AVSIM Commercial FSX Aircraft Review

Baron 58

Product Information

Publishers: Carenado

Description: General Aviation FSX add-on.

Download Size:
81 MB

Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FSX
Reviewed by: Aidan Sandri AVSIM Staff Reviewer - June 19, 2011

Introduction:

The Baron 58 is a twin engine, pressurized aircraft developed by Beechcraft and is a variant of the Bonanza. The Baron 58 was introduced in 1970 and can cruise at 200 knots. The Carenado version of the aircraft includes:

- 3D gauges.
- Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft.
- Two original GNS 430.
- Pop up B58 manual with normal, emergency checklist and performance tables.
- Realistic night lights effect on virtual cockpit.
- FSX features: external dynamic shadows, internal dynamic shadows on VC, volumetric normal mapping, specular mapping and bloom lights.
- Full moving parts: Ailerons, elevators, rudders, flaps, rolling wheels and trim tab.
- Lights: Navigation lights, landing and taxi lights.
- 3D modeled pilots, cockpit area and passenger cabin area.
- Real behavior compared to the real airplane.

Test System

Computer Specs
i5 750 @ 3.5Ghz
Nvidia 9800GT 1Gb
8Gb DDR3 Ram
Windows 7 64

Flight Test Time:
12 hours

Installation/Documentation:

Installing the Baron onto your PC is very simple - download the 81MB .exe file, run it, follow the steps and enter your email and serial code that you would have received upon purchase. Once this is done, the aircraft will install; like I said, very simple! The documentation that is included in the aircraft can also be loaded within the sim, or in the MSFSX Folder > Carenado Folder.

All the documentation was very helpful when flying the aircraft as it has a procedure/checklist .pdf file you can use on how to successfully fly the aircraft. Also included are; how to operate the autopilot, the GNS 430, Reference Speeds, and a diagram of the Virtual Cockpit which is rather complex but is actually very helpful when referring to stuff from the checklist.

Overall the documentation is great and for simmers who want to get in-depth with this add-on, I’m sure they will find it all helpful.

Interior Model:

The Baron 58 does not come with a 2D cockpit, and as the Virtual Cockpit now offers 3D gauges you do not have the usual 2D pop ups which can be viewed up close. In fact the only 2D pop-ups available with this Carenado release are the; GPS, Manual, Aircraft Settings (static items etc) and the autopilot. For those who may be put off now because of the lack of 2D pop-ups and a 2D panel for frame rates, unfortunately, frame rates were not as good on this aircraft as with previous releases.

The overall look of the cockpit gives you a feel that you are in a Baron 58 - but unfortunately the aircraft is very clean, I would have liked to have seen some dirt added to the overall aircraft as I'm sure that in real life, an aircraft of this nature would be used on multiple occasions each day (like at a flight school).

When looking in the cockpit, everything you would expect to be there is there, the circuit breakers are 3D, the lights, battery, avionics switches are all clear colored switches which are easy to see and flick. Everything in the cockpit is in place, but a small feature that I felt was missing were the screws on the front of the panel, these are 2D. Even though they are EXTREMELY small and most simmers would miss this, I would have liked to have seen this in the cockpit.

The 3D gauges are amazing to look at, zoomed in or zoomed out, they are crisp and easy to read. You can clearly see and tell that Carenado has put a lot of effort into these gauges, and it is clearly one of the selling points for this aircraft. The Baron 58 uses both the left click and right click buttons of your mouse for the GPS, switches etc, and also uses the scroll on your mouse for various items around the cockpit, such as the ignition switch and the fuel selector. I found that to be a nice and easy way to change things instead of, "Oops, I pressed the wrong button!!"

The overall quality of this cockpit is amazing, I have a few of Carenado's aircraft and it seems that each time the Virtual Cockpits get better. The Baron 58 is no exception with this pattern. The only downside I had about the cockpit would be that the RealityXP 430/540GNS is not easy to install as the RealAir Duke’s, which can be installed by the configuration panels. Instead, a few members on the Carenado Support Forums here at AVSIM (including Senior Staff Reviewer, Bert Pieke) will supply you with the necessary steps to install the new GPS into the Baron. You can CLICK HERE to see how to install it.

Exterior Model:

By default, the Baron 58 comes installed with five liveries (one white - used for repainters, four colored paints). All the repaints show the detail in the aircraft and the writing (not much, but there is some) is easy to see and read. The aircraft’s outside is rather clean, which I guess you could say would be from the owner of this aircraft maintaining his plane. There is a 2D panel available which lets you add static items (chocks, pitot cover, traffic cones etc) to the outside of the aircraft.

You can see the detail put into the outside of the aircraft with all the rivets and markings. The windows are also transparent allowing you to easily see into the cabin/cockpit. There is an option as well that allows you to choose Tinted Windows or not.

There are nine custom views available (with mine being angle view 2 & 6) which allow you to see the complexity of the outside of the aircraft. The lights are also very well done and act as a real aircraft’s lights would react. The quality of the exterior is on par with the interior model, the FPS are the same as the interior - which were not the friendliest.

Flight Model

When starting the aircraft, you can perform a full start up procedure or use the default FSX way by pressing Ctrl+E. When the engines start up, you get a realistic effect where all the (3D!!!) gauges will rise and the engine will begin to stabilize.  When taxing, the Baron 58 had a nice, easy control system to operate with and while taxing I found it to be not difficult at all.

Now we advance the throttle to full, watch our gauges to check everything is within operating limits, and the aircraft will begin to pick up speed and will climb away into the sky. I did notice with this FDE that the aircraft was very responsive on takeoff - it was very touchy, the controls I believe, could have been a lot stiffer. When the flaps are up, you can still notice how touchy the aircraft is, especially in a turn.

During my test flight of the Flight Model, I did have a 10 knot wind bumping me around and the Baron 58 did bump around a bit which felt rather realistic for an aircraft of this type. When I was at cruise, I used the trim to help assist me with maintaining a V/S of 0 feet and I found this rather difficult. With that said, most of the time I kept it well above -500 and well below +500 feet/per min.

On approach with the gear down and flaps on the DN switch, the Flight Model did feel a lot more realistic than without flaps. The aircraft was stiffer to turn, but not so stiff that you had trouble with it. On landing, my touchdown V/S was -200, which I thought was alright. I dropped the nose down and then applied brakes to slow down. The aircraft did not stop within a few seconds, but had more of a realistic slowdown speed.

Sounds

First up - I was unable to find any switches, levers etc which made a noise. Although when you push the gear lever down or flaps down/up you do hear them operating. The engines also have a nice roar when your manifold pressure gets to around 30HG. The fuel pumps use the same noises as the default FSX aircraft and I wish a bit more detail had been put into this.

There is also a gear down warning sound, which occurs when you pull your throttle too far back and your gear is not down. The only problem I found with this was if you needed to descend quickly, you would pull your throttle back and hear this noise, meaning you would have way too much extra airspeed.

Summary / Closing Remarks

The Beechcraft Baron 58 is Carenado's 3rd twin engine aircraft on the market. It features 3D gauges and superior graphics, all costing the simmer about $33USD. If you are somebody who does not get upset when the Flight Model is not perfect, but love the sounds and graphics, then this may be an excellent aircraft for you. It is a fun aircraft to fly and perfect for more of a "lite" simmer.

 

What I Like About The Carenado Baron 58

  • Thank You Carenado - 3D Gauges!
  • Installation is Simple & Easy.
  • No installer for RealityXP - instead simmers have to do it themselves.
  • Interior Model & External Model are very nicely made.

 

What I Don't Like About The Carenado Baron 58

  • Aircraft is not as frame rate friendly as previous releases.
  • Flight Model - Some may say it feels correct, others may differ - I felt it was unrealistic in most aspects.

 

Printing

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