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JoTayhen

Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander

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Hey Fellas, Well, I didn't think it would happen but it has. I am seriously thinking about moving toward something that can carry a few folks. To say I am a "dyed-in-the-wool" GA sim pilot would probably be an understatement. I have and enjoy the Katana 4X, SF-260, Beech B 60 (both piston and turbine), Carenado's Cessna T210 Centurion and my beloved American Scout. I would like to learn on a modest, simple commuter type, short haul a/c and I have been looking at the Flight 1/Virtavia BN-2 Islander. I read with interest Joseph Rame's review over at FlightSim.com. I really need some "hand-holding" here. I want to get into something that is simple to begin with and see how this whole transition thing goes. I prefer the older gauges, simple cockpit layout and less sophisticated avionics. Give me a couple of radios, a basic GPS, transponder, autopilot - you all know the picture I'm trying to paint here - and I am very satisfied. I will probably operate in the Orbix PNW area, MegaScenery Florida area and the Carribean. Anybody have much experience with the Islander? How about some opinions about anything else I should be looking at? I'm not ready for the heavy stuff - not even the "moderately" heavy stuff at the moment, maybe, for me, never - but I have an emerging interest the the smaller commuters. Something that will accept and thrive on a bit of a rough flying environment but still be comfortable with the relatively short milk-runs hauling freight and/or passengers. I really appreciate your looking at this post and I would also very much enjoy your opinions and guidance. Regards, John


John

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Well, having flown it for several months now, using it in cahoots with JustFlights Cargo Pilot around the PNW , I think it fits your requirements perfectly! The sound of the engines alone is worth the price! This guy loves it!

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Either the Islander you mention or Aerosoft's Twin Otter will be up your street, they are both great and both of them can take off from, and land on a sixpence, and a pretty rough sixpence at that. They both have simple avionics that will not phase a decent GA pilot, although don't forget your ear defenders, those rugged big twins are loud. The Twotter has some float-equipped variants that will expand your options too. As an alternative, if you don't want to spend any money, the default DC-3 would work too although it needs a bigger runway, but it does land at less than 90 mph and you'll know how to operate all the avionics in it as they too are a simple set up although the radio is a bit basic by modern standards. If you like that, you might want to check out its payware little brother in the shape of the UIVER DC-2 from Flight 1, which is a very nice thing indeed. If something historic floats your boat, check out Aerosoft's Consolidated PBY Catalina flying boat, that's a blast and it was practically made for zipping around the Caribbean, if you don't absolutely love that thing, you need to seek help. Yes it's pretty big, but it is easy to fly and getting the best out of its engines will offer a good challenge to keep your flights interesting. Al


Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Thanks PJ - the BN-2 just seems to "look right" to me. I really enjoyed the wonderful sound of those turbines when the Beech B 60 came out. I know what you mean about enjoying the cockpit atmosphere and how important that is. Believe it or not, this is a big step for me and I really don't want to find myself having to become more of a manager than a pilot if you know what I mean. I appreciate your input. Regards, John


John

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Hey Al - Thanks for getting back to me. I really respect your opinion as I know you are very well versed in the stuff that comes with a pretty steep learning curve. I have tried the default DC-3 and I did enjoy it but it reminded me a little too much of driving a bus. By the way, I do have some experience on those wonderful beasts - not as a pilot but as a passenger. I used to ride them regularily from San Juan down to Christiansted, St. Croix in the late 40's and early 50's. I even had a fair collection of the little chicklett gum boxes (two pieces in each!). I have not looked at the Twin Otter. Never entered my mind, actually. Glad you mentioned it. Some time ago I wandered from my home base in Camden, SC up to the great PNW in a wonderful little American Scout and had a great time along the way. I know this a/c represents a step up even from the twin turbine Duke and so I want to look around for a bit before I commit. The Islander can handle a pretty tough crosswind (30 Kts +/-). How about the Twin Otter? Regards, John


John

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I have the Twin Otter but not the Islander. It's on my wish list, though. The main differences are 1. the Twotter sim is a much older software than the Islander and it shows. Even with an aftermarket updated texture paint for the cockpit, it's not a great looking VC and is probably the main thing keeping me from flying it more than I otherwise would. 2. it's a turbo-prop vs the pistons in the BN-2 Islander. This can be a pro or a con depending on what you like to fly but keep that in mind in its behavior. The model of the Islander seems great with a lot of great sounds and character built into it that I think Aerosoft's Otter lacks. Finally, two plusses for the Twotter: since it's older it runs nicer although you have a fine computer so that shouldn't matter and second I think the real life Twin Otter looks better than the Islander ;)

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I´ve flown and will fly the BN-2 islander for real. Really neat little plane. I think I´ll fit perfectly in your requirements. So don´t forget to switch the fuel pumps on for all take off and landing actions! :(


Best regards, Steffen

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Fight time: NGX 737-700: 37,0h; -800: 47,2h

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Hmmm... funny you should say that, John.. I know exactly what you mean, and it reminded me of a comment that an old (and now deceased) friend of mine said to me. He began his commercial flying career in 1936 or 7, flying the DH89a Rapide, five times a day, between Vancouver (Sea Island), Victoria and Seattle, plus charter work up and down the west coast... he went on to join TCA, (later becoming Air Canada), flying DC-3's, Lockeed Electra's, Canadair's, Viscounts, culminating with the DC-8 twice a week between Toronto and Frankfurt, before retiring in 1977 (I think). He said "Flying stopped being fun around 1954, when it became "Flight Deck Management". For me and most of us, I guess, (flying the LH MD-80) I get a huge charge as the nose come off the ground at rotate. The whole flight is a superb challenge to "do it by the book", as perfectly as I can, with a final APU shutdown at the destination gate. We can turn this off at the drop of a hat, and do it at our leisure, and so it never becomes a "job", thank goodness. I envied Bill for his career, but I don't think I really wanted it, otherwise...

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Twotter has a pretty high crosswind limit, but you need a lot of aileron. It is true that the Aerosoft Twotter is a bit rough in the VC by today's best standards, but it is by no means intolerable and to be honest I think it kind of makes it look like a well used workhorse rather than actually bad. Al


Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Guest jahman

I absolutely love the complex cockpits of modern airliners! So intellectually challenging! But a funny thing happens: Oncle I learn how to fly them I get bored and go back to the A2A Sim B-377 and B-17, and of course the MAAM-SIM DC-3. Cheers, - jahman.

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I really appreciate the input, fellas. When I look at those cockpits that jahman refers to I can imagine myself flying on autopilot and trying my best to keep ahead of events, procedures and such while not becoming too much of a danger or distraction to others along the way! I can't seem to get over the perception I have of not being able to improvise - having to be confined in some respects to a narrow set of objectives and parameters that demand strict compliance in return for success. My hat is off to all of you who fly and enjoy the big stuff. I'll be happy just doing my best to stay out of your way! John


John

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