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Guest BeaverDriver

Cessna T206H - First Impressions

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Guest BeaverDriver

Well, I have to admit, I'm a sucker for the bigger Cessnas, particularly those that operate in the boonies. The 206 is one of my favourite (next to the 185) both in FSX and IRL (I have RW commercial time in both). I've been watching the 206 development with great interest since it's inception and it sure looked good right from the start. I know many said we already have a 206, but adding the turbocharger with the bigger engine basically makes it a whole new machine that opens up many new doors, particularly in Orbx NA regions where the high country rules. I also know there was supposed to be a glass version, which might be coming along later, but isn't in this release, which has disappointed a few. The truth is, the jury is still out on how well the glass panels will hold up to the constant pounding these plane receive if they are operating off gravel or grass strips, which the 206 is almost ideal for (the 185 with its tailwheel is still better/safer, but the 206 is certainly no slouch when it comes to backcountry operation). If you are operating strictly from paved runways, then probably glass is the way to go. More on that later, but suffice to say that for most "operators" in FSX (read "simmers") the 206 with the analogue panel and a 530 is a very, very typical setup and the best option, particularly since the wheel pants are removeable (if you don't remove them before flying off a snow/ice or very rough grass runway, Mother Nature will do it for you :)). For many of us who operate in both the backcountry and off paved strips, this aircraft offers the greatest set of options possible, although it would have been nice to be able to remove the rear seats.

 

As many of you know, I've been a pretty heavy critic of Orbx aircraft in the past number of releases. The aircraft are typically plagued by switches that don't work or work backwards, poor night lighting, very dumbed down systems (it seemed like graphics that were the only things that mattered), etc. Well, if one is going to openly criticize something when it's not up to par, they'd better be willing to step up and compliment when things are done right. The 206 is very definitely done RIGHT! All the switches work as they should, the sound set is dead on (perhaps the wind noise could be increased, which I did on my own) for this model and this engine, the FDE's are superb (my controls make it feel a bit too touchy or sensitive - the 206 is a big, heavy handed Cessna and is very heavy on the controls IRL - that doesn't come across on my system, but that could be my system, not the airplane), and the night lighting is some of the best I've ever seen in the industry.

 

The aircraft is a delight to fly (not a very macho term, I realize, but dang, it really is :D) and in every flight regime it behaves as the real one does. I've flown it at full gross off a 1500 ft strip and it gets out (as it should) and landed on an 1100 ft strip, which it will also do. In both cases you don't have a lot of extra room to play with, and when you do lift off, your climb is a bit anemic at first, and this is very true to life. Many FSX airplanes seem like rockets even at gross (and sometimes it's hard to tell if you're at gross or only have a 120 lb pilot and 1/8th tank fuel!) but this one doesn't. You definitely need to fly it with some care at gross off a short runway (and 1500 is short for this airplane) or you'll get into trouble. That's GOOD.

 

In cruise all the gauges read exactly what they should. There's nothing in the red (at either end of the gauge) and they all seem to work as they should, including the TAS tape, which is a really nice addition. The cowl flaps work as they should and like with the heading bug, DG and VOR adjust knobs, rolling forward on your mouse wheel increases the respective values, and rolling back decreases those values, no matter where you are on the click spot. There's none of this reversing of those functions depending on where your mouse is over the knob, and this is a HUGE improvement over previous offerings. Even in rough air I could easily make adjustments, and believe me, that's critical if you are flying in the mountains!

 

On approaches and landings, the airplane handles like a typical, big Cessna. The flaps are very effective (we call flaps on the Cessna's, "barn doors" for a reason) and they will give you just the right attitude coming down final. It's often a good idea if you are a bit nose heavy to add in a little nose up trim just prior to the flare to help you get that big nose up as you round out for landing. I did that in the real machine as well, and especially in the 185 on floats as you can get into situations where you "run out of elevator" in the flare. It doesn't happen often, and you should never use the trim instead of the elevator to control pitch, but in this case it does help. Play with it a bit and see if it works for you. Anyway, the flare and landing is perfectly normal and accurate in this machine, and on one landing I had a 15 kt crosswind and while I had to work at it, slipping it in at the last minute worked just like the real thing. I was extremely pleased at this level of handling.

 

I have to say (and I have many of Carenado's planes) that I believe this to be the finest and most complete aircraft out of the gate. We are all too familiar with the usual process where we get the airplane, send in a list of bugs (some of which get fixed, some of which don't) and then we get the SP that really is the Release Candidate for the airplane. Not this time. The airplane is good to go right from the start. I haven't found anything that is agregious which needs to be fixed, and for that matter, not even any niggles.

 

Now, there still is the issue with the Avionics not been very fully coded. I do tend to think there has been some upgrade to the 530, but I can't say for sure. Other than the Transponder, everything is pretty much analogue technology and we all know that Carenado is a master of those. If Carenado ever gets someone who can more fully (FAR more fully!) code these things, they will find themselves easily at the top of the heap with only a few notable true competitors for the FSX aircraft $$. Graphics-wise, they are second to none.

 

I don't do this very often, but this is an airplane I can completely recommend for those interested in backcountry flying (remember though - this is NOT a STOL machine - I'm speaking within the confines of what the real airplane can do), or want a really good looking fixed gear airplane to fly off paved runways. It is one of my favourite airplanes in my stable already, and that's saying something (maybe that I've got experience on these IRL makes me a little biased). Let's hope that this is the new "norm" in terms of the quality of any release for Carenado. It certainly sets a standard now for them to live up to, and I absolutely know they can. Let's hope they do. Nice one Carenado - you hit a home run with this one.

 

A few pics for you

 

206-3.jpg

On the ramp at Yakutat, showing the display controller - very nicely done! This has the wheel pants option enabled.

 

206-4.jpg

Near Yakutat, Alaska

 

C206-15.jpg

Near Fair Isle, Scotland (Orbx Scotland scenery)

 

C206-17.jpg

On final for Kirkwall, Scotland (Orbx Scotland scenery)


Just a quick note on the above - some of you will notice the airplane does sit back on its haunches similar to the 210. There is absolutely no problem landing on the mains only (the way it should be done). The 210 has had issues with one needing a ridiculously nose high attitude on landing in order to not touch on the nosewheel first (I seem to have solved that, but I'm not sure how). This one has a similar attitude on the ground and for sure the panel is pretty tall and hard to see over. That's very true of the real machine as well. I just adjust my seat up and down as required so I can see over it (I used to stick a small cushion on my seat of both the 206 and 185 - didn't need it with the Beaver for some reason :)) IRL, so I kind of do the same thing with this. If you have buttons free to program in FSX, I use one for moving the eyepoint forward and backward (really handy for looking around that side door post to see a runway when you are on base), one for up and down so I can see out the side window along the bottom of the wing (that too is realistic) and one for moving left/right to access gauges and whatnot that are a bit out of eyesight otherwise. Anyway, that's an option for you, but the aircraft is accurately depicted in this respect.

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Guest Mik75

Thanks for this really well written review!

I hoped for steam gauges with GNS 530, so I'll probably buy this beauty, especially since you seem to like its FDE!

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Guest tymk

Thanks for the review, Glenn! Knowing that you have substantial RL experience on the type, I'd been looking forward to your comments on this release.

 

BTW, can I ask if you still fly the 210? I've spent quite a lot of time trying to make it flyable, but I have ZERO real-world experience with this plane (or any other, for that matter... armchair pilot only :(), so I have no way of telling whether the changes actually work as they should. If you haven't given up on it completely, would you mind sharing the tweaks/changes you've made to make it work?

 

Thanks in advance!

Tym

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Thanks very much for that very detailed review ... where´s my credit-card .... oh got it ... gone to the shop! ;-)


Best regards,

 

Avsim-Banner-2.jpg

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If you would like a "real" 530 to put in the panel, the Reality XP GNS530 is the unit ^_^


Bert

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As many of you know, I've been a pretty heavy critic of Orbx aircraft in the past number of releases. The aircraft are typically plagued by switches that don't work or work backwards, poor night lighting, very dumbed down systems (it seemed like graphics that were the only things that mattered), etc. 

 

Orbx?

 

Did you mean Carenado, or have I got completely lost off on what you're talking about here?

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I have to admit being more than a little astonished.  To hear that Carenado actually did a complete airplaine with all the knobs and switches...woh.  In at least one sense this really sucks because I had (successfully, I thought) sworn off ever buying another airplane from them.  Nuts.  Now I have to ponder.  Hard to believe that they got the FDE right with Bernt gone. 

 

 

 


The cowl flaps work as they should and like with the heading bug, DG and VOR adjust knobs, rolling forward on your mouse wheel increases the respective values, and rolling back decreases those values, no matter where you are on the click spot.

 

I wish some other developers would get that right.  I have one airplane that has knobs where th e wheel only works above or below the knob...in another place it only works in one dirction.  And it has switches that are next to each other that behave differently (click next to and above it on one switch...roll the mouse over the other). 


Gregg Seipp

"A good landing is when you can walk away from the airplane.  A great landing is when you can reuse it."
i7-8700 32GB Ram, GTX-1070 8 Gig RAM

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Thanks for give us your first impressions Glenn and I agree with you on every bit. This T206H is a winner!


Mauricio Brentano

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Guest Mik75

If you would like a "real" 530 to put in the panel, the Reality XP GNS530 is the unit ^_^

That's going to happen a second after installation of the Stationair is complete! ;-)

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Glenn,

 

A quick question for you - Does the RW CT206 Fuel selector have a "both" setting? I think not but just wanted to confirm.

 

Thanks / Les Parson

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From the real manual:

206_FUELSEL.jpg


Mauricio Brentano

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Guest BeaverDriver

OK, I'm having a little trouble logging on and posting, so hopefully this goes through ok.

 

@Tym - it works great for me. The main niggles I had before about this airplane (T210), such as click spots on knobs going both ways depending on where your mouse is, still exist and are most frustrating. That said, the FDE adjustments do **seem** to work on the landing attitude, but to be honest, I don't know for sure that they really fixed the problem with the attitude. Mine works fine now (it does sit tail low still, but you don't need a ridiculous nose up attitude to land it on the mains now). All big Cessnas sit the way the 210 does, so this part is realistic, and as you start to taxi, it should flatten out a bit (the oleo compresses), and again that's true IRL. Anyway, below is my mod, and I **THINK** I got at least some of this from here, so the credit may not be mine. Give it a try and see how you like it (BACK UP YOUR AIRCRAFT.CFG FILE FIRST!!!!!!):

 

[Flaps.0]
type=1
span-outboard=0.5
extending-time=6
system_type=0
flaps-position.0=0
flaps-position.1=10
flaps-position.2=20
flaps-position.3=30
damaging-speed        = 150
blowout-speed        = 160
lift_scalar=1.0    //MY CHANGE                                    
drag_scalar=0.4    //MY CHANGE
pitch_scalar=0.7    //MY CHANGE

 

Just the ones marked "//MY CHANGE are the mods I made. Hopefully that works. I'll try to get on here again later and see if you posted back, but as I say, I'm having a lot of trouble getting in now since the changes.

 

@Dave - no, my mistake. I was typing in a bit of a rush and trying to stay logged on at the same time. I meant Carenado aircraft, but did reference Orbx scenery areas in the screenshots. Sorry for the confusion - my error :).

 

@Les - yes, as Mauricio (thanks!) pointed out. The engine is new from the earlier versions of the 206 (up to 310 hp from the original 285) and I guess Cessna finally wised up and did what they do in most of their aircraft - make a "both" setting :). It really helps us in FSX because if you did your last flight in the earlier 206 (or any airplane that has a L and R only and no "Both", and saved that as the default flight, next time you start FSX you MUST cycle your fuel switch if you are flying an airplane that has a "Both" setting, even if it's set to the "Both" position because FSX remembers the last flight's setting and you'll run off whatever tank you were on in the last flight. I had several flame outs in the Lear 24/25 some time back and could never figure out what was going on. Finally I realized that every time it happened, I had run one tank (usually the left) dry while the right tank was still full. The Lear doesn't have fuel selectors, so I couldn't change it after loading the airplane. From there I went backwards and found that everytime this happened, I had been flying the 206 the flight before. The same thing would happen when flying the J41 after the 206, by the by, only the right engine just wouldn't fire. Used to drive me nuts! Anyway, this alleviates some of this problem, but if you ever mysteriously can't get an engine running, cycle the fuel selector lever a couple of times and then FSX will pick up on that.

 

OK, will attempt to post this now. Hopefully it works ok. Thanks to the others for the comments by the by. Appreciate it :)

 

Second attempt. Hopefully it works this time (Avsim, what have you done to your forums??????)

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Those look like the C210 Flaps section... are we taking about the C206 ?


Bert

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Nice review, Glenn.  High praise indeed, given some of the discussions we've had and knowing you're a pretty critical user!  Thanks for taking the time to comment so thoroughly on this one.

 

Also a quick comment on your 210 changes - at the suggestion of another user I'd also modified a couple of the flaps parameters, and doing so really brought the Centurion back into my fold of regular flyers.  Of particular note, I think, is the lift_scalar change.  I'm also using a value of 1.0 now, a huge change considering that the original value was 3.2!  No wonder the plane ballooned so badly on flap extension.  I actually increased the drag_scalar a bit from original, so I'm running a higher value than you, and left pitch unchanged, but I think all of these are fine tuning.  It's the massive reduction in the lift value that really made the difference for me.

 

Thanks again,

 

Scott

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