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  1. 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
  2. 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