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  1. News! - Aircraft Release - PA-44 Seminole by Alabeo Continuing the run of Native American aircraft names after Navajo, Chieftain and now here comes the PA-44 Piper Seminole from Alabeo for X-Plane. The Seminole is a twin-engined development of the a development of the Piper Cherokee single-engined aircraft and is primarily used for multi-engined flight training. The aircraft has been in production since the Seminole was built in 1979-82, in 1989-90, and again since 1995 to the present. The Seminole resembles the competitive Beechcraft Duchess because of its high-T tail configuration. The Seminole is designed with the old world dials and gauges, but a very nice equipment stack gives you the best of both worlds. High quality Alabeo/Carenado design insures great flying and in comfort. Features Include: Custom sounds Full Xplane 10.5 and X-Plane 11 compatible 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 is: 5 hd liveries 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance tables PDF PA44 Autopilot PDF Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF Technical Requirements required are: 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 435MB available hard disk space The PA-44 Seminole is available right now from Carenado for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11... ______________________________________________________________________ The PA-44 Seminole by Alabeo is NOW available! here : PA44 Seminole Price is US$32.95 Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 5th May 2017 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  2. Aircraft Review : PA-31 Chieftain 350 HD Series by Alabeo Only back last year in August 2016 I sampled Carenado's Piper PA-31 Navajo. It didn't take long (about 10 minutes) for the aircraft to become a firm favorite in my hangar and I have flown it constantly ever since. It is just one of those really sweet aircraft that fits your flying like a glove. So I was pleasantly surprised with the announcement of another variant on the Navajo in the big brother (or sister) the PA-31 Chieftain. The Chieftain is the stretched version of the Navajo B with more powerful engines and counter-rotating propellers to prevent critical engine handling problems.The fuselage was lengthened by 2 ft 0 in (0.61 m), allowing for up to ten seats in total. Also variants of the Lycoming TIO-540 developing 350 hp (261 kW) were fitted to the Chieftain (this version), with an opposite-rotation LTIO-540 installed on the right-hand wing; MTOW was increased to 7,000 lb (3,175 kg). After certification was achieved for the PA-31-325 in May 1974, and production commenced in the 1975 model year. In the Navajo review I flew the aircraft from YBBN (Brisbane) to the new YBWW (WellCamp) by Toowoomba, Queensland, and well I thought why not fly the Chieftain on the same route and see how they both fare. You can see the extra length of the Chieftain, but it is deceiving at first, more noticeable is the bulkier engine housings with their overhang of the rear of the wing. Quality wise and design thoroughness you can't tell the two aircraft apart, both excellent. Which one is the Carenado... the first one, but it doesn't make any difference really. 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. There are certainly great options. The usual Static elements are again odd. 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. One feature is a really great one in two types of versions. The "Standard" wing version gives you the door and an opening luggage door (but no luggage?) Select the "Winglets" tab on the Options menu and you get not only a lovely set of modern winglets, but a change in configuration with a single door door (no luggage door) and two extra seats in the rear with some beautiful teardrop windows to look out of known as the "Commuter" version There is a nice luggage compartment in the nose as well. Aircraft panel work is excellent, note the very well done screw and rivet work. Interior The Navajo had a club seating layout (below), but the Chieftain (above) is totally forward seating. At first glance the seating looks old, but they are actually not, but black leather, and they are the sames seats as well but because of the darker colour they look very different. The all dial Navajo dark grey panel is on the left, with the brighter cream Chieftain panel on the right, the Yokes are a cream colour as well but the same style. So the panel is totally familiar, but are slightly different in layout. Obviously the biggest difference on the Chieftain is the included Garmin G500 navigation system like which was included with the Seneca V a few weeks ago, unlike the Seneca V though the system is only installed on the pilot's side of the panel. Overhead switch panel is identical on both aircraft as is the pedestal. Power switches are left and right down.... The main power only turns on the Artificial Horizon and Heading rose with Speed and Altitude tapes and bank guide on the left screen. To switch on the avionics and Navigation display the switch is quite hard to find, as it is small and situated lower centre panel. On start up I found the G500 screens are dull and very hard to see. This was caused by the Instrument Reflections option, and for the clarity of this review I turned them off. The dullness was the worse in X-Plane11, but they were also still quite dull in X-Plane10 as well. Instrument Panel It is a pretty fully equipped instrument panel. Pilot's side is of course dominated by the G500 navigation system, with just backup analog dials in Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon (with built in Turn Coordinator) and the Attitude Indicator down the left side, but there is no Vertical Speed Indicator. Also added in is a VOR (2) localizer indicator and ADF pointer. On the Navajo there was a VOR2 pointer, but way over on the right hand side of the panel, but here it is now missing altogether? The Co-Pilot gets the full analog suite of instruments. It is a very impressive set of kit with Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row, Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators second row.The rest of the right side panel are gauges for pressures in gyro, fuel, oil and cylinder head/oil temperatures, Volt meter, flap selection and indicator. The oxygen supply system is set out below, and it is all almost identical to the Navajo layout. Centre panel is again identical to the Navajo which 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 and again totally identical to the Navajo. 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. Left side panel is a fuse box, with main power and voltage switches set below. Right side panel is just another fuse box. Lower pedestal is the S-Tec Autopilot, three way trims, fuel panel with emergency fuel shutoff, crossfeed switch and inboard and outboard tank switches. You have that same blue overhead light and upper panel lighting which is the same as the Navajo, but the dial lighting here isn't as over saturated as the Navajo version and looks far better. Flying the Chieftain Starting is easy in fuel pumps on and hit the side of the rocker switch for the engine you want. Keeping them running however is another matter again. Welcome to the new world of X-Plane11 and its highly refined engine dynamics. Even in X-Plane10 and for most Carenado/Alabeo aircraft they all seem to idle quite high, and you need to adjust the mixture to get some semblance of "holding the aircraft back, like you do a snarling dog on a leash" Here it is magnified, but you can find some sort of balance between engines running and not running. But you also have to let them warm up now before actually slowing them down to idle. Once done and still with a fast idle then you can fly. Another jolly that Austin Meyer has added to X-Plane is front suspension movement under power or braking. So combine a high idle with a pulling at the lease aircraft with constant braking and you get a very nosey bouncy wouncy taxi ride. These items will of course be fine tuned in time (we hope). The two 350-hp engines over the Navajo's 310-hp gives you more uumph down the runway and you feel that extra power even though I am quite heavy at 6150lbs, but still a quarter under the Max weight of 7045lbs. Rotate is around 110kts... Once in the air and you don't really notice the difference too much from the Navajo, slightly heavier and slightly faster the Chieftain is, but not too significantly to notice, they feel very much the same aircraft. The Chieftain will climb as well. The Navajo climb rate was 1500fpm, but I had no trouble in achieving 1800fpm and the gear (with excellent sounds) makes a dramatic fold-up into the aircraft. Cruise speed is I found just under 200knts. noted speeds are 207 knots (383 km/h (238 mph)) econ cruise at 20,000 ft (6,100 m) with a range of 1,011 nmi (1,875 km (1,165 mi)), Max altitude is 26,300 ft (8,015 m) Very nice. Climb hard and turn, The Chieftain is nice under your command and unlike the Seneca V the engines don't foul the view. I am a big fan of the Garmin G500 system. It is exactly the same installation as it is in the Seneca V and so you get the same benefits here in like the easy selection of: HDG (Heading) - CRS (Course) - ALT (Altitude) - V/S (Vertical Speed) - BARO (Barometer) and adjustment for each selection via the large knob. Unlike older Carenado/Alabeo aircraft you can't now select different cursor modes, so you always get the green coloured choices as you move your mouse over the knobs, selection is tight as well, and in turbulence it can become a bit of a game just to change your heading? The font size is also a bit small but it a replica of the original G500, so I wonder how these things passed a FAA test... ADF and VOR2 pointers are very fine and hard to read (zoom required) but handy on the display, but overall you get a large amount of information on this very well sorted system from Carenado. Navigation display has a great DCL (DeCLutter) and in turns the map rotation is now far smoother and keeps up with the turn. The G500 also pops-out and can be resized and moved along with the default X-Plane Garmin GNS 530 which is the larger of the two standard gps systems. A neat trick is too use one map mode on the G500 for long distance range viewing and the shorter range distance for more current detail on the G530. The S-Tec (Genesys Aerosystems) Forty Five X autopilot is situated behind the pedestal. There is a pop-up from not only the autopilot itself (click to pop-up) but also the A ) menu tab option, although I found the menu tab option a bit "hows your father" in sometimes it worked and in other clicks it didn't? The same in both XP10 and XP11. Overall I prefer the older AP version in the Navajo, completely basic and easy to use, this S-Tec had smaller buttons and you had to be very careful in setting the V/S as 10 as it could be 10 or 1. The autopilot situation is shown on the centre panel display. The AP activation switch is also a little twiddly and hard to find even though it is centre panel and right in front of you (yellow arrow)... I start my descent into WellCamp (YBWW) over Toowoomba. Note the excellent Australian autogen by Chris K (Australian Pro) it is excellent and quite a perfect representation of the city. The airport itself is just beyond the city but partly hidden by two hills, and once past I turned southwest to fall into a circuit landing for RWY12. Note the great terrain (in yellow) demonstrated on the navigation display. Three postion flaps (Off (0º) - 15º - DN) don't give you much lift if you get the speed under 100knts, and drag is controllable with only a little extra power inputs. "Whoa!" as an almost perfect landing is ruined by a last minute sudden gust of wind, it is gusty out here today as the whole flight was with the seatbelt's sign on and a lot of turbulence to make my passengers nervous. I corrected, but the wrong two wheels hit the ground first, and more worrying murmurs from the rear... The Navajo was also noted as being very twitchy in the wind as well, and so it feels like a common trait amongst the Navajo Series. YBWW's main runway is long... really long at 2870 m long by 45 m wide and I used a lot of it to slow down and to try and not hit the early brakes so I don't start nosy bouncey movement too much. It is nice to be back at WellCamp, as the airport is very nicely modeled by fhvanhal. Setting up to return to Brisbane gives you a moment to admire the excellent panel, and there is a switch on top of the excellently covered glareshield that does nothing, but you try it anyway. Return to YBBN No hanging around I want to get back to Brisbane. So once the doors are closed and the engines started and tuned to idle, I'm "going". Funny thing is you need a fast idle to cover the long distance to the end of the runway... My reason's for rushing back to YBBN are valid, as there are storms brewing over the dividing ranges. Storms in Australia are not to be sneezed at or taken lightly, as they are fast moving and very deadly in the mid-afternoons when the cold coastal air hits the inland heat.. Lighting Internal lighting is very good. The panel is the same colourful patterns as the Navajo, so at night they are both very similar, except for the G500 displays. The blue overhead lighting is here there as well, beautiful light in the dark, but the rear door version is missing, and neither does the "No Smoking" sign work. As noted the roof dials are not so over saturated here and looks far for the better for it. Rear cabin seating has overhead spot lights, but you can't turn them off? I don't know if this is a Carenado to Alabeo difference, but not being able to switch them off or on is a bit rich. It is quite dark in the cabin, but very atmospheric. Wing (left) lighting is good, and you have one landing and one taxi light. Red beacon tail light didn't work? Over Redcliffe it is time to get ready for landing... RWY 14 is quite tricky to find, as there are no visible landmark or runway lights to lock on too under VFR rules. It is the houses and the far set back location of the runway lights in daylight that make it tricky, but soon I have a bearing. Slow and low... But this time I get it right, but the headwind helps. Job done and a just a wrap up of the aircraft to be finished... Liveries One blank and six liveries are part of the package. All are good and HD quaility. Most liveries have this hard worked and worn chipped paint look that is highly realistic. Summary If you liked the Navajo then the Chieftain is very, very similar, certainly to fly as they are almost identical, but for a little more weight and slightly more speed. If you put both aircraft on the ramp and said pick one, and only one then I would still pick the Navajo, but the problem with that equation is that the Chieftain has more to offer in the G500 avionics, extra seating and the conversion to winglet and those extra two seats... So overall the Chieftain is the better choice, and the aircraft is far better suited to the flying I really like to do with short distance commuter work and island hopping, and the trip out to WellCamp is perfect for this machine and the role it has to be used in. The rest is a no brainer. Carenado/Alabeo quality and everything else means you get a great aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Positives: Great design and that famous Carenado/Alabeo quality, Great sound, versatile aircraft, great to fly but tricky in crosswinds and great avionics and equipment. Negatives: Not much, but some items like none operating lighting buttons, average or no versatile static element choices and tricky taxiing speeds. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The PA-31 Chieftain 350 by Alabeo is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA31 Chieftain 350 Your Price: $32.95 Special Features Commuter and Standard Part of the HD Series High quality 3D model and textures . 4K textures Two version of the PA31- Chieftain High-Definition Aircraft Features Alabeo G500 GPS Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Custom Stereo Sound Stereo Sound System Custom PA-31 sounds Comprehensive documentation Normal and emergency procedures Performances table Carenado G500 documentation Requirements: X-Plane 10 fully updated - X-Plane 11 Windows or MAC OS 10.9 (or higher) or Linux. 64bit Operating System required 2GB+ Video card Current Version: 1.0 (March 7th 2017) Important! For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed (click here) For all: CARENADO G1000 DATABASE (MUST BE INSTALLED). _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation and documents: Download for the PA31 Chieftain HD Series is 350.60mb 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,references and G500 and Autopilot manuals. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 11th March 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11b13/14 and also used in X-Plane v10.51 and checked with current flight route and details Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 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
  3. News! - Sale! : Alabeo Sale now on! Thanksgiving already!, Christmas is here! You would think that but you can rest easily as it is still only 1st October and the holiday periods are thankfully still months away, even though at your local shopping town/village/centre you are already face to face with a certain Mr Claus... it gets worse every year, why bother and just make it a Christmas shopping period all year round. But that doesn't mean that you can't get a great bargain now as till the 9th October 2016 you can get 40% off most Alabeo aircraft. And that is a great deal for some of the very best aircraft in X-Plane, and some are available to buy for as low as US$11.97. The 40% off deals are now available from the X-Plane.OrgStore below... Alabeo Sale 40% off ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 2nd October 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews 2016
  4. 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
  5. News! - Aircraft Release! - PA23 Aztec F 250 HD Series from Alabeo The first Twin-Engined Piper was a development of the "Twin Stinson" design by Stinson aircraft, but the duel tail version never made it into production. The result for Piper was the Apache and then later it was called the Aztec. Now Alabeo have released their version of this very popular early 1950's light twin aircraft with the later 1960's version of the F 250 with the 250hp Lycoming O-540-A1D engines (hence the "250") and improved systems, cambered wingtips and tailplane tip extensions. Features Custom PA23 sounds Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit compatible. FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Technical Requirements Windows XP -7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.40 (or higher) i5 (or equivalent) 2.5 GHz - 8GB RAM - 2GB Video card 520MB available hard disk space Included 6 hd liveries 2 different color panels 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance tables PDF Reference PDF ______________________________________________________________________ The PA23 Aztec F 250 HD Series from Alabeo is now available from Alabeo: Price is US$32.95 Images & Text are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Update: 14th July 2016 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  6. News! - Released - DA42 Twin Star (G1000) by Alabeo This DA42 - Twin Star is another G1000 GPS twin-screen aircraft to be released in quick succession from Alabeo. This aircraft is also an interesting release because the Carenado G1000 system has had a bit of an upgrade and it feels far more responsive in not only loading in the data far more quickly, but it is far more efficient in flight and for usability. Features Alabeo G1000 GPS Improved G1000, with dedicated database plugin, for vastly reduced load times, increased FPS, improved navigation, and more similar operation to X-Plane's default GNS430/530 Terrain Awareness Map Mode Different declutter levels Advanced menus and cursor activation 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, with higher resolution terrain probing KAP 140 autopilot High-Definition Model Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics: Realistic behavior, faithfully reproduced from the real aircraft. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by real-life pilots FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Customizable panel for controlling window transparency, instrument reflections, static elements (such as wheel chocks, engine covers, pylons) Custom 3D sounds New sound architecture in its own plugin, for more efficient and flexible handling of sounds Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft The Garmin G1000 GPS system is fully intergrated into this excellent Alabeo aircraft. All G1000 panels pop-out for use and easy adjustment. Also included with this aircraft are: 6 HD liveries 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance tables PDF Quick Reference PDF KAP 140 Autopilot PDF Alabeo G1000 PDF Technical Requirements Windows XP -7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.40 (or higher) i5 (or equivalent) 2.5 GHz - 8GB RAM - 2GB Video card 326MB available hard disk space 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). This is a very nice light-twin aircraft that makes a great twin-engine trainer for your flight learning needs. The usual Carenado/Alabeo quality is also very much in vogue and so is the construction quality. Modern, light and powerful... what more do you want. The DA42 Twin Star (G1000) by Alabeo is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Diamond DA42 Twin Star Price is US$32.95 The DA42 Twin Star is also available from Carenado/Alabeo: For more information go to ALABEO : ALABEO.COM Images & Video supplied courtesy of Carenado ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Updated : 30th May 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  7. News! - Aircraft Release : TBM 850 HD Series by Alabeo Alabeo have release very quickly another aircraft with their unique Garmin G1000 gps system. This is the TBM 850 in the HD (High-Definition) Series. The TBM 850 (Marketing name for the Socata 700N) which has the G1000 Integrated Flight Deck and a fuel tank extension modification is a variant of the SOCATA TBM 700. The aircraft is a single-engined turboprop, six to seven-seat low-wing monoplane of mainly aluminium and steel construction, but with the tail surfaces built of Nomex honeycomb. It has a retractable tricycle landing gear and is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-64 engine delivering 700 shp (522 kW). The first original prototype the TBM 700 made its maiden flight on 14 July 1988, with French certification following on 31 January 1990 and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification achieved on 28 August 1990. (wikipedia) Special Features include: Carenado G1000 (PFD and MFD) with GCU 475 Control Unit. AFCS GMC 710 autopilot Only for X-Plane 10.40 or higher. X-Plane 64 bits required. All-new sound architecture. Volumetric side view prop effect. G1000 Features include: 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 Original autopilot installed HD quality textures (4096 x 4096) 422 pixels / meter textures 3D gauges Over torque engine failure simulation 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. Included in the package 5 HD liveries. 1 HD Blank livery Carenado G1000 PDF TBM 850 Emergency Checklist PDF TBM 850 Normal Procedures PDF TBM 850 Performance Tables PDF TBM 850 Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF The TBM 850 is available now from Carenado/Alabeo: Price is US$34.95 For more information go to ALABEO : ALABEO.COM Requirements Windows Vista - 7 (64 bits) or MAC OS 10.8 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane10.30 (or higher) 64 bits requiered 2.5 GHz processor - 8GB RAM - 1GB VRAM 307MB available hard disk space For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. You have to also download and install the Carenado G1000 Database pack to use this aircraft. Images supplied courtesy of Carenado ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Updated : 16th April 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  8. News! - Aircraft Release : PA32 SARATOGA II TC by Alabeo Alabeo have released the PA32 Saratoga II TC. First of all you would note that Carenado already have released the Saratoga PA32R and you would be right. But that was a very early PA32 and this Alabeo version is a more very different style in the cockpit and panel layout that moves away from the earlier 70's feel of the Carenado Saratoga. Features include: Custom Saratoga II TC sounds Default X-Plane 10 GNS430 and GNS530 Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit compatible. Plugin-enhanced FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Includes: 6 HD liveries 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance Tables PDF Quick Reference PDF Recommended Settings PDF Alabeo GNS 430 and 530 PDF Technical Requirements Windows XP-Vista-7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.40 (or higher) Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM - 1GB Video card 375MB available hard disk space For WINDOWS users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ _____________________________________________________________________________________ The PA32 SARATOGA II Turbo Charged by Alebeo is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : PA32 SARATOGA II Turbo Charged And is priced at only US$29.95 Current version: 1.0 (last updated March 16th 2016) or Price is : $29.95 For more information go to ALABEO : ALABEO.COM ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton Updated : 17th March 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  9. Aircraft Review : Cessna 404 Titan by Alabeo Just slightly flying off the California Coast, the morning sun glistened off the paintwork of the C404 Titan. The aircraft is a twin-engined workhorse, created for small airlines to carry nine or less passengers on either scenic tours or short regional charter flights. My flight is a short one from KSMO-Santa Monica Muni to KPSP-Palm Springs in a "I have just got to get out of LA... Darling" flight for some overpaid actor and his partner. But up here I am far away from the dramas of the world for awhile, as the Titan is powerful, smooth and thankfully quiet. A pilot's life is usually pure hell, and then a period of pure euphoria, reflection or boredom (on long flights) and then pure hell again, In am thankfully in that middle euphoric stage, away from the earth and just the correct headings to cover. Visually I find the C404 similar to the Seneca II, but the cabin has been stretched and blown up a size larger, certainly a great commuter aircraft... but to fly it is very different in size and feel to the Piper aircraft. It is very confident aircraft taking off and you can easily climb out at 1500-1800 fpm (feet per minute), set the course and climb easily to your heading. The Cessna 404 was a development of the Cessna 402 with an enlarged vertical tail and other changes. The prototype first flew on 26 February 1975. It is powered by two 375 hp/280 kW turbocharged Continental Motors GTSIO-520 piston engines. Two versions were offered originally; the Titan Ambassador passenger aircraft for ten passengers, and the Titan Courier utility aircraft for passengers or cargo. Seven versions followed with a full cargo version with a strengthened floor. As noted this is a commercial/charter aircraft and not a private ownership to fly on the weekends type of design. Just under 400 (396) aircraft were built and last Titan rolled off the production line in 1982. Performance : Maximum speed: 267 mph (430 km/h) - Cruise speed: 188 mph (303 km/h) - Range: 2,119 miles (3,410 km) - Service ceiling: 26,000 ft (7,925 m) - Initial rate of climb 1940ft/min. C404 Titan by Alabeo In the front it is a 70's classic view. Still very old standard but very familiar place to be, you will feel at home here very quickly. A glance over the shoulder and the cabin is a nice place to travel. With lovely hard wearing fabrics, the well designed seats will survive the worse of rough denim jeans treatment for years. Curtains look a bit naff today and show the age of the aircraft, but they do add to the cosy feel inside the aircraft. The roof lining is extremely well crafted, again age is showing around the edges but it is very realistic. The office is very well appointed, but in the old style way and not with a lot of modern gizmos. You have a full set of instruments but very little switchgear on the panel. The standard six instruments (Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator and Vertical Speed Indicator) are high and central on both pilot's and co-pilots sides of the panel, with the Artificial Horizon having built in CRS (course) and CDI (course deviation indicator) built in. Other surrounding instruments include a clock (top left) and (lower left to right) NDB pointer, VOR 2 course deviation indicator (CDI) and radar height display. In the middle is the setting for the "Altitude Management System" to set your altitude for Autopilot cutoff when you climb or descend, but for the life of me I couldn't find the arm switch?, no manual in instrument placing does not help either, arm is noted on the autopilot display? The autopilot (AP) display is set on the left with the Nav 1 - GPS source select below, a full set of annunciators with test option fill out the left side of the panel. Nice yoke but no lower switchgear behind the control, just "Prop Sync". Left an Oxygen tank supply gauge and "Hobbs" meter. Co-pilot's side has only standard six instruments and cabin heating controls, and flap indicator (UP 183 KiAS - T.O. & APPR 152 KIAS - FLAPS - LAND) and selector, Flap lever is hard place to adjust for the pilot. Centre Panel has the engine performance dials in a single line across the top. The engine needles are for a twin, but run together. Pull one engine throttle down to see the separated needles for both engines... (left to right) is Manifold Pressure - RPM - Fuel Flow - EGT (Exhaust Gas Temp) - Oil (Pressure & Temp) one for each engine (two dials) - Fuel Qty (gauge). Radio Equipment is spaced in the middle across the panel. All Bendix-King except for the transponder. Garmin 347 TSO Audio set with a Garmin 430 (X-Plane standard) - KN 64 DME... this unit will display VOR distance, speed and time (similar to the BK 62A) - ADF KR 87 TSO with built in flight timer (FLT) and elapsed timer (ET) - Garmin GTX 320 Transponder - KX 165A TSO Radio for COM2/NAV2 settings (GNS 430 is used for COM1/NAV1) - AVIDYNE display (fairly useless) - Bendix-King weather radar (X-Plane standard) The radio equipment is all period based, mostly standard (meaning oldish) but functional, there are NDB pointers but the VOR2 direction is the CDI type. The throttle quadrant is a nice bit of kit, dual levers for the twin engines in throttle, RPM and mixture, all beautifully done and worn, there are lighting sliders (again very well done) above the levers covering: Side Console - LWR Panel - LEFT INSRT - ENGINE (Instruments) - RADIO - COMPASS & PED (Pedestal) - R FLT INST, left is a lighting switch for the overhead cockpit (spot) lights. Front and left side are the excellent trim wheels with takeoff neutral markings. Situated lower down (on the front) are the autopilot buttons. This is also available as a pop-out tab (A) that is situated on the bottom left of your screen, the pop-out can be moved around and changed in size to fit your needs. Altitude is either on on or off, you need to turn on the altitude button to adjust the pitch to go up or down, then activate it again to hold the altitude. As noted if you press the altitude button during a climb or descend it adjusts holds your altitude and does not "Arm" the system. As switched off it then is still not armed and you keep climbing till you press the altitude to hold it, so it does not arm in either context? All your switchgear, fuses and electrical are positioned on the left side panel. Well done but hard to read in the pilots position. Switchgear covers all external lighting and ice-protection, top are the main power switches and a lovely voltage indicator, which is switchable. Fuel tank switches are on the floor between the seats, beautifully bashed and worn, perfect. Roof detail is lovely as well, air-vents and two spot lights are great fittings. Blinds are animated and turn down only, but very nice. Between the San Bernardino Mountains and the San Jacinto Mountains there is a valley you can slip through to get to desert floor of where sits Palm Springs. Inside the Titan is is very hush, hush... too quiet, well that is debatable, turn the sounds right up and its still only a murmur so I would question if that is realistic, open the small window flaps and the outside noise is violent, so in many ways the quietness is soothing and a change from the clatter and noise of the many latest releases. These smooth Continental Motors GTSIO-520's power you along, look great and sound simply awesome on the ground, noted are the sounds are real C404 recordings and it shows. Note the excellent window reflections, Carenado/Alabeo were always the pioneers of great effects. Another tab (C) menu pop-up is the standard Carenado views. Some worked but most didn't? Only really the pilot and fuel tank view worked, but all the outside view were dud? The "Field of View" and sounds "Volume" are here also. note - (C) Camera views has been fixed, see "notes" below). Popping out of the other end of the canyon and Palm Springs appeared directly on our right, I was going to do a complete circuit and land to the north on RWY 31L, note 31R is only a small 1,500m runway... The C404 is quite tricky to land. Worse when you have an outcrop of mountain range in your flightpath, and that means a sharp turn in to RWY 31L approach. So speed is critical, drop the flap a notch and you can still balloon upwards while still trying to rub off the descent speed, even while well under 100knts.... that can ruin any good landing. The main undercarriage is trailing arms, and to note the whole detailing of the gear is exceptional, but trailing arm undercarriage can be quite soft on landing... and that is the case here. 70ktns red line is the stall speed, but even just a smidgen over at 80kts and you are still way too fast... get the flare wrong and you are hopping the aircraft with the champagne in the rear splashing all over your roof lining, and few "sorry about that" comments to the passengers. Getting as close to the stall speed is a trick done well. I got it right, but that was after three landings... There only one more tab menu to note of the three... the (O) options menu. You can select to change the window and instrument reflections, and have access to open and close all the doors and baggage compartments... and there is a lot. They include three nose baggage compartments, left and right main and a smaller nose door. No baggage though and here a few bags would not go amiss, it is quite empty in there. The rear double door with split stairs and upper hatch is extremely well done, you wish there was a cargo version. The neat small pilot hatch (door is a bit of an overstatement) is excellent, fresh air in the hot sunshine while preparing the aircraft, or bailing out if the need arises. There are static objects featured, but they are a bit thin on the ground. you get a hand-pull tractor, and some pivot covers and our two pilots disappear but that is about it? No wheel chocks?, no engine inlet covers, no hanging tabs, so you feel a bit short changed. Nightlighting There is no beacon on the aircraft and that makes the lighting a bit sparse on the outside. Navigation lights, strobe lights are good, there is an ice light on the left wing but it does not shine on the actual wing area? The wingtip landing lights are good and retractable, but if you use a joystick or kety to switch on your landing lights (I do both landing and taxi lights on my Saitek joystick) it is a double action deal, in that the button will turn off the lights, but you need to retract them by the switch on the side panel. Internal lighting is excellent, the panel is very adjustable and the overhead spot lighting is great (switch is top left on the pedestal), but not movable that has been a feature in the past. Standard instrument lighting is adjustable via the row of sliders on the very top of the pedestal. And it is very easy to find the right amount of light for takeoff or landings. The light on the fuel selector is nice touch. Rear cabin lighting is excellent, with nice (switchable) spot lighting over each seat, it gives you a nice feeling when flying late. This extremely internal great lighting looks really good outside, the pilots in half light look very realistic. The landing and taxi lighting is very good on approach and on the ground. The spread of the wingtip landing lights and central front strut support taxi light give a very wide arc of light, very easy in the cockpit to navigate dark taxiways and lonely runways at night. The day's work is done and it is time to wrap up the aircraft, very nice it is as well. Liveries There is one blank livery and five graphic liveries in the C404 package, all are 4K hi-quality textures, refined for good frame-rate. Summery Some aircraft come along and in time will become a fixture in your favorite list. When you need a certain aircraft to do a certain job or flight it is usually the one aircraft you will pick. My F33 Bonanza will always be the go to single light engine aircraft, The C208 Caravan for utility work and so on. No doubt this C404 will become my large twin because it is a great aircraft, quiet, powerful and has a great range. Quality and detailing is the usual high standard you expect from Alabeo, there is a certain 70's feel about the aircraft but that is its charm as well and the great dirty worn feel of the interior means you have an aircraft of hours of work behind it, its real and comfortable. Alabeo originally represented the budget side of Carenado, all the quality for usually under US$20, so for the price you expected to have a few none working areas and extras... but this C404 Titan is now right up there in the Carenado US$30 cost bracket, I'm not saying the value and quality is not in the aircraft because it certainly is, no doubt.... but you do for the price expect a full set of Static Elements?, the excellent animated forward roof mounted spot lights? baggage that seems to have gone missing from Carenado/Alabeo aircraft lately, and working views (Camera - Fixed see notes below)... very small stuff in the large scheme of things, but you do pay for the features in this category. One for the hanger? No doubt, a lovely aircraft in every area and the more time spent in the pilots seat the more I love it, quality is high and you will revel in your own pure private euphoria as you skim along your own coastal fringe, California will do me for now and a few more hours in the C404 Titan Ambassador is certainly the best way to fly. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the C404 Titan Ambassador by Alabeo is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : C404 Titan Price is US$32.95 Features High quality Alabeo model Volumetric side view prop effect High-Resolution 3D model and textures (4K) Custom C404 Titan sounds Alabeo custom Systems On screen menus 64-bit compatible Plugin-enhanced FPS-optimized model SuperManipulator scroll wheel support X-Plane 10 GNS430 Other features Five high-resolution paint schemes Blank texture for creating your own designs Accurately reproduced flight characteristics Complete documentation with procedures included ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 294.10mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 361.00mb Notes: There has been a fix for the (C) Camera view popup, download and install : C404_Titan_prefs.txt.zip Documents : Full set of C404 Procedure and Performance manuals and tables, Credits and Recommended settings. Requirements : Windows 7-8-10 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.40+ (Any edition) 1GB Video card 405MB available hard disk space Current Review Version: 1.1 (last updated October 30th 2015) ______________________________________________________________________ Developer site : Carenado.com Developer Support : Carenado - Alabeo Support X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 5th 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 - KPSP - Palm Springs International 2.0 by GPB500 (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  10. News! - Released! C404 Titan by Alabeo Alabeo have released the Cessna 404 Titan that was the Cessna's company largest twin piston-engined aircraft at the time of its development in the 1970s. he Cessna 404 was a development of the Cessna 402 with an enlarged vertical tail and other changes. The prototype first flew on 26 February 1975. It is powered by two 375 hp/280 kW turbocharged Continental Motors GTSIO-520 piston engines. Two versions were offered originally; the Titan Ambassador passenger aircraft for ten passengers, and the Titan Courier utility aircraft for passengers or cargo. Features Include: Custom C404 Titan sounds Default X-Plane 10 GNS430 Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit compatible. Plugin-enhanced FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Also Included: 5 4K HD liveries 1 Blank texture Normal Procedures PDF Emergency Procedures PDF Performance Tables PDF Titan Limitations PDF Yes! theC404 Titan by Alabeo is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : C404 Titan - Price is US$32.95 Requirements Technical Requirements Windows XP-Vista-7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.40 (or higher) Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM - 1GB Video card 405MB available hard disk space Price is US$32.95 Images are courtesy of Carenado© Developer site : Carenado.com Stephen Dutton Updated 31st October 2015 Copyright©X-Plane Reviews: X-PlaneReviews
  11. Pitts S-2S Review The Pitts S-2S (special) is an iconic aircraft for aerobatics all around the world, if you see a small biplane tumbling around and spinning out of control above you, it's most likely going to be the Pitts! It's strong airframe and remarkable design makes it readily available for sharp turns and stunt upon the pilots command! The powerful Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 (260hp) is a heavier engine from the previous models of the Pitts Special but it's increased power makes it more agile in flight. The S-2S model has one single cockpit seating one pilot, other models such as the S-2C can seat two people, so you can make the passenger feel nausea and ready to vomit! The S-2S has a twin talk fuel system and a 20ft wingspan. The real Pitts Special is a phenomenal aircraft, so does the Alabeo virtual version bring credit this aircraft deserves? I decided to do an aerobatics flight over EGTR - London Elstree to find out! First Impressions? Flying aerobatics is great fun! Performing organized stunts in a remembered progression, confined to a small cubic area, is very challenging but also very rewarding! So I decided to take the challenge with the Alabeo Pitts S-2S, performing a progression of stunts in an organized manor of Elstree, London. So I started with the Pitts positioned on the ramp, engines off, cold and dark. Seeing the aircraft and walking around it made me very impressed by the 3D modelling and attention to detail, from seeing a real Pitts S-2S in real life I can really relate to the real experience I had walking around the real Pitts! The 3D modelling, like always from Alabeo, has been done very well and accurately. Textures on the outside are great, every nut and bolt is clearly visible. My favorite textured area outside is the tail wheel strut, the dirty metal looks great and shows the 'real' age of the aircraft. It does look a little clean, but every well loved aircraft does! It makes me think if I could take off the cowling the engine would be in pristine condition, unfortunately that's not possible though! The actual tail wheel texture looks a bit odd though, I would expect a wheel to look a bit different to that! More like the main gear at the front of the aircraft where those wheels have been textured well. Another thing to notice is the 3D pilot, he is not optional though. When you are looking around outside he is sat in there whatever you do! A nice touch would be to make him optional. You can however move his visor up/ down, this can all be done in the pop out menu's. Opening the canopy, moving into the cockpit. 3D modelling in the cockpit is superb, every gauge, strut, button and lever has been modeled and there are no proportion issues or anything that looks 'out of place'. I really like the fact that you can 'feel' the depth of where you're sat when you look down, this type of view is what will make a device like the oculus rift shine, depth representation is very important for a Virtual Reality headset. On the subject of VR, wouldn't it be great to do some aerobatics inside the Pitts and X-Plane and actually feel as though you are doing it! Looking down and feeling the depth of where you're sat will make the experience of VR much better. Texturing in the cockpit is very good, it's not clean yet it shows wear and tear. For example, I like the addition of worn throttle lever, very realistic. The glass canopy also has pre-rendered reflections which looks great from inside, there is also an option to turn the glass completely opaque which essentially removes any reflections and glass texturing. Preparing for flight The first thing you notice when you enter the cockpit is the availability of instruments. The two main instruments you have are 'Speedometer' and 'Altimeter' the other common instruments such as 'Artificial Horizon', 'Turn Coordinator' , 'Vertical Speed' and 'Heading' are missing. It's common on a Pitts and other aerobatics aircraft to miss that although some previous models to the special had a turn coordinator. All of this just adds to the challenge! The idea of flying the Pitts is to do most things visually, using the visible horizon as a guide. This does help when doing aerobatics though as keeping a focus on the horizon level through the window helps to avoid any major crashing! After receiving clearance from the tower to start the engine and taxi to the holding point I then started the engine. Starting the engine is very simple, mixture rich, master switch on and fuel boost. Turn the the key to both and the engine will start if the throttle is left open a little. This is not a study level simulated aircraft so the procedures to operate it are very basic, that said flying loops and barrel rolls puts a smile on your face! I noticed one thing, after turning on the master switch my oil temperature instantly was set, the needle did not rise but was just instantly placed. It would be nice for the Pitts to simulate a slow rise after the master is switched on, this is only a very small detail though. In Flight The Pitts is very responsive to all changes, I felt that my joystick inputs where picked up a little too sensitive so I decided to reconfigure a few of my X-Plane settings, after though the aircraft felt a little heavier to move which I believe is more realistic. The Pitts was very hard to control on the ground, I have never controlled the aircraft for real on the ground but I don't believe that the tail wheel sliding around like its on ice is the most accurate of representations! So onto the fun stuff... Aerobatics! The first move I tried was a barrel roll, just a simple aileron roll to the left or right, no rudder needed. This is a great aerobatic move, it's fun quick and easy, it can also be made more challenging by doing it closer to the ground. The second move was the loop, full throttle into steep climb pulling back. At the top, reduce throttle and gently let the plane fall back on itself to complete the loop! It looks great from the ground and it feel great in the Pitts too. On all moves I performed the Pitts flew flawlessly, Alabeo have found the balance between agility and power which makes it fun to fly. The engine is not so powerful that you look like a space rocket but just powerful enough to perform great stunts and be able to recover safely. The iconic feature of this aircraft and all that perform aerobatics is smoke that leaves a fantastic trail behind the plane. When I saw the smoke button in the cockpit that is what I expected to happen, instead the default smoke came out which as you may know is not very white and fluffy! So an improvement there would be for Alabeo to make such system or plugin for the white fluffy smoke that leaves a long trail. Configuration Options As with all Alabeo aircraft you get a side menu that never goes away. It would be nice to be able to hide that menu from the screen. From the menu you change your camera view which is a great feature, especially when performing stunts! There are many camera options to pick from and the camera moved instantly but I did suffer a slight bit of lag. The second menu is the option for certain changes you can make specific for this aircraft. For example you can add or remove the aerosight, put the visor up/ down on your pilot, instrument reflections on/ off and transparent canopy on/ off. These options are fun to play around with. The third menu gives you quick access to your radio and squawk box, this is most certainly needed as flying without it in x-plane would be very tricky. Inside the cockpit the radio is virtually impossible to see from pilot head POV, therefore this feature is great and shows Alabeo have thought about user experience. Summary Overall I believe that this aircraft is certainly the best aerobatics capable for X-plane, it looks great, its fantastically fun to fly, sounds realistic and functions as you would expect. It is a little touchy on the flight controls but once it's adjusted in X-plane settings the plane feels heavier and more realistic. There are a few issues I found such as the instant rising needle upon start up but apart from that Alabeo have made a great product. The canopy is not operable from inside the cockpit, or it might be but I couldn't find the switch. The only way to move the canopy is by the menu, it can be annoying if you open it and close it a lot. Not a big issue though. 3D modeling and texturing is great, only two liveries by default though, more would be nice. You can however download some from Alabeo's site at no extra cost, and as always you can design your own! (blank livery included). The feature of smoke trails would be great, or if Alabeo don't do it maybe someone else will. It would be great to leave a trail in the X-Plane skies! Multiplayer would be very fun with that addition as well! Documentation is good, you get the standard from Alabeo however you also get an aerobatics manual. This manual tells you how to perform a variety of maneuvers with pictures to assist the explaining, very nice touch! This aircraft is great fun to fly and has been modeled and textured with great detail, I certainly recommend it! Where can you get the Pitts S-2S? Get The Pitts S-2S $19.95 Reviewed by : Joe ©X-Plane Reviews 2015. Technical Requirements: X-Plane 10 - Windows Operating System . Mac or Linux not supported Reviewer Computer Spec: - Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz - 4.00gb of RAM - Geforce GTX 650
  12. Aircraft Review : Diamond Star DA40 by Alabeo Single engine aircraft with four seats that has excellent performance is the most fought out category for the General Aviation market. To be successful you have to deliver an aircraft that is capable in delivering exceptional results and with low flying service costs. For many in this market it is known as a Sport's Cruiser. Diamond Aircraft of Austria hit the mother lode with the introduction of the DA20 Katana two-seater sports that first flew in 1991. It was a no-brainer to enlarge the aircraft to four seats and add in more performance and with that you have the Star DA40 which is powered by initially as the DA-40-180 and powered by a fuel injected Textron Lycoming IO-360 M1A engine. The certification route was a bit messy in first there was the Rotax 914-powered prototype DA40-V1, registered OE-VPC, which first flew on the 5 November 1997 and that aircraft was followed by a second prototype DA40-V2 (registered OE-VPE) which was powered by a Continental IO-240. In 1998 a third prototype DA40-V3 flew powered by a Lycoming IO-360 engine (our version). Four more test aircraft were produced followed by the first production aircraft in 2000. JAR23 certification of the IO-360 production variant was obtained in October 2000. In 2002 the production of the Lycoming-engined variant was moved to Canada and the Austrian factory concentrated on diesel-engined variants. But performance for an aircraft of this size is very good in with the: Cruise speed: 150 knots (173 mph, 279 km/h) - Range: 720 nm (828 mi, 1,341 km) - Service ceiling: 16,400 ft (5,000 m) - Rate of climb: 1,120 ft/min (5.69 m/s); and a Power/mass: 0.06802 hp/lb (110 W/kg). But the DA40's most claim to fame is that the aircraft has accumulated a very low accident record, particularly with regard to stall and spin accidents. Its overall and fatal accident rates are one eighth that of the general aviation fleet and include no stall-related accidents. The level of safe operation is attributed to its high aspect ratio wing, low wing loading and benign flight characteristics. The DA40 has shown to have a fatal accident rate of only 0.35/100,000 hours, which the lowest in US general aviation and considerably better than the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 with a combined fatal accident rate of 1.6/100,000 hours, despite its built in full aircraft parachute system. By comparison, the Cessna 172 has a fatal accident rate of 0.45/100,000 hours. Alabeo Diamond Star DA40 In X-Plane their is no doubt there going to be comparisions to Aerobask's excellent DA42 Twin Star. But in reality it is an altogether different aircraft, because for one the DA42 has two engines but secondly it is also an all glass cockpit. So the DA40 from Alabeo is a more basic machine than menu driven DA42 and that if you like a more standard (if slightly older) approach to flight may find this aircraft more to their needs. The composite smooth style makes the aircraft look smaller than it actually is. The DA40 is a full four-seater aircraft, but a highly modern design. The standard of quality from the Carenado/Alabeo design houses are as expected excellent, we can always become a bit non-plussed about the quality of aircraft available today for X-Plane, quality is well up to the usual high standards from wheel fairings to the long sweeping wings, the top fuselage antenna to the intricate door latches, and everything comparable to real world DA40s. The reflections, shading and light sourcs on the exterior of the aircraft are excellent. Menus are standard Carenado/Alabeo. You have two tags lower left of your screen one ( O ) is "Options" and the other is ( C ) for Views. ( O ) Options menu consist of include the opening and closing of the doors in "Pilot Door", "Passenger Door" and are backed up by 'Shift + ' key options. You have the choice of being able to toggle the reflections of the instruments and windows as well and the "Static Elements" in wheel chocks and cones which are excellent. Extra features include the option to have open wheels or fairings, which are so good I left them on as the aircraft looks really naked without them. You can now also select your livery from the menu as well, which is a great speedy way of getting the right livery quickly. There are two versions of manipulators for scroll or ordinary mice action, when the scroll feature is on it will illuminate the item to be activated, I use a standard (apple) one click mouse so it doesn't work for me, so I turn "scroll off". ( C ) views are the second menu options. In Views you can select ten different types of views in the upper menu, which is very handy in moving inside or outside of the aircraft and looking at different aspects of the panel equipment. Other adjustments here include your "Point of View" and sound "Volume". Internal Exceptional interiors are always welcome, and this leather tanned cockpit is very, very welcoming. Beautifully done, detailing is exquisite as early Alabeo cockpits where once darkest of murky dark, but now they are perfectly lit... nice. With no power the panel is a very basic flying machine with basic instruments, nothing a cadet could not handle. Turn on the battery and the panel has a more modernistic approach. Dials and screens are highly detailed and very readable with simply excellent realistic reflections. The centre long pedestal has the basic levers you need in up top: Cabin Heat, Defrost and two position brake. Lower central is the: Throttle, Propeller and Mixture (Rich/Lean) and a three way fuel selector. Rear is your (large) trim wheel, Hobbs counter and audio headset inputs, which are also very realistic. The panel is really that in being a surprise, just basic instruments and not two (or three) large menu driven screens across your view. The lovely rudder pedals are (moving) cable connected and they in some respects completes the cockpit's very gliderish look with those joysticks sticking out of the front of the seats and the hooded panel. The glareshield top surround drops down with the large front canopy (rear passenger door is only on the left) and this is so well done. The pilot left gets all the instruments with the standard six instruments ( Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator and Vertical Speed Indicator) are all very large and easily readable with VOR OBS and NDB direction dials. lower panel is a selection of rocker switches that cover the - Pitot, Landing (landing lights), Taxi, Position, Nav Lights, Strobe, And a key turn starter switch. ESS Bus, Avionic Master, Fuel pump and Main Power in Master and Instrument. Three position flaps (Up, speed 108 KAS and 61 KAS) a very large compass is situated on top of the glareshield. Equipment is provided by the central avionics stack is from top GMA 340 Audio radio, two Garmin GNS430 GPS (Comm1/VOR1- Comm2/VOR2) which are the X-Plane 10.30 default, There also an Bendix King KN-62A TSO VOR 2 Navigation Receiver and a Bendix King ADF KR 87 and at the bottom is an excellent Bendix King KX 165A autopliot. Right of the autopilot is a Garmin GTX 327 Transponder with Clock. The highlight of the panel is the large Vision Microsystems VM 1000 Engine Instrument system which displays engine parameters in an analog sweep and digital readout for: Tachometer, Manifold Pressure, EGT/CHT, Fuel Flow and Pressure, Oil Temperature and Pressure, Voltage and Amperage. The lower buttons don't work. The display is highly effective and looks great on the panel, below in the same design is a digital Fuel level display. Far right on the panel is large clock. A quirk is the knob on the ADF KR 87 does not work? You change the ADF frequency by the actual numbers (right) with arrows, it is slightly awkward but works, but maybe the knob manipulators encroach on each others territory, so it works but it is not real world realistic. Flying the Diamond DA40 Fuel in and pumps on and a turn of the key, a hit of the starter. The engine does not catch straight away, in the fact you tend to check if everything is on? yes the pumps are on, mixture is rich? turn again... hold it... keep holding it. Ahh... then the engine catches and fires. The VM 1000 engine rev's are very easy on the eye (its pretty hard not to notice the bright display) and easy to keep the rev's in the right zone while taxiing. The undercarriage is very stork like you feel you are on three sticks and sitting high up. "will they break?" of course they won't but they do flex quite a lot. As the revolutions rise on the VM 1000 you are going to bring in the power really slowly and gradually until you have enough straight line speed, and then there is case of keeping smooth and in a straight line. The aircraft is of course extremely light (all aircraft aim to be as possible) but we are really light here. 60knts and you can be airborne. At that 60knt point you are thinking you are certainly going faster, you're buzzing and vibrating to keep the aircraft central and straight. Then a slight pull of the joystick and you're now really airborne, and surprisingly climbing and still collecting speed. You have 210 hp (157 kW) at your disposal from an engine that is quite an old design from 1955. You can climb and turn with an amazing pitch of around 1000fpm, you use all that but it is at your whim, and you settle for around 650fpm at 90knts. That is mostly to refinement of those long thin wide wings and slippery body, there is no doubt how efficient this airframe really is through the air. Once in the air you are very conscious of one thing... space. There is a real openness of no obstruction of view but a feeling of flying in a goldfish bowl. Then there is the noise? The sounds are as to be expected very good, from startup to high throttle in flight. But it sounds like you are flying a very large lawnmower, noisy is not the word, deafening is definitely the word. And no doubt in the real DA40 I suspect that headphones are mandatory? but as you find a cruise speed at about 125knts you tend to get used to it and even flow with the rhythm, and to the point that you can certainly start to cover some serious distance with that 720nm range at your disposal. There is a slight pull from the engine that pulls the aircraft to the right, which is to be expected with a powerful engine (In this case) and a light-frame, more bodies in the seats (add weight) and full fuel tanks do dampen the effect a little. The aircraft looks better in the air than on the ground, the DA20 looked odd even stumpy, but the DA40 is about right with that longer cabin. Design wise you can't fault it as the aircraft reflects the light very well (body and glass) and Alabeo have perfected the chrome spinner on the nose to perfection, and Joe the average pilot is the standard placement with great animation moves (or bad glances). for detailing note the walk grips on the wing root, they are really expertly well done. Lighting Lighting is good but nothing to write home about. One knob adjusts the dial/Instrument lighting and another knob adjusts the twin over head spot lighting. Between them you can easily find a nice ambience of light and working outside view. External is quite dark, Nav (position), Strobe and one landing and one taxi light in the left wing. Landing After a spin around Cape Cod, Massachusetts good olde USA, It was time to head back to KMVY and Martha's Vineyard Airport. The Bendix King KX 165A autopliot is a nice thing to have and it is very easy and effective to use. Easy to adjust the pitch and target (Arm) a new altitude you can adjust your pitch on the fly to what you want. The Bendix King KN-62A TSO VOR 2 Navigation Receiver was a bit of a "funny bugger". I tried several VOR frequencies from the start of the flight but they didn't work? Then suddenly it was working? But you have to admire those beautiful slender wings with lovely swept uptakes at the tips, it is a very nice looking aircraft from certain angles. My first manual landing was quite easy. Your speed range is 60knts to 85knts on approach and an easy 200fpm descent, so I kept it around 65knts and skipped down on to the runway, My second approach under the ILS was not? I made the mistake of relying on the beam to lower my speed to around 55knts. The aircraft felt good there, but when we were released at the end of the beam you sorta flew on and I made the mistake of lowering the throttle. I came down and with a thud and a then spring back upwards again from that (too) flexible undercarriage and again came earthwards with another thud and a dent in my flying skills. Try that one again... Third try I found out what you had to do right. As your speed is quite low anyway, then dropping the flaps doesn't really affect your descent, yes to have to compensate for the drop in speed for the extra drag, but otherwise it is quite smooth. 65Knts is a nice speed on the ILS slope (300fpm descent), Alabeo by the way gives you a full set of "DA40 performance" tables and "Reference" notes that gives you weight to speed references. The trick is when you come off the ILS slope and your first instinct is to lower the lower to settle on the runway, but it doesn't work like that as noted above. The best way is power down to the runway by using the same speed (65knts) and keeping the descent rate in check, and only slightly pitching smoothly up at the last minute to a perfect landing and then closing the throttle. It works but of course your going to land a bit long. ("So what are you going to do then, Take points off me!") I didn't even touch the brakes until the speed was way down either in letting the friction do all the work for me. As when on the takeoff roll your energies are focused on keeping the aircraft straight, It is more difficult than it looks, but not impossible, just focus and be smooth as the aircraft hates sudden movements. It is the lightness and almost ultralight in feel and you have to treat it as much. So overall the aircraft is a bit of a contradiction. It is a roomy four passenger aircraft with a ton of power but flies and feels like a smaller very light machine, your aim is to find that balance between the two. Liveries There is one blank livery and five designs. All are very nice but basic, the UK G registered livery is the best and colourful. Summary Alabeo's of Alabeo's past are now quite different. They are full working machines with most of the features and extras that you used to get with the original Carenado releases, even the quality is now at the same level and all the good for all of that. The DA40 looks and feels like a local flier, but how many local flying GA aircraft can carry four people 720 nm... that's not bad, but the DA40 is not fast, fast either at a cruise speed around 150knts. Flying wise it is and feels vulnerable on the ground and getting from it and returning to it (It is quite safe) but very competent in the air, and easy to fly and highly efficient as well. It is debatable to want the standard glass panel cockpit, but the olde style dial and gauge panel is a nice easier option without all those myriad of menus and screen visual overkill, it makes flying easier and actually more efficient... But to one's own. Quality is excellent in every area, from the detailing to modeling and reflections. It is certainly up to the standard of quality we expect and get today from X-Plane. Final word really comes down to how you would fly it and not quality or cost or features as the aircraft has all of that. If you love flying modern aircraft over middle range distances with a great view of the world outside, then you won't find a better aircraft to swoon away a Sunday afternoon, it is noisy as noted, but there is fun in the noise and fun is the word here... The Diamond Star DA40 is a real fun aircraft. The Diamond Star DA40 by Alabeo is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : Alabeo Diamond DA40 And is priced at only US$26.95 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 160.70mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 251.50mb Notes: None Documents : Four documents that covers performance tables and references, normal and emergency procedures. Manuals for the KFC225 Autopilot and X-Plane default GNS430 GPS. Requirements : X-Plane 10.30 (or higher) - Windows XP-Vista-7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux - Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM - 1GB Video card - 240MB available hard disk space Current version: Initial Release Developer Support Site : http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showforum=106 (Carenado - Alabeo Support .Org) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Fully featured and including: Vision Microsystems VM 1000 Engine Instrument Two Default X-Plane 10 GNS430 Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit compatible. Plugin-enhanced FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support Aircraft Details • Crew: one pilot; • Capacity: three passengers; • Length: 26 ft 5 in (8.1 m); • Wingspan: 39 ft 2 in (11.9 m); • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m); • Wing area: 145.3 ft² (13.5 m²); • Empty weight: 1,755 lb (795 kg); • Loaded weight: 2,645 lb (1,198 kg); • Useful load: 890 lb (403 kg); • Max. takeoff weight: 2,645 lb (1,198 kg); and • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming IO-360-M1A air-cooled, 4-cylinder horizontally-opposed piston engine, 180 hp (134 kW). _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 18th July 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 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.35 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - KMVY - Martha's Vineyard 4.5 by dkm (http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=27251) - Free
  13. The Carenado/Alabeo Diamond DA40 now available at the X-Plane.OrgStore and is priced at US$26.95 Go Here - http://store.x-plane.org/Alabeo-Diamond-DA40_p_400.htmlThe DA40 Diamond Star is a four-seat, single engine, light aircraft constructed from composite materials. Built in both Austria and Canada, it was developed as a four-seat version of the earlier DA20 by Diamond Aircraft Industries. FeaturesVision Microsystems VM 1000 Engine InstrumentTwo Default X-Plane 10 GNS430Volumetric side view prop effectHigh quality 3D model and textures.Blank texture for creating your own designs.Accurately reproduced flight characteristics64-bit compatible.Plugin-enhancedFPS-optimized model.SuperManipulator scroll wheel support16th July 2015 Copyright©X-Plane-Reviews
  14. Alabeo have released the DA40 for X-Plane! Price is US$26.95 Features Vision Microsystems VM 1000 Engine Instrument Two Default X-Plane 10 GNS430 Volumetric side view prop effect High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics 64-bit compatible. Plugin-enhanced FPS-optimized model. SuperManipulator scroll wheel support For More information then go here : http://www.carenado.com/CarSite/Portal/index.php?accion=product&correl=153
  15. Aircraft Release : Cessna C177/RG Cardinal II by Alabeo Alabeo have released the Cessna Cardinal II and the aircraft comes in two variants. You have the standard fixed wheeled variant and the RG, which is the Retractable Gear variant. The Cessna 177 Cardinal is a light single-engined, high-wing general aviation aircraft that was intended to replace Cessna's 172 Skyhawk. First announced in 1967, it was produced from 1968 to 1978. One of the design goals of this 172 replacement was to allow the pilot an unobstructed view when making a turn. In the 172 the pilot sits under the wing and when the wing is lowered to begin a turn that wing blocks the pilot's view of where the turn will lead to. The engineers resolved this problem by placing the pilot forward of the wing's leading edge, but that led to a too-far-forward center of gravity. This problem was partially counteracted by the decision to use the significantly lighter Lycoming O-320 four-cylinder engine in place of the six-cylinder O-300 Continental used on the 172. The forward CG situation still existed even with the lighter engine, so a stabilator was chosen, to provide sufficient elevator control authority at low airspeeds. The 177 design was intended to be a replacement for the 172, which was to be discontinued after introduction of the new aircraft. The new design was originally to be called the 172J (to follow the 1968 model 172I). However, as the time came to make the transition, there was considerable resistance to the replacement of the 172 from the company's Marketing Division. (wikipedia) Overall the C177 is a fairly basic aircraft, but Alabeo have provided a selection of very good options and features. 2 Cardinal II models: C177B (fixed gear) and C177RG (retractable gear) Default X-Plane 10 GNS530 HD Textures (416 pixel/meter) High quality 3D model and textures. Own sound system containing more than 20 sounds recorded from the real aircraft. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately reproduced flight characteristics Simple user interface Realistic Systems simulations. 64-bit compatible - FPS-optimized model. Setup Menu - Easy livery selection. Easy B/RG model selection. Camera Presets. Easy Field of view slider, now with scroll wheel support. Easy Volume control including MUTE selection, also with scroll wheel support. Realistic Cockpit reflections SuperManipulator (Scroll, click, click-hold, click-drag vertically for fast changes, click-drag horizontally for fine tuning) Passenger shows/hides depending on weigh With the different variants you also get different coloured interiors... With a beige colour and dark green. Ground options are also well provided with great animations... Provided is: Model C177B fixed gear 5 hd liveries + blank texture Normal and Emergency procedures PDF Performance tables PDF Model C177RG retractable gear 3 hd liveries + blank texture Normal and Emergency procedures PDF Performance tables PDF The aircraft comes with the usual Alabeo quality and excellent flying characteristics.... Cessna C177/RG Cardinal II by Alabeo is now available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : C177/RG Cardinal II and is priced at only US$28.95 Requirements Windows XP-Vista-7-8 (or higher) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.30 (or higher) 4GB RAM - 1GB Video card 335MB available hard disk space Release by Stephen Dutton X-Plane Reviews - 8th June 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews
  16. Aircraft Release : C172RG Cutlass II by Alabeo Alabeo have released the C172RG Cutlass II The 172RG is the retractable landing gear version of the Cessna 172 Series. It is also has over the standard version a variable pitch, constant-speed propeller and the more powerful Lycoming O-360-F1A6 engine of 180 horsepower (130 kW). The 172RG sold for about US$19,000 more than the standard 172 of the same year and produced an optimal cruise speed of 140 knots (260 km/h), compared to 122 knots (226 km/h) for the contemporary C172 - 160 horsepower (120 kW) version. Yet again Alabeo have produced a wonderful quality design, and the gap between Alabeo and Carenado is certainly narrowing. Even in price as the Cutless is $22.95 and it seems that the Alabeo's are now really a lower cost Carenado, as Carenado is now more into the larger aircraft market at sub $30 to $35 for its aircraft. The panel is beautifully designed but this C172RG is a basic trainer aircraft at its heart. The aircraft is well fitted out as well, and the detail really stands out. But this is still an Alabeo, so you won't get the absolute full functionality of the Carenado series, however the options are good. Features include: HD Textures Superb material shines and reflections. Volumetric side view prop effect. Dynamic propeller shines effect. High quality 3D model and textures. Blank texture for creating your own designs. Accurately flight characteristics Also Included: 5 hd liveries 1 Blank texture Emergency Procedures PDF Normal Procedures PDF Performance tables PDF Quick Reference PDF For more information then go to Alabeo : C172RG CUTLASS II Technical Requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.21 (or higher) Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM 212MB available hard disk space Stephen Dutton 16th May 2014 Copyright©2014: X-Plane Reviews All images supplied courtesy of Alabeo©
  17. Aircraft Review : Alabeo PA-38 Tomahawk II Route : YROM Circuits We all start our flying career somewhere. 95% percent of the time it is usually in a very lightweight aircraft or if you are really serious a trainer. Usually trainers are two seats (one for you and one for the instructor) and the controls are very basic and clutter free. The main aspect of a good trainer is perfect balance, spin recovery and power. Most learners usually have got their wings on a Cessna 150, 152 or 172, but one of the very best trainers around is the Piper PA-38 Tomahawk. Piper Aircraft wanted to share some of the trainer market, and so consulted many flight instructors not only in the design of the aircraft but also in the testing. The result was the Tomahawk, a T-Tail, two-seat, fixed tri-cycle undercarriage aircraft that has exceptional spin recovery that was better than the current standard bearer the Cessna 152. The first flight and introduction was in 1977, but it was noted as a 1988 model. The aircraft was highly successful with 2,4854 built when production ceased in 1982. Besides being a widely used primary trainer, it is also an effective budget cross-country aircraft for two persons with its spacious and comfortable cabin. Though it shares similar performance and costs of operation to the Cessna 152, the PA-38 has more shoulder room. It also has good cabin ventilation, using automotive-style air ducts. The 1981 and 1982 models were designated as the Tomahawk II (this version). They incorporated improved cabin heating and windshield defroster performance, an improved elevator trim system, improved engine thrust vector, 100% airframe zinc-chromate anti-corrosion treatment, better cockpit soundproofing, larger 6" wheels and tires for greater propeller ground clearance and improved performance on grass and dirt runways. Specifications : Maximum speed: 126 mph (109 knots, 202 km/h) at sea level : Cruise speed: 115 mph (100 knots, 185 km/h) at 10,500 ft (3,200 m) (65% power) : Stall speed: 56.5 mph (49 knots, 91 km/h) (IAS), flaps down : Range: 539 miles (468 nmi, 867 km)at 10,500 ft (3,200 m), (65% power) : Service ceiling: 13,000 ft (4,000 m) : Rate of climb: 718 ft/min (3.65 m/s) Alabeo has released the PA-38 Tomahawk. This is another quality aircraft from the Alabeo team. For its age the Tomahawk looks very modern for a non-composite machine. There are a few Tomahawks in Australia, but none flew with the RAAF (Royal Australian Air-Force) but I like the livery. First hands on and you quickly realise this is a very sweet aircraft to fly. It is the sort of machine that with a slight trim you can steer though the rudder pedals and just revel in the balance. Hands back on the yoke and the aircraft will do anything you want with just a slight input of movement in the direction you want to go, even downwards. The throttle response is in perfect relationship with the controls, so you find the aircraft so very easy to fly. You could sit your elderly grandmother in the pilots seat and show her the controls, and I am quite sure she could fly the Tomahawk quite easily. (what do I do now dear?) I doubt though you would want your grandmother to go into a spin. Here the aircraft is exceptional, The Tomahawk's GA(W)-1 Whitcomb airfoil addresses this requirement by making specific pilot input necessary in recovering from spins, thus allowing pilots to develop proficiency in dealing with spin recovery. And because of its stall and spin characteristics, the PA-38 earned the nickname "Traumahawk" from some pilots and instructors. The PA-38 is powered by a single Avco Lycoming O-235-L2C air-cooled flat-four piston engine, 112 hp (83.5 kW) that is required for its power to train pilots on the specifics of the important stall and spin recovery aspects of flying. First of all the Tomahawk climbs exceedingly well, It can easily pull seven hundred feet per minute to get you to a safe altitude. Slip the wing and put yourself into a bad spin. With ease you can bring in the strong power to pull yourself out of the spin and simply back into a near level flight. Impressive. You can see why the aircraft is a very nice long distance tourer as well. It will power along all day without you fighting the aircraft and so you barely don't tire at all. There are no Auto-Pilot functions but you don't need them here either. A little trim and your happy. Landing is a breeze as well, The landing speed is super low at around 75knots (stall is at 50knts). Even dropping the flap (twice) barely makes a ripple if your power setting is right. A quick look left at the airport and you can make your smooth turn. There is a slight cross-wind that I have to correct for, but otherwise the touchdown is just a small bump and touch of rubber. The aircraft is very good at touch and go's, even with full flap you can be quickly back into the air to go around for another practise. Our Trainee looks quite pleased with himself. Alabeo PA-38 The gap between Alabeo and aircraft from Carenado is closing certainly, Not only in price but in quality. This aircraft is more in style of a Carenado in every form. The design and detail is better now than ever before and that is even by Carenado's high standards. It is sublimely good in the way the rivets are completed and the panels hang on the airframe, The NACA duct is a prime example and so are the door hinges. The opening doors (Both Pilot's and Instructor doors) are wonderfully designed in the way they pull away from the roof section. The detailing behind the seats in the small baggage area with support struts Is also perfect. The main attention must be given to glass and their reflections, it is about as real glass as you could get. The shading is breathtaking but the detailing is more skin deep as we will see in the dark. The wings and high (T) tail section ribbing is also absolutely first rate. The propeller has some volumetric side view and dynamic shine effects. Put the aircraft into a low mixture setting and the shimmer of the low speed rotation is excellent., Undercarriage. Front and main is very simple in just struts, but the detail is excellent right down to the nuts on the brakes. With open doors you can see the excellent door detailing and the interior of the cockpit. Every area is well designed and textured. Cabin and Panel Inside the unpowered cabin the quality is again excellent, This Alabeo doesn't have that usual signature black hole as you look down towards the worn seats, carpets and metal heel scuff plates, The little trim wheel is expertly crafted and wonderful to use. The twin blinds are fully movable around both the front and side windows. The glareshied textures are so real and touchworthy that you can easily smell that 70's vinyl. And you easily want to put your hands around the lovely chunky yokes with thumb tabs. It does not take much imagination looking here to know what the real Tomahawk would smell and feel like. A nice touch is that when you hide the yokes the "Alabeo" icon fills the hole. Being a trainer then the panel is going to be very simple. It is but with a quality feel. The standard six instruments are added (to the right) by a VOR (2) The Omni-Bearing Indicator (OBI) and Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) bearing indicator, Below is a engine RPM and hours insturument and clock on the far left. 70's rocker switches for main power (battery/ALT), lighting and Pitot heat and Fuel pump. The fuel pump is interesting in that turn it on and then move the (big Red) Fuel switch on (or off) and the pressure shows on a gauge. You can select left and right fuel tanks here also. The radio stack is small but efficient, Standard radio set is set with a Bendix/King KX 165 TSO for COMM and VOR(2) settings, a KR 87 TSO is your ADF. (note a Technical Standard Order (TSO) is a minimum performance standard issued by the United States Federal Aviation Administration for specified materials, parts, processes, and appliances used on civil aircraft.) A Garmin GTX 320 is your transponder. It may seem a small stack but it is quite capable of navigating you across the country. The two position flaps are used via the long stick that like looks like a standard car parking brake, The actual park brake in under the panel. Note the beautifully crafted rudder pedals. The night-lighting is best seen from the air, A quick flick of the key and the engine stutters back into life, You actually have to hold the key on for a while until it finally chuggs into life, as only quick key turn will not give it enough time for the starter to give enough turns to fire it right up. Sounds are excellent in the same as Carenado 3d directional sound, There is quite a throaty power feeling at full under load power. Only issue I found was with the front turning wheel, It doesn't turn cleanly even at slow speeds, To go straight in the taxi it has to be slightly off centre in that I presume is to counteract the asymmetrical thrust from the propeller which is quite large at slow speeds. When you disconnect the steering from the rudder, It does not do so well there either. So it is slightly odd and hard to manoeuvre around. Night-Lighting External night-lighting is basic but good, You only have one landing light, and the Nav/Position lighting. The strobes are the new Carenado design. First thing that you notice as the low light comes into the cabin is the reflections on the glass, (side front), It speckles and it is excellent in its reflections of the markings on or in the glass, such detail is amazing, but it makes the flying very authentic. The dials are well lit and slightly (just up or down) adjustable by the knobs low down on the instructors side. I couldn't find any overhead lighting except for a nicely lit air temperature gauge and a Compass.? You can with the side menu (O) Options switch the panel lighting to be brighter or lower by the using the reflections options. You can also use this menu to transparent the windows and open both doors. The other © menu is the standard Camera menu, that gives you the various views and zoom function. Liveries You get the default white and six other liveries in very high quality HD Conclusions The PA-38 Tomahawk feels more like a basic Carenado than a Alabeo, and the higher price reflects that. Yes it is a basic aircraft, but it is still a fully functional one. Design and detailing is simply first rate (In fact I feel the quality has slightly gone up a notch). The glass here in the aircraft and in their reflections is simply astounding. It is a perfect trainer for the experienced pilot and also the beginner (Into simulation as well). The aircraft can be as easy or as challenging you want it to be, and still you can use it as a two seater tourer across the country. Some aircraft instantly become a favorite and the Tomahawk became very quickly one of them. I loved it the minute I felt the air under its wings. For value and quality it can't be bettered. Yes! the Alabeo Piper PA-38 Tomahawk II is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Piper PA-38 Tomahawk II Price is US$22.95 Installation : Download is 165.80mb, and installation size in your aircraft folder is 228.30mb. Alabeo supply Recommended Joystick Settings and Recommended Settings X-Plane10. However with my standard settings I had no issues. Documentation : Developer Site : Alabeo Review By Stephen Dutton 22nd January 2014 ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Technical Requirements: Windows , MAC OS 10.7 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.20 (or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible) 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 250MB available hard disk space Version 1 (last updated Jan 20th,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 - YROM - Aussiepak7 - Barry Roberts (Aussie Scenery Packages)
  18. Alabeo Release : PA38 TOMAHAWK II Alabea have released the PA38 Tomahawk II. Alabeo features Include. - Superb material shines and reflections. - Volumetric side view prop effect. - Dynamic propeller shines effect. - High quality 3D model and textures. - Blank texture for creating your own designs. - Accurately flight characteristics The Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk is a two-seat, fixed tricycle gear general aviation airplane, originally designed for flight training, touring and personal use. The Tomahawk was Piper's attempt at creating an affordable two-place trainer. Before designing the aircraft, Piper widely surveyed flight instructors for their input into the design. Instructors requested a more spinnable aircraft for training purposes, since other two-place trainers such as the Cessna 150 and 152 were designed to spontaneously fly out of a spin. The Tomahawk's NASA GA(W)-1 Whitcomb airfoil addresses this requirement by making specific pilot input necessary in recovering from spins, thus allowing pilots to develop proficiency in dealing with spin recovery. (wikipedia) Included is: -5 hd liveries -1 Blank texture -Emergency Procedures PDF -Normal Procedures PDF -Quick Reference PDF Technical Requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bits) or MAC OS 10.6 (or higher) or Linux X-Plane 10.21 (or higher) Pentium 2 GHz - 4GB RAM/512 MB VRAM 219MB available hard disk space Please note this aircraft is only for X-Plane 10.21 (or higher) Developer Site : Ababeo.com All images courtesy of Alabeo ©copyright Yes! A review will come soon. Stephen Dutton 10th January 2014
  19. When Alabeo release an aircraft it is a bit like meeting Forrest Gump and him offering you something from his box of chocolates “you just don’t know what you are going to get”. There are a few clues though. It is usually highly different. It is usually very Iconic and it is usually very well done but not totally absolutely functional. Their latest release is the 1930’s aircraft the “Beechcraft D-17 Staggerwing”. and it fill out all the criteria. It is different, It is Ironic, It is very well done and some small things don’t work. The “Staggerwing” (Meaning the upper and lower wings are “Staggered” to give a better view out of the front windows) was the aircraft of the 1930’s that represented you as a person of high standing. It was well loved by the Hollywood royalty of the period. The sort of same image you will get today by flouting off your new G350 Gulfstream Jet. It stood for “Rich”, “Powerful”... and a global reaching exciting image! - Of course pilots loved the power of the machine as well. History Aircraft developer Walter H. Beech and airplane designer T. A. “Ted” Wells at the height of the Great Depression, joined forces to collaborate on a project to produce a large, powerful, and fast cabin biplane built specifically for the business executive. The Beechcraft Model 17, popularly known as the “Staggerwing” was first flown on November 4, 1932. It was not popular at first because of the high cost. Originally it was called the Model 17 with its negative stagger wing configuration (the upper wing staggered behind the lower) and unique shape maximized pilot visibility while negligibly reducing air interference between the wings. The fabric-covered fuselage was created with wood formers and stringers over a welded steel tube frame. Construction was highly complex and it was for its time the most innovated aircraft available with the Staggerwing’s retractable conventional landing gear, which was uncommon at that time that was combined with careful streamlining, light weight, and a powerful radial engine which helped it to perform very well. In mid-1930s, Beech then undertook a major redesign of the aircraft, to create the Model D17 Staggerwing (this Alabeo version). The D-17 featured a lengthened fuselage that improved the aircraft’s handling characteristics by increasing control leverage and the ailerons were relocated to the upper wings, eliminating interference with the flaps. Braking was also improved with a foot-operated brake linked to the rudder pedals. In the Second World War the D-17 became even more popular as the need for a compact executive-type transport or courier aircraft became apparent, And so in 1942 the United States Army Air Forces ordered the first of 270 Model 17s for service within the United States and overseas as the UC-43. The U.S Navy also bought the aircraft and so did the British RAF and Royal Navy. Since then it has slipped in to fame and notes for its ‘muscular strength and delicate grace,’ and is rated highly for its ‘classic lines and symmetry.’” Design Alabeo is a sister studio with Carenado and so they share a lot of design ideas and features. The main feature is that the quality is just as good as the Carenado’s but in a just slightly different form in that usually the form is more of a whole and not as completely constructed as the very highly detailed Carenado’s are, and that is reflected in the lower price and being slightly under US$20. The same quality but with just a slightly different design approach. But still the same of where it really counts. And so the detailing on the “Staggerwing” is exceptionally good on this beautiful aircraft, It does look and feel slightly bulky because of that huge radial engine at the front. Look inside the cowling and you can see the wonderful air-cooled cylinders. This version uses the 9 cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 with 450 hp (340 kW) at 2,300 rpm, and only the geared “supercharged” 600hp engine was bigger. The fine wires on the wings are magnificent as are the smooth wing pylons, although the rear tailplane and elevators look very standard for the period. The highlight is the construction of the front and tailwheel (retractable) undercarriage. More art than design, Its is beautifully proportioned and detailed. Steel springs and levers and it is what we really love about simulation in the fact that just admiring these items can give you as much pleasure as flying the aircraft. The animation is first rate as well as even the tail-wheel retracts up into the tail which was unusual in this period Alabeo use the same O (Options) menu panel as Carenado, but there are only three items listed here. The options are: Transparent Windshield - Instrument Reflections and you can open the - Passenger Door. The door opens but strangely stops between the wires? Very odd. Panel & Cabin Aircraft where fitted out inside very differently in the 1930’s. It was either wire and canvas or like this Beechcraft a cross between a luxurious boat or an expensive automobile. Heavy leather and wood trim would sound crazy in today’s world of carbon-fibre and plastic... however the D-17 was created for the “Distinguished Business Gentleman”. Alabeo have done a discerning job in the fit out of the cabin, with only one outstanding issue... You can’t really see any of the work - It is really black down in there, so dark you can’t even see the yoke never mind the rudder pedals. You are restricted to using X-Plane’s Night-Vision to really find anything you want to usefully use. Lovely it all is in a sea of green. The Yoke can be positioned on the left or right by flipping it over to the new position, you can remove it completely if you want to as well. Fumbling around you can find the lighting switches. A lovely thick clicky Ignition selector. A "press" to start the engine button that I really love to use and a great chunky trim wheel... The radio is a standard Bendix King 155A T50. The dials are recreated vintage with the standard six. Perfect in design and feel. The right side instruments consist of engine dials in RPM, Manifold Pressure, CHT, Amp’s, Carburettor (remember those!), Suction, Temp and Oil/Fuel gauges (LBS) - and a Omni-Bearing Indicator (OBI). As noted you can switch off the glass reflections - But why would you do that? You really feel that 1930’s vibe, The flap selector is a half metal square ring with three settings and flap use is restricted to under 95knts (110mph). The panel lighting is gorgeous, I flew the “Staggerwing” in early morning light just adore those creamily lit dials. There is a red light situated high on the central windshield pillar to shine down on the dials at night. This effect turns the panel bloody red and again gives out a lovely feel to the cockpit. There is the Carenado standard menu C (Camera) for setting “points of view” including the zoom function that is handy and the wing view (left or Right) with belly/tail cam are the highlight view points. HDR switched on the night-lighting is good with each (retractable) landing light in the wing giving its own light throw. The beacon is also totally realistic in its rotation and reflection. The Bluey/Green and red navigation lights are set out in a pod in front of the lower wing and are very authentic. Time to Fly On the lower part of the panel and hidden behind the yoke is a pull handle to lock the rear tail-wheel. To taxi is easy in theory but harder in practice. With the tail-wheel locked you can go straight but only take wide turns with the rudder. Un-lock the tail-wheel and you go around in circles on the same position?... The trick is to use both. I don’t know if this is the correct real way you would control a tail-dragger like this, but you can’t have someone in a simulator to push your tail around to straighten you up on the runway either. And you have to be kind to the brakes as well. Hit the brake and with all that weight on the nose the aircraft will tip up at every touch of the handle - It looks like the aircraft has hiccups all the way to the runway. Once on the centreline with the tail-wheel locked. The “Staggerwing” is lovely from the word go, You don’t need any flap as you have a huge amount of lift from those double-wings. You can’t lift off to quickly either as you need the speed to get your tail up and straight and the aircraft ready to fly. That huge radial sounds glorious as the sounds are all in 3D. The effects from different angles (certainly in the turns) are excellent. All that weight helps you and balances the aircraft out to perfection, and so it is a really nice feel in your hands. There are no sudden movements but the best actions are to use slow maneuvers in what you want to do in that to either turn, gain height or simply hold a line to the horizon. One thing I did notice was that you had to get the right line of sight or angle of the aircraft to keep it at a level height. It was very easy to slowly wind downwards the altitude meter if you didn’t keep a close eye on the dial... And it is very hard to keep it there as well without gaining or losing height. The trim works well in this case (but you have to find it to use it). Concentration is high as you don’t have any aids to carry the workload. So flying even across the state or around and 300nm to 400nm is going to tire you out. I loved those wide turns and the aircraft climbs with ease and power, It is no rocketship by today's standards but it must have felt like one back then - but that is the attraction. Maximum speed: 212 mph (184 knots, 341 km/h), Cruise speed: 202 mph (176 knots, 325 (km/h), Landing speed: 45 mph (39 knots, 72 km/h)), Range: 582 nm (670 mi, 1,078 km), Service ceiling: 25,000 ft (7,600 m), Rate of climb: 1,500 ft/min (7.6 m/s) Adjusting the flaps down (remember to drop off a lot of speed first) will only cause a slight bump in the airflow as the speed drops away nicely to slow to your 30-40knts landing phase. The aircraft is as sturdy as a rock in this configuration, nice with turns to the runway and keeping the runway line of sight straight are very easy to do. The drift down while dropping the power will give you an easy landing and for a tail-dragger it will stay pretty straight while tapering off the speed. You will need a lot of tarmac though to run out that speed as touching the brakes is not the thing to do. Just let the D-17 find its own pace to slow down and sink the tail down to a slow speed. Back on the ground you now only have to master the taxi all over again to get back to your parking area. Liveries There are Five liveries and the standard default “White”. You can get a little confused with the “White” because there is two of them... The one on the default file and another one in the “Liveries Folder”. The livery version is really Grey not white. The Beige is very white as well and is sponsored by “Gargoyles”... The blue is an “American Embassy” livery based in the United Kingdom. And finally the bright Red and Yellow. Liveries are HD and high quality, and all are excellent and with keeping in with the period. Conclusions Alabeo stands for something different and with a quality set at a value price, and that is what you get here. The only mis-match on the aircraft is the door sitting in the wires, the tricky taxiing techniques and that dark cavern of a cabin. Otherwise it is very hard to fault this “Staggerwing” of an aircraft. It is sublime to fly, you feel the aircraft well through the controls and bask in those lovely wide turns. It finds you reaching out for your vintage aviator sun glasses and posing in a suit like Clark Gable or Cary Grant, or if of the fairer sex then Kathleen Hepburn. Stars... Hollywood stars. And this is the aircraft to match theirs and your image. The Alabeo Beechcraft D-17 “Staggerwing” is available now from the X-Plane.org Store : Staggerwing D17 Price is US$19.95 This Aircraft is available for X-Plane9 and X-Plane10 Documents: Review By Stephen Dutton 10th September 2013 Alabeo : recommend certain settings for X-Plane 9 and 10... But frame-rate is a not really an issue as the D-17 has a very high frame-rate because of its low footprint. Developers Site : Alabeo.com 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
  20. The Beechcraft D-17 Staggerwing is now available from the X-Plane .OrgStore.... D-17 Staggerwing for US$19.95! This is a great recreation from Alabeo of this famous 1930’s design that was well loved by the Hollywood crowd. And later the D-17 was used as a light bomber in WW2. Features Include: Superb material shines and reflections Beautiful interior Volumetric side view prop effect Dynamic propeller shines effect High quality 3D model and textures Pop-up menus 6 high-resolution paint schemes Blank texture for creating your own designs Extended documentation X-Plane Reviews will soon do a review on this excellent aircraft... 4th September 2013
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