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Found 8 results

  1. Aircraft Review : TB10 Tobago & TB20 Trinidad by JustFlight/Thranda for X-Plane11 I own and drive a French car. My first French car was a Peugeot 505 and I didn't keep it very long because it was riddled with electrical issues that were the sort that if you left the battery connected it could simply go on fire. But there was something wonderful about it (when it ran correctly which wasn't very often) that I connected with, it was quirky, but had features that were very clever and it handled like nothing else. So with the next few cars in my life I missed the quirkiness and they all felt ordinary (i.e. boring) compared to the 505. So when I bought my current Peugeot 406 I pulled it apart in front of its previous owner to make sure it was solid... It was and I have had it now for 13 Years. I can't sell it, because what would I replace it with... something boring. It is a French thing, a sort of "je ne sais quoi" as you can't really put your finger on it, but it's just different and not of the everything else. And so are aircraft the same... I think so, the Airbus A320 is very different from the Boeing 737 and yet they do exactly the same thing. In general aviation the American aircraft have totally dominated the genre for decades, but a few European designs have also done very well. One is French in SOCATA (Societe de Construction d'Avions de Tourisme et d'Affaires) with their Rallye family (3,300 sold!) and in the early 70's they wanted a bigger aircraft than the Ralle for the very lucrative four-seater market, or in other words to "Take on the Yanks". The current Rallye could actually squeeze in four people, but it was in reality only a two seater and its performance and the range was small. This resulted in the TB series or as they have become known the "Caribbean Planes" as all the aircraft were named after Caribbean Islands, TB by the way is designated by the city of Tarbes, the French city as where the aircraft is manufactured. As with the Rallye the TB Series was just as successful with over 2,150 aircraft built, the last aircraft produced was in the early 2000's as sales dropped off after the 9/11 event, but many are still flying and the aircraft are immensely popular. So here is from JustFlight and Thranda their second type of X-Plane aircraft release after the Arrow lll/lV series with the TB10 Tobago and the TB20 Trinidad. The differences are small, but the Tobago is the earlier 180 horsepower (134 kW) fixed wheeled version and the Trinidad is the later more powerful 250 horsepower (186 kW) aircraft fitted with retractable tricycle landing gear. Here are the two types, first the TB10 Tobago... The aircraft is a 1975 era lovely all-metal, cantilever low wing, single-engine aircraft design, with a quite wider than tall cabin at 49 inches (124 cm) at the shoulder, plus or minus. In part, this is due to the fuselage having a pronounced "round out" above the wing. Adding in to the actual spaciousness, the side windows extend up well into the roof line, giving the Socata a very airy feeling inside and that it can also (squeeze) in the rear seat three passengers across a bench seat. This wider cabin does however come with a few negatives in weight and speed compared to a similar American design, but owners have reflected that it is minimal tradeoff to the light, nice handling and the overall general comfort that the aircraft provides. The TB10's 180 horsepower (134 kW) Lycoming O-360 piston engine gives the aircraft a top speed of VNE of 165ktns and VNO cruise of around 128knts. TB20 Trinidad The Trinidad came along five years later with the more powerful 250 horsepower (186 kW) Lycoming IO-540 six cylinder piston engine, and was fitted with retractable tricycle landing gear. Weight was up 100kgs to 800kgs (empty) but VNE was now 187knts and VNO cruise was up to 150knts, service ceiling was up to 20,000ft (from 13,000ft) and the range was extended out from 697nm to 1,100nm. You get both aircraft in the JF/Thranda package and the type version is selected via the choosing of the livery, of which there are six liveries for each of the different aircraft type. A note in that the personal settings you set for one are then available in the other, so you don't have to do your settings twice for each aircraft. Another note on this aircraft selection setup in the X-Plane replay still also views the aircraft as one .acf load and not separate individual loads? So you must make sure that the aircraft you want to replay is the same aircraft you saved the aircraft in and the aircraft version is currently viewable in X-Plane, or you may get the wrong aircraft in the replay? This is originally like all of JustFlight's aircraft a FlightSim/P3D design converted to X-Plane (by Thranda), so it is not a pure X-Plane construction, but like with the Carenado's we sort of get the best deal of the two simulators because of the use of X-Plane's more dynamic features and lighting. That said the aircraft is more of a semi-matt finish than a gloss exterior and this does give the aircraft a more FS feel overall than pure X-Plane, as the Arrow lll had a very nice glossy feel to it, it then felt more of the other way around. Detailing is however outstanding of which at this price it should be, but it is very good with a lot of wear and tear well produced here. It does feel very high mark Carenado than most, but that is not a bad thing. All riveting and panel design is first rate, but the highlight is the glass, here it is beautifully formed and reflections are about as perfect as you could get. I like the aerodynamic fences just in front of the windscreen, which is great detail, as are the row of HF and VHF Antenna on the roof. Tail is highly detailed and again with an addon aerodynamic device. Lower tailplane is really a one single (large) wing rightly positioned across the tail and is very effective, detailing again is excellent with rear navigation light and aircraft build plates under the tailplane. End of wing lighting assemblies cover landing and taxi lights, navigation and the well modeled globe strobe light, under wing is well constructed with even the bolts protruding out of the wings ... impressed. Undercarriage action is excellent, top-notch animations with all the links all separately animated, so the gear retraction or extension is highly realistic, even beautiful to watch... ... the wheels just don't move straight up or down, but sort of drag themselves into each position as they would on a real aircraft, hi fine detail. Construction detail of the wheel assemblies are also top-notch and beautifully crafted. Internal Design You pretty well know that an French aircraft is not going to be internally like a Cessna, Piper or what have you. There is no flat panel with instruments affixed to gaze over, but there are instead separately boxed in instrument panels with a tall centre console, it is different with the same sorta feel I have with both my Peugeots, with the same but different and it all comes with a Gallic charm. The cabin fitout is a lot of grey with a few side blue highlights, and it is nothing like the glary red internals of the Arrow, and it is all even a bit on the dull side, but it is authentic. On various TB's the Instrument boxes are usually the same on the pilot's side but can be different height's depending on the instrument selection on the right side. Note the very nice clock built-in to the right yoke. I am still debating on if the texture feel on the instrument surrounds are right, the real cowling material is more of a hard looking, but softer to touch plastic, but here looks too hard, I think it is the colour that doesn't help as most material in TB cockpits are more a darker grey, some are light blue that dirty and wear very badly, But this is a tough material to replicate and overall the look is very good... Cabin fitout is excellent and highly detailed. There is a lot of different textures on show here from plastics to moldings and cloth/vinyl covered seats. The seats are very well done, but in some lighting conditions they come across as too glossy and a bit false, a few notches down in the gloss and think they would look better, the colour again doesn't help in it being a slate grey. Another point is that the seat inserts I think are cloth or that velour material, but the overt gloss again sorts of ruins that effect in certain lighting angles. In the footwells the rudder pedal assemblies are excellent with just a nice touch of chrome here and there, all items like the door catches have both French and English text for authenticity. There is a sort of sportscar feel in the cockpit that is heightened by the high and long centre console, Your fuel tank switch, large trim wheel (stabliser) and Knob (rudder) with Carburettor, Throttle, Prop and Mixture levers are all very handy for use. I particularly like the sticking up seatbelt locks that feel very 70's in their design. Menu The JustFlight style menu is the tab on the left side of your screen, and you can thankfully dissolve it or make it transparent by using your scroll wheel over it. The menu is boxed of over six across to four down in choices. Personally on the Arrow I thought it looked old fashioned, but I have got used to it as it is handy and easy to use. Top row covers the doors and walkaround items... By the menu you can open both forward doors, you can also open (and close) them manually by lifting the lever (like in the Arrow), which opens the door to a gap, and then pushing it up to fully open, and just grab the door to close and then relock. Walkaround menu items include ice fluid door and it also refills de-icing fluid, and opening Baggage door. Forward is the Oil check door and Engine inspection panel, sadly the cowling doesn't come off to see the full engine. Second menu row covers GTX 330 (transponder) pop-up window, GNC 255 pop-up, GNS 430 GPS popup (or the GTN750 payware add-on by RealityXP, if it is installed) and you can toggle window reflections, interior glass dynamic reflections and instrument glass dynamic reflections. there is a clever toggle feature that I have used many times of the overhead dome light if the engine is running, or the flashlight when starting cold and dark. Third Menu row covers a toggle for the KAP 150 (autopilot) pop-up, toggle for altimeter barometric pressure scale between InHg and mb. Toggle for the automatic fuel selector, which will automatically switch the fuel tanks every 20 minutes to avoid fuel imbalance, toggle for the Refill menu window... for Fuel, Battery Voltage and you can simulate Spark Plug fouling and Vapour lock. There is a Weight and Balance window (not actually on the Arrow), but it a bit basic compared to others (vFlyteAir's is excellent) but it works as you can still adjust the four passengers weights and baggage via a animated graph, Fuel can also be set and the results in lbs and inches are all listed below. There is a sound adjustment panel that covers Master, Avionics, Gyro/Pump, Radios, Enviro and UI sound volumes and the look of the panel and use is excellent. Fourth Menu row covers Quick Start (invaluable), Checklist which comes in a very nice clipboard folder, a "Flight Computer" panel is certainly very handy for longer distance flying as it shows you your fuel flow and estimated endurance and range and used fuel, speeds and wind. Like the Arrow there are two native X-Plane items in logbook and Ground handling? and the final Static Elements... Elements include Chocks, Tiedowns, Tow bar (useless unlike the FS/P3D version which works), Pitot and Engine inlet covers and a Yoke lock (that locks the yoke but the flying surfaces still move?) and some tiedown tools (weights?) that are attached to ends of the wings. Our friendly animated pilot also goes home with the static elements activated as well. As mentioned the Menu is quite comprehensive but basic in parts and very good in others, but it is very easy to use. And far bottom of the menu you can change the liveries inside the plane, I prefer to use the aircraft menu because of the two distinct types of aircraft. Flying both the Tobago and Trinidad First thing to note is the slightly different panel setup's between the two aircraft. In the TC10 the lower pilot's side panel is mostly blank... In the TB20 version the undercarriage switches and indications are set out here. Also different is the Emergency Landing Gear control (arrowed left) and the Alternator air control (arrowed right). Warning lights top panel have three lighting situations, Green for Normal, Amber (Yellow) for Caution and Red for immediate action required. As such there is no switchgear? The centre panel works by basically popping the fuses, Yellow button down for action and Red (or popping) for inactivity. The panel covers all the Lights, Master power and Alternator. Flap indicator and flap selection (Three Stage in Retracted - Takeoff - Landing) Fuse Panel is left and down of the pilot, There are three buses with: 60-amp ALTr – between the alternator and electrical system 70-amp BAT – between the battery and electrical system 30-amp BUS 1 – bus bar 1 supply 30-amp BUS 2 – bus bar 2 supply 30-amp BUS 3 – bus bar 3 supply Manual notes the fuses work, but I didn't get no actual actions (they all worked on the Arrow?). The centre ALT popper (arrowed) is interesting in that the circuit breaker is calibrated at 60 amps and limits the alternator electrical load to the battery and electrical system. So in the event of over-voltage, the alternator control unit cuts off the alternator field and the amber warning light labelled ‘ALTr’ illuminates on the top annunciator panel. I usually set my twin-throttle (X-56 Rhino) to one lever the throttle and the other lever for the mixture for single-engine flying, mostly to control the hi-speed while taxiing in leaning the mixture. I have the same set up here, but the lean was not really required. But if you do decide to use the lean, it then gives you a far wider range of speeds in the taxi so you can find the exact right speed you require. This range setup then gives you one of the most nicest taxiing aircraft in a GA I think I have used in X-Plane, you can adjust the speeds finely via the throttle to turn corners and sprint (if allowed) along long taxiways. If you listen to the sounds with the TB Series here, you will be impressed, good is an understatement, but you have to listen for the subtle more than the grandeur. A headset will help, but good bassy speakers are great as well. All sounds are 180º in spectrum, but in the startup and the adjustments of idle you will be inspired. To me good sound is the reflection of changes in your environment and of course engine tones, if the sounds match your actions perfectly you are on to a great thing in the overall realism of the moment. In most cases I have the instrument reflections switched on and still do here. But it does create a sort of greyness across the instruments in certain lighting conditions, and it doesn't look very realistic either? Turn the reflections off in the menu and the instruments are certainly far, far better and clearer. It is odd in that only the dials have the reflections, but it affects almost everything across the panels? Flaps are set to "Takeoff" and it is the difference of about 20knts in 75knts to 95knts in speed if you takeoff with the flaps retracted. This is the TB10, so when you rotate you don't do a high pitch, but more of the same, but with just a little nose up... Those flaps do however create more of a barrier than a help with their heavy drag (the TB20 is a little better with the extra power) so in in most cases a flaps up position is a better way to gain flight. The sounds are excellent from an idle of throbbing to the drum, drum of the power required for flying, the range of aural feedback throughout the throttle adjustment is also very, very good. +80knts and 600fpm will give you a nice power to climb ratio... 787fpm is max or recommended, the TB20 gives you far more room at 1200fpm, but the Tobago is not a fast or powerful aircraft, even by GA standards os you have to kind to the aircraft... ... but what the Tobago lacks in power it totally gains in handling... it is a simply amazing aircraft to fly, light movements and the total ease of control from the moment you leave the ground, as it is a really lovely thing to be in. I would certainly highly recommend this aircraft for any first time fliers, it is certainly one of the best to understand and feel what a good GA is really all about. It is also quite a contrast to the Arrow lll, which by all accounts was a serious challenge to fly, a more of a "take control of the beast" rather than an easy plane to fly, but don't get me wrong as that is the major huge attraction to that aircraft as well as if you get it right it is then extremely rewarding flying machine. A significant point that is noticeable about aircraft from JustFlight is that setting the trim balance is very important. Again the Arrow lll was very, very sensitive to its trim, and worse the position of the trim wheel well down low between the seats made it almost impossible to adjust (I did try to set this trim on the Rhino knob, but that just made it even 10 times worse). If you set the trim correctly before takeoff in the TB series the aircraft is fine, and adjustment is far easier to manage later as well as the trim wheel is easily in your same line of sight. The BendixKing KAP 150 autopilot is also light-years better than the cantankerous AutoControl IIIB in the Arrow, it is far more versatile as well and easy to operate (and it pops out for use). In cruise (slow in the TB10) the aircraft is a very nice pleasant place to fly, sounds are again really good, but the TB's can get a little engine drummy thrummy over a period of time, you either love it or get tired of the sound over distances (The Arrow was the same in this case as well). Instruments The instrument layout is quite basic, but it is still very flexible in use. Both yokes can be hidden, and on the pilot's yoke there is an autopilot disconnect, and trim switch. Co-Pilot's yoke gets that lovely clock to gaze at... Standard Six instruments that are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below and are lovely and clear (reflections off). On the right top is a Garmin OBS VOR indicator (VOR2) and the same ADF indicator below. Annunciators are positioned at the top. A Giro/Suction dial is lower panel. On the co-pilot's panel there is only the Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator flying instruments, the others are engine or atmosphere related in two instruments that are lovely and set (at an angle towards the pilot) RPM dial and Manifold pressure (inHg) fuel flow/fuel pressure (gallons per hour / PSI) gauges. Far right is Cylinder Head Temperature (CHT) and Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) top, middle is a M377C outside air temperature (OAT) indicator and VDO hour meter bottom (same as a hobbs). There is a Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) switch (active) and a Stormscope -WXR. The Stormscope doesn't work like it does the FS version as it is restricted to the X-Plane weather system, so all it really does is show crosses of the storm? How effective this all is debatable. Lower right panel is a KR 87 – ADF set and a very comprehensive TKS – ice protection panel that has windshield de-ice (fluid) with default propeller and structural de-ice systems, but you have to make sure you keep your fluid topped up, the amount left (US Gallons) is shown on the panel. Cabin environmental panel is also active and effective. The lovely chrome vents are animated by both the outer and inner adjustments (arrowed). Top of the tall centre console is a pointer marker readout panel that covers (L to R) Oil temperature and Oil pressure indicators (L & R) Fuel tank quantity indicators and a Voltmeter, very distinctive it can be hard to read in daylight, but it is very authentic. Lower in the equipment avionics stack is a KMA 24H audio control panel, Native XP GNS 430 GPS / COM 1 / NAV 1 unit (or if required RealityXP GTN). A Garmin GNC 255 COM 2 / NAV 2 unit, Benedix/King KN 62A DME unit, Benedix/King KAP 150 autopilot unit and bottom a GTX 330 transponder unit. So the TB Series are both well equipped with gear and all the main avionic panels pop-out. Lower left panel are switches for NAV/GPS toggle button, Electrical attitude indicator (AI) power, Radio master switch (avionics), Autopilot power switch and DME NAV 1 / NAV 2 selector that selects whether the GNS 430 or GNC 255 is used as the input to the KN 62. (TB20 panel is shown with gear selector). Arriving back at KHAF and lining up on RWY30.... then speed control is essential with the TB Series, as the aircraft are well known for their poor low speed capabilities, but that doesn't mean they are not stable in the lower speeds, in fact I found it a nice platform if you stick within it's constraints. Like with all flying there is a trick to certain aircraft, but this one also has a nasty surprise? First after disconnecting the AP then make "really" sure the trim is centred, then lowering down to around 90knts is a nice clean approach speed. 85knts or lower is required for one flap down position... Then you will have your work cut out to get the speed down to 70knts or less to drop to the vital second flap position, minimum throttle and pitching the nose up can rub off speed, but it can also lose you height, if you are really good at it and get yourself into that almost stall zone of nose pitch and off throttle sink in that you can drain off the speed and then drop the flaps, and then with a push of the power to keep you still airborne... ... but try to be over smarty and drop the flap to "landing" too early or too fast and you will hit a brick wall as the aircraft will easily gain two hundred or three hundred feet in a moment and enough in height to tatally ruin your perfect approach. And that final flap positioning is also very draggy, draggy and almost arrester wire stall in effect, real stall noted is 53knts (keep it just slightly below 60knts) and you just don't want to go there. Throttle control is now everything in keeping and losing height, but I have done a few landings now in both variants and have had a simply perfect landing every time with perfect throttle control. Damn it is a nice aircraft to fly... ... as were the Arrow lll sort of intimidated you and pushed hard on your skills, the TB Series doesn't as it is peach to fly, but just be aware of that heavy flap drag... Lighting There are three knobs left on the main pilots panel that adjusts the forward lighting. Top knob is for the main instrument brightness, the two lower ones control two large lights above the pilots heads, so you can go from almost complete darkness to a very bright cabin lighting. The overheads do however give you a lot of control on how you light up the panels and consoles, so you can get the almost perfect lighting settings for night flying if you are willing to play with the adjustments (far bottom wide image)... The top marker gauges are lit by hanging bulbs, which is really well done, they are connected however to the main instrument lighting adjustment knob which means you can't have bright instruments without the bright bulbs. There is a roof light for the rear that is switched on via a roof switch. External lighting is very good, but a little too bright in the navigation and strobe lights, top beacon is nice and the two sets of lights for taxi and landing in the left wing are the modern halogen variety. A note for those who use the replay mode a lot, then keep the strobes off while flying, as they stay on and are quite bright in the replay and sort of spoil the effect in both day and night conditions... Liveries There is a blank for each variant, then five liveries again for each variant, all are very high quality 4K designs with a nice spread of registrations. Summary The release of JustFlight's/Thranda's Arrow lll series lifted the bar and price of general aviation aircraft into X-Plane. It was and still is a very good aircraft, but it did come with a certain convoluted aspect in that it was and still is only for the most skilled of fliers who could fly it really well. This Socata TB Series is really the totally opposite of the Arrow lll in that respect, as it is very easy and a really lovely aircraft to fly and highly accessible to early fliers and learners to get the feel of a high grade GA aircraft without all the sheer complexities that is involved with flying at that level. Only point to master however is the very forceful drag from the flaps, one position is so called easy, the down full position is harder to master if you are new to this aircraft flying thingy, but otherwise the aircraft is a total gem. Detail and feature wise then the Scoata twins are packed with everything you desire, but they are not cheap either, at least in this case you do get two interesting variants for the single price, and a very nice pair they both are. I have gotten used to the JustFlight vintage style menu system, mostly because it is very accessible and easy to use, but it still looks out of date compared to a lot of others. A lot of the quirks that annoyed in the Arrow lll's have been addressed here, this includes the resizing of pop-ups, Weights&Balance manager (if basic) and the Autopilot is far more easier to use and has more functions. The interior is not at all as dramatic as the Arrow lll's red overload, and in some views even a little bland as the textures are very hard to reproduce, the greyed out colour scheme doesn't help here either, but it is all very well done and looks authentic in most lighting conditions, a more darker grey contrast may have helped more out in like there is on the real designs. The instrument reflections bland out as well in certain lighting conditions and the seating is too glossy as well, and so overall the cockpit environment could have been a little more realistic compared to the overwhelmingly excellent Arrow interiors. Sounds are simply first rate with 3D audio effects in complete 180º, and with atmospheric effects, and adaptive Doppler effects, but overall it is the total realism that comes through, though the drum, drum in cruise could get boring even if it is perfectly real. Of course the pick is always going to be the TB20 of the pair. It is a lot faster, climbs far quicker and has a far better range, but in reality both aircraft are a lot of fun in the air, and ultimately that is their real attraction, They are just simply great aircraft to fly in the air and taxi around on the ground, quality costs of course, but certainly these French twins really deliver... Highly Recommended! ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the TB10 Tobago & TB20 Trinidad by JustFlight/Thranda is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : TB-10 TOBAGO & TB-20 TRINIDAD Also Available from JustFlight Price is US$41.99 Features Model Accurately modelled TB-10 Tobago and TB-20 Trinidad, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including passenger doors, baggage door, cockpit window, sun visors, oil cover and dipstick, engine access door, TKS fluid door and NACA ducts Ground equipment including chocks, pitot cover, engine intake covers and tie-downs 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity Bump and specular mapping used throughout the aircraft to produce a truly 3D feel Engine exhaust vibration effects Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seatbelts, screw heads and animated seat backs - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear (and even fingerprints!) based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Panel state system which will automatically save the panel state whenever a flight is saved and reload the panel state whenever that flight is loaded Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or ready for take-off Numerous 2D pop-up panels are included to provide easy access to cockpit controls and instruments, all accessible from an unobtrusive panel selector Fittable control lock for preventing control surface movement or insertion of ignition key Fully functional and comprehensive IFR capable avionics fit including: - KMA 24H audio selector unit - GNS 430 COM 1 / NAV 1 radio and GPS unit - GNC 255 COM 2 / NAV 2 radio unit with frequency databases, recently used frequencies and flight timers - KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1, NAV 2 or its own inbuilt receiver (NAV 3) - KAP 150 autopilot unit with navigation, heading, altitude and pitch hold modes, and self-test functionality - GTX 330 transponder unit with flight timers, altitude information and monitoring - KR 87 ADF unit with active and standby frequencies, mode selection and flight timers Functional WX-1000 Stormscope with integrated TCAS and checklists Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (FSX and P3D v1-v3 only) Ice protection system with fluid quantity indication Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction Independently operated left and right panel instruments including attitude indicator and altimeter Cockpit vibration effects Flight1 GTN 650/750 integration in the virtual cockpit – toggle between the GNS 430 or GTN 650/750 (Flight1 GTN 650/750 sold separately) using a simple-to-use switcher tool Aircraft systems Custom-coded fuel system including the option to have automatic switching of the fuel tanks for use on those long distance cross-country flights Custom-coded electrical system with busbars and functional circuit and switch breakers Realistic landing gear system with emergency release on the TB-20 Functioning alternate air and standby vacuum controls Failures including spark plug fouling, limited battery life, vapour lock and more Realistic engine oil and TKS fluid usage, and battery drain Preferences (GPS choice, engine failures and sounds) are saved and restored on every flight Refill menu – pop-up menu for refilling engine oil, TKS fluid and fuel, and recharging the aircraft battery _____________________________________________________________________________________ Requirements: X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster Video card: 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux 1GB hard drive space Installation Download of the TB Series is 642mb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 807mb folder. Documents Documentation is excellent with one (large) manual included: TB-10 TB-20 X-Plane manual The main aircraft manual covers everything including aircraft install, data with a fully detailed instrument locations and feature points and aircraft procedures and Checklists (124 pages) TB_Paintkit (photoshop) is also provided _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th May 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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - 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 v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00
  2. Aircraft Review : PA28R Piper Arrow III by Just Flight - Thranda The forward march to the Holy Grail of simulation is ever on going. The constant steps in to recreate the almost exact feel and replication of an aircraft for casual fliers but more importantly for trainee pilots in the wanting to get experience on the aircraft before tackling the real thing. In many ways the General Aviation segments in simulation are then always the most competitive in this field and as to get that right if perfect characteristics relayed through the controls and the general operations of the aircraft can easily deliver a mother lode of financial returns. Carenado have dominated this area for years and rightly so as their aircraft are extremely good in their quality and really deliver in the areas of flying characteristics. But in the last few years it is now getting even more highly competitive in this category. Players including Airfoillabs, Aerosphere but mostly with vFlyteair in their quality and the shear design of their aircraft are now starting to crowd out a field that to a point Carenado had to themselves in X-Plane. So here is a new player in Just Flight with a collaboration with Thranda or by another name one of the greatest of all developers in X-Plane in Dan Klaue. Just Flight are new to X-Plane as developers but they already have an extensive record for aircraft in Flight Simulator/P3D and so this is in the first significant crossover aircraft for Just Flight for the X-Plane platform and that their first foray is set the above US$40 price of this aircraft at US$41.99... and in any point of view that is a lot of money for a GA aircraft (In X-Plane) and only Carenado with their larger aircraft have been nudging in the around the US$40 market, and even then in the sub US$40 pricing and not above. So which ever way you slice this aircraft here in this review it always going to come down to that price and value as the main marking points, it also notes is that at that price you can nit pick here as well... as you will be expecting it to be extremely good on just for that very pricey reason. PA28R Piper Arrow III by Just Flight - Thranda Your very first impressions of the Archer III are thankfully in the "wow" category, as the aircraft is very good in the flesh. Certainly well within the high quality detail that you get with any Carenado, but with even slightly more in the detailing quality.... The aircraft does look quite brilliant in X-Plane11's lovely lighting. So that is an excellent start as this is a very nice looking but more importantly in the feeling of a very nice aircraft in X-Plane. The Piper Arrow III is also the first aircraft in X-Plane to use the latest in plugin's with the SASL v3.0. This is a totally rescripted engine and thankfully doesn't require those multiple Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables packs. It is a far more efficient script as well and far more framerate friendly. This is a very complex and heavy aircraft (in download size), but it ran very efficiently for me here. But this latest SASL v3.0 is also very new, and a few users have had installation issues (mostly in the authorisation setup). Overall I had no issues with SASL v3.0 but a few users may pick up a few early bugs, this new plugin is certainly the way of the future and with that it will bring a lot of new benefits to X-Plane and a few of those early v3 features are on this aircraft. The quality of the detailing is shown by the wingtip and the perfect aerodynamic wing chord, the great reflections here above note the shape perfectly. External Detailing The chrome spinner is "see your own face" perfect with excellent shinyness. 3d modeling work is overwhelmingly very good, with perfect panel fit and no outstanding straight line points anywhere but perfect curves. Glass is perfectly curved and with depth and excellent reflections. Panel riveting either painted or exposed is excellent. All appendages in latches, door hinges, fuel caps, access panels are all created as perfectly real. There is dirt, but the general view is that this is much loved machine with a regular wipe down after every flight. This aircraft is based on a real-life Arrow III in G-BGKU, that is based at Conington Airfield in the UK. Roof antennas and radio aerials are perfectly cast and every aspect on the Arrow has been covered, you are wanting for nothing more here. Note the really well done rudder corrugation work... and the same excellent work is also extends out on to the flaps and ailerons (below left). Undercarriage is also top notch with all the struts, uprights and links perfectly recreated as is the brake hydraulic fittings. If you want to get millimeter close there are a very few slight small gaps, but nothing here to wipe the smile from your face. Front strut has the same detail and worn metal quality as well, and all tyres, rubber and wheel components are excellent. Internal Lycoming IO-360-C1C6 engine of 200 hp (149 kW) is roasted worn and it is a real shame the engine cover doesn't come off to see the same detailing inside the cowling. The Arrow is a part of the PA28 Cherokee family, but in this latest more modern reincarnation as it is a four-seater that includes a five inch fuselage extension, wing span increase, a larger horizontal tail, gross weight increase and other minor changes over the earlier Cherokee and the Series III here also has the retractable landing gear arrangement. There is only one entrance door on the right, and a substantial baggage area behind the rear seats. It is beautifully kitted out and detailed inside, but no luggage... The right side door is an amazing piece of work by itself... construction and fittings are amazing in detail and quality, and yes we are talking just about a door here on an aircraft. The 3d modeling is exceptional, latches, paneling, aircraft plate, door locking mechanism and that lovely red cloth door covering that is worn on the edges.... and we haven't finshed there yet as it is animated, not just open the door animated, but you actually open the door by yourself animated by sliding your pointer across the lower panel and then when the door is actually open, you have to be careful as it moves around in any wind! Internal Detail As you would have gathered by now is that the aircraft's upholstery is a bright red woven cloth and it is simply sensational in the sheer detail, form and fittings. I have seen some great and well created internal upholstery, but this cabin is probably one of the very best, but the really significant aspect of the interior is that you can feel that overwhelming redness surrounding you in the cabin as it reflected off the seating and out and on to the harder surfaces... ... and that creates another level of awareness in realism. Close the door (or opening) and there is first your own movements to do the action and then there are two latches to fasten it tight, it is clever in that when you tighten or release the latches then the door moves in that much more tighter shut (or the open) position and the latch sounds and movements are incredibly good, small but very clever details that makes the aircraft come alive with realism. Detailing freaks will need oxygen while looking around this cabin, there is so much to take in and so much to love. Instrument Panel The design of the instrument panel is early 1967 Arrow clockwork and not the later glass-panel Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD fit-out that comes with the latest Arrows, mostly in the Turbo's. Here it is straight classic dial, all the way. You get that moulded imprinted 70's look and feel and it is all not that bad for that... it is a very classical feel. The thin style yokes can be hidden just by clicking on them a' la Carenado, but overall it is a busy instrument panel. Under the panel the detail is very good as well, but get right under and it does stop in detail once out of normal seating eyesight. Note the three-way fuel tank switch left. Between the front seats is your elevator trim and flap handle, there is an emergency gravity assist gear drop lever here as well that works. Panel design is absolutely first rate, beautiful detail and with all the sheer realism you can get in simulation today, a highlight is the lovely glareshield with realistic stitching... you just feel and touch it, or is that a caress for the sheer ownership of it all. Panel actually comes with two conditions in "loved and cared for" and "worn" or unloved and scruffy. This panel condition changes with the change of the liveries, the difference is set via the default "worn" or the insertion of the "clean" version files in the appropriate livery folder in I1, I2, I1_LIT and I2_LIT... it it would be very easy to cut&paste the files if you wanted a clean version on a certain aircraft's registration. Worn is the top row and the clean version is the bottom row, for the review I am using the clean version. As you change the livery then the aircraft's registration also changes on the panel which is a nice touch. Instrument panel is set out with the Standard Six instruments that are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below. Left of the six pack top is the Gyro Suction dial with the Bendix/King ADF indicator set below. On the right top is a Garmin OBS VOR indicator (VOR1) and the same OBS VOR indicator (VOR2) below. I prefer the pointer VOR needle than this version as it is better for circuits and runway lineup (that is if the VOR is placed close to the runway). All the main dials are older black/white in design and not with the coloured Artificial Horizon you can also have in this aircraft. Mid-left panel gauges are standard Cherokee with Oil Press, Oil Temp and Alt Amp on the left side and Left Fuel tank, Cyl Head Temp and Right Fuel tank on the right of the yoke. Lower-left panel has a basic Piper "AutoControl IIIB" Autopilot, which we will cover more in detail later, the start key and a Manifold Pressure (inHG) and Fuel Flow gauge (Gallons per hour). Another gauge here is a Tachometer/RPM dial with built in Hobb's meter. Avionics The basics of the avionics in the Arrow are old, the only modern gadget is the centre stack mounted X-Plane default Garmin GNS530, and yes of course it pops out. There is also the provision to install Reality XP's GTN 750 unit, but this is an addon extra and costs you another $49.95. The audio panel is a very early model Bendix/King KMA T20 TSO which is above the GNS530, below bottom is the Benedix/King 76A transponder. The right side stack has a Bendix/King KX 175B radio for VOR in COM2 and VOR2 (COM1 and VOR1 is set via the GNS530). Then below is a Bendix/King KN 62A DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) set, the Benedix/King KR 85 ADF radio is set out below the KN 62A. I would certainly be interested in a glass panel Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD system in an aircraft like this, there is Arrow aircraft out there suitably equipped and that system would be great for the more later and modern style training. Lower right panel is an Exhaust gas temperature (EGT) indicator and you can rotate the screw to control the position of the red (maximum value) needle and left of the EGT is a comprehensive set of active circuit breakers. There is a fan switch and heating controls as well. The only instrument on the right side is a standby Altimeter and spare hobbs meter. There is a set of rocker switches mid lower panel for (L to R) Power (Battery & Alternator), Fuel pump, Landing Light, Anti-Collision Lights in rotating and navigation and Pitot Heat. Either end of the switch panel are two scroll wheels for Avionic brightness and instrument brightness. The centre mini-pedestal has the familiar Throttle, Propeller and Mixture levers, but also a mixture lever lock on the side that restricts the mixture lever from moving below a 40% setting. The levers are a bit odd in that you have to move your movement upwards to move the levers down and vise-versa and in busy traffic conditions it can be annoying in the actions being the wrong way around. Also you have to use your switch gear before moving the Propeller and Mixture levers to the full forward position as they cover the avionics lighting scroll wheel, main power switches and fuel pump switch. Below the mini-pedestal is your aileron trim wheel and park brake lever. The yoke is fitted with a digital chronometer. The mode button allows you to toggle between either the clock mode or the timer mode. On top of the yoke but very hard to see is a black electric trim button with down (forward) and up (rearwards) adjustments. Menus The menu is situated on the left-centre of your screen and is activated by pressing the large ugly arrow tab... ... thankfully you can adjust the transparency if you have a scroll wheel on your mouse and in hiding it (tab still works hidden). The menu block is quite old fashioned and activated tiles show up in a red tint way that went out of style in the mid- 2000's There are seventeen menu tiles to use including: Top row : Open/close cabin door - Open/close baggage door - Toggle GNS 530 GPS pop-up window (or the GTN750 payware add-on by RealityXP) - Toggle window reflections and interior glass dynamic reflections - Toggle dome light if the engine is running, or flashlight when starting cold and dark. Middle Row : Toggle autopilot pop-up window - Toggle altimeter barometric pressure scale between InHg and mb - Toggle automatic fuel selector (switches fuel tanks automatically) - Toggle refill menu window - Open weight and balance window - Toggle volumes window Bottom row : Select ‘ready for takeoff’ or ‘cold and dark’ state - Toggle checklist pop-up window - Toggle flight computer pop-up window - Toggle logbook pop-up window - Toggle ground handling pop-up window - Toggle chocks and tie-downs. The arrows at the very bottom of the menu panel allows you to select the livery you require and far more quickly than the X-Plane menu. Doors (above right) include the side door and baggage door and the static elements include chocks and tie-downs, but no engine covers or pitot "remove before flight" tags. The window and instrument reflections are significant in the changes they make between in being switched off than on... instrument reflections are simply excellent with the setting switched on in that lovely red glow again being reflected back at you, off and everything is just bland and boring. There is a nice red (more redness!) overhead light which is adjustable on the roof with the light option on. Power off and you have the torch light to find your way around in the darkness, this is a nice if only the basic built in X-Plane tool used well. The checklist is good, but average to look at, but there is a reason for that... in parts to start the aircraft you are given a helping hand by having a "Dynamic Checklist" that if you press the checklist line it will do the action for you.... there is also the over-riding option of using the Full Start/Full stop menu tile. There are two menu options that give out data. One is the "Refill menu" but it is more of an aircraft situation panel that allows you to reset the fuel and battery voltage, there is sort of Centre of Gravity marker for fuel balance but not for the entire aircraft. Common now are great Weights&Balances setup pages and vFlyteAir have one of the best in this class... but not here on the Arrow III which is very surprising and sadly missing? Second data page is the "Flight Computer" that shows you a lot of relevant information for your flight, certainly very handy for longer distance flying as it shows you your fuel flow and estimated endurance and range and used fuel. There isn't a full failure menu per se. But there are active elements that cause spark plug fouling, vapour lock and battery drain of which all are very realistic and can be reset... Following the onscreen instructions can allow you to also learn what the cause is and how to fix them, like when I left the mixture too high and started to foul up the spark plugs (in my defence I was warming up the engine). It is very realistic though in that your actions (in this case adjusting the mixture) that the engine takes time to recover and runs rough and then slowly clears as it burns off the fuel and the details of the action in progress is shown on the "refill" panel. There is really good sound adjustment panel that covers Master, Avionics, Gyro/Pump, Radios, Enviro and UI sound volumes and the look of the panel and use is excellent. The Piper "AutoControl IIIB" Autopilot has a popup menu panel, but it is quite basic and strangely the only one without a scale adjustment? And this is the one that needs a scale adjustment more than any other popup panel... very odd. More on this later. The last few menu tabs are a bit odd as well... because they all just activate the X-Plane default menus. They include the X-Plane logbook, weight, balance and fuel, Ground handling??? and even odder the GNS530 popup ????.... Flying the PA28 Arrow III Your senses are far more heightened flying this Arrow III. I consider myself a pretty good flyer in X-Plane (for god's sake I have had enough practise) but the Arrow III does take your skill level again still a notch higher. Which is really hard today as flying quality is already high in so many excellent aircraft, but yes it is even better here... and will note the fact that I do require far more time yet to get the very best out of this aircraft, it is that challenging and has such a depth of feel and movement. Both power switches on... fuel pump and strobe light. The setting (from cold) of the mixture lever and throttle is important, too much fuel and you will flood it (or foul the plugs) so a half way position between low and high mixture is about right and then an inch of throttle. Get it right and the PA28 will start easily, but check the park brake is on before you churn the engine as it seems to load the aircraft with it set off? so when the engine starts you suddenly start going forward as well. If you do foul the plugs then it will take awhile to clear them and to get going again, but overall I found the PA28 far far better in starting than some aircraft that makes churning over the engine a career option... This Piper from cold is not really a start up and fly aircraft (use the menu quick start for that). Time is needed to get some heat into the engine and so a little time on warming it up is really needed. Again the mixture and throttle position has to be in the right place to keep it ticking over until it feels more loosened up and will idle with out stuttering or killing off (stuttering) the engine power altogether. First sense on startup is that excellent engine sound, the churn and start is formidable and highly, highly realistic, certainly the best sounds yet on a GA aircraft and that is said with no boast. Taxiing is excellent with the right mixture settings, slow enough not to conk out but not too fast in that you are on the brakes all the time, you know already that this Arrow III is something very special just by the feedback it is giving you, and you haven't even left the ground yet! I love the shiny curve of the front engine cover and the oil check flap detail on the right side of the engine cover, small but significant details. The oil flap is supposed to open, but I couldn't work it out? Mixture set to high and power up.... rotation is around 90knts, and you are flying. Your concertration is high and you are so focused on the feedback the aircraft is giving back to you... and those sounds are just amazingly great and realistic, it is time to bring out that wide grin on to your face... Handling is very realistic, it is so realistic and so engrossing in fact that I forgot to stow up the undercarriage... twice? God knows how because the gear creates such drag in the air and a lot of wind noise... but I did.... and again twice. Your focus is so high on the flying, with the roar of the 200hp Lycoming heavy in your ears.... you are working hard in this pilot's seat. You do have a autopilot in the guise of Piper's version called "AutoControl IIIB" which is about as basic as they come. It is situated on the left lower section of the instrument panel, but as noted there is also a popup in the menu. The popup is plainly annoying in that you can't scale it? It is huge and covers a large segment of your instruments, so there is absolutely nowhere to put it to keep it handy, so you have to keep opening both the menu and the autopilot popups to do any changes, so after a while you just don't bother to use it. The "AutoControl IIIB" has only two functions in holding the heading and roll L&R. You can adjust the heading (thankfully) via the Heading instrument knob, or switch off the heading on the AP and roll the aircraft to your new heading. There is a hidden function to hold your altitude (not on the real system) by pressing the "Piper" text above the coupler knob on the left part of the panel, It is hard to find and almost half-hidden but you do get a manipulator hand or finger to say it is actually there and but not when activated? It does work very well but the aircraft has to be perfectly trimmed before pressing it on... it deactivates with a kick as well when you adjust the trim wheel, so be ready for that. There is also a third item which is a button hidden behind the yoke that activates the electric pitch trim (on the yoke), but it seems to have no effect when pressed in when moving the pitch trim? So how do you adjust the pitch? I used my elevator trim and that works well, but it is very sensitive and it is not easy to use either as it is positioned down low between the front seats. My fix was to use a knob on my Saitek 56 Rhino (RTY 3) throttle system to adjust it... I'm not saying the electric trim will not do the same adjustment, which I suppose it would do.... but the RTY 3 knob I found was the best solution all round for trim changes with the RTY 4 knob is also set for the aileron/roll adjustment trim, but I rarely used that. Once in level flight, you have the heading selected and then come back off the yoke slowly while adjusting up the elevator trim to match until they are even. But that trim is highly sensitive and any rolls or changes in the throttle position will annoy the trim, so you have to control the aircraft via the yoke until it settles down or is then re-trimed adjusted into the new heading. So if there is a lot of manoeuvres (up or down, or a lot of heading changes) then it is easier to do all the changes and then just reset the elevator trim to hold position, as constant manoeuvres or changes is very work load heavy. You are very aware of the systems working behind the scenes. Fuel Flow, engine and oil heat and any changes in the electrical systems are noted on the dials and you have to make adjustments to cover the items like heating in cabin heating. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, then the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. There is also the simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds ( also linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism)... The Arrow III is a very alive machine. The Arrow III's lighting is basic but it is very good in what it does. The panel is really very sepia and black/white in its design, but it does make for a very readable panel in the dark or in low lighting conditions. Note the nice glow off the GNS530. There is only one internal light and that is guess what? Red... This large light is set up on the roof with a big knob for adjustment, and very effective it is. It does give you a nice comforting feeling and surprisingly it is very effective. It does illuminate the whole panel well to find what you want... ... but you can tone it down enough to give you just the panel's outline when you require that better vision outside, like for takeoff or landing, so it is quite perfect. The external lighting is the same in just basic lighting with a strobe on the tail and navigation lights (or noted here as "anti-collision") There is a very strong nose landing light and the bright flashes of strobe lighting that don't strobe together which is interesting, in that you get the left wing and then the right wing in multiple flashes on each side. All external lights are very different in colour and in the more modern LED halogen bright than X-Plane dull, you get a brilliant star feel effect as well. You can lower the nose just by pulling the throttle back (slowly) then readjusting the trim to keep the lower speed and level out the flight... Your focus has to be 100% and be aware of what the aircraft is doing, any throttle reduce requires adjustment in pitch. Lowering the gear gives you a huge amount of drag, if you are trying to rub off speed then use the gear to do so, but be aware they can act like flaps in killing your speed badly, it is skill set you need to learn in first lowering the gear and then later the flaps and all the time controlling your height and speed correctly, It is not as easy as it sounds but practise does help, but your really have too work through your flying abilities, this Arrow III is certainly not an aircraft set on rails or a predictable flying machine, but the experts will revel in its realism. The aircraft is also extremely sensitive to winds, so even a slight 7knt wind is making you sweat to hold the on to centreline correctly on approach. Is flying this aircraft fun? Most certainly yes but in a tension physical way. 80knts and throttle control only required to lower the aircraft in speed to 60knts-65knts and your height down to the runway, no yoke input is actually required unless you want to rub off some last minute speed.... in this area then the PA28 is a very, very throttle sensitive machine. The aircraft will track true, but as noted it is very sensitive to wind and if that is factor then you will work for it. Back at the ramp you shut the aircraft down and hop out... ... you will crouch down and look over at the aircraft... hard. You know from now on there is going to be a serious relationship that is going to be long and ongoing here with this excellent Arrow III, but who will master who? Liveries There is one blank and eleven liveries provided : G-BGKU (UK) - G-BNSG (UK) - D-ERIN (Germany) - F-GJCB (France) - C-GQYI (Canada) - G-TEBZ (UK) -- G-TSGA (UK) - HB-PJA (Switzerland) - N4131C (USA) - N751LU (USA) - VH-SGE (Australia) and all are of exceptional 4K (4096 x 4096) texture quality. ___________________________ Summary The biggest impact here with JustFlight's and Thranda's Arrow III is in the... "Quality detail - Sounds - Flying&handling" triangle. In all corners in these areas then this PA28 is just exceptional, even a step forward in simulation awareness and feel. And for most purchasers these are the main requirements that will bring them to the table and do the deal. And that price here is high as noted in being above that US$40 marker for a GA light aircraft. But there are still a few notes to consider. In that there are a few quirks but not with the aircraft actually but with the extra features. The menu system is quite average in keeping with today's standards, in its layout and to a point its functionality. It is basic to a point, but it is however easy to use and thank god you can hide the awful menu arrow. No dedicated Weights&Balance menu is a major loss with this aircraft, there is a sort of basic version, but in today's market even sub$20 GA's have a decent Weights&Balance menu, the loss here is highlighted as the aircraft is sensitive to set up, and a weights vs Centre of Gravity graph is a high requirement. A menu that highlights fuel, baggage and passenger weights (yes all four) is a certain requirement and the items should be shown in either passengers and baggage in the aircraft (yes in 3d) and no in that the X-Plane native weight&balance menu is not a decent replacement. There is a nice pilot, but he isn't animated? and he still sits in there even if the aircraft is shut down and you are heading home with the keys. The non-adjustable for scale popup autopilot panel is really useless in this form, and I question if a few of the functions in altitude hold and trim adjustment are working. And what is in the idea that native X-Plane menu items are noted features, only the flashlight is really handy, but that is still only a keystroke away. But we are then only just noting the slight negatives... the rest is simply superlative. The detailing and quality is just overwhelmingly great, there is nothing you are left wanting for, and with that exceptional lovely red interior that is well... very red. But you can admire in the evolution in that the quality of materials used is still going upwards. Sounds are again simply exceptional that feature accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, and adaptive Doppler effects, but overall it is the realism of the sounds that give you that real feel of the Piper aircraft Flying characteristics are superbly excellent as well. Your awareness is heightened and your skills do require another level again (unless you are an actual pilot). Only for the experts? It is a good question as I like all aircraft to be accessible to everyone, but experience is certainly an advantage here especially in the hand to eye to throttle control input. A decent throttle system is also then an advantage here. So do I actually like the Arrow III? Ohhhh yes, totally absolutely, is it worth the high dollar cost? Oh yes absolutely again, but there are a few areas that need attention as noted above, and if they had been covered then it would have been simply an absolute total clean sweep. Is this the best General Aviation Aircraft in X-Plane? then that question is always going to be a subjective question to any simulator pilot, but I think it is certainly one of the very best right now, and a well worthy future investment for your flying career. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the PA28R Piper Arrow III by Just Flight - Thranda is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-28R Arrow III Price is US$41.99 Features Accurately modelled PA-28R-201 Arrow III, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including multi-animation passenger door that, when open, responds to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window, sun visors and oil cover Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features. Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Heavy and reduced levels of wear and tear in the virtual cockpit (changes according to selected livery) Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR capable avionics fit including: - KMA 20 audio selector unit - Fully featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases) - KX 175B COM 2 / NAV 2 radio - KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2 - Piper Autocontrol IIIB autopilot unit with navigation, heading and roll hold (hidden autopilot altitude hold system included for convenience) - KT 76A transponder unit - KR 85 ADF unit - Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction Yoke-mounted flight timer/clock Independently operated left and right (standby) altimeter GoodWay compatible Ability to change barometric units from InHG to MB in altimeter adjustment Option to activate flashlight from within pop-up window, to aid in those pitch-black cold and dark starts at night Pop-up autopilot window Option to remove window and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Functional throttle quadrant tensioning system Radio knob animations routed through plugin logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft Systems Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear system with intricate retraction animation, slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation with multiple linkages animated accurately, and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning alternate air and static source controls Fully implemented back-up landing gear system Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapor lock condition Simulated vapor lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) and realistic implementation of navigation light / radio light rheostat Functional electric trim control on yoke (requires electric trim button to be pushed) Functional ELT which is automatically triggered above 4.6 G Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Other Realistic and accurate flight dynamics based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from Arrow pilots Authentic sound set, generated using X-Plane's state-of-the-art FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, doors, gear warnings and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when window or door(s) are opened, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Comprehensive manual with panel guide and performance data, adapted to X-Plane 11 usage PSD Paint Kit included so you can create your own paint schemes Dedicated pop-up window for sound mixing, allowing for individual adjustment of the volume of exterior sounds, in-cockpit sounds and various effects Option to launch X-Plane's weight and balance manager window from the custom pop-up panel Requirements: X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster Video card: 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux 2GB hard drive space Installation Download of the Arrow III is a huge 1,12gb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 1.38gb folder. It is a fair size in gb's is this aircraft package and the question will be what of the framerates? Overall I found it very good, but it does take a fair time to load up in X-Plane depending on the size of scenery you are loading up with it. A fairly good graphics card is highly recommended and not less than a 4gb is required. Documents Documentation is excellent with two manuals included: PA-28R Arrow III manual X-Plane PA-28R Arrow III ODM (Operating Data Manual) manual X-Plane The main aircraft manual covers everything including aircraft install, data with a fully detailed instrument locations and feature points and aircraft procedures (80 pages) ODM covers aircraft performance and associated graphs (32 Pages) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 28th October 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00
  3. News! - Aircraft Release! - PA-28-161 Piper Warrior ll by JustFlight/Thranda JustFlight and Thranda have released their fourth aircraft based on the PA-28 Cherokee. This is the PA-28-161 Piper Warrior ll after the other PA-28's of the Arrow lll, the Turbo Arrow lll and the Turbo Arrow lV. The difference? The Warrior ll was the 160 hp (119 kW) Cherokee with the tapered wing and was first certified on 2nd November 1976. The aircraft is just slightly heavier and has the PA28-160 Cherokee's fixed landing gear. Internally you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the Warrior and the Arrow except for the "Century 21" Autopilot, which is a simple roll-axis only (heading) style instrument. The Warrior feels and flies like a more simpler aircraft than the Arrow, and that is why it is very popular with Flying Schools, uncomplicated and easy to fly and that sum's up very well this very latest aircraft from JustFlight and Thranda. Cabin is the same as the Arrow lll in being all red, in really red. Features include: Model Accurately modeled PA-28-161 Warrior II, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations, including multi-animation passenger door that, when open, responds to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window, sun visors and oil cover Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit including: KMA 20 audio selector unit Fully Featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases) KX 175B COM 2 / NAV 2 radio KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2 Century 21 autopilot with lateral hold modes (HDG, NAV, APR, REV) – hidden autopilot altitude hold system included for convenience KT 76A transponder unit KR 85 ADF unit Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) Ground elements include Static chocks, tiedowns and great animated main cabin door and baggage door. Aircraft systems Included: Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers, avionics power circuit and emergency bus controls. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning carburettor and primer controls Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapour lock condition Simulated vapour lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) and realistic implementation of navigation light / radio light rheostat Functional electric trim control on yoke (requires electric trim button to be pushed) Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Liveries include both open and closed wheels with: A blank White and C-FOEC (Canada), G-BOZI (UK), G-SIXT (UK), VH-BVM (Australia) - F-GEDO (France)*, G-OPTI (UK)*, D-EIIT (Germany)*, N8289A (USA)* (The liveries marked with an asterisk (*) include fairings over the wheels.) A paintkit is included as well. Requirements: X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 4GB+ VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux Current version: 1.0 (Jan 26th 2018) PS: Owners of the Arrow III or Arrow Turbo by JustFlight can purchase this new Warrior II with a $9 discount ( $32.99). Find your coupon code under your Arrow invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Arrows from other designers) ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Piper Warrior ll by Just Flight - Thranda is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-28-161 Warrior lll Price is US$41.99 Note the above deal for owners of the Arrow III or Arrow Turbo by JustFlight can purchase this new Warrior II with a $9 discount ( $32.99). _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 27th January 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)
  4. Aircraft Review : PA28R Piper Turbo Arrow III / lV by Just Flight - Thranda In October 2017 Just Flight with partner Thranda released the PA28R Piper Arrow lll. Which by all accounts it is an extraordinary aircraft. The aircraft is also in the company of some of the most competitive competition with both AeroSphere Simulations and vFlyteAir both providing the same Arrow lll versions for choice. All are good, but vFlyteAir's version just updated is also exceptional. In reality the vFlyteAir version of it's Arrow lll should have won my best aircraft of the year for GA aircraft, but the update was released to late to take into consideration, but still the JustFlight/Thranda Arrow lll would still have picked up the top gong because it does lift up the level of immersion and the overall realistic sheer flying feel of the aircraft. Mostly I thought that was going to be the only JustFlight/Thranda release of 2017, but just days before Christmas on the 22nd December they then released this version of the Arrow in the lV and also threw in a Turbo for good measure. So if your first thought was "oh that's a bit of a deal in having to now buy another expensive Arrow lll to get the Turbo". Then don't fret that one as if you do already own the original Arrow lll then this Turbo lV can be added to your pleasure for just only $14.99 and you also get the Arrow lll Turbo as part of the package. The "Turbo lV" is distinctive because it has a T-Tail instead of the lower conventional rear tailplane. Which gives the aircraft a more cleaner line. The debate is if it is more effective, because the tailplane is high out of the prop-wash and you need a slightly higher speed (75 kts) to takeoff, but they don't create much drag and that is reflected in the slightly higher speed 153 knts (Arrow lll is 149 ktns). As noted the Arrow lll in the low tailplane version but now with a Turbo that is also part of this package, so if you want the extra power but with the conventional tail then you have both. Switching between aircraft types is done via the livery menu, change the livery and you change the aircraft type at the same time. So there is only one aircraft (.acf) file and so all set preferences and settings work between both aircraft. Interiors Many users found the Arrow lll interior a bit overwhelming with all that reddness... personally I loved it, but if you want some relief from the red then the Turbo has a more subdued feel with both Turbo versions having different colour schemes. The Turbo Arrow lV cabin has a mixture of browns and ochres... ... and the Turbo Arrow lll cabin is more to the full shades of blue. They both don't have the drama of all that red, but the interior fit-out is still exceptional. In times of course you still have that funny overwhelming feeling of reddness, but that is not the original colour scheme passed over, but it is the overhead red night light and turn it down and the red mist feeling goes away. The only visual differences between the standard Arrow lll and the Turbo aircraft is that the distinctive hump has gone over the engine... Arrow lll Turbo The Turbo's nose is slightly different and more aerodynamic, but the differences are minute here in speed. Version 1.3 These details relate to all three Arrow lll/lV versions. For the original release Arrow lll it has been upgraded to v1.3 and although this package is noted as v1.0 it is in reality the v1.3 version across the board, so all changes noted are relevant to all the Arrow versions from JustFlight/Thranda. The only differences are in performance and aircraft dynamics with the conventional tail and the T-Tail versions. There are besides the different types and interior colour schemes, the three aircraft are exactly the same in configuration and avionics, so X-PlaneReviews comprehensive review : Aircraft Review : PA28R Piper Arrow III by Just Flight - Thranda is totally relevant for the detail and design of this Turbo lll/lV version. A few of my gripes have thankfully been covered with the v1.3 update, most are minute small in the full scheme of the aircraft but still the changes here are very welcome. Click the chocks and the pilot now goes home... "bye, bye... Mr Pilot see you tomorrow". The autopilot panel was non-scalable before and took up a lot of space... now it is scalable and makes it's use and positioning so much more effective. The sounds panel has had a few tweeks and I like the "Enviro" option to turn down the wind noise (I have another wind noise on the XPRealistic plugin). The average looking menu panel remains, but you get used to it but not the odd native X-Plane X-Plane tiles for : logbook, weight, balance and fuel, Ground handling and the GNS530 popup? Electrics have had some attention and the excellent circuit breaker panel shows now the extent of the electrical detailing... pull (or click) the "Instrument Panel" breaker and it goes dark, all lighting breakers work as perfection as well. The key switch turns "off" in no power now as well. Flying the... Turbo The flying characteristics between the Turbo and none Turbo are not significantly different, but you do feel the slightly extra power... The original 200hp version was not the quickest horse out of the block and with a slight headwind 140 knts was about as fast as you flew. Here the Turbo is noticeable if not in outright power but in the back of your seat power feel, the 153 knt cruise does feel faster as does the takeoff roll. As with the Arrow lll the trim is crucial for balance, it is still tricky to fly unless you get that trim setting absolutely right, once sorted the aircraft is a masterclass in feel and handling... Like I noted in the original review. This aircraft needs time and time in hours to understand its characteristics and talents, the more you fly the aircraft, the more it comes to you. But no one can waste the time up here with this Arrow, just looking at it will set your heart pumping. One of the most noticeable aspects is the drag on the aircraft in power. So dropping the gear or flaps, but also in the throttle position creates significant drag. Even if you pitch down, if you don't reduce the power the aircraft will not descend in the same parallel. So even if you hold the pitch and increase the power then the aircraft will rise or again fall with a decrease of power, it is that finely tuned an aircraft and makes control as much for the throttle as for the yoke. T-Tails are known for their sudden loss of lift, so remember that in the landing phase you will have no prop-wash to get you out of trouble, and so too high a pitch can hide the tail from the airstream and you can fall into a stall. I still put the mixture to lean to land, but the idle ratio has had some adjustment in v1.3 and that makes it about perfect with not that surge of power when the aircraft is back on the ground.... lovely. Liveries There are two sets of liveries for both the Turbo in : N48427 (USA), D-ERMT (Germany), G-OBAK (UK), HB-PMB (Switzerland), VH-LLA (Australi T-Tail aircraft : D-EAIV (Germany), G-BOGM (UK), OE-KFT (Italy), OK-MAN (Czech Republic), N3023K (USA) There is blank for the Turbo lll, but both aircraft come with photoshop paintkits included... and all liveries are of exceptional 4K (4096 x 4096) texture quality. Summary This package extends out the original Arrow lll aircraft to three versions (if you buy the extended Turbo pack here for the $14.99 offer), and that really opens up your choice between the original, the Arrow lll with a Turbo and the Arrow lV (T-Tail) with again the Turbo, you also get three different custom interiors as well and I am quite sure it is not too hard to create a Turbo with the Red interior. If your finances don't stretch to that, then just buy this Turbo package and still get the two great Arrow Turbo aircraft, as both are a great deal. All aircraft detailing and quality is top-notch, the cabins alone are worth the investment, and they are some of the best in X-Plane and that is saying something as there is some great interiors out there. Avionics are great but not exceptional, a glass panel Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD system would be to die for in this aircraft and no dedicated Weights&Balance menu is a surprise as well. This package and the original have all been updated to v1.3 and few early kinks have been cleaned up, the JustFlight/Thranda Arrow is even better now than before, but this is an outstanding aircraft, but requires a lot of skill and time to really get the best return for the investment, but what an investment... ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the PA28R Piper Turbo Arrow III / lV by Just Flight - Thranda is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-28R Turbo Arrow III/lV Price is US$41.99 Note - If you have already purchased the Arrow III by JustFlight you can purchase this new Turbo Arrow for only $14.99. Find your coupon code under your Arrow invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Arrows from other designers). Features MODEL Accurately modelled PA-28R-201T Turbo Arrow III and PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IV, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including multi-animation passenger door that, when open, responds to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window, sun visors and oil cover Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features. Ability to use the in-flight livery switcher to switch between the Turbo Arrow III and IV variants in real-time without needing to use the aircraft menu. COCKPIT A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit including: - KMA 20 audio selector unit - Fully featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases) - KX 175B COM 2 / NAV 2 radio - KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2 - Piper Autocontrol IIIB autopilot unit with navigation, heading and roll hold (hidden autopilot altitude hold system included for convenience) - KT 76A transponder unit - KR 85 ADF unit - Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear system with intricate retraction animation, slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation with multiple linkages animated accurately, and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning alternate air and static source controls Fully implemented back-up landing gear system Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapour lock condition Simulated vapour lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) and realistic implementation of navigation light / radio light rheostat Functional electric trim control on yoke (requires electric trim button to be pushed) Functional ELT which is automatically triggered above 4.6 G Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Requirements: X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster Video card: 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux 2.5GB hard drive space Current version: 1.0 (Dec 22nd 2017) Installation Download of the Turbo Arrow III/lV is a huge 2,21gb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 2.48gb folder. It is a fair size in gb's is this aircraft package and the question will be what of the framerates? Overall I found it very good, but it does take a fair time to load up in X-Plane depending on the size of scenery you are loading up with it. A fairly good graphics card is highly recommended and not less than a 4gb is required. Documents Documentation is excellent with two manuals included: PA-28R Turbo Arrow III-IV manual A4 X-Plane 150.pdf PA-28R Turbo Arrow III-IV ODM manual A4 X-Plane 150.pdf The main aircraft manual covers everything including aircraft install, data with a fully detailed instrument locations and feature points and aircraft procedures (80 pages) ODM covers aircraft performance and associated graphs (32 Pages) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 8th January 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 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00 v1.3 Changelog (the same as the v1.0 notes for this Turbo lll/lV) Changes/fixes: Improved prop disc visualization effects Brightened landing spill light Hiding pilot when static elements are enabled Tweaked internal lit texture (text) Improved electrical system Fixed “Avionics Off” item in checklist Added “Ground Roll” mixer to co-pilot volume knob. Fixed flap deflection time Revised gyro sound Fixed halo artefacts Adjusted idle ratio Fixed NAV1/2 flip switch to be entered when in GPS mode. Made starter key set to “Off” when starting from cold and dark Upgraded SASL to 3.12 Added change log
  5. News! - Aircraft Coming : Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer by Just Flight/Thranda Usually most developers stay within their designated basic genres in X-Plane and only a few develop outside that envelope. But Just Flight with Thranda are going to shake up that theory. Already known for their excellent GA's with the Arrow lll/lV series, their next release is a light jet? and not only a light jet but the Hawk T1/A Advanced Trainer! Detailed Description is: Model Accurately modelled Hawk T1 and T1A, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including a storage hatch, ram air turbine (RAT), canopy and crew ladder Ground equipment including chocks, access steps and engine intake covers 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features Cockpit A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled ejector seats and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit, including AN/ARC 164 UHF radio, plus a retrofitted modern AN/ARC-232 UHF/VHF unit and TACAN/ILS radio units Authentic head-up display (HUD) Interactive logbook panel for logging your flight details (X-Plane native) Flight computer panel with useful information such as fuel burn, endurance, speed and wind speed/direction GoodWay compatible Ability to change barometric units from InHg to MB in altimeter adjustment Option to remove canopy and instrument reflection effects Animated toe brakes Radio knob animations routed through plug-in logic, for optimum movement fidelity and sound synchronisation Aircraft systems Custom-coded electrical system with AC and DC resets and loads Realistic landing gear with slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation and wheel chocks Custom-coded hydraulic systems, including functioning RAT Realistic lighting system with rheostat controls Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Liveries The Hawk T1 is supplied in the following twelve paint schemes: Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Early trainer livery, XX241 Hawk T1 Empire Test Pilots School livery, XX341 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Valley, Central Flying Squadron, XX176 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Camouflage scheme, XX353 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force 4 FTS, Welsh Dragon livery, XX172 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force 19 Squadron, RAF Leeming – XX329 Hawk T1 Royal Air Force Red Arrows 2011 livery XX260 Hawk T1A Royal Air Force 100 Squadron, Black livery, XX331 Hawk Mk 51 Finnish Air Force, HW-346 Hawk Mk 53 Indonesian Air Force, LL-5320 Hawk Mk 63 Royal Saudi Air Force, 79034 Hawk Mk 63 Swiss Air Force, U-1252T1 Other features Realistic and accurate flight dynamics based on real-world performance and handling data, and input from Hawk pilots Authentic sound set, generated using X-Plane's state-of-the-art FMOD sound system Custom sounds for switches, canopy, warnings and more, featuring accurate location placement of sounds in the stereo spectrum, 3D audio effects, atmospheric effects, adaptive Doppler, exterior sounds spill in when canopy is opened, different sound characteristics depending on viewing angle etc. Comprehensive manual with panel guide and performance data PSD Paint Kit included so you can create your own paint schemes Dedicated pop-up window for sound mixing, allowing for individual adjustment of the volume of exterior sounds, in-cockpit sounds and various effects Option to launch X-Plane's weight and balance manager window from the custom pop-up panel Noted as coming soon!... to a familiar sim near you! ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 13th February 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews Images and text are courtesy of Just Flight/Thranda
  6. Aircraft Update : Quest Kodiak v1.6 by Thranda In my last update review of Thranda's excellent Quest Kodiak which was v1.5, I detailed the addition of Laminar Research's G1000 GPS system and then compared it to the original Carenado G1000 avionic package that had come installed with the aircraft from release. Except for a few extra features the native Laminar G1000 was far better and easier to use than the bulky Carenado install. It was nice to have the choice of both G1000 versions, but in reality you knew which version you cared to usually use in operations. In this surprisingly quick update since the Dec 2017 release that choice has now been addressd, as the v1.6 Kodiak now only comes with the native Laminar Research G1000 avionics installed and the Carenado version now removed. This does also however reduce your aircraft list from four aircraft and down to two for the Cargo/Passenger version and a Float version. The constant revision and tuning by Thranda has brought the Quest Kodiak up to a very high standard now. And in this v1.6 version update the refining is again with quite a lot of tuning and adjustments. Visually there are no new features. VR (Virtual Reality) is also now part of the package with click spots and snap points, but most areas adjusted are mostly focused on the engine parameters. With calibrated cruise speeds with new engine performance, fixed low idle to 53%, improved generator, battery and oil temp, high ITT (Interstage Turbine Temperature) settings during start, throttle limiter with realism is now removed and a better weight and balance code. Performance does feel better and more realistic, but the TRQ engine dial still surges and can be distracting, I will note this is a more Laminar Research X-Plane issue than the developers. This also requires you to leave the AUX Pump on to stop the whole PFD info box (below left) flashing on and off as the Torque surge hits the red zone. The taxi speed also still a little to fast for my liking even with the mixture at slow idle, but it is better than before if still you have to keep using or touching the brakes to keep the speed down, the brakes as well have been made non-hydraulic but you can't really tell the difference in the feel. The native G1000 map display's range (above right) and is excellent for finding your way around complex airport runway and taxiway systems like they have at Dublin (EIDW). I found the very early Kodiak's a bit of a handful (mostly on the ground), but as noted they have had a lot of refinement since, and the aircraft is now seriously very nice to fly. The X-Plane11 dynamics have also gone a long way to benefit the Kodiak and not the other way around. Internal sounds are also improved and a few of the coming X-Plane 11.20 features have already been intergrated for future proofing the aircraft, this includes a better oxygen system and improvements to the native G1000. There was a few rear cabin glass issues, but you had to look at the glass from a strange angle to see them (yes I find everything!), but the glass has been redone with better reflections and the issue fixed. The removal of the extra double aircraft (.acf) files has reduced the download as well in the Expansion Package, and from 290mb to 164.10mb but the main package has increased to 329.72mb. Summary It is not often you see items removed from a package, but as my analysis in the v1.5 update review conclusion pointed out, is that the for the few extra features the original Carenado G1000 avionics provided, it was totally over shadowed in every area by the newer native Laminar Research G1000 version, and so to remove it is not really a backward step as a clean the table ready to keep on moving forward. It is a great benefit for the developer in that they are now only concerned with two aircraft files (Cargo/Pass and Floats) and not four files, ditto in that you aircraft folder is not clogged up with the same four .acf files. If you want the Carenado G1000 (for some reason) then just keep the older v1.5 in your aircraft folder, but why would you really? Otherwise this is nice v1.6 update to clean up engine tuning to the current X-Plane11 performance standards and to install the required VR (Vitual Reality) tools for VR flying. So another nice update, and in the few flights I did, the aircraft feels very, very mature now and flies very well. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Quest Kodiak v1.6 by Thranda (Dan Klaue) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Quest Kodiak G1000 by Thranda Price is US$33.95 If you already own the original Quest Kodiak or v1.5 or earlier then this update is free, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and upgrade to v1.6 Kodiak Expansion Pack Price is US$19.95 (currently) with US$5 off! @ US$14.95 Features Include (v1.6 expansion Pack): AMPHIBIAN VERSION (Floats with Retractable Landing Gear) SKI VERSION (with animated skis that adapt to ground angle and bumpiness) EXECUTIVE INTERIOR (with seats facing each other, and animated slide-out tables). Weight and balance manager graphics adapt to seating configuration. CARGO VERSION (featuring covered windows, flat loading area, and cargo visualization that adapts to the weight set in the weight and balance manager) TUNDRA VERSION (featuring larger balloon tires to tackle any rough terrain. Affects flight dynamics and ground handling) Amphibian version includes control for retractable water rudder, extra aerodynamic surfaces on the tail of the plane, retractable gear, and dynamic paint scheme adapted textures. Several menus in the slide-out window adapt dynamically to the configuration selected by the user. (E.g. cargo pod is not available for float version) ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : (new version requires XP11.10+, will not run on XP11.0) Windows, Mac or Linux running in 64bit mode 16Gb RAM - 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version 1.6 (last updated Feb 2nd 2018) The plane comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Base Kodiak Download is 329.73 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Fighter folder at 728.64mb (both packages). Key authorisation is required. Expansion Pack Download is 164.10mb and is installed as noted below... Expansion pack comes with three folders: Into_Liveries, Into_Objects and Into_Quest Installation is quite easy in that you just deposit the correct contents in to the same folders (Liveries, Objects and main aircraft root folder) in the basic Kodiak aircraft folder and replacing or adding the same in those folders. Only the X-Plane11 version has the X-Plane11 features noted in this review. Documentation : includes... Carenado and Laminar G1000 Comparison.pdf Thranda Kodiak Joystick Settings.pdf ChangeLog.rtf Thranda Kodiak Documentation.pdf G1000-X-Plane Kodiak.pdf Thranda Kodiak Credits and Copyright.pdf Thranda Kodiak Graphics Settings XP11.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 3rd February 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) Version 1.60 (Feb 2nd 2018) Changelog Removed Carenado’s G1000 and related infrastructure (now using LR G1000 exclusively) Added VR camera snap points Caused prop to disappear when shaft is broken Removed throttle limiter with realism on Updated version splash screen on MFD improved generator, battery, oil temp, etc. Calibrated cruise speeds with new engine performance Adjusted yellow line in G1000 screen fixed low idle to 53% Added VR-compatible click spots to the autopilot in the 3D panel Prepared oxygen system and .acf file for X-plane 11.20 oxygen update. Tweaked ELT threshold Deactivated Slew mode by default Remixed internal sounds Tweaked weight and balance code Changed autopilot altitude step size from 10 to 100 Updated “Localizer intercept to auto-engage BC” value to match the real G1000. Added ground roll and shaft damage sounds. Fixed high ITT during start Tweaked windows to reflect aircraft interior Added ENG INLET BP CAS annunciator Made brakes non-hydraulic Updated documentation folder
  7. Aircraft Update Review : Quest Kodiak v1.5 by Thranda The Kodiak is based on the principals of the extremely successful Cessna Caravan 200B, which is a single PT6A-140 868 hp (647 kW) Turboprop short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft with a seating arrangement for nine passengers and two crew. These aircraft are of a niche aircraft but a very important and useful niche, and that is why they are so extremely popular among operators. The original Kodiak from Thranda (or X-Plane sage Dan Klaue) was a heightened extravaganza of features and ideas, and it came on the crux of the new PBR or "Physically-Based Rendering" era. Then mid-year 2017 came the first major update in v1.4 and with a newly added "Expansion Pack" This extension added in extra variants to the aircraft, with a : Passenger (with two types of seating arrangements), Ski's, Floats, and a Cargo. It was a brilliant update, and shows the versatility of the Kodiak. My personal preference like with the same variant of the Carenado 208B is the cargo versions. I love to potter from regional to hub or vice-versa with a load in the back and a smile on my face... ... and with the excellent cargo adjustments available in weight and even the size of the actual boxes or crates on the Kodiak your are in sort of mini-haulers heaven. Kodiak v1.5 The main focus of this new v1.5 version of the Kodiak is based mainly around the features of X-Plane11 and is mainly focused on the changes with the X-Plane11-10 version of the simulator. The original Kodiak had Carenado's in-built Garmin G1000 three panel display system. As G1000's go it was very good as expected coming from the Carenado system. But and here is the big but, in operation it was a little overwrought to use, mostly because of the weight it had built into it and that made it slow to respond and visually slow. So here in v1.5 you now have another G1000 option with the native version from Laminar Research that was introduced with the X-Plane11.10 release. And both versions are included here for your personal preference. You also get four different menu aircraft loading options with both the two x G1000 versions Passenger, Ski and Cargo, and also the two x G1000 versions of the Float aircraft. I flew both G1000 versions to see the differences, first was the older Carenado version to get a reacquaintance with the original setup and then with the newer native G1000 version. There is a full chart provided in the package that covers the features of both G1000 setups, their pluses and minuses, but here I will look at the most obvious differences. Carenado G1000 Laminar Research G1000 The native PFD (Primary Flight Display) of the Laminar version is far darker than the Carenado display, of which I don't really like, the problem is visually is that both are wrong? (I know someone will certainly correct me on this) but the real displays have in reality a mixture of the two approaches. The brown lower ground colouring on the Carenado is too light, but the very dark blue sky area of the native version is too dark? The real displays have a slightly brighter brown and a more brighter blue if looking at the native version. If you took the lower of the native and the upper blue of the Carenado then you would be closer to the medium correction. The touch of the Kodiak startup screen is a nice added visual startup on both systems, so it also means that the native version is not always or has to be a pure native but is adjustable to different aircraft setups. But if you use the replay a lot, then these startup screens stay on during the replay? A note that neither G1000 system has the Autopilot buttons on any of the G1000 displays, they are however on the pop-up version of the native Laminar system but not on your panel version. Carenado G1000 flying Remember this Carenado G1000 is even at only a few years in development now feels old. When released it had a lot of features, but in a strange way it feels more now like a native G1000 than the 3rd party system it is. The PFD feels crowded, as it is because of the duplicated engine parameters side panel, and it can't be removed either. There is the three switchable DME/VOR1/2 backgrounds with points on the heading dial, but they are hard to define (at a distance) but the rate of turn indicator is very good. Both speed and altitude ribbons with built in vertical speed are also good as is the radio banner along the top. On the MAP display the Flightplan insertion is basic... but I haven't add in separate the waypoints either to make it more of a flightplan than other than using a downloaded route. The PROC (Procedures) button is not active either. features Waypoint (WPT), AUX (Flight Planning) and NRST (Nearest) are all supported but basic. The route is point to point, with no options. Range is restricted (below). the closest in (9268mts) to the wide (50nm) is not that large and very slow in response. However the biggest issue is when you turn the aircraft around and at the wide MAP setting, it also drags or stutters as the MAP turns... and then most of the next scenery tile is missing and that is giving you a sea of green of where there should be water. Terrain and TOPO are both supported. Laminar Research G1000 flying The Kodiak cockpit was always quite dark with all that black trim, so the native darker G1000 layout makes it look even darker again. The missing engine parameters side panel on the PFD makes the screen more open and empty, but it is actually easier to use, the PFD engine parameters panel is not an changeable option either. But there are a lot of PFD options available to fill in the empty space. Insert (MAP), Alerts are the two big switchable panels. Wind and the same three switchable DME/VOR1/2 backgrounds with points on the heading dial are as they are in the Carenado G1000. Both speed and altitude ribbons with built in vertical speed are also really good with the rate of turn indicator with the darker background actually helping here as is the radio banner along the top. But it is in the MAP display that the differences between the two GPS systems are far more substantial. Flight planning and routing is far easier to create and much more featured here in the native G1000. The main attraction is the far more options you have in building the route and the better map layout. The PROC (Procedures) button is also available for Arrivals, Approaches and Departures, in other words you now have SID and STAR procedures and even Airways are available as well. Finally the route can be aligned vertically or horizontally on the display. MAP range is simply sensational... the range is as low as 500ft to a space view of 800nm, that is not a typo, it is 800nm and half the continent of the USofA is in view. Notably the MAP can also be used valuably to find your route around the airport, as the airport layout is adjustable and your position also well stated. Only thing you have to be aware of is to activate your route from the runway start position so it aligns correctly from your start roll. More MAP options include TOPO, Restricted areas and Airways. Waypoint (WPT), AUX (Flight Planning) and NRST (Nearest) are not supported but NRST (Nearest) is available on the PFD. The screen DCLTR (DeClutter) is in three modes is excellent. MAP rotation is smooth and fast, no lag here or stuttering in either the panel or pop-out modes, all inputs are also lag free in that the system is very efficient in operation and all ranges are visible (no missing tiles). The native version does have the extra feature of System "Fuel" Current and also remain and used quantities (GAL) and can be reset, Both G1000's are not perfect, the switchable engine parameters side panel on either the PFD or the MAP are either on or off (or missing). the missing AP (Autopilot panel) would be a nice option and then of course is my feelings on the PFD colouring. You would think that the 3rd party G1000 version would be far, far superior to the usually basic default native X-Plane system, but here that is simply not the case, you do have the choice of either with the Kodiak, but I don't see the Carenado version being available long term and certainly if Laminar add in more features to their version. v1.50 Changes That reasoning is heightened more so by the fact that the rest of this upgrade is mostly in changes of items to the alignment of the X-Plane native and mostly with the X-Plane11-10 features in the place of the original custom features that was offered before. So let us see what has been tuned. All the sounds are now FMOD and not the custom audio plugin as before, and expect all the Carenado aircraft to follow the same route. The turbine curves have been calibrated in taking advantage of XP11.10’s new PT6 modelling capabilities as has the entire flight dynamics been refined to match the XP11.10’s new flight physics, the ground handling new ground physics have also been adjusted. Other v11.10 tuning includes the electrical systems logic to the new electrical model and the aircraft's Water Handling to conform better to the new water physics. The manipulators and click spots have all been changed to be X-plane native and this for the VR (Virtual Reality) introduction and it means the Kodiak will be now ready when the VR features are available in X-Plane. Lighting has had attention with fine tuning to fix light halo artifacts, and the forward edge wing lights now have has better glass detail. Dan Klaue was always the innovator with the best highest quality textures with the lowest framerate impact. Again the textures have had some nice fine tuning and all exported OBJ files have been re-optimised, to continue even more saving of your FPS. Finally the SASL plugin which has been updated, and been updated here to v2.51 for all the new features the update provides and that includes in now allowing for the SASL plugin to not be force-reset after a crash. More finer update changes are noted in the changelog below. Summary Even from it's earliest release the Thranda Quest Kodiak was always ahead of the pack in features and refinements anyway. But the world keeps moving on with new X-Plane features and new upgrades, and so changes to these native foundations are also required to keep the aircraft not only the best right now but also well prepared for changes to X-Plane in the future. The last twelve months have possibly seen the biggest changes that X-Plane has ever been subjected too, with a barrage of the completely new version in X-Plane11, but also the already high number of revisions to X-Plane to currently v11-10 or (11) as it now stands. So this release is fundamentally a reflection of those changes and the more significant alignment with the X-Plane native items and that is for the huge benefits that the new native features bring and that is to be noted not as a backward step, but in a big advancement forward. The highlight is of course the native G1000 GPS system, which is surprisingly far better than the original custom version and far more efficient as well and so that is a very welcome addition to the Kodiak, the older Carenado version is also still available as part of the package if you would rather prefer that version, it is still your choice. The rest of the Kodiak is what you expect... a lot. There is great features, with four different variants in Passenger, Ski's, Floats, and a Cargo. Great weights and balances options, external static elements and great refined liveries and the custom livery maker is still there as well. So a great update to the Kodiak and now an even more better flying experience... If you like your regional single-prop utility aircraft to be versatile and capable and a great simulator experience then you can't go past the Quest Kodiak. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Quest Kodiak v1.51 by Thranda (Dan Klaue) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Quest Kodiak G1000 by Thranda Price is US$33.95 If you already own the original Quest Kodiak or v1.4 then this update is free, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and upgrade to v1.5 Kodiak Expansion Pack Price is US$19.95 (currently) with US$5 off! Features Include (v1.5 expansion Pack): AMPHIBIAN VERSION (Floats with Retractable Landing Gear) SKI VERSION (with animated skis that adapt to ground angle and bumpiness) EXECUTIVE INTERIOR (with seats facing each other, and animated slide-out tables). Weight and balance manager graphics adapt to seating configuration. CARGO VERSION (featuring covered windows, flat loading area, and cargo visualization that adapts to the weight set in the weight and balance manager) TUNDRA VERSION (featuring larger balloon tires to tackle any rough terrain. Affects flight dynamics and ground handling) Amphibian version includes control for retractable water rudder, extra aerodynamic surfaces on the tail of the plane, retractable gear, and dynamic paint scheme adapted textures. Several menus in the slide-out window adapt dynamically to the configuration selected by the user. (E.g. cargo pod is not available for float version) ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 11 ONLY and X-Plane v11-10 version is required. X-Plane 11.10+ Windows, Mac or Linux running in 64bit mode 16Gb RAM - 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version 1.5 (last updated Dec 16th 2017) The plane comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Carenado navigation database installed ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Base Kodiak Download is 297.00 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Fighter folder at 554.30mb (both packages). Key authorisation is required. Expansion Pack Download is 257.30mb and is installed as noted below... Expansion pack comes with three folders: Into_Liveries, Into_Objects and Into_Quest Installation is quite easy in that you just deposit the correct contents in to the same folders (Liveries, Objects and main aircraft root folder) in the basic Kodiak aircraft folder and replacing or adding the same in those folders. When running X-Plane there are two Kodiak aircraft files (.acf) to choose from, with one version for the Passenger, cargo and ski choices and another aircraft (.acf) for the amphibian version. Only the X-Plane11 version has the X-Plane11 features noted in this review. You must have the Carenado navigation database installed (840mb) in your main X-Plane root folder, download from the link. Documentation : includes... Carenado and Laminar G1000 Comparison.pdf Thranda Kodiak Joystick Settings.pdf ChangeLog.rtf Thranda Kodiak Documentation.pdf G1000-X-Plane Kodiak.pdf Thranda Kodiak Credits and Copyright.pdf Thranda Kodiak Graphics Settings XP11.pdf ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 19th December 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 11.11 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle 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: - KEYW - Key West International Airport V1.0 by FletcherJ (X-Plane.Org) Free - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99 v1.5 Changelog Added support for Laminar’s native G1000 (Icons and .acf name have a description of which G1000 users have selected to use). Added ability to save various preferences set in the pop-up window (such as weight units, fairings, chocks, etc. Updated SASL to v2.51, which now allows for SASL to not be force-reset after a crash. Added a “Startup Running On/Off” option, which resets the plane immediately to the desired condition, provided the plane is stationary on the ground. Re-authored all audio as FMOD. (Removed previous in-house audio plugin). Removed all instances of degenerate UVs (known colloquially as the “Marching Ants” problem) Calibrated turbine curves, taking advantage of XP11.10’s new PT6 modelling capabilities Re-calibrated entire flight dynamics to match XP11.10’s new flight physics Re-calibrated ground handling, to match XP11.10’s new ground physics Fixed dynamic livery generator to allow for “-“ characters in aircraft registration Fine-tuned PBR materials inside and out Fixed landing light covers transparency and PBR Re-authored all click spots to be X-plane native (in anticipation of VR support). Previous Thranda-based scroll wheel implementation will not be supported in VR, so it had to be revamped. Added X-Plane-native checklist file (which Laminar says will be the basis for future G1000-integrated checklist capability) Adapted electrical systems logic to new v11.10 electrical model Assigned different sound events to various sliders in the “Audio/Slew” tab of the pop-up window. Reworked all SASL-based panel elements to do a single-pass graphics draw, as opposed to multi-pass, to reduce load on GPU. Re-optimized all exported OBJ files, to continue saving FPS Calibrated oxygen system to allow for about 5 hours of oxygen Updated Water Handling to conform better to XP11.10’s new water physics. Fixed light halo artifacts. Fixed firewall smoke handle direction
  8. Aircraft Extension : Quest Kodiak G1000 Expansion Pack by Thranda The Quest Kodiak was released at the end of October 2016 by Thranda or by another name in Dan Klaue who is an old sage in X-Plane developers. On the aircraft's release you were met with a very different sort of aircraft than you usually expected. It was full of innovations, interesting details and was or is quite different to fly than most aircraft of this genre. A full X-PlaneReview is here : Aircraft Release Review : Quest kodiak by Dan Klaue As noted in the review the Kodiak is based on the principals of the extremely successful Cessna Caravan 200B, which is a single PT6A-140 868 hp (647 kW) Turboprop short-haul regional airliner and utility aircraft with a seating arrangement for nine passengers and two crew. The word here is "utility aircraft" and a versatile machines these C200B and Kodiaks are. The initial release version was delivered with just the 8 + 2 passenger version and an "Expansion Pack" was noted as coming... Well here it is and the expansion pack delivers not only the standard 8 + 2 seating arrangement but now an "Executive" version as well. Also in the new package is a Cargo version, Ski Version, Amphibian (Float) Version and a Tundra tired version. Which all together makes up a pretty extensive package. Important is that you will need to first purchase the standard Kodiak version and then add on the new "Expansion Pack". Which is very similar to the Carenado Cessna Caravan arrangement, and so you can't just purchase one aircraft package of both roles. On top of the new package availability, this release also brings the aircraft in both forms up to X-Plane11 standards as well as there is now also two versions available for both X-Plane10 and X-Plane11. Also to note that there are two separate aircraft files with one covering the Passenger, Cargo, Ski, Tundra versions and one for the Amphibian (Float) Version. The "Passenger" version's new two seating arrangements are excellent, with first the original 8 + 2 version... ... and the new six seater "Executive" version with nice animated fold out tables. Although I will admit that last row is a bit cramped. There was an update for the Kodiak for X-Plane11 the moment the beta version was released in late Nov 2016. But that was far too early in the new simulators beta run to be effective. This v1.4 covers the full revision of X-Plane11 features including all the main X-Plane11 areas of thrust calibration, ground handling, textures, flight dynamics, electrical systems and more improvements to the G1000 avionics suite. These in v1.4 changes now make the aircraft fully X-Plane11 compatible. Thranda also include an Auto X-Updater for the duration of X-Plane 11 to update the aircraft at any time without having to go and redownload the full package from your purchase store. This review will focus mostly on the cargo version as I get most of my "jollies" from those aircraft in flying small loads of freight from larger airports to small regional or even very remote strips that most other aircraft could never service. For this task the C200B and the Kodiak are very well equipped and built for that certain specalised role. Menus But first a run through the comprehensive menu system that comes with the Kodiak to configure the aircraft to your specalised desires. Although the menu is basically the same as the original release menu, with the new "Expansion Pack" the menus are changed to add in the newer elements of the different types of versions available. I mentioned "comprehensive" before but extremely versatile also is the menu system is as well for different configurations and layouts. The menu is accessed by the arrow tab on the left side of your screen. The colour of the menu is linked to the aircraft's primary colour and so changes if you change the livery on the aircraft. This can be from the pleasing cool light grey to some really gaudy colours that even makes the menu harder to read... The same set of main menu options are still set out in the same five menus of : General, Livery, Weight/Bal (Balance), Camera, Flight Data and MIsc. General: The main menu covers all the general items on the aircraft and notes: Realistic mode, Electric tug, reflections on/off and scroll (mouse) visualization on/off. Lower selections cover the Cargo pod on/off, wheel fairings on/off, chocks on/off and brakes on/off. The three "All" buttons in Covers, Tie-Downs and Doors activate all items in that segment, but you can also touch areas on the aircraft to open/close, add or take away all the different individual items featured on the menu. Overall this menu is the same as the original except for one new addition in an external GPU (Ground Power Unit) - (above right) Liveries: Selecting the livery button gives you a selection with more "PAINTED" liveries for you to select from with three added cargo liveries for FedEx, DHL and JAARS. The amazing "Dynamic" livery system is still there as well, which allows you build you own colour livery in the style you like and save it. I found it a little more efficient than on the original release were it would be slow sometimes changing colours and saving, it is far better now. I did a full description of this dynamic livery system in the original review. Weights & Balances : "WEIGHT/BAL" tab allows you to set the aircraft weight (lbs) in fuel, passenger (weight) and cargo weight in the rear or with the cargo in the under fuselage Pod. This menu option page is excellent for setting up the aircraft with the different weights allowed. Easy to use but a reset to default settings would be a nice touch. But not only now can you set up your passenger weights, but load up the aircraft in the cargo configuration as well. As the cargo hauler in you can get (a little) carried away, and you can easily overload your aircraft! My tail was almost touching the ground until I saw sense and lightened the load a little. A really great touch is that as you add in your weights then the aircraft loads up with crates and boxes. You fly full there and empty back... oh it is heaven. Camera : The camera button covers two set of views with one the external (walkaround) views via a set of red dots, and two a set of ten default (X-Plane) views as noted via the keypad or selecting one from the list and this menu is not changed from the original. Audio/Slew The Audio/Slew panel was quite basic on the release version with just the master volume to switch the sound on or off. The sound menu has been expanded to now include: Engine Volume, Prop Volume, Ground Volume, Electrical Volume, Warning Volume, Button Volume and Aerodynamic Volume (wind). The unfinished "slew" feature was also slightly problematic and that has also been refined but still not perfected. The idea is to allow you to place the aircraft at an new altitude or turn it around to a new heading very quickly and without going to the X-Plane local map to do the same thing but without that nasty bump as X-Plane kicks back in. MISC : Although the MISC menu option in the original release was listed it didn't work. Now it does. The menu covers four squares that represent Skis, Tires, Cargo and Interior. Skis : Skis allows you to add skis to all the wheels. All skis are really well modeled with even detailed cables holding them in place. Tires : Tires allows you to select the regular tire size or the balloon style "Tundra" tires for wetland use. Cargo or Interior : You can only use the cargo option or the Interior option with these selections. The Cargo version takes away the windows and fits the internal floor ready for hauling freight. In the Interior version you have the 8 + 2 seating arrangement or the "Executive" version as noted above. As a note the liveries work with both versions in that you can have a FedEx livery on the passenger version which gives a whole new meaning to "Hauling cattle class". Amphibian (Float) Version The addition of floats to the Kodiak makes the aircraft feel huge! The fuselage is way up there and the aircraft stands well above the ground with these huge pontoons attached below. The pontoon detailing is excellent, the best in X-Plane by a mile. Detail is outstanding with every rivet and screw shown. Pylons are aerodynamic and beautifully joined to the fuselage. The pontoons are well shaped and the bottom curves and shapes will be better seen in flight are excellent. The rear twin rudders can be raised or lowered by a lever in the cockpit between the front seats... ... the bigger front lever is for the undercarriage and not to used on land as it is a noisy and damaging experience. Animation (in flight) of the gear is excellent. You do feel the realistic weight of the extra external appendages. Speed is slower and the centre of gravity is in a different place, but still the Kodiak is nice too fly. Note the extra fins on the rear tailplane for extra stability. Movement and handing on the water is also very good, but the aircraft does sit quite low on the pontoons. If you have already flown the Kodiak then you will know it is a bit like a frolicking horse. This speed can be a bit strong to reign in and on the water with no brakes to slow you down it can be a bit disconcerting... ... as even in the low idle position and if throw out the anchor you will just circle around it like on a circus ride? Only a full propeller pitch change will make the Kodiak finally calm down. But overall this Kodiak is a very nice aircraft in it's amphibian role and can be used in both the passenger and cargo versions. Flying the Quest Kodiak Cargo version I love regional cargo flying. Distributing small freight to remote strips or just from regional airports to hubs. Of course the Carenado Caravan was a master of these routes, but the newer Kodiak can now give the old timer a better run for its money. This route is a favorite, it is from KEYW (Key West) to KRSW (South West Florida) and small hop but a vital link in the chain of delivering freight to the end of the keys. The route out was lightly loaded, but coming back I filled the Kodiak to the line of what is allowable in weight to get off the ground. As much fun in simulation is found not only in the actual flying but in the ground work before the actual airborne work. The Kodiak is really one of the best in this case in not only selecting the way I want to fly the aircraft (Wheel Fairings on) but in the way that I load the aircraft. Both pilot and cargo weight distribution is excellent and with a great scale to show the centre of gravity and load balance. This weight balance is very important in the Kodiak as it does affect the way the aircraft flies as it should in the real world. This was noted in the original review in that the Kodiak is not a simple aircraft to fly easily. You can't just slip into the pilot's seat and fly off into the sunset. It does require a bit of time and feel to get under this aircraft's skin and the way the aircraft handles. Certainly different load factors affect the handling, but it is very tricky on takeoff and landing and requires a very firm feel and cool head to get it right. So it will take a few flights before you will feel comfortable with your place at the helm, a bit of practise helps as well. As I found heading out of KEYW to KRSW and all of a sudden the earlier flying reminders came flooding back and I had to adjust accordingly. But like most aircraft in this manner you do adjust but it won't be without a little time in getting back into the groove again. My advice is that to spend time in the Kodiak to get the very best out of the aircraft. The more mileage you do the easier the aircraft becomes, it certainly is not a hop in and out of again machine because you certainly won't get the best out of it in that way of flying. First issue is power or idle thrust. I rarely moved the "Condition" lever out of low idle except for takeoff or climbing, as on the ground at high idle you just head off directly into the scenery once the brakes are released, never land even if the manual says not to in high idle, you won't stop or even get any sort of taxi speed that is controllable. And put in also a soft bouncy undercarriage and the Kodiak can test your nerves on the ground. In the air the aircraft is far more stable but challenging. But that is in the fun flying and control sort of way than in a challenging painful way. There is a lot of feedback and you need to use that active yoke trim tool to balance the aircraft correctly if you are going to fly any distance and even before you use the S-Tec Fifty Five X Autopilot, and to note the manual trim down by the seats is impossible to use anyway while holding the yoke steady and your eyes on the floor using it. Thank god for the yoke positioned switch. The look of the Kodiak in the air in X-Plane11 is different from the look in X-Plane10. The ultra shinyness is gone to be replaced by the more natural PBR look in X-Plane11 and that is not a bad thing as the aircraft does look sensational in X-Plane11. The ultra shiny look was artificially created anyway. In that vein the Kodiak looks excellent in the air in X-Plane11, far better than I remembered like it was in X-Plane10. Detailing is superb and I really love this bulky looking cargo version going about its work. Cockpit and instrument panel is still overwhelmingly dark. You don't really get used to the blackness but it is faithful to the real aircraft. Those clever air vents that can be not only a adjusted for position but also the inner flap for the right airflow to your face (small fan facing face is highly recommended for authenticity) but they are also now in a perfect chrome look courtesy of X-Plane11's metalness feature, internal lighting fittings also have the same metallic feel as do small metal items on the aircraft. G1000 avionics feature is very good now with updates since the original Kodiak release. Only the map is still a little laggy in turning and loading and the weight of the system although now refined does still require a bit of PC power behind it. But the cockpit detailing is excellent, so much detail and every switch and lever works as it should. X-Plane11 refinements mean you get more flying feedback and good sounds to create that big experience. Nice PBR shadows help and with the aircraft fully loaded with cargo you feel like you are flying a huge full backback strapped on behind you, but you wouldn't want it any other way. Hauling in the best sense. The route is only an hour's flying time, but up here at 8500ft you are enjoying the view. On the ground at KRSW and a quick turnaround with even a larger and heavier load back to KEYW. You notice the difference of the weight, but more so in that with all that extra load it does make the aircraft a little less squirmy on takeoff and landing, not by much but it does help in keeping the aircraft more straight. In the air the extra weight also means a far slower climb back up to 8500ft, almost twice as long as the first flight. Key West is straight ahead over the water, and the need to adjust the rev's to the best speed setting vs not over running the engine is paramount. So there no doubt in that the new expansion pack adds in a huge difference in the way you can now use the Kodiak. Cargo running is my game, but you can also find your fun in either the Float version, Skis up in the mountains or just the usual passenger island hopping to your heart's content, this Kodiak will do all and do them all now very, very well. Liveries The original set of liveries are in the original review, so here they are what they look like on the passenger version of the amphibian version, just note again they will work on every version of either the passenger, cargo and ski aircraft. Note the excellent extra water detail on the "Tiger" float version (above right) Summary It is important to first note that you will need to purchase the base or passenger version of the Thranda Kodiak and then add in the extra cargo, Ski and amphibian elements of the "Expansion Pack" into the folders of the main package (details below). This is also a double package in not only with the new expansion pack, but also the compatibility to X-Plane11 for the Kodiak. Both are certainly worth the effort and purchase. Do I recommend the Quest Kodiak to only experienced fliers? It is a tricky bird to fly to full capacity. If you are very familiar with Carenado aircraft then you should easily convert to the Kodiak as their traits are very similar as long as you are aware of the extra area of weights and the centre of gravity settings. Otherwise don't expect to jump in an just fly it like a pro when you are not. It will take awhile to get the feel and control of the machine but once you get it, then it all falls into place and the aircraft will then reward you hugely in return. Most if not all purchasers simply love it because of these traits and they will also certainly love this updated aircraft. On its release last late October 2016 the Thranda Kodiak was certainly a very ambitious project, with a lot, no a huge amount of features and creative ideas featured throughout the package. It was all very good, but with such an ambitious aim there was always going to be a few things not ready and also it being released on the edge of X-Plane11's release as well. An early update (to X-Plane11 beta) covered most areas, but it is really in this release that the full X-Plane11 package and details can now be seen . It is good, very good, if not the best all round quality package for an aircraft of this type of aircraft and at a very value packed price. So the best point to make is that this update and "Expansion Pack" does make the Quest Kodiak from Thranda a complete all round and up to date package, it comes from one of the very best developers in X-plane and you can't simply get better than that. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Quest Kodiak by Thranda (Dan Klaue) is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Quest Kodiak G1000 by Thranda Price is US$33.95 If you already own the original Quest Kodiak then this update is free, just go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account and upgrade to v1.4 Kodiak Expansion Pack Price is US$19.95 (currently) with US$5 off! Features Include (v1.4 expansion Pack): AMPHIBIAN VERSION (Floats with Retractable Landing Gear) SKI VERSION (with animated skis that adapt to ground angle and bumpiness) EXECUTIVE INTERIOR (with seats facing each other, and animated slide-out tables). Weight and balance manager graphics adapt to seating configuration. CARGO VERSION (featuring covered windows, flat loading area, and cargo visualization that adapts to the weight set in the weight and balance manager) TUNDRA VERSION (featuring larger balloon tires to tackle any rough terrain. Affects flight dynamics and ground handling) Amphibian version includes control for retractable water rudder, extra aerodynamic surfaces on the tail of the plane, retractable gear, and dynamic paint scheme adapted textures. Several menus in the slide-out window adapt dynamically to the configuration selected by the user. (E.g. cargo pod is not available for float version) ______________________________________________________________________ Requirements : X-Plane 11 or X-Plane 10.50+ Windows, Mac or Linux running in 64bit mode 16Gb RAM - 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 3Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version 1.4 (last updated June 15th 2017) The plane comes with an auto-updater. Free auto updates for the life-cycle of X-Plane 11 Windows users: Please ensure that you have all the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables downloaded and installed. Carenado navigation database installed ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Base Kodiak Download is 300.70 mb which is unzipped to your X-Plane Fighter folder at 623.80mb (both packages). Key authorisation is required. Expansion Pack Download is 151.85mb and is installed as noted below... Expansion pack comes with three folders: Into_Liveries, Into_Objects and Into_Quest Installation is quite easy in that you just deposit the correct contents in to the same folders (Liveries, Objects and main aircraft root folder) in the basic Kodiak aircraft folder and replacing or adding the same in those folders. When running X-Plane there are two Kodiak aircraft files (.acf) to choose from, with one version for the Passenger, cargo and ski choices and another aircraft (.acf) for the amphibian version. Only the X-Plane11 version has the X-Plane11 features noted in this review. You must have the Carenado navigation database installed (840mb) in your main X-Plane root folder, download from the link. Documentation : includes ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 21st June 2017 Copyright©2017: 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 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.02 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 Scenery: - KEYW - Key West International Airport V1.0 by FletcherJ (X-Plane.Org) Free - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99
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