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Aircraft Review: 1963 Piper Comanche 250 Route : VFR Circuits at EGHI Southampton International When you think of Heinz Dziurowitz you will most likely think of many GA (general aviation) aircraft that are on the .org store with most being at a good standard quality and low price. Heinz's latest release, the Piper Comanche 250, is no exception to this. With fun and good modelling of the exterior this GA aircraft can be brilliant to fly for quick flights! From analyzing images you can see that the aircraft Heinz produces are not quite on the same quality as for example Carenado aircraft however all of Heinz's aircraft are much cheaper. But quality level I am referring to extremely detailed modelling, texturing and flight characteristics. The Piper PA-24 Comanche is a four-seat, low-wing, all-metal, light aircraft with tricycle retractable landing gear. More about the 250 variant (from wiki): In 1958 Piper introduced a 250-horsepower (186 kW) version using a Lycoming 0-504 engine, giving the PA-24-250 Comanche a top cruise speed of 160 kts (185 mph; 298 km/h). Most 250s had carbureted Lycoming O-540-AIA5 engines, but a small number were fitted out with fuel-injected versions of the same engine. Early Comanche 250s had manually operated flaps and carried 60 US gallons (230 L) of fuel. Auxiliary fuel tanks (90 US gallons (340 L) total) became available in 1961. Electrically actuated flaps were made standard with the 1962 model year. The aircraft's gross weight was increased from 2,800 pounds to 2,900 pounds in 1961, making the useful load 1,270 pounds. During this review I have used the Saitek Pro Flght Yoke and Rudder Predals, I have kept the same settings for the yoke setup so I can carefully examine flight dynamics. So, what's the Heinz version like of the Comanche? Well, I decided to take a VFR Circuit around Southampton Airport (UK) , to find out! I will now describe my encounter... I found myself at EGHI - Southampton, parked on the ramp at around 11:00am , the weather report wished a pleasurable day for a circuit. First I start with a walk around inspection of the PA-24 Comanche. Features: Integrated Garmin GNS 530 Highly detailed 3D cockpit Detailed exterior Night Textures Additional paint schemes Includes 2 versions Regular version Tip tank for longer trips System Requirements: Windows, Mac or Linux.X-Pane 10.30 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible 4Gb RAM/ 512Mb VRAM Walk Around: The exterior model of the Comanche has been modelled very well with even the smallest of details added, such as the vibrating engine I noticed. The attention to exterior detail is very good. The fuselage and wings have been modelled with precision along with small features such as peto tubes. The landing gear has also been modelled very well, the wheels are shaped proportionally and everything is how you would expect it to be. The propeller has also been modelled with detail when static you can clearly see the iconic shape of it. However textures look a little bright and out of contrast, I think that the Comanche would really benefit from weathered textures. Textures where there are shades around the bolts and streaks of oil leaking out of the fuel cap running along the wing, things like that could really help the amazing modelling stand out. Although the texture on the propeller is OK, that looks very detailed and at a high resolution. I am not saying that all of the exterior textures are low quality as they are not, they could just benefit from a weathered look and feel. All of that sad for the rest of the exterior instead of the wheels, the tire texture is absolutely spot on in terms of realism. 3D Cockpit: The 3D cockpit is OK although there are more detailed cockpits on the market if you are one for eye candy, but you must remember the very low price of this model. The modelling of the 3D cockpit is pretty basic to be honest, the panel looks flat and 2D from the captains eye point and the rest of the interior has been modeled very basically. Also textures seem to be a bit basic as well inside, the seat texture is OK however the panel and side/ roof textures really are plain. As you would expect most instruments are animated and some other nice features such as the passenger door and cargo door. The cargo door switch also opens the cowlings over the engine which is a nice feature although you do not have an option for that specifically, the cowling doors open and close with the baggage doors. On the co-pilots seat there are maps and charts which are a nice edition. The windows don't seem to be custom made, by this I mean that there are no dirt marks around the window ledges etc.. However inside still looks good without that feature. In the cockpit as always you get the pilots standard six and a the new default Garmin 530 on the panel. The 3D cockpit textures are very bright and maybe a little out of contrast, the red is quite blinding when looking around the cockpit, I think if this texture was a little darker then this issue would be solved. The sun blinds are not animated but to be honest I don't really use them anyway when flying. This may be different with the integration of the oculus rift which I may need to be able to use the sun blinds then! The piper rudder pedals are a nice edition to the aircraft,a bit blurry but a nice edition to have, the rudder pedals are also animated. Going lower down into the cockpit the seats seem very low to the floor, this may be correct for how it is in the real aircraft but it seems a little too low! Apart from that the rest of the 3D cockpit has been modeled to precision of where things are placed and there sizes. Also another strange thing, the landing gear toggle is a normal switch like what you would have for your beacon lights, this may be correct according to the real aircraft however I am very used to a lever of some sort somewhere in the cockpit! Liveries: Four liveries are included with the Comanche, all liveries are of the same quality and none have a weathered look. Each livery has been made with precision and to me each livery resembles that 1960 Piper look and feel. As you can see you get a wide range of liveries to choose from, all apart from a blank livery to design your own but maybe this will get added in the future. As well as the liveries above you may also be lucky for some people to post some on x-plane.org for you to freely download. Model Variation: When you purchase the Comanche you get two variant models. The first is the main focus of the review above, the second is the same but with tip tanks which extends the aircraft's range. The interior model is very much the same apart from the grey texture scheme which I prefer over the bright red. Externally is where the majority of the changes are, the tip tanks have been modeled carefully and are identical on either wing, that is obviously something you expect however sometimes models can vary. The flight dynamics of the tip tank Comanche is very much identical to the normal Comanche, there was not a considerable difference that could be spotted. Documentation: You get all of the documentation you will need in order to successfully operate and install the Comanche. You get one PDF (Portable Documented Format) which explains everything you will need to know. You then also get three more text files which open in notepad (windows) or such programme on Mac. The three text files are Copyright, Contact Info and operations. Operations is a key file to successful flight, it contains all procedures you will need to operate the Comanche, my opinion is that the Operations content would be much better as a section in the manual therefore it can be easily printed. Night Lighting: The exterior night lighting of the Comanche is OK, its everything that you would expect really, a rotating beacon and casting landing lights. You can also see the lights of the hangars at Southampton Airport casting over the right wing. However the interior night lighting is somewhat different to what I am used to. The interior lighting does not include any 3D per pixel lights, as you turn up the cockpit lights the texture of the cockpit brightens which for me is lower quality than normal. Normally you get a light bulb which very cleverly looks as though it is casting light into the cockpit. In the Comanche in the dark I couldn't find out where the light was coming from! it virtually just is the cockpit textures lighting up. It's perfectly fine if are not an eye candy simmer however on payware aircraft I do like to see per pixel lighting. But you must remember the low price of this machine. Normally payware aircraft are much more expensive than the price of the Comanche. Sound: The sounds of the aircraft are as you expect them to be, nothing stands out and makes it extremely immersive however the sounds are quite good. On start up you can hear the engine choke and then the running sounds. like I said, no sounds stand out to make me feel as though I have just started a real Comanche however each sound has been placed well. Something I didn't notice though, 3D sound. When circulating around the outside of the aircraft I did not hear a more clean sound when close to the engine and a more lower pitched roar moving toward the rear of the aircraft, things like that are very good. An example aircraft that has the is the Carenado Piper Malibu Mirage however again this aircraft is cheaper so really you pay for what you get. Conclusion: In conclusion is the Comanche worth a few dollars? Yes! The aircraft is great all around, yes there a few things highlighted in the review that could be changed, edited or added however it is still a great base model to have parked in your hangar. Some textures are great such as the tire textures and the textures for the seats and manuals on the co-pilots seat, as I mentioned a weathered texture would solve a lot of issues of the aircraft looking too clean. Apart from that is is great. The static pilot sits and enjoys the ride with you! He has been modeled and textured brilliantly. It's difficult to fault many things, mostly everything is animated, the vibrating engine is very good. All doors open but not the captains window, however it is there. The landing gear has been carefully crafted and animated. The interior and exterior modeling has been done to a very good standard, the main thing letting it down a little is the interior textures, the red is too bright for me. But little things like this can be sorted out in updates, it's not like the aircraft is not airworthy! Static elements could also be added, that would be a nice feature. Also another improvement could be to have an on screen menu for the doors instead of panel switches, or click-able doors and windows. In a future update that all may be added to this great little machine. The best part about it is the price! It is a good model for the price you are paying, not only that you also get two variants with and without tip tanks. So as well as great fun to fly its also customizable! Where can you find this aircraft? On the X-Plane.org Store of course for $14.95 Get the : Heinz - Piper Comanche 250 1963 - Here. What scenery is that? EGHI Southampton Intl Airport by Pilot Plus. Heinz Aircraft Support : Click here Reviewed by : Joe ©copyright 2014 : X-Plane Reviews Scenery used (payware) : EGHI - Southampton Airport by Pilot Plus. Technical Requirements: Windows, Mac or Linux.X-Pane 10.30 or higher - 32 and 64 bit compatible 4Gb RAM/ 512Mb VRAM Review System Specifications: Computer System: - Intel Core i5 3330 @ 3.00GHz - 4.00gb of RAM - Geforce GTX 650 Software: - Windows 7 64 bit - X-Plane 10 Global version 10.31 - EGHI Southampton - Alabeo C195 business liner Hardware: - Saitek Pro Flight Yoke System - Saitek Rudder Pedals.