Bear's Cave

The world of Flight Simulators

short reviews by Steve "Bear" Cartwright

After a several months, the Bear Cave finally returns, though some major changes will have to be involved. To best explain where I've been and why I've not been providing the weekly Bear Picks requires a look at several problems I've been experiencing, with the biggest being a lack of time! A few months ago my career based responsibilities greatly increased and I've also been spending much more time with my family, but the biggest problem relates to the combination of the much larger files sizes we are now seeing _ my being stuck with a dial-up modem _ and the serious hardware problems I've suffered ever since I upgraded my system back in April of this year.

After having spent a very frustrating 3 months, attempting to correct the apparent hardware problems (by more computer specialist than I can count), we've only managed to make my situation worse, rather than better. At this point the only corrective measure left is for me to replace my system, which I'm not in a position to do at this time (maybe next year some time). So, what we're going to do for now is to limit the Bear Cave Picks to a variable release period, in other words, I cannot release the picks on a weekly basis as I did before, but we will be posting the Bear Picks at random periods as time allows. In addition, I will not necessarily be picking files from the previous week, but will be picking files (from the AVSIM library) more along the line of theme picks for both FS2002 and FS2004. By theme picks, I mean that the Bear Cave Picks may on one posting highlight a specific file author/s, or it may be along the line of choosing files from different authors that follow a specific theme, and I will not be limiting my picks to just aircraft, but will include other files (scenery, utilities, etc.) as well. I have already written several Bear Caves, so they will be uploaded on a weekly basis for the next month, but after that they will become more random.

For the first posting of the Bear Cave, since April of this year, we are going to highlight one specific author, and that would be Brian Gladden, and his unique FS aircraft designs for FS2002 and FS2004.

Editor's Note: In light of Steve's time and hardware issues and the large number of you who really like the mini-review format, we will soon be introducing AVSIM "QuickViews." This new feature will involve all of the AVSIM reviewers in producing mini-reviews of library products, as well as what we have been calling "Review Previews." The latter will be a quick snapshot of the product to let you know that a full, in-depth AVSIM review is on the way, while also giving you some very basic information from our first look at the product. The former will be similar to the great work Bear has produced over the past couple of years. So while we will have a little less of Bear for a while, his legacy will grow much larger when QuickViews kickoff later this year.


Brian Gladden FS Aircraft

Since the days of FS2000, Brian Gladden has been dabbling in the making of several excellent FS aircraft, most being based on the light aircraft normally classed as "homebuilt". In recent months, Brian has widened his releases to cover some of the more interesting designs including the Noorduyn Norseman, Pilatus PC-12, and the Piper Pacer/Tri-pacer. Previous favorites (of mine) have also included the Zenith 801, Lancair IV-P homebuilt, Vans RV-6 homebuilt, Yak 52D, Beechcraft D-17S Staggerwing, and the Commander 114TC. In addition to FS aircraft, Brian has also released a few scenery packages for FS2002. I did a general "quick" search in the AVSIM library using "Brian Gladden" as my search keyword and I found a total of 108 files related to his releases, the majority being some very excellent repaints for many of his FS aircraft uploads.

As this week's featured FS aircraft designer, I have here 6 different aircraft that are worth a second look by those of you that may have missed Brian's past and present work.

(Click on any of these file names for their Library descriptions and to download.)



Noorduyn Norseman (wheeled)
Noorduyn Norseman (float)
by Brian Gladden
norseman_v2.zip
norse_floats_v2.zip
Uploaded 7-Oct-2003
3,236Kb; 2,309Kb

FS2004 Aircraft

Noorduyn Norseman (wheeled)
Noorduyn Norseman (float)
by Brian Gladden
norse.zip norse_up.zip
norse_float.zip
Uploaded July-2002
2,540Kb; 2,427Kb
FS2002 Aircraft

First up is Brian's excellent Noorduyn Norseman, available in either a wheeled or float version. There are actually 4 different versions available (2 for FS2002 and 2 for FS2004), including numerous repaints by Henry William, Rick Brown, and Don Moser. The Noorduyn Norseman was in production from 1935 until 1959 and it was an aircraft designed by Canadians for Canadians, but was also the first Canadian aircraft to be sold extensively outside of Canada. Nearly 800 were purchased by the US military during WWII and even the RAF purchased several as military light transports. The Noorduyn company is still in business today manufacture ring aircraft interior components.

Brian's version of the Noorduyn Norseman includes a custom 2D panel and fully dynamic 3D virtual panel-cockpit, animated components (rudders, wheels, opening doors, working suspension, etc.) and relies on the default radio-GPS gear. As for sounds, the FS2002 version uses the F4U Corsair, while the FS2004 version uses the default DC-3. Either way, the sounds are very acceptable. Rather you're running FS2002 or FS2004, these are some really tough bush aircraft, the kind of aircraft that will put hair on your chest, so you'll want to check them out. Oh yeah, don't forget to search for the repaints too! ----Bear!

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Piper PA-20/22 Pacer
by Brian Gladden
pa20_pacer.zip uploaded 26-Aug-2003
1,810Kb

FS2002 & FS2004 Aircraft

The Piper pacers (taildragger and tricycle gear) were Piper's attempt to stray away from the Cub to compete with the larger general aviation aircraft coming from Cessna. Based on the earlier Clipper and Vagabond, the Pacers were intended as a faster 4-place aircraft than the Cub and the Tripacer (the pacers were Tripacers converted to traildraggers) and featured side-by-side seating. Constructed with fabric covered metal tubes the Tripacer did sell in fairly large numbers, though it was never as popular as the famous Cub. The Tripacer was eventually replaced by the all metal Cherokee 140s in the late 1960s.

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Piper Tripacer
by Brian Gladden
pa-22_tripacer.zip uploaded 1,985Kb
2,309Kb

FS2002 & FS2004 Aircraft

Brian's version of the Tripacer (and its taildragger variant) has fully animated components, custom 2D panel, dynamic 3D panel-cockpit, and dynamic reflective texturing. Plus, there are a whole bunch of repaints available (Leon Louis, Michael Carr, Morgan Dainow, and Andy Medley). The Gladden Pacers use the default C182 for sounds, which are appropriate to this little, yet able flyer, so if slightly vintage GA aircraft are something you like to fly on occasion, the Cessna 140s are among the best efforts from Brian Gladden.----Bear!




Pilatus PC-12
by Brian Gladden-Justin Lamb-Don Moser
pc-12_combi.zip
pc-12_corp.zip
pc-12_med.zip
uploaded 26-27-April-2003
3,714Kb/3,911Kb/2,965Kb

FS2002 & FS2004 Aircraft

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Manufacturered in Switzerland, the Pilatus PC-12 is truly a multi-purpose single engine turboprop, with the aircraft owner being able to configure the seating for up to 9 passengers, configure for cargo, medical transport layouts, or whatever suits their needs. Brian's (Justin Lamb and Don Moser provided work for the Corporation version of Brian's PC-12) Pilatus PC-12 includes a custom 2D panel, clickable 3D dynamic panel (clickable in FS2004), and full animation including opening doors and cargo panels. Using the default C208 for sounds, the Gladden Pilatus PC-12 is one FS aircraft you should check out. Very nicely done! ----Bear!



Zenair CH-801 v3.0
by Brian Gladden-Ian Grant
zenair_ch_801.zip
uploaded 21-Jan-2003
2,601Kb

FS2002 Aircraft

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The Zenith CH801 STOL is in actualility a homebuilt aircraft (you can purchase turnkey versions) capable of very short takeoffs or landings (either in under 250 feet), but is a good cross-country performer as well, with seating for up to 4 adults. This is the 3rd version of this FS aircraft that Brian has released, but it is easily the best version yet. Sporting a custom 2D panel by Ian Grant, this Zenith 801 also has a very sharp (and dynamic) 3D virtual panel-cockpit. The primary use of this aircraft is as a 4-place bushplane that is capable of clearing a 50' obstacle after only traveling 350 feet (using the right takeoff technique). I personally really like this aircraft and I've enjoyed hours and hours of fun flying this into my remote bush scenery addons all over Alaska and Western Canada. Besides the fully animated components, this little FS aircraft features dynamic reflective textures, opening doors, and a pilot that looks suspiciously like Brian himself. Despite the Brian Gladden Zenith CH801 v3.0 having issues in FS2004, those of you still using FS2002 shouldn't forget this really terrific little aircraft. ---Bear!



Cessna 140
by Brian Gladden
cessna_140_floats.zip
cessna_140.zip
uploaded 2-7-Dec-2002
3,773Kb/3,318Kb

FS2002 Aircraft

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The Cessna 140/120 class of aircraft is still one of my favorite taildraggers (in the real-world) to fly. Brian had released this very beautiful example of Cessna's answer to the Piper Cub with this all aluminum little two-place taildragger, which was intended to give the returning GIs of World War II another choice. Brian's design is available as either a float equipped model or with wheels and there a large number of repaints available, which are also in the AVSIM library (repaints by Leon Louis, Don Moser, Paul Bradshaw, and Fred Morris). Having a fairly descent 2D panel and a dynamic 3D virtual cockpit, Brian has also equipped this FS2002 aircraft with working suspension, rolling wheels, opening doors, and reflective texturing. This was one of Brian's first releases using Abacus' FSDS v2 design tool software. If you're still using FS2002, as your primary simulator, then I suggest you have a re-look at Brian Gladden's nice little Cessna 140. ---Bear!



Commander 114TC Package
by Brian Gladden-Scott Jensen-Tim Pinkawa-Michael Verlin
commander114tc_package-v1.0.zip
uploaded 25-July-2002
5,181Kb

FS2002 Aircraft

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This was an aircraft that was a team effort, with Scott Jensen and Tim Pinkawa designing the panel (2D only), Brian Gladden designing the aircraft itself, with Michael Verlin (of HJG fame) and Brian finishing up the package with an excellent airfile. The model itself is quite good, with full animations of the control surfaces and landing gear, but it is the 2D panel that puts this among my more favored GA aircraft to fly in FS2002. If you haven't tried this one from Brian and the boys, I suggest you give it a spin around the pattern, you just might find yourself using this aircraft rather than the default Mooney Bravo in FS2002. ---Bear!


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