AVSIM Commercial FSX Aircraft Review

Cessna T210M
Centurion II

Product Information

Publishers: Carenado

Description: Cessna 210 M Turbo.

Download Size:
124 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Ray Marshall - AVSIM Contributing Reviewer - January 7, 2012

Let’s get a crowd together and go get high.

To accomplish this, you will need one pilot, 5 friends and a Carenado Cessna Centurion T210M.  The Cessna 210 is at the top of a short list of high wing retractable single engine aircraft that will actually takeoff with all 6 seats occupied, full fuel and overnight luggage.  You can climb to the thin air at say FL240 and gaze at the airspeed as you zoom along at a needle width over 200 knots in very nice creature of comfort.  The turbocharger feature enables the high altitude flight but that of course requires oxygen rebreathers for all aboard above 13,000 feet.

This is possible due to several design factors that have been refined over the last 50 years.  The original Cessna 210 made its debut in 1960 as a four place retractable with wing struts.  Since then, a steady stream of updates and model changes has taken place.  I don’t know of any general aviation aircraft that has more model numbers. Although, they skipped a few letters, the model designation was at R when production ceased in 1986.

It is practically impossible to know all the minor changes from year to year, but the one that Carenado picked for their FSX model just might be the best of the bunch.  This was the model that got the cumulative update with the 3-bladed prop, 10 extra horses for takeoff, 200 additional pounds of increased gross weight; nose mounted landing lights, modern 24 volt electrical system, some slick aerodynamic smoothing that added eight knots to the cruise speed, and the last model with fully enclosed landing gear.

This one has the 310 hp turbocharged Continental engine spinning a McCauley 3 bladed propeller up to a service ceiling of FL285 while carrying a pilot and 5 full sized passenger in plush comfort.  I can almost smell that leather.  And it is a real looker with that big cantilevered wing with the missing struts and the functional droopy tips, big scenic windows all around, and retractable landing gear that is totally hidden when not being used.

With the turbocharger engaged it comes screaming off just about any runway in a little over 1,100 feet and clawing upward at more than 1,000 FPM with a full load of fuel, passengers and baggage.  Should something not be quite right for the trip, you can turn around and make a full flap landing in 765 feet at 56 knots stall speed.

It comes with a full complement of silky smooth modern 3D gauges, a full stack of modern avionics highlighted by the Garmin 430/530 combo that can be exchanged for the Reality XP models, and the Bendix/King 3 axis auto flight system that includes a flight director.  As mentioned earlier, the oxygen system is modeled, and the detailed interior, also in HD, is something to behold.  Just wait ‘til you see the full screen images.  Oh my.

Not only is this a high flyer, it is a speedy one also.  Most owners realize some pleasure in blowing past the A36 Bonanzas and the Piper wannabes. With that cantilevered high wing, everyone has a perfect unobstructed view as you cruise along on the fast side of 200 knots just guzzling that virtual aviation fuel and paying for it with a matching virtual credit card.

By using an existing real world aircraft Carenado has captured all the nuances along with all the HQ digital stereo sounds to enhance our experience to levels only imagined when Clyde Cessna was dreaming of such an exotic flying machine.

Being the top of the line for Cessna singles and carrying the flagship title of Centurion II it comes with a bold, gold badge to show off its heritage.  Carenado has provided their best HD textures in five color schemes plus one all white texture and included the same textures in a Lite version for the less beefy computer systems. A quick check at Airliners.net with a search on the exact year and model yielded an even 144 unique paint schemes. The freeware painters should have a field day with this one. Carenado developed the T210M, with the ‘T’ representing Turbo and model ‘M.’ Although, they skipped a few letters, the model designation was at R when production ceased in 1986.  Those are just the basic model designators; there are Ts and Ps to add-on.  T for the turbocharged versions and P for the pressurized cabin variants with those small windows.

The Cessna 210 first took to the air in 1957 as the four seat Cessna 182B with retractable landing gear, a swept tail and a new wing. As the model evolved over time there were 26 variants built up until the last year of production in 1986.

Over those 20 years, several updates were made, more powerful engines added, a third side window, and a rear window added. In 1967, the big change was the all-new cantilever wing, eliminating the struts. The windows on the side cut from three to two (the second being elongated) and cowling rounded and smoothed.

The most extensive model change of the Cessna 210 occurred with the P210, the turbocharged and pressurized version, easily identified by the 4 small side windows. The pressurized 210 was one of only three cabin-class singles to be successfully marketed. The other two being the Mooney M22 Mustang (only 36 produced) and the Piper Malibu.

Not every flight is all work. The wraparound windows of Cessna's high wing piston models allow both passengers and pilot to enjoy panaramic views of their surroundings.

The 210M model which is the one Carenado has modeled is a six seater, powered by the turbocharged Continental TSIO-520-R engine producing 310hp. 1,381 M models were built from 1977 to 1980.

Flight Model.  A quote from the Carenado website:

Carenado’s CT210M Centurion II has been tested by real T210 pilots. The aircraft was tested in several conditions of flights such as: takeoff, climb, cruise, descend, approach, landing and specific manoeuvres. After several versions and lot of feedback, the aircraft was approved by all real pilots who tested it.”

The Developer

As most of you know, Carenado is one of the quality add-on developers for general aviation aircraft for FS9, FSX and more recently for X-Plane.  Based in Chile, they have a very large following by sim pilots and many just automatically purchase whatever Carenado produces on the day of release.

This is based on their track record of providing near real world type add-ons that are usually tested by real world pilots, and with options such as floats, amphibians, skis, bush, etc.  They have a mix of singles, twins, tail draggers (some of the best available), tricycle gear, low wing, high wing, simple panels, complex panels, you name it they have one for you.

“This is weird, but we will check it immediately.  If there is something wrong, we will fix it.”

Carenado

The Carenado AVSIM Forums provide the unofficial support for their fleet.  It is not uncommon to see users posting useful add-ons or tweaks for these aircraft. Carenado follows the forums on a regular basis and is usually quick to provide any necessary patches and to make available Service Pack (SP) type updates when appropriate. This one had a SP1 two week after release.  Mostly minor, but irritating issues were fixed.  Com1 frequencies, cowl flaps operation reversed, Reality XP GPS popup issue, VOR flag reversed, that sort of stuff.”

I have been a pilot most of my adult life.  I got my Private Pilots license a day or so before I got married.  Whew.  I logged many hours as a flight instructor and charter pilot in Florida in the early days.  Cessnas just seem to be the aircraft of choice on a day-in day-out basis.  I actually preferred the faster Mooney with Turbo Boost (not a real turbo) line for strictly cross country flights.

But when a neat charter to the Bahamas or other islands presented itself, I was on the phone looking for a slick Cessna 210.  This always impressed the paying customers, especially if it was neat and clean, as most high performance rentals were.

In those days, the formula was very simple. Sum up your expenses, add $100 to the bottom line for profit, and present the bill to the customer.  Everyone got a good deal and it was, as they say, a win-win situation.

I recall doing quite a few checkouts in the Cessna 210, and my logbook has lots of 210 time. Those weekend island charters were great.  I remember how different a new 210 was vs. the old work horse Cessna 205 in which I held partial ownership.  It was a real dog, ugly and always needing a wash and wax.

I also remember quite well, the adage:  If you can fly a Cessna 150, then you can fly a Cessna 172.  If you can fly a 172 then you can fly a 182.  The Cessna 177 Cardinal fell in there someplace.  But, the break was when you let the gear up. We didn’t see many C182RG or C177RG when I was actively flying with students.

If I need to haul a load into a rough strip, I'll use the 206 (or if it's really rough, the 185), but if I need to get somewhere fast in a light single, the 210 is my preference every time.
        BeaverDriver, Professional Pilot
                       Northwind Air Cargo

All the Cessna 210s were retractable but they were so expensive to operate and the insurance required a couple of hundred hours of total time and maybe 20 hours constant speed, retractable time.  That is why there was never a last line that said if you can fly a C182 then you can fly a 210.

The exception to the rule was my neighbor, Dick T.  He called me one day to ask if I could fly a Cessna 310.  Sure I can, do you know someone who has one? It turns out Dick is the only person I personally know that got his private pilot’s license in a Cessna 210.  I mean from day one, first solo in his own 210.  If you ever met him, it would be instantly obvious, why he didn’t go the C152/172 route.  His little brother was a lineman for the Houston Oilers way back when and still tips the scales around the mid 300s.  He was a big guy and needed a big roomy cockpit with some hauling power.

I asked him why he didn’t get a Cessna 182.  ‘Too small and too slow.’  OK, fine with me.  His first cross country with his PPL was from Houston to Las Vegas.  My kind of student.  He graduated to a 310 mostly because someone told him that twins were so much safer than those little single engine Cessnas.  I don’t think his was a Turbo, I just can’t remember all the details.

I do remember the day I was to check him out is his shinny new Cessna 310.  The seat belt was not long enough to buckle him in.  Special order took almost a week for delivery of the one-off extra long seat belt.  This was evidently not that important to the local salesman that had taken him up several times for flight demos.

The Cessna 210 has been the top of the line single engine Cessna since the day it was first introduced. The swept back tail, retractable gear and 3 bladed propeller makes the 210 instantly recognizable as something special.  This was in the days of the V-tail Bonanza, usually known as the Doctor’s choice of weekend travel.

A vintage 1960 A model Cessna 210 has 4 cramped seats, no back window, wing struts, pronounced chin, 2,900 lbs Gross weight, 1,000 lb useful load.  The Cruise speed of 165 kts was moving in style and could fly as high as FL200.

The Cessna 210 began as a retractable undercarriage version of the Cessna 182 itself a tricycle-geared derivation of the tail-dragger Cessna 180. It first flew as the "Model 185" at the beginning of 1957, and was the first Cessna model to start production life with a swept fin (added on the second prototype in 1958 and renamed "Model 210") with retracting landing gear.

This early aircraft had the straight rear fuselage and faired rear cabin, but from the 210B, the "omni-vision" rear window and accompanying narrow rear fuselage appeared. The type was known, from the more powerful 210D in 1964, as the Centurion. Strutless cantilevered wings appeared in 1967 as the 210G. These later aircraft had a smaller, square rear window, rather than the "omni-vision" style.

The cantilevered wing had a distinct dihedral and was placed further aft. The 210J lost the distinctive chin bump of earlier models, with its more rounded cowling in 1969. Other developments included elongated side windows on the 210K's larger cabin, widely spaced nose landing lights on the 210L, and introduction of optional turbo-charged F model onwards. In 1978, the fully pressurized model P210N was introduced, with four distinctive small windows on each side.

In 1970 Cessna introduced two new versions, the Centurion II and Turbo Centurion II which incorporated a factory-installed package of avionics and equipment as standard, these being produced alongside the Centurion and Turbo Centurion.  By then the Centurions were of six-seat capacity and offered powerplant options of a Continental IO-520-L for the Centurion and a TSIO-520-H for the Turbo Centurion.

In November 1977 a new pressurized version of the Model 210, the Pressurized Centurion, was announced. Generally similar to the standard Centurion, it differed by having a pressure cabin and a Continental TSIO-520-P which incorporated a high-capacity turbocharger to support the pressurization system, and like the earlier models was available in standard and Pressurized Centurion II versions. When production ceased, a total of 8,453 Model 210s and Centurions had rolled off the line together with 851 Pressurized Centurions.

The last model was the 210R/T210R of 1985, which was outrageously expensive. Only 112 were built. Production of the 210 ended in 1986.  In 1998 Cessna considered restarting production, but in the end decided not to build any single engine retractable airplanes.

Turbocharged Centurions have established several world records in their class: including time-to-height records, a round the world speed record of 127 mph and an altitude record of 42,339 feet.  Here is an interesting website listing all who have flown around the world.

Being one of the fastest, non-turbine, single engine general aviation aircraft ever built, the Cessna 210 Centurion's strongest attribute is speed.  With all the later models having cruising speeds around 200 knots, this airplane is not only a fast single, and it will flat outrun many light twin aircraft.  The Turbo Centurion was the ‘cats meow’

I fondly remember when you timed your high altitude letdown perfectly by trading attitude for speed for the last 20 miles, the tower would chide you with "cleared straight in approach, be advised maximum speed in airport traffic area is 200 knots, A curt “Roger” would usually bring a come back of “Say type aircraft”, “Roger, Centurion”, followed by the tower’s comeback of “uh, uh, Roger” (just knowing everybody in the tower will have binoculars trained on you to see what a Centurion looks like). After the open question on the tower floor, “hey guys, anyone know what the heck a Centurion is?  Sure is a fast mover.”

We had a special procedure for landing at Grand Bahamas.  After flying along the beach for a few minutes to show the paying customers what their hotel and private beach looked like from the air we would then try to time our approach to blend in with the DC-8s that always seemed to be in a big pattern making practice approaches.  Coming in really low, we would pop up to the proper altitude at the outer marker, and mumble ‘unintelligible (#%*()(#), outer marker inbound full stop’ which would bring a “Roger, continue approach, cleared to land”.

Otherwise, if your engines weren’t hanging under the wings or mounted on the tail, they would give you a holding pattern for about 10 minutes to make sure their regular customers were not inconvenienced by a puddle jumping Cessna.  Should the British ask us to say type on final, our “Roger, Centurion, Sir” would work everytime.

One of the really nice things about the C210 is that it is hard to over gross it and even more difficult to get the CG out of the envelope.  Even with full fuel, which we seldom used for charters, four people usually did not have enough heavy baggage to affect the CG envelope.  A couple of hundred extra pounds of passenger weight were not even noticeable. I guess Cessna was paying attention because they eventually got an extra 200 pounds approved to bring the Max Gross to an even 4,000 pounds without adding any extra horses.  The 300hp Piper Cherokee Six would also allow five seats and some baggage but that fat low wing always made it my second choice.

Good days are here.

Many flight simmers have been eagerly awaiting a really fast, good looking, easy to fly, single engine Cessna.  Wait no more.  This is the one for serious consideration.  As a matter of fact, I don’t think there is actually a second choice.  I just wish the developers would start adding the passengers to the add-on.  Looking over my shoulder at those 4 empty seats is depressing. I think Carenado’s choice of the non-pressurized Turbo model was a good pick for FSX. It will fly high and fast, land slow, and is stable for instrument work and approaches and it sounds great. Did I mention it is a real ‘head turner’ for looks?

As you approach the Carenado Cessna 210 Turbo Centurion II, M model, your eyes should be pleased with the smooth clean lines, double entry doors, lots of glass, 3-bladed propeller, fancy paint job and no wing struts in the way.  That gold Centurion badge is a classy touch.

As you get a little closer, you may notice a few weeks worth of grease and grime has gathered underneath the clean lines of the Centurion. I immediately loaded up the ‘white texture’ thinking it would be ‘paint shop clean’ but was surprised that it is basically the same as all the other painted textures, just without the paint. I guess we need to find one of those youth groups that will wash and wax an airplane for a donation of a couple of hundred dollars or maybe just use our painting skills and make a crystal clean texture for those that prefer to show off their hangar queen.

You can open up the large cabin for viewing with the standard FSX keystrokes of Shift + E + 1, 2, or 3 for the Pilot’s door, Passenger door, and baggage door.

One of the items that seemed a little strange is all the paint dings in the otherwise clean blue/grey panel.  My first impression was that someone had locked a two year old in the plane with a big set of car keys and he beat on the panel until he fell asleep.  There just seems to be way too many dings and a little too severe for my taste. I’m surprised that whoever made all those dings didn’t break the glass face on the backup instruments.

Fortunately, this has no affect whatsoever on the flying characteristics of the plane and I know how to fix it. Search the Avsim Library for a replacement texture file that cleans up the paint dings.

As we look around the spacious interior, the choice of color for the leather is spot on.  The interior seems to be a bit cleaner than the exterior. Oh wow, look up there at the Oxygen control panel.

Last month I wrote the Avsim review of the Carenado Cessna 337H Skymaster and was thoroughly impressed with Carenado’s FSX version.  One of my comments was how realistic the pilot and co-pilot/passenger appeared in the simulation. Much to my surprise, they are the same two guys that come with the CT210M.  Come on Carenado, let’s add a mustache, a different colored shirt, a golf hat or something to make them look like it is a different day at least.

Well, they still look good, and I will probably have them wearing golf shirts soon.

Models, Models, and more Models

I was curious as to where the Turbo M Centurion model fell in the long list of 210 models. It turns out there are lots of lists, some easier to read than others, but they all have generally the same information.  Here is a summary of what I found.

What I can glean from the model history table is the Centurion designation was first used with the D model in 1964, there are no I, O, P or Q model numbers.  The pressurized models start with P, as in P210N or P210R and can be instantly recognized by the 4 small windows on each side.

It's like flying a souped up, sporty 206, except it's faster.
                                                           Glenn Davy

The models that are most like our Carenado simulator version are the 210L, 210N and 210R Turbo Centurions. This is the green highlighted area in the Model Summary Chart.  Almost all the neat improvements showed up in the CT210L model just prior to our M model.  Our model has 10 additional horsepower and an –R engine. Over the next few years, due to the pesky landing gear door problems, Cessna just eliminated the doors and called it an N model.  The R model has a slight elongated stabilizer and a few really minor changes.  Many real world owners have removed the gear doors on their pre–N Models as a cost savings due to the heavy maintenance.

So what this tells me is if you are looking for additional documentation such as a Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) or Owner’s Manual and you can find either the L, M, N or R model at a reasonable price and it is for the TURBO model, then grab it.  If it is not for the Turbo version, I would recommend you pass it up.  The minor differences in these models will not be noticeable in the simulator and you can always make corrections to the manual.

To repeat, it must be the Turbo version or all the climb rates, cruise tables, and a few other speeds and things will not be correct.  Look for the Cessna T210L (Turbo) through the T210R (Turbo) manuals. Of course if you can find the exact one – the 1978 Cessna T210M Turbo – all the better.  The real deal looks like this.

Specifications for this Particular Model – 1978 Cessna 210M Turbo Centurion II

Because this is a simulated version of a real aircraft, the specifications should not be so critical.

However, it seems some people, and I include myself in this group, like to know the exact specs used.

I am here to tell you that I do indeed have the real specs for the real plane, and now, so do you.

Stall Speed (CAS)

Flaps Up, Power Off - 65 Kts
Flaps Down, Power Off - 56 Kts

Ok, back to the cabin orientation.

As I look up above the windshield I see a new addition to most general aviation singles – an oxygen meter and a couple of receptacles.

There are four more of these hose receptacles, one for each of the passengers located above their respective window. A gentle slide of the knob and the available quantity of oxygen is registered on the gauge.

This serves as the emergency shut off valve. Make sure you add oxygen quantity to your pre-start checklist. You never can tell when you might want to go up to the Flight Levels.  This model was built to fly high and go far.

The oxygen system with the continuous flow masks and color coded lines is good for operations up to Fl250.  All the passenger masks are the partial rebreathing type with vinyl plastic hoses and flow indicators.  The actual masks are disposable.

The pilots mask is more permanent with a built in microphone and larger flow rate and has the red color code. All passenger masks are color coded orange. Notice on the Oxygen Duration Chart below, the Pilot Only line has an obviously different duration, due to the higher flow rate.

The two sun visors work with a click. Up or Down.  OAT, Outside air temperature, and whiskey compass are sharp and clear, easy to read.  Pilot’s door and passenger door opens with a click on the respective interior door latch.

Each window opens independently with a click.  I had to open the door first to get a clear view of the window latch, then close the door.  I’m sure the TrackIR users can just lean forward and turn their heads to see the window latch.  No biggie, they work with a click.

I see the Avionics Master switch mounted horizontally in with the circuit breakers along the pilots left knee.  None of the breakers appear to have a modeled function.  While I am testing the AVN PWR on/off switch, I check to make sure the popup GNS530 is in sync with the panel mounted GNS530.

Yep, switch Nav1 frequencies, both change, switch Com1 frequencies, both change.  GPS/Com1/Nav1 frequency test passes.  Practically the entire map area is the click spot to popup the GPS, same for return. A simple  one click anywhere in the map area. Nice.

Yoke check, both are independently clickable to remove, replace.  This is a nice feature for the non-purists so we can see the hidden switches and lighting knobs on the pilot side. It also makes the mag check a lot easier.  The right yoke removal lets us adjust the heat/air knobs and defroster.

Moving on, the parking brake pulls to lock and unlock with a mouse click and drag.  The rudders work properly with the rudder pedals or with a turn of my joystick handle.

Cowl Flaps Operation

The cowl flaps lever might need a little practice getting the hang of using the mouse. At first, it may appear to work backwards, meaning moving the mouse cursor Up moves the level Down and vice versa. When you select the black knob on the Cowl Flap lever the one finger icon becomes a closed fist.  If the cowl flaps lever is in the Open (up) position, a left click and hold with a good positive movement straight up near the red mixture knob will close the cowl flaps just about half way.  Continuing the upward movement up to near the autopilot will place the cowl flaps in the full closed position.

A little practice and you can open or close the cowl flaps, ¼, ½, 3/4, whatever you wish.  The opposite motion opens the cowl flaps.  So, provided the black knob is full down in the closed position, placing the mouse cursor on the black knob will initially have the standard windows pointing arrow as you move around the cockpit. As soon as you select the cowl flaps knob, the cursor becomes the pointy finger.  One press and hold on the left mouse button and the cursor becomes a fist.  A positive downward movement will move the cowl flaps lever up toward the Open position.  It may take two or three motions to achieve full Open depending on your zoom level or selected view.

If you use the ‘A’ keyboard key to select the pre-built view of the cowl flap area, then one good positive mouse movement will fully open or close the cowl flaps.

An alternate method of adjusting the cowl flaps is to use the mouse center scroll wheel.  You can make adjustments or movements as small as 8% with a slight roll either up/down or forward/backwards with the scroll wheel.  Nice touch. The tool tips window will indicate the precise % open or % closed.

You can also use the mouse scroll wheel to flip switches on and off and to turn some of the knobs.  It appears that the scroll wheel can be used throughout the cockpit.  It works great with the throttle, prop, mixture, fuel selector switch, etc.

The pull/flip open/close of the small map compartment storage area appears not to be modeled. I failed to find a method of opening the little door.  I guess that means there is not an iPod loaded with music and moving maps hidden in there.

Daylight check of the light switches, indicators, and lights.

Next, I checked the Light Switch panel, to see if indeed the switches were wired to the proper light or function and worked as expected.  First, Nav lights on/off red on the left, green on the right wing, and white on the tail.  All come on and go off with a click of the switch. Further, the ‘tool tips’ indicate the proper operation and function and the words are spelled correctly.

The next switch over to the right, the rotating beacon, works correctly and the tool tips are correct.

The white strobe lights, one on each wing tip, flash with a brilliant strobe looking rhythmic action work with a press of the strobe switch for on or off and the tool tips are also correct.

The taxi light is a single round light mounted in the nose of the plane on the pilot’s side and works correctly.  The landing light is an identical twin mounted adjacent to the taxi light on the passenger side in the nose of the aircraft.  Both switches on makes a nice dual beam landing light, whether taking off or landing. So Left switch, left light, taxi; Right switch, right light, Landing light.  Tool tips correct again.

Two more switches round out the lower left switch panel.  The De-Ice light which is a very directional little rectangular white light mount flush in the forward left fuselage to shine a spot on the leading edge of the left wing so the pilot can monitor any ice buildup.

The other is the Pitot Heat switch.  Other than going out and checking if the pitot tube warms up with a flip of the switch, take a look at the ammeter and see a bump of the needle when the switch is turned on. This tells you the pilot heater is indeed drawing a few amps.

Night time check of the lights.

Hopefully, everyone knows how to change the time of day while in the sim.

Rhythmic strobes look great in the dark. Rotating beacon mounted on top of the vertical stabilizer looks good, nav lights look good. Taxi and takeoff lights are not the super duper ones but do perform the function correctly.  The wing De-Ice light places a nice lighted area on the leading edge of the left wing to check for ice buildup.

I don’t see any lighting of the runway or taxiway, just the lights come on or go off.  Oops, I almost forgot - there is a check box in the FSX Display Settings for the aircraft lights to shine on the ground.  That is where you select if the aircraft creates a shadow on itself or on the ground or both. These are the typical Cessna 300 watt round landing lights in the real world and it appears they are doing their job in the simulation with the equivalent virtual wattage.  Good Job, Carenado.

I’m not very impressed with the main panel lighting.  Panel lights appear to be either full on or full off with the on position providing more light than I would prefer for night flying.  Unfortunately, you cannot see the airspeed indicator or altimeter well enough to fly safely with the panel lights off.  While in the cockpit at night and taking screenshots, the lighting seems OK, but trying to fly in a darkened room is not very nice. The panel is much too bright for my taste.

This could be a nice tweak to provide some variable intensity panel lighting or individual instrument lights or some sort of controllable lighting for night flying.

Some of the instruments have very nice looking internal lighting, like the backup altimeter and the power and fuel flow gauges, but I can’t seem to dim the flood lights to make use of the individual instrument lights.  2 demerits.

The lower panel switches and air flow panels have wonderful looking backlighting that is easy on the eyes, but the flood lights overpower everything in the cockpit.  The dome light in the center, top of the cabin works with the press of the ‘L’ keyboard key but it doesn’t provide enough light to see the panel instruments. Drat.  I thought I might have found a way around the full bright panel lights.  Maybe one of those little high intensity flashlights.  But, you can talk to ATC while holding one of those in your mouth.

Carenado’s 3D Instruments.

The flight instruments have been upgraded to the new 3D version which are probably smoother and more accurate than the Cessna round instruments of 1978.  All are bright, clear, and operate very smoothly. I wish the they had taken the airspeed indicator one more step and modeled the temperature/pressure altitude dial to compute density altitude.

The backup altimeter and artificial horizon are quality instruments in the lower left of the panel.

The right side of the panel is home to the dual power gauges. Both are crystal clear and easy to read accurately.  Typical Cessna manifold pressure, fuel flow and RPM.

Just above is the standard Hobbs meter and to the right is a standard suction meter.

Rectangular green band cylinder head temperature and Oil temperature meters adjacent to the Exhaust Gas Temperature, EGT meter for tweaking the mixture leaning process are located just under the standard Ammeter and Oil Pressure meter.

The red switch in the upper right is for operating the ELT, Emergency Locator Transmitter.

I have so many of the Carenado FSX models that all the round gauges are beginning to look alike.  Maybe that is because they are alike and they just keep using the same gauges over and over in the different airplanes.

Kind of like using the same pilots. Hey, you need to make them a little different if for no other reason, we will think we are getting something new for our money.

Avionics Stack.

At first glance you see a nice big screen GPS530 which is more or less the Carenado standard but when coupled with the GPS 430 they make a great combination. The Com1/Nav1 radio is built into the large 530 and Com2/Nav2 is directly below in the 430.  This saves two full width  panel slots and we get the autopilot mounted closer to a good working height with the ADF and transponder completing the stack.

I made a printable, colorful little reminder of where to find the various click spots on the 530 GPS.  The 430 click spots are almost the same as these.

The 530 is just different enough from the default GPS500 to make you think about what you are doing.  I have limited grey matter so I have to make notes and charts to remind me.  Then I just have to remember where I put the notes.  Duh.

Although sometimes overlooked until needed, the Garmin GMA 340 audio panel is found at the top of the stack as you would expect and has all the necessary push to use buttons with properly colored indicators and home of the approach beacon indicators. So when that outer marker or middle marker start blasting in your headset you should know where to look to silence that specific sound. (Top left)  This is usually on takeoff when you are climbing out. The left side is for the pilot and right side for the copilot.

Those owners of the matching Reality XP upgrades can easily replace these standard units with their enhanced versions.  BTW just upgrading either GPS to Reality XP is more expensive than the Centurion add-on itself but the owners swear by them.

Two of the pdf files found in the Carenado folder in your FSX home folder are user manuals for the 430/530 GPS.  This is an overview of the 430 graphics.

You will also find a 3 page overview of the Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot (AP) Flight System.  Notice this is more than just an autopilot, it is a flight system. This is where you start your Flight Director (FD) and engage the Heading Mode that you adjust on the directional gyro. This is a slightly simplified version of the real one but I don’t think you will miss any of the non-modeled features.

I especially like the nice big red ON button and the lighted press to use buttons so you know at a glance what is turned on or engaged.  This model is one of the better ones for controlling the pitch functions. Some of the previous models where nothing but a headache.

A Google search and you can find some real world documentation of this AP system with various illustrated approaches and more detail than you would ever want to know.  You can find the downloadable rw pilot guide online.

You can find a wealth of avionics guides for downloading for viewing.

This is an example for one of several illustrated approaches using the Bendix AP flight system.

The KFC 225 three axis system provides lateral, vertical, and yaw modes with altitude preselect.  It doesn’t get any better than this in a single engine plane.

Rounding out the avionics stack is the King KR 87ADF receiver and Garmin GTX 327. The ADF appears to be a bare bones model with nothing more than an On knob and a digital frequency display. You change the station by placing the mouse cursor on the individual frequency digit and rolling the scroll wheel.

The Garmin GTX 327 is also a bare bones modeling job with only the most basic of features but does still have the digital flight timer.  It is exactly that, no count up or count down timers or Pressure Altitude readouts like the real one. Oh, you can use it for a transponder by selecting the proper codes or letting FSX select them for you when using the default ATC function.

Download

OK, so what do I get in the download?

The Turbo Centurion II is listed at $34.95 USD, on the Carenado website. Like many Carenado products, it can be purchased at other websites such as the Avsim Store. Many forms of payment are available and upon checkout, you will then be given the executable to download or sometimes you may receive an email with the order confirmation that will include a download link and serial number. The ZIP file name is a little cryptic and does not have any correlation to the CT210M that I can see. The exe file is 124MB, the installation is simple and quick, and requires only a username or email address and password as well as the FSX directory. If using win7, ensure you have Admin privileges.

The text file states the installation should take less than a minute once you unzip it, double click on the exe, add the user name and serial when prompted and bingo.  Grab your stop watch and see how close to a minute it takes.

Documentation

The installation will place the necessary aircraft files in the FSX/Simobjects folder including five repaints, and a new Carenado/CT210M Centurion II folder in the main FSX directory folder which contains 8 PDF files.  This one does not come with an Owner’s Manual or a Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) as many other high end add-ons do. It does have some parts and pieces of a Cessna CT210M Centurion II 30 year old Pilot’s Operating Handbook lookalike . Here is what you will find for documentation in your FSX/Carenado/CT210M Centurion II folder:

The meat of the documentation is the one large file – Normal & Emergency Procedures – Performance tables - and covers the normal & emergency checklists; engine out procedures, forced landings, fires, landing gear malfunction, electrical failures, Icing, and 12 cruise performance charts. These cruise performance charts start at 2,000 ft and go up to FL240 in 2,000 increments.

You will probably want to print out the reference sheet as it has all the speeds that you need to learn.

FL220 seems to be a practical choice of altitude for long distance cruise or maybe just to get over some local weather. The time it takes to get up to these altitudes must be taken into account.  Sometimes it may be better to fly a few knots slower at the lower altitudes.  This chart is a cut and paste of three difference cruise charts. Another one of those that may be handy to print and keep as a reference.

Remember to tap the brakes when you have positive rate of climb to stop the wheel from spinning. That has always been a good reminder for me to initiate the gear up sequence. I always taught my advanced students to delay the gear up sequence in the Cessna 210 due to the excessive drag caused by the wheel well doors hanging out. Raise that gear too early and your prop will be eating concrete before you know it.  You have a net increase in drag rather than a net increase in lift when those huge doors are opened and it seems to take forever for the ‘stow the gear’ sequence to complete.

This plane has much higher drag when the gear doors are open. IRL this caused a lot of crashes when people got just barely airborne at maximum takeoff weight and tried to immediately reduce the drag by retracting the gear.
Unfortunately exactly the opposite happens initially and the plane settles back onto the runway.                                  
                                                                                                 Bstolle

Here is the abbreviated gear down sequence. This designer must have been one hell of a salesman to convince Mr. Cessna that this is was a solid long term solution for a retractable gear design. Once it is either up or down, it is very slick, it is just the really wield transition path that is amazing and entertaining from a distance.  He must have spent a lot time watching the ducks and geese. They must have Canadian Geese in Wichita. Sure they do.

Learn to pay attention to the engine temperature.

Cowl flaps for engine cooling may be new to some of you so make sure you read up on the when, why and how to save excessive wear and tear on the engines. There are two cowl flaps, one on each side of the bottom cowling. The one cockpit lever open and closes both of them together. The cylinder head and oil temperature gauges should be in your cockpit scan.

The mixture setting is also a means of cooling the engine.

 

Exceptional screenshots by Soya, exceptional HD textures by Carenado.

About Flying the Carenado Centurion in FSX

It doesn’t get much better than this.  The VC is crystal clear, the aircraft is generally modeled correctly, it has great sounds, it is easy to fly and it looks good.  Being the top of the line for Cessna singles, once you master this one, the only step up will be one of the Cessna twins if you desire to stay in the family.

I can easily recommend you look at the Carenado Cessna Skymaster 337H should you decide you would like to explore flying with more than one engine. I think the Skymaster’s FDE may be closer to the real thing than this one but, you must remember, this is a simulation and as such it is practically impossible to relate the roll rate or the feel from one desk setup to another.

One, it will be a logical and easy step for you, and two, both aircraft have a lot in common and actually share many parts in the RW.  You can see my views on the Carenado C337H Skymaster.

If you are checking out in the Centurion, then let’s assume you have some HPSE virtual flight time. This is High Performance Single Engine simulator time.  This may or may not be true but, we have to start with some assumptions.  If yes, you will find this one flies just like all its little brothers or sisters.  The single item that may be new is the wheels come up, fold away, and the airspeed is higher than any of those siblings.

Usually high performance equates somewhat with more complex, but, this is not really a complex aircraft.  True, it has a constant speed propeller, and that could be new to a few of you.  Just read up on Manifold Pressure and Propeller settings and check your power settings like you do in say the Cessna 182or 206.  Because this one is turbocharged the performance is somewhat greater than the normally aspirated Centurion but, the results are mostly a shorter climb to altitude duration and a much higher cruising altitude.

The view from the flight levels will be a new experience for some of you.  You can’t quite see the curvature of the earth, but you can certainly see further than the typical 5,500 foot cruising altitude and you can fly over some of the weather that you have been flying around for years. This will require you practice some descent planning to arrive at your destination airport at the correct speed and altitude.

One big advantage in learning to fly a Centurion in FSX compared to the real world equivalent is the savings in fuel and insurance expenses, not to mention the non-existent monthly or quarterly aircraft payment. Fuel cost should not be a factor in selecting your cruising altitude and this baby really wants to fly high. Take a look at the Fl220 cruise chart.

Make sure you become familiar with the documentation.  Read all the fine print when using these charts.  Learn a little about Pressure Altitude, standard temperature for altitudes, conditions such as gross weight, properly leaned mixture, position of cowl flaps, etc.

Usually at these higher altitudes, you cannot over boost an engine and have to work hard to match any given Cessna performance chart. Your goal should be to cruise at the maximum speed and power settings for that altitude and monitor your fuel flow rate.

At FL220 with a power setting of 2,500 RPM and 30 IN MP with all the other standard conditions, you are trying to register a TAS of 202 knots.  Usually Cessnas try to get to 75% power at altitude but, you are turbocharged so you are shooting for 80%.

Remember, you have invested a lot of time just climbing to the rare air, and you have been on oxygen for the last half hour so let’s make it count.

You will also not be hampered with the real world P factor. Yes, that is exactly what it sounds like, nothing to do with a propeller. As soon as you are ready to announce that you finally have everything tweaked properly, the EGT is perfect and the fuel flow matches the tables, someone, usually your spouse, announces she absolutely must go to the bathroom immediately.  Believe me, you cannot get down quick enough to make a difference.  Just make sure you don’t make any silly remarks about the funny way she is walking once you do get on the ground again.

It is not uncommon to have a tailwind, or if unlucky a headwind, of 50 knots or more at these higher altitudes.  You will need to pay more attention to winds and weather, even in the simulator. The real weather settings for FSX introduce a whole new ball game to many sim pilots when they ‘fly high’. Enjoy the simulation.

Learn More

There are almost unlimited tutorials, books, articles, and such and Google will return way more sites than you can read but, here is one that has a lot of depth in discussing flying the Cessna Centurion.  Their main focus is real world operations, but practically everything that works the those guys and girls will work for you in the virtual world.

Probably nothing is really essential other than FSX being configured and running properly and the Carenado Centurion being installed correctly, but, for those that would like to learn more about flying high performance singles and specifically flying this airplane, my recommendation would be to invest in Danielle and Oleg’s Cessna 210 Training Manual, published by Red Sky Ventures.  I refer to this manual quite often and have been influenced by their writings. If some of my statements sound like they came from the book, they probably did.  Fortunately, I have Danielle’s permission to quote from their manual for this review.  You will notice each and every page of the Cessna 210 Training Manual has a copyright notice at the top of the page.  A lot of time, effort, and genuine hard work goes into producing these types of training manuals and the author’s copyright should be respected.

Danielle has more than 1,000 logged hours in the Cessna 210 and works as an airline pilot in South Africa flying 737s and various charter aircraft.

Some things are really important.

Like making sure that you fully extend the landing gear prior to landing.  If you have a lot of flight time in the fixed gear Cessna family it is easier than you think to forget to let the gear down.  A checklist is in order here.  Some type of acronym works just fine.  It doesn’t really matter how long or how short or how you remember it, just the fact that you do it EVERY TIME.

You can recover from many mistakes while flying, but landing gear up is not one of them.  Remember, it takes full power to taxi after a gear up landing.

There are those pilots that have landed gear-up and there are those pilots that will land gear-up.

A short, simple memory jog that works for me is G U M P, Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Props. It is not eloquent, definitive, comprehensive, or sexy, but it works.  It works, only because I use it on each and every approach to a landing,  whether the landing gear is fixed or not.  There are many variations of this short, simple, little checklist.  Find one that you like and use it.

For instrument approaches, I was taught the gear is to be down and locked at the Outer Marker.  If not, execute an immediate missed approach.  This sounds kind of silly, but I would much rather spend the time and expense on a missed approach than on a new engine, prop and underbelly.

Some like to fly a standard traffic pattern in lieu of straight in approaches or abbreviated or modified  approaches. This has something to do with when certain checklist items should be completed.  There are many items required for safe flight, but these basic four must be near the top of most lists.

I read several of the posts at the Avsim Carenado support forum and found the typical disappointments in the FDE for the Centurion.  One of them was on a tear about how he couldn’t get a good clean stall with the CT210M.  I don’t even bother with folks like that. This is a normal category aircraft in real life and once you get to the owner level or have a close friend with a 210, I seriously doubt you will be spending much time doing stalls and barrel rolls. Another one couldn’t figure out how to feather the prop. Say what?  Where do we find these guys?

This one should be your cross country and ‘Let’s get away for the weekend’ add-on.  You can click off a lot of distance at 200 knots cruise speed.  It is also great for keeping current with your instrument approaches and occasional VFR on top.  Oh, and if the need should present itself, it makes a perfect choice for weekend charters to the Bahamas or a few days in Las Vegas.  Or checking out the latest expansion of the FTX ORBX Pacific Northwest, or the fjords, or the mountains.  Did someone say mountains? No hill for this climber.

I would bet the new FTX scenery for South Island, NZ will be a magnet for the Turbo Centurion.  So much scenery, so little time.  I understand there are some big hills down there and this is the perfect plane for going high.

Rather than simply repeat or make a list of what Carenado has posted at the website about their Cessna Centurion II for FSX, I did a screen capture for you.

This page is for those that want to compare the HD textures to the LITE version.  I don’t need to tell you which is which.  Soya had to reinstall this LITE version to make the screenshots.  He stated he had no use for them with his super powerful hardware so he never installed them.  I asked if he would install just one to show the difference. The HD is 2048 x 2048 16 bit, the Lite is 1024 x 1024 16 bit which isn’t bad until you compare it to the HD version.

Conclusion.

This is the section that I am not looking forward to writing.  I am torn between a full blown ‘atta boy” and a ‘wish list’ of items that I wish was included or being worked on for a future SP or patch.

On the ‘atta boy’ side of the coin, Carenado has put so much good stuff into this add-on it is almost a shame not to simply ignore my wish list.  I was just reviewing the text and got stuck on the page of the close-up screenshots by Soya of the red/white livery.  This qualifies as seriously outstanding HD textures and appears to be spot on accurate in all details. I can’t think of any general aviation add-on that I have in my hangar that looks any better than this one. Not one.

I get back in the pilot’s seat and look around the well appointed cabin and think, wow, this is really an extremely well done interior.  Look at all that detail.  I play with the animations, work the cowl flaps lever a few times, open the doors, open the windows, flip the sun visors up and down a few times, click the big GPS screen and watch it popup, click it again and put it back in the avionics stack.

I glance over at that autoflight system and think, they finally gave me the perfect autopilot mounted at the correct level. I check the oxygen quantity one more time. I look over my shoulder at the leather seats and headliner details. Boy, I wish those seats had some passengers in them. Just the right amount of tint in the glass for me.  I really hate those dull, faded, dirty windows with fake reflections that some developers are so fond of making – these are clear and clean with just the correct amount of tint.

I get out and kick the tires, look at all those perfectly simulated rivets, run my fingers down the leading edge of the propeller, no dings, look at my reflection in the spinner.  I gaze at the landing lights and recall how well they light up the runway at night. I wonder if that big beautiful wing has the laminar flow properly modeled. I read the review yet another time and find more ways of saying the same thing, yet again.  This is a really nice model and it is by far the best high wing single that we have in FSX. This is that long awaited HPSE Cessna turbo.  So what is the problem here.

I think it is simply that I want too much. I want the night lighting fixed.  I want to be able to dim those panel lights, I want to have a wee bit better tweaking on the roll rate, I want more documentation.  I want another ten pages from the POH/owners manual. I want a truly clean white texture for my repaints, including the underbelly. I want, I want, I want.

Then I go fly again.

I fly a simple traffic pattern.  This is really nice, comes off the runway all by itself, stable, hands off climb, nice, ease into that climbing left turn, trim works good, sounds are excellent, is that roll rate correct, I ask myself, it feels a bit weak. I do my GUMP checklist on downwind, power back, bleed off that airspeed, trim for the glide, a little more trim, slow descending turn to base, speed correct.

Look right for traffic, all clear, OK, I turn on final, put in the last of those big fowler flaps, trim for 75 knots, nice, now 70, slowly take off that last little bit of power, over the fence now, start a slow flare, easy now.  I look out the window for the third time to assure myself, yes, the gear is down and locked.  I’m now in ground effect, I float a little, raise the nose a little more, nice. Check the horizon, attitude is just right, wings level, need to keep the nose a little higher than most, this thing sits tail low, last touch of up trim, that sure is a big wing with huge flaps, any time now, a few more inches, touchdown.

I almost hear a squeak as both mains touch in unison. More like a kiss. OK, hold that back pressure, hold it, hold it, ok, nose gear touches. I thought I was going to run out of elevator there for a minute there. Flaps up, cowl flaps open. Yep, this is a big fine Cessna. Hard to believe this is a simulation.

Now I remember that sound, it is the sound of a butterfly landing with sore feet.  I taxi back for a virtual top off of those 90 gallon tanks thinking the next flight will be to FL240. Let’s get a crowd together and go get high. This is fun.  I will be the pilot.

But, first I need to send an email to our Avsim review editor.  I am recommending the Carenado Cessna 210 Centurion Turbo for FSX for the coveted Avsim Gold Star award.  Thanks Robert, thanks Patrick, thanks Hernando.

Recommendation.

Go get it.  Fly High, fly fast, often.  I hope it’s not too late for Santa to bring some of you lucky simmers a nice present.  This will sure make a good one.  If we miss Christmas, there is always the year end, then March madness, then July 4th, then Labor Day, oh well, you get the drift, you may not even need an excuse, just do it.

Photo credits. Old 1960 C210 Page 6, 3 photos from For sale ad by Newberg Brothers Inc, N7425E posted on internet, Page 7 newer C210 panel photo, Copyright Alex McMahon, Airliners.net, Old cream colored N7431E C210 flying, Copyright Mark Pasqualino, Airport-Data.com,   gear up landing photos, no copyrights found,picasaweb.google.com James’s Gallery

Copyright credit for Cessna 210 Training Manual.  Red Sky Ventures, Danielle Bruckert & Oleg Roud, Used with Permission.
Patrick van der Nat, aka Soya, has provided practically all original screenshots for this review. Patrick van der Nat, Screenshot Artist extraordinaire, resident of Jersey, UK Channel Islands.

You can find some of Soya’s videos that show off the sceneries online and Soya’s FSX screenshot library.

Reviewer's Note: Thanks to all the Avsim volunteers that work behind the scenes to make these reviews possible, those that update our front page every day, moderate our growing forums, keep our download library working and up-to-date, run the store, do the advertising, and all the other important things that we seldom even think about.

Update:

In this review you will find 3 freeware repaints that are not part of the Carenado T210M download.  The five repaints shown below are the standard Carenado liveries plus one all white repaint.  These come as both HD (2048 x 2048) and LITE (1024 x 1024) textures.

Soya has also showcased three additional freeware repaints.  Two of the freeware repaints are available for download at the Avsim library and the 3rd, VH-BRD, Southern Cross, is available at Aussex.org, courtesy of Richard Louis in Belgium.

John Glanville, our Netherlands friend, is the author of the excellent repaint PH-VDC featured in several of the screenshots. I have dozens of his AirbusX repaints in my hangar.

 PT-KAM is from a 4 pack of excellent repaints from Brazil by Diego Costa, also available in the Avsim library.

I usually send a thank you email to the authors of the freeware repaints that I download just to let them know that I appreciate the time and effort they put forth for my pleasure.

 

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Cessna T210M Centurion II

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