AVSIM Commercial Aircraft Review

Carenado Cessna 182Q Skylane II & 182Q LR

Product Information
Publisher: Carenado
Description:  Cessna C182Q Skylane.
Download Size:
36.5 MB
Format:
Download
Simulation Type:
FS 2004
Reviewed by: Joe Mercurio AVSIM Staff Reviewer - August 11, 2006

Introduction

The Cessna series of aircraft may just be the largest collection of all time. Between the L-3B Grasshopper and the Citation X, the Cessna Aircraft Company has been building remarkable aircraft since 1927. Cessna has made aircraft to cope with all roles and environments throughout their history.

During Vietnam, one of Cessna’s most inimitable workhorses was constructed, the “Oscar Deuce”, a.k.a. O-2A/C337. (Skymaster) This aircraft incorporated a unique push-pull design engine system, and proved invaluable in spotting enemy troop positions and enabling them to mark their target with a position rocket. This aircraft was very reliable and many are still being flown in the civilian version, today’s C337.

The reason I mentioned the Skymaster is because of the traits it shares with the Cessna 182Q. Both aircraft are very forgiving, they are both workhorses, and they are still used after countless years in action. The Skylane series was to be the “Higher performance” series of single engine aircraft.

Purchase and Installation

Test System

Win XP Pro
2.6GHZ P4
85GB HDD
1GB RAM
ATI Radeon X850 Pro 256MB
Saitek X52 Joystick Digital Programming Console MFD
CH Pro Pedals
Audigy 2 Soundcard

Flying Time:
15+ hours

Purchase of the Cessna 182Q was simple, done right at Carenado’s website. The website also offers many screenshots and details of this aircraft. To purchase, you must have an account at Carenado’s site. If you do not have an account, the setup of a new account is also very simple.

Once your account has been created, a simple “add to basket” button is pressed, then you check out. Money transfer is done through a secure connection (Credit Card or bank transfer), and then an on-screen receipt is displayed. This product is $19.95 USD.

I recommend you save the text and/or print it out. A confirmation e-mail is sent along with the download link. With cable internet connection, I got a download speed of about 80 kb/s. The download “CE900.zip” is the default filename, and inside this zipped folder will be your Executable file. Installation is simple, and takes less than a minute. Make sure to back up your installer!

Documentation

The detail and attention put into Carenado’s POH’s, or Pilot Operating Handbook, has always been colossal. The 182Q comes with 5 separate documents that open with Adobe Reader. These documents include: Checklist, Emergency, Performances, Panel Manual, and Upload rights. All of the included documents are very user friendly, come with all the real life 182Q information, and have a bold look to them. I tip my cap to Carenado for impressing me with these great manuals.

Exterior Model

It looks to be that Carenado was again able to maintain their reputation for outstanding quality, attention to detail, and modeling the smallest of things, like the Pitot tube cover. (Remove Before Flight tag.) I will always be impressed with the work put into their visual models.

Let’s start from the ground up. The wheels on the 182Q have visible treads, brake caliper, brake line, and other small detailed parts. The user may choose if he or she would like to load the aircraft with wheel pants, without wheel pants, or without a front wheel pant.

The bottom of the fuselage has exhaust smudges and normal wear of the airframe, making the aircraft very realistic. (Trust me, I wash airplanes) Moving up, the cowl flaps are a neat part of the model, and the animations are correct along with their positions. When the cowl flaps are retracted, they are barley noticeable as they are streamlined with the rest of the fuselage. And yes, if you look inside them, you will see they have the blacked surface from the exhaust.

Up next, the cowling area. The general shape of cowling and nacelle is both pleasant to look at and makes the aircraft perform correctly. Detail implied to the engine, landing lights, exhaust pipe, spinner, propeller, rivets and vents, are all high quality and very crisp and smooth. The windows have that nice light blue tint to them and a nice sun glare when viewed from the correct angle.

The doors, opening windows, and luggage door are again the things that make this aircraft. The qualities of these animations are absolutely perfect. There are no signs of overlapping of textures, or misprints of detail. If the parking brake is on, and the master switch is off, the Control Lock and the pitot tube cover is inserted.

The top of the aircraft, or the wings and tail section, is another errorless part of this model. All wing strobes and navigation lights are in the proper place, ailerons and flap movements are both correct and have near fluid movement, and the detail of the rivets and general shape of the wing is impressive. There are also visible fuel caps and fuel sump drains.

The tail section, which includes the elevator, rudder, vertical stabilizer (fin) and horizontal stabilizer are the next pieces to be observed. I found again, that this section was error proof but for the exception of one thing; on some paints, there is the smallest error on the underside of the fuselage to the rear, where it meets from left to right. This is not noticeable during normal operation, only when I was examining it with a fine tooth comb. All animations, again, are correct from rotating beacon down. Rudder, trim tab, and elevator all have correct functions.

Virtual Cockpit and Detailed Animations

The clarity and detail of the Virtual Cockpit in payware aircraft can either attract the customer or turn him away. There is no doubt that the day I saw the screenshots of the VC in the 182Q, I was glued to this aircraft. Because GA aircraft are fun for both VFR and some IFR, I am almost always in the VC, and if the virtual cockpit is bad or blurry, I am turned away. Not the case here…

The Virtual Cockpit and Cabin are both fully interactive and frame rate friendly, which is a biggie for the lower end computers. A neat part of the animations in the cockpit is the virtual pilot. When viewed in spot view, he moves his head to the direction of turns, is affected by the G-load, moves the yoke, and in level flight, scans for traffic! (Even though he won’t say “whoop whoop traffic!” to you.)

The pilot is removed from the airplane when the engine is off, master switch is off, and the parking brake set. Another Carenado first includes the moving seats (done by clicking the seat) and the control lock. In the VC, when the master switch is off, parking brake set, etc… a Control lock is placed through the hole in the yoke. As hard as you try, the yoke will not move in the VC, but moves when you look out the window. Both yokes are removable with a simple mouse click.

More features of the VC are the sun visors which can be moved to block the sun. And yes, you can move only your side, or both, as each visor is independently controlled. (Done by clicking on the visor.) I recommend using Active Camera made by AntiCyclone or Flight1 view utility. When you fly the 182Q, you really feel “there” when flying in the VC.

2D Panel

The attractive black panel of the 182Q isn’t only for fashion. This panel is very well made. The reason being, its clickable pop-up gauges, clarity, simplicity, and user friendliness. IFR flights were easy because of the ability to enlarge windows and gauges for more accurate “by the numbers” flying. The pop-up gauges can be accessed by the SHIFT + # command, or by using the panel manager located at the top left of the screen. The yokes are removable by clicking them, and there are 3 available viewpoints to fly with. This panel is in a class by itself because of its superb looks, functions, and accuracy.

The panel comes with autopilot and GPS for improved navigation, but I personally try to stay away from these as it takes away the joy you get from “taking the stick” yourself. The autopilot does come in handy for those cross-country flights however…

Flying and Navigating the 182Q

As I mentioned earlier, the 182Q comes with autopilot and GPS. Some people prefer it, and some don’t. Personally I choose to fly by hand and sight, not by screen and buttons. It’s easy to do both. The aircraft comes with two versions, the 182Q and 182QLR. There are 3 paints for the standard version, and the LR version, or Long Range, comes with one “Coast Guard SAR” paint, that gives you 19 more gallons of 100LL fuel to burn.

The 182Q handles right up to the real model. After reading many articles, I have compared the 182Q to them and I almost get the same performance. In order to fly this aircraft correctly, you must first understand the concept of the constant speed propeller in order to maintain proper climb, cruise, and decent operating powers. The propeller’s pitch must be changed during many stages of the flight, and not at 100% during many operations for realism's sake.

Takeoff and landing is achieved like the real thing, the airfile and .mdl were obviously not rushed because it performs down to real world numbers. The only exception to this is during a decent, it seems hard to spool off airspeed on a normal decent rate than the real thing. That is the only part, I feel, that may need minor tweaking.

With full flaps, you can land maybe a little slower than you are supposed to, so watch out for a stall! Carenado only makes aircraft for flightsim that are available to them, so it assures you it is done right, the first time.

Sounds

As some of you may know from past reviews, the sound set to me is a major factor in determining the aircrafts final mark. Carenado has always made marvelous sound sets, and they have done it again. There is no apparent looping of the sounds, the door and seatbelt clicks are excellent, and the transition effects are wonderful!

The startup sound may be awkward, but after your gauges are in the green, you get the nice “chop chop chop” in the exterior view. As you push the power in to about 30%, you hear the propeller whipping the air and the engine speeding up. At full power, you hear the engine whine and muscle out 230 H.P. from its Avco Lycoming O-470-U engine. As you accelerate hard down the runway, the whipping from the McCauley 2-bladed constant speed propeller can be heard from many feet away. This sound pack is 100% complete and very accurate, even complete with its custom stall buzzer!

Service Pack 1

Carenado was quick to fix some minor bugs in the 182Q. These fixes include:
• No taxi or landing lights from VC
• Correction for force feedback parameters
• Correction for rear windows textures on VC
• Correction for 2D throttle bmp
• Correction to the airspeed indicator marks (did not correspond with the manual info)

Carenado was easily able to re-visit the drawing table for a short period of time to make this product better than it already is. The update is 6MB and can be found at the Carenado website.

Conclusions

After many touch and goes, quick hops, and long cross country’s, I have concluded that this aircraft may be the best single engine GA aircraft available. It sets itself apart from other planes when you compare detail, sounds, panel, flight model and other small but important features that makes the plane worth the money.

Carenado deserves a hand in delivering another extraordinary aircraft to their fleet, the Cessna 182Q Skylane II. Well done!

 

What I Like About the Cessna 182Q Skylane II
  • Thorough documentation on all procedures.
  • The detail implemented to the Virtual Cockpit and Exterior Model.
  • The panel and all its features.
  • All the eye candies including seat movement, pilot, Control lock, etc.
  • Sound set.

 
What I Don't Like About the Cessna 182Q Skylane II
  • Not being able to “see” the angle of the propeller change when it is feathered.
  • Nothing else!

Printing

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Cessna 182Q Skylane II

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The review above is a subjective assessment of the product by the author. There is no connection between the producer and the reviewer, and we feel this review is unbiased and truly reflects the performance of the product in the simming environment. This disclaimer is posted here in order to provide you with background information on the reviewer and any connections that may exist between him/her and the contributing party.

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