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Check out the description of this video, it contains a mini-review with quite some criticism about some things. Those of you who have the Cardinal, do you agree with the points expressed?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uev-MtUNG2s

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the lights staying open even with the master switch off a problem with most (if not all) FSX aircraft? I'm sure I've experienced it in the default C172.

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I'm remote so won't be able to view the video until tonight so I can't comment on what's said there yet, but a few thoughts after my first flight yesterday evening.  This is a general impressions posting following a single short flight, not a review.  You've been warned! <_<

 

1st, this is an Alabeo plane, so my expectations are set accordingly relative to systems and well-known FSX quirks.  What this means in general is that if FSX generally does it, this plane will do it.  If FSX doesn't, this won't.  This isn't an A2A 172 nor is it intended to be, and I know this going in so I'm not going to criticize these things as though they're unexpected.

 

I have real-world time in fixed gear 177s, but my memories of the plane are fairly old.  That said, visually the plane does a good job of capturing the feel of being in the cockpit of a Cardinal.  The overall feel is good, and at first blush (and I mean first blush, as I didn't look at specific numbers much in my short flight) performance seemed close to what I expected.  There are a few anomalies, such as the manual primer pump and carb heat controls being present in both the fixed gear and retract versions.  The retract should have neither.

 

The sound set is OK, but nothing special.  Likewise interior textures - these being quite nice, but not world class.  The VC is very easy to live with, with most switches and gauges easy to see and access, though it does seem as though some of the clickspots are a bit small or slightly off.  Nothing huge, just a minor touchiness.  Visibility from the VC is excellent, which matches what you get in the RW plane.  This is a great plane for sightseeing down low (I did my flight around the Redding area of Orbx NorCal), and hand-flying is very smooth and predictable with no major anomolies noted.

 

Potential buyers should be aware that the avionics choices are somewhat curious.  The plane has a GNS530 (and does support the RXP 530 which I have installed), but does not have an autopilot of any kind, nor does it have a second nav radio, only a second comm unit.  I'm good with the no AP choice (the Cardinal I flew didn't have one either) as this isn't a plane I'd buy to sit on AP with, but I'm a bit disappointed that there isn't a second nav radio.  If that were in place, I'd say these would make excellent basic IFR trainers.  Without, not so much.  I wonder how many planes out there have an IFR certifiable GPS in the panel but no AP, no HSI, and no other nav equipment.  And just to be clear, it's not the lack of AP or HSI that seems odd - that would be the norm for this kind of plane - it's that it is equipped that way while having a 530 and no second nav radio.

 

My biggest gripe after my short introductory flight was with power changes, especially relating to the prop.  When changing prop settings, RPM's bounce aggressively.   Some bounce is pretty common in most FSX constant speed prop planes I've owned, but not this pronounced.  In fact, it's so severe that it causes the entire plane to pitch up and down rapidly with the RPM oscillations.  This will also occur to a lesser extent when adjusting mixture.

 

Given my expectations, I'm happy with my purchase.  I get both fixed gear and retractable Cardinals that will be good for casual VFR flights over interesting terrain for a fairly reasonable price.  I won't fly this a lot, but I will on occasion for simple pleasure flights, and when I do I think I'll enjoy the heck out of it.

 

Scott

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Thanks for the very informative post! I'd rate your post as "Informative", but where did the ratings go?
 
I know your memories from C177B hours are faint, but do you get the feeling that the interior engine sounds are spot-on? The exterior engine sounds are not (the C177RG borrows from the Carenado CT182T and the C177B borrows from both the Carenado C172N and the FSX default C172SP), but the sounds in the interior sound original.
 
I should have thought of this, but here is the mini-review from the video, in case someone can't view it:
 

New Alabeo Cessna C177 Cardinal! Been waiting on this one for a month! Out today on Alabeo! ...2nd touch and go in this plane at KPAN, AZ.

CARDINAL REVIEW: I had high high hopes for this bird. Maybe too high. I wanted it to solve all of my problems on FSX ;) It meets 95% of them, but doesn't magically make FSX perfect (SMILE).

The not quite but close to perfect: Surprising to me the GPS brings down the frame rate somewhat in more complex scenery (I only fly planes that will get me to 60 FPS consistently, of course the video capture brought it down in the video additionally). I removed the Alabeo GPS (which is basically a Carenado GPS) and replaced it with the default FSX GPS, and still the frames suffered--as the Alabeo GPS puts no more strain on the frames than does the default. The absolute best frame rate and graphics quality plane I have is Ant's Tecnam P92 Eaglet, what a wonderful plane, as it manages to have a GPS and EFIS with little loss of frames and great textures (worth every penny of $20 US).

Back to the Cardinal:
Nitpicks:
1) Cardinal Pilots: Is this a feature of the real Cardinal: The dash lights will turn on with or without the battery switch on. (??)

2) The Garmin logo on the GPS start screen seems to want to show up without the avionics loop, so this is likely a bug.

3) Sounds: the gear and flaps are very low in pitch and slightly in volume, which could be how they really are, but I might bring them a little louder to my taste in the sound.cfg file. The gear sound is not synchronized to the actually gear--which is hard to do in FSX, but you should spend the time doing it for a plane that you charge over $20 for. Also there is a lot of "beat frequencies" which I'm not sure should be there since this is after all a single engine. If you listen carefully when only the avionics are running, there is some music playing---or at least some drum bumping in the background, a slight lack of quality in the recording environment. This is drowned out once you crank the engine of course. The fuel pump is a bit quiet (rare as most on FSX are too loud.) Also I noticed after a stall the loop got stuck or something and the avionics had a clicking sound...I turned off the battery in mid air and then back on and it was gone, not recommended in real life.

4) Update 5/28: FUEL SELECTOR doesn't work on the RG!! Works perfect on the Fixed. This has Carenado-type mistake written all over it. Just lack of quality control.

The perfect: Typical Alabeo graphics quality, from what I've seen. Great colors, great textures, reflections are superb, with little cost to frame rate.

Flight dynamics update 5/28: The RG flies about 20-25 knots faster at 7K ft. RG cruises (18-19 in MP throttle, prop at ~2300 rpm) at about 120 knots at 7K ft. Not as fast as I'd like but probably pretty accurate to Cardinals that are 30+ yrs old.

Visibility is about right for a Cardinal-- you can see over the dash and still see 90 degrees straight out to your right, better than a 172, not as good as a Bonanza.

Does it compare to Flight 1 Cardinal: Ummmm... it has many years on the F1 Cardinal. The F1 will get better frame rates due to this, but not much better. Alabeo's textures are light years beyond. The F1 has better avionics, and more real. Alabeo suffers the same as Carenado in this: even the transponder or ADF just don't have all the functionality correct...which I will most assuredly replace--Alabeo at least left them editable (radios, GPS, ADF, Xpdr).

Overall, if you haven't bought an Alabeo product yet, and you like GA planes, this is the best Alabeo. Cardinals are the bomb, and this is hands down the best FSX Cardinal out there.

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I know your memories from C177B hours are faint, but do you get the feeling that the interior engine sounds are spot-on?

 

I wish I could say, but I just can't.  I would agree with the text of the video from above about the gear and flap sound levels, however.  I was definitely surprised when I put in a notch of flaps and could barely hear them with the engine at idle.  Likewise with gear retraction and extension.  Almost not audible above engine noise, and certainly no good thumps as you'd get with better soundsets.  I didn't view from outside to note anything about synchronization so I can't say there.

 

Some other comments from the video transcript...

 

One of the many reasons I appreciate RXP integration is for performance reasons.  As noted in my comments, I used my RXP 530 and frames were certainly no issue in that config.  Didn't try without, as I'd never fly it that way.  I'm not a frame counter, but I can easily say that there were no plane related framerate issues when used with the RXP GPS.  Other comments:

 

1) Problems like this one are the kind I rarely notice because it's not something I'd do.  Yep, it should be correct, but then again...

 

2) Can't comment as I use RXP.

 

3) See previous comments about sound.  I'll add that I didn't note the background music with just the battery on, but perhaps my overall volume level was lower.  I also didn't find looping effects to be noticeably better or worse than average.  If you listen for it, you'll hear it, but I find that to be generally true on all engine sound sets.  I had no clicking at any point during the flight, but have noted in the past that clicking can be induced on many planes under the right circumstances.  This seems more of a performance and sound card issue, though certainly some plane's sound sets seem more prone to the phenomenon than others.

 

4) Hmmm.  Don't recall a problem - will have to look again at this.

 

As for things like functionality on the ADF and Transponder, these are all just as you'd expect from Alabeo/Carenado as alluded to earlier.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Yes, I wish they'd do a bit better on these (especially ADF tuning), but there's certainly no surprise that they're unchanged from previous efforts.

 

And yeah - where did those ratings buttons go?  I just used one this morning to rate a post funny, but now they're gone.

 

Scott

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Confirmed the fuel selector does not work on the RG, and that the oscillations when changing RPMs weren't a one-time thing.  That's gotta get fixed.  Also can't use any buttons on the transponder other than the numeric and alt buttons.  None of the others work.

 

Otherwise still enjoy it.  Just because I could, I flew an LPV approach last night.  Worked out perfectly.

 

Scott

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Confirmed the fuel selector does not work on the RG, and that the oscillations when changing RPMs weren't a one-time thing.  That's gotta get fixed.  Also can't use any buttons on the transponder other than the numeric and alt buttons.  None of the others work.

 

Otherwise still enjoy it.  Just because I could, I flew an LPV approach last night.  Worked out perfectly.

 

Scott

 

Thanks for your detailed observations. Do you think you can report that to Alabeo? Just a support request will do it. Since I don't see anything about this problem on their Facebook page, they might not even be aware of it.

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Do you think you can report that to Alabeo?

 

Ticket already submitted.

 

Scott

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Sorry for my bad english



Here is what I found:
 

First time I bought an ALABEO product.. and im really surprised.. but unfortunately in a bad way. I wonder if they will FIX before start working in other products.
 
Some considerations about C177:
 
Some times when we load the airplane in cold n dark mode, the GPS is turned on with "garmin" logo.. so we have to turn the battery on and off to turn the gps off.
 
The RXP integration is bugged, the inner knobs and the on/off dont work, we need access the rxp panel to turn the gps on and if we need to input some data we have to access the 2d gps since we cannot use the inner knob;
 
The RXP panel config file dont work properly, you have to add manually your gps;
 
There is NO installation folder shortcut AT ALL.. with the manuals and the uninstaller;
 
The peformance tables are incompleted. We need ALL the tables, not only cruise;
 
The manuals are in really bad shape.. you need to re-type all the manuals so we can read better;
 
The flood lights and instrument lights dont work properly. When we turn on the instrument lights the flood lights turn on aswell. The flood light switch have no function at all.
 
 
So... I dont think is a good idea trading "quality" per "quantity".

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Jari Junior, thank you for the informative post. It's definitely sad there are things like this that will not be fixed.

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Some times when we load the airplane in cold n dark mode, the GPS is turned on with "garmin" logo.. so we have to turn the battery on and off to turn the gps off.

The RXP integration is bugged, the inner knobs and the on/off dont work, we need access the rxp panel to turn the gps on and if we need to input some data we have to access the 2d gps since we cannot use the inner knob;

The RXP panel config file dont work properly, you have to add manually your gps;

 

Couple of things which may help you on these issues:

 

I have no trouble with cold and dark, but this plane like many, many others from pretty much every vendor can be sensitive to states from the last plane.  This is really an FSX issue rather than an Alabeo one.

 

The RXP integration itself works fine, but this plane does appear to have an issue that several Carenados do as well - when "instrument reflections" are turned on, the click spots might not work.  Turn off reflections and you'll be able to access all the buttons and knobs in the VC view.  Yep, it's still a bug (believe me I'm not making excuses for Alabeo/Carenado) but this will get you around it.

 

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by your last statement.  The integration utility (RXP530C177.exe) works fine - though you do have to know that it works for both the fixed and retract versions, but it's only in the fixed version's folder.  You will also most likely want to add an rxpgns.ini file either manually or using the RXP utility if you want other than default configuration for the RXP unit itself, though in the case of this plane the default config should work fine.

 

Hope that helps some,

 

Scott

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Couple of things which may help you on these issues:

 

I have no trouble with cold and dark, but this plane like many, many others from pretty much every vendor can be sensitive to states from the last plane.  This is really an FSX issue rather than an Alabeo one.

 

The RXP integration itself works fine, but this plane does appear to have an issue that several Carenados do as well - when "instrument reflections" are turned on, the click spots might not work.  Turn off reflections and you'll be able to access all the buttons and knobs in the VC view.  Yep, it's still a bug (believe me I'm not making excuses for Alabeo/Carenado) but this will get you around it.

 

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by your last statement.  The integration utility (RXP530C177.exe) works fine - though you do have to know that it works for both the fixed and retract versions, but it's only in the fixed version's folder.  You will also most likely want to add an rxpgns.ini file either manually or using the RXP utility if you want other than default configuration for the RXP unit itself, though in the case of this plane the default config should work fine.

 

Hope that helps some,

 

Scott

Thanks for all the info Scott. I disabled the instrument reflections and I still have the error, I cannot switch the gps on and also the inner knob is not working. Also, tried RXP530C177.exe without success so I installed manually. About the Garmin I can tell is a bug because I use the same procedure to load the cold n` dark since fs2004.. default mooney bravo with everything cold n dark and saved as default flight. I never have this error before unfortunately.

 

You can see the bugs in my video review (in portuguese btw) - just skip to 23:00 (and use 1080p fullscreen)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCeBeBlJzU0

Jari Junior, thank you for the informative post. It's definitely sad there are things like this that will not be fixed.

 

I hope they fix it soon mate

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Hello all !

 

Just got he Cardinal, and so far don't see an major bugs, other than the taxi light can be seen only inside but when you are outside, no Taxi / landing light.

 

Flying this Puppy seems to be easy, so easy that I'm not sure if it is in fact very realistic, taking off and landing, power control, banking .. everything smooth,

 

I have some Modules from GoFlight, VRInsight M-Panel for my COM/NAV  and GPS and Fuel Selector from Desktopaviator , all set up via LINDA and working flawlessly   ..overall nice and fun little bird ..and yes, for the HSI and the bug, I'll modify the Panel.cfg and walla we good to go :-)

 

Cheers

 

Yair    

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