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scott967

AlphaSim C-130E

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I just got the C-130E package fromAlphaSim today and thought that I would share my initial impressions with the group.The AlphaSim purchase system is pretty easy and pain free...other than a short wait. The system requires that a password be sent to you via email so I was not able to immediately download the package late last night; however, I was all set this morning (I sure that the response was fast when the time difference between the UK and Michigan is taken into account when considering the norm. working day). Downloading was extremely fast! The package is broken up into smaller portions for faster download...the main package (there are two packages, one for FS2002 and one for CFS2; both come with the purchase) is a little less than 5mb, and there are 4 sound files also available.Installation was very easy and should be a snap for most every FS user.The aircraft model is very nice! It features animated control surfaces, paratroop doors (Hoooah!), ramp, crew door and cowl doors. The cockpit features transparent glass that allows for viewing of the 3d interior including the pilot, copilot and navigator. When the ramp or paratroop doors are open the interior of the cargo area is visable and is modeartely detailed.The first thing that I noticed was the excellent frame rates! I set up a flight at the local ANG base and with the usual amount of AI and detail the FPS counter was pinned at my selected figure!Texturing of the plane is nice but not great. AlphaSim has made the textures available for repainters so I imagine that some nice new textures will appear soon!The 2d cockpit is my least favorite part of the package. I found it to be framerate friendly but not very functional or appealing. The background bitmap is great and the view is terrific, but the gauge design and layout is not very good. I was able to fix this by modifying the original bitmap to remove the frames for the gauges and redesigning the layout using FS Panel Studio and default and freeware gauges. I now have a panel that is more realistic, frame rate friendly, and fully functional for VFR and IFR and is based on the original bitmap.The virtual cockpit is nicely textured and offers great visibility. The copilot (navigating with a map in his lap!) and the flight engineer are visable as you pan the cockpit. The VC features a good mix of static and dynamic gauges. Dynamic gauges include the basics needed to fly such as the ADI, HSI, VSI, ASI, Altimeter, and an RMI. There are other dynamic gauges as well but these are the main ones. There are no dynamic engine gauges in the VC (statics are there however) so frame rates are again very high! I have modifed the VC to more closely resemble the 2d panel. A tip for users of FS Panel Studio: make sure that the {VCOCKPITXX} section reads {VCOCKPIT01} instead of {VCOCKPIT00} so that Panel Studio will not delete the section and gauges can be moved in the WYSIWYG mode!The sound package is very nice and is on par with the package by Adrian Brausch and Mike Hambly.The package includes a flare effect that is neat, but I replaced it with the freeware paratroop effect (Death from above!) available from the usual sites. The flight dynamics are excellent! I am of course not a Hurk driver and am not qualified to judge them on accuracy, but as a fairly experienced simmer I found them to be very good! Ground handling is good and the aircraft seems to fly according to the numbers I am familiar with. It is a very pleasant bird to fly.My overall impression is very favorable.I rate the package as Very Good (or an 8/10 if you prefer). My favorite aspects of the package are the great frame rates, excellent flight dynamics and dynamic VC. My least favorite part of the package is the 2d panel (which is fortuantely the easiest to modify!). For $14, I think the C-130E package is a good deal (especially considering that there will be additional models relaesed shortly!) and I would definately recomend the package to anybody! In fact, I believe it is a must have for any Hurcules fan!

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I just would like to say how refreshing your post was! Very to the point, seeing both sides and pointing out all the options for someone to take in that is considering the purchase. I have purchased quite a few add ons from Alphasims and have liked them all, not the best of the best, but very nice in their own right. I can only hope for more 'reviews" of addons that follow this line of thinking! Bravo!Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpg

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I would tend to agree with Michael...a nice, user oriented and objective review of a new commercial add-on that will go a long way in helping serious simmers make their own decisions on whether or not to purchase. It is quite refreshing after some of the stuff on the forum that usually shows up right after something new comes out and sometimes can be downright insulting to both the developer and the rest of us...Personally, I am not quite comfortable with flying with the VC yet (most of them still look a bit cartoonish for my tastes) and despite the new emphasis by developers on this aspect, I still make most of my decisions based on the quality and functionality of the 2D cockpit and the flight dynamics. So I'm on the fence based on your input and may not buy this product (though like many I don't have a decent Herc in my flight sim hangar!!). If someone could do something even close to the latest B-25 package by MAAM (an underrated masterpiece IMHO to date) with a C-130, I'd be all over it. Anyway, thanks again for such a balanced, mature and informative review of this new product. best regards,

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I'm a Herk driver, I would've like to get the chance to test out this C-130, but as it is I'm shipping out. If I get the chance to fly it all let you guys know how it compares to the real thing. I'd also like to take a look at Captain Sim's C-130 too.Lobaeux

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Curious how the alphasim 2d panel compares to Clive Ryan's hercpnl_up2k2 which is what I am currently using. Also I contacted them about their "coming real soon" LC-130 which I would like to upgrade, and they report that they plan to fix the "feature" on the existing freeware one which puts the skis connected to the landing lights, so if you land on wheels you have to have landing lights off.scott s..

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