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Aircraft Review : Extra 330SC by Vertigo Design Fun! Remember that... Well the PC (Politically Correct) Police have already stuffed up Christmas... sorry Festive Season (Happy Holidays is now so last year) and that it has got to us so much that the American's voted in Trump and us the English gave up completely on Europe or is that everything? But back to Fun... I take X-Plane quite seriously, too seriously I think that sometimes you just need to brighten up a little and let go. See the world from a different perspective, so how about this... No it is not a photoshopped image but a completely inverted roll, or flying upside down. This jolly of jolly's is possible because of the Extra 330SC or in the case of the aircraft's full name of "Extra Flugzeugbau EA330" that is an aerobatic aircraft that was designed in 1987 by Walter Extra, a distinguished German aerobatic pilot, and is built by Extra Flugzeugbau in Hünxe, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. And the Extra is the extraordinary World Champion Aerobatic Aircraft for 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016! It is a powerful machine as well, with a fuel-injected Lycoming AEIO-580 pushing out 300 horsepower (224 kW) and giving the aircraft incredible torque and a top speed of 408 km/h (220 knots, 253 mph). With all that power at your disposal then a full loop is a breeze, after a slight dive to build up speed... Starting to have fun yet... because it is great fun, and liberating at the same time by the sheer joy of being unbound to the earth and doing aerobatic flying without the normal constraints of doing procedures and the more routine style of flying. Cuban Eight, Hammerhead stall, Split S, Spin, tailslide, snap roll are all aerobatic maneuvers that this aircraft is built for and the "snap roll" is very, very good, it almost pulls your head off. I am no aerobatic pilot, and will never profess to be one, but if you do want to learn aerobatics in X-Plane then this is in which the aircraft to do so. The 330SC has a symmetrical airfoil, mounted with a zero angle of incidence, and that provides equal performance in both upright and inverted flight in other words the Extra can fly just as well upside down as the right way up. This Extra 330SC is done by Vertigo Design (Simon Fournier), and it is excellently modeled throughout. Basically aerobatic aircraft are just that in being very basic and extremely light, but immensely strong... and you get that feel here. You get Mr Extra as well inside the cockpit and he is really well done and looks highly realistic. It is an attractive aircraft this single-seater. It looks quite standard on the outside, but the detailing on the interior is excellent and shows the complexity of the original design. The aircraft is a welded steel tube spaceframe that is covered in aluminium and fabric. The mid-set wing has a carbon fiber composite spar and carbon composite skins. That tubing spaceframe is highly complex, and has been really well recreated here. You can feel the inner and outer construction of the aircraft and the webbing of the inner steel cage around you. Note the excellent sliding rudder pedals and the fine details of the side panel instructions set out on a perspex panel The main panel in front of you is divided into upper and lower panels, with the upper panel focusing on the main instruments including: Lower left is a clever digital trim, Com 1, transponder top row then central airspeed, altimeter, artificial horizon, manifold pressure and fuel flow and RPM + hobbs meter lower row. Lower panel has a row of fuses then... down the left in a row your left, central and right fuel tanks. Com2, cylinders temperature and Oil pressure/temperature is top row. Gmeter and chronometer are on the second row and an amp gauge is on the third row. All instruments are modern and very well selected. Four switches are for the alternator and master switch. Then you can choose to have the pilot to show or hide, but he only disappears inside the aircraft and is still visible externally, which is odd? Final switch is "white" smoke if you want to show off your moves during a display, but it is only the X-Plane smoke on or off. Very top of the panel is a large digital readout for Speed (knt/km/h) and altitude (meter/ft). This feature item is only shown when the pilot is hidden, and this also shows your speed and altitude on the edge of the wings near the wing’s triangle. This feature is very useful during your maneuvers in X-Plane because you don’t feel the speed and you can’t look at your wing and follow your speed or altimeter at the same time. There is a pop-out GNS430 that is handy and the throttle design and action is excellent. Mr Extra like we mentioned is very good, and his movements with the stick, throttle are well animated. His body is animated as well... Move the stick left or right to move those excellent control surfaces and his head moves from left to right as well, and head also movements for the up and down to the forward or rear pulling of the stick. In flight his all movements look very authentic. Being an aerobatic aircraft the control surfaces have a lot of movement, and so you have to adjust when flying to the small inputs and smoothness in not to over maneuver the aircraft. Settings for X-Planes augmentation is at 100%, and the response is set at 0% for the most realistic flying. Note the way the tailwheel is cleverly connected to the rudder and that the tube-frame is left exposed at the rear, it would have been just to easy to have filled it in, and that is great detail. Only one small but mostly hidden aspect are the main front wheels are not round, round but a bit rough in the 3d. This Extra is fast... This aircraft is blindingly fast, you don't takeoff, but more hurtle down the runway and into the air. 250knts is a starting speed once airborne! And like some demented wasp you can buzz the tower and be gone long before the controllers have any chance of reporting you to the authorities. Very tight angle banks into runways are a breeze, but your view ahead is quite restricted in finding the runway. So you will need to get your "field of View" setting correct. The biggest issue is slowing down, as there are no flaps or anything to wipe off the speed... ... the aircraft is light and will flare forever if you let it, careful on the brakes as well in case you over-end the aircraft on it's nose, the speed will come down, but pick a long runway. A note is in not to use the non-existent airbrakes, it just opens the canopy! Liveries There are four liveries in two French and two German aerobatic colours. All are of great quality, but it is a shame there is no Red bull. Summary The Extra 330SC is certainly built for a specific purpose and that is for aerobatic flight. And this X-Plane version is created and tuned for that specific role, but it delivers and it is certainly the best aerobatic aircraft in X-Plane. Design and aircraft build from Vertigo Design is all round excellent, but there are not a lot of special features but just a very good well built aircraft that flies extremely well, and even real Red Bull pilots use it for training so it must be correct in it's feel and execution of flight and aerobatic maneuvers. So that pretty well sums up the Extra 330SC, fast, light and hugely manoeuvrable and perfect for practising aerobatics to your heart's content... and it is a lot of fun as well! ______________________________________________________________ Yes! the Extra 330SC by Vertigo Design is Available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Extra 330SC by Vertigo Design Price is US$29.90 but available now with US$5 off at US$24.90 Features : Incredible flight model made for real pilots (already used by a real Red Bull Air Race pilot !) High quality 3D model Immersive sounds Realistic pilot animations High quality liveries and HD textures ______________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 137.30mb. Installed file size is 158.30 into your X-Plane "General Aviation" Folder. Documents : Included are: Vertigo Design - INSTRUCTIONS_english/french Real documents from Extra - POH_EXTRA330SC and Maintenance_EXTRA330SC Requirements : X-Plane 10 Fully updated - Any edition Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb+ VRAM Video Card ______________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th December 2016 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - GeForce GTX 980/SSE2 - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.45 Addons: Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini