515.30mb to your X-Plane - "General Aviation" Folder. (I use my regional aviation folder) Documents :Performance tables and references (which are Airspeed Limitations), Emergency Procedures (checklists) and Normal Procedures (Checklist) and a guide on how the EFIS - Electronic Flight Information System works Requirements: Windows XP - Vista - 7 -8 (32 or 64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.30 (or higher)2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 570MB available hard disk space Current version: 1.3 (last updated March 31st 2015)Special Features: Only for X-Plane 10.30 or higher. 64 bit compatible. Original PC12 Electronic flight instrument system (EFIS) Working stick shaker and pusher installed New and improved multi-function scroll support Volumetric side view prop effect. Two X-Plane GNS530. Features: Original EFIS with EADI and EHSI installed Two GNS530 installed Original autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Smooth animation button logic with custom audio 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Ice and Rain effect Developer site : Carenado Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd April 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb - Seagate 256gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle - Bose - Soundlink Mini Scenery - EINN - Shannon Airport Ireland by tdg (X-Plane.org) - Free - EIDL - Donegal Ireland by tdg (X-Plane.org) - Free
  13. News! - Aircraft Released! : E50P Phenom 100 HD Series By Carenado It's out, It's out.... Their first Jet for X-Plane is released by Carenado. Only two weeks ago I noted the Phenom 100 was coming soon, but not this early, but more towards Easter when X-Plane11 became RC or a release final. But here it is... X-Plane users have waited a long time for this aircraft, and in X-Plane11 it will have been worth the wait. The usual Carenado quality will be on show here, but it is also the most expensive Carenado ever released for X-Plane at US$37.95... The aircraft both X-Plane10 and also X-Plane11 compatible (X-Plane11b17 or higher is required for use). Full G1000 Prodigy glass cockpit system is included, with the original Phenom systems and status screens with multiple CAS messages are also installed in the aircraft (Carenado G1000 data is required) and a new feature of Advanced Aural System Simulation (or great sound) is also included. Features Carenado G1000 (PFD and MFD) Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Aux- Trip Planning Window Checklist mode Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original autopilot installed Dynamic Reflections via plugin in XP10 Makes use of PBR materials for v11 Advanced interior dynamic lighting 2D pop-up windows for instruments and options HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft Realistic behavior compared to the real jet. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. External (above) and Internal (below) detailing is exceptional, this is a Jet to you would want to spend a lot of time in. Included in the package 6 HD liveries. 1 HD Blank livery. E50P Carenado Prodigy G1000 PDF. E50P Emergency Procedures PDF. E50P Normal Procedures PDF. E50P Performance Tables Recommended Settings PDF Technical Requirements Windows Vista - 7 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.50 - X-Plane 11 64 bits requiered 2.5 GHz processor - 16GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 490MB available hard disk space For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. The E50P PHENOM 100 HD SERIES is available right now from Carenado... ______________________________________________________________________ The E50P Phenom 100 HD Series By Carenado is NOW available! here : E50P PHENOM 100 HD SERIES Price is US$37.95 Notes: For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) CARENADO G1000 DATABASE (MUST BE INSTALLED). Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 25th March 2017 Copyright©2017 X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  14. News! - Aircraft Released! : PA34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado Very quickly into 2017 Carenado have released their first offering of the year in the PA34 Seneca V with built in G500 instrument pack. Of course the first question is "Does it fly in X-Plane11" the answer is yes it does, but remember to date X-Plane11 is still a beta (b5) so if a few things don't gel then when X-Plane11 goes stable then things should settle down, but basically it is still stable enough to purchase for use in X-Plane11. Features Carenado G500 Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Original Seneca V autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Highlight of course is the Garmin G500 gps system, but if you want it, the default GNS430 is available as well. To use the G500 you are required to download the Carenado data pack "G1000 Database) and install in the X-Plane root folder to allow the system to work. Included in the package 6 HD liveries. 1 HD Blank livery Carenado G500 PDF PA34 Emergency Checklist PDF PA34 Normal Procedures PDF PA34 Performance Tables PDF PA34 Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF Interior quality is up to the usual Carenado high standard... in other words, simply brilliant. Technical Requirements Windows Vista - 7 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.50 (or higher) 64 bits requiered 2.5 GHz processor - 16GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 480MB available hard disk space Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. The PA34 Seneca V is available right now from Carenado... ______________________________________________________________________ The PA34 Seneca V HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : PA34 Seneca V HD series Price is US$32.95 Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 7th January 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  15. News! - Carenado 2016 Sales Now On! - 50% off! The 2016 Carenado sale is now on until the 18th December or for just 10 Days. 50% off all listed aircraft is a brilliant deal, including the excellent B200 King Air HD for US$17.48!, The PC 12 HD for US$17.48!, B1900 HD for US$17.48 and even the 208B Caravan for a crazy US$14.98.... yes just US$14.98! And my top ten favorite aircraft in X-Plane in the Bonanza F33A is only US$13.48! crazy, crazy, stuff ... Go Now! Go to the -> X-Plane.OrgStore for all these great deals Stephen Dutton 9th December 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  16. Aircraft Plugin Review : Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron SimCoders have released their latest REP or Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado's B58 Baron general aviation aircraft. This expansion pack covers many areas including the aircraft's flight dynamics, more onboard systems and failures, extra tools including maintenance hangar, a kneeboard, the weight & balance and an extensive walkaround, sounds are also more highly advanced. Carenado B58 Baron Before we cover the REP package, let us familiar ourselves with the original Carenado B58 Baron. The aircraft was released now in Nov, 2012 and that is four years ago to date. That is not to say the aircraft is old or out of date, in fact it is the opposite in the fact with the many updates and revisions the current v3.0 release is a pretty solid aircraft now with very few if any bugs or quirks. Admittedly it is a fairly basic aircraft, and has few real special effects. But that is to the good as the aircraft is brilliant and simple to fly, and a great starter for anyone who wants to learn to fly a good solid twin-engined aircraft, as for being a very good twin training aircraft I can't think of any better aircraft to use. The B58 Baron still looks and feels great as well, the lines are clean and unfussy, and it is quite fast at 205 knots (380 km/h, 236 mph) at sea level, with a Cruise speed of around 190-180 knots. Cockpit and panel is fairly basic, but again great for a first time user or if you just want a no fuss fly to somewhere. Most instruments are oriented for the pilot and the right seat is really just for casual flying. Switchgear is set out all together behind the pilot's yoke, not a lot of adjustment here like with the panel lighting (on/off) but still very comprehensive in detail. centre pedestal has all you need but nothing more in the standard throttle, propeller (feather) and rich/lean mixture levers and trim wheels. Equipment stack is dominated by two Garmin GNS 430's GPS. Both pop out for ease of use. Standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel is top with the KFC225 Bendix King autopilot below (then the two Garmin's) with a Garmin GTX 327 transponder centre and finally lower a KR87 TSO ADF unit. Cabin Cabin seating is arranged in a four seat club layout with a folding out table (very nice). Cabin detailing and (spot) lighting is excellent, and as this is an early Carenado, you still get the baggage items behind the seats and in the forward baggage compartment. Only two pop-out menus with the standard Carenado "Cameras" panel and the lower "options" panel, both are basic and there is no "autopilot" pop out that you usually get with current Carenado's. Liveries There is one blank (white) livery and four graphic liveries with the aircraft SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron So the Carenado B58 Baron makes a very good basic platform to add on a REP package. These Reality Expansion Packs are created to extend many areas of the aircraft's flight dynamics and systems and to improve on the already very good layouts from Carenado. Installing the REP Installing the REP package is really quite easy, as in the download package you get just one folder named "REP" and that folder is installed in the aircraft's plugin folder (just drop the whole folder in) and that is it, very easy and done quickly. I do recommend to have two complete versions of the Carenado B58 Baron, the standard one and one I labeled "Carenado B58 Baron REP" because you never know if you just want the basic version to just simply fly, as we shall see. When you start up the REP version of the B58 Baron you are asked for a key (provided) and the authorisation page is on the X-Plane "plugins" menu under "SimCoders.Com - REP" The drop down menu also gives you a "settings" panel to: Enable the plane damages Show Failure messages Enable Mouse gestures Save and restore aircraft staus between (flying) sessions Enable hypoxia effect use imperial or metric units With the REP package installed you also get a five tab menu on the left side of your screen. These tabs cover: Kneeboard - Walkaround - Tow - Maintenance Hangar - Weight & Balance Kneeboard First upper tab is the kneeboard or checklist feature. pop-up Kneeboard is very good and covers Normal Operations, Emergency Procedures and References (v Speeds). The kneeboard is very handy and comprehensive, but annoying as well because it constantly pops up for no reason if you press items on the panel or touch other things releated or not to the feature. Walkaround Second tab is the walkaround feature. Walkaround features are now very common in X-Plane, but this was one of the first and it is still very good. You press to check and go around the aircraft in a clockwise motion... ... It is more involing than most as many items are animated like your Ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder. You press the centre button to check (animate) with sound all the flying surfaces, it is comprehensive and very good. You can hide/add external elements like tie-downs, chocks and engine covers... ... but the walkaround goes a lot further than that as you can also check tire wear, Oil Quantity, fuel Quantity and even the water contamination within your fuel tanks, it is as note a very comprehensive check of the aircraft. Tow You can manoeuvre the aircraft around with the third tab tow feature You need to turn off the brakes, then use your joystick with up-down for forward/reverse and left-right for left turn/right turn. Maintenance Hangar The fourth tab is the Maintenance Hangar feature that allows you to check wear and tear on the aircraft and if required then perform Maintenance to fix or rectify the issues. First two tabs relate to the two engines and their general wear and tear. As I have not done too much flying yet, the settings are still mostly as new, but you need to keep a eye on the items on this panel as you use the aircraft or suffer the consequences. There are two options on the "Engine Tools" tab. One is the "Winterization Kit" that puts two cowl fairings in the engine inlets, but watch your temperatures to not over heat the engine if you move to higher temperatures. Second is another winter tool in that you can pre-heat the engines with a (noisy) heater provided outside the aircraft. Last two items on the maintenance hangar panel is the Maintenance for both "Electrical/Electronics" and "Landing Gear/Brakes". Also note that many items on this maintenance panel are also noted on the walkaround feature and vice-versa, and all items in the maintenance panel to be changed/fixed can also only be done with the engines switched off and you have to be on the ground. Weight & Balance Another item that was rare but now common on X-Plane aircraft is the "Weight & Balance" panel. The SimCoder's version is very good with a "Centre of Gravity" graph to show you your balance and weight on the aircraft. All weights including pilots and passengers can be inputted along with their baggage. Fuel can be added or emptied, and you get C.G. predictions with estimated flying time. A total summary of all weights is shown bottom left. You can then apply all weights and fuel input to the aircraft. (note just check you do have actual fuel on board before you fly, as most times the aircraft is shown empty and not half-full as usual by X-Plane standards. Flying the SimCoder's B58 Baron Although the Carenado version is of very high quality, you do have say another complete step of features by using this expansion package. SimCoder's have made sure you get the best possible real life experience that you can get with the REP package, but one feature that I can't simply surmount every time I use the REP is just starting the engines? Yes I understand that old aviation piston engines are cranky things, just like old cars can be. But the time and effort required here to start the engines can be a bit daunting... worse here as you have two cranky engines to start and not just one? There was the point that just simply cranking over the engine with no go can go past the point of just leaving the REP package and just going back to standard Carenado aircraft to just go and fly. I have the REP package on the excellent Carenado Bonanza F33A and although I loved the added realism of the REP package, the starting feature continued to beat me and maybe I should have persisted more than returning to the standard Carenado version. Worse here than the single-engined Bonanza is my add-on Saitek throttle works both the right and left engines at the same time. SimCoders do provide hints, but they don't seem to work well for me, the starting window is sometimes just toooo tight in making it believable and accessing the rest of the package. In the most cases when they do start it is in just sheer luck or persistence, and with no constant patterns to follow, you just start churning again when you come back to restart the engines? If they flood your sunk... No doubt this is all very authentic, and I don't say that SimCoders have not done a brilliant job in recreating a perfect feel for this environment, but a slight helper or reset would make all the difference to this sequence of the simulation. If they do actually start I do love the adjustments to warm up the engines, no doubt this is highly realistic, and you can't fly until the engines are actually ready to go and all the needles are showing all the correct numbers and temperatures. You have to find the right RPM or otherwise the engines will growl at you (or at the worst conk out!), too fast and you are running too fast and too slow is the death zone. But you find the right setting by leaning the engines and adjusting the throttles, certainly a split throttle system is a real bonus with this REP here. We could never criticise Carenado's packaged sounds, but SimCoder's have certainly added a lot to the variety and depth of the sounds, certainly in the range in the engines. You now go from engine clicks and stutters, to and excellent start sounds, to the many varied sounds in the lower lean and idle throttle zones. To a point these sounds are important for you to guess the condition of the engines and the correct lever adjustments make the correct feedback including the horror "stutters" and misfiring fouled plugs... It is all very well done for realism if not for the stress it can also cause to your already fragile heart. Fine details like propeller sync can also effect the torque of the engines and you have to use it realistically here and switching on is under 25% RPM, if not you get a warning. As you adjust the engine RPM (locked together here under the single throttle control) there is a noticeable difference between each engine in performance. Certainly these differences will expand more as wear and tear with more hours of flying take their effect, and any maintenance performed is noticeable on the sounds and gauges as well. Excellent extra sounds continue in the air. Wind sounds and landing gear activation and wind noises all add into the effects of realism, but the cruise engine drone is an acquired taste, and you lose a little of the those lovely 3d surround sounds that come with the Carenado version. SimCoder's advise to use their excellent "Headshake" plugin and I would certainly second that, in fact I always use headshake as it is a very good effect plugin on all aircraft... take it away and you certainly see and feel the difference, so it is a must have in X-Plane. Systems in oil and electrical are highlighted as well and you can have oil pump failures and realistic vapour lock. SimCoder's have tuned the Baron for more realistic stall speeds & behavior, correct climb speeds and more realistic cruise speeds, the aircraft does feel significantly different. I flew the standard Baron down from KLAL to KRSW Florida and with the REP version doing the return trip, and yes the aircraft is a marked contrast from the original in all aspects of the flight model, certainly you notice the engine behavior is very different machine from the more highlighted sounds and gauges. Summary The start point with the standard Carenado version (which you have to already have to use this REP package) is certainly an excellent base line, as it is a great simple twin-engined aircraft that is sweet and easy to fly. So the extensive intergration of the Reality Expansion Pack (REP) does feel and add in a huge difference and experience to that base model design. And extensive it certainly is... the package covers a huge amount of detail, but mostly it concentrates on the feel, running and realism of running those two IO-550 engines. You work hard in this cockpit just working the levers to get the right outcome of keeping those two cranky engines flyable and in a good workable condition, and that certainly expands out the experience of using and flying your own B58 Baron aircraft and in the end that is the ultimate goal of these packages in realistically replicating the ownership of a certain type of aircraft. Negatives... for one mastering the start and operation of the engines is one of the biggest challenges you face, most owners of these REP packages will have easily done so, so don't fret it can't be done, but do expect to find that an early learning curve. The constantly popping-up kneeboard is seriously annoying, as it come on the screen at important points in your flying, like taking off or landing, and yes it is a distraction you don't need unless called for, and the drone sounds are for a particular ear. But I did really like the ultimate realism of running the aircraft and maintaining those engines, this is of course no load in X-Plane and fly aircraft, as the walkaround has to be completed and the engines when started need time to warm up and settle down (just like the real thing). Maintenance needs to be completed and this is an aircraft that would require a log book and running details noted down, but then that is what the REP is all about, ultimate realism of running your own General Aviation aircraft... and in that scenario you get the full works here. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado B58 Baron Price is US$19.99 Required for the use of this plugin! B58 Baron by Carenado: Carenado B58 Baron Price is US$29.95 REP Plugin Features Include: Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Realistic IO-550-c Engine Simulation Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Realistic differencies between the engines Different throttle/propeller/mixture setting required for each engine Different CHTs and oil temperatures Realistic engines synchronization Custom propeller governor Correct fuel consuption Cowl Flaps Drag Oil System: Realistic oil viscosity Interchangeable oil type Oil pump failures Realistic oil filter Injection Fuel System: Realistic fuel pump behavior Realistic fuel filter Interchangeable spark plugs: default or fine-wire Spark plugs fouling Realistic Lean of Peak and Rich of Peak operations Starter Realistic startup procedure Realistic engine temperatures Vapor Lock Simulation Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Engine Preheater and Winterization Kit The engine may be warmed up upn start with the provided electrical heater Once activated, the electrical heater runs even when you close the simulator A winterization kit let the airplane to operate at very cold temperatures Realistic Landing Gear The landing gear is damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly Electrical & Avionics System Realistic Battery The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down Learn with the in-flight tips A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane Simulation of Hypoxia Tunnel Vision Hard Breathing Stunning sounds Realistic engine clicks and stutters Realistic engine humming sounds when the engines are not synchronized Real starter sound Fuselage wind sound Landing gear wind Independent touch down sounds Real avionics sound Realistic open window wind sound Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Fuel quantity check Oil quantity and quality check Interactive towing Push, pull and steer using the joystick Towbar simulation Weight & Balance Tool Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves Popup Kneeboard Complete normal operations checklist Complete emergency operations checklist Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane When X-Plane is launched, the engine and oil temperature are restored basing on the time passed Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Oxygen system tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition) The B58 Baron by Carenado is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft Current version: 2.61 (last updated Nov 22, 2016) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 5.80 mb which is unzipped and inserted to the Carenado B58 Baron "Plugins" folder. Key authorisation is required. Documentation : includes Manual.pdf README_INSTALLATION.txt REP-b58-checklists-references.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 30th November 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global v10.50 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Headshake by SimCoders (free)
  17. Quick Flight Review : AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado I am doing a quick flight in the new AeroCommander by Carenado to sample the aircraft and get a feel for it. This is the second AeroCommader in a month with another version by Nimbus that was released in September, like Hollywood movies aircraft in X-Plane do come in twos. This is not a direct comparison, because in reality that is not fair to either developer. The Carenado version is more expensive and comes from the very highly regarded studios that has one of the best track records in X-Plane for extremely high quality and the sheer functionality of their aircraft. A new aircraft developer would be put in the David and Goliath position in comparison. But I will make a few notes in the summary. In reality this AeroCommander from Carenado has been a long time coming to X-Plane as the FS version has been available for quite a few years, but here it now is, and it was certainly worth the wait. The quality of the modeling is excellent, but this "Shrike" version which was basically just a company name change more than a distinctive version, and was related all the Piston-engined versions that were manufactured after 1967. This Shrike however is one dirtied down worn out stunner. The throaty engine sounds hit you as soon as you put up the throttles, and the aircraft was so stable that only a few hundred feet above the runway I could already do a nice curved turn and head north. There is plenty of power and the rate of climb is 1,340 ft/min, but you feel you can easily do more than that, but I will be kind to the old bird. Powered by two Lycoming IO-540-E1B5 air-cooled flat six piston engines developing 290 hp (216 kW) each, the aircraft looks heavy and you expect it to be heavy, but actually it is quite nice and even really easy to fly. First view of the cabin is... its buggered!, old, dirty, worn, tired and even rusty! Thank god we don't have smell-o-rama in X-Plane because this is one aircraft that would stink! But you love it all because it is all so real. There is an animated foldout table that seems to have come off better than its surroundings, this is a great cabin. Panel is quite basic, but the instruments are so beautifully detailed and nicely lit. Engine dials put the two engines on one gauge. But there just really the standard six instruments, a clock and adf pointer on the pilot's side, missing is a VOR 2 pointer which still has the lower readout of speed and distance, but no pointer is hard for distance or state traveling and lining up airports and runways. The Co-Pilot has to with only three dials in airspeed, artificial horizon and altitude. Note the worn tired control column (removable) as both are beautifully done, and the carpets are so threadbare. I like the way the yoke covered control links are done across the floor, small thing but realistic. Centre pedestal is extremely well rendered and built. The sets of twin throttles, propeller pitch/feather and mixture levers are a treat to use and more so to look at. Lower are two Alt Air levers that are well crafted. There is a Garmin GNS530 GPS unit, that pops-out, Bendix-King KR87 ADF unit and two Collins Comm and VOR/NAV 2 radios. The overhead panel is really two units, with one the lower switch strip panel for lighting and start switches, and the upper panel is for the excellent chunky rudder and elevator wheels (Pitch is on the pedestal). The splash panel lighting is very good, but can be over bright and you need to find the right adjustment. Two spot lights are switchable. There is a very basic Century lll Autopilot system. The panel pops out for ease of use, which is handy because the panel is in two parts with one the selection dial that is positioned far right panel and the main switches are upper left panel. Ease of use is the game here... roll switch and knob to turn, heading, altitude (hold) and pitch with adjuster wheel. Very easy and very effective. The Century lll is noted as an original installation in all AeroCommanders. Lighting Internal lighting is excellent. As noted you have to balance the front overhead panel lights to get the best feel, but you also have two spots for each of the pilot and co-pilot, and four spots over each seat in the cabin... feeling inside at night is of comfort and warmth. The cabin looks brilliant from the external view as well... Beacon, Nav and strobe lights are good. There is no taxi light, but only two drop down landing lights, but they are very good to use as the taxi light. Flap drag is brutal! So you have to know your correct speed zone to let out on the step down, but in the final flap setting the speed can then be a touch over 60knts and the aircraft transforms itself into a stable slow platform to land the Shrike pretty right on the money of wherever you want too. The Commander is so good in this condition as your approach speed is so low and controllable... love it. Gear animation and the view from the cabin is brilliant. No reverse pitch thrust, but who cares as the speed is just a little faster than running.... Menus There is the standard three Carenado menu tabs on the left lower part of your screen. A ) is the Century lll Autopilot B ) Carenado Views, including Field of View and Sound volume C ) Options, including Window Reflections, Instrument Reflections, great static elements including tags, bollards and engine inlet covers, Small baggage door, Pilots door and passenger door. Close up the detailing is really excellent on the Commander, but it is a bit of a squeeze for the passengers to get into the cabin under the wing. Note the excellent undercarriage construction, up close it is mind-bending good, the stowage animation is very good as well and you get a front seat view from any of the seats in the cabin on the replay as seen above. Liveries Liveries include one blank white, three American registered, one Canadian and two Australian in a nice private and customs versions. Summary Pretty hard to fault this excellent AeroCommander, if X-Plane users had to wait a little longer then the wait was certainly worth it. It covers almost every area with ease from the sheer quality including shiny fuselage and spinners, to the grubby interior and wear and tear. Sounds are perfect as well and in 3d, and it has a nice throaty roar that isn't as whiny as a lot of Carenado's can be. features are good and plentiful and so is the lighting, and as a handling aircraft it is easy but with great feel at the same time. Autopilot is simple to use and effective. Only a few negatives in no VOR 2 pointer, which I feel is important on these types of aircraft, and the manipulators are doubled-up and can be tricky to use and messy if you need to change something quickly. This is only one quick flight and a few impressions, but it passes the "I really love it" statement with ease, so can you compare this Carenado version with the Nimbus one? Well for one they are very different and prices are different as well, the Nimbus gives you great value at US$27.95, but the Carenado is cheap at US$32.95, were I would have expected it to be in the US$35.00 range easily for what you get here, so this AeroCommander is a great deal as well. If you love these commuter aircraft then the AeroCommander Shrike 500S needs to be in your hanger, it is a really lovely aircraft, a new favorite aircraft of mine... yes indeed it goes straight to the top of the list. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the AeroCommander Shrike 500s by Carenado is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : AeroCommander 500S SHRIKE HD Series Price is US$32.95 Features Include: Original 500S Aero Commander autopilot installed New and improved multi-function scroll support Volumetric side view prop effect. Default X-Plane GNS530. HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Custom audio plugins with extra effects for added realism 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane10.0 + (any edition) - 64bit mode Windows 7+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.0 (last updated Oct 24th 2016) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 501.70 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Fighter folder at 544.00mb. Key authorisation is required. Documentation : includes 500S Emergency Checklist PDF - 500S Normal Checklist PDF 500S Performance Tables - 500S Reference PDF 500S Autopilot Operation PDF - Recommended Settings PD ______________________________________________________________________ Quick Flight Review by Stephen Dutton 25th October 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global v10.50 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Headshake by SimCoders (free)
  18. News! - Aircraft Released! : Aero Commander 500S Shrike HD Series by Carenado I the space of a month we now have another Aero Commander with Nimbus's version and now this "Shrike" version is by Carenado. So what is the "Shrike" version. Basically it is just a company name change more than a distinctive version, and was all the Piston-engined versions that were manufactured after 1967. Features Original 500S Aero Commander autopilot installed Default X-Plane GNS530 installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Custom audio plugins with extra effects for added realism 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. This is a Carenado, which the name alone signifies quality and that high design craftmanship that we have come to expect, you are not going to be disappointed here with this Commander either. Included in the package is: 6 HD liveries 1 HD Blank livery 500S Emergency Checklist PDF 500S Normal Checklist PDF 500S Performance Tables 500S Reference PDF 500S Autopilot Operation PDF Recommended Settings PDF Lush interior helps with the visual experience, but overall this a working utility and transport aircraft. Technical Requirements Windows Vista - 7 - 10 or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux Only for X-Plane10.40 64 bits or higher 2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 490MB available hard disk space For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. ______________________________________________________________________ The Aero Commander 500S Shrike HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! here : Aero Commander 500S Shrike HD Series Price is US$32.95 Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 20th October 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  19. Aircraft Review - PA31 Navajo HD Series from Carenado I am flying directly west from Brisbane, Queensland towards the great dividing ranges that protects the coastal areas from the red dirt interior of Australia. My transport is the latest from Carenado in the PA-31 Navajo. A small Twin-Engined cargo or 5 to 7 passenger feeder aircraft from the late sixties. The dividing range is not very high, more a line on a beach than the tall high mountains like the Rockies or the Alps. So six thousand feet is more than high enough to clear them easily. But you feel comforted up here, cocooned in your own world, it is a smoothed out world that is created by the billowing clouds around you. The PA-31 purrs along with those two 310 hp (231 kW) Lycoming TIO-540-A turbocharged engines in their "tiger shark" cowlings which are pulling you effortlessly through the air at just under 200knts. The Navajo's cockpit is a nice place to be, no glass or G1000 thingamajig's here, just dials and gauges like in the olden days. I have a reason to be going west out here, well two actually. One is a group of investors on board that want to... well invest money. The other is my destination, in an interesting airport called Wellcamp Airport. Wellcamp Airport has an interesting history, it is 145km west of Brisbane and is just situated 15km outside of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs. The airport is brand new, venture more than a service by a wealthy family in the Wagners that made a fortune in construction products, quarries and concreting. Toowoomba already has an airport, but mostly in a regional domestic capacity and the Wagner's wanted a bigger one, Toowoomba Council said "no" and so they built their own, a huge one right in the middle of nowhere really and called it Brisbane West!... cheeky buggers. Point is no one today build's their own airports on this scale, is it a brave statement on the future or a folly of rich people doing things because other people see more sense in the idea than they do. The great thing of going around government bureaucracy and 100 million dollars is that things can get done very quickly in the way that construction was started in April 2013, and everything was completed by October 2014 with the first regular Qantas service being on the 17th November 2014 in connecting with Sydney Airport. And here is Wellcamp on my starboard wing thanks to fhvanhal and his excellent "YBWW Brisbane West Wellcamp" scenery (link is at the bottom of the review). YBWW Wellcamp is hard to find and line up to the 12/30 single runway in this open landscape, so you have to do a little homework before you leave. But the runway once found is huge... a mammoth 2870 m long by 45 m wide, and easily capable of handling aircraft to Boeing 747 size. The airport is rated at Code E, and has already been visited by a Cathay Pacific B748F freighter. To save an eon of time taxiing I floated a little down the runway before settling down and taxiing to the modern terminal area to unload my greedy investors. I have wait a while before taking them back to Brisbane, so let us have a look at the Navajo. Like a bewitched teenager it was lust at first sight with the Navajo. A beautiful aircraft created out of the smaller PA-31 Twin Comanche and an early relative of the PA-31-350 Chieftain, PA-31T1 Cheyenne and the PA-31P-350 Mojave. The aircraft first flew on the 30th September 1964 and deliveries started in March 1967, production by Piper ran till 1984 and altogether 3942 Navajo's were built... and many if most are still flying. You would think that design and high quality construction had peaked a few years ago on Carenado aircraft, but they just keep on pushing the boundaries higher with every release. Highlights are many, but those propeller spinners are excellent, engine internals peak out of the tiger shark cowlings above and below the wing through the air vents. Tie-downs, antennas and all sorts of fuselage detailing is very good. Engine vents and wing light assembly is sublime as is the small metal airflow lip on the wing/engine join. All screws and riveting is par-excellence and note the one and only wiper for the pilot. Undercarriage assemblies are almost perfection, and they all come with great realistic animation when moving. Note the great glass work in the landing taxi lights (wing light is excellent as well) and all the glass work and reflections on the fuselage. You can almost touch the realism of the paintwork.... it is all so good... great. Menus Carenado provide you with three tabbed menus on the left lower screen. A ) is for the pop-up Autopilot panel. B ) Is the standard Carenado views, Field of View and Volume panel. And C ) is the Options panel. Options gives you Window and Instrument reflections, passenger, luggage and nose door animations. Static elements finally you can change the livery on the bottom of the panel. All are certainly great options. but we don't have the old Carenado features of luggage in the front compartment and in the large rear cargo area, and you really miss them here as the areas feel very empty. Static elements are odd as well. You can have your wheel chocks but only with the aircraft hand puller on the nose? What if you just want to chock the aircraft until you fly again. No engine inlet or tags either but you do get wing cones. We will look at pop-up autopilot when we are flying again. Cabin Quality cabin is luxury defined. Four seats in a club layout with spot overhead lighting. The rear cargo entrance area does feel a little large and empty with the cargo door open as well, so overall you feel you are missing a few seats or one on the right rear... Lovely wooden paneling behind the pilots gives the aircraft an expensive feel, overall the internal fit-out is excellent with excellent leather and deep wool pile carpets. Cockpit Power off and the panel looks dark but highly detailed, instrument reflections are superb. Overhead is a molded roof with set in switchgear and three dials. Power on and the whole feel and character of the cockpit changes. Two high panel set red down-lights cast a colourful glow over the instruments. On the roof the two fuel gauges are angled lit as is the amp gauge internally. Highlights are the two over-head blue lighting units with one in the cockpit and one over the entrance door. The bulbs are internally beautifully recreated and when switched on they both cast a blue glow over each area. Panel and Instruments The instrument layout on the Navajo is a little haphazard and can be confusing if you swap over piloting positions. Yes both stations have the standard six layout instruments. but even these are not set out in the same order in both areas. Airspeed Indicator and the Attitude Indicator are both in the same position top left and right with the Turn Coordinator and Vertical Speed Indicators set directly below. But the Artificial Horizon and Heading Dials are different instruments with the pilot's set centre of the panel and the co-pilot's set more correctly in the standard six layout. The co-pilots Artificial Horizon is adjustable but the pilot's is not. The pilot's Heading Dial has a built in Course Deviation Bar (CDI) and can be set to the course angle and heading change knob. but the co-pilot's only has a rotary heading adjustment. And that is the commonality between the panels. On the pilot's side there are also instruments for radar height, localizer indicator and ADF pointer. There is a very nice EDM 760 digital readout and an analogue clock. On the co-pilot's panel besides the standard six you get only one instrument in the VOR/ADF pointers. Very nice but in the wrong place for me as I use the VOR/ADF pointers a lot for airport or runway alignment, and being right over the other side of the aircraft's panel for me makes it useless... unless I fly in the right hand seat. The rest of the right side panel are gauges for pressures in gyro, fuel, oil and cylinder head/oil temperatures. Oxygen supply is set out below. Centre panel has at the top a very nice set of annunciators and below are four dials that covers both engines, Manifold Pressure, RPM, EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) and engine fuel flow. Equipment stack is very good. Standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel is top left with the X-Plane Garmin GN350 GPS system below. Then there are a set of three Bendix/King units in one KR87 TSO ADF unit that is hard to adjust, and two KR 64 VOR/DME speed and range sets. Right stack includes a Bendix/King KX 165 TSO Comm/Nav (VOR2) tuner and a Garmin GTX 320 transponder. The weather radar is a Bendix/King and comes with a manual that notes you can adjust the range and radar angle, but I couldn't do any adjustments accept to turn it on, test and adjust the brightness. Lower panel switchgear is minimal except for the landing gear lever and position display as most switchgear items are on the roof. The wiper switch is great with a three way action in park (which is actually intermittent) slow and fast. Side panels are excellent with nice fuse panels, there is (Goodrich) Prop-Ice amp gauge that works when you turn on the de-icing... a nice touch. Centre pedestal is excellent. All twin-engine levers are well done as are the three trim wheels and knob, all have great position marks that are easily noted. Built in Autopilot is mostly use with the pop-up, but the pedestal panel is not too hard to use either if you want to. The "Cowl Flap" switches are low down (one each under the engines), but the position indicators are great to use The roof rocker switchgear is great. Upper panel has, ground fan, seat and no smoking switches. left panel has lighting switches and right panel has pitot/windshield heating and anti-ice switches with the main Amp gauge central. Lower left are four magneto switches and engine left/right starter switch. Lower right are two left/right fuel pump switches and the Hobbs meter. Center lower are the two fuel tank gauges and four rotary knobs for the panel and overhead lighting. A note is that at night the switch gear is mostly not illuminated and can be hard to use, the in built X-Plane torch feature is the only way to use them... Flying the Navajo My investors are back and so it is time to load them up and head back to Brissy... Sorry Brisbane. Putting the mixture levers right forward and hitting the start switch does not fire up the engine? You have to give each engine a little bit of throttle (each engine separately) before it will catch and fire and only when they have a bit of heat in them can you back them down to idle and the volumetric side view prop effect3 feature is visible as well. Open the small window and the engine noise powers into the cabin. Carenado sounds are really first rate and Carenado have done a completely new sound architecture on the PA-31, it as 360º movement will give you a dynamic range and totally realistic sound, internally and externally, and they are noted as HQ digital stereo sounds that are recorded directly from the real Navajo... they sound about right. The Navajo idle taxiing speed is great to perfect as well, a little extra throttle to get you moving and then back to idle will give you the right speed. It is bye, bye Wellcamp and fhvanhal has certainly done a great job. There is a few far too many animated vehicles though, and enough police cars to fill out the Blues Brothers movie, but otherwise it is excellent scenery. The sound change from idle to full power is very, very good, but save (your best takeoff) and do a replay of your takeoff roll and watch the excellent undercarriage animation flexibility, it does show on how far X-Plane in sheer detail has really come... watch the wheel struts as they absorb the bumps on the runway and as the aircraft gains its lift with the airflow, just amazing. Those Lycoming TIO-540-A 310 hp (231 kW) engines are really powerful and you need to bring them in gradually and smoothly, building more and more speed with the slow forward throttle movement, rotation is around 110knts and the climb rate is officially 1,445 ft/min, you can easily keep it around 1,200 ft/min as you climb away and hold speed. Turn coordination is great, you bank with ease and with total control... this is a nice aircraft to fly manually. Which way do I go to Brissy? "Oh the pointers are over there right on the other side of the panel!" Two notes though. The Navajo can be a bit of a handful even in a bit of a crosswind and more so on the runway on taking off or landing, so you have to have your wit's about you if you are above a blowing 5knts. Another was I had a few flicks of the aircraft flickering quickly, I am running for the first time here 10.50 in the RC2 setting, so It could be that, but I don't get these flicks with other aircraft in the same settings and the weather is set at calm? Range for this Navajo is 1,011nmi (1,875 km (1,165 mi)) and the ceiling is a mighty 26,300 ft (8,015 m). Top speed is 227 knts (420 km/h (260 mph)) at 15,000 ft (4,600 m) and the Cruise speed is around 207 knts (383 km/h (238 mph)) with an econ cruise is best at 20,000 ft (6,100 m). Here I was just under the standard 200knt zone at 7,000ft and it felt quite right. Note those lovely spinners!, look great in flight. In the air you get a great look at those under engine vents, note the detailed internals. The drop down blinds have built in light reflection that looks authentic with the roof lighting... nice touch. The sight of Moreton Bay and lots of water means I am over Brissy. So a heading north over Mt Cootha (those television station antenna's are seen from all over the city) is required as I am using the smaller regional cross runway of 16/32 at YBBN. You have to release the ALT (Altitude) hold before you can descend, I tried to hit the DN button for ages (idiot) before I caught on. A final turn over Redcliffe set me up for the approach to RWY16. I found the flaps were best to control the final descent speed into the final approach, as this aircraft can go in too fast unless you do. You can easily fly over the boundary line at 100kts, but your speed aim is more 85kts for a more controlled landing, stall speed is 63kts so you don't have too much room for error. That landing speed is crucial as you don't have any reverse thrust, so slowing down requires a bit of space before touching the brakes. And like noted the PA-31 can be twitchy with a bit of wind from any direction. As my investors piled into a waiting limo for the ride back to the city, I gave myself a little bit of a smile... as I was certainly the one who got the best deal of the day... The Navajo! Lighting Lighting is controlled by those four knobs on the roof panel and the two blue (one cockpit and one left over the door in the cabin) overhead units. Highly adjustable (for a GA) you can easily find the nice environment for night flying. Overhead Switchgear however is as noted hard to find in the dark... I found a sweet spot for landing in using the overhead blue lighting and a little glow from the instruments to be perfect. Cabin has four individual seat spot lights... very nice. But you need them all out and just the over door blue light on for landing or for taking off in the dark. Externally you have a landing and taxi light on the front wheel strut, and a wing light on the starboard side. The navigation lights and both strobe and position lights (both selectable) and the position lights work very well in the approach and on the ground. The high tail beacon just stays on all the time, and the white spinners do glow a little in the dark? The lighting spread on approach or on the ground is very good... Liveries One blank and six liveries are provided... One mustard with yellow, red and black stripes, then five white base liveries with Blue Stripes, Blue/Gold, Red and Stripes, Blue/Gold Stripes and Green Stripes. All are 4k HD high-quality (4096 x 4096) 350 pixel / meter texture liveries... Summary I can easily be bias here with the Carenado PA-31 Navajo, as it easily went straight on to my active flight-line along side of my beloved Bonanza F33A, Caravan C208B, Beech B1900D and CT206H Stationair, and that is against an already stiff competition in the twin-engined category with the C404 Titan coming to mind... and it is cheaper as well, only mostly by US$2.50 but still cheaper. So I quickly loved the aircraft, and it is totally great from the start... but it is not completely absolutely perfect. The most glaring omission is there are no rain or fog effects? These are staple Carenado features now, and the PA-31 would be great with that single wiper thrashing through a storm filled night searching for a runway. The other things are purely cosmetic, the empty spaces could be filled with another Carenado staple in luggage and it does feel a bit too empty at the rear. No tiger shark" cowling covers or tags? And is the weather radar correct and is the manual wrong, or vice-versa and I will just have to fly that right seat to find my way home with the placement of the VOR and ADF pointers (there is a ADF on the left side panel but not together to line up a runway). The Navajo is tricky to fly in winds, but the power and lovely flying feel is excellent, in quality it is above and beyond in detail and it is another if slight step towards to total nirvana. Sounds are very good as well. So the Carenado PA-31 Navajo ticks every box, in almost every area that you would want... even the value for money one. It is that good, even great and certainly a far, far better investment than an airport west of Toowoomba in the middle of nowhere. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The PA31 Navajo HD Series from Carenado is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-31 Navajo HD Series Your Price: $32.95 Special Features All-new sound architecture Volumetric side view prop effect3 X-Plane G530 installed Features Original Navajo autopilot installed Default X-Plane GNS530 installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Custom audio plugins with extra effects for added realism 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Requirements: Windows 7+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System X-Plane10.40 + (any edition) - 64bit mode 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Current version: 1.1 (last updated June 24th 2016) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the PA31 Navajo HD Series is 394mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 440.60mb. Key authorisation and a restart is required. There is Normal and Emergency procedures (checklists), excellent sets of performance tables and weather radar manual. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 26th August 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 and also used in X-Plane v10.50RC Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - YBWW - Brisbane West Wellcamp 1.1 By fhvanhal (X-Plane.Org) - Free - YBBN - Brisbane Airport 1.0 by tgd - (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  20. News! - Aircraft Update : G1000 system update by Carenado/Alabeo Now you may have to make your coffee before you load up a Carenado/Alabeo aircraft. New complex systems are always going to have issues and none more than FMC/GPS systems. Carenado's very ambitious G1000 was a case in point. Early versions were a "go and make a cup off coffee" while it loaded and the system was not very efficient, certainly in the MAP view and programming the routes was a bit heavy going. Things looked up with the TBM850 as that G1000 version was a real step forward, but not completely perfect... Now Carenado has released a full update of a completely revised G1000 system with version 3.3, and the aircraft affected are: CARENADO CT182T Skylane G1000 X-Plane CT206H Stationair G1000 Extension Pack X-Plane SR22 GTSx X-Plane TBM850 X-Plane ALABEO DA42 Twin Star X-Plane Changes are really significant as noted by Carenado below, I haven't had a chance to run an aircraft yet, but will do so over the next few days. Changelog is: -Almost instantaneous database load time (compared to 40-50 seconds before) -Database is now handled in a separate binary plugin, separating it from other logic in the plane. -Back-end is now more similar to how the default GNS430/530 handle the database. -Compatible with Navigraph updates to the GNS430 Custom Data waypoint and navaid files. -Numerous optimizations to minimize FPS hit during certain conditions -Improved file compatibility with file plans generated in 3rd party apps -Smoother/snappier navigation and data entry -Increased stability and improved initialization logic (especially from cold and dark) -Better handling of ambiguous locations for waypoints with duplicate names, both when entering a flight plan and when loading an .fms flight plan from file. -Higher resolution moving map -Numerous minor fixes (wind indicator, GS, engine indicators, visual glitches in applicable planes) -Improved "Core" vs. "Custom" G1000 architecture, keeping all core functions of the G1000 more similar and unified across multiple aircraft. Carenado - Alabeo Support is on the X-Plane.Org: Carenado - Alabeo Support ______________________________________________________________________ All G1000 suite aircraft are available from the X-Plane.OrgStore here: Carenado : X-Plane.OrgStore If you have already purchased any of the above Carenado/Alabeo G1000 suite aircraft then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account, log in, and download ver 3.3, check under the "Requirements" tab if the aircraft is the updated version and it should be noted like this "Current version: 3.3 (last updated July 26th, 2016)"... If Purchased from the Carenado Store then to update then go to: Carenado.com The Carenado G1000 Database must be installed in the main root X-Plane folder to use the G1000 suite. ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 3rd August 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  21. Aircraft Update and Review : Carenado C208B Grand Caravan v2 HD series Route - KEYW (Key West) to MYNN (Nassau Intl) The Grand Caravan from Carenado was their first larger, one size up aircraft for X-Plane. And right from the start at the release in Mid-2012 everyone knew this was something special. It was a sensational success and really cemented Carenado’s already formidable reputation of creating the very best aircraft in General Aviation. Over a year later it has now been finally updated to 64bit and moved over into the HD series. So what does make the Caravan C208B so special. What are the core ingredients that makes it stand out a little above the rest of so many other really good aircraft. Why time and time again it was always the Grand Caravan that you of choice would to choose to fly again and again. I think I know the answer to those questions and this review is a way to explore them and highlight the qualities that made this aircraft so good and we can also see the extra features and update changes to v2 . The Cessna 208B Caravan is a short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft with a single turboprop engine. It uses a fixed-gear undercarriage for reliability and for rough runways and the aircraft is built by Cessna in Wichita, Kansas in the United States. The aircraft typically seats nine passengers with a single pilot, although with a FAR “Part 23’ waiver it can seat up to fourteen passengers. The 208 Caravan I prototype first flew in December 1982. The production model was certified by the FAA in October 1984. Since then, the Caravan has undergone a number of design evolutions, and working with FedEx, Cessna produced first the Cargomaster. (utility cargo version). Cessna offers the 208B in many configurations and the basic 208 airframe can be outfitted with many various types of landing gear, and allowing it to operate in a wide variety of environments. Some common adaptations include skis, enlarged tires (Tundra) for unprepared runways and also floats on the Caravan Amphibian model. The 208B Grand Caravan is a 4 feet (1.2 m) stretch of the Caravan I. The 208B also features a more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-114A engine (built in Canada). Cost is US$2,022,450 (Base price) and over 2000 have been built. Cruise speed: 197 mph (171 kn; 317 km/h), Range: 1,240 mi (1,078 nmi; 1,996 km) with max fuel and reserves, Rate of climb: 770 ft/min (3.9 m/s) To a point the Grand Caravan is a niche aircraft with a wide scope of different roles, It fills the need of an aircraft sized larger than the standard General Aviation aircraft and is still smaller than a commuter aircraft of 20 seats and above. So it is ideal as a regional feeder aircraft or in its most popular role as an Island hopper in transporting around 9 to 14 passengers over short distances (200nm to 500nm). This is a typical route that we will fly today is from Key West to Nassau Intl which is 245 nm. To set the aircraft up for its flight you have three sets of menu options on the lower left of your screen. (D) is for Doors and this pop-out menu allows you to open and close the aircraft doors, which in include the Pilots and Co-Pilots door(s) (with a great swing down ladder), a passenger door (right rear) and a double (upper and lower) Baggage door, and when you open the passenger door if you have the cargo pod attached under the aircraft the four smaller baggage compartments also open. (O) is for Options and this second pop-out menu allows you to stow the Static Elements (Chocks, Tow Tractor, Pivot Cover and engine and prop covers. You have a choice of two seating configurations in eight Single seats (8 Pass) or a singe and a double seat per row (and two single seats (11 Pass). the Co-Pilot's seat can be used as either a passenger or a pilot. I am here going for the 11 passenger configuration for this flight. You can also on this menu select either Clear or Tinted windows (VC Windows), I like the dark green tinted. You can choose if you want the under-slung extra (baggage) cargo pod on or off, It adds weight to the aircraft and so if you going for range or flying a considerable distance it is better left off. (C) The top Menu item is “Camera”, that gives you the standard Carenado view system with a zoom function. This has been extended in v2 to add extra programmable views. Settling into the Pilots seat is time to get the C208B ready to go, the panel is clear, unfussy and well laid out. The main engine and power/electric switches are on your left on a tall box structure, and the lighting switches are arranged (grouped) on the left lower part of the panel. The centre upright pedestal has an emergency power lever, single throttle lever, Propeller RPM/Feather Lever and a (clever) gated conditioning/cutoff lever. On the far right is the gated flap lever (3 positions). A huge pitch trim wheel on the side and another rudder trim wheel lower down in the pedestal box. The Bendix/King weather radar has been updated in v2 with a rainbow activation screen. It is quite bright and can either (thankfully) be turned down or you can select the “on” position that gives you the standard screen. The system is just limited to the standard X-Plane weather screen and is really just on or off. You don’t turn a key but push a switch to start the huge Pratt & Whitney PT6A, So after setting the RPM and condition levers to right up high you then just sit there. Nothing happens at first but then deep in the nose something stirs, it cranks and whines and finally rumbles into a sucking whiny loud turbine roar. One of the highlights of the Caravan is its noise, 3D stereo sounds are all around you, but in reality it is so noisy you can’t really tell which direction it is coming from anyway. It is mega great though as nothing else sounds like the caravan, on the ground you get those whiny sucking air turbo sounds and in the air it just roars. The propeller animation in v2 has had a revision and it was pretty good in v1 but now in v2 it is more refined. Let off the brakes and you have to control the power. The Caravan was always hard to taxi as it has so much thrust. I found adjusting the RPM doesn’t work? The only way could reign in the power was to pull the condition lever back into the gate (to far back will kill the engine) and finally you can taxi out at the right speed (and with a bright “low oil Pressure” light in your face). It may not be the right thing in a real Caravan to do but, it was the only way to reign all that thrust in? Power is the problem on takeoff as well. Push up the throttle on 10º Flap, and the asymmetric thrust will pull you hard to the left. So you have to be aware right from the moment you let the brakes go to give only a little thrust until you can lock the nose-wheel straight and then give it full power after a certain speed. It works with a little deft right rudder and once in the air you can quickly straighten the airframe up. Even with a full fuel and passenger load the aircraft has the power to climb easily and you soon find the aircraft settled into a 800fpm climb to 10,000ft. Watch you speed though, if the C208B starts to struggle then half the pitch. But otherwise it will climb quite high, you are not pressurized but have a ceiling of 27.700 ft (8.443 m). You have real C208B weight and balance dialed into the aircraft and that gives you a realistic feel for the aircraft empty or fully loaded. I don’t know if you could call the Grand Caravan a beautiful aircraft, it is functional and utilitarian rather than pretty. But Carenado’s work here is exceptional, the textures are now in the HD (High-Definition) series, and the detailing is excellent. All the riveted panels are there to be seen and the detailing is exquisite in noting the flap runners and pitot probes, and the rubber trailing edge aerials that feel and act with realism and movement. Wire mesh in the engine intakes and a beautifully crafted tricycle undercarriage, that springs and claws together when not under-load. A final piece is the large horn of an exhaust that billows smoke under-load. The windows and glass is perfection in realism. In the air the panel is very functional. The white background on black dials looks modern and distinctive, The Standard Six set of instruments is well set out, but the yoke (removable) can hide the radar height and turn indicator. I like the voltage switch, you can switch it to different aspects of the voltages in four modes. There is a full set of alert lights that can be in two modes in that completely dark or a night setting, which illuminates the panel slightly to see them at night - It works well in the day also to see what their different functions are. The equipment stack is not large, but you still have everything you need. Radio, A Garmin GNS430 (Comm1/VOR1), Bendix King KX165 (Comm 2/ VOR2), Garmin GTX 320 Transponder, Bendix King KR67 ADF and an excellent KFC 150 Autopilot with pitch hold (V/S) and height ALT on a separate panel (push button to switch to either “select Height or V/S” (Vertical Speed) ) The Co-Pilots./Passenger side only has the Standard Six instruments with lower Air-Conditioning and Cabin Heat controls. The panel lighting is excellent with small over lights on the dials, switches and with no background dial lighting, and so at night it is spectacular and still very functional. Overhead is your fuel supply switches and oxygen supply. Overhead lighting works in the front but not in the rear? The front window blinds work in being very adjustable, but still odd in the way you move them into position, and get it wrong and they can be hard to store away again, They are just tricky to use but essential for the pilots in flying directly into the sun. Cabin detail is first rate and can’t be faulted, worn in parts but still a modern flavour in cloth seating for the pilots and rear seats. The two pilots up front are fully animated and realistic... Wouldn’t it be great to have the same animations as passengers in the rear?... As it looks pretty empty back there without anybody sitting in the seats. In v2 the lighting has been brought up to HDR standards, the new flickering strobes are excellent, as is the wing light (left side only). The taxi and landing lights are both set in the wings together and are very good, the tiny detail attention by Careando is shown here by them (Taxi/Landing) being noticeably different up close. The standard Nav/Beacon lighting is also more noticeable though the upgrade. Now way out over the water it is starting to feel empty out here, The engine is feeling strong and purring along, but you have to watch those flickering dials. This engine feels like a tractor engine and you can run it hard at full throttle until the pressures start to show you that you should back off a little. You get a white (paint/default) livery and five other HD liveries, (Clockwise) Executive (Blue), E Arab, GoTrop, Brazil and Executive 2 (Red). GoTrop is my favorite, but there are over thirty others available on the .org As Nassau Island popped up on the horizon it was time to descend. I was happy the VOR (ZQA 112.70mhz) finally kicked in and on the Caravan it gives you your speed and distance to the Nav-Aid. In many cases you pull back on the throttle and slow the speed. But in the C208B it can cause you to stall without the power on. So it is a little throttle back and set the V/S to -700 to start the glide down and then adjust the throttle to match the right speed. If you get it right dropping the flaps to 10º and then 20º to reduce the speed down to 80knts, but don’t forget to give the aircraft a little throttle to balance the drag - as the flaps do create a lot of drag. The Caravan is very stable on the descent and it is very easy to turn-in and line-up with the runway (RWY32). Using the throttle to find the right speed is also very easy and a final flap down to 30º is setting the aircraft up easily for landing. Lowering the speed (throttle) smoothly till you get to the right place to slightly flare it down. As quiet as it is in the air. The Caravan suddenly becomes noisy on the ground. First is the noise of the Reverse Thrust of the Propeller, and noisy and powerful it is. This action can give you almost STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) capabilities. The sounds of the engine reving up high here is simply amazing as in “goosebumps” territory. But then you suddenly have duel issues to contend with, 1) holding it straight on the centerline (keep the front wheel locked until the speed is right down) and 2) that powerful engine is pulling you hard as you move into the taxi speed zone. I have to jump on the condition lever to get it back to the first gate position as soon as possible to quell the speed. Otherwise set it on the approach ready. This can be problematic if you need power on a missed approach and really not advisable, but it does give you a better transition from your landing speed to a sedate taxi speed. As you taxi the 3d sounds change with every turn as the high whine returns. Find your parking position and pull back the condition lever to “Cut-Off” and revel in the winding down of the turbine. You just love these sounds and never get bored of them and that is a big part of the attraction to this aircraft. Hit the menus to open doors and get the baggage out. I personally would like the lower pod baggage doors on a separate button option from the opening passenger door, as they droop down even if you just want to let a passenger out. The C208B is a complex aircraft but frame-rate is not a problem, I rarely get the shudders and rarely go below the 20 frame-rate mark. Conclusions Why is the Grand Caravan 208B so good. First off is the sheer versatility of the aircraft. Any situation or idea you can dream up in a short distance flight, can be usually done in the Caravan. Pickup passengers, island hop, deliver mail, short regional airport to regional airport delivery flights, tourism flying, hub shuttling and delivering cargo or small freight. The Caravan can do anything that you can put together in flying 8-11 passengers (or Cargo) in a 500nm circle. The Carenado Caravan was my “Aircraft of the Year 2012”. Many other aircraft that were released were better like the Boeing 777. But I flew more hours and went to more destinations in six months in the Caravan than any other aircraft over the whole year. It is challenging to fly in all that power from one engine, it has brilliant sounds, It is beautifully crafted by Careando and fully featured and detailed, and you can also configure the aircraft in many different ways... and most of all you just fly and watch your course and hum along to that turbine sound like you are in heaven. At 10,000ft in a C208B Caravan you are as pretty close to heaven that you can get. Follow on from this review to the "Expansion Pack" Version of the Caravan with a review the If you have the v1 of the 208B Cessna Caravan then the v2 update is now available at the X-Plane .OrgShop... or if you want to buy: Price is $29.95 : C208B Grand Caravan HD Series Documents: Technical Requirements: Windows XP , Vista, 7 or 8 (32 or 64 bits), MAC OS 10.3.9 (or higher). Linux X-Plane 9.7 , X-Plane 10.22+ . 32 and 64bit compatible Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM. 1GbVRAM Recommended Download: 291.60mb - 252MB available hard disk space Current version: v2 (last updated September 25th 2013) X-Plane10 is required for HDR lighting effects and the HD textures are rendered to maximise the low frame-rate. updated store# Developer Site: Carenado Review By Stephen Dutton 27th September 2013 (note: the engine torque enhancements are included and ignore the C208B service pack on the Carenado site.) Full List of v2 updates: -32-bit and 64-bit Mac, Windows, and Linux support. -X-Plane 9.7 and 10.22 acf files included. -Updated SASL to official v2.0.1 release, which contains optimizations that benefit from Laminar's X-Plane 10.22 release. -Overhauled lighting system. Lighting halos for nav and strobe lights are now more visible under certain viewing angles. -Landing light features tightly-focused "glare" effect when viewed from the right angle. -Landing lights optimized to work better under v9.7 lighting, as well as v10 HDR-off and HDR-on lighting -Nav lights have been improved for a more realistic appearance. -Strobe lights have been re-programmed to follow a strobe flashing pattern, determined by the plugin. -Improved ground handling -Optimized objects -Improved weather radar, -improved stereo sounds -Improved interior and exterior graphics and visualizations -No longer has inverted fuel and oil systems. More realistic. -Optimized various menus, to use less memory. -Tweaked turning radius on ground to compensate for new v10 no-toe-brake-with-rudder setting. -Adjusted trim time from centre to max for v10, as this setting, left un-addressed, will cause the same plane to take twice as long to trim. -tweaked gauges, such as fuel and oil pressure, vacuum, etc. to conform to v10's new way of calculating "Nominal pressure/temperature" as opposed to "Max pressure/temperature". -Programmed default camera snap points for v10 (on top of existing ones via "Cameras" pop-up menu) 2 Different .acf files: one for v9 and one for v10. -v10 .acf features optimized objects. Interior/exterior shading is applied only where needed, saving resources. -v10 .acf has further optimizations to objects that don't need the background (clouds, skies) to be drawn through them, if they're not transparent, saving further resources. -v10 .acf also protects certain textures from resolution degradation at low rendering settings. This guarantees that the panel instruments and text are always crisp and clear, no matter what rendering settings are chosen for the sim. -v10 .acf is optimized to make use of HDR rendering, especially in terms of lighting. This includes spill lights, which illuminate the surroundings, coming from Nav and Strobe lights. -When HDR mode is turned off, care has been taken to optimize the appearance of the plane without the enhancement benefits of HDR. Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27” - 6 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb Software: - Mac OS MountainLion 10.8.2 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.22 (final) - ExtremeSceneryMAXX Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery - KEYW - Key West International Airport V1.0 - fletcherj - MYNN - Lynden Pindling International (Nassau Intl) - mhayling
  22. News! - Aircraft Release! - PA31 Navajo HD Series from Carenado Sneeze and there is another aircraft released from Carenado or Alabeo... Great stuff and keep them coming. This is the excellent twin-engined PA31 Navajo. The Navajo is a scaled-up Piper Twin Comanche to seat two crew and five to seven passengers, with a range of 1,011 nmi (1,875 km). Features Include: Original Navajo autopilot installed Default X-Plane GNS530 installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 350 pixels / meter textures Custom audio plugins with extra effects for added realism 3D gauges Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. Individual passenger 3D reading lights and numerous HDR lighting effects. Dynamic loading/unloading of 3D parts and plugin logic for FPS optimization. Note the Navajo is a standard instrument package aircraft with the GNS530 and not a G1000 fitted panel. Included in the package is: 6 HD liveries 1 HD Blank livery PA31 Performance Tables PA31 Reference PDF Weather Radar PDF Recommended Settings PDF Technical Requirements Windows Vista - 7 -10 or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux Only for X-Plane10.40 64 bits or higher 2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 440MB available hard disk space For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. INTERNET CONNECTION is required for installing this product. ______________________________________________________________________ The PA31 Navajo HD Series by Carenado is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA31 Navajo HD Series Price is US$32.95 The PA31 Navajo HD Series from Carenado is also available from Carenado: Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Update: 27th June 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  23. Aircraft Review : Carenado C172N Skyhawk II (version 2.1) Route : CZST-Stewart - to - PANT-Annette Island Depart runway CZST 18 - Arrival Runway PANT 12 When you think about Carenado you certainly think about the high quality and extremely detailed aircraft they produce, as well as the new experience their planes bring to X-Plane, well the C172N Skyhawk II is no exception. Over the next page I will analyse all of the features and qualities of this incredible aircraft. The C172N Skyhawk is a lightweight fixed gear aircraft powered by a 180 hp Textron Lycoming Piston engine. Its propeller, manufactured by McCauley, is a two blade metal, fixed pitch propeller. Its capabilities take it to a range of 640nm. The aircraft can seat up to four and is single pilot certified (obviously), it also has a maximum cruising speed of 124 ktas at a weight of 415.94 kilograms. During this review I will be using a Saitek Pro Flight Yoke and X-Mapper Pro on an IPad. If your unsure, X-Mapper Pro is a live map for x-plane which tracks your movements across the globe! From the app you can also control your aircraft and vital things like radios and Autopilot. I think it's a great add-on to enhance your sim, all for £1.99! So, what's the Carenado version like of the C172? Well, I decided to take a trip to the beautiful British Columbian Fjords, taking off at Stewart , to find out! I will now describe my encounter... I found myself at CZST - Stewart, parked on the ramp at around 11:00am , the weather report wished a pleasurable day for a flight to PANT, 17 cavok visibility and clouds with a base of 4000ft, and the temperature, about 9 degrees Celsius. First I start with a walk around inspection of the C172 (without floats). Features: X-Plane 9.6/9.7 and X-Plane 10.21 or higher X-Plane 64 bits compatible Polygon optimized model Interactive virtual cockpit Full moving parts: Ailerons, Elevators, Rudders, Flaps, Rolling wheels Animated sections such as : doors, pilot's window, co-pilot seat, sun visor and fresh air control Realistic lighting: Navigation lights, beacons, landing lights, cockpit lights 3D modelled pilot and cockpit area Many details, such as : pitot pressure chamber, antennas, chocks, pitot tube cover. Custom panel and gauges Realistic textures and original paint designs Realistic light effects on gauges Accurately reproduced flight characteristics Real weight and balance System Requirements: (at the minimum) Pentium 2 GHz - 1GB RAM 210MB available hard disk space X-Plane 9.6 (or higher) - X-Plane 10.21 ( or higher) Windows XP - Vista (32 or 64 bits) or Mac OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux Walk Around: The exterior of this aircraft is phenomenal, every nut and bolt can be seen from a considerable distance away. The glass reflects the light as well as the liveries, which is a nice touch and adds to the overall immersion. The 3D modelling of this plane is great, the fuselage matches identically to the real one! The control surfaces have been recreated with extreme care, I especially like the weathered look around these parts which can be found on all liveries. The weathered look of the aircraft gives it a worn characteristic, this is one of many factors which contribute to create the 'new experience' in x-plane flying! On top of the cabin and in various other places small antennas have been placed which look fairly thin and small to me but I'm sure carenado would have modelled them on accurate dimensions. Another feature which Carenado planes normally have is reflective tires, its a shame that I couldn't see that on this aircraft. Now we move onto the menus: Provided with this aircraft are two on-screen menu's, if you are familiar with Carenado aircraft this will look normal. The first menu is called 'C', you can use this menu to navigate through a series of camera positions, we will talk more about that when we are up in the air! The second menu is the 'O' menu, most of its features apply when you are stationary on the ground with the engines off. The first option is to open or close the pilot door, the animation for this is smooth with no guttering and the sound effects are in synchronisation with the animation. The sound effects them selves are clear and dominant, you could say they sound slightly weird when your stationary on the ground and its silent in game! Anyhow the effects are still immersive. This also applies to the 'passenger door' and 'baggage door'. The next option is static elements, this involves the option to have the chocks and pitot covers on/off. The chocks are at a high resolution and so are the pitot covers. However I did notice one thing, the pitot covers don't actually have a sock that covers the actual tube. The next option on the list is for the wheel fairings. The wheel fairings look great when using any livery, they are also modeled quite nicely. The last but not least option is for 'skis/water rudder' on/off, this is a neat feature if you wish to land on an icy strip or water if you are using the other model. We will discuss this later on in this review when analysing the 'float' model (different acf.). Now we move onto the 3D cockpit. 3D Cockpit: Well, I am sure from the pictures above you can see the high quality that this aircraft was made to by the interior. All gauges have 3D knobs that can be used easily, although some can be a bit tricky to turn, it's just a matter of getting used to the way the knobs work. Another thing to mention is the shadows that are casted into the cockpit. The shadows are reflected in the gauge glass as well as the yoke which is a nice touch. When flying this route I was using the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke system which is great, as I moved my Saitek Yoke it was in synch with the one on-screen, this meant that when I turned my Saitek Yoke it's movements were reflected on the glass of the gauges! In the 3D cockpit there is also a clickable region which brings up the 'O' (options) and 'C' camera menus, this is illustrated in the first picture. Now, time to talk about the 'C' camera menu. This menu has many different features which you could call 'unique' to Carenado. The first feature is FOV (field of view) this is adjustable using the slider, this is a nice feature to get your head in the exact position you want it in. This helps when you want to see the lovely scenery as you fly by as well as your important instruments. Underneath this are many different pre-set camera positions, all work fine and smoothly, although this can also be pretty annoying! The reason it can get annoying is because it adjusts your 3D with command look option, on my Saitek yoke I have two buttons programmed for view. One is 'Chase' and the other is '3D with command look', if I am say pre-set to 'belly cam' (using the menu) when using my yoke to return into the cockpit it does nothing! However despite this feature being annoying in my set up you have a massive range of pre-set camera positions to choose from! The 3D cockpit and cabin also give the feeling of space awareness, you actually feel as though you are crammed in a small C172 cockpit for real! This is a good time to plugin Track IR, but I do not own that, I believe the Oculus Rift will take care of that in the future! The colours of the textures are nice inside the cabin, the high res seats talk for themselves, although the ceiling of the aircraft from inside looks a bit 'washed' with white. Anyhow this is compensated by the high res leather and fabric on the walls and seats. The 3D cockpit also has 'clickable yokes' this gives you the ability to 'hide' the yoke which gives you more panel visibility and the ability to get to hard to reach places. As always you have the 6 instruments you need for a VFR flight; speed, Artificial horizon, Altimeter, Vertical Speed Indicator, Heading Indicator, Turn co-ordinator. All instruments work exactly as they are supposed to according to the position and where about of your aircraft etc.. now onto levers and buttons. The lever furthest to the right is for flaps, this lever extends four times. Next to that is the mixture control, followed by the throttle. Sat beside this toward the left of the plane you find every switch and lever you would find in a real C172. This includes lights, circuit breakers, park brake, ignition key input, master and avionics switches and engine prime etc.. Liveries: As you can see from above, you get a wide range of liveries to choose from. All liveries are at a fine textured quality and based on real life designs. With all liveries you get the choice of wheel fairings on/off or Skis/water rudder on/off. You also have the same liveries when you load up the 'float' variant. All liveries have a weathered look, this is especially emphasised on the green rustic livery where you can find dried oil marks on the under carriage. As well as all of these liveries you also get a 'blank white' livery, this is mainly used in paint scheme developments. As well as the liveries listed above there are many more available on the download section of x-plane.org. Documentation: Included with this aircraft you receive an extended amount of documentation, this includes every thing from recommended settings to start up checklists. Today I will focus on the checklists. With this aircraft you receive three PDF documents each one focuses on a certain model variant. This includes ' float ' 'normal' and 'ski'. Each checklist is very detailed with information for emergencies and normal procedures. I think the checklists are great, I have them in my drop box using the IPad app, this gives me off screen checklists. However trying to use X-Mapper pro at the same time can be tricky! So the last option is to print out the document. I didn't actually do this for the C172 however I have done this for the Carenado C208 caravan, it adds an extra sense of realism holding the checklist! From the picture above you can see the level of detail that was put into the documentation. The documents also look aesthetically good. Night Lighting: There is not much night lighting on this plane, but this aircraft is mainly used for VFR flights I suppose. But anyway as dusk began it was time to turn on all of the lights. As you can see all lights work and cast spill onto objects beneath them, also switches for the lights are easy to use. This is demonstrated on picture 2 + 3, and 3 and 4. There is also a twisty switch which operates internal lighting of the gauges, this is a great effect as they cast an orange dark faded look. Outside the navigation lights, beacon lights and landing lights are dim. From picture 14 above you can see the effect of the sun reflecting on the windows, this looks great when blended in with the aircrafts exterior lights. The night lighting is not very adjustable however, despite the twisty switches for the internal gauges, it would be great if the spot light on the pilots side could be adjusted to spin around and point to different areas of the cockpit. Sound: This plane comes with many custom sounds. First we shall start with the engines, unfortunately I can't supply sound files for you to listen but don't worry youtube has some videos of the incredible sounds that this plane produces. The sound quality is great and it feels as though it pans around me when I slowly increase the rpm. As well as engine sounds many other small custom sounds are played when you do certain actions in the cockpit. For example when you open the pilots window you hear to opening sound and closing sounds which are both different, the same is applied to the doors and baggage door. Its a shame that there are no sounds when moving the co-pilot seat but this hardly got moved on my flight. I believe that there are also sounds for the light switches however due to the complexity of the engine sounds I may have heard wrong. Conclusion: So, you could call it a big decision to make the choice to buy this mighty plane. This is because there is the default C172. But don't be fooled by think you already own a C172 in your sim hangar because the Carenado C172 can not even compare to the default C172, Carenado's version is better in every single way! Also both models handle different as the default SP model has a higher RPM. The only limitation will be computer specs, but you will be fine if your computer will run X-Plane! The C172 is great fun to fly especially around CZST - Stewart. Its light weight and strong capabilities make it durable and a great addition to your Sim hangar. Carenado make the most finest payware for the X-Plane sim in terms of GA (general aviation) planes. If you purchase this plane you wont be disappointed. Since the update to v2 and now being 64 bits compatible this aircraft has many features that aren't even necessary, such as side pockets that can be operated and sounds that are extremely realistic. The aircraft doesn't have many instruments but if you are learning fly, real world or just on-screen, this will most certainly benefit you. If you are post PPL this is a chance to re-live the memories of the C172! Along with add-on scenery such as CZST by Beti-x, parking your C172 on the ramp like I did will give you a great experience. Realism at its best! Is this aircraft worth buying? Yes! Well its available to buy on the x-plane.org store for the cheap price of $24.95 : Carenado C172N Skyhawk II Carenado Aircraft Support : Click here Reviewed by : Joe ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Payware scenery used : CZST - Stewart by Beti-x Technical Requirements: Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux XPlane 9.6/9.7 or XPlane 10.11 (or higher - 64 bit compatible) Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM 250MB available hard disk space Version 2.1 (last updated Dec 10th 2013) Review System Specifications: Computer System: - Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz - 4.00gb of RAM - Geforce GTX 650 Software: - Windows 7 64 bit - X-Plane 10 Global version 10.25 - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System - CZST - Stewart by Beti-x - Carenado C172N Skyhawk II
  24. News! - Updates Due : G1000 GPS packages by Carenado As noted in the Diamond DA42 release by Alabeo, there has been some significant updates to the G1000 GPS package that comes with the aircraft. I can certainly note that the changes are very good and the GPS system is now far more highly efficient and far smoother in running (in other words your framerate hit is vastly improved). Carenado have noted that upgrade packages for all the former aircraft with the G1000 with the: CT206H StationAir CT182T Skylane TBM 850 SR22 GTSX Turbo All the aircraft above will soon have upgrade packages available and they are due very soon. For more information and releases then follow this X-Plane.Org thread: G1000 Improvements coming Stephen Dutton 1st June 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  25. Release Quick Look : TBM 850 HD Series by Carenado This French aircraft has its early beginnings as an American aircraft and an iconic American aircraft company at that in Mooney. In the 1980s, the Mooney Airplane Company of Kerrville, Texas designed a six-seat pressurised light aircraft that was powered by a single 360 hp (268 kW) piston engine in the Mooney 301, which made its maiden flight on 7 April 1983. A French company bought Mooney outright and in the process allowed SOCATA to build a turboprop derivative of the 301. The result of these discussions was the TBM 700, which was much heavier than the 301 with more than twice the power, with a joint venture between SOCATA and Aérospatiale that was named TBM International and still is the current manufacturer of the TBM range of aircraft. The model designation "TB" stands for Tarbes, the city in France in which Socata is located, the "M" stands for Mooney. The TBM 850 is the production name for the TBM 700N, an improved version with the more powerful Pratt & Whitney PT6A-66D engine flat rated at 850 shp (634 kW). The TBM 850 is limited to 700 shp (522 kW) for takeoff and landing, but in cruise flight the engine power can be increased to 850 shp (634 kW). The TBM 850 has a typical range of 1,520 nautical miles (2,820 km). High resolution (HD) textures are up to the usual excellent high quality standard for Carenado. So the intimate detailing is very good to excellent, I like particularly like the great riveting detail on the wing root fairing, it is really well done. But the whole design work is very good and authentic to the aircraft. This is the fourth aircraft by Carenado that uses their comprehensive G1000 gps display system. This is the three display version with the two smaller PFD's (Primary Flight Display) and the larger central Navigation and Engine management display that dominates the panel. All displays pop-out and are very high quality in their resolution. It is to noted that you have to download Carenado's G1000 Database pack separately to use this aircraft. Cockpit is very highly detailed and fully functional, with the excellent GCU 475 Control Unit that is lovely to use. Highlight here is the trim knobs which are working away hard on the yoke when the autopilot is activated. Three menu pop-ups cover the (C) VIews and sound, (O) Options for ground elements, reflections and opening and closing the various doors and hatches. Internal cabin is first rate with incredible detail, and the lighting is very good with separate overhead lighting switches for each seat. There are one blank and five high quality liveries. But no military versions as the aircraft is in service with the French Army and Air Force. Comments A first look shows you a fine aircraft with incredible detailing, It is quite nice to fly, but sounds in HQ digital stereo are very strange compared to other large single turbo-props and are actually authentic... but it sounds like a cement mixer at speed? The G1000 gps is of course very comprehensive, but that central large display is very heavy processing wise so I recommend a large powerful computer to handle the load. The TBM 850 is marketed as an Alabeo but the download is Carenado, so I have noted it here as the Carenado. The TBM 859 HD is now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! the TBM 850 with the Garmin G1000 by Carenado s NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : TBM 850 HD Series Price is US$34.95 Features: Carenado G1000 (PFD and MFD) with GCU 475 Control Unit. AFCS GMC 710 autopilot All-new sound architecture Volumetric side view prop effect Carenado G1000 (PFD and MFD) with GCU 475 Control Unit Terrain Awareness map mode Different declutter levels Advance menus and cursor with scroll wheel, click/hold or /drag Aux- Trip Planning Window Checklist mode Crisp, vector-based water data Pop-up windows can be resized and moved around the screen Pristine scroll wheel support FPS-friendly terrain map Other Features Original autopilot installed Realistic 3D night lights effects on panel and cockpit. HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Over torque engine failure simulation HD Sound System Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft 3D stereo effects, such as outside sounds entering open windows. Enhanced Flight Model Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real pilots. Carenado Menus Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and turbine inlet/exhaust covers. Included in the package 5 HD liveries + 1 HD Blank livery Carenado G1000 PDF TBM 850 Emergency Checklist PDF - Normal Procedures PDF - Performance Tables PDF TBM 850 Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements: Windows 7+ (64 bit) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux - 64bit Operating System X-Plane10.40 + (any edition) - 64bit mode 3 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1Gb+ VRAM - 2Gb VRAM Recommended Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. CARENADO G1000 database must be installed ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 5th May 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews