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  1. Today
  2. Well the issue is it wasn't, but X-Plane has moved a long way past the level that was normal only a few years ago, I hear is comprehensive update is coming for the FF B777, so that should put things right. SD
  3. Hi Stephen, An excellent review, so thorough. Your articles are always a delight to read. You can hide the yoke with the X-Plane keyboard command. As a result of your reviews, I have started flying from Aberdeen to Shetland! I must say, having just got this, it is an absolutely fantastic airplane model. All the best from Down Under! Andrew Melbourne, Australia
  4. I hope I'm not the only one who thinks this is overpriced. And who thinks the graphics aren't terrific.
  5. Yea with artificial stabilizer off and power off the aircraft still descends very slowly. UPDATED! THANKS
  6. Yesterday
  7. Last week
  8. Another excellent review - my plastic is quivering. No water rudders 'cause it uses asymmetrical thrust to steer on water.
  9. Aircraft Review : de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series v2 by RW Designs It is just under three years ago in Feb 2015 was when RW Designs first released their version of the DHC-6-300 or the Twin Otter. It was a competent design as we saw in the review : Aircraft Review : de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series by RW Designs. The aircraft did however have some traits that divided the purchasers into the "very much like" and the "missing something" divisions, I personally didn't mind it as it was at least a decent Twin Otter to fly. And here now is v2 or the X-Plane11 version of the aircraft and at first glance it looks like the the next update for X-Plane11 for the aircraft. But to think that and you would be wrong, and in fact completely wrong as this Twin Otter is a completely new design from the ground up, and only a few elements have been passed over from the original design. Everything has been completely remodeled, from the actual aircraft, its systems and its features and it is also X-Plane11 tuned and uses X-Plane11 features in its design. So this DHC-6-300 is a full upgrade, not an update. And what you are purchasing here is a completely new aircraft, but there is also a discount for users to update from the original version to this all new v2 aircraft that allows access without the full cost of the purchase price. The overall external design of the original was very good with great detailing of rivets and paneling from the X-Plane "draw per pixel lighting" shading effects and the aircraft body fittings, but there was also a few clunky areas of like the thick rear doors and the average cabin, but overall in the right lighting conditions the original DHC-6 did look very nice. But that was three years ago, and an eon of ages in X-Plane terms and with all the changes to X-Plane11. It was a smart decision to not to try to and simply adjust the design to this new era, but to create a completely new version directly for the changes. Yes that does create a lot of work, extra work, but it also puts you in a far better position because you will have raised the quality standard at the same time and also the intimate quality of your own work. Yes starting afresh allows you do it better and with a better design and a far better approach than just trying to fix up those poor kinks that would be hard to fix anyway. So looking closely at the v2 aircraft the distinct quality is certainly far better, and the aircraft more far more detailed. Certainly the X-Plane11 PBR features help any developer, but to use them effectively still takes skill, and you see that here on the excellent external area and flying surfaces, and also where it counts and this new aircraft can look spectacular in the right lighting conditions. Here is the original design... ... and the new v2 design. The quality and detailing is quite significantly modeled far better with the specular lighting effects bringing out the quality. Baggage areas (front and rear) are now lined, but we have lost the bags in transit? The cabin window detailing is now excellent and they are a huge difference from the original bulky frame idea. And were as the cabin in the original felt like an after thought, the v2 cabin is now excellent. For the insanely beautiful steel floor and the exquisite leather seats. Now this Twin Otter feels like a complete aircraft. Menus The aircraft also now has menus... The menus are located in a flight book down in the pilot's door pocket. The main menu also opens up three more menus in Radios, Checklist and Weight/Balance The main contents include a flashlight (X-Plane native) opening the front and rear baggage doors, external power supply and GTN 750 Support... but no menu options to open the main cockpit and cabin doors, of with which with the rear doors being hard to move to every time you want to open/close them is a bit of a side head scratching moment. Lower menu is four cockpit colour options... In Green, Blue, White and Black. Green is green, but the Blue feels like very light Grey, White feels Grey and Black feels light brown. Only the cockpit colours change and not the cabin textures including the seats, which would have been a nice touch. The Checklist is excellent and covers all aspects of operation from start up to shut down, and the binder is moveable and scalable for ease of use. There is a very good "Weights&Balances" menu as well. You can set the fuel in kg's and the weights of baggage and passengers (Payload). Your aim is to keep the CoG (Centre of Gravity) around 30% of MAC. The full Empty Weight and Total Weights are all shown. Nose versions There are both the "Long" and "Short" nose versions available. They are switched via the liveries with "LN" denoting the Long Nose and "SN" denoting the Short Nose. Besides the Standard wheel version there are three other variants in Float, Ski and Tundra tyres. Float The float version is well done and the undercarriage can be raised up into the float via the undercarriage lever, but there are no rear float rudders for water steering to raise or lower... ... the aircraft handles nicely on the water (without a high swell) and with the opening rear doors, they both open out and not down for exit and entrance. Ski The ski's are fastened on tight, as some developers make them raise or lower below the wheels. Overall the quality is very good. Tundra The huge balloon Tundra tyres are very well done here, and you don't get that bouncy floaty movement on landing but a nice grounded feel. Flying the DHC-6 Twin Otter v2 The early morning service today is the from EGPH (Edinburgh) to EGPD (Aberdeen) a simple hop of 93nm. Aircraft was set up with 611kg of fuel and 1380kg of payload (passengers and baggage), for a gross weight of 6147kg. You need a bit of thrust to get the aircraft mobile, but once moving you can mostly keep it back in the idle position, and contain any speed with the brakes. Flaps are set at 10º and the indicator is on the centre windscreen bar. A final check and it is power up or power forward with the twin overhead drop down levers. Rotation is around 95kt to 100kts depending on the wind direction, but the aircraft is nice in the pitch and then the bank... .... The differences with the X-Plane11 performance is quite considerable. The original was not in performance as close as it should have been, certainly in the handling as this Twin Otter feels far much better as of the simulator changes. As with a lot of moving over to XP11 style flying, you need a short time to adjust to different feel and reaction, so any first flights won't give you the feeling you would expect from the aircraft straight away, but it does come in time and then and only you start to really love what you then have to fly, and after a few flights you will really understand what I mean. In the original DHC-6 we were a little confused by the Collins AP106 system and as you will notice there is no V/S (Vertical Speed) button or V/S climb or descend knob? Only an Altitude (ALT) and Heading (HDG) buttons. As the Collins system does not use that type of system to climb or descend. The AP106 is tricky to still use, but as the actual aircraft performance is better, then it works better in here now as well. The trick is to find the right speed in your throttle position and then lock that speed in via the IAS button. The system works by then adjusting the throttle to climb or descend. You aim or goal is for a speed of around 105kts to 110knts and a climb rate of around 1000fpm as noted here for the best of both worlds, and the specified climb rate is around 1600fpm. To descend you do the reverse in reducing and locking in the speed around 80knts and descend around the same 1000fpm. This is a big change over the original version as the aircraft wouldn't descend at all unless you went to extreme measures like even setting the throttle to idle and then even feathering the propellers to go down, which was ludicrous. ALT ALERT button is really the altitude hold button for the selected required altitude, and it works in both modes of ALT and IAS disconnect when the set altitude is attained, but it can be tricky to set sometimes. A note on to have the trim correctly set is now important, not only for the initial takeoff but for the AP106 interaction... if the trim is out, then the AP106 will do silly things like climb or descend too quickly. so a set trim and a level aircraft helps in AP106 transition. An item to note is that you have to manually disconnect the AP106 by both the buttons and the switch. If you use a key or in my case a joystick button to disconnect the autopilot then here it doesn't deactivate the AP. Debatable is the sound package on the aircraft. It is a FMOD setup and has 3d surround sounds and good variation in sound. The package uses a professional PT6A soundpack, which is noted as one of the best for the Twin Otter. And in most areas like start up, idle and takeoff power the sound is very good, but the in flight internally sounds are very buzzy, light and don't have much depth or even drone and the sound pitches don't change much with any throttle changes. The sounds do come well regarded and so I am going to put the aural question out there as some aircraft like the Twin Otter do have a particular feel and sound, so feedback is welcome, but they did grow on me. Another point to make is that the RW Design's Twin Otter doesn't like the xEnviro weather plugin very much in the visual stakes, the view from the cockpit is fine, but if you look at the propellers at any time they show the real scenery through the movement. This of course an X-Plane/xEnviro issue and not the developer's issue, but it is currently not the best external view with xEnviro active and the normal X-Plane weather is used here in this review. Although a few of the original elements like instruments have been moved over and updated, in context this is a completely new cockpit and instrument panel. The main panel does feel slightly duller and flat, than the lighter smoother approach on the original, but the quality is far, far higher and detailed. We are used now to excellent metal style instrument panels, but here it is authentic to the flat grey used on the aircraft. The excellent glareshield is really well modeled and textured, so overall it works very well. The classic dual yoke is well reproduced, but it can't be hidden. The iconic Twin Otter overhead panel (OHP) is excellent, fully featured and really well produced. The OHP was good before, but this complete redesign is now even more authentic and realistic, but you do have to set a key "quickview" to get a quick upside down view of the rear of the panel if you want to access the switchgear, overall it is all really well done. Under the panel and floor is also very well completed and realistic, with lovely crafted DHC rudder pedals, centre upright fuse panel with built in fuel gauges. And note the great Brake Temperature display panel. Cockpit quality and seats are as good as the cabin, and the only noticeable point is the cockpit/cabin divider is not a clean arch. The excellent trim controls on the pilot's right seat arm, are however beautifully created and authentic and very nice to use.. The Instrument panel layout has had a few changes. First up is the completely new BendixKing electronic Artificial Horizon, replacing the flat (awful) design of the original on both sides is a huge improvement there. The Collins AP106 system's button panel has been moved from the right-centre instrument panel to the pilot's side for easier use, and there is now both a VOR(2) and ADF dial bottom left (only a single ADF dial before). The Course Deviation Indicator (OBS) looks like it was moved, but in fact it is still in the same place, as the Radar altitude has been moved below it to allow the fitting of the AP106 button panel above. The equipment avionics stack is different as well. The KMA 28 audio panel is top, with the GNS 530 below. The radios are more basic, but also more realistic with two KX 155As for COMM1/VOR1 and COMM2/VOR2 receivers. A KR 87 is your ADF and centre below is a KT 70 BenedixKing Transponder. You can if you have purchased the (expensive) RealityXP GTN 750 or GTN 530, use them in the aircraft and replacing the native GNS 530. The GNS 530 and the radio panels all pop-out for ease of use. All instrument and radio panels have nice reflections, real, but not overly done. Panel lighting is indirect, but looks great even in the daytime. On the lighting theme, the cockpit is very good, in a black and white way. But the dials are very clear and concise for night landings. All instrument lighting is adjustable and the cockpit is lit by only one light above your head. The cabin is sensational with pairs of spot lights for each set of seats... ... The seatbelt and no-smoking sign is nice touch. External lighting is very good, with a single front strut taxi light and two wing mounted landing lights, standard tail-beacon and navigation lights and excellent strobes. Landing light throw is very good as is the powerful single centre taxi light. Aberdeen is waking up as we arrive at Dyce. After doing the controlled descent, with the IAS set at 80knts and around 1000fpm to 1500ft. You set the approach speed with 20º flap and just in the green zone at 90knts. Remember this is a STOL (Short TakeOff and Landing) machine, so those flaps act like barn doors when lowered, but give you super slow control. Full flap at 40º will give you a slow speed of around 70knts, but if the sea breeze is strong you have to work the rudders hard to keep the runway alignment as that large DHC tail works for you and against you at the same time. I took me a few landings to get the feel just right... ... it is an aircraft to get into the right groove with, but once there you are really into the aircraft and it comes to you. Landing speeds can border on the 60knt stall, but you seem to hold it fine to gently touch down, the speed is so slow you can just roll the speed off more, but if you need it then there is reserve prop thrust by setting the "Full reverse thrust" setting, but I never did. As the propellers wind down, you notice the animated feathering of the blades, they are really well done... ... but is quickly time to load up and return to Edinburgh, not a bad way to make a living is it... Liveries There are nine liveries with two as the short nose version with a very nice RWDesign logo (default) and a Kenn Borek Air The rest of the liveries are all long nose and every livery works with every variant in Float, Ski and Tundra. All are excellent Hi-Def quality with the lovely Air Seychelles a highlight. Summary First glance is that the Twin Otter from RW Design's is just an update, but this aircraft is very, very different from that fact. This is a complete rebuild of the aircraft and only a few of the original elements are actually present. This comprehensive upgrade is really an all new aircraft and with the excellent quality to match the better detailing. Highlights are many with an excellent cabin with lovely well done textures and realistic metal flooring, and luminescent lighting. A menu system that can change the cockpit colours and an easy to use Weights&Balance page, Checklists and pop-up radios. The depth of the quality grows with every flight. X-Plane11 features have made the aircraft far more dynamic, not only in the way the aircraft uses the PBR, but with the better X-Plane11 performance dynamics, something in performance was missing on the original release aircraft, but fully restored here and the images here in this review don't lie as the aircraft looks brilliant in great lighting. Four variants with the Standard Wheels, Float, Ski's and Tundra tyres is a value four aircraft, with also Short and Long Nose versions available. Overall this is an outstanding upgrade, but I question the sounds, and they are FMOD great, and they do actually grow on you, but can be tiring over long distances. More menu options would be a nice option and certainly for opening all the doors (the rears can be hard to reach), hiding the Yoke, static elements and making the change of the colour scheme to cover the cabin as well as the cockpit. A cargo version with that metal floor would be nice as well. Currently if you own the original version v1 then you can get an upgrade to this excellent v2 for 50% off, which is great deal, so be quick. Overall this is a comprehensive upgrade to a classic aircraft, in reality it is completely different design in every area, but a very good one. It is also a significant upgrade of quality and design from RW Designs, who was good before, but design is now at that much more a higher level... It was a brave thing to do to completely redesign an aircraft in time and dedication, but that has paid off in spades here... and that is in making this DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 v2 an excellent aircraft to own, fly and use. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series v2 by RW Designs is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 Series v2 Price is US$29.95 Note - If you have already purchased the DHC-6 Twin Otter v1 you can purchase this new v2 Twin Otter for 50% off. Find your coupon code under your DHC-6 Twin Otter invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Twin Otters from other designers). Features Four versions included in the package ! Standard Tundra Floats (with the ability to remove gear entirely) Skis All of which work with both short and long nose variants! High Resolution 3D Model Brand new model built from scratch for X-Plane 11 X-Plane 11 specular lighting Detailed exterior model New high resolution 4K textures Interactive night-lighting Choose interior color Rain effects Superior Interaction New scroll manipulators for finer tuning of interaction New menu's allowing extended interaction and choice of aircraft parameters Radio pop-up with improved 3D input methods. Mutli-phase checklist Real-time weight and balance manager Improved Sounds FMOD Powered 3D sound High quality source files recorded from the real Twin Otters High fidelity flight model Custom airfoils Developed in conjunction with Twin Otter pilots Custom Systems Custom electrical and anti-ice systems Programmed radios RealityXP Compatible GNS 530 GTN 750 AutoUpdater Always fly the recent aircraft version! AutoUpdater Licensed from STMA Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 2.0 (January 20th 2018) Installation Download of the DHC-6 Twin Otter -300 Series v2 is a huge 547mb and it is installed in your Aircraft Folder as a 671mb folder. There are four different aircraft files in the aircraft menu to access depending on the variant that you want to fly in : Standard Wheels, Float, Ski's and Tundra Documents Documentation is excellent with a AOM (Aircraft Operating Manual), Aircraft performance charts and Flight Tutorial included: AOM.pdf Charts.pdf Flight Tutorial.pdf _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 20th January 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - EGPH - Edinburgh Airport UK 1.0.1 by tdg (X-Plane.Org) - Free - EGPD - Aberdeen Dyce for XP10 4.1 by anthony_d (X-Plane.Org) - Free - Forth River Crossings 1.2.2 by John M D (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  10. Scenery Update : KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth v1.02 by Aerosoft The DFW - Dallas Fort-Worth Scenery by Aerosoft was released only back in May last year 2017. That is not even eight months ago, but it already feels an age away in this constantly changing X-Plane11 world of late. To a point although the name on the title says Aerosoft, this is in reality a Omar Masroor scenery of KRSW - South Florida International fame, it feels or looks nothing like your usual Aerosoft European scenery, but it is a very good if excellent Omar Masroor scenery. Dallas DFW, is a huge machinery of an airport, huge in every respect. So to a developer they are faced with a dilemma in how much can you actually deliver before ruining the idea and how much time should you give to a scenery of this size before it becomes a monster of all proportions. In other words you have to find a balance. Aerosoft's excellent EDDF - Frankfurt XP11 shows you this balance in delivering an exceptional quality scenery, but at a price and with very good frameweight running efficiency on your computer. Active elements The original DFW scenery (Review Here) was very good but in a few areas it needed a bit more attention, more a fine tune than significant changes, and you get that here, but the overall focus of this update v1.02 is on the ground routes for X-Life and WT3 (WorldTraffic3). The timing of the original release was while WT3 was still in development, it worked because I used an early (development) version in the review, but it didn't work well either because the ground routes were not set out completely correctly within the scenery, so it was a sort of the "chicken or the egg" scenario. The problems for scenery of this magnitude is that if you don't have any active traffic, then the airport looks and feels very empty or even lackluster and an airport like this DFW scenery would certainly highlight that perspective. And so an active element like X-Life or WT3 is essential to bring the scenery to life in activity. As luck would have it then Omar Masroor is one of the best developers in creating these ground routes and their functionality. Remember the better the built in ATC ground routes are completed and refined then the far better that WT3 and other active aircraft elements work with(in) the scenery. Again as we saw with the EDDF - Frankfurt scenery in that expertly crafted ground routes created an excellent activity that gave the scenery an almost total realism and feel in airport operations. Another important element is that the WT3 ground routes are refined on another level and with not just with the well laid out ground routes themselves, but also for the settings for "AirportOperations" and "ParkingDefs". These settings are crucial in laying out the airport's distinctive operations and where and what aircraft are positioned around the airport, in other words all the American Airlines aircraft are correctly berthed at Terminal C and all Delta aircraft are berthed at Terminal E. So it is important that you can generate the ground routes correctly here at DFW, and there is 210 of them to generate which can take a fair amount of time... but they are still missing the essential elements of the AirportOperations and ParkingDefs? So my recommondation (and save yourself a lot of time waiting for the ground routes to be generated) is to download the competed set by Omar Masroor with all the three elements completed : World Traffic v3 Files for Aerosoft's Dallas/Fort Worth Intl (KDFW) Scenery, the results are far well worth the effort. Another important point is that you don't need to put your WT3 sliders to maximum to generate traffic, as if you do you will overwhelm the airport... ... this is with the route generation slider set to 50%, and still there is a huge amount of traffic going in and out of DFW, so use the sliders with care. Get it right and DFW is very much alive with traffic action. At night (or twilight) highlights the huge amount of traffic around DFW... ... DFW can have six active runways running at the same time for approach and departures, and taxiing from the outer 35R/17L can take time. But admit how long if ever has it been before you have seen a real American Airport running like a typical American airport with aircraft banked up everywhere in waiting to land or bottle-necked in waiting to takeoff, not at all if ever if I recall. This also creates another scenario in that you have to know your taxiway routes and navigation around DFW. Not just your way around, but the "right" way around and in which certain taxiways are the right flow direction way, and so you don't have a head on with a departing aircraft or get stuck in queue going the wrong way... ... so from the cockpit perspective DFW is very busy place to navigate (correctly) and keeping yourself in line with all that moving traffic... but then again that is what you signed up for in X-Plane wasn't it? Refinements There has been a a lot of refinements made to the scenery. The Skylink rail around the airport has been adjusted to fix the distorted tracks and the flickering, it looks and feels a lot better now, but the rail cars do still move a little too fast. Skylink trains are now also lit at night, with the windows and lights that are now visible. Taxiway Overpasses Both the significant DFW taxiways A and B east and X and Y west pass over the Route 97 International Parkway. But they both had street lighting that was unavoidable and startling for the passengers... They have been cleared or cleaned up, and so it is now "clearway" all the way and looks far better. Also the missing taxiway centerline + edge lights and intermediate hold short markings on the aircraft overpasses have been also fixed. And the WT3 Traffic uses the overpasses with perfection and ease... Radar Installations There are two significant radar towers at KDFW that were both missing in the original scenery. One tower is Northwest by the approach to RWY 18L, and the other which I noted in the review was missing from the Southeast. This radar tower was quite significant because it is highly visible from taxiway ER, that links RWY17L/35R from the main central area, and you taxi right past the installation. Both radars are also animated to add into the realism. Blast Deflectors There was a lot of missing jet blast deflectors around DFW. These have now been installed and add to the visual realism of the airport, the quality in design is excellent as well. The "Maverick" (113.10) DME/VOR structure has also been inserted on the South Route 97 International Parkway entrance to DFW... ... and the American Flag and the American Airlines plaque at the Terminal A-C Connector is now also in place. There are marshallers now at all eligible gates/stands with no A-VDGS. But the Docking guide didn't work on Arrival for me (The airbridge did however connect correctly). Ramp Towers Did you know there was three Ramp Towers missing? You do now and they have all been installed correctly. There has been a lot of small tidy up work in about 30 items that includes the missing MALSR approach lighting on Runway 31R, and the LAHSO lights now stay on during the day and pulsate at the FAA-designated rate (1.72s ON, 0.46s OFF). The colour of high-pressure sodium apron lights and added in individual 'billboard' for lamp housings. There has been a dozen areas of buildings and support columns that have needed 3d work attention and they have been cleaned up as well, so all in all a lot of fine detailing has been completed. Summary The potential of an extremely busy US Airport in realism has until now been a bit of dream in X-Plane. Yes there are already a few great WT3 setups now working including like the great Atlanta KATL courtesy of Captain K-Man, but this is first built in setup to use the traffic system to its full potential, and yes it is quite a lot of activity when running at a peak arrival or departure period. And this scenery lays out the ground work of what will soon become the normal or what the normal should be like, and what an exciting vision it is. It comes with a good framerate option as well considering the mega size of this scenery, and I will admit I am running with my texture quality set at only "High" and not extreme, but it does deliver a fluid simulation, with a lot of elements working together. So the introduction of excellent ATC ground routes are the basis and highlight of this update, but also a significant one as it lifts the scenery to above the average and make DFW into one of the most interactive airports in the US. The developer has also listened and fixed the most of various different issues, including a lot of what I mentioned was required in the original review, so a listening developer is always a good thing in creating great scenery. I personally is still not particularly happy with the building night window textures, not so much the grey terminal textures, but the hotel, buildings and carpark bland flat grey ones, in fact they are the only really poor elements in the scenery now as it this Aerosoft DFW becoming a significant scenery for use and for that exceptional interaction. Flying into this DFW - Dallas Fort-Worth is a big adventure at peak periods day or night, but that is what X-Plane is about now as well... exciting and active... who would have thought that about X-Plane only a few years ago... ____________________________________________________________________________________ Yes! KDFW - Dallas Fort-Worth by Aerosoft is NOW available from the X-Plane.Org Store here : KDFW- Dallas/Fort Worth Price is US$23.99 Features: 30 cm/pixel orthoimagery and 1 cm/pixel custom ground detail/markings Airport lighting and pavement markings closely follow FAA/ACI standards Terminals with interiors modelled using actual architectural drawings Modelled aircraft overpasses crossing International Parkway Ray-traced ambient occlusion, local illumination and specular mapping Uses advanced X-Plane features such as decal shading and 3D spill lights Animated passenger boarding bridges and Safedock® A-VDGS at all gates (using the freely available AutoGate plugin by Jonathan Harris)* Animated road traffic and Skylink APM Complete taxiway network for use by ATC and AI aircraft Fully compatible with the X-Life plugin by JARDesign Makes full use of the new ground service vehicles introduced in X-Plane 11 Thousands of hand-placed objects such as parked cars and streetlights Parked cars, streetlights and terminal interiors can be individually turned on/off to optimize performance Uses 4K textures to maximize performance by minimizing draw calls Requirements: X-Plane 11 Windows, Mac and Linux 2Gb VRAM Video Card Minimum. 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: 1.02 (last updated January 9th 2018) If you have already purchased KDFW by Aerosoft, the go to your X-Plane.OrgStore account for this free update. And the download World Traffic v3 Files for Aerosoft's Dallas/Fort Worth Intl (KDFW) Scenery is highly recommended. ____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 16th January 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11 and also used in X-Plane v10.52 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - McDonnell Douglas MD88 by Rotate (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$59.95 Full update v1.02 logtext All scenery elements are now correctly aligned with the ground layout New custom files for World Traffic v3 and updated files for X-Life v2.0 support LAHSO lights now stay on during the day and pulsate at the FAA-designated rate (1.72s ON, 0.46s OFF) Added missing MALSR approach lighting on Runway 31R Added missing taxiway centerline + edge lights and intermediate hold short markings on the aircraft overpasses Added missing apron lights on the underside of the Skylink tracks Added AutoGate marshallers to eligible gates/stands with no A-VDGS Added missing night lighting on the Skylink cars and tracks Added missing jet blast deflectors throughout the airport Added the three missing ramp towers Added the two missing radar towers with animated spinning dishes Added the missing American flag and American Airlines plaque at the Terminal A-C Connector Added the missing Maverick VOR/DME structure Added missing parking sheds north of Terminal E Added missing fuel tanks at well drilling sites throughout the airport Added wind-dependent ATC traffic flows to runways and one-way directionality to parallel taxi routes Added the service roads that run parallel to International Pkwy Fixed streetlights protruding through the aircraft overpasses Fixed Skylink track pillars protruding through PBBs and GSE Fixed visual artifacts on the aircraft overpasses Fixed default AI aircraft not using the airport Fixed color of high-pressure sodium apron lights and added an individual 'billboard' for each lamp housing Fixed PBBs not connected to the Terminal B Stinger Fixed position of RIDS displays for Gates B1-B3 Fixed flickering parts of the Skylink tracks Fixed visible seams between orthoimagery tiles Fixed sky visibility through translucent windows Fixed missing interior wall sections of Terminals A-C & E Fixed flickering interior wall sections of Terminal D Reduced the probability of incorrect airlines at Terminals D & E when using the MisterX static aircraft library
  11. Absolutely nice review as always Stephen, thanks ! This add-on is a pure gem, a tiny bit pricey but a real joy to fly with.
  12. Earlier
  13. In reality the Boeing 727 barrel (fuselage) is the same as the B732, so the elements should transfer over, just B727 is a longer aircraft and has built in rear stairs. The same treatment for the B727 would be outstanding, but Jack Skieczius has noted he many not give the B727 the same cabin treatment, which is in my books is a horrible thought
  14. This is amazing!!! Thanks for the hard work on this aircraft. Are you planning on doing the same for the 727? Especially with the cabin.
  15. Dear Stephen, All the best for 2018! RIM&Company
  16. Why can't you set the idle RPM with REP, at the carb like in RL? Just kidding .
  17. Love the REP, myself. Never noticed missing top hinges for the engine side panels. Perhaps I was too busy flying the aircraft. By the way, regarding the engine quitting all the time... don't bring the throttle back all the way. It's allegedly a feature, allowing the aircraft to slow quicker on rollout for those bush pilots flying into short runways: https://www.aerosimgaming.com/forums/topic/88-low-idle-rpm-stops-engine/ This post specifically touches upon it: https://www.aerosimgaming.com/forums/topic/88-low-idle-rpm-stops-engine/?do=findComment&comment=259
  18. Aircraft Review : Boeing 732 TwinJet v3 Professional by FlyJSim I have had a strange relationship with FlyJSim's Boeing 737 TwinJet. In reality I shouldn't have because it does everything so well. If you want the most outstanding 60's/70's clockwork dial aircraft in X-Plane you can't go past this Boeing 732 and as an recommendation I gave and further more still do give the aircraft high marks, but somehow I personally just couldn't warm to the aircraft? This is very odd because I totally adore FJS's Boeing 727 package and the FJS Dash Q400 is my absolute favorite prop liner, so why not the B732? So what was missing for me? I totally understand the focus on the pilot and the way the aircraft flies is totally paramount for a simulator and in that area the FJS B732 certainly delivered... but, and this was a big but. Before leaving the gate you couldn't do anything with the aircraft, you set it up for the flight, but that was it. It was the same scenario when you landed in the fact that after you berthed the aircraft and then shut it down and.... well not much else. At night it flew like a big black hole in the sky, lovely cockpit, but really nothing else. So my overall feeling is that it felt sort of incomplete with nothing but empty space behind the cockpit door, half an aircraft so to speak. A few years ago in X-Plane that was the normal, but is it now after the FlightFactor B757/767 and Rotate's MD-88 when you have absolutely everything and both sides of the cockpit door. 732 TwinJet v3 Pro So here is version three (v3) of the Boeing 737-200 TwinJet from FlyJSim. It has actually been a long time coming (the last update was 15th Aug 2015), but the wait for the changes have been well worth the wait. To note this is not an update, but a completely redesigned aircraft with the only best elements of the original transferred over, it is a completely different aircraft to the original. First impressions of the v3 are overwhelming, the original was good, but the detail here is staggering. The older B732 liveries in your collection do still work with this v3 aircraft, but they are 2K and not the Hi-Res 4K as seen here, so there is a significant difference close-up and with the totally overwhelming feel of the aircraft. These Hi-Res liveries and all aspects of the higher detail of this v3 aircraft does also significantly impact on your graphic card. Before even keying in to authorise the aircraft (or load it), it is wise to reduce your "texture quality setting" to "High", or you are faced with a 6045mb loading crash, set in "High" that is reduced to 3230mb which is still quite high but now workable with a 4gb graphic card. As you can see in the above images, the lower texture quality setting still allows for the very high detail and quality aircraft to be used, as so you are losing almost nothing in the lower setting. So that very first view is very impressive, and it gets better... Now the door will open and majestically the built in stairs will unfurl and then allow you to board the aircraft... There are rear stairs as well which are highly animated for their height above the ground. In fact all the doors for passenger and cargo open... The native Ground Services also work well with the aircraft, but there is now also a JARDesign Ground Handing set to use with the B732 for more control and livery versatility. The entry up into the cabin look's enticing, but first let us look around the Jet's exterior details. Most of the detailing is from the original B732 version which was beyond great in the first place, but something more has been translated in the process to the v3 and it is in the sheer quality of those 4K textures in bringing out the intricate design and detail. Note the excellent JT8D's which were in their time the trendsetters of jet engine design, now recreated here and not sitting somewhere in a museum. The full body and barrel shape of those 60's Boeing is now beautifully highlighted here, it is realism in it's extreme. There is no doubt that the X-Plane11 lighting effects (PBR) are a huge help here, but there is something else going on to bring out all that colour and detail. There was something bland and flat with the original FJS B732 Southwest livery (top) which contributed to my feelings towards the aircraft, compared to the current v3 Southwest colours (bottom) that now brings the aircraft alive. The reality was that although the aircraft was sensational in the flying aspect, it was dreary in the visual aspect. So the 2K liveries were to the disadvantage of that feel more than anything else. But there was something even missing again on those liveries, and that was any life beyond the cabin windows.... ... the cockpit was fine, but the rest of the aircraft was dead, because it was as there was really nothing behind the windows. But get up close now as you enter the the aircraft and it all looks that so much more real.... there is now something behind the glass. Walk on board and you are faced with one of the best Jetliner cabins in X-Plane. It is so extraordinary good, and so you say "it is cabin, so what!" but it is the space filled out and the aircraft now feels whole, complete. All the textures are astounding with great fabric and seat styling, as with the cabin section separator panels and there is full detail of air-vents and switches above your head, it is as real a cabin as your going to get. And you have total control over the cabin as well with switches that work to turn on signs and adjust the cabin lighting (more in lighting below)... and open and close the airstairs by the above door panel (airstair lighting as well!). Rear stairs can also be extended and retracted via the switchboard (arrowed) and the workspace galley lighting can be switched on or off. (note the AC power or APU has to be running to use any opening or closing of the stairs) All window blinds are individual in that you can manually open and close them (to open (or close) all the shades does take a little time?), and is this a first in X-Plane... opening overhead luggage bins, yes you can also open and close the bins yourself, totally brilliant. It is all sensational detailing, but there is only one thought (not a criticism). The cabin colour scheme is a little USA all the way around the Mid-70's, in other words it is very bright and comes with a lot of colour and make no doubt it is a very excellent layout... but with European liveries like the KLM or Aer Lingus it looks well... a little too bright and mid-western USA, and it doesn't quite match the more dour European corporate outside to the brighter USofA inside... It would be nice to have the choice of a more subdue cabin layout for these liveries. Boeing 732 v3 Menus FlyJSim pioneered some of the best menu ideas in X-Plane like with their Vcard, Weights & Balance menu. The menu system overall is mostly the same as before but upgraded with extra panels and features and to match the newer X-Plane11 menu style. This layout will also be the new standard throughout all of FJS aircraft. There are six panels accessed by the pop-up tabs on the left side of your screen. The six panels consist of : Vcard, Weights & Balance, Options, Doors, Maintenance System and Pilot notes (Checklist) Vcard and Weights & Balance The Vcard works in association with the Weights & Balance manager so we will look at them together. The Vcard is your Vspeeds for takeoff and landing. These selections are reflected in the way you load the aircraft via the Weights & Balance panel. The Weights & Balance is powerful but an easy way to set up the aircraft with fuel, passengers and cargo and it notes the aircraft CoG (centre of Gravity). Most functions given are to load the aircraft in three options with F - Full. E - Empty and R - Random, of course you can add or subtract passengers and cargo via the blue containers or set the exact fuel required. To note that the door(s) and cargo doors have to be open to load on passengers or cargo. Full aircraft weights are shown and as noted reflected on the Vcard that will also set the speed vRef bugs on the Airspeed Indicator. Any weights above the required weights are shown in red. Options The options panel allows you to select certain general options for the aircraft. On the panel you can : Select the aircraft's time to be local or zulu, Have the Co-Pilot call out vSpeed's for you or not. Yokes (below) can be visible or not. And the HF aerial (cable) can be also visible or not. Weights can be in Pounds or Kilograms Weights & Balance, Enabled or Disabled - This will disconnect the Weights & Balance system for the use of FSE compatibility PAX Sounds, You can have passengers sound coming from the cabin or switch them off. Cockpit Windows can be Dirty or Clean (can be seen later in the review) There is the option to turn on the Ground Power Cart and Engine Start cart. The power can be selected on the "Overhead Panel" (OHP) and registered on the DC Dials... ... but there are no physical carts sitting outside the aircraft, which is disappointing considering the overall detail and quality of the aircraft? Field of View, Exterior and Interior Sounds can all be adjusted. You can have three settings of options for the FMC (Flight Management Computer) The clear empty panel... .... and the native X-Plane FMC. The X-FMC option has been dropped, which I think is disappointing as the X-FMC is far more powerful than the native basic version as in the Boeing 727 which I find a little bland. Third option is the for the Delco Carousel IV-A Inertial Navigation System. Nicknamed "CIVA", CIVA Navigation System which is purchased as an add-on for $US10.00 and it is a basic navigation system that can give automatic navigation of up to 9 waypoints. (you can load X-Plane .fms plans) and it can be used in the FlyJSim B727 as well as other aircraft of that 60's/70's era. Well worth the additional cost. (note the CIVA plugin is loaded into the "Aircraft's" Plugin folder and not the X-Plane/Resources/Plugin folder). Doors Besides the direct activation of opening doors and extending the airstairs, there is a menu option to do the same as well. The menu covers all doors including passenger and cargo doors and the airstair operations. It is important to note that the doors won't open if the aircraft is still pressurized which is noted in your lower right position of your screen, and so you have to depressurize the aircraft via the switch on the OHP pressure panel from Flight to Ground. The note system on the bottom of your screen will also tell you various operations and tips for using the aircraft Maintenance System The aircraft comes with a built in Maintenance System that covers the Airframe, both engines and the APU. If you have used the FJS Maintenance System before you will know it is quite unforgiving and all repairs can only be done on the ground, but it is highly realistic. You can, if you can't handle the surprises then turn the system off. Pilot Notes This is in reference a checklist... or setup helper in both ways. The "Jack is Awesome" is well noted... Flying the Boeing 737 v3 Turn left on entering and open the cockpit door and your office awaits you. Note the reflective mirror on the crew door. The original cockpits of both FJS's aircraft in the Boeing 727 series and the Boeing 737 TwinJet set new high standards in quality and detail for X-Plane (this was before the B757/B767 of FlightFactor fame). And still they really deliver in the sheer detailing that is possible in simulation today. Long gone now are the days of a 2d panel in X-Plane, now you get immersion 101 in the great era of 60's jet flying. If looking back at the original FJS B732 cockpit and it was and still is very comprehensive, there is still the overwhelming feeling that far more has been added in here and a more completed feel is noted throughout the cockpit. Certainly the rear circuit breaker panels have been noted to have been redone (but not yet active) but the OHP has had more detailing added as well, and again that overwhelming feeling of completeness is certainly evident throughout this v3 aircraft and so it is here again in the cockpit. FlyJSim noted their last Boeing in the B727 Series as a "Study" sim, or the systems were so complete they can be used as a high grade simulator of that aircraft. This aircraft is not noted as the same "Study" simulation but as a "Professional"... which is in reality the same thing as the system depth on this aircraft is astounding in detail and operation and it is certainly "study" worthy. All the major systems in : Fuel, Fire Protection, Electrical, Pressurization, Air-Conditioning, Oxygen, Air-Bleed, Anti-Ice and Heating, Hydraulics and Radio Equipment are seriously comprehensive in use and operation, yes you need to study the systems in depth to understand them all and the provided manual is a good place to start in explaining the systems, but not confounding you in too much jargon. The use of real Boeing manuals are also very handy as well to understand the systems in theory. This is the depth of the aircraft and to fly it correctly then you are going to have to study it and work at this level of simulation flying... it is that comprehensive. There is also a feature for PilotEdge (www.pilotedge.net) users , in a audio volume control and transmit/receive light. Which allows you to adjust com volume and monitor communication directly from the center pedestal in the 3D cockpit, for the ultimate experience in online ATC simulation. Route EDDL (Dusseldorf) to ENGM (Oslo) When this review copy of the B732 v3 came from FlyJSim, it came with a note... fly the aircraft a lot before reviewing. You need to take heed of that note, even if you have flown this FJS B732 before. The aircraft's basic performance and systems have all been altered quite comprehensively from the original machine. Aside from the very different X-Plane11 dynamics, the aircraft and the systems have been rewrote to be more closer to the correct outputs and workings of the systems areas. FJS was always a very dynamic in a system developer, but this aircraft goes to another level again in detail and operations, and an add-on throttle system is a major benefit when flying this aircraft and is highly recommended. I set up the aircraft at 70% Gross Weight or 102505lbs. The B732 does fly better with a bit of weight on the airframe, not too heavy, but certainly not too light. Once done you can set the Centre of Gravity automatically by pressing the centre of the green area on the trim guide (note don't even think of pressing this green area in flight or your "going down"). For some reason, FlyJSim and bleeds and myself never really had a good relationship? Starting both the complicated B727 or god help me the Dash Q400, of which sometimes turned into swearing contests and even mostly downright frustration... ... but I have (thankfully) not had that frustration here in this B732. Bleed setup from the running APU is easy and engine start is to turn the engine switch to GRD and watch the n2 rise on the dial, when it gets to 20% n2 then click up the fuel lever and you get a "fuel Flow" pressure and an engine start... easy. I am going am divert a little at this point to mention the sounds. All sounds are FMOD, which is very good, but here FJS has used a Daniela Rodriguez Careri a sound specialist to create this FMOD package. We are now already used to FMOD sound in delivering 3d directional sound and sound in certain zones around the aircraft. But this FMOD package goes far further than that in specializing in sounds in a niche way. These sort of niche sounds are available in BlueSkyStar sound expansion packages, but here they are using the FMOD system to create the same sort of expansive sound package with out the huge cost associated with that sort of detail. So small sounds like clicks, rumbles, system air-conditioning noises and even passenger noise are all here in concert. Engine start is as good (as is engine shutdown) but it is in the smaller minute of sounds that all bind together to create the overall aircraft environment of realism. It is showing now how good the FMOD system really is for the simulator when used professionally, and so in sounds this package ups the game again to new higher level and certainly on par with BlueSkyStar sound expansion packages. Engine no1 start is complete and engine no2 is getting started, so it is time to clean up the OHP with electrics, and heating (window/pitot) and when both engines are running then turn off the bleed and set the Air-Conditioning, and engine power generator source from the APU power. A small bit great feature is that the No Smoking and Seat Belt signs illuminate, A small thing, but it is a surprise on how many aircraft at this level don't have this feature as standard. Vcard settings can be adjusted to your flap settings in here 1º, 2º, 5º or 10º I stayed with the 2º setting. Your setting is reflected on the vRef bugs on the Airspeed Indicator. One feature has however been deleted from the last version... is the pushback truck. FJS recommends now to use the BetterPushBack Truck as an alternative. The aircraft has been tuned so the BetterPushback works perfectly with the B732. "oh" and yes the operator hates your aircraft lights being on in his face, "sorry" but that is a habit that is hard to break. A neat feature is that if you press on the OHP the "Ground Call Button" the BetterPushBack truck will answer your call.... great. The BetterPushBack is well... far better and more versatile, and you get the thumbs up when your "good to go", yes certainly a good choice. Departure EDDL RWY 05R Clearance and power up... You need a fair bit of thrust to get the aircraft moving, but once rolling you pull it back ... the B732 is very nice and heavy to taxi. The PITCH CMD is only a guide in setting the pitch as it shows on the Horizontal Situation Indicator. On full power you have to be aware of wear and tear on the JT8D's, in other word's you have to be kind to them. Full thrust is fine, but not for long, and as soon as possible then pull them back into the green zone... the full takeoff sounds are glorious!. (I will note that I removed the "smoke" file out of X-Plane because it is really too poor at the moment and unrealistic, the aircraft does do the dark sooty smoky trail very well with it installed). The aircraft is a bit sticky on rotation and if you don't get the positive climb angle correct then the aircraft will not lift away cleanly from the runway, the Boeing needs to be sort of manhandled into the air with a lot of care but still forcefully with the yoke and rudders, once clear of the runway you go from a pull of the pitch backwards to gradually forcing forwards, you really have to fly this machine hard. It takes a lot of practise to get the pitch just right, when you do, you feel very much in control of the aircraft. Watch then the pitch as the flaps are retracted and don't let the speed runaway from you, as you need to stay in control, or this aircraft will control you. "Sperry SP-77 (option version)" auto-pilot (A/P) and is not quite the standard layout autopilot system we know today, as say that of the A/P version was fitted to the later B737-200ADV. It is split between the F/D (Flight Director) on the left and the A/P (Auto Pilot) on the right. Still very simplistic in nature, it was and is very powerful in operation, but that simplicity can confuse you in that it has more functions to use than it looks. The point is, is not to get confused between the AIL or Roll function for heading and GPS (FMC) use and the ELEV function for pitch changes... Once activated then the "heading" switch is used to follow the heading and the VOR LOC is used for the FMC, there is another GPS/NAV switch on the panel to activate the FMS that switches the setting from NAV (NAV1) to GPS (FMS). Trickier is using the pitch CMD, turn on ELEV and the aircraft will hold that pitch until it achieves the "Set Altitude" then goes to ALT HOLD. To climb (or Descend) you have to turn "OFF" the ALT HOLD, and adjust the pitch via the Yoke. The tricky bit is moving the yoke to get the right pitch you want, and give it too much movement and you will get squeals of spilled hot liquids from your rear in the cabin. So your trick is finding the right backwards or forward touches to the yoke to find the pitch you want and hope it sticks there. The Boeing 732 does not have any "AutoThrust" function and so all speed adjustments is just yourself with the throttles. So watch out for over-speed and then falling speeds if climbing, and then over-speed again when you level out at the set altitude. Corrections are required through-out the flight on the throttles as the fuel burns off and you go faster as you are lighter. Harder is descending... You need to reduce as much speed as you can before descending, as the aircraft will quickly build up extra speed on the descent, so use the airbrakes to control the speed if required, and just getting the aircraft to go down cleanly and at the right rate of descent can be tricky. The hardest point is that you don't have any modern tools to help you fly the aircraft. There is no NAV/MAP display and that means you have no line or pointers for TOC (Top of Climb) and TOD (Top of Descent) and or for capturing the flightplan sequence. Working out your descent is an art and you have to use "gasp" a map or charts to get it right. You do need to be at the right altitude for the approach phase as the aircraft in a runaway speed is unforgiving, in other words you need to be at the right altitude and the correct slow speed before commencing your approach. The dirty windows are very authentic, and can make the approach visually tough in certain lighting conditions. As Oslo's RWY01L shows up your workload is very high, it takes skill to balance the throttle speed to the selection of the flap position and if you are still descending or on the ILS slope and then the speed changes constantly to all these conditions... and so you react to that, which is the wrong thing to do. So using the ILS approach is very tricky, as the slope can runway your speed, worse is that as the slope releases the aircraft at the bottom of the ILS beams and then the aircraft actually falls or drops at a stall speed as the thrust is usually too low, and yes you usually crash... There is a trick (always a trick with this aircraft) and that is to have all your speed and flaps set before you go into the ILS beams, no doubt many of you will fly this aircraft totally under a manual (throttle) approach, and most will probably use a much shallower angle down to runway to contain the speed, and yes that will work well, but that speed can and will still need a lot of control with the throttle levers... The Vcard says at 40º flap to set your speed at 118kts? But at that set speed my nose is pointing to high skywards, the best speed approach here was 135knts and it felt right. The weather didn't help in landing at Oslo in a snowstorm. Sliding down the slope and eye-balling the speed dial is the main task... .... so speed control on the descent is critical and the smoother you adjust the speed the better landing you will have, practise will of course favor the brave in honing up this approach phase, but the aircraft is superbly responsive and feedback is excellent. FJS have added in a few extra details to the X-Plane replay system, to give you better replays with the aircraft that help a lot in reviewing your flying. The replay is an important part of the simulator and many developers don't adjust their work to be replayed cleanly, in the account that the replay will have no flaps set, or the dials are wrong on the instrument panel, of which are of no benefit to the student... so this a small but very worthy feature in learning the aircraft. Gauging the flare and letting the aircraft down is another practise require to learn, but you get it right and after a time when you understand how the aircraft reacts. If you used the ILS, then make sure the A/P is disconnected as soon as you are on the runway... or the aircraft will simply fly again. You hear the "can's" as they open and the thrust noise as the power is again pushed on for the reverse thrust, it is not as powerful as a modern jet considering the considerable noise they make, but they do work. So landing the Boeing 737-200 is a challenge, and the X-Plane11's new thrust dynamics are of course excellent but require the skill to master in an aircraft of this lower power and vintage. But that is also the challenge of simulation, the good news here is that this aircraft is one of the best in this area, master it and you are then to be in that upper echelons of a skilled pilot. Aircraft Lighting The cockpit already had great lighting from the original version, with three sets of overhead lighting with : Off-Dim-Bright (switch is high on the OHP) Two overhead Spot/Map lights are also available for both the Pilot and Co-Pilot, left and right and are both adjustable in brightness and beam positioning. The panel and OHP is highly adjustable as is the excellent pedestal lighting with another "Flood" feature. In most cases the rear cabin and its lighting is usually an after-thought, but not here in this FJS B732. This is one of the most spectacular lighted cabins in X-Plane. You can adjust the side lighting on or off, and also set the cabin mood lighting in four ways : Night - Off - Dim and Bright There is also a Ground Service light and Work Area lighting with the Door Entry light are all available from the switch panel by the door. Rear galley area has the same lighting. If you activate the "Emergency Exit" lighting is is simply superb, highly realistic. Externally the lighting is also very good... In the dark flying at night the aircraft looks sensational and very alive... Landing lighting is the standard Boeing 732 in two inside lights and two wing drop-down lights. Runway Turn-off, wing and taxi lights are also available. On the ground you get great lighting for landing and taxiing to and from the runway. Only comment is the landing lights look a little blobby directly front on and maybe needed to be a little more tighter in radius like on the original version. Liveries All the nine liveries and the one blank livery are all the same as the original versions, but as noted above they are all also substantially upgraded in detail and to 4K size and quality... All are mostly retro in use with one a logo FlyJSim and a chrome Lufthansa that I would rather be the standard all white fuselage version, The WestJet is very nice for modern use. A 4K paintkit is available as well from FJS. Summary To a point this aircraft represents the new era in X-Plane. The X-Plane11 era. Yes already there has been some brilliant releases for the simulator in the last year and for X-Plane11, but this aircraft represents something far more. This aircraft takes all the features that X-Plane11 delivered and uses them to their fullest and to a highly significant degree. It is an extraordinary aircraft in some respects and it is hard to believe it is another version that has been released before in X-Plane10, but the two versions or aircraft could not be so much different, and only that original virtual cockpit is in reality the only thing linking the two aircraft as one and the same, and here again this area has also been upgraded to another level. The highlight of the aircraft is actually in most aircraft the most mundane... the cabin. This cabin for a jetliner is like none other in X-Plane, in both features, ideas and lighting, it is again extraordinary. But its main function is to create a completeness of this aircraft as a total whole. You can board it, fly it and move around the aircraft as if it is as close to the reality of being on an airliner that you can get in simulation. It is functional as well, not with gimmicks, but fully usable features. Systems are certainly "Study" simulator level and are very highly comprehensive and are extremely workable and accessible. All Fuel, Fire Protection, Electrical, Pressurization, Air-Conditioning, Oxygen, Air-Bleed, Anti-Ice and Heating, Hydraulics and Radio Equipment operations are covered and in serious depth, this is certainly the best 60's/70's era jetliner you can fly and understand what aviation was like and why it is still so revered of that great era. There isn't a lot to criticise about here with this FJS B732, and so mostly it is personal preferences. The missing external GPU and Air-Cart is a surprise (again) and it is little thing but a requirement for an aircraft of this category. I would like the option of the X-FMC even if it is dated as it is more functional than the native version, and somehow the main landing lighting needs to be less blobby head on, the lighting is great close up, but not at a distance and the cabin textures are a bit well... colourful for a European airline, and an so called more sombre option would be nice. Again that whole completeness comes through, from the excellent sounds, to the feel and flying ability, to the depth of the systems you can access, it is all here wrapped up in a beautiful machine that looks amazing just sitting there ready to fly or in the air. This is not an easy machine to fly or operate either, it takes skill and discipline as all Jack Skieczius (FlyJSim) aircraft always are as he is one of the very top notch of developers in X-Plane right now, but the rewards here are exceptional if you master the machine, this is simulation at it's very, very best or even it's extraordinary best... it is that brilliantly good. ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the Boeing 732 TwinJet v3 Professional by FlyJSim is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : 732 TwinJet v3 Pro Price is US$69.95 Note - If you have already purchased the 732 TwinJet by FlyJSim, you can upgrade this new 732 v3 for 50% off for a limited time. Find your coupon code under your 732 TwinJet invoice at the store. Some users will note the significant upgrade price here, but in reality you are getting far more than double your monies worth in features and details than the original aircraft, this aircraft is now at this price category standard and is priced accordingly, once flown you won't be unhappy with your purchase, it is excellent value. Features: True-to-Life Exterior Incredible textures in v3. Rivets, reflections, and surface bumps all add up to give you that extra bit of realism. A completely accurate replica of the 737-200 Adv, down to the last hand placed rivet. Detailed animations in v3. All exterior control surfaces animated accurately to real world behavior and smoothly driven even in replay using the custom replay system. Exterior sounds in v3. JT8Ds have a roar like no other. Detailed lighting. Lighting is based off real 737 data. Landing, taxi, taxi turnoff, strobe, beacon, navigation lights, wing and even logo lights have been faithfully modeled using the real angles and widths of the real 737 lights. And the lighting looks better than ever as they light up these new v3 liveries. Wing flex. Of course. You wouldn’t want them to snap. Immersive Interior Fully interactive and dynamically lit cabin in v3. Detailed seats, adjustable lighting and interactive doors and air-stairs, movable window blinds, and baggage compartments you could stow away in! Unprecedented cockpit lighting in v3. All cockpit lights are controllable. These include all indirect lighting on the panels, storm lights under the glare-shield, center console light to shine onto the throttles, dome light to illuminate the entire cockpit at night, and two map lights. Light spills realistically from annunciators onto nearby switches. Flying at night doesn’t get more fun. Each of the over 300 lights fades in and out like authentic incandescent bulbs. Best in class cockpit manipulators are even better in v3. The dedication to Intuitive cockpit manipulation that you would expect from a FlyJSim product continues in v3 with mousewheel support added for the knobs you want it on. Great care has been taken in setting up just how you interact with the switches, knobs, and levers in the cockpit. Dial in your headings, course, altitude, and radios with ease, even while flying online. Animations everywhere. Each switch, lever, knob, and handle is animated. Press to test functionality on annunciators. Standby compass stowable. Both map lights adjustable. (You do have that approach plate onboard, correct?) Precisely dimensioned 3D cockpit. Modeled using real dimensions down to the size of the switches. 3D modeled circuit breakers in v3. As you go to check out the cabin, be sure to notice these beautiful breakers. You might spot a couple of surprising system breakers. Study Level Systems And Dynamics in v3 Advanced flight model utilizing the absolute latest XP11.10 vector based flight dynamics, including refined down-wash and ground effect. SP-77 autopilot modeled including Control Wheel Steering (CWS) modes JT8D-15A engine performance tuned across the full flight envelope Control surfaces driven using fully custom coding, simulating hydraulic pressures, blow-down effects and standby control surface modes in the event of failures. Autobrake system modeled to match real world data Every annunciator light is push to test. Spot the burnt out bulbs during preflight! Bleed systems and performance physically modeled, and respond to temperature, altitude, wear, and humidity. Look in the FCOM to find the N2 requirements for a cross-bleed start. Pressurization and environmental cabin control systems faithfully modeled. Open the doors to let a breeze in, get AC on before loading passengers on a hot day, and watch the cabin temp cool as the sun sets. Auto, Standby, AC and DC manual modes all faithfully modeled. Cabin doors are pressure locked. FMC and CIVA units realistically coupled to pilot HSI for improved situational awareness Fully custom hydraulic systems and electrical busses Instrument Comparator GPWS including test functionality Warning systems Fire protection systems Weather radar Comprehensive Menu System Redesigned and Inobtrusive Left-side Menu that dynamically appears only when moused over Weight and Balance Manager provides detailed loading of passengers, cargo and fuel to accurately and dynamically shift the aircraft’s CG V-card popup provides dynamic V-speeds for landing and takeoff including improved flap schedule calculations for user selected takeoff and landing flap config Additional customizable options menu to configure the plane and navigation systems Checklist and notes provided in sime with a 32-page fully customizable window that includes checklists and an overview of the aircraft. Have something you need to reference in the flight? Add it into the notes page! Maintenance System For Added Challenge in v3 3rd Party Integrations Ground call button integrated with the free open-source. Better-Pushback Plugin Plan and push from the gate without leaving the immersion of the cockpit. Better Pushback Plugin : (https://github.com/skiselkov/BetterPushbackC/releases) PilotEdge volume control and transmit/receive light. Adjust com volume and monitor communication directly from the center pedestal in the 3D cockpit. The ultimate experience in online ATC simulation. PilotEdge Website : (https://www.pilotedge.net audio) Custom 3D model to make full use of CIVA navigation system Civa Plugin : (http://store.x-plane.org/CIVA-Navigation-System_p_196.html) Smartcopilot compatible. Requirements X-Plane 11.10+ Windows, MAC or Linux - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Current version: V3.1801.1111 - ( January 12th 2018) Installation Download of the FJS 732 TwinJet is 543mb and it is installed in your Airliner Folder as a 970mb folder. Important Installation Note: I recommend to start X-Plane and load in another aircraft (native Boeing 738?) and then adjusting your "texture quality setting" to "High" if you have a graphic card of 4GB, even then still do so the same as I had the same issue with a 8gb graphic card. The textures are huge in Gb if the texture settings are set high and will crash the aircraft (or X-Plane) when you come to do the key authorisation. When activated then restart X-Plane from the desktop for a clean plugin and aircraft loading. There is now no pushback truck supplied in the FJS 732 package... recommended is BetterPushBack Truck by Saso Kiselkov. It is installed in your X-Plane/Resources/plugin folder. Documents Documentation is excellent with three manuals covering the aircraft's features, procedures and systems, with a step checklist which are all included: FJS_732_Simplified_Steps__Checklist_v3.pdf FJS_732_TwinJet__Manual.pdf FJS_732_TwinJet__Procedures.pdf FJS_732_TwinJet__Systems.pdf Systems covers all aspects of the location and operation of the aircraft's systems, well worth or required reading. _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 13th January 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 : BetterPushBack - Free Scenery or Aircraft - EDDL - Airport Dusseldorf by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$27.53 - ENGM - Airport Oslo XP by Aerosoft (X-Plane.OrgStore) US$24.99
  19. Some of us are not so enthused with REP. If the plane was optionally offered without that (S20 less), it might be a super deal. (Did you notice there are no top hinges for the engine side panels?)
  20. Aircraft Review : PA28R Piper Turbo Arrow III / lV by Just Flight - Thranda In October 2017 Just Flight with partner Thranda released the PA28R Piper Arrow lll. Which by all accounts it is an extraordinary aircraft. The aircraft is also in the company of some of the most competitive competition with both AeroSphere Simulations and vFlyteAir both providing the same Arrow lll versions for choice. All are good, but vFlyteAir's version just updated is also exceptional. In reality the vFlyteAir version of it's Arrow lll should have won my best aircraft of the year for GA aircraft, but the update was released to late to take into consideration, but still the JustFlight/Thranda Arrow lll would still have picked up the top gong because it does lift up the level of immersion and the overall realistic sheer flying feel of the aircraft. Mostly I thought that was going to be the only JustFlight/Thranda release of 2017, but just days before Christmas on the 22nd December they then released this version of the Arrow in the lV and also threw in a Turbo for good measure. So if your first thought was "oh that's a bit of a deal in having to now buy another expensive Arrow lll to get the Turbo". Then don't fret that one as if you do already own the original Arrow lll then this Turbo lV can be added to your pleasure for just only $14.99 and you also get the Arrow lll Turbo as part of the package. The "Turbo lV" is distinctive because it has a T-Tail instead of the lower conventional rear tailplane. Which gives the aircraft a more cleaner line. The debate is if it is more effective, because the tailplane is high out of the prop-wash and you need a slightly higher speed (75 kts) to takeoff, but they don't create much drag and that is reflected in the slightly higher speed 153 knts (Arrow lll is 149 ktns). As noted the Arrow lll in the low tailplane version but now with a Turbo that is also part of this package, so if you want the extra power but with the conventional tail then you have both. Switching between aircraft types is done via the livery menu, change the livery and you change the aircraft type at the same time. So there is only one aircraft (.acf) file and so all set preferences and settings work between both aircraft. Interiors Many users found the Arrow lll interior a bit overwhelming with all that reddness... personally I loved it, but if you want some relief from the red then the Turbo has a more subdued feel with both Turbo versions having different colour schemes. The Turbo Arrow lV cabin has a mixture of browns and ochres... ... and the Turbo Arrow lll cabin is more to the full shades of blue. They both don't have the drama of all that red, but the interior fit-out is still exceptional. In times of course you still have that funny overwhelming feeling of reddness, but that is not the original colour scheme passed over, but it is the overhead red night light and turn it down and the red mist feeling goes away. The only visual differences between the standard Arrow lll and the Turbo aircraft is that the distinctive hump has gone over the engine... Arrow lll Turbo The Turbo's nose is slightly different and more aerodynamic, but the differences are minute here in speed. Version 1.3 These details relate to all three Arrow lll/lV versions. For the original release Arrow lll it has been upgraded to v1.3 and although this package is noted as v1.0 it is in reality the v1.3 version across the board, so all changes noted are relevant to all the Arrow versions from JustFlight/Thranda. The only differences are in performance and aircraft dynamics with the conventional tail and the T-Tail versions. There are besides the different types and interior colour schemes, the three aircraft are exactly the same in configuration and avionics, so X-PlaneReviews comprehensive review : Aircraft Review : PA28R Piper Arrow III by Just Flight - Thranda is totally relevant for the detail and design of this Turbo lll/lV version. A few of my gripes have thankfully been covered with the v1.3 update, most are minute small in the full scheme of the aircraft but still the changes here are very welcome. Click the chocks and the pilot now goes home... "bye, bye... Mr Pilot see you tomorrow". The autopilot panel was non-scalable before and took up a lot of space... now it is scalable and makes it's use and positioning so much more effective. The sounds panel has had a few tweeks and I like the "Enviro" option to turn down the wind noise (I have another wind noise on the XPRealistic plugin). The average looking menu panel remains, but you get used to it but not the odd native X-Plane X-Plane tiles for : logbook, weight, balance and fuel, Ground handling and the GNS530 popup? Electrics have had some attention and the excellent circuit breaker panel shows now the extent of the electrical detailing... pull (or click) the "Instrument Panel" breaker and it goes dark, all lighting breakers work as perfection as well. The key switch turns "off" in no power now as well. Flying the... Turbo The flying characteristics between the Turbo and none Turbo are not significantly different, but you do feel the slightly extra power... The original 200hp version was not the quickest horse out of the block and with a slight headwind 140 knts was about as fast as you flew. Here the Turbo is noticeable if not in outright power but in the back of your seat power feel, the 153 knt cruise does feel faster as does the takeoff roll. As with the Arrow lll the trim is crucial for balance, it is still tricky to fly unless you get that trim setting absolutely right, once sorted the aircraft is a masterclass in feel and handling... Like I noted in the original review. This aircraft needs time and time in hours to understand its characteristics and talents, the more you fly the aircraft, the more it comes to you. But no one can waste the time up here with this Arrow, just looking at it will set your heart pumping. One of the most noticeable aspects is the drag on the aircraft in power. So dropping the gear or flaps, but also in the throttle position creates significant drag. Even if you pitch down, if you don't reduce the power the aircraft will not descend in the same parallel. So even if you hold the pitch and increase the power then the aircraft will rise or again fall with a decrease of power, it is that finely tuned an aircraft and makes control as much for the throttle as for the yoke. T-Tails are known for their sudden loss of lift, so remember that in the landing phase you will have no prop-wash to get you out of trouble, and so too high a pitch can hide the tail from the airstream and you can fall into a stall. I still put the mixture to lean to land, but the idle ratio has had some adjustment in v1.3 and that makes it about perfect with not that surge of power when the aircraft is back on the ground.... lovely. Liveries There are two sets of liveries for both the Turbo in : N48427 (USA), D-ERMT (Germany), G-OBAK (UK), HB-PMB (Switzerland), VH-LLA (Australi T-Tail aircraft : D-EAIV (Germany), G-BOGM (UK), OE-KFT (Italy), OK-MAN (Czech Republic), N3023K (USA) There is blank for the Turbo lll, but both aircraft come with photoshop paintkits included... and all liveries are of exceptional 4K (4096 x 4096) texture quality. Summary This package extends out the original Arrow lll aircraft to three versions (if you buy the extended Turbo pack here for the $14.99 offer), and that really opens up your choice between the original, the Arrow lll with a Turbo and the Arrow lV (T-Tail) with again the Turbo, you also get three different custom interiors as well and I am quite sure it is not too hard to create a Turbo with the Red interior. If your finances don't stretch to that, then just buy this Turbo package and still get the two great Arrow Turbo aircraft, as both are a great deal. All aircraft detailing and quality is top-notch, the cabins alone are worth the investment, and they are some of the best in X-Plane and that is saying something as there is some great interiors out there. Avionics are great but not exceptional, a glass panel Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD system would be to die for in this aircraft and no dedicated Weights&Balance menu is a surprise as well. This package and the original have all been updated to v1.3 and few early kinks have been cleaned up, the JustFlight/Thranda Arrow is even better now than before, but this is an outstanding aircraft, but requires a lot of skill and time to really get the best return for the investment, but what an investment... ______________________________________________________________________ Yes! the PA28R Piper Turbo Arrow III / lV by Just Flight - Thranda is NOW available from the new X-Plane.Org Store here : PA-28R Turbo Arrow III/lV Price is US$41.99 Note - If you have already purchased the Arrow III by JustFlight you can purchase this new Turbo Arrow for only $14.99. Find your coupon code under your Arrow invoice at the store (doesn't apply to Arrows from other designers). Features MODEL Accurately modelled PA-28R-201T Turbo Arrow III and PA-28RT-201T Turbo Arrow IV, built using real-world aircraft plans Numerous animations including multi-animation passenger door that, when open, responds to G-forces and air resistance, baggage door, cockpit window, sun visors and oil cover Ground equipment including chocks and tie-downs 4096 x 4096 textures are used to produce the highest possible texture clarity PBR (Physically Based Rendering) materials with real-time environment reflections for superb quality and realism Detailed normal mapping for down-to-the-rivet precision of aircraft features. Ability to use the in-flight livery switcher to switch between the Turbo Arrow III and IV variants in real-time without needing to use the aircraft menu. COCKPIT A truly 3D virtual cockpit right down to accurately modelled seat belts and screw heads - every instrument is constructed fully in 3D with smooth animations Cockpit textures feature wear and tear based on reference photos taken in the real aircraft to produce an authentic environment Interactive engine start checklist that responds to user inputs and sim variables Interactive checklists for every stage of flight Aircraft configuration system that will allow you to choose between 'cold & dark' or 'ready for take-off' (if aircraft is stationary on the ground) Fully functional and comprehensive IFR-capable avionics fit including: - KMA 20 audio selector unit - Fully featured X-Plane-native GNS530 (supports procedures out of the box, and supports Navigraph and Aerosoft custom nav databases) - KX 175B COM 2 / NAV 2 radio - KN 62 DME unit which can display information from NAV 1 or NAV 2 - Piper Autocontrol IIIB autopilot unit with navigation, heading and roll hold (hidden autopilot altitude hold system included for convenience) - KT 76A transponder unit - KR 85 ADF unit - Support for RealityXP GTN750 (sold separately, Windows only) AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS Custom-coded fuel system, including the option of automatic fuel tank switching for use on those long distance cross-country flights (this option is remembered for future flights) Custom-coded electrical system with functional circuit breakers. Circuit breaker logic is linked to X-Plane's internal failure logic, so if the plane is set to fail a certain electrical component after a certain number of hours, the circuit breaker for that element will pop out. Realistic landing gear system with intricate retraction animation, slow/fast tyre rotation animation (blurry when rotating fast), precise shock absorber animation with multiple linkages animated accurately, and wheel chocks and tie-downs Functioning alternate air and static source controls Fully implemented back-up landing gear system Dedicated interactive engine pop-up window displaying values such as fuel tank weights and imbalance, fuel pressure, oil pressure, oil temperature, battery charge (with quick charge option), and information about spark plug fouling and vapour lock condition Simulated vapour lock condition, with warning pop-up and suggested actions Simulated spark plug fouling condition, with indication of percentage of fouling Lighting system includes separate lighting control for gauges (via rheostat) and realistic implementation of navigation light / radio light rheostat Functional electric trim control on yoke (requires electric trim button to be pushed) Functional ELT which is automatically triggered above 4.6 G Simulated fan and vent system with realistic blower sounds (linked to circuit breaker logic and electrical system for realism) Custom external light logic with custom strobe light pattern and custom light halos for added realism Requirements: X-Plane 11 CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K at 3.5GHz or faster Video card: 4GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD) Windows 10 / 7 / Vista / XP, MAC OS 10.10 (or higher) or Linux 2.5GB hard drive space Current version: 1.0 (Dec 22nd 2017) Installation Download of the Turbo Arrow III/lV is a huge 2,21gb and it is installed in your General Aviation Folder as a 2.48gb folder. It is a fair size in gb's is this aircraft package and the question will be what of the framerates? Overall I found it very good, but it does take a fair time to load up in X-Plane depending on the size of scenery you are loading up with it. A fairly good graphics card is highly recommended and not less than a 4gb is required. Documents Documentation is excellent with two manuals included: PA-28R Turbo Arrow III-IV manual A4 X-Plane 150.pdf PA-28R Turbo Arrow III-IV ODM manual A4 X-Plane 150.pdf The main aircraft manual covers everything including aircraft install, data with a fully detailed instrument locations and feature points and aircraft procedures (80 pages) ODM covers aircraft performance and associated graphs (32 Pages) _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 8th January 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.05 Addons: Saitek x56 Rhino Pro system Joystick and Throttle : Sound - Bose Soundlink Mini Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro v1.07 US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 Scenery or Aircraft - KHAF - Half Moon Bay by Rising Dawn Studios (X-Plane.OrgStore) - US$19.00 v1.3 Changelog (the same as the v1.0 notes for this Turbo lll/lV) Changes/fixes: Improved prop disc visualization effects Brightened landing spill light Hiding pilot when static elements are enabled Tweaked internal lit texture (text) Improved electrical system Fixed “Avionics Off” item in checklist Added “Ground Roll” mixer to co-pilot volume knob. Fixed flap deflection time Revised gyro sound Fixed halo artefacts Adjusted idle ratio Fixed NAV1/2 flip switch to be entered when in GPS mode. Made starter key set to “Off” when starting from cold and dark Upgraded SASL to 3.12 Added change log
  21. Get well soon, Stephan!
  22. Small note: I have a cold... I promised to be back online on the 3rd January 2018, but I caught a bad (awful) cold over the New Year (again, and not a great start to the year) in 40º heat! (aircon?), Anyway sorry the site will be a little late restarting but the next review is now in process but running a little slow... Thanks for your support Stephen
  23. Aircraft Review : Embraer E-195LR by SSG

    Thank you for another great review, I always look to your site for information and unbiased review of products.
  24. Aircraft Review : Piper PA-18 SuperCub by AeroSim Development Group The original PiperCub was the J-3 a very lightweight tamdem-seater aircraft built between 1937 and 1947 by Piper Aircraft. (the first design was the "Taylor Cub" but it was Piper Aircraft that created the classic Cub version that sold 20,000 aircraft). The design is extremely simple with a fabric covered tube frame with a strut-braced high-wing monoplane with a large-area rectangular wing and was powered by an 37 hp (28 kW) air-cooled piston engine driving a fixed-pitch propeller. The Cub was as basic an aircraft as you could fly in the air. Like all successful designs then the aircraft grew, with bigger engines with more speed and more capabilities, and so it is with the Cub, or the SUPER Cub. The PA-11 was the classic Cub with a bigger 65 hp (48 kW) Continental A65-8 piston engine and that morphed into the 95 hp Continental C-90-8F piston engine, sometimes known as the PA-18-95 known as the first SuperCub, but the first true "Super" Cub had flaps, dual fuel tanks, and an O-235 Lycoming engine producing about 108 hp (115 hp for takeoff only). The power was still increased until the ultimate until 1954 variant with a 150 hp Lycoming O-320 which is really the Super, Super, SuperCub! and the one we are reviewing here. There are three versions included with ASDG's SuperCub... 150HP Titan™ X320 powered Super Cub, with a separate flight model for Tundra Tires and or the Standard Tires. 180HP Titan™ X340 Powered Super Cub + constant speed prop with Tundra wheels only. In reality what you are flying here is a tube frame with and an engine fastened on the front and the wings attached above and a tailplane and rudder at the back... but for such a barely basic design the aircraft quite versatile. Most Cub roles are as a trainer, but the aircraft was an excellent observation aircraft and better still as a bush pilot's aircraft, ski's and floats (on the higher powered versions) also add to its workability. The aircraft comes with SimCoder's REP "Reality Expansion Pack" as part of the package and is in part the case for the high price as any REP is an add-on of usually around US$20. Yes the REP packages are excellent, but they can also interfere sometimes a little too forcefully in just you wanting to basically fly the aircraft. Menus There are two sets of menu tabs on your left lower part of your screen. The top set are the main menus and the lower tab is the "Titan" Engine specifications. There are six main menu tabs to choose from on a left hand window menu that is slightly hidden until activated. Top to bottom they consist of : Kneeboard, Mass & Balance, Walkaround, Tow, Maintenance Report and Automatic Engine Start. There is one more Menu option in "Settings" but that is not listed under a tab, but it is placed in your plugin menu that allows you to set REP settings to your liking. These include : Enable Aircraft Damages, Show Failure Messages, Show Tips, Enable Mouse Gestures, Show Side Menu on mouse Hover, Save and Restore Aircraft Status between (flying) sessions, Enable Hypoxia effects and use Imperial Units (metric is default). The "Settings" menu does thankfully allow you to fly the aircraft in some sort of peace without the constant popup's of messages which in REP's can be really annoying and distracting for, but I do like the "Save and Restore Aircraft Status" to keep the continuity between flights. Kneeboard has three sets of notes : Normal Operations, Emergency and References, overall it is a basic set up but usable. Mass & Balance allows you to set up the aircraft with fuel, passengers, baggage and weights. It is quite a powerful panel with a very good Centre of Gravity balance envelope graph to see your changes, both male and female rear passengers are available and are thankfully realistic. Walkaround is another SimCoder feature in that you walk around the aircraft and check it out for its current condition or for flight. You can check the fluids and the condition of the fluid, and all flying surfaces can be checked by moving them violently up and down. You can also add in or remove static elements of chocks and tiedowns, which is a long way around than doing something than just clicking the items on a menu... Tow is an idea of putting you behind the rear tailplane and then moving the aircraft with your joystick. You sorta get the Tow idea, but you are facing the wrong way to see where the aircraft is actually pointing to or where you are moving to? It is tricky at first, but then you get it.... sorta. Maintenance Report gives you three pages of the condition of the aircraft and you can interact on the form to rectify the items on the list, like oil changes, spark plugs (Normal or Fine-Wire) and tyres (Tires). The front engine canopy is separate with a modeled Titan X340 in there but with no removable actions to see it? But my guess is when Maintenance is required you are given access to the engine? Automatic Engine Start is the valuable tool to keep you sane... or at least keep your sanity intact. One of the biggest barriers for me enjoying these REP packages is the simple task of starting the the engine and then keeping it running. I have many times in the past simply abandoned a REP review because I simply spent to much time and throwing way to much anger at a computer screen to find I had better things to review than put up with all this pain. So the Automatic Engine Start is a lifesaver (even though I still had to use it three times to get to the runway?) and can least can start the engine, if keeping it going is another matter entirely. Yes realism is brilliant, but it doesn't have to be as complicated or at least you can or should have the option to tone it down or disconnect the idea. Yes I did all the right things in fine-tuning the mixture, yes the spark plugs do foul, but not to the extent of you wanting to throw a towel at your computer... Detailing The aircraft is certainly well modeled with a lot of care for the details, you find the differences in materials in construction easy to identify and that makes up for a lot of the realism. The two types of propeller in the fixed and variable constant-speed on the standard 150HP and 180HP versions, but I was disappointed that the variable propeller blades didn't move if you adjusted them? Worn and tired metal and working surfaces are done really well, the Cub looks like the old workhorse it is. The major details is on the landing gear with the main and excellent trailing wheel. All the wire work, with the animated control wires are also very well done. Wing spars and fabric looks realistic, but the bolts are drawn on and not highlighted (mapped). The detailed Titan engine is not accessible? I prefer the smaller regular wheels (Tyres) to the larger Balloon Tundra Tyres... .... I think they are portrayed as covered in mud? But look more like a harder solid than rubber? and the they don't sit correctly on the ground either and that makes it all look a little odd and the aircraft is hovering more than resting. Glass or say Hard Plastic? is well done with great reflections, side window goes up and side lower door drops down, but the lower door looks a little flat and unconvincing. There are two sets of textures. The aircraft comes with 4K textures, but if you wish you can load 2K textures to save framerate. The 2K textures are downloaded from ASDG's site here : 2K Texture Pack as framerate with the 4K textures can a big draw on your processors, my graphic resolution came to over 4GB (4530MB) at my usual KLAL setting, so the 2K's could help if you use heavy scenery or if you are restricted to a 4GB graphic card or lower. Flying the SuperCub Two things are to be held in mind before flying the SuperCub. One is to make sure the tiller wheel is locked in to the rudder movement as only the really good bushmasters can fly these spindly airframes and not somersault them off the runway, and to also note the actual rear wheel turns more slowly than the rudder itself. Second is that before you want to explore the far wide and country, that you do a set of serious circuits of takeoff, circuit, and landing again, as the aircraft requires a certain skill to get the procedures correct, you will understand exactly what I mean when you crawl from under the aircraft from your first throttle up or hard bouncy landing... it takes a certain skill or practice to get the details right. For a simple and basic aircraft this Cub is not that easy to fly in the takeoff and landing phases, but you do adjust and fine tune your skill set to match that over a short space of time. But once in the air the Cub becomes fun. As expected the aircraft is light and ease to touch on the controls. Any seat by the pants and rudder and stick person would certainly love the feel of this sort of basic flying... The spider's web of the aircraft's frame surrounds you, but leaves you open to the elements of light and space. Note the built-in wing fuel tank gauge. The instrument panel is basic with a few mod-cons. First is the only difference between the two different fixed and the variable constant-speed propeller versions. The constant-speed (Tundra) has the extra knob (blue) for propeller adjustment, were as the fixed version (below) has none but the mixture (red) and the fixed is missing the Manifold Pressure gauge of the Tundra. Mostly the instrument panel is easy to read, but in some lighting conditions the reflections can be a bit too strong and blank out the instrument details. Standard Six instruments are centred in line of sight of the flying pilot with the Airspeed Indicator, Artificial Horizon and the Attitude Indicator on the top row and the bank/turn coordinator, Heading Dial and Vertical Speed Indicators set out directly below, there is to the right the one large VOR OBS dial for VOR2 above and a ABS pointer below. A suction dial is far right. Four dials far left cover the Oil Temp and Oil Pressure (top row), and the Cylinder Head Temp and Manifold Pressure (Tundra) on the lower. A large RPM and hour gauge sits top right. Avionics is the standard X-Plane GNS 430 (pops out) Com1/Nav1and a Garmin GTX 330 transponder. A Bendix King KR 87 is the ADF radio far bottom. A lovely pitch trim handle with magneto switches with the fuel tank selector is on the right side with dual throttles top, left side is a map pocket. Note the very fine metal bar rudder pedals with excellent control cables. There is great switch panel way up to your right with circuit breakers. The Amperes dial will also react correctly to any switch throws of current. There is a basic 2 axis built in autopilot that covers the heading and altitude hold. It is a Genesys System 30 that is built into the roll indicator instrument. So how does it work? no idea? as there is no manual, in fact there are no manuals at all from ASDG, but manuals are "coming" as noted by the developer and in the meanwhile we will just have to work it all out for ourselves? I did manage however to hold the altitude and capture the heading, but as for a detailed description then we will have to wait for the manual to arrive, but it does look good. Sound is FMOD and is very good with 3d spatial directional sound. But the external sounds are far more a higher level than the internal sound to the point the X-Plane sound volume is in this case needed to be lowered to the 30% position on the external sounds to make them more realistic. Personally my feeling is that internally with an engine positioned right by your feet mounted on a metal frame is certainly going to be far noisier than an external sound that is set a fair distance from the aircraft. But lets get to the tricky bit... After a very nice potter around the Florida landscape in the SuperCub it was time to return to KLAL - Lakeland and start this review. With it's extremely light frame and weight (930lb (422 kg) the Cub on approach has both a lot for it and also against it at the same time. The "for it" is that the aircraft is a sweet balance of controls and that great feel that would be best described as "Bush Pilot Heaven", you feel so in control and one with the aircraft that it is just a natural progression of your body. Your approach and in this case it is towards RWY27 at KLAL and it feels completely in control, but when you lower the two stage flaps (handle is on the floor on the pilot's left) and then you do reach down to the 60 kts approach speed, then the 'against it" factor appears in that any slight wind or breeze will make any approach difficult as you drift or lose your perfect runway alignment... more power , but you can't as your speed needs to be as low as possible. Now certainly you are saying "easy mate, I can fly that" but it is not as easy as it looks, as more power just gives you more angled drift, more rudder just drifts you anyway but the wrong way, as you are so light that any breeze can make the landing difficult, so sometimes the aircraft can stall or even stop in mid-air in a hang-glider moment. You are now sort of fighting the aircraft between a slow speed and direction, but you get there with as little throttle movement as possible. Why not power your way out of all this? Because those huge balloon tundra tyres will not let you if you give them even the slightest weight of landing and they will simply bounce you straight back into the sky... ... not once but as many times as they feel like it and this is with an approach speed of 50 knts and lower and the Tundra's also have a very small narrow track set between them and so it is like landing on a huge trampoline with your feet together with no hard surface to really stick down on to. I did it... I mean I landed twice, In the fact I did actually landed the Cub, but it really tests your skill level.... personally I stuck to the standard tyres, but even they can still cartwheel the aircraft off the runway with that tight narrow front track, but at least they won't bounce you back up into the stratosphere in doing so. Fun, yes in a sweaty anxious sort of way, as your world that was a few moments ago was so serene and peaceful with the world, then you found yourself suddenly struggling to control a simple landing... if you find that fun, then you will love the "Cub" Night Lighting Biggest shock here is that the instruments are not back lit? The only way you can see the instruments is to switch on a light above your head to the right. There maybe an instrument lighting adjuster knob, but we have no manual of course? The light is hard to find in the dark, even when switched on... ... and there is the same secondary light for the rear, both are not adjustable. External lighting is basic, as it would be on an aircraft like this, but you do have taxi/landing lights and a beacon on the tail. The aircraft is quite glossy in the dark, which doesn't look very realistic for a fabric aircraft. Liveries There is a wide range of seventeen liveries including the famous "Yellow Cub" as default. All are excellent with three Alaskan Airmen designs and a wide range of rego numbers, the "SubLivery" is well... different. Summary There are certain classic aircraft that you require in a simulator. All simulators have them, but a high quality version is also required to see and get the best experience from why that aircraft and in this case the Piper Cub is so famous and so loved. It is in reality a bare bones machine, and you feel that and fly the machine that way... and that is why those hardened "Bushie" style pilot's will revel in what they have available here, as for being the famous "Cub you can't get better than this, but it is tricky to takeoff and land until you match your skill set with the aircraft... Overall AeroSim Development Group have done an excellent job here, but there are a few things that should have been covered before releasing the aircraft. No manual is a glaring ommission, a really bad one here as there maybe features you could like, but simply can't access because you can't find them, yes this was a frustrating review at times because of that simple omission, and so yes I may have missed items in the review but you can't review what you can't access or find. A few weeks in finishing off the package would have seen a better presentation for a new developer... a classic mistake. Detailing is excellent and this is a very nice aircraft, but there is a bit of a bad glossy shine in some lighting conditions (more visible at night) that sorta "takes the shine off it", the Tundra tyres highlight this effect, but the modeling and detailing is very good to excellent otherwise. The addition of the SimCoders REP is certainly a huge advantage to the package, but it also creates a few bête noire's in the process. One it adds up to a more expensive package than that you would pay for this sort of machine, but it is also value as well because most REP packages are usually around US$20 and if you added in the extra cost of the aircraft then in reality it is a very good value deal, and so it goes both ways. REP packages can also be a bit frustrating in that they don't give you options or the ability to tone down certain characteristics and in other words they can be inflexible. Certainly the "Automatic Engine Start" is a great tool, but having to use it constantly means there should be more give or graded areas in the way the REP's control the aircraft, you feel mostly out of control of your own machine, get it right and certainly it works, but for a simple "jump in and fly" the REP can create a boundary that sometimes borders on you flying something else... I simply lost count of the many in-flight restarts I did, until my battery went flat and I then just gave up... just more flexibility is required. The "Piper Cub" is a great aircraft, totally basic and excellent to fly, X-Plane deserves a great classic like this aircraft and here it is, and a "Float" version is coming soon as well, so overall a great and value package. _____________________________________________________________________________________ The Piper PA-18 SuperCub by AeroSim Development Group is NOW available! from the X-Plane.Org Store here : ASDG SuperCub Your Price: $32.95 Features Current version supporting X-Plane 11 3 Individual Flight Models! 150HP Titan™ X320 powered Super Cub, with a separate flight model for Tundra Tires and standard tires. 180HP Titan™ X340 Powered Super Cub + constant speed prop with Tundra wheels only. Engine performance data provided by Titan™ Engines by Continental Full 3D Landing gear animations Flight Dynamics and ground handling designed to allow pilots to land off airfield! Compare the flight differences between a constant speed propeller and a fixed pitch! 4K Textures, full PBR and individual reflections inside the cockpit 2 Included selectable cockpits for the 150HP Model. These include a IFR rated panel and a standard bare bones VFR panel High Definition CSL’s for online flying More updates and additions to come in the future as X-Plane expands Simcoders Pack Included SimCoders Reality Expansion Package comes with the aircraft! (a $20 value) Add dozen of tech features / options to the aircraft Just install and you are ready to fly! Requirements X-Plane 11+ Windows, Mac or Linux 2Gb VRAM Minimum - 4Gb+ VRAM Recommended Installation Download of the Piper PA-18 SuperCub is 618.70mb and it is installed in your X-Plane General Aviation Folder as a 3.26Gb folder (yes that is over 3gb?). The SimCoders Reality Expansion Package (REP) is part of the package and is installed with the main aircraft installation (no separate installation is required) There are three separate aircraft files for the 180hp Tundra, 150hp Classic and the Classic with Tundra tyres. 2K textures can be downloaded here: 2K Texture Pack for a lighter aircraft folder. Documents Documents are very good with reference charts and a "how to fly", but no POH Aircraft manual is a serious omission here. ASDG Super Cub 180HP checklist.pdf 2K Texture Instructions.pdf 150HP Normal Speed Ref chart.pdf 150HP Short Field Speed Ref chart.pdf 180HP Short field Speed Reference Chart.pdf 180HP Speed Reference Chart.pdf ASDG Super Cub 150HP Checklist.pdf _____________________________________________________________________________________ Review by Stephen Dutton 7th January 2018 Copyright©2018: X-PlaneReviews (Disclaimer. All images and text in this review are the work and property of X-PlaneReviews, no sharing or copy of the content is allowed without consent from the author as per copyright conditions) Review System Specifications: Computer System: Windows - Intel Core i7 6700K CPU 4.00GHz / 64bit - 16 Gb single 1067 Mhz DDR4 2133 - ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 8Gb - Samsung Evo 512gb SSD Software: - Windows 10 - X-Plane 11.11 Addons: Saitek x56 Pro system Joystick and Throttle Plugins: Environment Engine by xEnviro US$69.90 : XPRealistic Pro v1.0.9 effects US$19.95 : WorldTraffic 3.0 Plugin - US$29.95 Scenery: - KLAL - Lakeland Linder Regional Airport 1.0 by NAPS (uploaded by Nicolas) - (X-Plane.Org) - Free
  25. Thanks Stephen. Yes it’s certainly a popular model and makes things harder to choose. Just Flight’s one does seem to have that little extra to the 3D modelling though vFlyteAir’s have added an optional Aspen EFD 1000 and they have there nice weight and balance menu but then it only has the basic GNS 430.
  26. Well Darrell we have Arrows coming out of our ears, there are simply so many to choose from. On price and outstanding features you simply can't go past vFlyteAir's excellent aircraft. But the Just Flight has a special sort of feeling of realism, but you have to pay extra for that... My choice by barely a whisker is the Just Flight Arrow lll/lV Turbo. It has two versions in the low and high tail and is faster as well with the Turbo power... all are recommended with the rk Apps XPReality Pro. Stephen
  27. Great review or what looks an impressive aircraft. With vFlyteAir having just updated their Arrow III, where would your money go if you had the choice?
  28. Behind the Screen : Year in Review 2017

    Great summary of the year as usual and I agree with most of what you say . The default clouds now give me better looks and better FPS than SkyMaxx Pro for the first time so it's now been parked in my "unused plugins" folder - together with WT3 (which is a bit crashy on my rig). I'm actually very excited about what I hope will come in 2018 - a stable XP11 for devs and maybe the first OrbX releases? Hope the MD11 makes it out of the hangar in 2018 too...
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