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Paul J

ShockWave's Spitfire Mk I quick review.

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. . is absolutely terrific! For FS comparison - I own the RA Spit 14, and have tried (about 20 flights & returned) the Spit Mk16 by Plane Design.Graphics: It has one of the best cockpits of any aircraft I've flown - certainly on a par with the Safir or the Do-27. The detail is almost photoreal, with realistically-sized gauges (I compared the cockpit to a good inside shot of a r/w Mk1), well-proportioned and proto-typical. Externally, the aircraft appears more smoke-blackened and dirtier than most, and the textures are not as crisp as others - but all the right, photoreal detail is there and I could find nothing to really fault it. Handling: She's a delight to fly. Landing is not a breeze - she gets quite loose as the speed bleeds away, has a spin that needs a forced entry, otherwise it will nicely stall to the right, lose a few feet and then gently pick up speed and walk away; BUT if you force the spin - it will seemingly hesitate for a turn a so, lulling you into a sense of false security THEN it will bite you! It can get away from you, is very responsive to power changes in both pitch and yaw, with the turn/slip indicator working correctly in the pull up into a vertical.Price: At $18.95 US bucks - this is one of the best deals I have ever come across in the hobby. You get "as good as it gets" for both FS9 AND FSX for this price. I didn't fly it in FSX yet, but the RA Spit works fine, and so I'm expecting this one to be better.This aircraft doesn't dislodge Rob's Mk14 in any way, as this one is a different aircraft, designed and built some five - six years earlier than the 14, and performs much as we would expect: the Mk14 is a smoother, more powerful, noisier, and a much stronger fighter than the MkI, and Rob has achieved that "feel": similarly, Shockwave has achieved that same authenticity with this one. My "14" has a buddy.PJ gives it 5 stars. :-beerchug

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Great review. Thanks.I was thinking of picking it up but the DL size, only 45 megs, made me wonder how good the detail would be. I'm sure I'll get it. Of all the Spitfires, the MKI is my favorite. Love the classic purity of it. I have the Shockwave P-51, (the full edition, not the Solo) and it's very nicely done indeed.How smooth are the VC gauges?

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Very smooth....!I have the Spit as part of the Wings Of Power 2 pack, for FS9 and FSX. Of all the aircraft from that pack, I love the Spitfire and the BF109; they are quite superb, and IMO they are even better in FSX as the textures look a little more crisp, and have that lovely bump-mapped affect, plus you get the VC motion, which you don't get in FS9. The RA Spitfire has this effect in FS9; as you know, I wish the WOP2 planes do, but never mind...they're still works of art!

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I think overall, that this Spitfire looks and fly's well. And as already mentioned, the FSX version gets some of that subtle three dimensional moving effect in the cockpit. It's very noticeable as that small oval canopy hatch moves in relation to the wing, whereas the FS9 version remains "stiffly" static.The instruments are rather smooth. Perhaps not quite as smooth as RealAir's, but certainly very close. I even got some interesting spins out of this. One had the nose nearly vertical, and I recovered, while the other one was flatter, and I should have bailed out! :D And....it's not a frame rate hog either! Works well with both FSX and FS9 fps wise.My only complaint, is that the brakes/elevator still seem on the touchy side, as did my P-51. With full up elevator, low rpms, and just enough to throttle to taxi, it's very easy to tip the tail up until the prop strikes, by just barely touching the brakes.As I use both sims about 50/50 these days, I'm also very happy to get both a FS9 and FSX version for under $19! It's well worth it!L.Adamson

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Hah-Hah!! I knew you would try it, Larry! That was a nice shot of your 14 over Hawaii a week or two back! (What "cartoonish" houses?).Yeah - it's very much better in FSX, isn't it? I think that I/we need two different profiles for TrackIR: I found the head movement in FS9 on the approach was excessive - to the point where "loose" became "drunken pilot". I tightened up the vertical and side-to-side head axis while I was in FSX last night and it improved markedly. That wing/canopy hatch and the general aircraft motion is very well modelled in FSX while FS9 with ASv6 doesn't quite do it.I've moved the scalar back on the brakes back to .7, and will likely drop it some more. My r/w taildragger experience is limited to the Chipmunk, Piston Provost, and the Auster Autocrat, and, although I expect one could tip either of them onto their respective noses with gross incompetence - I cannot believe that the mere 1/2-millisecond dab of the brake lever would be sufficient to put the Spit over, too. As an R/C - even the Byron Spit sized - model - the Spit is a bit touchy, but I think they've overdone it a tad here. It is interesting that this is the first FS aircraft flown where I was able to "kick, or "jump" the tail around. Applying 14 or 1500 rpm, full back and full left rudder - one can "bounce" the brakes and throttle and the tail will momentarily leave the ground and she'll pivot around the left wheel. Quite cool. Makes parking a snap. Pulling the mixture back to idle cut-off produces a quite realistic shutdown too. Most aeroplanes the sound is out of sync with the prop motion. Not so here. I really had no idea of the quality of Shockwave's products. WWII fighters are, sort of, the realm of CFS3 and IL2 - but this is not. I like it as much as the RA Spit, and will probably look a the P51 now you've mentioned it. Is it as good?. . .just south of KSEA, heading south, current date, FS9.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/166233.jpg

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>I really had no idea of the quality of Shockwave's products.>WWII fighters are, sort of, the realm of CFS3 and IL2 - but>this is not. I like it as much as the RA Spit, and will>probably look a the P51 now you've mentioned it. Is it as>good?I've got the Bf109 but not the Spit yet but I would say the 109 is as good as this especially the VC. Their other planes in the WWII Fighters package are good but not quite up to the quality of these two IMHO.Frog

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> and will>probably look a the P51 now you've mentioned it. Is it as>good?>The P-51 is a few years old now, and I've never reinstalled on the newer CPU. I didn't like the flight dynamics as well as the RealAir Spitfire, and the prop & prop arc from the VC view was much too small in diameter. And there was those touchy brakes too!There are some excellent freeware Mustangs out there, with exceptional exteriors and great sounds, but the VC's are not the quality of the Shockwave product. For all I know, the Shockwave model might have been updated a time or two since my purchase, as this Spit has a better feel of flight, and a much improved prop arc visual! :)And yes, I remember the days of Byron R/C models, and the big show the company put on each year, and especially their huge B-29. I had a bunch of quarter scales at the time. Also bought a Byron F-15 but never finished it before selling the model.L.Adamson

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"...will probably look a the P51 now you've mentioned it. Is it asgood?"Very good. Great detail from nose to tail, nice feel, nice sound, very fast(!), and some nasty takeoffs with the center gas tank full.Bleeding speed of this puppy takes time. Glides like the devil.

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Thanks all; yes , Frog - that 109 does look good, doesn't it? I suppose it will be next, with a pass on the '51. It taught you about an aft cg, eh, Eric? :) The whole Shockwave organisation is quite professional, with the right mix of product for the 1940's era guys. I have the MAAM B25, and couldn't speak too highly of it.Larry, I softened the brake scalar down to .5, and this seems about right. It gives one the ability to be able to stop without going over.More Seattle. . .

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"And there was those touchy brakes too!"You mean the heat sensitive brakes that apply at 110% when you just look at them and cause the plane to flip over and self-destruct?Forgot about those. :-dohYes, the Shockwave P-51 has a very nice VC. I cannot abide a poor VC. All payware add-ons must have great VCs or else they are... definitely not Scottish.

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Just did a price check on the Shockwave and RealAir Spitfires.In Canadian funds the Shockwave Spitfire is $24. The RealAir Spitfire is $58.Can anyone who has both please comment on this? Is the RealAir version worth more than twice the price of the Shockwave version? I know the RealAir Spitfire is supposed to be very good indeed, but $58 is beaucoup cash. Especially for an add-on that has been around for a while.

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All I can tell you, Eric, is that I the RA 14 is an aeroplane that you "experience". I think the SW MkI is underpriced by $8 or $10 bucks, and the RA is probably right on - as Rob also gives you an environment - West Malling war-time base with half-a-dozen other AI Spits - for your entertainment. It's a fairly simplistic airfield, but nevertheless very well done and has a quite authentic feel to it. The Spit 14 is awesome. It ooooozes power. Until you hear the Griffon begin to yowl as you really open up past 8 pounds and pull some g - hard upward port after take-off, with a climb rate that knocks your socks off, you ain't felt nothin' yet! It says "You want a piece of me??" "I'll give you a piece of me!!!!" Just hope you are ready. . . It takes a while to master it - particularly the take-off swing (which is to the right). It's very smooth in all phases of flight - grooves well and handles beautifully on the approach. Power application or reduction will cause a significant change in pitch - and yaw, dependent upon airspeed. You can up-end it, but the brakes are properly done and need only to be treated with respect. The interior is not as photorealistic as the SW MkI, but it's certainly good enough - and better than most. All in all she's a five, too. I'm very happy with it - and also Rob's great service.Oh - yes, I fully agree with you - it has to have VC.

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Thanks Paul, appreciate that. I'd love to have them both, but spending $85 on Spitfires is not part of my budget right now. Might just have to bite on the SW Spitfire, though. Hard to resist. As much as the RA MKXIV sounds tasty, I have a long love affair with the MKI. Goes back to CFS1. I flew the MKI more than all other planes combined.I like your description of the Griffon engine. I heard it remarked once that the Griffon had a roar that made it sound like it wanted to go out and kill something.

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I bit. "Chomp!"Just got the SW Spitfire MKI. DL and install were perfect. (Take that FeelThere/Wilco.) Only installed on FS9 so far.The plane is certainly nice looking. Would have liked it a bit sharper in detail on the exterior, but maybe that's just me. Certainly would have liked more than one skin. I think a choice of two or three should come with every plane.The VC is superb. Sweet and smooth. Detail, atmosphere, clickability, sound, this is a top shelf VC. Gauges are nicely done, very sharp, even close up. The night lights are ok, nothing special. Would love to see a muted red lighting. That would be great.The sound is good enough, but I've heard better. Mind you, my computer speakers came out of a box of Lucky Charms I bought for my kid, so my opnion might not be fair. Better find the headphones. To this day the nastiest Merlin I ever heard was a freeware DL for the CFS1 Spitfire. It blew you right out of your chair.The SW Spitfire flies like candy. Easy on and easy off with a lovely fuel cut when you pull negative Gs. Classic. This is a good sightseeing plane. Nice visibility and it's fast enough to avoid boredom and slow enough to let the scenery load. I still think it's overpriced since it's solo cost is 300% higher than it's cost on the five plane CD. On the other hand, no one told me not to order the whole CD package for $30 and get all the planes for what would work out to be $6 each. But I wanted it now (as will many people) and I hate dealing with packages that have to go through customs. Always a pain. On the other hand, it's a very nice plane for less than twenty bucks and it will certainly be backed by good customer service. Pros: Top shelf VC!Flies like an angelSounds niceA great plane for $20Cons:Could be more detailed on the exteriorOnly one skinCould still be a few bucks less on the DLAll in all, standard Shockwave high quality stuff.

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