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  1. News! - Next Aircraft from vFlyteAir - Comco-Ikarus C42 C VFlyteAir have announced their next aircraft release as the Comco-Ikarus C42 C. Not sure what that is? Well it is the the bestselling ultra- light aircraft in Germany and over 1450 aircraft have been built since 1996. As with all vFlyteAir aircraft the simulation version aircraft are based on real machines in this case two C42Cs (D-MYSF and D-MNLN) based at Flugschule Magdeburg (flying school Magdeburg, at EDBM airport in Germany). This is a very basic aircraft as the Ikarus C42 is a single-engined high-wing monoplane with side-by-side seats for two in a 1.22 m (48 in) wide cabin. The C42 is manufactured with either an 80 hp (60 kW) Rotax 912 engine or a 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912s engine. The Rotax engine has a low fuel consumption and relatively low noise. The engine drives the propeller, which has ground-adjustable pitch, through a gearbox with a 2.273:1 reduction ratio. The aircraft uses very different materials on the exterior: Wings are made both of fabric and plastic material, and they are semi-transparent. All FMOD sounds are from the original host aircraft for realism. Release was noted as "Summer 2018", so expect it to be available before Spring! No price or feature list was announced. Images are courtesy of vFlyteAir ________________________________________ News by Stephen Dutton 29th June 2018 Copyright©2018: X-Plane Reviews
  2. Aircraft Review : Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic/Original by VFlyteAir In the early sixties Piper Aircraft needed a competitor to the runaway success of the Cessna 172 Series. The company looked to their current but larger design in the Piper PA-24 Comanche and downsized the aircraft but also took away the retractable landing gear and its constant-speed propeller (These items would be later returned on future versions of the Cherokee). Overall Piper created a smaller, thriftier and cheaper version to bring the aircraft to the demanding market. Certainly 32,000 sales since the launch of the Cherokee in 1961 proves the wise decisions of the time. The original Cherokee was the 150/160 (PA-28-150 and PA-28-160) and the number denotes the horsepower rating. But very quickly into production Piper created the Cherokee 180 (PA-28-180) going higher in the market and then soon wanted even more flexibility in the lower end and the Cherokee 140 was created to fill that gap. The 140 actually has the PA-28-140 engine but was slightly modified shortly after its introduction to produce 150 horsepower (112 kW), but still kept the -140 name. Early versions were only two seaters but this version is the 140 variant called the Cherokee Cruiser 2+2 with four seats. So X-PlaneReviews headed out to Van Nuys, California to check out the latest release from VFlyteAir in their version of the Cherokee 140. There are actually two versions on offer here in the Classic (C) or the Original (O). The Original is VFR (Visual Flight Rules) rated only and the Classic is a IFR (Instrument Rated) aircraft. Externally both aircraft are exactly the same with only the panel and rating as the differences between the aircraft versions. So we will look at the Classic overall and then note the differences with the Original later. Their is a big correlation with VFlyteAir and the Cherokee 140 with the developer actually leasing the aircraft and flying the Cherokee regularly as do all the aircraft (beta) testers for this project. So there is an intimate connection with the design and its transfer to the X-Plane simulator. This is important to this review and this notable connection is certainly valid to the authenticity of the design. Having a donor aircraft available does certainly allow the designer more access to the modeling and dynamics of the design to be translated over to the simulator. No doubt many developers pore over an aircraft with their tape measures and cameras, but having an aircraft you use is like knowing that small scratch on the rear bumper of your car is there and the seat runners stick every time you move the seat, annoying but part of the heart of the machine. So this aircraft release is more than just another project for X-Plane for the team at VFlyteAir, it is their heart as well. First impressions are actually the opposite of the above. Yes the aircraft is minutely well modeled, great and even perfect design work, but... it feels a little bland. Is there anything missing here to make it better? The point is there isn't. So you need to get in closer or more intimate with the aircraft and then you can feel the detailing. If one designer house has created a quality feel over the last few years then none have advanced more that VFlyteAir. Left lower of the screen is the cog for the pop-up menu. Standard it covers removing the wheel covers, opens the right side passenger door, adds or removes the Co-Pilot (and adjusts his weight as well, which is well done), removes the ground elements which is quite odd with the tick on to remove and off to add and feels the wrong way round. Final selection is the choice to use the X-Plane steering or an add on steering (home cockpits). Also on the menu are seven views (four views are displayed below) with six external and one internal which are all very good. Internally your first impression is of that feeling again of the panel being a bit bland, but bear with me. On the surface you look around you and feel the baseness of the aircraft, but then you start to get closer to the aircraft, you look harder at the detailing and sheer depth of what you are feeling here. The deeper you go the more you realise this aircraft is very, very detailed, perfectly detailed and nothing is missing or looked over. Textures are excellent, you can almost feel the weave of the material on the seats that worn rip on the Co-Pilots fabric, the tired worn side panels and old leather inserts. Fuel tank switch is low down on the left panel and the air vents are perfectly recreated, and they rotate as well and does the small air adjuster knob. And this is where you are getting into the real feel of the aircraft because the longer you are in here, and the more you look... then you realise how very well it is all done and put together. The metal heel pans are perfectly damaged and worn with years of use, as are the rudder pedals, and all the intricate assemblies under the panel is perfectly created for authenticity. Roof mounted pitch trim handle is excellent but really hard to use in flight with no way to watch the instruments when adjusting the trim. Lovely worn metal yokes continue the vibe, but I really like the right side yoke in missing the centre plaque with age. Just like your real time used aircraft. Both yokes can be hidden for full panel viewing. First view of the panel felt underwhelming. But again the detailing and experience came out with closer observation and use, the more you use the aircraft and fly this machine then the more you feel a distinct part of it, there is some strange background business going on here. My feeling is that with the intimate use and a closeness to the real Cherokee 140 then this feeling as in no doubt was the total objective of this aircraft, and to transfer that consciousness to the user on that basis. I think VFlyteAir have succeeded in that process. The panel layout is basic in design. This aircraft was created initially for the flying school and weekend flyer markets, so it is not ever going to be a sophisticated machine. Standard six instruments (Airspeed Indicator, Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, Altimeter, Turn Coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicator are perfectly laid out, with directional CDI (course deviation indicator) for VOR OBS (Nav2) and ILS alignment Dial are all clear and nice to use. Lower panel are the lighting switches and pitot, fuel pump switches. Left side of the panel is quite bare but has the engine monitoring instruments in RPM (large), Gyro suction dial, Clock and voltage meter. Six engine gauges in a block cover left and right fuel tanks, amperage, oil pressure, temperature and fuel pressure. Centre equipment stack is excellent. Standard KMA 28 TSO Audio set is top with the Garmin GNS 430 below. Then you have a Narco MK 12D NAV/COMM (COMM2/VOR 2) that runs the Glideslope dial on the panel. Garmin GTX 327 transponder with built in distance indicator is above the unique S-TEC 55X autopilot. Another unique unit is the King KR86 ADF unit with built in direction pointer, which is amazingly easy to use. So the equipment stack does give you great functionality if you want to cruise somewhere beyond your immediate area and cover some distance. Cherokee 140 Original The VFR original version and panel is very different from the Classic version, It is the layout and replica of the donor aircraft N3466K. The Standard six instruments are all there but are laid out in very different places than the usual central grouping cluster. Top left is the Airspeed Indicator, with Heading Dial and Attitude Indicator or Artificial Horizon, The Altimeter is left under the Airspeed dial, Turn Coordinator is below that and the and Vertical Speed Indicator is far left... A compass left and a clock centre fills up the spaces. A large VOR OBS CDI (course deviation indicator) covers the instruments on the pilot's side. The Co-Pilot's facia is more the same as the Classic version with the RPM (large), Gyro suction dial and those six block gauges. The hobbs meter is the odd instrument. Central equipment stack in the original is basic. There is an interesting PS Engineering PAR200 Audio Panel top that looks like it was future fitted. It has a built in COMM 1 function. There is a "Bluetooth" function on the real PAR200 and this is simulated by an audio file that is already inserted or your own choice of music... Then below is a classic TKM MX300 Com panel with Comm 2 and VOR 1 frequency adjustment that is slaved for use with the OBS (usually VOR 2). You have finally on the bottom a lovely RC RT-359A 300 XPDR Aircraft Transponder, really old and authentic. All radio equipment looks great and aged and are all highly realistic. Two clever features on the Original version include first is that you can set your own text on a placard for either local Radio frequencies or vRef speeds on the lower panel (just make a .png image to replace). Second is the feature to put "INOP" stickers over instruments to allow training pilots to practice skills with “Partial Panel” flight . There is a trick you can do the Original aircraft as well. Real-world pilots of the Cherokee 140 jam a small object under the flaps lever during cruise flight? Why would they do this? Well -- this way the flaps deploy by about 1°. To compensate for the small extra lift generated by the flaps, the pilots trim down the aircraft a bit, and this results in a slightly increased cruise speed (2 to 4 knots). You can do the same as the aircraft offers you a pilot's log book in the cockpit which you can click to put it under the lever. Then trim down a bit and you are a little bit faster without touching the throttle. Just don't tell the NTSB. N3466K The donor aircraft is a Texan registered Cherokee 140 N3466K, built in 1963 and still flying and working as hard today as then. Based in Bulverde Airpark, (1T8) San Antonio Texas with a build serial number of 28-209040, and is powered by a Lycoming O-320-E2E engine with 150hp. The full history of N3466K is in the manual. Flying the Cherokee 140 Classic Smaller detailing is really good, note the worn fixed-pitch two-blade propeller. Power is a switch and the turn the key to start. Fuel pump on and a few pumps of the primer far left and press the starter... You will need to give the aircraft a little throttle to start then when it catches let it settle down to a rhythm before returning the throttle to the idle position. Starting from hot or cold is different as with the real aircraft and age, which is very authentic and it works and feels really clever, and thankfully not as mindnumbingly annoying as starting with the REP packs by SimCoders. Starting and running sounds are first rate, They are custom sourced from the donor aircraft N3466K and are perfectly captured internally and externally. Open the side window for the full 3d sonic experience, and I like great detailing like this to enjoy the moment. As mentioned adjust the air-vents for your best cooling effect (or a small fan on the desk!). Externally with the engine vibrating the exhaust, ailerons, rudder, and start key will move as well until you smooth out the engine with a bit more power... A push of power and undo the brakes and your moving. The 140 is great under taxiing with good steering and just the right place of power to keep up the right ground speed, no hunting the throttle is one moment going too fast then too slow, you can find that sweet spot but a little more rev in the turns helps the pace. The above window blind does intrude into the view a little, but you soon find that relaxing place to feel comfortable in the aircraft. Laminar Research have created a tutorial to create custom 3-D Effect Propeller Disc effects and this feature has been used to a great advantage here. Both from a forward view (look closely between each of the above images) and the added dimensional depth to the spinning propeller from the side. It really is very realistic as you add or decrease the power as the propeller shimmies with the forces of rotation. These same effects are also used on the wheels, that show blurred tyres at speed. Clearance acknowledged and you are ready to go. Speed set to 2500 rpm and into the green zone and let the 140 build to 95 knts then rotate smoothly. It is very apparent from the moment you lift off the runway that the aircraft has sublime flying qualities. One of the primary objectives of this project was to not only to replicate the performance and flying characteristics of the Cherokee 140, but to really get them almost perfect. One reason was personal for the developers themselves so they could fly the 140 without the real world costs involved, the benefits are that you get the same highly refined flight model to use. 500fpm is a nice rate of climb (631fpm is the max) and the aircraft feels so balanced and controlled via the yoke. Your confidence soars as you know the aircraft is so good under you, this is certainly a great handling machine and the perfect trainer. Inputs are small but responsive, roll is nice and curved climbing runway departures are nice and smooth and in this case a back turn and track over Van Nuys... smooth. There is a two way exactly replicated as the original switch (Off - Servos) to activate the S-TEC 55X autopilot and it comes in with a bit of a thud. Setting the V/S (vertical Speed) is easy, just a + or -, and I used 0 for level flight (No manual at this point so I am guessing that is how it is used) but that works fine. Adjusting the heading takes a little practice, it is smooth or slow smooth, but the trick is not to use the manipulator to scroll right across the panel, but to start moving the heading pointer but then hold down the mouse button and the heading will still keep moving in the direction you require. Awkward at first, but when you get the hang of it and it is suddenly very good and easy... There is also a CWS (Control Wheel Steering) manipulator on the right-side knob. You can click and hold the CWS manipulator and over-ride the autopilot servos, which allows you use the yoke to reposition the aircraft's heading and/or altitude. When released, the autopilot will capture and then hold the new heading and pitch. You will need to set up a keyboard sim/autopilot/control_wheel_steer command to use this function. Cruise sounds are excellent and not at all without that constant drone which many are lately and are boring. Top Speed is noted at 130knts and a cruise speed of 112-115knts which is sloooow, and if you are heading to Las Vegas then a packed lunch is a great idea. Range is 455nm with a fuel capacity of 36gal. Frameweight is good. I flew all around Los Angeles with huge autogen switched on and the frame-rate stayed above the mid-twenties, so in normal scenery you would be above average. Underside detailing is very good. Closeup on the gear and you can smell the grease and feel the worn aged brake piping, great hub and strut construction and all units are perfectly realised. Wing detailing is also spot on. The aircraft has tuned modified NACA 64(216)-415 laminar flow airfoils for perfect performance and airflow, and you feel the lift and control as you find the runway. I was very confident in finding the right rate of turn and the perfect bank into Van Nuys Runway 16R . Feel through the controls is just sooo good, you are as one with the machine and enjoying the intimate small control movement. Flaps are four position in "Up - 1/3 - 2/3 - DN" and highly effective, get the approach speed right and there is only a very, very slight lift as they extend... smooth. Still so much control and you can easily set up the slight bank approach with ease. Approach speed was 90knts, but that is too high, and on my second landing I revised it down to 80knts and that felt far better. You wind off the altitude with ease and throttle to control the descent to that lovely slight flare landing that makes you smile for a day after. But watch the brakes. Throttle at idle and the 140 still takes time to rub off the excess speed, it runs and runs, and you are very tempted to touch those brake pads, but don't until you are right down in speed unless you want to end up in the scenery. You think the Cherokee is never going to slow down, it does but not with giving you a little moment there. Transition from the runway back to taxi is very good, as noted the aircraft is very good on the ground as well. Nighlighting There is a large overhead light that can switched on or off (no adjustment) and the instruments have weak but authentic back lighting. There is a panel light adjustment and it is very good, from bright to dark. On the Original version it is as much the same, but the tone of the darker panel adjusts the mood of the aircraft to something completely different than the Classic grey version. I like the older worn lighting of the TKM MX300 Com panel as it just faintly glows in the dark. External lighting is good on both versions. Single landing light in the nose and a huge red beacon on the top of the tail. All lights are “parameterized” (spill lights, directional lights and spot lights) to provide more reality including the beacon with a custom flash sequence. The interior looks good from the external view when it is fully lit. Effects Great ice and rain effects when the weather gets cold and snowy. The view is well done, but there is no running up the window droplets animation and they just pop out of view and then pop back in again on landing. Liveries There are six liveries in the Classic package and all are nicely spread around for the various countries and all have very different flight themes from the business like to the outright garlish. VFlyteAir's livery is the default. All are 4K HD and high quality. The Original version comes with seven sets of liveries including a white blank and the N3466K livery as default. Classic Liveries Original Liveries Summary If your were looking through a catalogue and came across the VFlyteAir Piper Cherokee 140, and then loaded it in with the straight external or panel view you would probably quickly pass on to something else. That would be a grave mistake... I think it is that bland grey instrument panel that gives the aircraft a blank first look, certainly the Original version panel is more interesting. Once you get past that you start to understand that this aircraft is much more far interesting than it looks on the surface. In fact it reveals itself the more and more you experience depths of its character, and the more you go down the deeper levels of its intricate design and features. And that makes the Cherokee 140 a very interesting machine. Detailing externally and internally is extremely good once you really look closely at the design work, everything works in vents to lights to every switch and button... so much depth in design. A big feature list from vibrating and shaking items, propeller effects, customised start-up are almost mostly hidden but still also very clever and functional to add in on to the overall experience of using and flying the aircraft. Sounds are custom from the donor aircraft and very authentic and put all these ideas together and the aircraft comes really alive. There are also great training tools for learners as well. The flight model is extremely good, and a perfect tool for training and learning how to fly an aircraft well. So for new pilots wanting to get their wings this would be the perfect aircraft in which to start that journey. The choice between the VFR Original or the IFR Classic is really to taste and use. I like the functionality of the Garmin gps, autopilot and VOR direction instruments but find the grey panel bland. The Original has a great panel and is a good manual flying aircraft with those great authentic radio items and there are a few more added special features not on the classic, so it is a really hard choice. As I do fly a lot of VOR to VOR routes then the classic would be my pick, but I am really in love with the idea of just one example of a real world aircraft. I hear a glass instrument version may come later as well. So you start in one place and later find yourself putting this aircraft into the great list of X-Plane aircraft to use and fly everyday. It is not a flashy aircraft and it is slow, but it does have a huge amount of flash when you use and fly it regularly because it is so very authentic to the original donor aircraft, so for many users here it will quickly become a serious favorite to fly, practice or train on... in other words it is extremely good, if not a great general aviation aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic/Original by VFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic Priced at US$22.95 Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Original Priced at US$21.95 Both the Classic and Original versions are available for US$34.95 Requirements: Windows 7+ or MAC OS 10.6(or higher) or Linux. 64bit Operating System X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended Version 1 (last updated May 12 2016) Classic Features: Avionics KMA 24 audio panel with selectable COM1/COM2 transmission, and ILS markers X-Plane default g430 GPS NARCO MK12D COM2/NAV2 radio with simulated squelch defeat Garmin GTX 327 transponder with plug-in controlled functions including Pressure Altitude, automatic Flight Timer, Count Up Timer, and Count Down Timer King/Bendix ADF receiver with on-board directional indicator (2) Omni-Bearing Selectors (OBS) slaved to NAV1 and NAV2 radios, both with localizer and glideslope indicator needles Magnetic Compass Directional Gyro Compass Vertical Velocity Indicator (VVI) Altimeter/Barometer Airspeed Indicator with True Airspeed indicator Clock with Elapsed Timer Hour and Minutes hands and Time-of-Day adjustment feature Artificial Horizon Tachometer with Tach Hours Meter Engine Gauges (Left Fuel Qty, Right Fuel Qty, Ammeter, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure, Oil Temperature, Suction, and Volt Meter) Custom Engine Startup Procedures It was our goal to make the Cherokee 140 as real as we could within the limits of X-Plane. Therefore, we created a special plug-in controller engine startup procedure that we think adds greatly to the realism of the model. When is the last time you jumped into an older-model airplane on a cold day, and the engine started immediately? Let’s face it, most older airplanes are a bit hard to start, especially when the weather is cold. We’ve modeled the 140 so that when the engine oil temperature is cold, the engine is harder to start. Conversely, if the engine is already hot or warm, it will be much easier to start. When you first load the Cherokee 140, the ignition key will be located on top of the glareshield. You must click on the ignition key to place it into the ignition. The engine will not start without the magnetos being ON. You must open the throttle by at least ¼” before the engine will start. Mixture should be full rich before starting. If the engine is quite cold, it may take two tries on the starter to get the engine started. Custom Prop Disc Using the X-Plane Custom Prop Disc features along with plug-in programming, the Cherokee 140 has a 3D-effect spinning prop disc XChecklist-compatible checklists included We have included a “clist.txt” file that is compatible with Michal and Bill’s excellent XChecklist plugin available from X-Plane.org at this link Original Features: Avionics PS Engineering PAR200 combination audio panel/COM1 radio w simulated “Bluetooth” music feature and 8.33Khz tuning TKM MX300 COM2/NAV1 radio (25 Khz tuning) ARC RT-359A transponder Omni-Bearing Selector (OBS) slaved to NAV1 radio with localizer and glideslope indicator needles Magnetic Compass Directional Gyro Compass Vertical Velocity Indicator (VVI) Altimeter/Barometer Airspeed Indicator with True Airspeed indicator Clock with Elapsed Timer Hour and Minutes hands and Time-of-Day adjustment feature Artificial Horizon Tachometer with Tach Hours Meter Hobbs Meter Engine Gauges (Left Fuel Qty, Right Fuel Qty, Ammeter, Oil Pressure, Fuel Pressure, Oil Temperature, Suction) Installation and documents: Download for the Classic is 731.60meg and the unzipped file deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 731.60mb. Download for the Original is 314.10meg and the unzipped file deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at 314.10mb. Documentation: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 14th May 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 8 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 - small fan for cockpit air. Scenery or Aircraft KVNY - Van Nuys Airport 1.2 by kris28 (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  3. Aircraft Update : Piper Twin Comanche PA30 v1.3 by vFlyteAir VFlyteAir have done an update to their incredible Twin Comanche PA30 to version v1.30. The update covers like most in the latest changes in the areas of VR - Virtual Reality compatibility, FMOD sound with real Lycoming engine sounds, new scroll manipulators and X-Plane11 performance tuning. The aircraft was released late June 2017, but X-Plane11 updates have been in abundance since that time, so hence these comprehensive updates that are coming thick and fast lately. For the X-PlaneReviews release review then go here: Aircraft Review - Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche by vFlyteAir There has been a lot of focus in v1.3 in two areas. First are the menus, which were very good in the first place. The menu selector tab has been moved from the bottom of the screen to the lower left side... But this is irrelevant because you can now move the tab and menu selector anywhere you want to on your screen. The extensive menus are still really good, but the "Power Settings" panel has been greatly simplified. If you resize the panels or move them to certain positions around your screen, they will remember (memorize) their size and position the next time you use the same panel. A great feature because a lot of these panels when opened can block out your view and you then usually have to move (and need to resize) to keep on either setting up the aircraft or continue flying. Secondary focus is on the Century lll AutoFlite autopilot. It is still a very axis based system, but it has had a lot of refinements as the autopilot pitch wheel can now be adjusted with PITCH mode off, the UP/DOWN pitch wheel manipulators were backwards (up/down arrows) but are now hands, but you do have adjust it back to the central position yourself, but still handy to retain the same pitch you set if you want to continue your climb. And that nasty problem where the airplane would pitch up or down violently when dis-engaging the autopilot has also been eliminated. THe "NAV SELECT" toggle switch now correctly switches between pilot and copilot as autopilot source. The lua script has been re-wrote for the PA30autopilot. as the autopilot modes were not engaging as expected in previous version, and autopilot was not responding to set X-Plane commands. Autopilot is now more compatible with standard X-Plane datarefs, and keyboard/joystick-mapped X-Plane commands can be used. Compatible X-Plane commands now are: sim/autopilot/NAV sim/autopilot/heading sim/autopilot/approach sim/autopilot/back_course sim/autopilot/servos_toggle sim/autopilot/altitude_hold The Directional Gyro now shows either NAV1 or GPS course - does not show NAV2/OBS2 course (use OBS2 for NAV2 navigation) and the slip ball on the turn/slip indicator was using the wrong dataref with the "bank" indicator on the turn/slip indicator which should actually indicate the rate of turn, not the bank angle has been addressed. The PA30 now uses ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin and the Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded into X-Plane. This shows on the top left of your screen and can be turned off. But I am not crazy about things that constantly keep popping up while you are flying, and this one is a bit of a nuisance, and in either to turn it completely off or to get rid of it would be more to my liking and just note there is a new update available. A "Storm Scope" has been added to the aircraft (arrowed)... ... the "VFR" button on transponder now toggles between 1200 and 7000 for European compatibility and there is new plugin code to set audio volumes of ADF, DME and Marker based on audio panel volume knob setting and you can also set the audio panel to monitor ADF1 if BFO mode (tone mode) selected on ADF receiver. To note the great animation of gear retraction... and the exposed retracted main gear. Summary The rapid changes within X-Plane11 is keeping developers on their toes, but the changes are very significant to the overall impressiveness of the simulator, there is a lot of catch-up to do, with VR, FMOD sound and the various performance models and all addressed here to keep this already brilliant Twin and the top of the pack. A really lovely aircraft to fly and comes with a virtual cascade of features, this v1.3 is a great update with menu and Autopilot areas addressed and improved and a load of bug and tuning to mature the aircraft. The best Twin in X-Plane at the moment? That question is always debatable, but this PA30 from vFlyteAir has to be up there amongst the best. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche v1.3 by vFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Piper Twin Commanche PA30 Priced at US$29.95 Features: The Piper PA30 Twin Comanche is 100% X-Plane 11 compatible. We purpose-built this model from the ground up to take advantage of all the new features of XPlane 11: FMOD Sounds: We built the sound system using FMOD Studio and XPlane 11's new sound engine. Enjoy effects such as spatial 3D sound location, Doppler effects, custom interior and exterior engine sounds and a variety of different button, knob and switch clicks. VR-Ready model: Works great in VR mode Physical Based Rendering (PBR) textures for exterior and interior objects, to provide appropriate surface reflections and specular high-lights. Interactive menu system with intelligent Check Lists, interactive Weight & Balance calculator, Pre- Flight Options menu and pop-up Power Settings table – our new graphical on-screen menu system features interactive user choices and selections in a graphical interface. Dynamic pilot and passengers “ go to the Weight & Balance menu to add passengers and cargo for your flight. Your passengers will appear in the cockpit of the airplane as you increase their weights on the menu. Extra luggage will appear as you increase the luggage weight. The Total Weight and Center of Gravity dynamically change as you add weight to the aircraft. Accurate Avidyne AXP340 Transponder with power-on boot screen, Pressure Altimeter display, Flight ID display, Altitude Monitorfunction, simulated ADS-B OUT, Flight Timer, Stop Watch Timer, and power-off count-down timer. The AXP340 is the most realistic transponder simulation we've ever created. Accurate Fuel System: Optional tip tanks are selectable from the Pre- Flight menu. With the optional tip tanks turned ON, the Twin Comanche has six (6) separate fuel tanks. X-Plane does not support separately selectable fuel tanks, so we wrote custom code that simulates running out of fuel on the selected tank. But don't worry! If you get close running out, we'll (optionally) flash a message on the screen to change tanks before you run out of fuel! On-Screen Warnings and Notifications: 13 different warnings and notification messages will appear on the screen, depending on conditions and triggers. You can turn off the warnings and notifications from the Pre-Flight menu Options section. Pop-Out Instruments and Gauges: several key gauges and instruments can be 'Popped out' of the panel for easier viewing. VR friendly! Auto-Update: ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin - your Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded in X-Plane Compatible with the RealityXP GNS530 (sold separately by Reality- XP.com) - we included a RealityXP.GNS.ini file that makes the Twin Comanche ready for the RealityXP gns 530W plugin. And: Custom HDR interior and exterior lights with custom strobe flash sequence; Custom 3-D Propeller Effects with Prop Feathering; 12 Extra Hi-Res Liveries Included – and a custom Paint Kit is available for dowload so you can create your own livery. Fuel truck locations are set for the Twin so that you can call for Ground Service in X-Plane 11. Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows 7+ or MAC OS 10.6(or higher) or Linux. 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.30 (Last updated Feb 10th 2018) This v1.3 update is free if you have already purchased the PA30 Twin Comanche from vFlyteAir, just go your account on the X-Plane.OrgStore and download the new v1.3 version. ________________________________________ Update Review and analysis by Stephen Dutton 11th 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) Full v1.30 changelog: New Features: Added ShadeTree Micro Aviation (STMA) AutoUpdate plugin - your Twin Comanche will now auto-update when loaded in X-Plane Virtual Reality Ready! Changed all cockpit manipulators to be compatible with X-Plane virtual reality preview version 11.20vr1. The Twin is fully functional in VR, but may require more modifications before the X-Plane VR version is released All new FMOD engine sounds created from actual Lycoming engine sound recordings Saved-state preferences - your options and settings are now saved each time you exit X-Plane, and they will be restored when you reload Added new storm scope instrument to panel (default X-Plane storm scope) New control menu icon can be repositioned on screen - its position will be saved when you exit, and restored when you reload Control menus can be resized and repositioned to your preferences - size and position will be saved when you exit and restored when you reload Fixes: Autopilot bug fixes: Re-wrote pa30autopilot.lua script - autopilot modes were not engaging as expected in previous version, and autopilot was not responding to X-Plane commands. Autopilot is now more compatible with standard X-Plane datarefs, and keyboard/joystick-mapped X-Plane commands can be used. Compatible X-Plane commands are: sim/autopilot/NAV sim/autopilot/heading sim/autopilot/approach sim/autopilot/back_course sim/autopilot/servos_toggle sim/autopilot/altitude_hold Autopilot pitch wheel can now be adjusted with PITCH mode off Autopilot UP/DOWN pitch wheel manipulators were backwards (up/down arrows) - fixed Fixed problem where the airplane would pitch up or down violently when dis-engaging the autopilot "NAV SELECT" toggle switch now correctly switches between pilot and copilot as autopilot source Directional Gyro now shows either NAV1 or GPS course - does not show NAV2/OBS2 course (use OBS2 for NAV2 navigation) The slip ball on the turn/slip indicator was using the wrong dataref - fixed The "bank" indicator on the turn/slip indicator should actually indicate the rate of turn, not the bank angle. Changed accordingly. Fixed problem with COM2/NAV2 LEDs fixed (were too dim) Ammeter was not indicating alternator bus load correctly - according to Piper owner's web site, the Piper ammeter should indicate the demand load on the alternator bus. Knobs and buttons on the COM2/NAV2 radio were mis-aligned COM2 inner knob not rotating when adjusted Fuel pump sounds continued playing after battery and engine shut down - fixed Wing objects were missing LIT textures Corrected LIT datarefs for wing tips strobe and nav lights Increased brightness of landing lights "VFR" button on transponder now toggles between 1200 and 7000 for European compatibility Added plugin code to set audio volumes of ADF, DME and Marker based on audio panel volume knob setting Added plugin code to set audio panel to monitor ADF1 if BFO mode (tone mode) selected on ADF receiver Added storm scope instrument to panel – customer request Adjusted fuel consumption - fuel flow rates are now per the POH Fixed a problem with the GNS530 right-side knobs - they sometimes would not allow user to scroll left or right enough to select characters Cylinder #4 CHT needle fixed - was not registering a temperature Adjusted nose wheel steering angles for low-speed and high-speed turning introduced in XP11.10
  4. Aircraft Review Update to X-Plane11 : Cirrus SR20 G1000 v2.5 by VFlyteAir With the introduction of X-Plane11 there has been a huge amount of upgrades from developers in meeting the requirements of the new simulator version. That is to be expected as you will want, and sometimes quickly need to fly your favorite aircraft in X-Plane11. The amount of changes to meet the X-Plane11 requirement though has been a broad spectrum, from the very basic requirements to a full makeover of the aircraft. So here is the Cirrus SR20 from vFlyteAir getting its own makeover to meet the new X-Plane11 requirements, and it is quite a significant makeover at that. I really liked the vFlyteAir version of the Cirrus SR20 (Carenado has a SR22 GTSX version), and in my SR20 review I came away seriously impressed. vFlyteAir if you have been following my reviews has also under gone a serious change as developers over the last few years since that SR20 release, not only is there more developers now contributing internally to their aircraft, but their quality and features have been seriously upgraded into one of the now top level and these extremely talented X-Plane developers, So with that in mind then let us get straight into what this new version has to offer. The original modeling was fantastic anyway, but the X-Plane11 shine has added in another extra level of quality as soon as you look over the SR20. The wing surface areas and their sizes however are slightly adjusted to match the real world versions and the wing airfoils are custom created from Roncz Laminar Flow airfoils to give a more realistic feel and handling and remember that is matched up to the different X-Plane11 performance modeling, so the aircraft will and does have a more natural feel under your control. First noticeable difference is the old menus are gone and have been replaced with vFlyteAir's current new menu system of a "Pre-Flight" popup menu and a "Weight & Balance" popup menu. The menu tabs are bottom left of your screen. Beautiful and extensive, they are very different and far more functional than the originals. "Pre-Flight" Pre-Flight covers mostly your ground elements in both opening the forward up swinging doors and the baggage door with wheel chocks and pitot covers. Options include, On-Screen notifications, Glass Reflections (on/off), nose gear steers and hide passengers in interior view. There is also indicators of the fuel tank loads for the left and right tanks. "Weight & Balance" The second popup menu is the excellent visual Weight & Balance menu. Fuel weights in both tanks is to 28 Gal per tank, you can also set the weights of each of the pilots and passengers on the aircraft, moving the sliders will set the weights and also make the pilots and passengers appear in the aircraft, this is great as you can have as few or as many passengers in the aircraft as you require, and even the pilot disappears if you want an empty aircraft. Luggage weight is also available and the bags appear in the baggage compartment as you adjust the slider. There is a very good adjusting CoG chart to get all the settings right and find the correct balance of the aircraft or if it is out of its flying limits. The full gross weight of the aircraft is also noted in lbs and kgs. Cabin The cabin was nice and light before. But PBR and X-Plane11 now gives all the materials a nice quality lift. The darker shadows take away a lot of the flatness and gives the space more realistic look and the realism is highlighted even more. It is an unusual cabin that is dominated by those huge two panel displays and the different single-column yokes (handles?). It is exactly the same cabin, but you know you are sitting in something completely different. Note the lovely seat materials that highlights these PBR effects. Reflections are highlighted even more. There is great panel and window reflections for great realism and so "keep your dirty fingers off my clean screens!". Note the excellent molded facia. CirrusPerspective system vFlyteAir has done its own variation but not a completely authentic Garmin system but a variation in the aircraft and noted as a "Perspective System", It is close. but basically it still keeps the standard X-Plane MAP system in place PFD (Primary Flight Display): Improvements to the PFD: Both the attitude indicator the speed tape, the altitude tape and the VVI are now custom-made, for a more realistic look and better readability, plus there are Improvements to the electrical system with the electrical load of individual systems adjusted and the PFD and MFD which are now on separate electrical buses. I prefer the older original PFD artificial horizon with the faded lighter elements (below right) than the complete harder colours of the new version (below left). The faded older version is actually the correct one. But the newer PFD is far more cleaner and far sharper after a full quality redesign, and lots of popup insets that include (pilot's) MAP, ADF choices, TIMER, NEARST AIRPORTS and FLIGHTPLAN. It is still however a very good PFD, nice to use without being to over complicated with menu trees. MFD (Multi Functional Display): To a point the MAP display still does rely a lot still on X-Plane basics, so there is no terrain or coloured map that is the usual with a G1000 system, it will be interesting how the coming Laminar Research default G1000 system will affect aircraft and in my guess that is certainly going to be in here in the future. But what you lose in map complexity you gain in speed and efficiency. Most G1000's in X-Plane at the moment (except Aerobask's) are very slow and sluggish so it may be a better system at this point. Both the PFD and MFD will pop out, but it is a strange 3d system that you can only move the screens in the left-right movement and not around the screen or resize them, but it does make working on them easier, but you have to move to centre the screen than they move to you... Flightplanning I really did like the vFlyteAir flightplan system of this SR20. It did allow you to very easily create X-Plane fms flightplans very quickly and so quickly it was actually easier to load up this aircraft, do up a flightplan in moments to save and then use in another aircraft, it is that good. That aspect has not changed here. You can use either the main facia input panel or the pop-out panel and both work about the same. My route is from WADD (Bali) to WADE on the northern side of Java. Press FMS to select the flightplan mode. And to start a clean flightplan you INIT the system and then press the centre of the FMS knob to enter the first waypoint. Obviously you are going to start the flightplan at your current airport position, so you will select the ARPT key, for other entries you can select FIX, NDB and VOR depending on the nav-aid. Then just type in your waypoint in this case WADD. An airport and the start of the flightplan will give you an aircraft leaving logo and the same aircraft arriving logo to finish the plan. If you wish you can add in the altitude to fly at as well. In v2.5 you can now also use more deeper segments including SID, STAR and Transitions and Approach procedures. This is activated by pressing the PROC button on the facia. But to access these procedures you have to set up your X-Plane navigation data perfectly. You will need your X-Plane11 GNS430 data up to date with the latest AIRAC navigation data from either Navigraph or Aerosoft's NavDataPro, plus you have to make sure the navigation data is also stored or inserted by the above purchased suppliers as CIFP data (folder) and both are present in your X-Plane11 Custom Data folder. Another important point is that both AIRAC cycles are the same and match, I had a v1701 and a v1709 cycle and until they were both updated to v1709 cycle the system won't work, that data cycle match is noted on the procedure page at the bottom. In my case for this flightplan it was a case of over reach as my selected SID "RAB3A" (RABOL) put me somewhere way over East Java and far past my destination, but it does show that the SID - STAR feature does work very well. Another point to note here is you can also centre your map on the waypoint you have selected, so you can easily check your full flightplan waypoints and range, route and they are all correctly inserted. Inserting intermediate waypoints is simple and very easy as, "bam, bam" or FIX, NDB and VOR then insert code and press ENT (Enter), then altitude (ENT again) and you are on to the next waypoint... and so the route is built up very quickly. CLR (Clear) if you make a mistake. The choice of either facia or popup keyboard makes it very easy to input waypoints as well, it is all in all just brilliant. PAGE menu popup allows you to DELETE, DELETE to END and a great feature in being able to simply REVERSE the flightplan. One thing you expect but missing from the PAGE popup is the SAVE and OPEN of flightplans to your FMS flightplan folder (Output). They are actually on the on the side of the display as a SD card, and SAVE is lower SD and OPEN is the higher SD card, note they only work on the instrument panel version and not the popup version. Checklists and Charts can also be accessed via the MFD and the charts can be inserted manually and you can load up to 20 charts in png files. Both engine output panels are still there with the side panel version and the full MFD version which is very impressive. Trims (arrowed) are also switchable on screen as well. Flying the Cirrus SR20 X-Plane11 It may look the same but the Hartzell Scimitar composite three bladed propeller is all new with custom airfoils that are refined to recreate the correct propeller control at high and low altitude. The SR20 is different in that you don't have a "Propeller" lever or adjustment in the aircraft, it is an automatic combined throttle and propeller control that allows the aircraft to maintain a 2500RPM cruise regardless of the power setting from 50% power up to 85% (depending on density altitude). The aircraft is quite tricky to turn from a standstill, so you have to have space to build up a bit of forward momentum before being able to turn the aircraft and get it wrong and the aircraft will fight you and stall any forward movement. So you have to be careful where you park the aircraft so you don't box yourself in. I'm not comfortable with this aspect as it is creeping in more to X-Plane lately and it makes GA's harder to turn. You can turn off the nose wheel steering, but it just makes it worse. So only a lot of throttle and too much speed when you are pointing in the right direction doesn't feel right. No arguments with vFlyteAir here, I think this is a particular Laminar/X-Plane annoyance. Once you are moving then the taxiing is fine, but it is really small in here... ... you do feel you are in a very claustrophobic tight aircraft and the high instrument cowling and intruding low hanging shade doesn't help either. You need a firm hand on the tiller to keep the aircraft tight to the centre line and the usual slow revs to higher power is crucial in keeping it straight, it is your choice in using flaps, but a long, long run down the runway to build up speed is still preferable to the sudden loss of lift you get if you retract the flaps and the drag at not building up the speed quicker with them extended in the air. Unusually you can keep that throttle full up against the top of the guide as the system will protect you from any overspeeds. Climb rate is 880fpm, but heavy at 2916lbs (3050lbs Max) then that can only be done in short bursts, 300fpm is the best to 5000ft in not losing too much speed in the long climb. Max altitude is a credible 17,500ft and range is with full tanks 625 nautical miles (1454 km) 719 miles. Did I tell you it is tight in here... The Cirrus does also bounce around a lot... even in light winds you feel the fragile nature of this small aircraft. I do have XPRealisticPro movements running on low settings, but even if I turn it off then it still bounces and bobs around as you hold on. But I like the feel, as you feel you are actual going somewhere and in something more than just a desktop simulation. Sounds are all now FMOD, nice and every switch or click is now very noticeable. External and internal sounds are excellent, but these smaller aircraft can be sort of buzzboxes, this Cirrus is not that bad, but you get the idea... overall sounds are now great. vFlyteAir's external work is excellent, top notch. Great detailing and modeling to almost perfection. X-Plane11 does bring out that shape and shine to the uttermost degree as all reflective surfaces with the bodywork and glass is faultless. It is also easy to confuse the rate of climb indicator with the vertical speed (V/S). On many aircraft this indicator does note the V/S, but here it is just the change in altitude that sometimes can be as much as 500fpm, which is alarming, but you get used to it. So you make sure the V/S is correct (right below) and get that right and the rate of climb will follow you later, but confuse them and try to control or follow the rate of climb indicator and you will get into trouble. You also have to watch when changing altitude with the knob, if you are bouncing around it is very easy to hit the reset to your current height as you try to adjust for a low (or higher) altitude, I once did it infuriatingly three times in one go. I found that using the flaps as an airbrake is very useful, the limits are quite high at 150 knts at 50% flap and 110 knts at 100% flap (full) so you have plenty of space to get them down to reduce your speed, but you have to control your throttle (a lot) to counteract the high drag, but it does give you far more control on the approach. vFlyteAir has worked very hard on the SR20's performance to match the real aircraft and it does show in X-Plane11, you work hard in here with this slippery little lightweight aircraft and certainly on final approach. Around 80knts is your goal at first and then 65knts -70knts at full flap as stall is around 56knts, it is easier said than done... Placing the aircraft down can be slightly tricky and I have a full load in this configuration, in winds and just you flying then it can be quite a handful. Ditto holding that centreline as the speed runs off, tricky but still doable. The point is you become a little addicted to this SR20, you want to try that, or this and get the pleasure of the reward when you conquer or master the machine, real flying, real life. Lighting The lighting on the original release was very average so it has had a lot of attention in this upgrade. Externally you get a centre taxi light (slightly weak) and two wing end lights, the navigation and strobe are excellent. Tiny side fuselage ice wing lights are very effective looking from the outside or from within. Internal lighting is a mixed package. Nice overhead lighting with a red area over the throttle which is lovely. Displays are adjustable and again very good at night. There are four overhead switchable spotlights, but they are not very effective? Spots are supposed to highlight, but especially in the rear they are not very effective. Liveries There was ten excellent liveries in the original release plus the default vFlyteAir livery. Now you get an extra six new liveries to add into the package. Two are excellent, but four are very high visibility bright in colouring, it is too your own taste really. Summary This was not just an update package to X-Plane11 for the Cirrus SR20 from vFlyteAir. It is in reality a full extensive upgrade to the aircraft that has a long list of new features and quality. This upgrade has certainly brought this already nice little aircraft up to vFlyteAir's higher newer standards, including new menus, FMOD sounds, PBR quality textures and the excellent performance enhancements. There is a debate with this really good Perspective G1000 system. On the one hand it is an excellent, fast and easy system to use and smash out flightplans in minutes, very, very good. But the map interface is quite old, in fact not only to the X-Plane 10.50 new GNS430 level but the old red line level. Certainly there has been improvements to the display (in fact for both PFD and the MFD) but it still feels oldish. All G1000 panels are now full colour and have terrain features, so you can see and undrstand the emptiness here. Laminar Research are releasing a full default G1000 very soon, so I will go and note that there is a good chance that aspect will be very quickly remedied with in a short time of that features release and that should give you the very best of both worlds in this aircraft, but not to forget this navigation system already does use the AIRAC navigation data and that data can be updated if you have an AIRAC cycle account. The Cirrus SR20 is an interesting little aircraft to fly. You have to be impressed by the Weight & Balance setup and sheer flexibility on how you load the aircraft, I love that aspect. And that loading certainly affects the way you fly the aircraft and its speeds, altitudes and range as it should do. But it can be tricky to fly really well, that is the stimulation of the simulation and why we test ourselves to fly anything and master the machine, so pilot's will love it, but learner pilots will take a little longer to understand its flying complexities, overall it is addictive and challenging... did I say fun, yes fun as well. Another great bonus here is that the upgrade to X-Plane11 is free, yes it costs nothing to upgrade from X-Plane10 to the X-Plane11 version and you get all those enhancements as well in the deal... you can't top that, great deal and with a great little aircraft from one of the master developers of X-Plane... all round a winner deal. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Cirrus SR20-G1000 XP11 by vFlyteAir is available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Cirrus SR20 G1000 And is priced at only US$29.95 Features Superb Model by vFlyteAir Photo-realistic textures by Igor Kirilove – all textures are very hi-res (4K), providing a very realistic look Fully animated model – all the details are in this model. Check out the door hinge mechanisms when you open and close the doors! Super accurate 3D modeling – the model is extremely accurate in scale and dimensions Great flight model by Alan Shafto / AeroSimGaming The following features are available on the Primary Flight Display (PFD): Artificial Horizon with high-resolution attitude indicator, flight director and roll scale Speedtape with custom display of reference speeds Altitude tape with custom vertical velocity indicator and minimums display Enhanced HSI with turn indicator and three fully configurable bearing pointers for GPS, NAV1, NAV2 and ADF Switchable inset windows for timer/references, minimums, wind, ADF, map, nearest airports, and flight plan Cirrus-style top bar with power setting, frequencies and detailed GPS & autopilot information On the Multi Function Display (MFD), the following features are available: Engine information system with switchable trim status Detailed system page with engine parameters, declutter mode, used fuel, remaining fuel, remaining range, remaining time, anti-ice & oxygen gauges, density altitude, temperatures, ISA deviation Basic support for SIDs, STARs and Approaches Custom user interface for creating and editing flight plans (accessing X-Planes navdata and default FMC) “Nearest” page for airports, navaids and related frequencies Cirrus-style top bar with destination window, frequencies and GPS information X-Plane default map with weather radar and traffic warnings with custom icons Interactive checklists and user-definable charts Other Notable Features: Hypoxia is simulated at above 12,500’ cabin altitude. The screen will begin to dim if you are flying above 12,500’ MSL. Use the OXY switch on the lower center console to turn on oxygen supply and avoid hypoxia! Oxygen supply is simulated – you have approximately 3 ½ hours of usable oxygen on board. The oxygen supply will begin to deplete slowly when the OXY switch is ON Anti-Ice fluid is simulated – there are 3.5 gallons of anti-ice fluid available. The supply will deplete when anti-ice switch is ON ICE lights are modeled – use the ICE light switch to inspect the wing leading edges for ice build-up at night The Cirrus BRS® parachute recovery system is modeled – click on the BRS handle on the cabin ceiling to deploy the parachute in case of emergency. NOTE: Engine should be OFF, and airspeed should be below 120 KTS when deploying the parachute! Cirrus “Single Lever Throttle Control” is modeled – the SR20 automatically adjusts propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever. Customized HDR night lights – there are four dome lights inside the cockpit that will provide white flood lighting with HDR on in your rendering settings Custom exterior lighting – all lights on the exterior (landing lights, strobe lights and navigation lights) are modeled using X-Plane parameterized lighting. 10 Factory liveries provided – because Cirrus uses a special heat-resistant paint for their airplanes, the 10 liveries provided are based on Cirrus originals. Custom sounds – try opening the passenger or pilot door while the engine is running! Requirements X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4GB+ VRAM Recommended SIDs, STARs, and approaches require installation of additional navigation data, see user manual for details Current version: 2.50 - Last updated July 2nd 2017 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 953.90mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 911.00mb Documents : There is excellent documentation with a full tutorial, a avionics tutorial and a third document that covers the features of G1000 avionics system. Developer Support Site : Support forum for the SR20 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 24th August 2017 Copyright©2017: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) 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 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - WADD - Bali XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$24.95 - WADE - X-Plane Gateway (X-Plane) - Free
  5. Aircraft Review - Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche by vFlyteAir There is no better satisfaction in reviewing in than seeing developers transform into the time of greatness. They start mostly like the rest and with usually a few average aircraft or sceneries, but then progress, learn and refine. There is of course along the journey a few low points that would usually make you want to give it all away, but the secret to success is to learn and overcome the challenges and then you finally do see some rewards for all the toil, pain and hardship. Developing is not easy. What I usually review and you fly is the result of a lot of time and effort. And it is heartbreaking when you see someone's work and you know deep down it isn't up to the quality and refinement that X-Plane demands now, the cost of delivery is also high, extremely high as what was then good to even excellent and released as close as only a few years ago would sometimes not even cut the grade now. Harder is finding your own niche in the market. It is crowded, certainly not yet to the market standards of Flight Simulator, but X-Plane is now churning out a lot of aircraft and sceneries these days and it is going to get even more competitive as X-Plane11 grows to even more success and widens out its growing user base. vFlyteAir Simulations started developing aircraft about the same time I started reviewing. Their first aircraft were good, but not exceptional... they "just passed the grade" so to speak. But the talent and dedication was there like with their Piper Arrow III and they steadily improved. I actually liked vFlyteAir's interesting Ryan Navion B aircraft a lot, but a lot of users didn't take to it, but the breakthrough was the lovely Cirrus SR20-G1000 which was a huge jump in quality and with some great features for the developer. The next aircraft from vFlyteAir was their Piper Cherokee 140 and this machine was a very personal project as well as an aircraft developed for X-Plane. The Cherokee 140 was a replica of a real aircraft N3466K that was flown regularly by the developers. My first impressions were it was a little average, even boring. But by the time I finished the review I found myself having to reappraise my whole view of not only the excellent aircraft but vFlyteAir as well. It was (and still is) an outstanding design. It is not what you see, but you feel that vFlyteAir brings this aircraft to life like none other, it is a perfect recreation of a classic General Aviation aircraft. So here is the follow up to their classic Cherokee 140 in the Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche, so what to expect this time, more of the same? or another classic aircraft for X-Plane... it is an interesting aircraft and first a few details. The PA-30 was a twin-engined development of the PA-24 Comanche single-engined aircraft. A variant with counter-rotating propellers was later designated the Piper PA-39 Twin Comanche C/R. But our version here is the standard rotating propeller version. It is a complex light twin, with retractable landing gear, seating 4 (in original models) to 6 (in later models), and has cruising speeds ranging from 160-210 mph from two 4-cylinder 160 hp (120 kW) Lycoming IO-320-B1A fuel injected engines, but 200 hp (150 kW) engines were available as a modification by Miller Aviation. Twin Comanche is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear. It comes with tip tanks which allows the aircraft to hold 120 gallons (454 l) of fuel. Fuel burn at typical cruise settings is approximately 16 gph (58.7 lph) with a cruise speed of 165 kts. It easily climbs to 18,000 feet (5,500 m) when desired (24,000 feet (7,300 m) and if turbocharged). When compared with the Seminole, the Twin Comanche goes faster, carries more, burns less fuel, climbs more rapidly and ultimately higher, is quieter. With the tip tanks attached it has a range of Range of 1200 miles (1931 km). The Twin Comanche was produced from 1963 in the same Lock Haven, Pennsylvania production line as its single-engined cousin; production ceased when the factory was flooded in 1972. Piper chose at that time to focus on its equally popular Cherokee 140/180/235/Arrow line instead that was manufactured in Florida. Like their Cherokee 140 your first impressions are again deceiving of the Twin Comanche. Nothing wrong with the actual quality or build of the aircraft as that is not the area I am noting about in reference, as the aircraft is of the highest quality you can get lately in its X-Plane11 form. Detailing work is exceptional from vFlyteAir. Every panel, every rivet is noted and even the style and type of rivet as well. Modelling is nearly flawless, you would be hard really pressed to find any poor areas. All the smaller items in brackets, tiedowns, aerials and lighting is really well done, but not just in the actual design, but in the aging as well with the wornout rusty feel on used items. Note the open engine vents, which are animated can and be closed from the cockpit, but watch your engine temperatures as if you do close the vents then so as to not overheat the engines. To highlight the sheer detail we have on this Comanche then we will look at the undercarriage. All the gear is perfectly recreated, hard worked tyres, brake assemblies, hydraulic piping and fittings, and all worn and greased up so much you can easily smell it. Flap assemblies (constant movement) are perfect as well and right down to the manufacturers plate on the inside of the assembly. But still really look at the detail? and Internally inside the wheel housing is still more totally recreated fittings, cables, braces and main structure of the airframe... it is even for the most fussy expert really as good as you will get in design. Internally and Mr Fussy won't be disappointed in here either. The instrument panel is close to perfection, the detailing is overwhelming. Rearwards in the cabin and you get the full treatment of a well loved and slightly worn (if also slightly smelly) old aircraft, lovely detail is simply everywhere, pinches in the seats, cloth trim, worn roof lining, slightly rusted fuel tank switches between the seats, and the more you look the more you are astounded in the realism of it all. Even the areas you would never look at like under the seats or under the instrument panel and again the detail is totally complete, without doubt like with their Cherokee 140 then vFlyteAir has certainly spent a lot of time with tape measures and cameras looking under seats and poking in every area and every aspect in the aircraft to bring you a perfect reproduction of the Comanche or in this case their donor aircraft which is a 1964 Piper PA-30, serial number 30-459, tail number N92NE. You do get the total feeling though that this Comanche is an old aircraft (1964) and is one of the early production types. It feels old and looks old, but that ageing is really highlighted by the lovely venting on top of the metal instrument panel. It wouldn't be so noticeable but by the fact of how real and realistic the actual panel has been reproduced... it is so beautifully crafted. Instrument Panel You have no idea on how hard it is to recreate an instrument panel like the one in the Comanche. This all could have been easily a flat bland metal facia that looks X-Plane9 in design, but it isn't. The detailing is simply extravagant, but perfection is the only word on the tip of my tongue. The trick is the same as vFlyteAir did in the Cherokee 140 with the minute detail of all the required wording and warnings, I really don't think you would ever be bored in this aircraft as there is always something somewhere to read... and most of it telling you what not to do. The selection of instruments and switch gear is also very period original and authentic. Everything is replicated as per the original item, of course you do expect this sort of intimate design, but when you do actually get it, it is also very confronting as you feel that you have been missing out on something else before. Not that you are a stranger to great design if you fly Carenado aircraft or other highly quality aircraft, but it just lift's the full experience just that one notch higher again. Flying instruments are only on the pilot's side of the panel. Standard Six instruments that are off set 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 is a clock and air temp and on the right is a BendixKing OBS VOR indicator and Radar altitude (x100) meter. ADF In the period I did start the review vFlyteAir has put out an update (patch v1.1) This patch added in to the left lower panel a Bendix/King ADF unit and pointer. This is an original unit and is very authentic in its fitout in the aircraft, a very nice addition. Below the main instruments is a AutoFlite III autopilot. The system is very basic in hold ROLL, HDG (Heading), ALT (Atitude) and PITCH (with adjustment wheel). With the age of the system there is a gyro pressure gauge set below with a hidden amperage gauge to the right. Note center left panel are the Nav1 and Nav2 selection switches. Lower panel is the Instrument lighting knobs and external lighting switches. The equipment stack is great mixture. Radio is a PS Engineering PMA8000Ti, then the standard Garmin GNS530. Then a Bendix/King KX 155 COMM2/NAV2 radio (COMM1/NAV1 is part of the GNS530). The Avidyne AXP340 transponder is a nice bit of kit, it covers the transponder, with Pressure Alt, Flight Time, Stop Watch and Flight ID as part of the system. A very nice looking Voltmeter and fuses panel is below the transponder. Right panel are the engine gauges (both engines are in the same dials) for RPM and right is the CHT/EGT Gauge which has a rotary knob on the CHT/EGT gauge were you can select individual cylinders for display. selections 1 through to 4 are left engine cylinders, and 5 through to 8 are right engine cylinders... ... Manifold Pressure (both engines) and a very authentic fuel flow meter with "Time Remain" is below. Down the right side is a set of eight gauges that covers L&R Fuel quantities, L&R Oil Pressures, L&R Oil Temp, L&R Cylinder Head Temps. Lower right panel has the engine cowl flap knobs and a very nice Flap switch and indicator. Dobbs meter and heater switches. Far right are four sliders for Air Temp, Air Flow, OFR and Air Vents that do work. An empty (opening) glove box is above. The Reality XP GNS530 (sold separately by Reality- XP.com) can also be used with a provided “RealityXP.GNS.ini” file that makes the Twin Comanche ready for the RealityXP gns 530W plugin. A few Instruments do popup or out... but you can't move them around or resize them so they are in reality limited use. The central mini-pedestal is perfectly recreated, tired, worn but beautiful beyond words. Twin Levers cover Throttle, Propeller RPM and Mixture. Left side pilot's side is an electrical switch panel that covers left to right L-Fuel Pump, L-Magneto, L-Magneto, Engine start L/R, L-Magneto, R-Magneto, R-Magneto, L-Magneto, L-Fuel Pump. In between the front seats are two panels. The top one is a fuse box, the lower panel can removed to access the emergency gear mechanism... ... the idea is to disconnect the gear motor to allow you to manually lower the gear, once lowered you can't reset it until you are back on the ground. This is great to simulate emergency landing procedures. Menus For the eagled eyed of you all, did you actually notice the empty aircraft at the start of this review? And as I did my usual practise of jumping straight into the pilot's seat and wanting to do a few circuits of the airport to get a feel of the machine... a totally wrong idea was that one. Take a long look of my tailplane? That is not right now is it? I know it is a bit of dumb and dumber, but it does emphasise that you do need to set this aircraft up correctly before you do fly anywhere, it is a sensitive soul of a machine. The menu tabs are on the lower bottom left of your screen... ... this will bring up your menu selections of: Pre-Flight, Weight & Balance, Check Lists and Power Table. Pre-Flight The Pre-Flight menu covers all aspects of your options for the aircraft. These include On Screen Notifications, Hide/Show Glass Objects, Nose Gear Steers (for rudder pedals), Custom Engine Start which is that the engines will use X-Plane's default logic instead of the more realistic engine-temperature-based custom code start ( a cold engine takes longer to start). Final options include Checklist reset and the Co-Pilot can be also visible from the interior viewpoint. On the main diagram you can switch on and off options and ground elements that include: Co-Pilot's door, Baggage (cargo) door, wheel chocks and intake covers. A final selection is for the optional "Tip Tanks" for extra range. Weight&Balance The second menu option is the "Weight&Balance" panel. This is an import panel with this aircraft. You have to be very aware of the way you set the aircraft up as the aircraft is sensitive to the changes done here. You can set all the different amounts in all of the fuel tanks including the optional Tip Tanks and there is six in all. The fuel tankerage is also shown on the Pre-Flight panel as two fuel gauges on each side of the aircraft. Besides the fuel weights, you can also set the weights of each of the pilots and passengers on the aircraft, moving the sliders will set the weight and also make the people appear in the aircraft, this is great as you can have as few or as many passengers in the aircraft as you require. Highly realistic and fully animated (below) if not a little too realistic as the guy in the back feels like the ultimate backseat pilot! (sorry Walker, he just looks annoying in constantly telling you how to fly!) Last item you can adjust on the Weight&Balance panel is any baggage or cargo you are carrying in the back of the rear seat area. Note that put too much weight in cargo or baggage can easily push your aircraft balance way over the limits. Thankfully there is a very good adjusting CoG chart to get all the settings right and find the correct balance of the aircraft, as I noted the Comanche is very sensitive to the changes on this panel and the full gross weight of the aircraft is also noted in lbs and kgs. As I noted earlier to incorrectly set the aircraft up can cause you a bit of strife as in my case the aircraft was far too weighted too the rear. A final adjustment is via the beautifully crafted rotating trim handle on the roof with a trim indicator, there is another trim indicator on the instrument panel next to the left of the pilots yoke. Checklists and Power Setting Table There are two other menu panels that covers the aircraft's checklists in: Pre-Flight, Starting, Taxi and Ramp, Takeoff, Climb and Cruise and Descent and Landing. You tick off the boxes as you go through the lists and can then reset them on the options panel. vFlyteAir are very specific when flying their aircraft to fly them to exact power parameters and in this case the power out of the reference of the EGT gauge which is located on the co-pilot side instrument panel which is used for adjusting the mixture settings. So they provide a very comprehensive power setting chart between altitude, air temp and engine power for the correct settings for a certain situation. Flying the Twin Comanche After doing a comprehensive resetting of the aircraft via the Weight&Balance's panel it was time to see the difference between the first flight and the current changes. It was only a short hop between KAPF Naples and KRSW (Florida SouthWest) just to the north. You do have two options for taxiing with the standard X-Plane front wheel direction (with the rudder) or a separate front wheel action with rudder pedals or yaw joystick. I personally kept the action on the standard setting because I am used to that, but a rudder pedal control does make it more authentic. The Comanche is nice to taxi, speed is easily controlled. It is important to set the flaps correctly for takeoff. They are a variable type and not stepped in operation. The indicator is not in the best place to see from the pilot's position on the very right lower panel, but halfway is the correct setting, but you have to very quickly raise them once you are airborne if not you get a flaps warning. I am quite heavy at 1490lbs, so I need to be adjust to the weight... ... if you have a twin throttle system like I have with a Saitek x56 then you can get a lot more control over the takeoff by keeping the engines in powering the right side slightly faster than the left to counter balance the same propeller rotation direction. It is a huge help in keeping you straight as you power up the runway. Note here the hand of Walker doing a great job in controlling both throttle levers. Rotation is around 110knts, and climb out around a 1000ft per minute, the climb rate is noted as 1480fpm, but around 1200fpm gives you the best result from speed and a good climb rate. There is a real lovely and realistic feel to the aircraft, but I am as noted heavy so I can't throw the aircraft around as much as I would like to. As I climb out I acknowledge the huge difference between the not set up out of balance aircraft and the correctly set up Comanche, it is a far more stable and flyable machine. The AutoFlite III autopilot is an authentic bit of kit. All rocker button actions, and it is quite easy to use. I couldn't find an on/off switch, but a key autopilot disconnect will also work. The selection switch gives you the Nav (GNS530 flightplan), OMNI, HDG, LOC normal (ILS) and LOC reverse are really all standard X-Plane settings. If you select the heading (HDG) rocker switch the ROLL is activated the same time, if you want just the roll (turn) then turn off the HDG switch and the roll (turn) knob is quite hard to see but located below. The altitude switch works the same way. Select ALT to hold an altitude, but select PITCH to climb or descend via the scroll wheel, but you have to switch off the ALT switch BEFORE you can use adjust the PITCH control, if both ALT and PITCH switches are on it will just hold the altitude. Don't press the pitch scroll wheel too many times either as it jumps in 100ft increments, a few clicks to one click is all that is needed. In cruise the Comanche is a very nice place to be, as noted it does feel like an old 1964 vintage aircraft, but that is part of the charm. The vflyteAir Comanche is one of the first aircraft (payware) to feature the new FMOD sounds system. It delivers spatial 3D sound location, Doppler effects, custom interior and exterior engine sounds and a variety of different button, knob and switch clicks. And very impressive it is, I will note through that the FMOD system is only as good as its source sounds and is only available in X-Plane11, but I was impressed. The aircraft is very good to sensitive throttle response, again a twin-throttle addon gives you great control and feel. Adjust either throttle to feel the intimate effects of the different power thrust from either engine and you can use that feel to help in crosswinds or just getting the approach path correct. A few users noted the flaps tend to be a little too effective and create too much lift at the wrong low speed, personally it was not to bad for me, but then again I do keep the speed as low as possible before I dropped the flaps, they are as noted variable anyway and you can feed in as little or as much as you like, however vFlyteAir has done a few more adjustments anyway to give you more room on speeds to move them down. Approach is around 100knt-110knts to a flare around 90knts as the stall speed is a dirty (flaps down) 60knts... ... even at 80knts the aircraft tends to float, control is of course good, but twice in landing now I have gone further down the runway in what I would like to do, fine on a long runway like at KRSW, but on a small short strip it could get you into trouble. I found the Comanche very impressive, but setting it up correctly is crucial to the experience. A note is that if you want to use the Comanche in a saved replay, then you do have to set it up (fuel, passengers) and with the engines running to have them working or showing correctly in the replay, and the engines won't shutdown like they should do either in the replay. Lighting The lighting is excellent, almost perfect and you are perfectly set up for good night landings. Instrument panel is perfect... all the instruments are clear (for their age) and there is really lovely lighting over the lower panel switchgear. There is full cockpit/cabin illumination provided by two overhead lights, one for the front and one for the rear. External lighting is adjusted for X-Plane11 and is really good with the usual, Nav, strobe, beacon and landing lights. Like with the ADF pointer, in the v1.1 patch vFlyteAir have added in the taxi light on the front landing gear strut, it was not on (or working) with the donor aircraft but have added it in to the package as some users requested. Liveries There are thirteen excellent Hi-Res liveries from a lot of different regions and a paint kit is available for download, but no donor N92NE livery which is surprising? If you change the livery then the rego number is changed on the top of the instrument panel which is a nice touch... Summary I started this review in the mind of what is required to create a very high end in quality and performance aircraft. To what end is a developer a master of their craft and that when they do a release of a new aircraft then it is a must buy. It is a long and hard climb to that lofty position, but vFlyteAir are certainly one of the great's now with this their latest aircraft. Their Cherokee 140 was outstanding, but the Twin Comanche proves that the aircraft was not a fluke or simply a one off. Their trick if there is one is that they recreate aircraft they personally have access to, and that access is felt right through both of these aircraft in an intimate detailing in both design, detail and performance. vFlyteAir have real world yardstick to compare to and it shows and makes their aircraft even more fully deeper and a totally more complete experience. But even the availability a real machine is no good unless you have the skills to transfer that aircraft to the X-Plane simulator, but vFlyteAir have not only just done that but done it in a masterful way. Negatives, nothing really, and even nothing doesn't have to be a complete zero as anything can be improved or adjusted, but out of the package this is a very complete aircraft of quality and performance. It does require a careful setup with the weights and balances and to fly the aircraft to the required performance specifics to truly get the complete immersion here, but the rewards are certainly worth the effort of getting it right. There is an optional version coming soon as well for the Twin Comanche with an Aspen Avionics Evolution Flight Display system, it is noted as being released in a few months and that will be certainly an interesting variation of the aircraft to fly. vFlyteAir's Cherokee 140 won my best GA category award for 2016, and there is now a good chance they will take the same award away again for 2017 with this Twin Comanche, and that is still with the competition of Aerobask's brilliant releases earlier this year. So the quality and all round top level aircraft just keep on coming for X-Plane, but one of the most notable things now is that vFlyteAir are now one of the very best in their class with general aviation aircraft, this PA-30 Twin Comanche absolutely proves that in every area and context. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche by vFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Piper Twin Commanche PA30 Priced at US$29.95 Features: FMOD Sounds: We built the sound system using FMOD Studio and XPlane 11's new sound engine. Enjoy effects such as spatial 3D sound location, Doppler effects, custom interior and exterior engine sounds and a variety of different button, knob and switch clicks. Physical Based Rendering (PBR) textures for exterior and interior objects, to provide appropriate surface reflections and specular high-lights. Interactive menu system with intelligent Check Lists, interactive Weight & Balance calculator, Pre- Flight Options menu and pop-up Power Settings table – our new graphical on-screen menu system features interactive user choices and selections in a graphical interface. Dynamic pilot and passengers – go to the Weight & Balance menu to add passengers and cargo for your flight. Your passengers will appear in the cockpit of the airplane as you increase their weights on the menu. Extra luggage will appear as you increase the luggage weight. The Total Weight and Center of Gravity dynamically change as you add weight to the aircraft. Accurate Avidyne AXP340 Transponder with power-on boot screen, Pressure Altimeter display, Flight ID display, Altitude Monitorfunction, simulated ADS-B OUT, Flight Timer, Stop Watch Timer, and power-off count-down timer. The AXP340 is the most realistic transponder simulation we've ever created. Accurate Fuel System: Optional tip tanks are selectable from the Pre- Flight menu. With the optional tip tanks turned ON, the Twin Comanche has six (6) separate fuel tanks. X-Plane does not support separately selectable fuel tanks, so we wrote custom code that simulates running out of fuel on the selected tank. But don't worry! If you get close running out, we'll (optionally) flash a message on the screen to change tanks before you run out of fuel! On-Screen Warnings and Notifications: 13 different warnings and notification messages will appear on the screen, depending on conditions and triggers. You can turn off the warnings and notifications from the Pre-Flight menu Options section. “Pop-Out” Instruments and Gauges: several key gauges and instruments can be “popped out” of the panel for easier viewing – VR friendly! Compatible with the RealityXP GNS530 (sold separately by Reality- XP.com) - we included a “RealityXP.GNS.ini” file that makes the Twin Comanche ready for the RealityXP gns 530W plugin. And: Custom HDR interior and exterior lights with custom strobe flash sequence; Custom 3-D Propeller Effects with Prop Feathering; 12 Extra Hi-Res Liveries Included – and a custom Paint Kit is available for dowload so you can create your own livery. Fuel truck locations are set for the Twin so that you can call for Ground Service in X-Plane 11. Requirements: X-Plane 11 (not compatible with X-Plane 10) Windows 7+ or MAC OS 10.6(or higher) or Linux. 2Gb VRAM Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Installation and Documents: Download for the Piper PA-30 Twin Comanche is 719.80mb and the file is deposited in the "General Aviation" X-Plane folder at the same size of 719.80mb Documents: One manual: Piper Twin Comanche User Manual (26 pages) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 1st July 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 11.02 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KAPF _ Naples Muni Scenery by Raligard (X-Plane Gateway) - Free - KRSW - Southwest Florida International Airport by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99
  6. News! - Aircraft Update! : Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic/Original by VFlyteAir We at X-PlaneReviews loved the excellent Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 by VFlyteAir (Full review here: Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic/Original by VFlyteAir) and here is the quick follow up v1.2 upgrade and tuning list. Version 1.2 is a minor release that corrects several small bugs NEW FEATURES: - BOTH VERSIONS - Adjusting the radio volume knobs now reduces the volume on the NAV-aids morse code audio as well as the COM radios - ORIGINAL VERSION - The "ON" label on the PAR200 radio is LIT when the MUTE button is pressed - CLASSIC VERSION - You can now turn off the Garmin 430 power using the upper small knob marked "C" - the lower knob marked "V" controls the NAV1 Identification morse code volume BUG FIXES: - BOTH VERSIONS - User's menu settings for sound volumes will be restored when unloading the Cherokee and loading another aircraft - BOTH VERSIONS - The Starter Fuse no longer pops out during engine start - BOTH VERSIONS - The propeller will not turn when the engine starter fuse is pulled and the starter button is pressed - BOTH VERSIONS - The radio volume now properly controls the NAV audio volume - BOTH VERSIONS - The g430 GPS NAV frequencies are now controlled by the g430n1_frequency_xxx datarefs - BOTH VERSIONS - The ignition key receptacle texture was rotating when starter button pushed - now only rotates with magneto setting - BOTH VERSIONS - Roll and pitch rates dampened to provide more realistic flight - BOTH VERSIONS - Fixed the fuel tank indices so that left wing tank is [0] and right wing tank is [1]. This makes fuel tank selection compatible with other plugins. - ORIGINAL VERSION - Radio volume knob once again adjusts the radio squelch noise volume - ORIGINAL VERSION - PAR200 radio LED screen is now unLIT with radio power off - ORIGINAL VERSION - The PAR200 radio volume knob properly controls the radio squelch noise and the nav-aids morse code sounds - CLASSIC VERSION - The STEC55 autopilot now displays ALT and GS properly when intercepting and engaging an ILS Glide Slope Note there is a great deal on purchasing both these outstanding versions of the Piper Cherokee 140. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic/Original by VFlyteAir is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Classic Priced at US$22.95 Piper Cherokee PA 28 140 Original Priced at US$21.95 Both the Classic and Original versions are available for US$34.95 If you have already purchased the PA 28 140 Classic/Original by VFlyteAir then go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account, log in and download the update v1.2 from your account. Requirements: Windows 7+ or MAC OS 10.6(or higher) or Linux. 64bit Operating System X-Plane 10.45+ (any edition) running in 64bit mode 1Gb VRAM Minimum. 2Gb+ VRAM Recommended Version 1.2 (last updated June 16 2016) Stephen Dutton 16th June 2016 Copyright©2016: X-PlaneReviews
  7. Aircraft Review - Cirrus SR20-G1000 by vFlyteAir Would you fly right around the world in a small 200 hp (149 kW) engined aircraft? Well it can be done, and to be the youngest pilot at 19 years old to do so. Ryan Campbell an Australian did that record breaking attempt in an Cirrus SR22 in September 2013 called "Teen World Flight" (at the time, since beaten by Matt Guthmiller who is only 10 days younger). It took 10 weeks and flying 24,000 nautical miles to complete that journey, it is certainly long way to be cooped up alone in a small cockpit, but it also shows you can fly anywhere if you want to, but if you do get the urge then you would want to try then to keep clear Indonesian airspace... It was a great read of Ryan's book of his world navigation attempt (Born To Fly) and it gives you some background on long distance GA flying, It can be done, but don't kid yourself, it is still highly dangerous even today in our world of GPS flying as the weather is one variable we can never control. But the aircraft was fascinating as well, The Cirrus is a Continental IO-360-ES piston-engined, four-or-five-seat, composite monoplane built by Cirrus Aircraft from Duluth, Minnesota. With a composite airframe. Even though the first flight was in The SR20 was first flown on 21 March 1995 and FAA certification was achieved on 23 October 1998. At the time of the airplane's release, the general aviation industry was badly struggling, and the SR20 was only the first of its kind to earn FAA Part 23 certification in several years. As of June 2015, more than 6,000 Cirrus aircraft had been delivered and for a GA in this era that can be counted as an success story. There are a few reasons for its success, first are the operating costs which are reasonable, a base cost of US$359,900 helps as well, but it is the famous "Cirrus Airframe Parachute System" that can lower your aircraft to the ground that is safety system that has earned the aircraft its plaudits. Feeling the engine go then reduce your speed and pop the parachute and you may live to see another day. It is as clever as the airbags in your car, never needed until you need them. For the record the system has been used 53 times carrying 107 survivors to date. Another Cirrus feature is the Cirrus Perspective avionics suite (by Garmin) with dual 10-inch (250 mm) or 12-inch (300 mm) screens: one primary flight display (PFD) and one multi-function display (MFD). That makes this aircraft a great tourer and excellent for cross country/state flying or if you wish, fly round the world. Performance - Cruise speed: 155 knots (288 km/h) 178.4 mph - Stall speed: 56 knots flaps down (104 km/h) 64 mph - Range: 625 nautical miles (1454 km) 719 miles - Service ceiling: 17,500 ft (5334 m) - Rate of climb: 828 ft/min (4.2 m/s) - Wing loading: 21.0 lb/ft² (101 kg/m²) - Power/mass: 15.25 lb/hp (0.108 kW/kg) vFlyteAir Cirrus SR20 with the G-1000 avionics suite So I was very interested to see what the Cirrus would be like to fly after reading the book. To put myself in Ryan's position and feel that certain aircraft, it a great ride as we shall see but I have no current plans to round the world in it. The design of the Cirrus is a typical composite shape of a low frontal area, bulbous cabin and tapered tail, as per course the aircraft is made up of as few external components as possible with the only extra panels needed for external access to service items. The wings are a lighter wing of greater area than the original SR20, and incorporate a carbon-fiber spar for strength. As a design I like the profile and the vFlyteAir has done the aircraft proud with a seriously quality aircraft with great detailing. Composite aircraft can look bland compared to classic 1960's designs, but that is not the case here. it is excellent. A sprocket located on the lower left of your screen is the "Menu" tab. As menu's go it is quite light in features, but there is a lot to use on there, so you are not wanting. Three selections open doors in the Pilot Door, Passenger Door and side Cargo door. the lovely gull wing style doors are excellent in animation and look, you can open them from the inside as well. The behind the rear seats baggage compartment has a few nice bags in there. You can add a Passenger/Co-Pilot to the right seat and the aircraft's weight will adjust to the extra person for 70 kgs (175 lbs), the other pilot is not removable even when you close down the aircraft, which I always find odd... sitting there in the complete darkness. Final menu feature is wheel chocks and pitot covers and tags. There are no "Views" menu so you will have to use the default X-Plane version. The cabin design, quality is excellent, extremely good. All surfaces have great realistic textures that would want you to run your fingers along. Molded side and roof fittings are very real, highly realistic... so you a really lovely cabin with all the fittings. The focus on this aircraft is certainly going to be the G1000 Garmin Avionics suite as it is front and centre, and it does not disappoint. But the panel instrumentation and switch gear is sublime and very well represented. The layout is quite different from most panels as the G1000 screens are angled toward the main pilot and so is all the switchgear, the co-pilot if he is wanting to fly has only the single-column yoke (stick?) and rudder pedals, and all the instrumentation is on the left hand side, making it hard to fly and certainly on approaches. But I love the layout, it is a beautiful place to be. Incredible detail, highlights are the air-vents. Keystart is on the far left of the panel and Fan, Cool/Heat dials on the right. The centre raised panel is sheer craftmanship in detail. It hold three areas of switchgear and radio selections. The top section is the main programming area for the G1000 system in flightplanning, and HDG (Heading), CRS (Course) and ALT SEL (Altitude Selection) knobs. Middle section is the built in "Autopilot" and the lower section is the Garmin GMA 350 radio set. Set lower on the panel is the Oxygen selection and Flap selection in "up", "50%" and "100%" flap. Left of the centre panel in front of the pilot are lower three standby dial instruments in "Airspeed", "Artificial Horizon" and "Altitude". Above on a shelf are the main rocker switchgear for (L to R) Battery/power (Bat 1 & 2 - Alt 1 & 2 and Avionics), Exterior lighting (Nav - Strobe - Land and Ice), Pitot Heat, Ice Protection (On -Hign) , a MAX Ice setting, Pump and Wind shield heating. Two knobs on the far adjust the panel and interior lighting. You have to love the design of the single-column yoke, it is very well done with moving innards inside the panel. Most of the pop-fuses work, but not all of them. But still very well featured. Centre pedestal has a few items. There is a fuel pump three way switch for "Prime", "Normal" and "Boost" and the twin fuel tank gauge is set out below in "28 USGallons". The fuel tank switch is a red pointer below, with left - right tanks and push for off, and you have to watch the gauges through the flight and keep switching the tanks over to use the fuel up evenly. The throttle lever is lovely, in look and feel. The "Single Lever Throttle Control” automatically adjusts the propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever on the aircraft. To the right is the red knobbed "Mixture" lever with "Rich" to "Lean" adjustment. Garmin G1000 Garmin G1000 avionics suites seem to be popping up everywhere today for X-Plane. This version is certainly very good, but not a completely Garmin system but a variation in the aircraft and noted as a "Perspective system", but close. basically it keeps the X-Plane MAP system in place, which unlike the Carenado 182 G1000 system it simulates which map as well. The X-Plane flightplan system is there as well, which saves time in saving and loading flightplans (fms). You press the "Avionic" rocker switch to power up the system, you first get splash info screens and then they come to life. Primary Flight Display (PFD) There is a huge amount of information on the main Primary Flight Display (PFD), you could note it as confusing at first glance. The G1000 PFD is dominated by the huge artificial horizon that covers the whole display. Built in pitch, Rate of Roll (very nice with built in indicators called "Trend Vectors"), speed and altitude tapes (built in Vertical Speed - or +) and lower Heading, with built in CRS (course) and selectable ADF, Nav 1 & 2 needles. The Course selector is also your Nav 1, Nav 2 and GPS selection and built in CDI (course deviation indicator) for runway ILS alignment. Most items on the screen are accessed by the buttons on the lower panel (Softkeys) that change to the selection required. It can get confusing with the amount of settings and items you can access. Items covered include in "Inset Windows" Map (A smaller version of the main map on the right display), ADF Frequency, Timer/Vr speed References, Nearest Airports, Flightplan and the ADF, NAV 1 and NAV2 settings are displayed on the bottom and left - right of the heading rose, all are switchable to the needles you require. Top of the PFD is an information strip that covers "Engine Power%", Autopilot status, Prev and Current waypoints when the flightplan is activated, Distance to the next waypoint, Est time to next waypoint, COMM 1&2 Frequencies. On the Altitude tape is also top; Altimeter and VVI and bottom Baro pressure. Lower screen information strips covers Outside Air Temperature, Transponder/XPDR, Clock. If you are familiar with the default X-Plane GNS 430/530 GPS system then the knobs and buttons down the right of the display will be a no brainer. Comm 1&2 selector, CRS/Baro adjustment, Map range, (buttons) Direct-to, FPL (flightplan), Clear and Enter (ENT). PFD/FMS inner/outer is at the bottom. If you press the red "Display Backup" button between the displays, it will aggregate the two displays in one left screen. This is called the "reversionary mode" It includes the engine information section (EIS) and activation softkey, the inset map is moved to the right side, the indicators for ground speed (GS) and outside air temperature (OAT) are moved below the speedtape and the “Power” section on the upper bar is replaced by the NAV1/2 frequencies from the MFD upper bar. Multi Function Display (MFD) There are two main modes for display on the right hand Multi Function Display (MFD), in ENG (Engine) and MAP modes. Engine Mode The ENG (Engine) selection is quite comprehensive, it looks absolutely brilliant as well. There are two modes here as with the "DCLTR" softkey allowing you to "declutter" the display by removing a lot of the digital linage. The EIS here is comprehensive, there are two modes for the EIS, the full page mode (above), and the side tab version. Engine parameters covered are "Engine Power%", "Engine RPM", "Man In HG" (Manifold Pressure), "FFlow" (Fuel Flow), "Oil" Pressure and Temp. "Engine Temperatures" are covered in CHT ºF and EGT ºF. Anti-Ice Amount (in GAL) and Oxygen Pressure. Electrical output section covers both Current (A) and Bus Volts (V). The Fuel section displays "Fuel Qty" (in GAL) for both tanks, and fuel calculation data in "Used" - "Rem" (remaining), "Time Rem" and "Range" on the remaining amount of fuel in both tanks. I found the fuel data really helpful in planning and in flight on managing your range and fuel tank selection. Map Mode In MAP mode the EIS moves to its left side tab to give you your main engine and fuel parameters. The rest of the display is the standard X-Plane moving map. A side note that in this display mode you can also activate the inner "Trims" display for Flaps, ELEV and RUDDER Trim. Nice visual pointers are the two large Nav1 & Nav2 arrows on the large rose, which are great for easy directional heading selection. Other display options include, charts (you can insert 20 of your own .png charts in the “Cockpit_3D/generic/Rotary/User” folder) and a comprehensive checklist. G1000 Flightplanning. This Cirrus G1000 system setup is one of the best for creating and entering flightplans. Ease of use is converted to speed in entering the data via buttons, and the flightplan is also saved as a standard .fms file and so can be used in other aircraft or you can insert an already completed flightplan. Pressing the "FFP" key on the centre console (also a softkey on the display), will bring up the flightplan screen on the right hand side of the MAP display. To start to create a new flightplan then press the centre of the "FMS Knob" in the centre of the top part of the main programming panel. This will give you the standard half-moon manipulators in large and small and also note your current GPS position on the display. The large manipulators are used to move down or up a line of your flightplan (segments), the same as your standard GNS GPS. The smaller higher manipulators will open another window to insert the Nav-Aid/Fix (these smaller manipulators have a different action than on the standard GNS GPS). This input is done via the alphabet/numeric keyboard. You have to select an input of ARPT (Airport), FIX, NDB and VOR to tell the flightplan which nav-aid you want to search for, you can do this before or after you input the nav-aid code. ARPT is default. If you make a mistake you can use the BKSP (backspace) to go back one digit, which is a real timesaver over the default GNS GPS in which you have to start again from the first digit. CLR will clear the Nav-Aid/Fix. When done just press ENT (Enter) to enter your Nav-Aid/Fix. Distances can be shown either leg by leg or by cumulative; use the “LEG-LEG” and “CUM” softkeys for changing this option. If the current waypoint has an altitude constraint, the constraint is also shown in the “CURRENT VNV PROFILE” section below the flight plan. Use the small manipulators to go back into the entered waypoint to set the Altitude that is changed by pressing the ENT button and then the curser moves to the VNV box and then you can input the altitude via the numeric keyboard, then press ENT again to enter the Nav-Aid/Fix/Altitude. Sometimes I found you have to go back up a segment with the larger manipulators to re-input the altitude? (but I think it is bug?) You then use the large manipulators to move down or up a line of your flightplan to input or to correct a Nav-Aid/Fix. The flightplan does not scroll up or down, so to see more of the flightplan you have to go to a new page and follow on from the bottom of the last page. Repress the "FMS Knob" to exit. Save the completed flightplan in a clever way as a standard .fms file by clicking on the lower SD card on the side of the display, to load a flightplan then press the upper SD card. It takes longer to explain this flightplan system than to use it. If you have your list of Nav-Aid/Fixes handy, then it takes no time to input the waypoints and quickly create a flightplan. The button input system is a real timesaver compared to the small manipulator input on the X-Plane default GNS/GPS, you will load this aircraft just to create flightplans quickly and then save them... Flying the Cirrus SR20 First thing you notice sitting in the pilot or front passenger seat is the blinds on the roof reduce your visual view forward. Not that bad but they do infringe down into the windscreen view, revolving them up the other way does help (a little). The one thing that you like about the Cirrus is that it is not a complicated aircraft, it is easy to do anything. Mixture up and select a fuel tank from the left or right tanks, boost fuel switch on, lighting on, and turn the key and the Continental IO-360-ES bursts into life. If the front view is slightly restricted by the high glareshield and the low blind then the side view is not, so that helps with turning and taxiing the aircraft. I like the sounds of the Cirrus. Sounds are custom, and they really give a great feel to the aircraft, smooth and not overbearing, so you can travel for a distance and you do not get that whining sound in your head that is tiring. The aircraft is nice to taxi, easy to trek out to a faraway runway. Your vSpeeds are right in front of you, setting you up for the right rotate speed. Yes there is a slight left pull when the power goes on, but that is easily corrected. The aircraft has plenty of power but requires a little longer run than you usually require to get to the Vr 83knt speed. The lower speed zone is marked on the PFD, and so are the vSpeeds, it really can't get easier than that, only a slight pitch is required to go flying. The aircraft does have a tendency to be very tight around the centre of gravity, so you can find yourself easily slightly banked either way, and you have show a lot of balance to keep the aircraft level, but that is not saying the aircraft is nervy, but it is quite the opposite in being a really nice aircraft to fly... you soon feel very comfortable in the design. There is no searching for the Autopilot controls which are grouped on the centre console, so activation and setting the heading is a another easy task, I also like the close by knobs for adjusting the HDG (Heading), CRS (Course) and ALT SEL (Altitude Selection) which saves so much time in quick adjustments because you don't have to travel all over the panel to do each. GPS selection on the CDI softkey, and NAV on the autopilot panel and your flightplan is locked in. You cruise just above the 150knts mark (153knts) and no doubt this is a nice cruiser of an aircraft. Engine performance is visually excellent and as noted the fuel outputs are great for flight management. Flying eastwards along the Hawaiian chain, you feel very confident... fly around the world?, yes you could. Yes there is a lot information on the PFD, but you can choose to declutter the the screen and fly on the basics. For myself, I like all the navigation aids working to my advantage, so the ADF and VOR2 needles give me my aim to the airport on PHOG - Kahului Airport, but to get there I have to do a sharp left turn and fly right down a valley right across the island of Maui. Selecting the altitude and adjusting my vertical speed to reach the correct point of approach to runway 02. A note the V/S adjustment arrows don't appear until you select the V/S button. The power output is also a great tool to select just the right amount of power for any climb, but more useful on descending. Two stage flaps ("50%" and "100%") are just right with nice drag to control your speed without making you climb when deployed, but you still have get the power right to keep the speed liner . Again the aircraft is nice in the final approach but watch the roll and keep it level. Touching down means getting your speed as low as you must. Stall speed is 56 knots, but you have to find anything around just over 60knt so you don't bounce on the runway, the Cirrus will easily skip and bounce if you are not aware of it. Run off the speed and your there. Cirrus Airframe Parachute System The safety parachute system is built into the roof just above the pilots and front seat passengers position. Push the panel to deploy the parachute... But make sure your airspeed is as low as possible, and if not it will... act like a parachute and drag the aircraft almost vertical on its tail. And if you think the aircraft is going to do a slight touch soft landing... then it isn't, it is a crash, so make sure your insurance is still paid up! Aircraft lighting vFlyteAir have modeled the lighting on the Cirrus using X-Plane's parameterized lighting. But externally its horrible. You get large blobs of light at a small distance and it varies from tight to huge at different angles, at night flying it looks like you have a flashing UFO on each wing. In the daytime it is not much better. Really close up it is not too bad and the spread from the landing lights is good, but otherwise I fly with as much external lighting off as I can. Internally in the cabin it is thankfully much better. One adjustment knob sets the instrument brightness although the standby instruments could be a little brighter, and the other knob adjusts a nice red glow. There also two switchable spot lights on the forward roof, the buttons are hard to see as the blinds cover them up, but they are are very effective. There are two more lights middle roof, again very good but the rear seats are in darkness? A slight change of the middle spot light throw rearwards would have done the trick and lit the rear as the front spots cover the front area well. Liveries. There is default vFlyteAir livery and nine authentic liveries based around a single theme, with only one (G-CIRU) a single red upper body colour. All liveries are 4K quality and as noted authentic of real aircraft as Cirrus has a special painting system that covers the painted aircraft for the best slipstream flow efficiency. Summary First impressions always count, some aircraft can deceive in that they can take time to show their excellence, but others have an instant effect and you love them immensely immediately. This vFlyteAir Cirrus SR20 fell easily into the latter category. The quality immediately hits you and you love it, and the cabin and that panel is simply overwhelmingly good. Beautiful textures abound, it is a very, very nice place to fly. The aircraft is nice fly as well, I was completely and easily at home very quickly and enjoying the performance and handling, all round here the Cirrus is a great aircraft. The Garmin G1000 is of course debatable. The purists will note that although 90% of the system is a great G1000 system, there is still that 10% of X-Plane map and flightplan background that is still in there. Without doubt the benefits certainly totally outweigh the negatives, but simulation is about authenticity, in replicating the real world systems. One huge bonus is that this system with the keyboard input is one of the best and certainly fastest way to create GNS GPS flightplans, overall the system is very good. For the quality and features this is a great price for this aircraft at well under US$30, so a great investment. Negatives and only the external lighting spoils what is an exceptional aircraft, otherwise I loved it immensely, a really nice aircraft to fly, be in and enjoy one of the best four seater propeller cruisers in X-Plane... would I fly the Cirrus around the world like Ryan Campbell in this aircraft, certainly that is possible with this avionics suite, and there would be very much worse ways to break flying records... Overall a really nice aircraft. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Cirrus SR20-G1000 by vFlyteAir is available from the New X-Plane.Org Store here : Cirrus SR20 G1000 And is priced at only US$27.95 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Features Flight Display (PFD) Artificial Horizon with high-resolution attitude indicator, flight director and roll scale Speedtape with custom display of reference speeds Altitude tape with custom vertical velocity indicator and minimums display Enhanced HSI with turn indicator and three fully configurable bearing pointers for GPS, NAV1, NAV2 and ADF Switchable inset windows for timer/references, minimums, wind, ADF, map, nearest airports, and flight plan Cirrus-style top bar with power setting, frequencies and detailed GPS & autopilot information On the Multi Function Display (MFD) Engine information system with switchable trim status Detailed system page with engine parameters, declutter mode, used fuel, remaining fuel, remaining range, remaining time, anti-ice & oxygen gauges, density altitude, temperatures, ISA deviation Custom user interface for creating and editing flight plans (accessing X-Planes navdata and default FMC) “Nearest” page for airports, navaids and related frequencies Cirrus-style top bar with destination window, frequencies and GPS information X-Plane default map with weather radar and traffic warnings with custom icons Interactive checklists and user-definable charts System-wide specifics: X-Plane autopilot with ROL, HDG, NAV, APPR, ALT, V/S, IAS modes and detailed status information Custom calculations for ground speed, true airspeed, fuel & ranges, bearings and distances Reversionary mode with engine information system and system summary (reacts on fuse & MFD failure) Hypoxia is simulated at above 12,500’ cabin altitude. The screen will begin to dim if you are flying above 12,500’ MSL. Use the OXY switch on the lower center console to turn on oxygen supply and avoid hypoxia! Oxygen supply is simulated – you have approximately 3 ½ hours of usable oxygen on board. The oxygen supply will begin to deplete slowly when the OXY switch is ON Anti-Ice fluid is simulated – there are 3.5 gallons of anti-ice fluid available. The supply will deplete when anti-ice switch is ON ICE lights are modeled – use the ICE light switch to inspect the wing leading edges for ice build-up at night The Cirrus BRS® parachute recovery system is modeled – click on the BRS handle on the cabin ceiling to deploy the parachute in case of emergency. NOTE: Engine should be OFF, and airspeed should be below 120 KTS when deploying the parachute! Cirrus “Single Lever Throttle Control” is modeled – the SR20 automatically adjusts propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever. Customized HDR night lights – there are four dome lights inside the cockpit that will provide white flood lighting with HDR on in your rendering settings Custom exterior lighting – all lights on the exterior (landing lights, strobe lights and navigation lights) are modeled using X-Plane parameterized lighting. 10 Factory liveries provided – because Cirrus uses a special heat-resistant paint for their airplanes, the 10 liveries provided are based on Cirrus originals. Custom sounds – try opening the passenger or pilot door while the engine is running! _____________________________________________________________________________________ Installation : Download file size is 420.60mb to your X-Plane - GA Aircraft Folder. Installed file size is 420.50mb Documents : There is excellent documentation with a full tutorial, a avionics tutorial and a third document that covers the features of G1000 avionics system. Requirements : X-Plane 10.40+ (any edition) - Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit mode -1Gb+ Dedicated VRAM Video Card Current version: 1.0 - Last updated on October 12th 2015 Developer Support Site : Support forum for the SR20 _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th October 2015 Copyright©2015: X-Plane Reviews Review System Specifications: Computer System: - 2.66 Ghz Intel Core i5 iMac 27”- 9 Gb 1067 Mhz DDR3 - ATI Radeon HD 6970M 2048 mb- Seagate 512gb SSD Software: - Mac OS Yosemite 10.10.1 - X-Plane 10 Global ver 10.42 Addons - Saitek x52 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini : WorldTraffic Plugin Music - Lots of Dire Straits - Chris Rea - Eric Clapton Scenery or Aircraft - PHJR - Barbers Point USCG, Hawaii by Fred De Pues (Fred-E-NETS sceneries are currently being updated to the X-Plane-Org) - PHOG - Maui, Hawaii by joyfulsongster (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  8. News! - Now Available - Cirrus SR20 by vFlyteAir Now available at X-Plane.OrgStore from vFlyteAir is a very nice modern General Aviation success story in the Cirrus SR20. To date more than 6,000 Cirrus aircraft had been delivered of this excellent four-or-five-seat, composite monoplane built by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota. The aircraft is powered by a Continental IO-360-ES engine that provides 200 hp (149 kW). X-PlaneReviews has exclusive images of this great new aircraft. Beautiful modeling is coupled with great quality design. The highlight is the inclusion of a full G1000 glass avionics suite. Although based on the X-Plane FMS system, it is very comprehensive and excellent to use and programme. Features Include: Primary Flight Display (PFD): Artificial Horizon with high-resolution attitude indicator, flight director and roll scaleSpeedtape with custom display of reference speedsAltitude tape with custom vertical velocity indicator and minimums displayEnhanced HSI with turn indicator and three fully configurable bearing pointers for GPS, NAV1, NAV2 and ADFSwitchable inset windows for timer/references, minimums, wind, ADF, map, nearest airports, and flight planCirrus-style top bar with power setting, frequencies and detailed GPS & autopilot informationMulti Function Display (MFD): Engine information system with switchable trim statusDetailed system page with engine parameters, declutter mode, used fuel, remaining fuel, remaining range, remaining time, anti-ice & oxygen gauges, density altitude, temperatures, ISA deviationCustom user interface for creating and editing flight plans (accessing X-Planes navdata and default FMC)“Nearest” page for airports, navaids and related frequenciesCirrus-style top bar with destination window, frequencies and GPS informationX-Plane default map with weather radar and traffic warnings with custom iconsInteractive checklists and user-definable charts System-wide PFD and MFD specific features: X-Plane autopilot with ROL, HDG, NAV, APPR, ALT, V/S, IAS modes and detailed status informationCustom calculations for ground speed, true airspeed, fuel & ranges, bearings and distancesReversionary mode with engine information system and system summary (aircraft reacts on fuse & MFD failure) Certainly one of the classiest and well laid out panels I have seen, beautiful place to fly. Package comes with 10 liveries, Tutorial, Avionics Manual and Avionics featuresSimulated CAP® Parachute systemCustom SoundsCustom 3d CockpitFully AnimatedSelectable animated co-pilotFunctional Fuse PanelHi-Resolution GraphicsOther Notable Features: Hypoxia is simulated at above 12,500’ cabin altitude. The screen will begin to dim if you are flying above 12,500’ MSL. Use the OXY switch on the lower center console to turn on oxygen supply and avoid hypoxia!Oxygen supply is simulated – you have approximately 3 ½ hours of usable oxygen on board. The oxygen supply will begin to deplete slowly when the OXY switch is ONAnti-Ice fluid is simulated – there are 3.5 gallons of anti-ice fluid available. The supply will deplete when anti-ice switch is ONICE lights are modeled – use the ICE light switch to inspect the wing leading edges for ice build-up at nightThe Cirrus BRS® parachute recovery system is modeled – click on the BRS handle on the cabin ceiling to deploy the parachute in case of emergency. NOTE: Engine should be OFF, and airspeed should be below 120 KTS when deploying the parachute!Cirrus “Single Lever Throttle Control” is modeled – the SR20 automatically adjusts propeller speed through the use of the throttle lever. There is no separately-controlled propeller lever.Customized HDR night lights – there are four dome lights inside the cockpit that will provide white flood lighting with HDR on in your rendering settingsCustom exterior lighting – all lights on the exterior (landing lights, strobe lights and navigation lights) are modeled using X-Plane parameterized lighting.10 Factory liveries provided – because Cirrus uses a special heat-resistant paint for their airplanes, the 10 liveries provided are based on Cirrus originals.Custom sounds – try opening the passenger or pilot door while the engine is running!Photo-realistic textures by Igor Kirilove – all textures are very hi-res (4K), providing a very realistic lookFully animated model – all the details are in this model. Check out the door hinge mechanisms when you open and close the doors!Super accurate 3D modeling – the model is extremely accurate in scale and dimensions.For more information then visit vFlyteAir Yes! the Cirrus SR20 by vFlyteAir is now available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : Cirrus SR20 Perspective® G1000 - Price is US$27.95 Requirements X-Plane 10.36+ (any edition) - Windows, Mac or Linux - 64bit mode - 1Gb+ Dedicated VRAM Video Card Stephen Dutton Updated 12th October 2015 Copyright©2015: X-PlaneReviews
  9. Developer Update : Grumman Traveler AA-5 v1.5 by vFlyteAir vFlyteAir has updated their Grumman Traveler AA-5 to version 1.5 The new features include: - brand new stereo-effect sounds! Recorded from an actual Grumman AA-5, the new sounds provide a stereoscopic dimension to the Traveler, providing a more immersive flying experience. Exterior sound effects are also improved with better distance-fading and Doppler effects. - New “master volume” knob has been added to allow you to adjust the engine/cockpit sounds volume. NOTE: The “master volume” knob is the COM1 Radio volume knob. Air Traffic Control, weather and other sounds are still controlled via the X-Plane Settings menu. - Two new liveries added! G-BBUE (Red/Blue scheme) and N356PV (Blue/Light Blue scheme). - SASL Plug-In has been updated to the newest version. - The Trim Indicator and Flaps Indicator labels on the panel surface are now illuminated so that the pilot can see the indicator positions at night The Traveler now defaults to the mixture being set at FULL LEAN on start-up. NOTE: Pilots must remember to set the mixture to RICH prior to starting the engine. - Increased brightness of the instrument gauges for better readability at night. (yeah that was very dull) - Flight controls (ailerons, elevator and rudder) adjusted to be less sensitive at higher speeds. There has been a few bug fixes on the AA-5 as well in : - Dome light now slaved to battery bus (was working with battery off) - Fuel gauges now slaved to electrical bus (were working with battery off) - Map Light lens no longer illuminates when map light is OFF - Wheel Braking improved to be more effective- - Fixed LIT textures on illuminated lights - some lights were "showing through" when instrument lights were turned off or when it was daylight - Moved IDENT button manipulator to the small push-button located directly below IDENT lamp (was incorrectly located on top of IDENT red lamp) - Starter sound fixed – was playing sound with battery OFF - Fuel Pump switch and Pitot Heat switch now work correctly (click upper part for ON, click lower part for OFF) - Thanks to "FloB" for the squawk - Cowl flaps settings are now automatically controlled by the ACF (X-Plane overrides keyboard control or joystick control of cowl flaps - the Traveler does not have cowl flaps X-Plane Reviews liked the Grumman Traveler AA-5 immensely as it is coming in to Carenado style of quality and features... Read our full review here (original release version) - Yes! the Grumman American AA-5 Traveler v1.5 is now Available from the X-Plane.OrgShop : Grumman American AA-5 Traveler Stephen Dutton 21st February 2014 copyright©2014 : X-Plane Reviews
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