This is the first time I am doing a double review and I must say these two products are simply amazing.
Aerosoft has out done themselves with the LFPG scenery. When they say mega airport, they mean mega airport! Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (French: Aéroport Paris-Charles de Gaulle), also known as Roissy Airport (or just Roissy in French), in the Paris area, is one of the world's principal aviation centres, as well as France's main international airport. It is named after Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), leader of the Free French Forces and founder of the French Fifth Republic. As of 2007, this airport was rated number one in terms of aircraft movement in Europe.
Also in this review, we have the Carenado Cessna 152 II. This aircraft may be dear to the hearts of many pilots as this was the very first aircraft many of us flew and did our very first solo flight in. The Cessna 152 is an American two-seat, fixed tricycle gear, general aviation airplane, used primarily for flight training, touring, and personal flying.
First delivered in 1977 as the 1978 model year, the 152 was a modernization of the proven Cessna 150 design. The 152 was intended to compete with the new Beechcraft Skipper and Piper Tomahawk, both of which were introduced the same year. Additional design goals were to improve useful load through a gross weight increase to 1670 lbs (757 kg), decrease internal and external noise levels and run better on the then newly introduced 100LL fuels.
Wwith the 150, the great majority of 152's were built at the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas. A number of aircraft were also built by Reims Aviation of France and given the designation F152/FA152. Production of the 152 was ended in 1985 when Cessna ended production of all of their light aircraft. By that time, a total of 7,584 examples of the 152, including A152 and FA152 Aerobat aerobatic variants, had been built worldwide.
Installation and Documentation
Installing the Aerosoft CDG scenery was quite easy and everything is automated, so there is no need to worry about putting anything into folders manually. Documentation is quite extensive with a manual and 57 pages charts provided that are well presented and detailed in different languages.
Installing the C152 is just as easy. The installation is also automated and provides adequate documentation with reference material and a checklist with both normal and emergency procedures.
Lets get started
It’s a lovely morning in France, feels a bit odd being in a major airport with a C152, but nonetheless, this should be an interesting test flight.
Taking a walk around the C152 really brings me back to my PPL training. The detail is simply amazing, all the hinges on the tail piece, the landing gear struts and cockpit detail will get any fan of the 152 excited.
Starting with the cockpit, it's clear to see that Carenado spent a lot of time and effort getting every detail into this product. If I am not mistaken, everything in the cockpit, with the exception of the circuit breakers, actually works.
After the start up procedure, it was chilling to hear the realistic sputter of the engine as it starts up. The avionics are quite dated so don’t expect any digital displays here as this is an aircraft for real aviators.
Taxiing out to the active was quite fun as the 152 is very easy to control on the ground and handles eerily close to the real thing. Stopping short of the runway it was now time to do the engine run up. Believe it or not, this is one of the moments I had been waiting for as being critical to this review. As many of us are aware, during engine run ups there is a drop in RPM when checking the left and right magnetos and when the carb heat is pulled. To my surprise, Carenado got it right with the ample drop in RPM displayed on the gauge.
Taking off from CDG was nothing less than thrilling as the engines roared at full throttle down the runway with a slight push to the left from the slipstream and torque effect. Looking out the windows, it suddenly becomes apparent that this is no ordinary airport scenery. Perhaps after we land we will explore this airport some more.
During the test flight, I was able to test out the limitations and emergency procedures of this aircraft; from stalls and steep turns to simulated engine failures, this aircraft is the real deal and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know what it is like to fly a Cessna 152 in real life.
After the testing was done it time to land. The landing was as tricky as it is in real life, since it takes some getting use to your flare height in order to make a smooth landing. Here are some more photos...
Now it's time to explore the wonderful Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. This scenery is quite stunning with high quality textures and accurate renditions of the real terminals to date. No detail was spared, even on the surrounding buildings and the smallest of features of this airport. The AES lite enhances the experience of using this airport with ground vehicles and flowing traffic in constant operation. Here are some shots of the terminal buildings and AES in action.
From the ground, the detail of this scenery gets a lot more in-depth. The gates are accurately modeled with ground equipment moving in and around the aircraft. This scenery also includes the Concorde memorial as well as other featured buildings. The ground textures, as highlighted by the developers, are truly of the best quality and the shots of the airport gates and surroundings below testify to that.
How does the C152 and the CDG scenery look at night? Thus far this scenery is one of the most realistic in terms of night lighting and this goes also for the C152 with the perfect representation of night lighting within the cabin. See for yourself…
Eye Candy…Did they deliver on what was promised?
The CDG scenery has many features. Here are some that have been highlighted by the developers:
Features of the Carenado C152 II
Both Aerosoft and Carenado delivered on all the features promised. The details included are surprising and refreshing to the overall experience of virtual flying. A nice touch was the dynamic objects of the CDG scenery and the single pilot on board the C152, that mimics all the movements you input via your yoke or joystick. Well done!
Performance, as always, is important to us all. After using both these products at the same time and separately, it was clearly evident that they had little to no impact on my PC’s performance.
Loading time for the CDG scenery was no longer than any average add-on scenery and performance can be tweaked by taking off the dynamic objects.
The C152 II in my opinion rivals default aircraft where performance is concerned. All in all, both of these products will work fine once you have the recommended PC hardware by the respective developers and even if you have a little less.
Summary / Closing Remarks
In summary, these are great products worth their dollar. The CDG scenery is a breath of fresh air and really does give you the mega airport feel. Terminal buildings and all other surrounding structures were created to near 100% perfection. Dynamic traffic giving way to aircraft and each other was a smart feature, however, they will plow into your aircraft if your brakes are set while in their line of travel.
Flying the Carenado C152 II can be likened to jumping out of a big rig and hopping into a 2 door sports car and taking a cruise down an empty highway…nothing but pure fun! It would have been perfect if all features including the circuit breakers were functional, but who uses them anyway?
So even if you don’t fly to France or you don’t fancy light aircraft, they are still a great buy and you are guaranteed to enjoy them!
What I Like About Mega Airport Paris & C152 II
What I Don't Like About Mega Airport Paris & C152 II
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