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  1. Aircraft Update : Bell 407 XP11 v1.02 by Dreamfoil There is nothing, I mean absolutely nothing more soul crushing than picking out your favorite heli and then realising that you can't fly it? I wanted to use the Dreamfoil 407 XP11 for a review, but within ten minutes I was a destroyed wreak and also so was the lovely Bell in a twisted wreckage down on the valley floor. I tried and tried again but it just flipped over or simply twisted away from me as it was totally unflyable... "I can't fly it?, I have lost my heli skills" I sobbed. The one single thought that didn't actually cross my mind here was that it was the aircraft and not me that was at fault here? But "Never" always crossed my mind as this a Dreamfoil machine, Dreamfoil's are never wrong or faulty... Then today Dreamfoil issued an extensive v1.02 update to cover mostly the VR (Virtual Reality) mania currently sweeping X-Plane. My first thought was actually in horror as I realised I couldn't fly the B407... but looking through the changelog there was more in there than just the VR compatiblility... Flight model: - New airfoils for Main and Tail Rotor - Improved vertical fin incidence angle & airfoil - Improved horizontal stabilizer incidence angle & airfoil, this results in a higher fwd cyclic requirement on cruise like real helicopter - Fixed MR lateral cant angle - MR Flap hinge is now set to correct position acordingly to maintenance manual - Plugin tweak for below ETL taxing, helicopter should maintain the altitude at very low airspeeds - Plugin driven TFE (Transverse Flow Effect) - Improved TR min/max pitches for more realistic pedal hover and flight conditions - Corrected MR blade chord size incorrectly set based on feet unit - Added MR blade twist - Repositioned all flight elements arms with precision accordingly to maintenance manual - Adjusted aft and fwd CG limits There is lot of changes to the flightmodel in the notes... so I had a go. And guess what, I got my Heli wings back and plus lifted a huge weight off my X-Plane shoulders as the Bell 407 XP11 flies again like it used to, so it was the aircraft and not my skills here at question here. It also raises the question of how much X-Plane dynamics have changed under X-Plane11 rules not just for fixed-wing which we mostly focus on, but for helicopters as well, I think it hasn't raised its ugly head because of the real lack of Helicopter releases since the introduction of X-Plane11 and the focus has not been on that genre of aircraft. So the XP11 dynamics do have a huge price to pay when flying Helicopters, and they have to be adjusted to fly correctly in the simulator, but note the smaller changes as well to the skid friction and the engine outputs... Engine: - Refined turbine TRQ, MGT and NG values - FADEC now modulate the fuel in order to keep MGT below max during startup And there are changes to the Heli SAS or the Autopilot and I really like the "SAS switch off" that now doesn't jar the aircraft badly but transitions to manual flight in a more subtle way, I really hated that one. And a flashing SAS Warning light to avoid the wrong time to do certain SAS actions like activating the heading hold or vertical speed hold. HeliSAS: - Controls now transition from normal to stabilized, no more abrupt changes when turning on/off * SAS warning light will flash during transition to warn pilot, during this time avoid enabling any SAS feature like heading hold or vertical speed hold * Transition time is available on global.cfg file, default = 5 seconds - Improved PID values from vertical speed hold - Increased altitude hold authority - HeliSAS now disables if a hydraulic failure is identified - Frahm damper dynamics are now disabled for hydraulic failure Graphics - Improved basket objects so they work correctly with fog - Fixed missing shadow for Ext_5 object - Airspeed gauge now can go above 140kts (max 165kts) - Climb going past 4000ft is also fixed - Added missing nav light ball mesh on right side - Removed vent windows prefill, it was causing artifacts The excellent "SmartMenu" top-right of the instrument panel has had a few changes... Adding "Failures" to Helicopter flying would make anyone nervous, but there are now three choices for "Hotstart, Transmission Overtorque (Engine) and Tail rotor contact with tail boom" is very reassuring... not. You can now also remove the doors. SmartMenu: - Added Flight-Model enhancements (ETL, TFE and Landing Gear friction) - Added failures enhancements now it's possible to disable them (Hotstart, Transmission overtorque, Tail rotor contact with tail boom) - Added option to remove doors - Removed interaction distance limit - Improved multi-display handling, might fix the non clickable menu when running X-Plane on 2nd monitor - Increased gain and added blade slap volume slider back In the sound section of SmartMenu you now adjust the custom sounds "DreamEngine" blade slap volume, but you need to click on the top or bottom of the volume adjustment to adjust it which are hard to see or find. VR (Virtual Reality) The update notes are very clear that although this v1.02 version of the Bell 407 is compatible with the current v11.20 Laminar Research VR features, they are still in a development stage, so expect changes still ongoing in this area. And highlighted is that the SmartMenu (VR pop-ups are also still in development at LR) doesn't work, so you will need to do any menu adjustments before putting on your VR headset. VR (Still testing) - Added hotspots for all seats - Added cyclic and collective manipulators - Added external manipulators for Caps, Battery Compartment, GPU, Doors and Rotor ties - Improved some manipulators axis to give an intuitive and natural movement - Changed knob manipulators to made possible to spin them with touch controllers ****** SmartMenu still not working on VR! It's not possible to draw or interact with plugins on VR at moment, we need to wait for further VR updates from Laminar ****** But overall you can use this excellent Bell 407 now in VR and I have actually used it in a VR capacity and it does make for an extremely involving experience and interaction with the aircraft is now far more highly advanced. Summary This is quite an extensive v1.02 update and although it is focused on the VR (Virtual Reality) aspect, there is far more here and more important elements to be worth doing this upgrade. The X-Plane11 dynamics and performance have been addressed here and in my case with the update installed I can actually fly the machine again to my absolute contentment, in other words "I can actually fly the thing again!" and I thankfully have my Heli wings back. Besides the extensive flight model and engine dynamics, other areas addressed here are the SAS (Autopilot), SmartMenu for Failures, Doors, Visual Graphics and sound enhancements. And all bring up the aircraft to current X-Plane specifications and usability. Dreamfoil's Bell 407 is absolute top of the class in X-Plane helicopters, one of the best of the best... and this update keeps it right up there and now with better Virtual Reality intergation as well.... brilliant, and it is really nice to be back at the controls and in actual control. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Bell 407 XP11 v1.02 by Dreamfoil Creations is now available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Bell 407 XP11 Price is US$35.00 This update is free for all Bell 407 XP11 purchasers (not X-Plane10), just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for the update. More Bell 407 details can be found on the original 2014 X-PlaneReview Release Review here: Aircraft Review : Bell 407 by Dreamfoil Creations Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows, MAC or Linux Joystick required for helicopter operations (No, you cannot fly it with a mouse!) 2GB VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended Current version: XP11 v1.02 - Last Updated March 13th 20148 Installation : Download file size is 307.60mb to your X-Plane - Helicopter Folder. Installed file size is 797.80mb. ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th March 2018 Copyright©2018: 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 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.10 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 ______________________________________________________________________ Full Changelog notes - Version 1.02 - Bell 407 for X-Plane 11.20 VR (March 13th 2018) VR (Still testing) - Added hotspots for all seats - Added cyclic and collective manipulators - Added external manipulators for Caps, Battery Compartment, GPU, Doors and Rotor ties - Improved some manipulators axis to give an intuitive and natural movement - Changed knob manipulators to made possible to spin them with touch controllers ****** SmartMenu still not working on VR! It's not possible to draw or interact with plugins on VR at moment, we need to wait for further VR updates from Laminar ****** Graphics - Improved basket objects so they work correctly with fog - Fixed missing shadow for Ext_5 object - Airspeed gauge now can go above 140kts (max 165kts) - Climb going past 4000ft is also fixed - Added missing nav light ball mesh on right side - Removed vent windows prefill, it was causing artifacts Engine: - Refined turbine TRQ, MGT and NG values - FADEC now modulate the fuel in order to keep MGT below max during startup Flight model: - New airfoils for Main and Tail Rotor - Improved vertical fin incidence angle & airfoil - Improved horizontal stabilizer incidence angle & airfoil, this results in a higher fwd cyclic requirement on cruise like real helicopter - Fixed MR lateral cant angle - MR Flap hinge is now set to correct position acordingly to maintenance manual - Plugin tweak for below ETL taxing, helicopter should maintain the altitude at very low airspeeds - Plugin driven TFE (Transverse Flow Effect) - Improved TR min/max pitches for more realistic pedal hover and flight conditions - Corrected MR blade chord size incorrectly set based on feet unit - Added MR blade twist - Repositioned all flight elements arms with precision acordingly to maintenance manual - Adjusted aft and fwd CG limits SmartMenu: - Added Flight-Model enhancements (ETL, TFE and Landing Gear friction) - Added failures enhancements now it's possible to disable them (Hotstart, Transmission overtorque, Tail rotor contact with tail boom) - Added option to remove doors - Removed interaction distance limit - Improved multi-display handling, might fix the non clickable menu when running X-Plane on 2nd monitor HeliSAS: - Controls now transition from normal to stabilized, no more abrupt changes when turning on/off * SAS light will flash during transition to warn pilot, during this time avoid enabling any SAS feature like heading hold or vertical speed hold * Transition time is available on global.cfg file, default = 5 seconds - Improved PID values from vertical speed hold - Increased altitude hold authority - HeliSAS now disables if a hydraulic failure is identified - Frahm damper dynamics are now disabled for hydraulic failure Others: - Garmin power is now automatically set to ON during aircraft load with engines running - Fixed ON/OFF commands acting as a toggle Sound: - Increased gain and added blade slap volume slider back
  2. Aircraft Review : Aero Boero AB-115 by Dreamfoil-Creations Route : KLAL - Lakeland Linden Regional : Circuits The Aero Boero AB-115 is a basic two seat trainer from Argentina and was exported to Brazil. It was developed and refined from the AB-95 with a more powerful engine and improved aerodynamics. Specific differences included wheel spats, a redesigned engine cowling molded of fiberglass, and aluminum ailerons and flaps. This is the trainer version, the most common variant and it contains two seats in a tandem configuration, with the pilot-flying/student pilot in the front seat, Both the instructor and the student are connected together by a very simple cable arrangement between the left side mounted throttles, rudder pedals and the control sticks. (The rear stick and the throttle lever can be disassembled when carrying passenger(s)). It is a simple but clever arrangement and Dreamfoil has done a very good job of replicating the system. In fact the whole design is very well done. This is a basic utility aircraft and nothing more than that. so instrument wise you are not going to get a very complicated aircraft. On the panel the flight instruments are an airspeed indicator, altimeter, VSI a turn coordinator, and a magnetic compass. With the engine instruments are a tachometer, oil pressure and oil temperature indicators, and an ammeter. The panel includes one Bendix/King VHF radio and one Bendix/King transponder. As noted the throttle handles sticking out of the side panel are very well done, as is the Flap handle located high on the left with four flap positions (neutral, 15°, 30° and 45°). Detailing is excellent as well, The two sets of headphones and the red fire extinguisher, I'm not sure about compass on the windshield though. The AB-115 is powered by a Lycoming O-235-C2A air-cooled engine, which is rated at 115 hp (85.8 kW) and drives a Sensenich Propeller model 72 CK-050, metallic fixed-pitch twin-bladed propeller. The fuel system uses a FACET MA 3PA carburetor, equipped with carburetor heat. Electrical power is supplied by a Prestolite alternator. The ignition system is driven by dual Bendix Scintilla S5LN magnetos; the starter motor is also by Prestolite. The engine incorporates a wet crankcase, and the lubricant is cooled by an oil radiator in the front of the engine's air intake of which is triggered by a bi-metallic thermostatic valve. Utlity aircraft are hard to do, no matter how good you are at modeling they can still look flat. Your best aim is to do the details very well and that is what Dreamfoil has done here. The AB-115 is a high-wing monoplane with strut-braced rectangular wings. The wing, the fuselage and empennage members are made of fabric-covered welded steel tubes. The ailerons and flaps are made of aluminum alloy, while the rudder and elevators are made of steel tubes and fabric. The aircraft detailing is excellent with great sets of wires and showing the tube based construction. main gear is fixed to the fuselage at three points - two articulated joints, plus one shock absorber. The wheels are made of aluminum alloy and magnesium, and are equipped with independent hydraulic-actuated brakes. In all areas these items are well covered and created by Dreamfoil. With excellent detailing around the rear wheel and the brake system on the front wheels. The maximum fuel capacity is 115 liters, with 110 liters usable. And you can fill the tanks (on the top of wing) by pressing Shift + 4. The aircraft comes with the Geforce head view simulation feature. This feature will follow the real characteristics of human head behavior. The AB-115 is a trainer... period. If you can't fly this aircraft then give up your flying career and do something else. It is a very simple aircraft to fly and manoeuvre. Nothing is going surprise you here. It does everything in a very stable manner, and that makes it great for learning or practising the basics... The Aero Boero is really in a sense a more modern metal Tiger Moth. In the air it will turn, slip, climb descend in an very orderly manner, the flaps give a bit of drag (45º is severe) on landing but nothing to worry you. In the flare it will glide or land on your whim. Just watch the brakes until you have lost enough speed and the rear wheel is firmly planted on the ground or you tip you forwards head over heels. On the ground the AB-115 is a tail-dragger, and that can mean it can be hard to steer. But I found it quite easy with the rudder if you control the speed correctly. The aircraft was produced between July 1969 and January 1973 (First flight March 1969) and 45 were built. Performance - Maximum speed: 220 km/h (119 knots, 137 mph) at sea level, Cruise speed: 145 km/h (75 knots, 90 mph) (normal cruise), Stall speed: 68 km/h (36 knots, 42 mph) (with full flaps - 45°), Range: 648 km (349 NM, 400 SM), Service ceiling: 2440 m (8000 ft), Rate of climb: 2.44 m/s (480 ft/min) (at 70 mph). There is a menu system available by pressing the centre of the top of the panel. Included is: An adjustment of the sound (Dreamfoil pioneered the DreamEngine sounds, and they are all very good here), FOV a point of view that allows you to change the angle (field) of your view and a smart view menu that gives you custom views. At the top of the menu circle is an easy way to change the liveries. The seven Included liveries are with a paint white: Conclusions The AB-115 is a basic trainer pure and simple. Great and very easy to fly, you can fly around all day and enjoy the scenery or practice your runway touch and goes with ease. Dreamfoil makes quality aircraft and the AB-115 is no exception. In every area it is very good (sounds are the stand out feature with 70 custom sounds). Mostly it is the best fun you can have in the rear seat of a tandem trainer (Leaving the front pilot in the seat as a feature, maybe a great idea?) and flying from this perspective is the best way to learn. Overall and all-round the Aero Boero AB-115 is very good. Yes! the Aero Boero AB-115 by Dreamfoil-Creations is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgStore : Aero Boero AB-115 Price is US$19.95 Installation : Download is 170.80mb, and installation size in your aircraft folder is 234.50mb. Unzip and deposit in your General Aviation Folder Documentation : Manual (10 Pages) Developers Site : dreamfoil-creations Review By Stephen Dutton 8th February 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows , MAC OS 10.7 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.20+ - 32 and 64 bit compatible - Not compatible with X-Plane 9 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 250MB HD Version 1 (last updated Feb 5th ,2014) 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 Mavericks 10.9 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.25 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Scenery KLAL - Lakeland Linden Regional - Drankum (KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.3)
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