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klamal

Best small plane?

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Hello.

 

Recently I've been watching the Flying Wild Alaska episodes on Netflix and it has, for the first time ever in my flight simming career, got me thinking about flying a small plane of some sort.  So, I'm curious as to what are some of the best aircraft in this category?  I still don't want straight GA.  I want some "airline" structure to it yet as I like having that structure to where I am going to fly to next rather than just getting in and not knowing where to go.  I'd probably be starting with flying the Era Alaska routes seen in this series.  Out of their fleet(http://www.flyera.com/about/fleet), what are some of the best payware aircraft out there for FSX?

 

I'm coming from the NGX so I'm looking for something that can get as close to quality as that.  I realize that in these smaller planes, the level of automation/FMS/Autopilot functions/VNAV/LNAV etc, etc. stuff most likely won't be there or be very basic, but I mean the quality of the representation of that aircraft in the sim.  I'd like whatever model to replicate as close to possible all characteristics(flight dynamics, systems, etc) of the aircraft in real life similar to the level we have come to expect with the NGX.

 

I have started some searching and have found the Carenado(just looked at the 208B HD) stuff and the PMDG 1900(probably would go with the C since from what I have read so far, that one seems to be better than the D).  Do any of these or others that I'm not aware of yet come close to comparison in quality to the NGX?  Again, I know these aircraft are no where near as complex or have all the equipment like a 737 does so I'm not looking for comparisons there.  But I am looking for as in depth of a simulation of the real thing as possible.

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Well, my favorite GA aircraft that is single engine is the Lancair Legacy by Real Air, if you don't want a single engine, try the duke, or the turbine duke, both are great. Theres also plenty from Carenado, though my only experience is with the PA46T, which is a good aircraft as well.

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+1 on the RealAir Lancair Legacy. Add the RealityXP GNS530 to it and you will have the GA equivalent of the PMDG 737NGX. ;)

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Considering the OPs needs and preferences (a small plane but still some form of 'operational' or airline form), I would recommend the Carenado C208B which is in my opinion, still the best the aircraft that Carenado have ever released.

 

It's even better with a Reality XP 430 or 530 fitted in it - but you may not wish that level of depth yet.

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Sibwings An-2 is an awesome. It definitely covers the GA/Tubeliner ops field. It is slow but very fun. The AN-2 also has great systems depth accurate for that plane type. Tho if you are coming from the NGX, lack of an autopilot and glass panel might be a challenge. It requires hands on flying. The AN-2 is such a steady flier you don't really need an autopilot tho, just trim it right and it pretty much flies itself.

Also regular GAs can be used in an operational sense. Many GAs are used for air taxi service, light freight hauling, Civil Air Patrol, bush flying ops, corporate aviation, flight instruction, crop dusting...etc.

As for straight up GA planes, the Real AIr Legacy is awesome as noted above. Baytower RV-7 is my personal favorite. Classics Hangar BF-108 is excellent for exotic vintage GA. The A2A Accusimmed Civil P-51 is really awesome and really systems deep...learn how to really manage a big V-12. It will keep you on your toes and bite you if you mistreat it.

Maybe something bigger up your alley would be the Real Air Turbine Duke. That's a great small GA/liner mix.

Yes, with many GA you don't have Vnav and such. You have to plan your decent in your head which isn't too hard. ie you are cruising at 10,000ft and the field elevation is 1,000
ft AGL. Lets say your average ground speed is about 180kts. That is about 3nm per minute. I usually descend at 1000FPM so an 8000ft decent will take 8mins (cruise alt to traffic pattern alt) 8*3=24. Start a 1000FPM decent about 24NM from the airport and you should end up pretty close. Half the distance if you want to descend at 2000FPM

Cheers
TJ
 

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Hello klamal,

 

if you are looking for a PMDG like aircraft i would also highly recommend the P-51D from A2A Simulations. Best aircraft addon I ever bought. I always heard people saying "Once you have tried A2A you will never go back". And it is true... The amount of detail they put into this warbird is amazing. :O

 

As pilottj has already mentioned It is available as a civilian version as well, including complete IFR equipement, autopilot and GPS.

 

If you want to go low and slow instead you might want to consider Aerosofts Katana 4X. Amazing little bird with tons of details and a well modelled system. In some areas even better than A2A.

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Let me echo those recommending various GA planes but adding in: "...then get the RXP GNS 530/430.".  The RXP's are a full implementation of the Garmin 530 and 430, including WAAS approaches in the US and Canada and are probably right in line with the sort of thing you're looking for.  While the data is not update-able, you can get relatively recent with them.  The only thing avionics-wise that comes close for GA planes would be Flight1's Mustang and 182 with their G1000 implementations.

 

 


I still don't want straight GA. I want some "airline" structure to it yet as I like having that structure to where I am going to fly to next rather than just getting in and not knowing where to go.

 

Really, it all depends on what you're looking for and while I can imagine that to some tube guys, "GA" seems all the same it's really not.  Many planes overlap between strictly non-commercial use, charter ops and even scheduled regional flights, especially in a place like Alaska.  You probably want to decide first of all what genre you really want to try (eg, piston single, light piston twin, cabin class piston, turbine single, turbine twin, bush capable...) and then look for the best in that genre.

 

Oh, and most of us (sim & RW) GA guys really don't go wandering around the sky not knowing where to go.  Honest. :lol:

 

Good luck,

 

Scott

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Oh, and most of us (sim & RW) GA guys really don't go wandering around the sky not knowing where to go. Honest. :lol:

 

:LMAO: Yeah, I have my private license and(most of the time anyway) have known where I was going.  LOL  :)  I think you know what I mean by my statement but basically, I don't want to have to "look for" my next destination on a map or something like that and just randomly hop around to whatever airport.  I still like simulating flying for an airline and the structure that provides.  So, I like the "feeling" of being "assigned" a route so to speak.  If that makes sense.

 

So, that's why I reference Era Alaska in my original post too...if I do in fact venture in to the small/light/GA whatever you want to call it area of aviation, I would start by flying their real world routes.  Having said that, there have been a lot of excellent suggestions that have me thinking of breaking out of the "restriction" of flying for Era, but at the moment I still think I'd like to start with them.  I would then like to use actual models that they have in their fleet.  I'm still looking closely at the 208 from Carenado or the B1900C(ported to FSX) from PMDG just because these seem to be used a lot on their routes and can probably get into almost all(if not all) airports they fly to.  Personally, I like the 1900s but of course they are FS9 versions and I'm guessing not quite up to the level of a complete FSX version aircraft would be.  If PMDG had a 1900 updated to FSX/NGX standards, I'd be buying that right now.

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The 1900 is showing it's FS9 heritage... Maybe a Carenado King Air, C90 or B200 would fit the bill.

 

Again, like the guys above have said, a C90 with an RXP GNS430, or a B200 with an RXP GNS530

would be a nice charter operations aircraft.

 

Not mentioned is the Flight1 PC12... it would also feel right at home in Alaska.

 

Lots of nice airplanes to choose from!

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Also of notice is the new Aerosoft Twin Otter X, which according to a developer is (if nothing goes wrong of course) supposed to come out within the next few weeks. It looks fantastic, and seems to be what you're looking for, so maybe keep that in mind  :smile: .

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Upcoming Milviz 350 would fit your bill too.

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Yeah, I have my private license and(most of the time anyway) have known where I was going. LOL :) I think you know what I mean by my statement but basically,...

 

I did, but it was just too good to pass up!

 

Scott

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Klamal, if you don't already have it, it sounds like you would really get your money's worth out of AirHauler - does just what you are talking about in terms of simulating commercial air transport based on location and scale of operation (including fleet composition) of your choosing.

 

And echoing other posts, to remain true to ERA, the Caravan would be a great starting point - either Carenado (with the cargo add-on pack of course), or default with bstolle's fdx add-on. You can even get ERA skins for the Caravan (try OzX site)!

Happy haulin'

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Upcoming Milviz 350 would fit your bill too.

 

I didn't know this. Thanks. I like their 310, especially the sound aspect. 

 

For the TS, would you ever try BN-2 Islander? it's simple and forgiving yet robust GA plane to fly

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I second the advice on the Carenado C208 Caravan, the Realair Legacy and the Sibwings An-2. I'd say with those three planes you have everything covered for flying in remote areas - a plane that can haul quite heavy loads, one that is really fast and one to land nearly everywhere, and they all have convincing flight dynamics IMO.

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klamal, on 19 Jun 2013 - 8:34 PM, said:

I still don't want straight GA. I want some "airline" structure to it yet as I like having that structure to where I am going to fly to next rather than just getting in and not knowing where to go.

The Carenado C208 sounds like an obvious choice and it's a plane that's featured in the series (great series BTW). The default FSX one isn't too bad either, so check that out first to get a feel for the plane and its capabilities. If you do get the Carenado model, make sure you get all the "optional" patches as this fixes and improves the flight dynamics significantly.

 

When you're ready for "off airport" operations, check out Carenado's C185 to stay true to the series. There's a repaint available to make it look just like Jim Tweto's C180 B)

http://aussiex.org/forum/index.php?/files/file/1600-carenado-c185f-bush-tundra/

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As has previously been mentioned the forthcoming Aerosoft Twin Otter X looks like it might fit your requirements. I see from their facebook page that Carenado's next offering will be a Beech 1900D - that might be with waiting for.

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I have myself also started watching Flying Wild Alaska, but I had been flying small planes around PNW already before that. Mostly related to performance issues with big plans at big airports; problems I simply don't have when flying Cessna's around (most of) OrbX PNW.

 

As for planes, here's a list of planes I very much enjoy:

1) RealAir Scout: My top-favorite small plane for exploring. Won't be much good when trying to simulate Era flights, but it's a great little thing for "private" flights.

 

2) Carenado C208B: In all honesty, I fly this plane because it's such a good-looking, highly useful plane. It can go anywhere and everywhere. I usually use it for my FedEx Feeder flights. Fact is though that I find the FDE very finicky, which makes it a pain to control on some approaches. Anybody know of good third-party FDEs? Or is this really the way the plane handles?

 

3) Sibwings BirdDog: I love this plane. It's similar to the RealAir Scout, but it feels much more clunky and old due to the WW2 military style liveries. I only list it third because I fly the C208B more often, but in enjoyment I'd list it square next to the RealAir Scout.

 

4) Carenado C210: Beautiful and also highly sueful plane. Smaller than the C208B, for less "packed" flights and "vacation flying with friends", or something along those lines. I do not like its very touchy handling though; the same complaints I have on the C208B handling apply to the C210.

 

5) Flight1/Virtavia BN2 Islander. This plane handles beautifully, has amazing sounds and looks great. It's the biggest "small plane" I fly around the PNW, most often between Skagit/Anacortes/Jefferson County Intl. Its problem is that its very slow, so that whenever I need to fly far with a bigger "small plane", I take the C208B.

 

6) A2A Piper Cub: Stunning little plane and lots of fun! Its problem is that it is also very slow. I usually take the RealAir Scout instead, because its faster, but the Cub definitely makes you feel like you are actually piloting the plane, and aren't just a kind of virtual passenger. But yeah, it's slow...

 

In the future there are some other planes I would really like to have. The Sibwings AN-2 is top priority here; would love to fly this plane in my sim! The other some others, like the Milviz 310, and the future Carenado B1900D for instance.

 

Hope this helps.

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2) Carenado C208B: In all honesty, I fly this plane because it's such a good-looking, highly useful plane. It can go anywhere and everywhere. I usually use it for my FedEx Feeder flights. Fact is though that I find the FDE very finicky, which makes it a pain to control on some approaches. Anybody know of good third-party FDEs? Or is this really the way the plane handles?

 

Did you get the update called "Optional Patch" for the C208 from the Update section at Carenado? It should just be a zip file with a new .air and aircraft.cfg file.

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If you can wait a couple of weeks there will be only one which is a must have ...

 

The A2A Simulations Accu-sim Cessna 172 ... this will be the NGX of the GA world.

 

If its like like the other A2A Accu-sim offerings it will be outstanding.

 

A2A for me have the edge over everyone else as their aircraft act like real aircraft and are not 100% reliable ... things brake and ware out, it can and will catch you out if you dont do things right.

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There are a number of King Airs and Caravans (and others) that pop up on Flight Aware, so you can fly RW routes.

 

If it fit your bill (which it doesn't), I'd recommend the Milviz B55. But the Carenado C208 would be high on the list as well.

 

Mike

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I also recommend the Carenado 208 with the FDE update and the RXP GPS.

 

I know Era also flies the 1900. You could port over the PMDG 1900 and put the RXP in it. Though this is PMDGs oldest bird.

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I also recommend the Carenado 208 with the FDE update and the RXP GPS. I know Era also flies the 1900. You could port over the PMDG 1900 and put the RXP in it. Though this is PMDGs oldest bird.

 

Yeah, like I said, I like the 1900 but I don't have it for FS9 either nor do I have an FS9 install anywhere either.  I still assume I'd be able to get it into FSX though but maybe not?  Does the installer depend on FS9 being there or some registry entries made referencing FS9?  Or the existence of FS9.exe?  I think all the import docs I've seen talk about an import from FS9 and not a straight FSX install.

 

At the moment, I think I'm leaning to the Carenado 208 either way but still trying to decide.

 

How is the experience with these "smaller" planes when you have no rudder pedals?  I plan on getting rudder pedals some time in the near future.  Maybe I should do that first as I imagine flying the 208 won't be quite the same experience without, right?  Or would it still be enjoyable/flyable without?

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Going back to an FS9 plane is going to be disappointing - I would advise against it.

 

The PMDG B1900 for FS9 was one of my favorites, but now we've got FSX and a different

set of expectations.

 

If you really want a Beech.. get the Carenado B200.

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Do you have a joystick with a twistable base? That could work 'til you get rudder pedals.

 

I'm not sure about porting the 1900 without FS9. I have fs9 so that was never an issue for me. But ultimately I'll have to agree with Bert. It's a pretty dated bird.

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