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Jimmy RFR

New VFlyteAir Cherokee 140's

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Soooo... Normally I can't wait to share whenever I spot a new release that I'm interested in, but today I held off... until I could get home, load it up, and take it (them?) for a spin! :smile:  I don't stay on top of upcoming releases, for the most part, which makes it all that much sweeter of a surprise when I see something that looks cool.

 

Anyhow, my first impressions follow:

 

There's two Cherokee 140's on offer from VFlyteAir, and I decided to pick them both up, since there's a pretty good discount for doing so.  They aren't terribly different, except for the panel. One of 'em has a IFR panel, and the other is apparently faithful to a specific real world aircraft. I've had a chance to do a short flight in both of them, and although I'm glad I picked them both up, the one that's based on the real world Cherokee is my favorite so far.

 

The textures are well done, inside and out.  I'm not sure whether it's because they had access to the real one, or whether it's because black suits the panel better, but it seems to me that the 'Original' version has a bit better textures on the panel. The other isn't exactly disappointing though, it's definitely nice enough.  Lots of little details modeled as well.  Everything comes together very nicely in fact, to make for a very atmospheric 'cramped' cabin. You really feel like you're in a very small aircraft.

 

I'm by no means an audiophile, but the sounds are really nice as well. Turned up, with a subwoofer under my desk, the baby Lycoming sounds quite lovely. Very well done, with a very much appreciated ability to dampen them via the headphone jack.

 

And the most important part - I felt the handling to be absolutely superb in every phase of flight, from ground to takeoff to landing. To be fair, I've only spent around an hour with the two versions combined, but this is one of the best feeling slow & light aircraft I've yet flown in X-Plane. I'm not a real life pilot, nor do I break out the numbers and see if everything is a perfect match, but this one might just steal top spot from my current favorite when it comes to low and slow (which wasn't in XP...).

 

For my first flight out, I set up perfectly calm conditions. It handled very predictably at all times. Felt light, fairly nimble, and about as powerful as you'd expect. :smile:  But for my second flight out, I setup a 5 knot wind about 35 degrees off of my landing runway, with a 3 knot gust. Not enough to make me do battle, but enough to introduce a bit of motion and make me work the controls a bit to stay lined up on approach. And the little Cherokee didn't disappoint - it was still nice to handle, and I felt pretty good holding it through the flare and touching down (fairly) gently.

 

So yep, didn't expect to fly something new today, but very happy that I did.  It seems that with every month I have fewer and fewer reasons for firing up my other sims!

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Nice review indeed.

Did you maybe use the A2A Cherokee in P3D ? A comparison would be interesting.

 

Mike

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I went to bed last night directly after writing this, and while falling asleep, I was thinking of a few other things from my few flights that stuck out in my mind.  Some of these things aren't necessarily unique to the Cherokee, and might be old news to seasoned X-Plane vets.

 

- There's two nice big sun screens right above you in the Cherokee. At first they seemed quite intrusive, but they add to the feeling of being in a tight cockpit that I described above.  They are also adjustable.  What I didn't fully realize, is just how good some of the lighting effects are in X-Plane.  While flying into the sun, I swiveled the big sun screen downwards to block the glare cast by the sun (late evening flight).  Very effective.  Then, while starting to bank, the sun peeked past the screen, filling the cockpit with glare again.  Such a small thing, but oh so immersive... I know it's not particular to the Cherokee, but just one of those 'wow' moments that reminds me just how much I enjoy X-Plane.

 

- The panel layout, radios and gauges in the 'Original' version are really, really well done. It's great to see some variation from the typical Bendix units you see filling up the middle of the panel. This might be one reason why I found myself liking the 'Original' version more than the 'Classic', which has more of a typical radio stack. Also, it's a nice touch that the Comms unit in the 'Original' version plays music.  Apparently you can have it play your own music, but I haven't messed with that yet.

 

- This has come up in the last little while in a few threads, but man o man, does XP ever have smooth instrumentation. I was tuned to the ILS on the field I was flying, and the responsiveness  and smoothness of the needles on the OBS unit in the 'Classic' is just so nice. Same goes for all instrumentation.  Again, not something specific to the Cherokee.

 

- The little 'trick' that they are advertising in regards to wedging the manual under the flap lever is neat. Didn't try it in flight, so no idea if it works, but it's pretty cool.

 

_________________________________________

 

I was also thinking last night about the A2A Cherokee. I own it in FSX, and I'll be honest, I've never put the hours into it that I did with their 172 or 182.  So I opened it up this morning, and took a look around.

 

Now, I don't really like comparing, since it's not fair to either developer. The resources, time constraints, and budgets between different developers can be vastly different, plus we're talking about two completely different platforms. In addition, we're talking about two very different aircraft, since A2A models a 180, as opposed to the smaller 140. But what I'm interested in, is why I've taken an immediate liking to the 140 in X-Plane, as opposed to the 180 never really growing on me.

 

I think it's an X-Plane thing.  Impressions and reviews are entirely subjective, but I'm going to get even more so here.  The issue ends up being bigger than a particular aircraft.  This is not the first aircraft I've flown in X-Plane that immediately strikes me as being miles more 'immersive' than any comparative aircraft in FSX, and I'm not sure why exactly that is. 

 

By all reasoning, I shouldn't really be as much in favor of X-Plane as I am.  I own thousands of dollars of add-ons for FSX & P3D, and I've never had any serious or long lasting issues with FSX, P3D, or FSX Steam.  Just the opposite.  I've had each version of FSX / P3D tuned and running very nicely, with no crashes or issues, ticking along smoothly at a more than acceptable frame rate.

 

Some of the aircraft that I have in FSX (and that I still go back to in order to fly, albeit less and less it seems) are absolute marvels of design, quality, and workmanship, such that, if you're an admirer of aircraft such as I am, you can spend hours simply looking at.  Heck, I even do ongoing work for a certain FSX/P3D developer, so I have an obvious interest in the platforms' continued success!

 

And X-Plane itself isn't an immediate obvious alternative. Coming from the expansive world of FSX & P3D, there are portions of the sim that just aren't comparable, not if you want impressive looking clouds and weather, or if you want any sort of simple VFR ATC interaction.

 

But still, with all that said, when everything comes together in X-Plane, it does so in a way that simply leave me wanting more.  It's not very describable, nor is it likely the same for everyone. I just know that when I'm done flying for the night, I'm always super excited to pick it back up the next night.

 

I'm sorry for the incredibly long post... I got a bit carried away there, and at some point my post became less about the Cherokee(s) that I started talking about, and more about the platform, but, well... :wink:

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Nice review indeed.

Did you maybe use the A2A Cherokee in P3D ? A comparison would be interesting.

 

Mike

Since i wrote the above rambling post over the course of the morning, I hadn't seen your post until after mine was up.

 

To answer your question: Each is the best Cherokee for their respective platform. :smile: Yep, I know that doesn't help! As I said above, I hate direct comparisons, since there's so many differences.

 

Some things are very individual in their assessment. The textures in the A2A 180 are beautiful of course, but they also look quite pristine; whereas the VFlyteAir 140 is quite believable as a well used trainer, or as an everyday aircraft for those of us on a simpler budget.

 

The A2A 180 of course has a bit more user depth perhaps in that it tracks wear and tear, and has a walkaround feature. But I've always preferred the original version of that type of craziness (Marcel Felde's DA20 represents the pinnacle of 'ownership' simulation to me), so the absence of those features in the VFlyteAir 140 is not a big deal to me.

 

I prefer the unique panel layout of the 'Original' 140 to the 'very' well equipped A2A 180. It is just different enough from everything else to be very fun to fly.

 

The flight model of the VFlyteAir 140 seems to be very well done. I'm not an expert on this however, since I'm not a real pilot. I simply judge by how it flies in comparison to other aircraft models, and whether it seems believable for it's type. I do use a pretty darn good yoke(custom rebuilt PFC console), so I can be sure that I'm not struggling against hardware (a poor or jumpy yoke can ruin everything, in my opinion). I also had zero complaints regarding the A2A 180.

 

I mentioned above that I never really ended up spending much time in the A2A 180. However, I'm very sure that's down to personal preference, not an implication of quality. Perhaps it was because when I had gotten the 180, I had spent a *lot* of time in the 172, and despite them being very different aircraft, there's a lot of similarity in A2A's implementation. For whatever reason, although I was pleased with the 180, I was never 'wowed' by it, I never got excited by it, and hence I never really ended up flying it much.

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Thanks for the review Jimmy. It looks like a very nice single for vfr/ifr refreshing.

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<someone being very infatuated with vFlyte's new offering>

 

Quite the review and love letter to this aircraft! I own vFlyte's Arrow and it's nice to see they have progressed quite a bit. Good to see them start implementing custom code and little quirks like the flap trick. I am not super interested at flying around at the 140's low speed a whole lot, but definitely willing to support them in their development. I think I initially put it off as yet-another-GA-aircraft but you may have sold me on this one.

 

The Original version does look a heck of a lot better than the Classic one. Not sure if the pricing will do them any favors. I can see where they're coming from and it keeps the individual model rather affordable, but seeing close to the same aircraft released for almost the same price at the same time will surely put a sour taste in some people's mouths.

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I think it's an X-Plane thing.  Impressions and reviews are entirely subjective, but I'm going to get even more so here.  The issue ends up being bigger than a particular aircraft.  This is not the first aircraft I've flown in X-Plane that immediately strikes me as being miles more 'immersive' than any comparative aircraft in FSX, and I'm not sure why exactly that is. 

 

Thanks for your impressions - both on the Cherokee 140 as well as on XP in general!

It's interesting how perceptions can differ. Personally, I have repeatedly attempted to "switch over" to X-Plane completely, for much the same reasons as you have listed. There's something about X-Plane that makes it feel just a tiny little bit more "real" than FSX or P3D do. And for anything larger than single-engine GA aircraft, X-Plane has been my no.1 choice for quite some time now - no reasons to look back.

 

However, as much as I've tried forgetting about the "other" sim I can't replicate the experience of flying an A2A Aircraft (or the DA20, for that matter) in X-Plane, at least not entirely. True, Addons for XP have come a long way, high quality ones such as the Airfoillabs C172, the REP's or the Vflyte aircraft are proof of that. But the incredible amount of details found in the A2A birds hasn't been achieved yet, and as long as they don't port over their fleet for X-Plane we'll have to stick with the old and slightly rusty FSX foundation... But luckily it's easy to have both sims installed, so it's not a matter of choosing either or the other, but simply using both. :smile:

 

Anyway, back to the Vflyte Cherokee, I really do like the look of the "Original" version and will most likely pick this one up just to have one in X-Plane. I appreciate the improved work on the sounds, which were a bit of a weak point in previous Vflyte releases.

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Quite the review and love letter to this aircraft!

 

I feared it would come off as such, but please note that my later posts are more a 'love letter' to X-Plane, than to the aircraft itself.  Yes, I am very positive about the aircraft, but this is purely a subjective, personal impression gained after some initial circuits.  There may be flaws, but I have yet to notice or discover them.

 

 

 


The Original version does look a heck of a lot better than the Classic one. Not sure if the pricing will do them any favors. I can see where they're coming from and it keeps the individual model rather affordable, but seeing close to the same aircraft released for almost the same price at the same time will surely put a sour taste in some people's mouths.

 

This is tricky. As someone who has taken part in such developer pricing decisions before, I would see this more as that the package with both versions costs $32.95, with the ability to spend a bit less, and get less, by picking a preferred model for ~$10 less.  They may have been better served by only offering a full, two-model package at $32.95. Which is still quite fair for a GA addon in X-Plane.  I guess I'd peg it middle-of-the-road in terms of pricing/value.

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There may be flaws, but I have yet to notice or discover them.

 

We have a thread for bug reports and suggestions, and some little bugs have slipped under our radar:

 

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/104000-post-your-suggestions-and-bug-reports-here/

 

Hotfixes and patches are announced here:

 

http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/104003-hotfixes-and-patches/

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I bought the package (Classic and Original bundle) today, and I have to say this is a really fantastic aircraft in X-Plane.  It's a big step up from the Vflyte Arrow, with all the custom switch sounds, etc.   In fact talking of sounds, the engine sounds in these 2 aircraft are perhaps the best and most realistic I've heard in any flight sim.

 

Very, very, immersive package.

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Thanks to this thread, I did get the two airplane package.  Initial impressions, is that I like it. Have only flown the "original" version so far. Never flown an actual 140 hp, but have flown Piper 150, 160,180,and the 200 HP Arrows.  I differ with the OP a bit, as to the A2A Cherokee 180, because I immediately identified with it.  I flew a lot of different 180 Archers over the years. Preferred the extra 20 horses over the Warrior because of our 4200' altitude airport.

 

As stated, I like the A2A version for FSX, and I like this version for X-Plane. Both have good sounds, and both have the sensation of flying these types of airplanes.  I don't really get into the Accusim wear & tear of the A2A version, because I spent decades of real life aircraft maintenance. I won't miss it here!  There are a few nit picky little things, some already discussed in the bug reports at the Org., but not a big deal. All in all, it's really like flying these type of aircraft. I've already owned the simulated Arrow.  

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Very, very, immersive package.

 

Thank you, Bill! :)

 

 

 


both have the sensation of flying these types of airplanes.

 

Thanks a lot, this is what was most important for us.

 

In the meantime, we're working hard to fix some issues reported by users in the aforementioned thread, with a v1.1 update not far away. After that, we'll continue work on the Aspen Evolution variant.

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Well I couldn't resist and bought the "Original" Cherokee, even though I'm a huge fan of the A2A version in P3D. And I'm glad I did!

 

My first impressions are thoroughly positive. It's a significant improvement over previous Vflyte aircraft - not that they were poor in any way, but it's obvious that the experience from these older products has been used to make something even better. There are many small details that make the Cherokee feel alive, so to speak, and it's fairly obvious that the devs had access to the real aircraft. But most of all, the sounds are fantastic and make the aircraft feel highly immersive. Kudos for that!

There's a couple of areas that need improvement, such as the wing dropping tendency, but apparently that's already being worked on, which is great.

 

I'm looking forward to see more aircraft of this kind of quality in the future from Vflyte! :smile:

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The Cherokee will get its first update very soon (this evening or tomorrow). It will include the following changes:

 

NEW FEATURES:
  • Copilot door now operates per the Piper Cherokee 140 Owner's Handbook. You must click the UPPER door latch to unlock the door, then click the LOWER door handle to open or close the door. When you click the upper door latch, the door will open slightly and remain that way until the latch is clicked again to lock it. If you accidentally leave the door fully open while taxiing or during take-off, the door will shut automatically, but will not latch until you click the upper door latch. (BOTH versions)
  • Added new labels to the radio stack to indicate where the "master sim volume (MSTR SIM VOL)" volume knobs are located. These volume knobs control the engine sounds, weather sounds, and ground contact sounds. The MSTR SIM VOL can be used even when the "headphones" are plugged in.  (BOTH versions)
  • Added new sounds for the fuel primer lever. (BOTH versions)
  • The pilot figure is hidden in exterior views upon start-up with a cold and dark airplane. If you release the parking brake, turn on the Master Switch, or if the engine is running, the pilot will be displayed.  (BOTH versions)
  • Created a new command for the "Master Switch (Battery/Alternator)" that can be assigned to a joystick button or keyboard key combination. 
 
BUG FIXES:
  • Autopilot will now properly intercept and track ILS approaches and GPS flight plans and RNAV approaches (CLASSIC version)
  • Improved the reported left roll tendency at cruise speeds (torque roll) (BOTH versions)
  • Added all available liveries to both versions (BOTH versions)
  • Exhaust smoke is now located at the outlet of the exhaust pipe instead of forward of the airplane (BOTH versions)
  • Powering off Radio #1 and Radio #2 no longer causes the fuses to pop out (ORIGINAL version)
  • Increased the rolling tire friction coefficient to reduce the "skittish" behavior when landing or taking off (BOTH versions)
  • If the copilot seat back is down when you select "Add Copilot," the seat will automatically be placed back into the upright position (BOTH versions)
  • Propeller now displays properly regardless of how the pilot shuts off the engine (BOTH versions)
  • The starter button is now de-coupled from the magneto switch - the magneto switch is now not affected by starter operation (BOTH versions)
  • Panel flood light is now red instead of white (BOTH versions)
  • Added TO/FROM indicators to the CDI instruments (CDI #1 on the Original version and CDI #2 on the Classic version)
  • Added new drag-axis manipulators to the OBS knobs and the HDG knob (Classic version). These are in addition to the "click-left and click-right" manipulators. Makes it easier to make large adjustments with the "click and drag" manipulator, then fine-tune with the "click" manipulators. The OBS knob manipulators now allow multiple rotations left and right.  (BOTH versions)
  • Changed the Garmin 430 NAV manipulators to use the proper g430 datarefs (CLASSIC version)
  • The ALT and GS indicators on the STEC55X now work per the STEC manual when in APPR mode (CLASSIC version)
  • Added Speed and Distance LEDs to CDI #1 gauge for GPS source (CLASSIC version)

 

User Manuals have been updated as well.

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Sounds great!    I know it's going against the ethos of the "original", but I do wish we had an option for a pop-up GNS430 in there.....   I know, I know!  :smile:

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Sounds great!    I know it's going against the ethos of the "original", but I do wish we had an option for a pop-up GNS430 in there.....   I know, I know!  :smile:

 

 

I think if you open the aircraft in PlaneMaker, go to the 2D panel, drag a GNS430 onto an empty space at the panel, tick the "bus 1" checkbox and save, you can assign a key to the GPS in X-Plane's keyboard setting and then use this key to show and hide this GNS.

 

 

By the way, the update is now available at the vFlyteAir store; existing customers should be able to download it. The update should also be available at the .org store and other resellers soon.

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I think if you open the aircraft in PlaneMaker, go to the 2D panel, drag a GNS430 onto an empty space at the panel, tick the "bus 1" checkbox and save, you can assign a key to the GPS in X-Plane's keyboard setting and then use this key to show and hide this GNS.

 

 

By the way, the update is now available at the vFlyteAir store; existing customers should be able to download it. The update should also be available at the .org store and other resellers soon.

 

Great, thanks Mario, look forward to trying that! ....... (and to grabbing the update). :smile:

 

These are far and away my favourite GA aircraft in XP10.

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Very much looking forward to these updates! They look they address a lot, if not all, of the small things that have been brought up on the .org forums.

 

I checked the .org store just now, they're not there yet.  Can't wait to try them!

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I checked the .org store just now, they're not there yet.  Can't wait to try them!

 

We sent the updates to the store 2 days ago. Don't know why they are not online yet...

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I bought direct from Vflye and the updates were available 2 days ago.   Love it, makes a fantastic GA aircraft even better!

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We sent the updates to the store 2 days ago. Don't know why they are not online yet...

It's been a holiday weekend in USA, if that has something to do with it.  I, took the days off from work. 

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Very much looking forward to these updates! They look they address a lot, if not all, of the small things that have been brought up on the .org forums.

 

I checked the .org store just now, they're not there yet.  Can't wait to try them!

 

 

We sent the updates to the store 2 days ago. Don't know why they are not online yet...

 

 

I bought direct from Vflye and the updates were available 2 days ago.   Love it, makes a fantastic GA aircraft even better!

 

 

It's been a holiday weekend in USA, if that has something to do with it.  I, took the days off from work. 

 

There have been some technical difficulties with our message we sent to the .org store containing the update. We've resent it now, but please give the store some more time. Sorry for the delay and thanks for understanding!

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Update 1.1 is now available on the .org store. If you purchased the aircraft there, log in to your store account and re-download the aircraft. Please note that now both variants include all liveries.

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