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Found 6 results

  1. Aircraft Review : SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 by JRollon and SimCoders The SF.260 was designed by Italian aircraft designer Stelio Frati, with production work originally performed by Milan-based aviation manufacturer Aviamilano. It was even before the aircraft's maiden flight that the project was then purchased out in the whole by SIAI Marchetti, who had purchased the rights to the design and the manufacturing which continued to be performed by this firm until the company was themselves bought out by Aermacchi in 1997. The aircraft is two-four seat single engined trainer, that also had the capabilities as a very light-weight strike aircraft, and that made it very popular for small airforces. It is renowned aerobatic aircraft as well, and so this is a very versatile aircraft was built to the standards of a jet aircraft rather than a light-weight trainer. Around 850 aircraft have been built since 1964, and the aircraft is still in production. JRollon and SimCoders Javier Rollon is a very early X-Plane designer from Spain. His aircraft include the CRJ-200, BAE Jetstream 32 and the T34-C Mentor, but more unknown is that he is the main developer that is responsible for most of the default aircraft that comes with the X-Plane simulator, so fly the Boeing 738, or Boeing 747-400 or even the Space Shuttle and you are flying in one of JRollon's aircraft. SimCoders are a specialist plugin developer studio that started out with their excellent "Headshake" plugin, but their main focus has been on REP's or Reality Expansion Packs that give both the X-Plane default or payware (mostly Carenado) aircraft added capabilities and features not included within the original package. With this SIAI Marchetti it is the first time that SimCoder's have been included in the original development of the aircraft, so this package is not a divided or addon pack, but both areas have been developed together as a one single whole package. First impression is that the included feature list is huge for such a small aircraft, add in the SimCoder pack and it gets really big. So no expense has been spared here by either developer on this little trainer/strike aircraft. Walkaround The SF.260 uses the Simcoder REP as it's menu system, so any or most menu options or features are accessed through that system. But first let us have a walkaround of the Marchetti, and have a look at the intimate details of the aircraft, however to access some areas it is required to use the REP pack menu system... I have always been a bit contentious towards some of JRollon's designs, no doubt they are excellent. But they sometimes they come across as a bit heavy handed, note the X-Plane Boeing 747-400, or the CRJ-200. They are very good make no mistake, but usually feel a bit heavy and dark in their designs and graphics. So my first thoughts on the Marchetti, was then is this aircraft going to go down that same dark dirty route, but to be fair Javier has not done an external payware aircraft for years, as the Laminar contracts have kept him away from the main stream so to speak. So in someways this aircraft is a new look at his current design philosophy and in the way he has adjusted his style to the newer X-Plane11 era and it's dynamics. There is one thing that has been very highly noticeable from about the same time last year and that is the sheer upward thrust of quality in detail and realism... from a reviewers point of view this level and the sheer speed of this upwards movement, can also make you look like a bit of a twat. Go back to last year and the gushing of "Brilliant", "Authentic" and "Realism" can look now a bit outdated. But the announcements were made in context to the level of design and the version of X-Plane you were working with at that time. All you can say here is, this is a new higher level of dynamics for X-Plane once again... If you love detail, then this Marchetti will be an aircraft that will really get your jollies off... words of "Incredible" and "amazing" do so easily roll off your tongue. The undercarriage is the point of truth for any design, and yes there are a lot of great assemblies out there, but "this" detail is something else, and I have a few thousand real aircraft gear images to back me up. The detail and complexity is absurd, almost an art form, but overwhelming is the wear and tear detail... the liveries that come with the Marchetti are large in size at 4096x4096 and downloads are 131mb each, but they hold some incredible detailing. It is not just the wheel assemblies that are outstanding as in their craftmanship, but the wheel-well boxes are highly realistic as well. Just look at those tyres and tell me you have seen better... Wing profile and detail is again excellent, but it is in the minute that you see brilliance... note the wing-tip fuel tank drainage plug. Lighting assemblies on the wing-tips are a work of art. The static wicks are highly realistic, as they flop in the static position but are animated in flight; they are positioned on the wing, elevator trailing edges and rudder trailing edge. Panel fit, riveting and design is first rate, as it is hard (and so many developers get don't the right amount of groove to make the panels realistic and so they look wrong), but not so here... note the lovely NACA duct on the fuselage. I have a bit of an obsession with glass, as to me perfect glass means a perfect aircraft, it is all in the shape, the thickness and the reflections.... and just when you thought it couldn't get any better, like with JustFlights Hawk T.1a then along come this masterpiece, with not only a perfection of a glass canopy, but a section of tinted glass set within the glass... and look carefully and the glass is also scratched by the elements in the air, these scratches are very and highly realistic when viewed in flight, and more so the VR (Virtual Reality) mode. Part of this extraordinary detail is the engine as well.... a Lycoming O-540-E4A5, 195 kW (260 hp) 6 cyl horizontal opposed engine! You can only access the engine via the REP menu... which I found a little annoying, surely we could have a selection to access the engine like the other static items? Note the excellent air-cooling pots or cylinders, and every nut, screw, wire and pipe is here... it is simply extraordinary detail. Cockpit and Cabin It has been a journey around the Marchetti's exterior, so how is the interior and does it live up to the same quality and detailing? Some how you already knew that this not going to be the usual case... ... although the instrument panel looks excellent, it is the seats that really early on that catches your eyes. This is obscene to almost sick in realism... the folds of the leather, the inner seat panels... agggh... it is just... well. The highlight (yes there is more than that that leather) is in the seatbelt stitching, ribbing and design... ohhh! beautiful, and tell me where there is better? Internal cabin paneling is also exceptional, lovely leather (this is an Italian aircraft after all) and again those ripples and folds... note the metal foot plate with screws on the floor. Instrument Panel Getting to the business end of the Marchetti you know it is already going to be good... ... and the detail, features and quality is going to be very high, and so you are certainly not going to be disappointed either. It does feel military but not that far removed from a general aviation aircraft. Note the lovely folds in the leather on the edge of the glareshield. First point is quirk or is it a intentional point. The lower "Avionics' switch does not turn off the avionics suite? (it is actually switched off in flight?) even with the battery switch flipped off. The only way to stop the avionics draining your power is to pull out the circuit breakers? (arrowed) and yes they all are active. There is another avionic kill switch I found later (almost hidden) in the "Emerg Avionics Master". This Emergency Battery is made by 28 AA batteries, and the Emergency Battery is connected to the ESS Bus and so over-riding the standard avionics Bus . All the instruments are beautifully done with wear and tear scratches on the glass, but they are also very realistic in that the cockpit instrumentation needles will be more precise with a newly calibrated gauge rather than with an old one. So you can tap over an indicator or a bulb light to try to correct its error or fix it while in the cockpit. And I like the way the artificial horizon is lazy and floating with no power. Instruments are complex, heavily detailed and focused on the left seat flying pilot. Standard Six instruments are in the classic layout with Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator positioned top, and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial with built-in Course Deviation Bar (CDI) centre and the Vertical Speed Indicator complete the lower set. Lower row has a fancy chronometer, a ADF/VOR pointer and a CDI or Course Deviation Indicator (VOR 2, and switchable to VOR1) Right side pilot has backup instruments with RPM dial, Manifold Pressure and Attitude Indicator line of sight with a secondary Attitude Indicator right lower. Suction dial, Fuel Flow and Temperature gauge. Centre panel has landing gear lever and Flap switch Up to 50º in continuous movement and not stepped. Then there is two rows of engine gauges that cover Oil Pressure, Oil Temperature, Cyl Temperature, LoadMeter (top) L(eft) tip tank Fuel, L(eft) wing tank Fuel, R(ight) wing tank Fuel, R(ight) tip tank Fuel (lower) - (64 gallons). The full set of active circuit breakers and lighting switchgear is on the bottom row. Under the glareshield there are four dials, they cover L to R: Fuel Pressure, Engine EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature), Flap position and Acceleration G movement. Outwardly the Avionics stack looks like the standard fit-out you usually have, but this layout has far more built in active features. Top of the stack is the standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel with the X-Plane Garmin GN430 GPS system below (COM1/VOR1). The Bendix/King KX165 NavCom is quite a comprehensive unit with: Active/Standby frequencies mode, Channels mode, CDI mode, Bearing mode, Radial mode and Timer mode. The next Bendix/King KR87 ADF Receiver is also very comprehensive with ANT/BFO/ADF modes and FLT/ET mode with SET/RST button. The Marchetti uses a Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot with highly realistic Startup animations, ROLL and PITCH mode, HDG/NAV/VS/ALT modes and Yaw Damper... finally bottom is the Garmin GTX330 Transponder with built-in Altitude Monitor mode, Count down mode, Count up mode, Flight Time mode and OAT/DALT mode, altogether they are quite impressive to use. None pop-out and that includes the default GNS 430? but the KFC225 is very easily accessible from the pilot's position. You can use the XSaitekPanels plugin and also install the RealityXP's GTN750 GPS as it can also can be used if you have that (expensive) option. Centre pedestal is tiny but excellent with; standard Throttle, Propeller and Mixture levers which are lovely and beautifully designed, the Fuel tank switch is set below... note the nicely crafted joysticks (can be hidden) and trim wheel. The SF-260 has twin-throttles with another on the far left... Italian trainee's are expected to learn to fly via the left hand on the left throttle and the right hand on the stick... Another lever lower down is a feature, with if you use Simcoder's "Headshake" plugin with the aircraft you can adjust the vibrations of either a loose or tight seatbelt, by just adjusting this lever! Rudder pedals are beautifully crafted, and the guides as they are animated are also very realistic (arrowed). Lighting The panel lighting is sensational as well, there is only one adjustment via both knobs at each end of the instrument panel... the phosphorous lighting dims slowly at night, and looks highly realistic. There is also a small yellow light above the pedestal for maximum detail and the lighting glows beautifully at night. External lighting is very good as well. Strobe and beacon lights are bit strong but fine, navigation lights and there is a single nose landing light.... that single light however is quite strong. REP or Reality Expansion Pack The built in REP package is pretty well the standard version that SimCoder's produce for other aircraft. But because it is already interwoven into the aircraft it does feel far more solid than the other REP packs. I personally am not totally a user of REP packages as they can be a bit over excited on the various systems (early engine starts were almost impossible), but they have improved quite a lot lately, so we shall see how the fully installed REP is either a bonus or a negative to this aircraft. The REP can be accessed by two menu options... one is in the X-Plane plugin's menu and the other is a pop-out on the left side of your screen... The left side screen menu tabs can be partially or fully hidden. The top plugin menu has more options with the screen version only using the centre six tabs. The first two include; "Settings" and "Wear out to". Settings include: Enable the plane damages, Show failure messages, Show tips, Show side menu on mouse hover only, Save and restore the plane status between sessions, Enable hypoxia effect, Roll axis drives ground steering, Use US Customary (pounds and inches), Pilot/Copilot altimeter use InHg and Enable engine monitor. Most of the above can be switched off, like the failure messages, tips and engine monitor. The mouse hover option is best ticked off as well... but the Save and Restore option is excellent in leaving X-Plane and coming back to the aircraft, which is then set exactly the same way as you left it, including warm fluids, CHT and Oil Temperature, switches position, the fuel on-board, the loaded weights, the engine fluids quantity and quality and the feature is excellent. To reset to cold, just uncheck the box. Wear out to; The aircraft comes with some significant failures built in and you can regulate them by setting the "Wear out" condition, there are four settings with: Brand New or the engine is brand new and all the onboard systems were just as tested. Privately Owned (new): this is an almost new aircraft that has been privately owned with care. The engine as well as the other systems will have some hours logged but no issues are in place. Privately Owned (old): this is an aircraft that has been owned privately for years. The engine as well as the other systems will have much hours logged but no issues are in place as the private owner kept the plane with good care. Flying Club: Buggered! The centre six selections on the plugins menu are the same six on the left side tab menu, they include: Kneeboard Mass & Balance Walkaround Tow Maintenance Report Automatic Engine Start All menu options have pop-up panels and you can move them around the screen, but you can't scale them, which is a bit hard as some are quite large and can cover vital instruments... so the panels can get in the way in flight, not so much on the ground. For VR users there is a custom system to access the menus and text inputs in the VR mode, so there are both systems available in the 2d and 3d environments. Kneeboard: This panel contains the aircraft normal and emergency checklists together with the performance reference tables (there are also key assigns to operate the kneeboard without using the menus). Mass & Balance: This panel is used to precisely load the plane, a Center of Gravity envelope is provided. There are settings for Pilot/Passenger/Baggage weights, Fuel Weight, Landing C.G protection and an aircraft summary is also provided. Walkaround: The walkaround feature is a combination of several areas, in settings for the aircraft in fluids and fuel, opening features and static elements. A lot of users are already very familiar with this REP system and it is excellent, but if you want say just the chocks positioned it is a long way around the walkaround to do so? The pop-up panel has two areas of walkaround choices, one is the main "Pre-Flight Check" and the other is the "Lights Check" Lights Check: This checks all the lights around the aircraft, and includes the instrument panel lighting. Note the excellent tip tank fuel cap detail! Pre-Flight Check: Does two actions in testing areas around the aircraft for flight and adding or removing static elements. It also shows fluid levels of the various systems. Static elements include: Wheel chocks, Canopy cover (nice), Wing and tail tie-downs, engine inlet covers and pitot cover. Tyre condition and wear is shown, in case they need replacing. Contentious for me is that this option is the only way to get access to that amazing Lycoming O-540-E4A5? It would be nice for the engine access to be part of the static elements? You can check the oil and its condition level. Fuel quantity and contamination levels are also shown, nice fuel cap... The active flying surfaces test feature is still here and it is very good.... ... with the surfaces covered which are the ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder. All in all the walkaround system is excellent, and there is a key command available to manoeuvre quickly through the walkaround menu. Tow: The tow feature allows you to pull the aircraft from the front nose position, you use your joystick to move left-right and backwards-forwards and at different speeds. Maintenance Report: There is a comprehensive clipboard that is a Maintenance Report... It is important to understand that the Marchetti is when used very vulnerable and has a significant built in "Custom Damage & Maintenance System". And ANY system can be damaged if used the wrong way. The Maintenance Report is one way to keep the pain away if used regularly, and it shows you the current condition of the aircraft. Note it can only be used if the engine and power is switched off, and then for the maintenance to be done on the aircraft. Engine Autostart: The REP provides you with a way to automatically start the engines. So get down on your knees and say "Thank God" for this option... It can be a pain to start, certainly from cold. Final two menu options are: "Toggle Static Elements" which is all on or all off, with no individual choices (it can be a key input as well).... and "About" which is what the current REP pack is being used. Flying the Marchetti! Outwardly this a computer program, but inwardly this Marchetti behaves like a real aircraft. The O-540-E4A5 engine breathes, has the correct (or poor) fuel flow and there is a combustion model to which all power outputs, the Cylinders Head Temperatures or the Oil Pressure which are all regulated. so the power output can be depending on climate and certain conditions, like for instance altitude... yes it is all very complex, but also highly realistic. Noted features include... Oil type, quality and quantity affects the engine behavior and the spark plugs may foul because of carbon deposits, Leaning the mixture at the wrong time or in the wrong way may cause damages to the engine, there are carburettor dynamics and ice accretion. Engine preheater and winterization kit: the engine may be preheated on winter using the provided electric engine heater. If the engine is not heated correctly, it then won’t start or may be damaged after start. There is an animated pilot... at first I thought it was a young Austin Meyer? not to sure close up... he is fully animated with lovely movements reflecting his pilot's position, and in a nice effect is that he moves his head and upperbody forward in some movements and his hands move perfectly with the joystick. Simcoder's "Headshake" plugin is recommended and so do I recommend it here also. You can use the XPRealistic Pro plugin as well if you wish, but a few extra features are used with the Headshake version and it is free. Startup can give you the shakes literally, but with great cold engine sounds and intermittent running until the engine warms up (with a bit of throttle for a fair while and then idle). Close the canopy and the external sounds dull, press on the lovely headphones between the seats and the sounds dull even more to reflect wearing the headphones... A bit of thrust, brakes off and your away, you don't need a lot of throttle to get the SF-260 moving, but I have the twin throttles on my Saitek X56 Rhino set for one lever as the throttle and the right lever as the mixture, and using both you can find a nice taxiing balance. A bit of flap 14º (the secondary runway is really short at LIML-Linate 17/35 6011ft, (972m)) and with full rich mixture and power up... the headshake can make the aircraft feel more twitchy than it really is and propeller yaw (to the left) is extreme, but around 90 knts I pull back on the joystick... Flaps to zero as soon as... and up goes the gear. The Marchetti is complex on the ground, but a very simple aircraft to fly in the air... ... it is an aerobatic aircraft, but it flies beautifully and is quite an easy aircraft to manoeuvre around it's solid axis... Simcoders note that "Low stick movements are sufficient to cause a high roll speed. If pilot over corrects it may easily end up in Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIO) around the logitudinal axis." Performance is not really exceptional...Rate of Climb is 9.1 m/s (1,791 ft/min), Cruise speed is 330 km/h (178 knots, 205 mph)... with 236 knts Max. The range is 2,050 km (1,107 NM, 1,274 mi) and a Service Ceiling of 5,790 m (19,000 ft). But I found it hard to get into the 180 knt range, and so I backed off in case I blew something up... you feel that way in this aircraft. But this is a very nice place to be in, visibility is excellent, the SF-260 must be absolutely brilliant in VR. The SF.260D engine is normally aspirated. That is, the maximum air pressure that affects the engine is the outside atmospheric pressure. It is also affected by visible moisture, the Carb Heat knob must then be operated to avoid carburettor icing at low engine RPMs or icing conditions. Icing and effects are not on the aircraft yet, but with the new icing and carburettor effects being in the X-Plane11.30 version, I would expect them on the aircraft in the near future. Sounds are custom, are fully customised and are not actually FMOD... and they come with custom engine sounds that ensure high performance and the best aural quality with dynamic immersive sounds in both the internal and external views. They are very good and highly original, but I found the cruise sounds a bit droney and almost a "ooooonnnn" sound that you soon got really tired of. KFC225 Autopilot is super nice to use even it it does not pop-out, at least it isn't buried somewhere hard to access... From the point you drop the gear (note the above read warning light that the gear is up?) you get the buffeting, highly realistic... ... but the Marchetti is a tricky aircraft to fly at low speeds, but I don't know if the Headshake is overswinging the effect, but the aircraft is very swinging in the horizontal (not much wind either). so you can over compensate. Approach speeds are 80 and 90 kt in the landing-configuration and stall speeds are right at the 61-kt limit, but you get a buffeting right at the approach of the stall speed (around 67 knts), but it makes it tricky to land and it feels quite fast as you arrive as well. Any throttle reduction is with care, as you can very easily lose height and lift... so the aircraft needs a fair bit of practice and even skill in flying the SF.-260 at this approach phase of the flying. And I have had three or so landings and still need to totally get to grips with the low speed handling, but again we don't spend this much cash and expect the aircraft to be basically very easy to fly.... we expect total realism, and that is what you have here. X-Plane does have a bad habit of grabbing you at the final phase and pulling you down on to the runway, and even with these several landings I haven't been able to dial that out, which I have done with other aircraft... but I will keep trying to find that last minute fine balance. Overall the SF.-260 has an amazing feel, and it is highly realistic in flight... There is a rain effect, that puts water droplets on the glass... but overall it feels more like flashing Christmas tree lights than raindrops? and they don't wash away in flight as you gather speed very well either... other developers have done a better set of water drop actions in this area. A final note is that if you use X-Plane's replay mode, the aircraft has a habit of jumping badly when you come out of the replay, it always hop's or jumps a small distance? Liveries There are eleven liveries with the JRollon Yellow set as the default... All are huge 4096x4096 4K textures of extremely high quality. Note the very nice SimCoder's Promo livery. Summary When I first saw that US$40+ price I went 'oooh", that is high for a small single-engined aircraft. But as this review went on, and on and looking at the size of this review and then work your way through the very extensive feature list, then this Marchetti is now looking like an absolute bargain. There is no doubt that Javier Rollon is a master developer. Certainly this aircraft will put his skills at the very top of the tree, list... whatever as one of the very best in X-Plane, and thankfully his older dark heavy period seems to have been buried. But this is simply sublime work... even you could class it as one of the best in this category in X-Plane currently. The detailing and the quality of the modelling here in the SF.-260 is off the scale, jaw-dropping it's sheer complexity and with ultra-fine detail... this is realism 101. You won't find better, and there is some excellent aircraft out there now in X-Plane. Overwhelming is the sheer interior detailing, the excellent exterior work including the magnificent undercarriage... and... and... that fully complete working Lycoming O-540-E4A5 engine, it is all "gone to heaven stuff" Features and the depth of immersion of the systems, switchgear and even the avionics are all ultra deep and very accessible... and we haven't even got to the intergrated SimCoder REP's or Reality Expansion Pack yet. Yes this package is worth US$20 alone, but here it is fully immersed into the Marchetti, with all the walkaround and static element features the package provides and it is extensive in depth and again in the way it is interwoven with wear and tear, and the general use of the aircraft... this is a machine you have to look after, even babysit to keep it in a fully functional form, just like... well the real aircraft. After all the "oohs and aahs" then is there any negatives? Well no access to that lovely engine as a static element, I feel is just crazy, you want to look at it and even see it with the machine running?, more access to the individual static elements and I think the rain effects need another rethink... It is a tricky aircraft to fly as well, very easy in flight, but taking off and in the low speed zones you really need your best flying skills, I'm not crazy about the in flight cruise sounds either, but it is highly probable they are totally authentic. So the Marchetti SF.-260 master class from the master, and come also with the excellent SimCoder REP package as part of the deal, Look back through this review and you can't say you are not getting overwhelming value for your money and it is also VR ready... and so is this Marchetti maybe even the best aircraft in depth and detail that has been released this year in 2018 as well?.. Highly Recommended! _____________________________________________________________________________________ The SIAI-Marchetti SF.-260 by JRollon and SimCoders is a new release for X-Plane11 and is available here at the X-Plane.OrgStore SIAI-Marchetti SF.260 Price is US$44.95 Features:  Code driven flight dynamics - Super fun to fly, requires your attention all the time - Realistic takeoff, landing, cruise, and overall performance - Realistic aerobatics - Realistic stall behavior (watch your ailerons!) - Impressive spin behavior - Realistic roll speed at both high and low speeds Outstanding 3D model and liveries - Very light on FPS - High performance 4K texture - 10 Liveries included - Blank textures with PSD available to create your own livery - Tire blowout is shown - Propeller blades bend on belly landing - 3D modeled engine components - Custom rain and ice effects Realistic onboard systems and procedures - Pre/Post flight walk-around - Custom hand towing mode: use your joystick to push/pull/steer the aircraft on ground - Realistic Mass and Balance - Complete electrical system with working Circuit Breakers - Custom landing gear warning system - Custom stall warning system - Custom vacuum system - Custom flaps system with realistic white-arc behavior - Custom fuel system - Custom cabin ventilation and windshield defrost system - Working Emergency Avionics switch with Emergency Battery - Working emergency landing gear extraction procedure - Canopy can stay slightly open during flight Custom Damage & Maintenance System - Any system can be damaged if used the wrong way - Persistent aircraft state: each livery has its own state that is saved between flights. Damage is cumulative. - Maintenance Report available to check the status of the aircraft and do the maintenance and repairs 100% Custom Piston Engine - The Lycoming O-540-E4A5 is modeled down to the smallest bolt and breathes air like a real engine - Custom fuel pump and fuel filter - Realistic Oil System affected by Oil Viscosity. Choose the best oil grade for your kind of operation. - Spark plugs fouling. Change the spark plugs type in the maintenance report. - Working engine preheater - A custom algorithm simulates the fuel/air mixture and its combustion - Custom carburetor system with custom icing behavior - High fidelity power curve - Custom system failures - Realistic startup behavior and procedures - Automatic startup option for quick start High fidelity cockpit - All switches work like the real ones - The cockpit is illuminated by 3D lights - The instruments wear out and may give incorrect reading. Tap over them to temporarily try to reduce their error. Fix them in the maintenance report. - The cockpit light and indicators bulbs may start blinking and fail. Tap over them to temporarily try to light them up again. Replace them in the maintenance report. - Realistic phosphorous lights that dim at night as time passes by - Working Circuit Breakers that you can use to shed the battery load in case of generator failure - Support for RealityXP GNS - Bendix/King KX165 NavCom - Realistic startup animations - Active/Standby frequencies mode - Active only mode - Program mode - Channels mode - CDI mode - Bearing mode - Radial mode - Timer mode - Bendix/King KR87 ADF Receiver - Realistic startup animations - ANT/BFO/ADF modes - FLT/ET mode with SET/RST button - Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot - Realistic Startup Animations - ROLL and PITCH mode - HDG/NAV/VS/ALT modes - Yaw Damper - Garmin GTX330 Transponder - Realistic Startup Animations - Altitude Monitor mode - Count down mode - Count up mode - Flight Time mode - OAT/DALT mode - PA mode HeadShake Integration - Use a custom lever in the cockpit to strengthen the belts and reduce the G-Force effects during aerobatic flight Custom three dimensional sounds - Custom sound engine that ensure high performance and quality - Dynamic immersive sounds in both internal and external views - Sounds are muffled by closing the canopy and wearing the headsets - The canopy can stay slightly open during flight to let some fresh air in: you will feel the wind blowing on your face - Enjoy the engine sound suffering the torque effects during aerobatic flight VR Compatible Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended (release and review version v1.01) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation: Download for the SIAI-Marchetti SF-260 is 264.45mb and the unzipped file is deposited in the "Fighters" X-Plane folder Download of the separate SF-260 Liveries file which is 1.07gb is also required... ... and the combined installation is 1.35gb. Key authorisation is required for the Simcoder REP package and a restart is required. Skunkcraft's Updater is also installed Documents: User documents are extensive with both a User Manual and Checklist -References REP-SF260-checklists-references.pdf REP-user-manual.pdf It is highly recommended to read the user manual before flying the aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton  16th November 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.25 (tested also in X-Plane b11.30b4) Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : Headshake Plugin - Free : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - LIML - Milan Linate Airport 1.0.0 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free 
  2. Aircraft Plugin Review : REP for Default B58 Baron by SimCoders Laminar Research provide with the X-Plane simulator a variety of aircraft from heavy jets (B737/B748/MD-80), Gliders (ASK21/Aerolite 103), Fighter (McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom) and General Aviation aircraft such as the Cessna 172SP, KingAir C90B and the Baron B58. The aircraft are very good with a lot of features, but are mostly basic compared to the high-quality payware aircraft. So this leaves the door open for 3rd Parties to develop plugins to enhance the basic setup to add in something more realistic to make these already very good aircraft more realistic. And this is where SimCoders comes in. They design REP or Reality Expansion Packs to enhance the aircraft in various ways and to give the aircraft a more of the realism effect that you would get with a real world aircraft. But you would first say "I already have a REP pack for the B58 Baron?" and that is correct, but not for this Laminar Research B58 Baron, but for the Carenado B58 version of the aircraft. But first let us look quickly at the donor aircraft from Laminar Research. The aircraft is actually very good as Laminar Research use these default aircraft to show off the simulator and even use them as test aircraft for various new effects or features. They are well detailed and fly very well, but there is a basic feel to them compared to most payware addon aircraft, but again they are free (with the simulator) after all. The instrument panel makes high use of the instruments provided by PlaneMaker, the aircraft builder application that also comes with X-Plane and the internal design is again very good, but you can see the a lot of the basic 3d design if you dissect the aircraft into its separate design components... ... but the aircraft do come with the default features of FMOD sound, opening doors and good avionics. You can hide the excellent yokes as well and the cabin is nicely fitted out. So overall you won't be disappointed even by this basic aircraft as it does everything you expect it to and the B58 Baron Twin also flies very well. SimCoders REP - Reality Expansion Packs The idea of these packs are to bring a bit more of the everyday running of a GA light aircraft to life. Basically if you have used one REP pack then they are all the same with just the aircraft they are attached to different. The REP package is installed in the aircraft's folder in the Plugins folder (not the X-Plane/resources/plugin folder). I recommend to duplicate the original aircraft folder to keep both aircraft active and rename the new folder "Baron B58_REP" The REP plugin does however still show in the main X-Plane/Plugin menu when you drop it down from the header bar... and asks you to "Enable Package". This "Enable" is really an authorisation process and the licence key provided with your download is inserted into the pop-up panel and you then activate (internet connection is required) the plugin via the "Ok" key. When verified then the pop-up panel will note for you top reload the aircraft. I will always note to do a complete desktop start of X-Plane in these sort of aircraft restarts, this makes sure the full systems are reloaded (inline) correctly. When activated the REP menu then changes to a different menu format and you now have three separate items in: Settings Disable Package About I am going to note these menu options in reverse order: "About" is your REP version number and copyright and that SimCoders really love what they do! The "Disable Package" option allows you to uninstall the REP package on the B58. With the REP active there are three areas now available. An information banner across the top of your screen and a set of menu tabs on your left. The other item is the pop-up panel for the REP "Settings" There has been a lot of changes since the earlier REP packages and this shows here in the settings menu which is different from the earlier version but easier to use. In the earlier settings panel there was only six settings were as now there are twelve settings (up from six*) that you can choose from: Enable the plane damages* Show Failure messages* Show tips Enable Mouse gestures* Show side menu on mouse hover only Save and restore aircraft status between (flying) sessions* Enable VR Support (Experimental: May scare the hell out of your cat) Enable hypoxia effect* Roll axis drives ground steering Use US Customary* (originally noted as "use imperial or metric units") Advanced Settings Enable realistic engine differences Enable engine monitor This newer settings option panel does eliminate a lot of the original annoyances in the fact you couldn't turn items off like the "tips" and other pop up notices that were constantly annoying in the top banner as you flew. Tab Menu There are six tabs to use on the left side of your screen, you can have then slightly present, or hide them completely with the settings option. And they are in order: Kneeboard Mass & Balance Walkaround Tow Maintenance Report Automatic Engine Start Kneeboard The "Kneeboard" has three pages of references: Normal Operations, Emergency Procedures and (Speed v) References. The kneeboard pop-up does have a quirk in annoyingly popping up all the time when you press a tab on other menu items, once or twice is fine, but then it gets constantly annoying coming up in your face. Mass & Balance The aircraft setup menu is very good. You have "Load Stations" for pilot & passenger weights, baggage weights and fuel weight (Fill) and all the settings are reflected on a graph of Mass and C.G. (Centre of Gravity). in the settings menu "Use US Customary" allows you to switch between lbs (left) and kgs (right). Loading the aircraft is quite easy with the panel filled in, when done you just press the "Apply" button to lock the settings in. You get a "Landing C.G. prediction in flight time and fuel flow and an aircraft summary of your weights in Empty, Payload, Fuel, Takeoff, Minimum Takeoff and Takeoff Centre of Gravity arm (which I think is runway length aim?) "Fill Tanks" will fill both fuel tanks to full, but here with the full tanks it puts me over the weight limits and hence the warning. Walkaround The "Walkaround" feature is very good and to a point the heart of the REP package. There are actually two walkaround modes... one for "Lights Check" and one for "Pre-Flight". You can toggle all the light switches on or off by pressing the "Toggle Lights" tab and then use the "next" to go around the aircraft to check the aircraft's lighting with the tail beacon, both leading edge (navigation/strobe), both Landing lights and front wheel strut taxi light. "Pre-Flight" is the main Walkaround of the aircraft. In reality it is same feature here of all the REP packages from the start, but it is very good. You start inside with checks to the (yoke) Control Lock, Parking Brake, (power) All Switches and trim tab (set). Then you move externally around the aircraft via the same (Next) tab and can go back to the previous check point by pressing the "Previous" tab. Some points are cleverly animated in that by pressing the tab you can move (or test) the rear tailplane and rudder... the same can be done with the ailerons and flap flight control surfaces. Static elements can be added or removed like with both wing and tail tiedowns, chocks and pitot covers as you move around the aircraft. But there is slight odd anomaly here with the static elements? If you load the REP B58 Baron with engines running the chocks are still in place? And too remove them you then have to shutdown the aircraft, then do the full walkaround to the chocks, and then restart the engines to fly? There should be a tickbox in the settings to add All static elements or Remove all Static elements. There are display gauges on the walkaround to note Tire Wear, Oil quantity and condition (the lighter the oil colour the better the oil is)... ... Fuel Contamination (again the lighter the better) and pitot probe temperature. Static elements cover all probes and engine inlets. It is a very good Walkaround system, and the walkaround works in with the later tab of "Maintenance Report". Tow The "Tow" feature is quite basic but works really well. Selecting "Tow" will put you on the front of the aircraft and then you use your joystick to move the aircraft in forwards, backwards and left and right. Maintenance Report Like the Walkaround you can maintain the B58 Baron with this feature... if areas need like changing like the Tyres, Oil, Oil Pump, Spark Plugs, Fuel Filter, Starter (motors) and even the condition of your engine's Compression is noted. Areas that need attention are noted in RED and a click will do the job. There are five pages in the report, but on some pages like page 3 there are other options like a Fan for Pre-Heating the engines before flight in a kit known as the "Engine Preheater and Winterization Kit" that also includes... ... the choice of fitting Cowl Fairings within the engine cowls. So it is a pretty comprehensive report and gives you high access to the aircraft's functionality. Automatic Engine Start One of the most annoying actions in the original REP packages was starting the engines. There is realism and there is also the "drive you up the wall factor" and starting the engine in a REP pack was certainly in the latter category. But here we now have an automatic engine start feature, and it goes through the process of starting both the B58's Continental IO-550-C engines and tells you via the banner bar on what in the process is happening. It works very well and handy to note the sequence starting procedure for each engine. I will note it however didn't like the way I had my throttle settings in that instead of each throttle for engine one and two, I had it set as one throttle lever for both twin engines and the other throttle lever for both engine conditions in like I use this set up with flying single engine aircraft... that arrangement confused the REP and both engines started very differently and wouldn't link together cleanly and I couldn't get the prop sync to lock, once I switched back to an engine to each throttle lever the problem went away. The effects of Vapor Lock Simulation and Fuel Flooding simulations are still there for your amusement (or frustration) and if you go too far in mis-treating your Baron then the engine parts can be damaged if not managed correctly. You do get a the "Engine Monitor" that shows your engine's condition in the banner on the top of your screen (It noted the engine power output differences when the engines would not sync together) And when they did after the throttle changes (above right)... Realism 101 It is just not the external aspects of the B58 Baron that are effected, but also so are the dynamics... There is also in the package Realistic taxi behavior, Realistic stall speeds & behaviors, Realistic climb speeds, Realistic cruise speeds and better flying characteristics with the more (set) Realistic Weight & Balance. The stall behavior will also activate a stall warning for the aircraft. And you can set (or choose not to) the realistic differencies between the engines and the different throttle/propeller/mixture settings required for each engine and also the different CHTs and oil temperatures between the engines. Sounds in the earlier REP Packages were an advantage, but that feel is slightly null now as Laminar Research now uses the excellent FMOD 180º sound effects to well "great effect", but here are a few sound effects that still add in a few more extra aural specialities like engine clicks and stutters and engine humming sounds when the engines are not synchronized, and staring up the REP gives you a far more better starter sound. Ditto the featured fuselage wind, landing gear wind and Independent touch down sounds that is used with the SimCoders "Headshaker Plugin", as these again were a great early set of features. But most users now have or use the XPRealistic Plugin that does the same thing but also better and more effectively. But that is not saying it is not a good set of features because they still add in a better dimension to otherwise what is a basic aircraft. You get realistic gyro wander (or drift) and real HSI behavior and the fuel consumption that is more accurate than the default aircraft's performance that also includes flap drag and wind calculations. If you are hard on your aircraft then the REP won't be kind to you? damages are and can be triggered by the pilot actions or poor piloting skills which is based on real world data and can target every system in the aircraft and this is all meant to teach you how to correctly manage the aircraft. This goes for especially for hard landings, because if you hit the ground too hard and then landing gear can be damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations, the brakes and tires can also be damaged if not managed correctly and you will get the above Maintenance Report to show you your poor piloting actions. Even when your flying day is over the REP will still be working on items like if you leave the power on then the battery will discharge unless you turn it off and that is even if you leave it switched on and close X-Plane? Start X-Plane up again and you will have a dead battery to contend with. And that is with also all your current persistent aircraft wear and tear is recorded and every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft as is the the engine and oil temperature which are also restored basing on the time passed. In other words the aircraft is in exactly the same condition (or worse) when you come back to the aircraft for another flight and you certainly don't get a newly set aircraft to fly in, and overtime those hours and the wear and tear will add up in the Maintenance Report and will require attention. Summary What the Simcoder's REP or Reality Expansion Pack does is take a standard aircraft and lets face it the Laminar Research B58 Baron is about as basic an aircraft you can get and Supercharges it and gives it a load of features and actions that makes it more in the payware zone than the default aircraft that comes with the simulator. And the REP does a really good job in this case with the B58 Baron and it covers a huge multitude of areas in performance, wear and tear, damages to the aircraft and fluid use. The effects on your systems are also covered in every aircraft area from the electrical systems, Oxygen and mechanical wear and tear on wheels and tires, overall the system coverage is quite extensive and you will need to look after and maintain the aircraft to a certain standard if you want to fly it regularly just like well really a "real" aircraft. The REP has come a long way as well since the earlier versions that were just a little too invasive and made the aircraft just a little too realistic in that it got in the way of actually flying it. The better menu management really helps here now as does the "auto" engine start up that helps in simply starting the engines. An area that still needs attention is in either the cold start or hot start? You need more control over setting "all" static elements in either all on or all off positions, and shutting down the aircraft to simply restart it again just to hide the odd pitot cover or wheel chock is silly? As is when closing with up a simple shutdown (of everything) is also required in not to say drain your battery. This REP package is certainly very comprehensive and it goes a long, long way in bringing the quite basic default B58 Baron to life and with far more features and actions than what the aircraft actually has when it comes with the X-Plane simulator. I wasn't a big fan of the earlier REP packages, but this one here is now actually very good on the Baron, and Simcoders have made the REP's more user friendly and not as invasive as their earlier packs. So if you like an immersive and realistic feel of running of your B58 Baron, and yes this package does go very deep, then you love this plugin. The REP-Reality Expansion Pack is better than ever and lifts a pretty standard aircraft into a more far complex and detailed aircraft for you to intergrate with... ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack for default B58 Baron is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reality Expansion Pack for default B58 Baron Price is US$19.99 The Default B58 Baron comes with the X-Plane11 Simulator, no other costs are required Features: Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Simulation state saving Persistent wear and tear Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane When X-Plane is launched, the engine and oil temperature are restored basing on the time passed Realistic IO-550-c Engine Simulation Engine monitor Automatic startup procedure Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Realistic differencies between the engines Different throttle/propeller/mixture setting required for each engine Different CHTs and oil temperatures Realistic engines synchronization Custom propeller governor Correct fuel consuption Cowl Flaps Drag Oil System: Realistic oil viscosity Interchangeable oil type Oil pump failures Realistic oil filter Injection Fuel System: Realistic fuel pump behavior Realistic fuel filter Interchangeable spark plugs: default or fine-wire Spark plugs fouling Realistic Lean of Peak and Rich of Peak operations Starter Realistic startup procedure Realistic engine temperatures Vapor Lock Simulation Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Engine Preheater and Winterization Kit The engine may be warmed up upn start with the provided electrical heater Once activated, the electrical heater runs even when you close the simulator A winterization kit let the airplane to operate at very cold temperatures Realistic Landing Gear The landing gear is damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly Electrical & Avionics System Realistic Battery The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down Learn with the in-flight tips A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane New in v3+ Custom stall warning horn Gyro drift simulation Simulation of Hypoxia Tunnel Vision Hard Breathing Stunning sounds 3D sounds (custom FMOD-like sound engine) Realistic engine clicks and stutters Realistic engine humming sounds when the engines are not synchronized Real starter sound Fuselage wind sound Landing gear wind Independent touch down sounds Real avionics sound Realistic open window wind sound Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Fuel quantity check Oil quantity and quality check Lights check Postflight walkaround Interactive towing Push, pull and steer using the joystick Towbar simulation Weight & Balance Tool Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves Popup Kneeboard Complete normal operations checklist Complete emergency operations checklist Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Oxygen system tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab HeadShake Integration REP drives HeadShake to simulate the correct vibrations of the Continental IO-550-C engine Avionics Realistic gyro wander and HSI behavior ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac or Linux Designed for the default B58 included in X-Plane 11. No Third Party Aircraft Required. Does not work with other B58s. Current version: 3.4 (March 28th 2018) PS: Customers who own the REP 58 Carenado can get this REP B58 LR for 60% off. Please find the coupon code in your Original REP B58 invoice at the store. ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 23mb which is unzipped and is inserted to the Aircraft/ Laminar Research B58 Baron "Plugins" folder. Key authorisation is required. Documentation : includes changelog.pdf REP-b58-checklists-references.pdf Manual.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 4th April 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.20 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery or Aircraft - EGGD - Bristol International Airport by Pilot-Plus + (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$22.95
  3. News! - Reality Expansion Pack for Laminar Cessna 172SP by Simcoders Simcoders have released one of their Reality Expansion Packs (REP) for the default Laminar Research Cessna 172SP. Extensions of Laminar Research's default aircraft are becoming the rage lately, and that is not a bad idea either in just ask anyone about ZIBO's work on the default Boeing 738. If you are not familiar with Simcoder's Reality Expansion Packs then they are a plugin that adds in functionality into an aircraft that covers areas like: Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior Dynamic ground roll sounds The plugin changes the complete behaviour of the donated aircraft, and goes far beyond the basic set of systems in adding more features like: Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Full engine management and interaction! Realistic IO-360-L2A Engine Simulation Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Correct fuel consumption Oil System Realistic oil viscosity Interchangeable oil type Oil pump failures Realistic oil filter Injection Fuel System Realistic fuel pump behavior Realistic fuel filter Interchangeable spark plugs: default or fine-wire Spark plugs fouling Realistic Lean of Peak and Rich of Peak operations Starter Realistic startup procedure Realistic engine temperatures Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Electrical & Avionics System Realistic Battery The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down Learn with the non invasive in-flight tips A tip about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A tip about how to fix the problem is shown when you damage the plane Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Fuel quantity check Oil quantity and quality check Interactive towing Push, pull and steer using the joystick Towbar simulation Weight & Balance Tool Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves Popup Kneeboard Complete normal operations checklist Complete emergency operations checklist Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane As X-Plane is launched, the engine temps are restored basing on the elapsed time Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab And! Stunning sounds Realistic engine clicks and stutters Dynamic ground roll sounds Real starter sound Fuselage wind sound Landing gear wind Independent touch down sounds Real avionics sound This is a complete package to totally enhance the standard C172 up to a payware standard aircraft, highly recommended... You do require X-Plane 11 to use this package, and it is available for all platforms in Windows, Mac or Linux Current version: 3.10 (August 17th 2017) _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Reality Expansion Pack for Laminar Cessna 172SP by Simcoders is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reality Expansion Pack for Laminar Cessna 172SP Your Price: US$19.99 The Cessna 172SP comes free with X-Plane11 ____________________________________________________________________________________ News Announcement by Stephen Dutton 18th August 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Images supplied courtesy of Simcoders
  4. Aircraft Update - CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado + Reality Expansion Pack by SimCoders The main v3 updates for the Carenado aircraft were done this time late last year, this v3.1 update is not a full complete version change, but more of a tweaking in bringing the aircraft current and to update with the finalisation of Laminar Research's v10.42 X-Plane serial change. A note that the whole Carenado range will be updated to this v3.1 version by Christmas, so check your accounts to download the newer versions. As there has also been released an addon Reality Expansion Pack (REP) by SimCoders, I have included that package as part of this update review and so this post is divided into two parts with the v3.1 update first and the REP later. The CT210 is the aircraft with the retractable spindly landing gear. This gives you a very clean aircraft with just the fuselage, tail and the highset wings in profile. The Centurion II is a six-seat, high-performance aircraft with retractable-gear, and a single-engine turbo IO-520-L engine with 300 hp (224 kW) that covered the versions K,N and R and was built from 1972 to 1986. Our Review : Mini Review : Carenado CT210M Centurion II HD Series - Ver 2.0 is here. This is a very nice but tight cabin aircraft with the inside and outside detailing it delivers all the usual Carenado qualities, the main panel is outstanding. I love the blue tinged lighting, it is a really nice place to fly an aircraft, the CT210 is very well equipment wise fitted out as well. The Autopilot is a Bendix King KFC225, with the highlight of the great digital readout, which I really like. CT210 Centurion II v3.1 update The v3.1 update is not very large but still quite significant in what it changes and delivers. First off is the KFC225 Autopilot panel now pops out for use, which is very handy on approaches. A lot of work has been done on the aircraft sounds. The linked volume to the internal sound now allows for the X-Plane's (audio) settings to transfer to the plugin-based sounds. The mute button is now also directly controlled the same way. The sounds differences are certainly noticiable in and outside of the aircraft, in being more clearer and distinct. The undercarriage gear sounds have been highly improved to match that excellent gear stowaway animation. The main lighting in taxi and landing lights have been made 10.40+ compliant (Halo size remastered, so it doesn’t look huge on large monitors) Carenado have got the halo sizing correct, as too many aircraft now in X-Plane have blobs of light and not aircraft lighting, here it is excellent. The Garmin 430 GPS units (Two Sets here) where installed in the v3.0 update but are still a significant feature in this aircraft. The POV (Point of View) has had a tweak change from 120 to 150, this is for multi-monitor use. Interestingly Carenado have shied away from .dds files and brought back .png textures. They note because of the .dds poor appearance, and some transparency problems. The excellent texture efficiency of the aircraft is not changed, but I agree the aircraft does look (a little) better. Finally the flight dynamics have been tweaked and the auto-toe-brake infrastructure has been removed, since X-Plane 10.40 now has that feature built-in. The panel lighting has had some fine tuning, and very nice it is. The overhead lighting is red (above on the roof) and you can control the left and right sides of the panel lighting... Outside the lighting feels tighter and more sharper. That covers the v3.1 update. Full changelog notes are listed below. _____________________________________________________________________________________ You can purchase for the Carenado CT210 Centurion II v3.1 an addon extension pack from SimCoders. This extensive package will change the aircraft into a more deeper simulation very similar to the style on the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs. Installation The Expansion pack comes with a large set of files (left) that have to be inserted within the Carenado aircraft folder, I made a duplicate aircraft and noted the Expanded version REP. There is a full set of instructions provided to understand of how to set up the files correctly and what folders certain files have to changed or replaced (right). Note, this REP package is not in any way connected or endorsed by Carenado, so any changes, bugs or failures are not the responsibility of the developer. Also required are two extra plugins from the SimCoders site: HeadShake Plugin - HeadShake v1.5 Xsaitekpanels (lin+win+mac+32/64) 2.46 - Xsaitekpanels If you have a set of Saitek instrument panels, this plugin will allow you interact with them. the "xsaitekpanels.ini" has to be inserted in the Carenado CT210 Centurion II v3.1 (REP version) aircraft folder to work. Once the installation is complete you will need a key code to activate the Expansion Pack that is included in your purchase receipt. On start up you will notice an added menu to the left side of your screen, this menu covers from top to bottom: Checklist Walkaround Tow Maintenance Hangar Weight and Balance But you can't access it? If you try any of the tabs (except the Checklist tab) you get a warning that you can only use it if your "aircraft is on the ground and the engine is off"? Well there is no doubt I am sitting on the ramp and I guess with the propeller sitting straight up and not moving would mean I do actually conform to the arrangement? Turn off all the electrics and I am still in a no go mode, with the warning boxes still telling me to put the aircraft in a static position? Then I get another banner to note that my (inert non-moveable, unpowered) engine is experiencing a "Vapor Lock"? and to turn on the fuel pumps.... hummmm. To get out of this cycle of warning boxes you have to restart the aircraft in X-Planes" startup in the "Cold and Dark" setting (operations and warnings menu). Then the side tabs will work. The banner for the "Vapor Lock" is joined then by another jolly fun alert strip in "The Engine is flooded with fuel" which is fine, but if you turn on pumps then it will be won't it? And on it goes? The odd thing is that the aircraft is still turned off electrically... even the pumps? You can thankfully actually disable the in-flight tips on the screen by going into "Plugins" then "SimCoders.com - REP" and into "Settings" and change them there. I understand what it is in this aircraft in what it is supposed to do, so don't get me wrong here in the idea to create a cantankerous old aircraft that does not live by the rules. Note: the above notes were written in the context of my introduction to the REP package, that was ver2.0... Since then v2.1 has fixed the issues and include the annoying you don't now need the aircraft to be in the "Cold and Dark" mode (yahoo for that) and with the main battery switch turned off you don't get the another annoying "Flood" alert. But as the images are done in the V2.0 context the alerts will still show. You can fix the "Vapor Lock" by turning on the power and the pumps, but again it flooded the engine. To start the engine you have to close the "Mixture" Push in the throttle to "full" and crank the engine till it runs your battery down? The trick is to turn the pumps on and to only really prime the engine and then quickly turn them off again, and with that the CT210 will actually thankfully start, if you don't get the process right and you will lose 30 minutes of trying and flatten sixteen sets of batteries? By this time in the standard Carenado CT210 aircraft I would usually be half way across Florida to Miami from Lakeland. While we let the fuel slowly vaporise out of the carburettors we will look at the menu tabs... Checklist: There is three page checklist that covers : Normal Operations" - "Emergency" - "References" the pads can be moved around the screen for the best reference. Only annoying thing is that they have a habit of appearing if you are adjusting the radios. The checklists do however pop up when setting the radios because a mouse gesture is enabled by default, the kneeboard opens when you move the mouse over the right-hand side of the screen. You can disable this in the Plugin "settings" as well. Walkaround: The "Walkaround" tab (feature) is very good, on pressing the tab you get a map of the aircraft with the various points that you go around and checkoff your list. You not only get a checklist of what you have to do around the aircraft, but you can by pressing the buttons check each of the aerodynamic surfaces (move them) and hide the separate static elements like chocks and tie-down lines. Other clever ideas are the wear of the tyres and the removal of the pitot tube and engine inlet covers. All round it is very good (no Pun intended). Tow You can move the aircraft around on the ground by using the "Tow" feature. This is best ground tow unit I have ever used. If you have a joystick then the more you pull back or push forward increases the speed in that direction, to turn just move the joystick sideways... brilliant. Maintenance Hangar The aircraft's maintenance and general wear and tear is controlled from the "Maintenance Hangar" tab. This gives you a popup with four top tabbed pages that cover "Engine" - "Electrical/Avionics" - "Oxygen System" - "Landing Gear/Brakes". Engine This page shows you your wear and tear of the engine status, and very good it is too. It covers the condition of each of the six cylinders and the time in h/m before an overhaul, you can then do an engine overhaul. Lower is the Oil status with again time h/m before oil change and type, you can top up and watch the colour change as the oil gets older. Bottom of the page is the starter, you can fix this and considering the time you spend churning the engine to start then you fix this a lot. Electrical/Avionics Here on this tab you can see the charge left in your battery (usually not much, see above) so you can recharge to start churning again, you can disconnect the battery which is a good idea as the battery will discharge overnight if you don't. A note is that all items on the aircraft wear and are used in long term conditions, so they change and details are remembered over a long period of use and don't reset up every time you start up the aircraft in X-Plane. Another small note is that when you start up the aircraft the Avionics are switched off, and you leave them switched off until the engine is running as it may cause issues with the radios, the switch to activate the avionics is on the lower fuse panel by the pilot. Part of the package is to give you guidance and warnings on operating the aircraft, It works but can get a little annoying after using the aircraft for a period and you know then what to do, a switch off option of the feature would be a welcome relief. Oxygen Next Maintenance Hangar tab is the "Oxygen. On this page you can note the amount of Oxygen available via the number of people aboard the aircraft, and refill the tanks if necessary (On the ground). The Oxygen controls and Gauge are above your head on the forward cabin roof. Landing Gear/Brakes Wear and tear on your tyres and brakes are actually critical on this aircraft, you have to be light on the brakes as well in case you don't bend those spindly outset wheels. So braking heavily from speed is a no, no. You can see the status of the gear in the tab Landing Gear/Brakes page, your tyre wear and brake pad condition. All can be "Fixed" and repaired. Weight and Balance Final menu tab is the "Weight and Balance" page. On this page layout you can set your weight and distribution of the weight on the aircraft. There is an excellent graph to note your CoG (Centre of Gravity) and one image above is set with too much baggage to see the out of bound effect, other images note the passenger weight and different fuel weights. On the out of CoG settings the aircraft was sitting almost on its tail on the ramp so it shows the weight and CoG is correctly transferred the aircraft. You can refuel here and there is a complete summary of the completed choices. In flight the Extended package changes a lot of the original Carenado settings in noted... Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior It certainly felt a little better to fly actually than the Carenado version, as I have had problems rubbing off speed even in a shallow down pitch, but in the REP I was able to get down into the 60kt - 70kt zone to make a smoother less faster (less bouncy) landing. But the headshake and extra bounce on the front wheel can bounce you up and down more than I wish too, it doesn't work well with turning front wheel either. And you can actually damage as noted the undercarriage if you are not kind to it. There is realistic simulation of alternate static air, with the airspeed indicator, the altimeter and the vertical speed indicator can introduce a reading error when the alternate static air is on. There is a complex "Damages System" that is triggered by the pilot actions based on real world data that targets every system in the aircraft and this is to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane. In the realistic realistic startup procedures and other advanced TSIO-520 Engine Simulation, it is a balance between being realistic and frustrating. I think it is just on the border of frustrating in that you will find it quite slow if you want to get the aircraft airborne quickly, in part you have to wait, sometimes too long for the temperatures to stablise, and the vapor lock and starting procedure just a little too much on the dramatic side. No doubt the information has been gathered by a real CT210 performance data and real world operations, but the aircraft used must have been a really old cantankerous thing to operate. Certainly familiarity and use of the aircraft over a long period of time will reduce these operational matters. Sounds are certainly very good, but as noted above Carenado have updated the sound package in the v3.1 release, and personally I prefer the Carenado version... At low revs you get a lovely bass thrum and were as the REP package is more a higher dum, dum sound. At speed outside the REP version is a high very buzzy noise but the aircraft sounds nice inside at the controls. Open windows or dropping the undercarriage for great wind noise or in the walkaround you have realistic sounds if you check out the aerodynamic surfaces. So overall it is a great sound package. Summary I starting this review with the original v2.0 version it was fraught with frustration and the REP package was just buggy, to the point this review could have been a more negative result. I left the comments in to show that a reviewer's life is not easy sometimes, and how easily a few wrong set items (bugs) can deride a result that is detrimental to the plugin and reflect on sales. Thankfully v2.1 fixed the issues at hand and the REP package is certainly a great addition to the excellent CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado, however if you are a setup and go straightaway pilot, then you may find the REP package a little slow and frustrating in just wanting to fly. For the absolute fanatical sort of person that likes the ticking of a cooling engine then the addon REP is right down your street. Certainly a good addition to the Cessna 172SP Skyhawk by AirfoilLabs as they are very similar in this disguise. The manual must be read to get the best performance and tips on using the aircraft with this package, it explains how to fly the aircraft in these conditions and what to do when you go outside those flight parameters or aircraft performance positions. So both the CT210 Centurion II v3.1 update from Carenado and this additional REP package is a great combination together. There are certainly slight differences of if you have the REP package installed or go for standard Carenado aircraft, it in a way in the end it really depends on how you want to fly or approach the CT210 Centurion II for your simulation needs. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the CT210 Centurion II HD Series v3.1 by Carenado is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - CT210 Centurion II HD Series Price is US$29.95 If you have already purchased the CT210 Centurion II HD Series then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account, log in and download v3.1 from your account. Developer site : Carenado.com Developer Support : Carenado - Alabeo Support X-Plane.Org ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Reality Expansion Pack for Cessna Centurion (REP) by Simcoders is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack for Cessna Centurion Price is US$19.99 Developer site : SimCoders ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements Windows, MAC or Linux X-Plane 10.30+ - 64 bit compatible 4GB RAM/1GB VRAM - 250MB available hard disk space version 3.1 (last updated November 3rd 2015) The CT210 Centurion by Carenado above is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft Current version: 2.01 (last updated November 17th 2015) ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 19th November 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.4 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 (final) Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic v2 Scenery or Aircraft - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 2.01 by Drankum (X-Plane.Org) - Free (note: personal added items in an office (okay demountable building and vehicles) ______________________________________________________________________ CT210 Centurion II HD Series V3.1 change log -Broadened FOV to 150 (Useful for multi-monitor use, where 120 didn't cut it). -Linked volume to internal sound infrastructure (No more detached control over plugin-based audio and X-Plane internal audio. Now, X-Plane's settings transfer to plugin-based sounds). -Created mute button, which is synchronized with X-Plane’s internal sound infrastructure -Deleted .dds files, due to poor appearance, and some transparency issues. -Fixed lights to be 10.40+ compliant (Halo size remastered, so it doesn’t look huge on large monitors) -Flight dynamics tweaked (Removed auto-toe-brake infrastructure, since X-Plane 10.40 now has it built-in, and could cause conflicts with plugin). Additionally, the CT210 received the following updates: -Added pop-up autopilot -Tweaked landing gear sound -improved panel night lighting
  5. Aircraft Plugin Review : Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron SimCoders have released their latest REP or Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado's B58 Baron general aviation aircraft. This expansion pack covers many areas including the aircraft's flight dynamics, more onboard systems and failures, extra tools including maintenance hangar, a kneeboard, the weight & balance and an extensive walkaround, sounds are also more highly advanced. Carenado B58 Baron Before we cover the REP package, let us familiar ourselves with the original Carenado B58 Baron. The aircraft was released now in Nov, 2012 and that is four years ago to date. That is not to say the aircraft is old or out of date, in fact it is the opposite in the fact with the many updates and revisions the current v3.0 release is a pretty solid aircraft now with very few if any bugs or quirks. Admittedly it is a fairly basic aircraft, and has few real special effects. But that is to the good as the aircraft is brilliant and simple to fly, and a great starter for anyone who wants to learn to fly a good solid twin-engined aircraft, as for being a very good twin training aircraft I can't think of any better aircraft to use. The B58 Baron still looks and feels great as well, the lines are clean and unfussy, and it is quite fast at 205 knots (380 km/h, 236 mph) at sea level, with a Cruise speed of around 190-180 knots. Cockpit and panel is fairly basic, but again great for a first time user or if you just want a no fuss fly to somewhere. Most instruments are oriented for the pilot and the right seat is really just for casual flying. Switchgear is set out all together behind the pilot's yoke, not a lot of adjustment here like with the panel lighting (on/off) but still very comprehensive in detail. centre pedestal has all you need but nothing more in the standard throttle, propeller (feather) and rich/lean mixture levers and trim wheels. Equipment stack is dominated by two Garmin GNS 430's GPS. Both pop out for ease of use. Standard issue Garmin 347 audio panel is top with the KFC225 Bendix King autopilot below (then the two Garmin's) with a Garmin GTX 327 transponder centre and finally lower a KR87 TSO ADF unit. Cabin Cabin seating is arranged in a four seat club layout with a folding out table (very nice). Cabin detailing and (spot) lighting is excellent, and as this is an early Carenado, you still get the baggage items behind the seats and in the forward baggage compartment. Only two pop-out menus with the standard Carenado "Cameras" panel and the lower "options" panel, both are basic and there is no "autopilot" pop out that you usually get with current Carenado's. Liveries There is one blank (white) livery and four graphic liveries with the aircraft SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron So the Carenado B58 Baron makes a very good basic platform to add on a REP package. These Reality Expansion Packs are created to extend many areas of the aircraft's flight dynamics and systems and to improve on the already very good layouts from Carenado. Installing the REP Installing the REP package is really quite easy, as in the download package you get just one folder named "REP" and that folder is installed in the aircraft's plugin folder (just drop the whole folder in) and that is it, very easy and done quickly. I do recommend to have two complete versions of the Carenado B58 Baron, the standard one and one I labeled "Carenado B58 Baron REP" because you never know if you just want the basic version to just simply fly, as we shall see. When you start up the REP version of the B58 Baron you are asked for a key (provided) and the authorisation page is on the X-Plane "plugins" menu under "SimCoders.Com - REP" The drop down menu also gives you a "settings" panel to: Enable the plane damages Show Failure messages Enable Mouse gestures Save and restore aircraft staus between (flying) sessions Enable hypoxia effect use imperial or metric units With the REP package installed you also get a five tab menu on the left side of your screen. These tabs cover: Kneeboard - Walkaround - Tow - Maintenance Hangar - Weight & Balance Kneeboard First upper tab is the kneeboard or checklist feature. pop-up Kneeboard is very good and covers Normal Operations, Emergency Procedures and References (v Speeds). The kneeboard is very handy and comprehensive, but annoying as well because it constantly pops up for no reason if you press items on the panel or touch other things releated or not to the feature. Walkaround Second tab is the walkaround feature. Walkaround features are now very common in X-Plane, but this was one of the first and it is still very good. You press to check and go around the aircraft in a clockwise motion... ... It is more involing than most as many items are animated like your Ailerons, flaps, elevator and rudder. You press the centre button to check (animate) with sound all the flying surfaces, it is comprehensive and very good. You can hide/add external elements like tie-downs, chocks and engine covers... ... but the walkaround goes a lot further than that as you can also check tire wear, Oil Quantity, fuel Quantity and even the water contamination within your fuel tanks, it is as note a very comprehensive check of the aircraft. Tow You can manoeuvre the aircraft around with the third tab tow feature You need to turn off the brakes, then use your joystick with up-down for forward/reverse and left-right for left turn/right turn. Maintenance Hangar The fourth tab is the Maintenance Hangar feature that allows you to check wear and tear on the aircraft and if required then perform Maintenance to fix or rectify the issues. First two tabs relate to the two engines and their general wear and tear. As I have not done too much flying yet, the settings are still mostly as new, but you need to keep a eye on the items on this panel as you use the aircraft or suffer the consequences. There are two options on the "Engine Tools" tab. One is the "Winterization Kit" that puts two cowl fairings in the engine inlets, but watch your temperatures to not over heat the engine if you move to higher temperatures. Second is another winter tool in that you can pre-heat the engines with a (noisy) heater provided outside the aircraft. Last two items on the maintenance hangar panel is the Maintenance for both "Electrical/Electronics" and "Landing Gear/Brakes". Also note that many items on this maintenance panel are also noted on the walkaround feature and vice-versa, and all items in the maintenance panel to be changed/fixed can also only be done with the engines switched off and you have to be on the ground. Weight & Balance Another item that was rare but now common on X-Plane aircraft is the "Weight & Balance" panel. The SimCoder's version is very good with a "Centre of Gravity" graph to show you your balance and weight on the aircraft. All weights including pilots and passengers can be inputted along with their baggage. Fuel can be added or emptied, and you get C.G. predictions with estimated flying time. A total summary of all weights is shown bottom left. You can then apply all weights and fuel input to the aircraft. (note just check you do have actual fuel on board before you fly, as most times the aircraft is shown empty and not half-full as usual by X-Plane standards. Flying the SimCoder's B58 Baron Although the Carenado version is of very high quality, you do have say another complete step of features by using this expansion package. SimCoder's have made sure you get the best possible real life experience that you can get with the REP package, but one feature that I can't simply surmount every time I use the REP is just starting the engines? Yes I understand that old aviation piston engines are cranky things, just like old cars can be. But the time and effort required here to start the engines can be a bit daunting... worse here as you have two cranky engines to start and not just one? There was the point that just simply cranking over the engine with no go can go past the point of just leaving the REP package and just going back to standard Carenado aircraft to just go and fly. I have the REP package on the excellent Carenado Bonanza F33A and although I loved the added realism of the REP package, the starting feature continued to beat me and maybe I should have persisted more than returning to the standard Carenado version. Worse here than the single-engined Bonanza is my add-on Saitek throttle works both the right and left engines at the same time. SimCoders do provide hints, but they don't seem to work well for me, the starting window is sometimes just toooo tight in making it believable and accessing the rest of the package. In the most cases when they do start it is in just sheer luck or persistence, and with no constant patterns to follow, you just start churning again when you come back to restart the engines? If they flood your sunk... No doubt this is all very authentic, and I don't say that SimCoders have not done a brilliant job in recreating a perfect feel for this environment, but a slight helper or reset would make all the difference to this sequence of the simulation. If they do actually start I do love the adjustments to warm up the engines, no doubt this is highly realistic, and you can't fly until the engines are actually ready to go and all the needles are showing all the correct numbers and temperatures. You have to find the right RPM or otherwise the engines will growl at you (or at the worst conk out!), too fast and you are running too fast and too slow is the death zone. But you find the right setting by leaning the engines and adjusting the throttles, certainly a split throttle system is a real bonus with this REP here. We could never criticise Carenado's packaged sounds, but SimCoder's have certainly added a lot to the variety and depth of the sounds, certainly in the range in the engines. You now go from engine clicks and stutters, to and excellent start sounds, to the many varied sounds in the lower lean and idle throttle zones. To a point these sounds are important for you to guess the condition of the engines and the correct lever adjustments make the correct feedback including the horror "stutters" and misfiring fouled plugs... It is all very well done for realism if not for the stress it can also cause to your already fragile heart. Fine details like propeller sync can also effect the torque of the engines and you have to use it realistically here and switching on is under 25% RPM, if not you get a warning. As you adjust the engine RPM (locked together here under the single throttle control) there is a noticeable difference between each engine in performance. Certainly these differences will expand more as wear and tear with more hours of flying take their effect, and any maintenance performed is noticeable on the sounds and gauges as well. Excellent extra sounds continue in the air. Wind sounds and landing gear activation and wind noises all add into the effects of realism, but the cruise engine drone is an acquired taste, and you lose a little of the those lovely 3d surround sounds that come with the Carenado version. SimCoder's advise to use their excellent "Headshake" plugin and I would certainly second that, in fact I always use headshake as it is a very good effect plugin on all aircraft... take it away and you certainly see and feel the difference, so it is a must have in X-Plane. Systems in oil and electrical are highlighted as well and you can have oil pump failures and realistic vapour lock. SimCoder's have tuned the Baron for more realistic stall speeds & behavior, correct climb speeds and more realistic cruise speeds, the aircraft does feel significantly different. I flew the standard Baron down from KLAL to KRSW Florida and with the REP version doing the return trip, and yes the aircraft is a marked contrast from the original in all aspects of the flight model, certainly you notice the engine behavior is very different machine from the more highlighted sounds and gauges. Summary The start point with the standard Carenado version (which you have to already have to use this REP package) is certainly an excellent base line, as it is a great simple twin-engined aircraft that is sweet and easy to fly. So the extensive intergration of the Reality Expansion Pack (REP) does feel and add in a huge difference and experience to that base model design. And extensive it certainly is... the package covers a huge amount of detail, but mostly it concentrates on the feel, running and realism of running those two IO-550 engines. You work hard in this cockpit just working the levers to get the right outcome of keeping those two cranky engines flyable and in a good workable condition, and that certainly expands out the experience of using and flying your own B58 Baron aircraft and in the end that is the ultimate goal of these packages in realistically replicating the ownership of a certain type of aircraft. Negatives... for one mastering the start and operation of the engines is one of the biggest challenges you face, most owners of these REP packages will have easily done so, so don't fret it can't be done, but do expect to find that an early learning curve. The constantly popping-up kneeboard is seriously annoying, as it come on the screen at important points in your flying, like taking off or landing, and yes it is a distraction you don't need unless called for, and the drone sounds are for a particular ear. But I did really like the ultimate realism of running the aircraft and maintaining those engines, this is of course no load in X-Plane and fly aircraft, as the walkaround has to be completed and the engines when started need time to warm up and settle down (just like the real thing). Maintenance needs to be completed and this is an aircraft that would require a log book and running details noted down, but then that is what the REP is all about, ultimate realism of running your own General Aviation aircraft... and in that scenario you get the full works here. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack (REP) for Carenado B58 Baron is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Reality Expansion Pack for Carenado B58 Baron Price is US$19.99 Required for the use of this plugin! B58 Baron by Carenado: Carenado B58 Baron Price is US$29.95 REP Plugin Features Include: Ultra Realistic Flight & Ground Dynamics Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Realistic IO-550-c Engine Simulation Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Realistic differencies between the engines Different throttle/propeller/mixture setting required for each engine Different CHTs and oil temperatures Realistic engines synchronization Custom propeller governor Correct fuel consuption Cowl Flaps Drag Oil System: Realistic oil viscosity Interchangeable oil type Oil pump failures Realistic oil filter Injection Fuel System: Realistic fuel pump behavior Realistic fuel filter Interchangeable spark plugs: default or fine-wire Spark plugs fouling Realistic Lean of Peak and Rich of Peak operations Starter Realistic startup procedure Realistic engine temperatures Vapor Lock Simulation Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Engine Preheater and Winterization Kit The engine may be warmed up upn start with the provided electrical heater Once activated, the electrical heater runs even when you close the simulator A winterization kit let the airplane to operate at very cold temperatures Realistic Landing Gear The landing gear is damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly Electrical & Avionics System Realistic Battery The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down Learn with the in-flight tips A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane Simulation of Hypoxia Tunnel Vision Hard Breathing Stunning sounds Realistic engine clicks and stutters Realistic engine humming sounds when the engines are not synchronized Real starter sound Fuselage wind sound Landing gear wind Independent touch down sounds Real avionics sound Realistic open window wind sound Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Fuel quantity check Oil quantity and quality check Interactive towing Push, pull and steer using the joystick Towbar simulation Weight & Balance Tool Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves Popup Kneeboard Complete normal operations checklist Complete emergency operations checklist Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane When X-Plane is launched, the engine and oil temperature are restored basing on the time passed Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Oxygen system tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 10.50+ (any edition) The B58 Baron by Carenado is required for this add-on. It will not work on other aircraft Current version: 2.61 (last updated Nov 22, 2016) ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download is 5.80 mb which is unzipped and inserted to the Carenado B58 Baron "Plugins" folder. Key authorisation is required. Documentation : includes Manual.pdf README_INSTALLATION.txt REP-b58-checklists-references.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Plugin Review by Stephen Dutton 30th November 2016 Copyright©2016: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global v10.50 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Headshake by SimCoders (free)
  6. News! - Released - SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack Bonanza F33A If you love your Carenado Bonanza F33A as much as I do... Then this is the pack for you. When Carenado updated their CT210 Cessna lately SimCoders brought out a "Reality" package to go with the aircraft. X-PlaneReviews did a full coverage of both releases here: Aircraft Update - CT210 Centurion II v3.1 by Carenado + Reality Expansion Pack by SimCoders These extensive reality packs extend the basic (If not good already) Carenado aircraft by adding in features like: Realistic stall speeds & behavior Realistic climb speeds Realistic cruise speeds Realistic Weight & Balance Realistic taxi behavior And the full features list is very comprehensive: Complex Damages System Triggered by the pilot actions Based on real world data Target every system in the aircraft Meant to teach you how to correctly manage an airplane Realistic IO-520 Engine Simulation Realistic propeller animations as never seen before on X-Plane Correct fuel consumption Oil System Injection Fuel System & Fuel Pump Starter Realistic startup procedure Realistic engine temperatures Vapor Lock Simulation Fuel Flooding simulation The engine parts are damaged if not managed correctly Realistic Landing Gear The landing gear is damaged by hard landings and overspeed operations The brakes and tires are damaged if not managed correctly Electrical & Avionics System Realistic Battery The avionics are damaged if on when the engine starts/shuts down Learn with the in-flight tips A non invasive tip with a suggestion about the conduct of the flight is shown when you are not flying the airplane properly A non invasive tip with a suggestion on how to recover the problem is shown when you damage the airplane Stunning sounds Realistic engine clicks and stutters Real starter sound Fuselage wind sound Landing gear wind Independent touch down sounds Real avionics sound Realistic open window wind sound Interactive Walkaround Cockpit checks Aileron, rudder, elevator and flaps check Tire check and choks removal Tie-down removal Pitot tube check Engine cowl check Interactive towing Push, pull and steer using the joystick Towbar simulation Weight & Balance Tool Load the airplane and check the C.G. and weight limits at takeoff and landing The airplane behavior changes when the C.G. moves Popup Kneeboard Complete normal operations checklist Complete emergency operations checklist Complete reference tables (speed, fuel consumption etc.) May be shown/hidden with mouse gestures Simulation state saving Every single switch and lever position is restored when you reload the aircraft The battery may discharge if you leave it on and then close X-Plane When X-Plane is launched, the engine and oil temperature are restored basing on the time passed Maintenance Hangar Engine maintenance tab Electrical systems maintenance tab Oxygen system tab Landing gear, brakes & tires tab The Carenado F33A is certainly one of the very best general aviation aircraft available, I know because it is almost part of my aviation family, just a note to update to the latest version of v3.1 which is available now from Carenado and the X-Plane.OrgStore... if you want to check out the aircraft then go here: Yes! the Bonanza F33A HD Series v3.1 by Carenado is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - Bonanza F33A Price is US$26.95 Yes! the Reality Expansion Pack for Bonanza F33A (REP) by Simcoders is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here: - SimCoders Reality Expansion Pack for Bonanza F33A Price is US$19.99 Developer site : SimCoders ______________________________________________________________________ Stephen Dutton 9th December 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews
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