• Monday

    | 99 views

    Flight Simulator X - Original Aircraft
    Boeing 787-942 VIP-BBJ by Douglas E Trapp

    Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
    NICOCRAFT Airlines Boeing 737-800 by NICOCRAFT
    Air Italy Boeing 737-8JP (EI-GFY) by Zayn Ridhwan|SimTextures by Y&Z
    Mexicana "Retro" Airbus A320 (N405MX) by Miguel Angel Taboada
    TUI Airlines "Diamond" Boeing 787-8 (OO-JDL) by Miguel Angel Taboada
    Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner by Lee Grant
    Eurowings "Las Vegas" Airbus A330-300 (D-AXGF) by Miguel Angel Taboada
    Eurowings Airbus A340-300 by Marius Felden

    Flight Simulator X - Scenery
    Mallam Aminu Kano Airport DNKN for FSX | Not tested with P3D by Raheem Adeleke

    Prepar3D - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
    Malaysia Airlines "Negaraku Livery" Boeing 777-200LR (9M-MAO) by M.Alif Osman

    Prepar3D - Utilities
    Remote Server 4.1 with Remote CDU and Remote Overhead by Mark Foti

    Flight Sim Labs A319-X Expansion

    | 70 views

    20 May 2018 – Flight Sim Labs today announced the development of a brand new airframe icing model for their upcoming A319-X expansion.
    For the first time in a modern jet airliner add-on, simmers will be faced with one of the top threats to aircraft safety on a day-to-day basis, yet one which until now has never been fully modelled in the FS environment.
    The ground-breaking new icing model has been custom-built by the FSLabs team and includes a number of never-seen-before features. Ice, frost and contamination will build up and melt dynamically on the airframe based on actual in-sim atmospheric conditions including temperature, humidity and sun elevation, as well as internal factors such as fuel temperature and realistic ‘cold soak’ effects – which have been re-designed specifically for the A319-X using intricate thermal models and data collected from a huge number of real world test flights.
    Most importantly, the effects of ice on aircraft and engine performance have been fully modelled to produce truly realistic outcomes. In the past, some developers have used a brute-force approach to icing simulation by simply adding a huge amount of weight to the aircraft. In reality, however, the greatest danger from airframe icing is in the destruction of the smooth airflow over the wing surface. Studies have shown that even a small amount of ice can reduce lift and increase drag by more than 40%.
    By using a unique dynamic performance model, FSLabs have been able to replicate these effects.
    Simmers will be able to see ice forming on the A319-X in real time thanks to FSLabs’ pioneering new visual effects techniques. The walkaround is a critical part of the pilot’s task, performed before every single flight – and for the first time, A319-X pilots will be able to inspect their aircraft to ensure it is safe to fly. The wings, tail, fuselage, engine nacelles and spinners must all be checked to ensure they are free of ice and contamination.
    “The biggest consideration is the departure,” says Captain Peter Banner. Peter flies the A319, A320 and A321 for a large UK airline and is part of the FSL technical team who help verify the A319-X’s performance against real world data on an ongoing basis. “Having ice or snow on the flying surfaces will degrade the aircraft performance. So, pre-flight a good check of the weather actuals and forecast so that you can make a plan is a good start.
    “Things to decide are what de-icing may be required, what has already been done, and maybe some ‘what ifs’.”
    This is where FSLabs’ unique de- and anti-icing simulation comes in. Select the type of fluid and the level of dilution required and the ground crew will apply the anti-icing treatment in real time, removing any built-up ice. But it doesn’t end there – with a fully realistic, dynamic hold-over time simulation based on external conditions as well as fluid type and concentration, once the treatment starts it’s a race against time to get airborne before the holdover time expires and dangerous deposits begin to build back up again.
    “Hold over times, are a guide only,” continues Peter. “Changing actual conditions could change the initial calculations and a pre-departure check is always required. This can be from the flight deck if the initial conditions have remained the same or are better. If they are worse, though, then a visual check from the crew outside or a pilot from inside the cabin is required.”
    Once in the air, pilots will need to rely on their knowledge and experience to identify icing conditions and activate the A319-X’s anti-icing systems to protect the airframe from icing up, as Peter explains.
    “As soon as icing is seen on the icing probe, wiper blades or wing leading edge, get the wing anti-ice on.
    I personally then leave this on until I am sure it’s not an issue. I try to have wing anti-ice off for the landing itself, although it can remain on if required.”
    Just like Peter in the real aircraft, in the A319-X you’ll be able to see ice building up dynamically on the flight deck ice probe – a small stub protruding from the centre windscreen post – or the electronic ice detectors fitted to some A319s, which display an ECAM alert when ice is detected, can be optionally enabled.
     “This is a truly unique feature,” said Flight Sim Labs founder Lefteris Kalamaras. “It’s something that we really wanted to focus on as a team as it really adds to the immersion factor.
    “Pilots in the real world have to deal with the potential for icing during their day-to-day operations – it’s a really important part of operating the aeroplane.
    “As a simmer, the A319-X will enable you to experience this in a truly realistic way.”
    Amongst other, yet-to-be-announced features, the A319-X will feature all-new engine and performance models for both CFM56-5B7 and IAE V2522-A5 variants, as well as a new aerodynamic model reflecting the structural differences between the A319 and its larger cousin.
    The A319-X will be available as a paid expansion to the Prepar3D v4 version of the A320-X.

    JUST PLANES Kenya Airways Review

    | 88 views

    Publisher: JUST PLANES
    Description:  KENYA AIRWAYS 787 “DREAMGIRLS”
    Format:
    Blu-Ray/Download
    Reviewed by: Marlon Carter
     

     
    INTRODUCTION
     

     
    Flight Information
    Destinations
    NBO Nairobi, KENYA
    FIH Kinshasa, DR CONGO
    HKG Hong Kong, CHINA
    BKK Bangkok,THAILAND
     
    + Cockpit filming using up to multi cameras for great views on takeoff and landing!
    + Additional camera for wingviews
    + All women's flights on the Dreamliner!
    + Flight Preparations
    + Cockpit Set-up
    + Briefings & Checklists
    + Depature & Arrival Airport Charts
    + External Walkaround
    + Cockpit Presentation
    + Presentations on ETOPS, Flight Planning & Electronic Flight Bag
    + Great scenery over Africa & Asia
    + Tour of Hong Kong
     
     
     
    HIGHLIGHTS
    Kenya Airways is the flag carrier of Kenya and it is well known internationally for providing a high quality travel experience. The 787 has become their flagship aircraft with the capability of flying to numerous international destinations. This program takes the viewers on a fantastic journey from Nairobi to destinations such as Kinshasa, Bangkok and Hong Kong onboard the 787-8 and it contains numerous highlights for all to enjoy. Our first round trip from Nairobi to Kinshasa features an all-female flight crew who takes us through each step of flight preparations. These presentations include flight dispatch review, exterior walkaround, cockpit preparation and much more. For the benefit of female viewers, you will also find special interest in the pilot presentations from both the Captain and First Officer who share their career history. During this presentation, you will not only learn about how these ladies became pilots, but you will also learn much about the career progression at Kenya Airways which affords pilots the opportunity to fly nearly every aircraft in their fleet.
    Our second and final round trip experience takes us from Nairobi to Bangkok and then onward to Hong Kong. These series of flights were also filled with special highlights ranging from pilot briefings, EFB presentations, Cockpit Presentations and a host of other insightful presentations by our male pilots that nicely showcase the everyday duties of an airline pilot. In addition to the educational aspect of this program, it also provides a wealth of scenic views from the cockpit and wing view of the 787. Some of the most spectacular moments captured an aerial view of Lake Victoria, beautiful sunrise over Africa and Asia and a bonus tour of Hong Kong. For anyone who wants to learn more about the 787 or learn more about Kenya Airways and their top notch service, you will definitely find this program to be enjoyable. Not only does this program showcase the marvels of the 787, but it also showcases the highly skilled and professional crew who make Kenya Airways one of the leading airlines in Africa.

    Video Preview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrYZqLCBPGo
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEWHTji5gi4
     

    JUST PLANES BLUE 1 717-200 Review

    | 95 views

    Publisher: JUST PLANES
    Description:  BLUE 1 717-200
    Format:
    Download
    Reviewed by: Marlon Carter

    + Cockpit filming using 6 cameras for great views on takeoff & landing!
    + Briefings & Checklists
    + Cockpit set-up
    + Cockpit Presentations
    + Airport Departure/Arrival Charts
    + External Walkaround
    + Fantastic scenery
    Flight Information
    ARNStockholm Arlanda, SWEDEN
    PRG Prague, CZECH REP.
    HEL Helsinki, FINLAND
    HIGHLIGHTS
     
    Being a subsidiary of SAS, Blue1 operated the Boeing 717 to various destinations across Europe from its base at Helsinki. What makes this program so special is that it captures the final days of the operations of the B717 for this airline. In late 2015, their fleet of 717s was sold to Delta and Volotea. In this program you will have the privilege of joining the flight crew as they fly to destinations such as Prague, Stockholm and Helsinki. The first leg of this program takes us on a return trip from Stockholm to Prague which features an in-depth look at the FMS/cockpit setup and Engine start procedures. In addition to this, you will also be enlightened by the crew as they discuss various subjects such as departure procedures, approach briefings. One of the most significant highlights of this trip was the detailed cockpit presentation of the B717. For lovers of the B717, this presentation will prove to be one of the most comprehensive available and you are sure to learn a lot about this aircraft and see why so many pilots love this aircraft.
    Our second and final trip of this program takes us on a series of flights between Stockholm and Helsinki. While many of the highlights of these trips are similar to our first flight, this segment also includes a detailed walkaround inspection of the B717 which was another significant highlight of this program. In addition to the in-depth look at the operations of this aircraft, you will also enjoy the outstanding scenic views from the cockpit while flying both during the day and night time. For anyone who likes the B717 whether in the real world or the world of Flight Simulation, this program will prove to be very insightful as you see firsthand how this aircraft is operated. At a cost of $30.00 U.S, this program is well worth it since it provides the unique opportunity of witnessing the operations of one of the last two B717 operators in Europe!

     
     
    Video Preview
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wOwjTEk-vw
     

    JUST PLANES LATAM A350 Review

    | 77 views

    Publisher: JUST PLANES
    Description:  LATAM A350
    Format:
    Download
    Reviewed by: Marlon Carter
     

     
    INTRODUCTION

    + Cockpit filming using up to 6 cameras for great views on takeoff & landing!
    + Pilot Presentations
    + Flight Preparations
    + Cockpit set-up
    + Briefings & Checklists
    + Departure & Arrival Airport Charts
    + Cockpit Presentation
    + Great scenery
    + Cabin views
    + Wing views on approach & landing
     
     
     
    Flight Information
    GRU Sao Paulo Guarulhos, BRAZIL
    MXP Milan Malpensa, ITALY
     
    HIGHLIGHTS
    For aviation enthusiast around the world, there is nothing more exciting that learning about a new aircraft. When it comes to new aircraft, the A350 is certainly at the top of the list since its initial certification in 2014. With quite a number of these aircraft already on order, LATAM was one of the first few airlines to have the opportunity of flying the A350 and Just Planes seized the opportunity to create an amazing documentary that showcases the operation of this aircraft.
    Unlike most Just Planes videos, this documentary features a single flight that captures almost 4 hours of insightful information on the A350. Our flight from Sao Paulo to Milan begins with an introduction to the crew as they review their dispatch documents covering route, weather and NOTAMS prior to departure. Once completed, we then hop onboard the aircraft for a first look at the spacious cabin. Shortly thereafter we join the crew in the brand new cockpit of the A350 as they walk us through the cockpit setup. This presentation nicely showcases some of the innovative features of the A350 which is a marked improvement over previous models, including the not so older A380.
    After departing GRU, the presentations continue for the duration of our flight with discussions on the various systems of the aircraft and some of the improvements that reduces the workload of the pilot. The joy of having privilege to fly A350 is evident as both Captain and FO make it quite clear that this aircraft holds a special place in their career history. In addition to learning about the technical aspects of the A350, you will also see some amazing views from the A350 cockpit both at night from Sao Paulo and during the daytime while on approach to Milan. With over 2 hours of presentations on this aircraft, everyone will enjoy this short but very enlightening journey. If you are a interested in learning more about the A350, then this is a program worth having since it is perhaps one of the only A350 cockpit videos available. – Highly Recommended.

    Video Preview

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVM8XZaZ5ok
     
     
     
     

    Remote CDU / Remote Server Version 4.1

    | 308 views

    Remote CDU / Remote Server Version 4.1 has just been released which now supports 3 new aicraft types:
    Leonardo's Maddog MD-82 TFDi Design' B717 and Aerosoft's CRJ (after SP1). As a bonus, you will also get access to DAVE through your real tablet.    
    Support for PMDG's 737, 777 and 747 are of course still part of the package, giving you 6 aircraft types you can now use.
    Remote CDU allows you to connect your tablet or phone to the inflight CDUs of these supported aircraft for more realism - no need to invest into expensive hardware.
    The Remote Overhead Client will allow you to connect to PMDG's 737 and run an Overhead panel from an additional PC on your network.
    The latest can be downloaded right here at AVSIM - which includes free-to-view functionality so you can try it out without any risks.
    https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/475478-download-here/
     

    Obituary: Eric Ernst

    | 603 views

    The father of ‘study sims’, a devoted family man and a passionate aviator, Captain Eric William Ernst was a pioneer in the development of high-fidelity add-on aircraft for Flight Simulator.
    Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Ernst followed his father Raymond in to a career as a pilot, flying first for American Eagle before joining American Airlines in 1999.
    And it was his love of flying which led him to start developing freeware panels for FS98, most notably for the Boeing 757/767 but also the MD-80.
    At a time when realistically-shaped 2D panels – never mind flyable virtual cockpits – were still regarded as an exotic new feature and the most advanced in-sim avionics available were a VOR receiver and (barely) 25kHz compatible COM radio – Eric Ernst’s work was ground-breaking. Not only did he create intricately detailed panels with high quality textures, he also created many of his own custom gauges. The result was a level of immersion and realism that had never been seen previously.
    It was this pursuit of ever greater fidelity which led Ernst to create 767 Pilot in Command in 2001. One awestruck reviewer declared at the time: “this is quite simply the best, most complete, most reliable, bug-free panel I have seen to date.”  From a fully-simulated Inertial Reference System which drifted realistically over time to the most complete and complex FMC that had ever been seen in a desktop flight simulator -- plus a 224 page manual to tell you how to use it all -- 767 Pilot in Command was the first Flight Simulator add-on which could truly be described as “study level”.
    It was a high bar which future add-on developers would have to jump over if they were to be taken seriously. Many, since the news of his death, have described Eric Ernst as an inspiration. Without question, we would not be enjoying add-ons with the level of fidelity we take for granted today if it were not for Ernst’s revolutionary work on 767 PIC.
    Many simmers continue to enjoy Ernst’s creations even now in the form of the Level-D 767 revitalised for FS2004, FSX and even more recently for Prepar3D v3. It is a testament to how far the product was ahead of its time that it still stands tall, if no longer quite shoulder-to-shoulder, amongst the leviathans of modern developers.
    For all his passion for aviation and flight simulation, however, Eric’s greatest love was for his family and it was his devotion to his wife Randi and daughters Amanda and Cassandra that led him to place himself in to what he described as a “self-imposed exile” from the sim community some time after the release of 767 PIC. A gentleman in every sense of the word, those who corresponded with him spoke of his warmth, patience and passion in conversation.
    A First Officer for almost his entire airline career, Ernst finally made the move to the left hand seat in 2017, achieving his lifelong dream of commanding an American Airlines aircraft. With his death at the age of 51, the flight simulation community has lost perhaps its greatest pioneer: in a world where we now take complexity for granted, Eric Ernst was a giant upon whose shoulders all of today’s developers stand.
    Carenado has released their F33A Bonanza for X-Plane 11
    Features include:
    State-of-the-art configurable FPS-friendly logic system.
    Fully VR compatible
    Full PBR (Superb material shines and reflections).
    Specially designed engine dynamics for XP11.
    Flight physics optimized for XP11 standards.
    Ground handling adapted for XP11 ground physics.
    Physically Based Rendering materials and textures throughout.
    PBR materials authored with industry-standard software used by the film and gaming industries.
    X-Plane GNS430 (FPS friendly)
    Support for RealityXP's GTN750* (integrated into 3D cockpit, when available).
    Goodway Compatible.
    Realistic behavior compared to the real airplane. Realistic weight and balance. Tested by several pilots for maximum accuracy.

    *RealityXP  GTN 750 is sold separately
    Only for X-Plane 11
     
    Visit the F33A Bonanza For X-Plane 11  Product Page for further information.
    Lionheart Creations: Proton Bullette
    For FSX, FSX:SE and Prepar3D v1,2,3
    Available at Many Flight Simulator Stores for $19.95 USD
    Reviewed By: Mike Cameron
     
    Introduction:
       I could not find any historical information on the internet about the Proton Bullette, so everything below is taken from the product manual.  The Bullette B-37 by Proton Werke was first produced in 1937 in the Proton Werke’s Bavaria facility.  A need grew by fighter pilots for a sleek, fast, trainer aircraft.  One that featured a strong landing gear that could withstand grass and dirt field runways, one with a open cockpit and one that could perform aerobatics and fighter maneuvers with ease.  A prototype was built in 1936 that featured these requirements and a order was submitted.  The Bullette went into production in 1937.  The B-37 is a rare aircraft in that it has a very small wingspan of only 4.8 meters/16 feet and is just over 5.2 meters/17 feet long.  The aircraft is fitted with an Argus As-10 engine, a powerful inverted V-8 aircraft engine that is fully air-cooled.  The B-37 had a single radio and featured basic instrumentation.  It was a very simple aircraft to fly with only the basics onboard.  The Bullette also had a roomy little cargo compartment behind the pilot’s seat.  Getting into the aircraft is quite easy.  You raised the canopy structure which also deployed a foot step and stepping pilon that lowered out of the fuselage via linkages tied into the canopy hinge system.  The fuel tank was located behind the engine and had a large 136.2 liter/36-gallon capacity.
       The Bullette B-40 by Proton Werke was first produced in 1940 in the Proton Werke’s Bavaria facility.  By this time, a need was growing where fighter pilots required training in ‘retractable gear’ aircraft so a variant was designed from the B-37 Bullette with retractable landing gear.  The new version required a smaller fuel tank due to the landing gear compartment now located in the forward center of the fuselage cavity.  The new ‘RG’ model had a higher airspeed zone, but higher weight, gaining 100 pounds/45.3 Kg in weight.  Another option for the PB-40 was a full canopy assembly with an advanced design that spanned from front to the rear with a single bubble of plexiglass not requiring breaks in the glass structure.  Only about 30 percent of the production aircraft were fitted with the full canopy assembly.  The Bullette RG model featured retractable landing gear that was spread out wide on the wings due to its height requirement.  The gear legs pointed inwards slightly, like the Focke Wolfe Fw-190.  The PB-40 also featured the powerful Argus As-10 inverted V-8 aircraft engine, fully air-cooled and sporting a powerful 245 horsepower engine for such a small plane.  Having the small 16 foot wingspan and retractable gear that enabled a cleaner aerodynamic shape, the small Bullette was truly a bullet.  This aircraft was more like a small race plane rather than a trainer.
    B-37 Fixed Gear Specifications:
    Wingspan:              4.87 Meters …….16 Feet 0 Inches
    Length:                   5.18 Meters …….17 Feet 0 Inches
    Empty Weight:       408 Kilograms …… 900 Pounds
    Maximum Weight: 635 Kilograms …... 1400 Pounds
    Engine:                   Argus As-10 …… 245 BHP …...V8 Inverted
    Stall Speed:            110 KPH …… 60 Knots
    Cruise Speed:         300 KPH …… 160 Knots
    Maximum Speed:   370 KPH …… 200 Knots
    Fuel:                       136 Liters ……. 36 Gallons
    Range:                    963 Kilometers …… 520 NM …… 75% Power/2250 RPM
     
    B-40 Retractable Gear Specifications:
    Wingspan:               4.87 Meters …… 16 Feet 0 Inches
    Length:                    5.18 Meters …… 17 Feet 0 Inches
    Empty Weight:        453 Kilograms ……. 1000 Pounds
    Maximum Weight:  635 Kilograms …… 1500 Pounds
    Engine: Argus As-10 ……. 245 BHP ……. V8 Inverted
    Stall Speed:             110 KPH ……. 60 Knots
    Cruise Speed:          320 KPH ……. 170 Knots
    Maximum Speed:    390 KPH ……. 210 Knots
    Fuel:                        100 Liters ...…. 27 gallons
    Range:                     815 Kilometers ……. 440 NM ……. 75% Power/2250 RPM
    Product Features:
    Both Bullette Models are Included: B-37 fixed gear and B-40 retractable gear models.  The B-37 has both cantilever and strut versions.  The cantilever design did not come about until 1940.
    Two Canopy Variants: The B-40 has two canopy versions, open cockpit and a full canopy.  The full canopy did not come until much later in production and only 30% of production aircraft were fitted with the full canopies.
    15 Paint Schemes Theme Packages Per Model: These include variations of instrument panel and interior paint themes including spun metal.
    Male – Female Pilot Options: Clicking on the bottom rear circuit breaker switches changes between the male and female pilot.
    Retracting Steps: The sleek Bullette features a retractable foot pad and step pylon that are linked into the raising canopy assembly.
    Split Flaps: The flap assemblies were made of spruce wood with lattice ribbing for thin construction.  These were very light as well.  The flaps open below the wing, with the top being solid and non-hinged.  Thus the flaps also act as speed brakes, full flaps will slow the Bullette down moderately, even in a steep dive.
    Custom NAV Light Assemblies: These are unique aerodynamic dome shaped color discs mounted under the upward curved wing tips.  These appear as large colored circles and were glass on the original aircraft.
    Argus As-10 Engine: This product features a very smooth engine sound pack that replicates a V-8 engine that has a very low growl through the tuned dual belly mounted wide exhaust pipes. This engine was also fitted in the Fieseler Storch aircraft.
    Autopilot: For those simulator pilots that appreciate having an autopilot, Lionheart Creations has fitted these aircraft with one.  Readouts of the autopilot modes are indicted on the HSI instrument.
    Dual Metric or SAE Readouts on the Vertical Speed (VSI) Indicator and the Altimeter:  The Airspeed Indicator also displays KPH and Knots.  Clicking on the top area of the VSI and the Altimeter switches from Metric to Nautical readout faces.
      
    Installation:
       Installation is very easy.  After purchase you will receive an email with the product download link and a Serial Key.  The Serial Key is not long or complicated, so I did not have any issues entering it. Start the installer and select your desired simulator.   Only FSX versions and Prepar3D V1, V2 and V3 simulators are supported now.  The install program should automatically find your simulator directories but if it does not there is a “Browse” button to locate.  I am going to review The Proton Bullette package in the Prepar3D Version 3 simulator but will use the browse button to locate my P3DV4 directory to install into that simulator.  I will fly the aircraft in this package in P3DV4 to see if they work but will not be reviewing any of the features in that simulator.  After selecting the simulator, the next step is to enter your purchase credentials and I did not have an issue with this process.  If you entered everything correctly, the package will install onto your hard drive.  A nice 42-page manual is included and is also available to download from the Lionheart Creations Proton Bullette product page if you want to read it prior to purchase.  I like when developers include this feature so that potential customers can read the manual before purchase to see if the Proton Bullette is right simulator aircraft for them.
     
    Interior & Instrument Panel Features:
       Because this is a small and not a complicated aircraft I decided to review the interior and instrument panel in the same section.  For some reason this aircraft did not like my Prepar3D Version 3 simulator, the simulator would crash to the desktop when I tried selecting one of the Proton Bullette’s directly.   At first loading a default aircraft and then a Bullette seemed to solve this annoying problem but when I tried to use the aircraft switches, crash to desktop.  I refreshed my Windows install, reinstalled P3DV3 and this package with a fresh simulator and it still would crash my simulator.   I did not have these issues with P3D Version 4 so after the first several screen grabs below, the rest of the pictures of this review will be in the newer simulator even though it is not supported. 
       As mentioned in the introduction there are 15 paint schemes for each model.  The B-37 fixed gear model includes two different versions, a cantilever wing and one with struts.  The two different wing types are easily identifiable on the aircraft selection screen.  The B-40 retractable gear model has the two different variants, open cockpit and the full canopy.  For me these were harder to see in the aircraft selection preview window, but I made do.  The manual has a page with the different paint schemes and it clearly displays which aircraft have the full canopy.  After loading one of the B-37 models, I get my first look at the outstanding quality of the interior textures and features.  Lionheart Creations has done a wonderful job here but they did not stop there.  For each exterior paint, they have included the matching interior theme.  This is a feature that I look for in premium aircraft and is rarely done with aircraft at this price point.  Thank you, Lionheart Creations, for including this wonderful feature.  The first screen grab below is the Blue & White fixed gear model and the second is the Bronze & Grey paint scheme.  The Bullette features a small uncomplicated cockpit so I have adjusted the view to capture the entire cockpit and even from this viewpoint I can see the quality and level of detail that is included with this aircraft package.  The cockpit is the same for all the aircraft except for the B-40 that has the gear control and the full canopy has levers to open and close the canopy.  The canopy levers are located on each side of the cockpit.

       I open the canopy which exposes some hidden details because the instrument panel assembly is raised along with the canopy. The detail of the canopy assembly and the back of the instrument panel is very impressive.  The instrument panel components when viewed from this position are three dimensional just like they would be in the real aircraft.  It is hard to believe that all of this detail is available on a simulator aircraft that retails for less than $20.00.  While the canopy is still raised I zoom in close to be able to get a close look at the impressive textures on the control stick and the rudder pedals.  I close the canopy and start my inspection of the rest of the cockpit.  I turn around to get a view of the rear area of the cockpit.  The detail is very impressive, but it looks like the pilot would need to be skinny or it could be very uncomfortable. 

       I turn back around, and the left side contains the volt meter and oil temperature gauges which look great and are realistically animated.  Also on this side are the throttle, mixture, parking brake and depending on the model, the gear and canopy controls.  This is where my P3DV3 simulator started to consistently act up so from now on the rest of the screen grabs and review comments will be in Prepar3D Version 4.  To finish my interior tour, the right console contains elevator trim, flaps, circuit breakers, the COM/NAV radio and the non-functional headphone/microphone jacks.  The radio displays are easy to read and dial but could be difficult to operate when hand flying.  Some of the circuit breakers also serve feature selections, the top forward and bottom rear breaker allow to select between the male/female pilot when viewed from exterior views.  The top fourth circuit breaker engages the autopilot and the top rear one disengages the autopilot.  The simulator tool tips work great if you forget these locations.  A quick note about the non-functional headset jacks, I wish more developers would include simulated noise cancelling headsets with aircraft at all price levels, with some aircraft it can get loud in the cockpit and be hard to hear ATC on the radios.  Lastly, cockpit lighting is very nice when it worked.  I do not know if it is because I am using this aircraft in an unsupported simulator but when I tried to turn on the lighting with the current aircraft nothing happened, but it worked when I opened another Proton Bullette.

    External Features:
       There are fifteen exterior paints for each of the fixed gear and retractable gear variants.   From these some have the enclosed canopy, while others have the open cockpit.  The same applies to the cantilever or strut versions of the wing assemble.  If you like variety then you will love the Lionheart Creations Proton Bullette package for FSX and P3D.  The P3D aircraft preview screen does a good job displaying between the fixed gear and retractable gear models but for me it was hard to distinguish between the open and enclosed cockpits from these previews.  It would be nice if a textural description would also have been included to make selecting easier.  Luckily, the manual clearly shows which one’s have the open cockpit and the enclosed canopy.  Let’s start with the open cockpit aircraft, the exterior textures and features are just as impressive as the interior model.  Everything is three dimensional and exterior wording is clear and easy to read.  The male/female pilot are realistically textured and I personally like that they are not animated because with some aircraft, the animations do not look very realistic.  I wish that Lionheart would have included headset textures for each of the pilots because no pilot in their right mind would fly an open cockpit aircraft without a headset or some other form of head gear.  I do like that the instrument panel can be seen from the exterior views which greatly adds to a realistic look.  Even with the open cockpit, the simulator “Open Main Door” key command “Shift+E”, raises the windshield on the open cockpit or the enclosed canopy and extends the step for easy access into the aircraft.  The animation and textures of the step are very nice.  With the canopy open, I can see the very detailed instrument panel which adds to the experience.  In P3DV4 the sun reflections from the propeller is awesome!   Adding to the detail level of the Lionheart Proton Bullette package is that when the baggage door is open there is realistically textured baggage inside.  The retractable gear aircraft have just as impressive textures though I wonder why wheel chocks are not included with these aircraft when they are parked on the ground with the engine off.  Also, tiedowns should be included to complete realistic ground static object features.  Lastly, I like the canopy glass textures, not totally clear, but clear enough to still be able to see the pilot.  Exterior lighting is also very good and like the interior lighting, sometimes not work unless I opened another aircraft.   This could be because I am using this aircraft in an unsupported simulator.

    Flight Model:
       The manual says it all, “The Bullette is a very basic aircraft to operate but with its 245 horsepower V8 engine, it can be challenging as well”.  This aircraft is very easy to start: parking brake on, throttle zero, mixture full rich and then push the starter button.  The Proton Bullette engine starts right up without issue and the sound effects of this action is very nice but I think it could be louder. I turn the simulator engine sound slider to 100 percent to experience the full effect.  I think the engine starts a little too easy, but I keep telling myself that this is a $20.00 flight simulator aircraft.  I now turn on all of the exterior lights and the avionics.  If this is your first tail-wheeled aircraft, taxiing this aircraft can be challenging because it is hard to see in front of you due to the raised cowling.   The realistic procedure is to perform a series of small s-turns to see the ramp on each side of your aircraft or hang your head out of the window.  Lionheart Creations made this easy for the user by including two interior views that simulate hanging your head out the left and right side of the aircraft.  The views can be cycled by the default simulator “A” and “Shift-A” but I recommend assigning a couple of joystick buttons to make this procedure easy.   The Bullette is relatively easy to taxi but per the manual, with full fuel and if you turn too hard, the wingtip could tap the ground causing damage, thankfully I have not experienced this.  Line up with the active runway and gradually apply power, this small powerful aircraft accelerates quickly, as you accelerate push the control stick down slightly raise the tail and to help see over the cowling.  When the airspeed reaches the green arc (90 knots, 170 KMH), pull back to lift off.  I had a slight left turning tendency but if I remembered to gradually apply power, this was easy to recover from.  The Proton Bullette does require quite a bit of runway before it will lift off.  Taking off from Darrington Municipal in Washington state, I did not have an issue taking off but if operating at a short field airstrip, use one or two notches of flap. Gear retraction is nicely animated and looks very realistic.    This is a very fun aircraft to hand fly and responds well to my control movements.  It does have an autopilot which is very easy to use and holds altitude and heading without issue, but I probably will probably only use it to be able to take my hands off the controls to dial the radios or for longer flights.  I was also able to trim for all phases of flight without issue and this is a very fast aircraft that will get you to your destination quickly.  After passing through the nearby hills I want to see how the Lionheart Creations Proton Bullette handles slow speed flight.  This handles well at low airspeeds, but you need to keep some power if you want to remain level or descend gradually.  I tried operating at full flaps with no power and the Bullette wanted to keep descending at about 600 FPM.   I tried raising the nose to level flight, but the aircraft would stall but stalls were gradual and very easy to recover from.  I like the slow flight handling characteristics of the Proton Bullette.  Flight simulator pilots of all skill levels should not have any issues operating this aircraft at all performance levels.  The manual recommends a traffic pattern airspeed of 120 Knots and 80 Knots for approach.  I can confirm these speeds and do not reduce power further until crossing the runway threshold.  If you are new to tail-wheeled aircraft, landing can also be challenging.  It is recommended to try to land on all three wheels for best results and do not apply brakes until you slowed or flipping over on your nose.  On this trip I was able to land without issue, not on the centerline but at least not on the grass.  Lastly, this aircraft is capable of aerobatics, but I did not try aerobatics with this review.


    Conclusion
    Accessibility
    The Lionheart Creations proton Bullette is very accessible because it is available from most major flight simulator retailers.
    Affordability
    For 19.95 this is already a very affordable package, but Lionheart Creations aircraft do go on sale throughout the year for even a better value.   As I write this many vendors are having December sales and Lionheart aircraft are 50 percent off so this aircraft is only 9.98, such a deal!
    Ease of Installation
    This is a very easy aircraft to install and activate in the simulator.  The serial number is not complicated, and I did not have any issues entering my purchase credentials to activate.  Technically, Prepar3D Version 4 is not supported but the installer has a browse button to point to this simulator location and this aircraft installed without issue into that simulator.  This is a good thing because of the issues that I had with this aircraft in P3DV3.  A very nice manual is also included which is great.
    Features & System Performance
    Lionheart Creations have included a lot of nice features for an aircraft at this price point.  There are several variants and exterior paints to choose from.  Sound effects, animations and textures are outstanding, and I really like that there is some variety to the interior textures instead of one interior theme for all aircraft.  My only wish is that they would have included some more ground static objects for when the aircraft is parked with the engine off.
    Final Thoughts
    I do not have a problem recommending the Lionheart Creations Proton Bullette for flight simulator users of all skill levels.  It is very inexpensive, with features that are sometimes not included with inexpensive simulator aircraft.  It is a wonderful aircraft to fly and can be challenging at times, but most pilots should not have issues operating this aircraft.  I did have stability issues in Prepar3D V3, but I have not read about other users having this problem, so it must be something with my system.  Thankfully, this aircraft works just fine in Version 4 except for some lighting issues that I noted in the review.   I want to thank Lionheart Creations for supplying the review copy of this aircraft and for more information, please visit the product page here: http://www.lionheartcreations.com/Bullette.html .
     
     
     
    Test System
    Hardware:
    Computer Specs:
    Intel Desktop Computer
    Intel i5 4670K 3.4Ghz Non-OC Processor
    8GB DDR3 1833 Memory
    2TB SATA HD (7200 RPM)
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX970 Video Card with 4GB GDDR5 Memory
    Saitek Cessna Pro Flight Yoke, Rudder Pedals & Trim Wheel
    Saitek Pro-Flight Switch Panel and Multi Panel
    Software:
    Prepar3D Version 3 and 4
    Windows 7 – 64 Bit
    REX 4 Texture Direct with Soft Clouds
    Orbx HD Trees, Global, Vector, Europe & NA Landclass & Multiple Regions
    FS Global 2010 FTX Compatible
    FSX Fair Weather Theme
    Flight Test Time:
    25 hours
     

    Publisher: JUST PLANES
    Description:  SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS A340
    Format:
    Blu-Ray/Download
    Reviewed by: Marlon Carter
     
    INTRODUCTION
                                          
     
     
    + Cockpit filming using up to 7 cameras for great views on takeoff & landing!
    + Pilot Presentations 
    + Flight Preparations
    + Cockpit set-up 
    + Briefings & Checklists
    + Remote Destination with no Diversion Alternate
    + Block Altitude Presentation 
    + Departure & Arrival Airport Charts
    + Cockpit Presentation 
    + Great scenery & sunrises
     
    Flight Information
    JNB Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA
    PER Perth, AUSTRALIA
    MUC Munich, GERMANY
     
    HIGHLIGHTS
     
    If you’ve been a fan of Just Planes for a while, you may be well aware that South African Airways is by no means a newcomer to their roster of airlines. With four programs already available, Just Planes has now released a 5th program which features an extensive look at the A340 operations of South African Airways.
    The first segment of this program focuses on the A340-300 on a roundtrip flight from Johannesburg to Perth. As usual, the program begins with an introduction to the flight crew as they review NOTAMs, weather and other important information pertaining to our flight. Shortly thereafter, we join the pilots on the flight deck as they complete their cockpit preparation for departure. An interesting aspect of this preparation is that the pilots have to review a document on the differences between the A340-300 and the A340-600 since pilots at SAA fly both aircraft. The differences between these models are essential to be aware of in light of the fact that Max landing weight and Turbulence air penetration speeds are different. The latter was especially important due to the fact that our flight to Perth had many areas of turbulence along our flight path. Nonetheless, once these necessary steps were completed, we departed Johannesburg for a 9 hour flight to Perth, Australia. During our flight and our return flight to Johannesburg there were many highlights worth mentioning. For example, during these flights our pilots discuss details of our routing, alternates & remote destination, CPDLC and a thorough cockpit presentation that Airbus fans are sure to enjoy. In addition to the technical information discusses, our pilots also discuss their career history and the career progress of SAA pilots. For anyone who is interested in becoming a SAA pilot, this presentation will enlighten you on how you can make this dream come true.
    Our second round trip takes us from Johannesburg to Munich onboard the A340-600. Prior to the introduction of the 747-8 into commercial service, the A340-600 had long held the record for being the longest commercial aircraft. While the length of the aircraft isn’t easily discerned from the cockpit, the use of the taxi cameras gives a good indication that this isn’t your ordinary A340. For our 10 hour flight to Munich, viewers will experience many of the highlights from our flight to Perth with the addition of a presentation by the relief pilot who discusses his role in the Cockpit. For many new pilots at SAA, their first starting point is to be a relief pilot until they attain the necessary requirements or seniority to become a First Officer. For viewers who are interested in starting a career as an SAA pilot, this brief presentation (along with the presentation from our first flight) will provide a wealth of information on what you can expect.
    With an array of pilot presentations and amazing views from the flight deck, this program will certainly appeal to fans of the A340 and all enthusiasts wishing to experience the thrill of flying onboard this unique airliner. This program nicely showcases the friendly and professional atmosphere at SAA which is perhaps one of the reasons why many pilots aspire to fly for this airline. We are all certainly grateful to SAA for opening their doors to Just Planes and we certainly hope that they continue to allow aviation lovers from around the world the opportunity to see what takes place behind the cockpit door. With any luck, perhaps the next program will feature a few U.S destinations along with a few domestic destinations!      

     
     
    Video Preview

    PERTH
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAFQeo2qVUk
    MUNICH
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYvKQyeNmCE
    Just Planes Homepage