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  1. Aircraft Review : Mudry CAP 10C by Avia71 The Mudry CAP (Constructions Aéronautiques Parisiennes) 10C is a two-seater training aerobatic aircraft that was first built in 1970 and was still in production as late as 2007 under the Apex banner. It is a very renowned aerobatic aircraft that has had many numerous and well known European champions that have started aerobatic careers on a Cap 10. This 10C version had the updated and improved structure with a carbon-fibre wing spar within its wooden construction to give the aircraft less weight but with more strength to the airframe. Avia71 (Laurent) has already delighted us with his lovely Fournier RF 5B Glider and the Extra 300, both in the same genre of small glider or aerobatic aircraft and continues his same pattern here with this CAP 10C. The same is said that with the CAP 10C it is like his last developed aircraft in that he has a personal connection to the actual aircraft that is reproduced here with the French registered F-HEBV owned by the aero club of Bernay France, but his two collaborators also have had close associations with CAP 10c's in the several championship winner Thomas with the F-GNVC registered aircraft and Joshua with an G-CPXC example of the two hundred current CAP 10c's built. Most aerobatic aircraft are mostly single-seaters, but the CAP here is a trainer or two-seater stick and rudder aircraft to learn the basic skills of aerobatic manoeuvres in a safe environment, but with two pilots on board that also adds in weight and changes of aircraft's balance. As with any reproduction of a real aircraft this 10C is very good. A lot of effort has gone into the minute detail as you would expect. It is not the complete extreme detail you get sometimes now but it is overall very good, and remember wooden construction is very hard to replicate compared to metal or composites. The 10C is a tail-dragger and so you will need all of those tail-dragger skills To highlight details there is a lot of great worn wear looking areas in panel fit and joins to add in to the authenticity. The aircraft build plate is very well done and adds in that personal aircraft feel. There is a very good aerobatic sight on the left wing and they are there to allow you to watch the angle of the horizon while watching this outside reference point. The glass canopy shows you how far X-Plane's glass and reflections have come in the last few years. Beautifully done and highly realistic, more on these reflections later. Instrument Panel The instrument panel is very 70's basic, but modern as well. It is set up for aerobatic flight and all mostly focused on the flying pilot. Detailing is excellent as the Instruments are all large and easy to read and all have lovely reflections. This is a serious stick and rudder aircraft and that aspect is highlighted here, and note the detail is not restricted on what you can see, as behind the panel there is some excellent work as well... good work is all in the detail. Instrument layout is slightly different from the normal standard six arrangement, it is a mixture of flying instruments and engine output dials. Top row from L to R gives you a RPM dial and then next right is the Speed dial in Km/h, then the Altitude dial and finally another Altitude/Air pressure dial. Lower row L to R is the Manifold Pressure/Fuel Flow gauges, Turn coordinator, Vertical Speed and acceleration dial in G's... note the missing Artificial Horizon instrument as it is part of the turn coordinator instrument. Centre panel is another G metre in units and a MEV Acceleometer. Left centre panel is in a basic Communications radio top with a Garmin GTX 320A transponder below... lower is the intercom (headset) controls which also controls your external and internal sound volumes. Far right are four dials that includes top left, Volts, Amps and both fuel tank gauges - Top right, Hour(Hobbs) meter - Bottom left, Engine EGT, CHT and Oil Pressure and temperature - Bottom right, co-pilot G-acceleration dial. Lower panel is switch gear left and fuses right. The panel can be set up two ways with the aerobatic G-Meters (left) or two navigation instruments in a VOR finder top and heading bottom (right). Another neat trick is you can have "headset" mode which gives you the roar of sound or the muted headset sounds, This is done by pressing (or plugging in the headset) on the bottom left and right sides of the instrument panel. Menus The menu tab is the "Remove before flight" red tag on the centre left of your screen... This opens up the menu dialog box with five tabs. These include: Settings - Checklists - Weights &Balances - Failures - Tips & Tricks Overall there isn't a huge amount of options, but for what there is it is all set out very well. Settings There are two major settings with doing aerobatics with "Cat A" (Aerobatics) and "Cat U" (Utility). These selections allow you to quickly set up the aircraft for either their Aerobatic or Utility roles in one selection. There is a very comprehensive set of documents including a "Aerobatic Basic's" manual that teaches you how to fly the aircraft well in the aerobatics mode. The manual is very good as well in this area with aircraft data and procedures, but I would have liked more information on the instruments as they are quite different from the standard panel fittings and many of the instruments installed here are related to aerobatic flying? Selecting the different configuration for either the aerobatic or utility roles then changes also the fuel selection or Centre of Gravity (CoG) in the aircraft by closing off the rear tank, changing the centre instruments and setting category limitations. You can either start the aircraft in cold&dark mode or ready to start. Checklist The checklist menu is very good and comprehensive, it covers all aspects of the routines from cold to shutdown. You navigate via the arrows on the bottom of the page or via the main front menu on the cover. Weights&Balances The Weights&Balances menu is also very good but a little basic . The important note here is the two centre of gravity zones that cover the different settings for Aerobatics Cat A (brown) and Utility Cat U (blue). You have to set the aircraft up withing the brown zone for aerobatics and that includes empyting out the rear fuel tank and the careful selections of pilot(s) and luggage weights. You can have one pilot, or two pilots (trainee) and even swap them around in the various seats and adjust all their weights, I do recommend only one pilot for serious aerobatics as the weights are too high with both bodies in there and you feel the differences of weights when throwing the aircraft around the sky. Failures and Tips&Tricks The "Failure" menu has to be switched on by being in the Cat A setup. This is for trainee purposes in that the aircraft will introduce failures in how many (quantity), Training duration (in distance not time) and to note on screen of any of the failures. Finally there is a "Tips&Tricks" menu that shows you various tricks and where certain things are situated on the aircraft, and it is quite good in finding those extra switches hidden behind such things like fuses. Flying the CAP 10C The CAP 10C is a tail-dragger, so that means it can be quite a handful on the ground... visibility is very restricted in this aircraft when taxiing as well. You can't lock off the tail-wheel, so taxiing is very authentic, but quite hard to get right in that you need speed or air over the rudder to turn, so a run forward to turn is constantly required and even then your turns are quite wide. The look left and down does work, but it is still hard to follow a hidden yellow centre line, so even lining up on the runway is a bit of a guessing game. The 10C is damn tricky to get airborne. There is a single flap setting to help lift (three settings in UP - T/O - LDG), but the tail refuses to lift until you hit 60Km/h, even a slight push forward of the stick to help it and it still refuses to budge. Tracking is hard as well and you need to counter a lot of different forces in the lightness of aircraft, airstream over the rudder, asymmetrical power and that poor view forwards... ... and I will put the view forward that there has been a lot of changes to the X-Plane performance in this area in X-Plane11 (more so in the latest 11.10 beta) on runway ground effects and the "wobbles" and I think there is some cause of effect with this aircraft in this role as it is soooo light and nervy. So it is tricky to get right the first time, even the second... and the third. Once in the air and trimmed (electric between the seats) everything resumes to complete normality as the controls are quite sweet and active under your hands and feet.. The only small annoyance is the wheels keep on rotating unless you hit the brakes to stop them. As you would expect this is a throw around in the air aircraft, the 10C sorts of grows smaller around you as you focus more on the flying and it just feels tighter and tighter with the stick and rudder movements with your ongoing flying. I have been trying out a few VR (Virtual Reality) headsets lately, and make no doubt that one aircraft that is just built for VR flying is this CAP 10C, it would be just brilliant and the VR would be highlighted more by the excellent reflections of the canopy around you. Your aircraft setup balance is of course very important and it totally absolutely affects the way you fly the aircraft... There is a great popup in the middle of the panel to show you the best aerobatic manoeuvres or a set of official manoeuvres for you to follow... ... the throttle is clever as well with the normal centre push/pull knob style, but also a left pilot's grab handle style throttle as well. The sticks are very high (or long) for full minute control. Sounds are all FMOD and all taken from the real aircraft on the ground and in flight for full authenticity, and they do sound pretty perfect and close to as real as you are going to get. Get the settings wrong and you can look a bit like a dork in that the aircraft won't respond to your aerobatic whim's... ... but study a bit and get the settings right and the CAP10C comes alive and you can then start to get the precision and manoeuvres you are aiming for. Down the nose a bit to gather a bit of speed and then up and and into the loop... you feel the freefall at the top and then down the other side and recover... do that a few times and your head swells a bit to the fact that buzzing the tower on KLAL field feels like a good idea. The headiness will go away quickly once you decide to land... as it is the same as taking off in keeping your speed low in the low 70's Km/h range... ... you tend to keep the nose high and almost at stall point, which doesn't help in the vision ahead on placing the aircraft correctly down on the runway. You can place the 10C down and almost on the three wheels at the same time, but then it is hard to run off the speed and then slow down even from the low 60Km/h tochdown speed. Get it wrong and you with lose the aircraft as it starts to weave badly and even dig in a wingtip into the tarmac, and it took a few practise landings to get it all right and taxi back to the stand area in one piece... it is really tricky to do and not for the faint-hearted as it is all too very easy to get it all too very wrong. Liveries There are five aerobatic themed liveries and all are well done, two are very similar side on but with different layouts on the underside. Lighting This CAP is not really a night flying machine and so the lighting is quite basic. The instrument panel however is really nice at night with some really nice effects and feel, the lovely annunciator panel is testable and looks great in the daytime or darkness. Only difficulty though is the lighting manipulators centre panel. They are created for scrolling of the knobs and that works fine, but try to manipulate them manually and they are very hard to turn, and with a different manipulator for each knob... tricky. External lighting is very basic with one really large landing light that seems to be not adjusted. Summary For a great aerobatic aircraft you can't go past this gem of a CAP 10C. It comes with a lot of information from real aerobatic pilots to allow you to get the very best out of the aircraft in it's aerobatic roles, but it has a simple cross country role as well if you just want to fly point to point and not wanting to get yourself twisting around all over the sky. Setting the aircraft up correctly for aerobatics is important, but you get a lot of help from everyone involved and the set up can be versatile as well, with one or two (a trainee?) pilots set in the aircraft. It is a very tricky aircraft to takeoff or land at slow speeds and in this area you will need a lot of skill, it is focused on and for a very capable pilot anyway. If you do have high aerobatic skills then you will get the very best out of the aircraft as it is focused on that aspect and tuned out for that area as well. Modeling overall is very good and that lovely canopy is totally worthy of a VR headset alone, a few quirks are noticeable in still turning wheels, tricky manipulators and that oversized landing light are not really negatives. Avia71 is a focused designer on these sort of aerobatic aircraft and again delivers a gem of a machine for that particular genre. There is a lot of professional input and testing to know you are getting the very best in that aerobatic delivery as well in realism, and that is what you are paying for in the end... in the end only one thing sits mostly in my mind after reviewing this CAP 10C, and that is in god that you really want that Virtual Reality aspect for aircraft like this... it would be absolutely mind blowing. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Mudry CAP 10C by Avia71 is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Mudry CAP 10C Price is US$24.95 Features Switch between aerobatics and utility mode (no reload needed) Exclusive electronic G meter/recorder/audio warning Choose at any time your favorite instrumentation (no reload needed) Retractable document holder on panel Load your own aerobatics diagram Sounds volume adjustments on panel Switch windshield and instruments reflection on panel Interactive checklist Weight and balance interface with calculator Internal failure system Complete circuit breakers management Flaps & trim locker for aerobatics Mixture fine adjustment Aerobatics manual by Thomas in English and French and a bunch of tips and tricks Other features Hgh-fidelity flight model Accurate 3D modeling Extremely detailed 4K textures Physical Based Rendering Ambient occlusion FMOD sounds recorded on the real model 5 liveries fps friendly Requirements: X-Plane 11 (not compatible with XP10) Windows, Linux or Mac 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended Installation Download of the Mudry CAP 10C is 236.40mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 247mb folder. Support forum for the Avia71 CAP10 Documents Provided documentation relating to aerobatics is excellent with not only aircraft General, limitations and procedures provided. But also Aerobatic Basics in English and French. There is no instrument descriptions and panel layout information, and on this aircraft it would have been or should have been indispensable to have the information available considering the unique instruments fitted. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 24th October 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by NAPS (uploaded by Nicolas) (X-Plane.org) - Free
  2. Aircraft Review : Fournier RF-5B by Avia71 Motorised gliders make the hard part the easy part... that is just getting up into the air. And once up there it is nice to be able to position yourself quickly at the right point to collect the full potential of those lifting updrafts. So you don't then have to rely on a puller plane to get you up in the air, and if you get bored you can easily power up and head on home. The disadvantages are of course the weight you have to carry around with you, it is not a pure gliding experience par excellence, but in reality the disadvantages outweigh the purity of the sport as this versatility makes the aircraft easier to run, use and fly without any outside assistance and it is those set of conditions that have made the Fournier RF Motorglider a very popular aircraft. These aircraft are known as "Touring Motor Gliders" for the obvious reasons, but there are different ideas to do the same thing. Most of these lightweight powered gliders have only a small puller or pusher engine, either mechanical or electric. Where as the Fournier is different is that the engine is quite large and very powerful for the size and weight of the airframe. The B version here uses the 50.7 kW (68 hp) Limbach SL 1700 E Comet engine, and that makes it a true touring aircraft that just happens to good at gliding and be semi-aerobatic as well. Built by René Fournier in the central French area of Nitray , near Tours. The famous RF aircraft was the first of what we now call Touring Motor Gliders. The Frenchman already had an outstanding pedigree as René Fournier as he was already a recognized artist in the early 1950s, an amateur pilot, aircraft mechanic at the patented School of Rochefort , he was also poet, a violinist and especially a ceramist. He also was already highly involved in creating sailplanes and the early prototypes of the RF-5B carried small motors. Fournier RF-5B by Avia71 Gliders are rare in X-Plane, maybe one a year. And so when a new one comes along if you are albatross minded it is usually worth a look. This aircraft is a replica of the developer's personal aircraft, which was uncovered in an old hangar and restored back to flight. This is the "Lady Wander" (N99098) and the aircraft first flew in in 1971. Design wise it is basic, but well done. Remember the aircraft is not from a fully developed design studio, but one person's personal project to bring the aircraft to life in X-Plane. So detailing is minimal, but the aircraft is plugin based and not a Plane Maker design and that means it does have some quality above the standard issue basic X-Plane structures with good features. The forward panel is basic but well laid out on a cork or rough hardboard base. Four large major instruments dominate with the airspeed, VOR fix, altitude and the smaller rate of climb instruments. An amp meter is left with oil pressure and temperature gauges next. An engine RPM counter is next to the well calibrated artificial horizon, which is different but effective in its grey/black background. Airbrake indicator (0 - 1/2 - Full) and slip bubble indicator. Right panel are lighting and ignition switches with push pull choke, Fuel cutoff and Carb heat knobs below. A large compass is on the top of the panel. Below the panel is the Starter (engine) Brake and the huge handle to control the variable pitch on the propeller. This lever is important to convert from the powered flight to flattening the pitch for glider flight. On the central lower panel there is a Radio set which is an unusual unit because it is COMM (1) and NAV (VOR2) setting (usually it is Comm 1 and NAV - VOR 1) and set below is both a Davtron Chronometer and TRIG Transponder. Left side is the (small) throttle, and on the right a pitch trim lever, right down under seat is the airbrake lever. Being a two-seater the Fournier does have instruments in the rear as well, but only the basic airspeed, altitude and rate of climb instruments... oh and the second set of a stick and rudder controls to fly the aircraft. By pressing either side of the compass you can pop-up either the X-Plane GNS430 or an earlier basic Bendix/King unit. There are two options in a fully opening (animated) canopy or a twin open seat arrangement with small screens. An optional animated pilot who seems to be on a Sunday afternoon fashion posing outing can be switched in or out. Seats are basic but in a well done leather covering. Flying the Fournier RF-5B The aircraft looks very fragile sitting on the glass or hard runway surfaces. A single wheel (glider style) supports the aircraft and the wings are supported by single stick like none retractable support wheels. The Limbach engine is quite throaty and powerful as you increase the throttle and surprisingly in a low wind the Fournier is very stable on the takeoff roll. Around 40mph (35 knts) the tail will lift as you gather more speed and rotation is around 55mph (48knts) with a slight back pull of the stick. It helps to internalise that large support wheel straight away to quickly clean up the airflow around the aircraft, but you do have a fair bit of power at your disposal. The Fournier will climb quite easily but you will need to find the right balance between the power (speed) staying static and your best rate of climb, i found it was around 700fpm which is very good, but 500fpm does give you more space to go faster as you climb. Once at your desired altitude the 360º view is very good, but you will need to adjust something before you get too relaxed. Twiddling with the small trim lever will balance out your rate of climb and steady the aircraft, it is a little fiddly to get it right, but the aircraft is much more stable when you get the right setting and easier to fly over a distance. The only other force is the power from the propeller that gives you a slight yaw that you have to correct with the rudder pedals. Powered to Glider flight Once you have reached your altitude and position, you will want to go to glider mode. You stop the engine by pulling out the "Fuel Switch off" knob and then you wait until the propeller has spun down. Then you feather the prop via that propeller pitch handle to lock it into a horizontal position, and you can now go soaring... ... don't however just pull the handle across without shutting the engine first and letting it spin down, as the consequences of that action will mean you will blow up the engine and have a smoke filled cockpit. Restarting powered flight requires a bit more effort. Because the engine is not running and has become cold and so you will usually get the "Carb Ice" notice and the engine is now too cold or frozen to restart. So you first have to pull out the "Carb Heat" knob and when the notice disappears can you then push in the fuel shutoff, then release the propeller from the horizontal position and finally hit the left lower side starter button. The engine won't start straight off, but you will need a little throttle (not too much to flood it) and then it will fire back into life. With the Fournier being a well balanced Glider (correct trim important) then the aircraft is very light and easy to fly. It can turn on a dime as they say, but it is very easy to position and slips down easy for approach. The airbrake lever is positioned on the floor and you pull it up (two settings available) as noted on the panel. Note the built in checklist. Those two stage airbrakes come in like throwing an anchor out of the cockpit. So you have to be aware of the sudden speed drop and to not create a bad stall. In the air we can get a better look at that big single landing wheel. The single wheel with a safety guard is very well modeled and animated. Excuse the pun but you sort of glide in to a stable landing at around 40mph (35knts) landing speed, use the airbrakes wisely unless they will catch you out if you are going to use them close to the ground, I found a quick up and down of the lever adjusted the speed for touch down. The Fournier is quite stable back on the ground with those out set training wheels, there is none of this sudden twist when you have to put a wing down on the grass to stop, like you do in a normal glider. A gentle touch of the brakes when you have run off a little of the speed will bring the Fournier to a stop and it is of course a little faster stopping on grass. Taxiing is no problem with easy manoeuvrability just like any other taildragger. Menu You can access a pop-up menu by pressing the (71) tag in the lower left screen. The simple menu covers "Field of View". There are eight spot points of view that are good except for the two outer views which note the view towards the aircraft, but actually face forward? Covered or open cockpit, Show pilot or an empty aircraft and the radio set view behind the control stick. And if you select the clickboard image it shows a forward view above the compass? Liveries There are eight liveries including a blank white. All are quite bland, and more livery detail and depth would have helped in bringing the aircraft to life more as the 3d modeling is quite good, and there is quite a wasted good selection of great real life liveries available for this aircraft on the web Lighting I don't think the Fournier can be flown at night as the panel is completely dark and the instruments are not very visible or even recognisable, externally it is also standard navigation lights, wing strobes and a single large landing light. Performance Wing Span : 55ft 10in (17.02m) Empty Weight : 1,014lb (460kg) Gross Weight : 1,499lb (680kg) Max Cruise Speed : 118mph (190km/h) Economy Cruise : (75mph) (120km/h) Stall Speed : 42.5mph (68km/h) Service Ceiling : 18,050ft (5,500m) Engine : 68hp Limbach SL 1700 E Summary Internally and in flying performance the Fournier RF-5B is very good, but the average skin of the aircraft and liveries lets down a far better aircraft sitting underneath. Real RF-5B's have more detail as you can see the wooden slats and wing frames under the canvas, were as here the wings are mostly plain on both sides. There is slight evidence of this canvas on frame but not enough to give the aircraft life or a realistic look. X-Plane is now in the world of hyper-realistic quality modeling and textures, and you notice that here. The effects and design are good inside the cockpit, and it is really great and easy to fly and convert from powered flight to soaring flight and back again. If you want a a great motor glider and there is certainly a lot of versatility and even a lot of fun built into this great classic French aircraft, then you will love this clever machine from a very clever Frenchman. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Fournier RF-5B by Avia71 is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Fournier RF5B Price is US$19.95 Features: Complete 3D cockpit Two versions : canopy and opencockpit (switch even in flight) Two GPS included : simple receiver and X-Plane 430 (switch even in flight) Instrument switches (even in flight) HD textures Custom sounds Custom animations 8 livreries In flight special procedure for feathered propeller, as the actual aircraft Checklists and procedures inside the cockpit Pop Menu Easy access around cockpit and outside Field of view adjustment Switch between 2 models : opencockpit or canopy Installation and documents: Download for the Fournier RF-5B is 55.90mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 66.10mb. An 18 page manual with checklists and original Appendix is supplied Requirements: X-Plane 10.45+ (Any edition) Windows, Linux and Mac in 64bit mode 1Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum - 2GB VRAM Recommended _______________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th September 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global v10.50 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum - (X-Plane.Org) - Free
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