Sign in to follow this  
MarioDonick

Alabeo DA42

Recommended Posts

Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

I haven't purchased any of their G1000 stuff yet but I agree - the point of glass is to have everything available - like approaches .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am boycotting Carenado G1000 aircraft until they have approach procedures implemented !

 

The G1000 doesn't really appeal to me without procedures either but not sure if "boycotting" is a fair term here. Procedures are a massive undertaking for any developer. I'm sure they'll get there (and update most of the previous releases as they have before).

 

That said, *this* particular G1000 rendition runs a LOT better than the previous ones. Very promising! I'm sure they'll get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review Mario, it's great to see you blogging/reviewing as I enjoy reading your posts and thoughts (I've bookmarked the site) and I hope you do more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am boycotting Carenado G1000 aircraft until they have approach procedures implemented !

 

"Boycot" is a hard word, I think. It sounds as if Carenado/Alabeo did something unmoral or as if they owe you something, and that this would deserve punishment. They have an offer with a certain set of features, and either these features are sufficient for you, or not.

 

From a technical point of view, there are two main reasons why it is not trivial to add procedures:

 

1. It is not enough to simply add the waypoints of an approach, SID or STAR to the flight plan. This would be the simple part. The problems begin when you want the autopilot to follow these procedures correctly. There exist a lot of different leg types in procedures (see slides 10 to 14 of http://www.peter2000.co.uk/aviation/misc/rnavmanual1_8.pdf ), but for X-Plane, they are all the same: A fix, consisting of a lat/lon coordinate and a "fly at" altitude. Most of the time, this works just fine, but eventually you would encounter misbehavior of the autopilot. Therefore, the developers would need to override X-Plane's autopilot for special leg types, or (maybe better) program their own autopilot.

 

2. The G1000 by Carenado/Alabeo reads and saves flight plans in X-Planes default .fms format. I assume that this is to allow people to use their existing flight plans, that might have been created with external tools, too, although the latter does not yet work 100% all the time. (The reason for this is that many tools do not strictly adhere to X-Plane's .fms format specification. X-Plane's own old FMC and its GNS430 are very tolerant of wrong .fms files, but if you as external developer try to adhere to the specification, you can run into problems.

 

So, for having a true procedures support (where the correct leg types are used in the correct way), a huge development effort is needed. Carenado's G1000 had been in development for 1.5 years when it was released, and it still had a lot of open bugs and a bad performance. Most of these problems have been solved with the DA42, so the basic functionality of the G1000 is now usable in a predictable manner. But there are still some problems with the flight plan system, and at least I want the developers to solve the remaining issues first before they start to work on such complex stuff like procedures.

 

 

A final remark: Sometimes, people refer to X-Plane's default GNS430, which has already approaches. But you cannot use this existing capability in a G1000 (or a SkyView, or any other glass cockpit). The GNS430's internals are not accessable. My impression is that people forget that until X-Plane 10.30 (i.e. not long ago), the GNS430 was not even able to handle a simple flight plan; it was only able to make a Direct-to to one waypoint. The new GNS was programmed by Philipp Münzel, who had previously worked for years on the FMC of the CRJ 200 and the FlightFactor Boeings. So he already knew how it works. Other developers don't have this experience. Some of them nowadays make use of existing software, such as the UFMC used in aircraft by SSG (their 747 or their upcoming Embraer updates) and the free x737, or the XFMC used in the upcoming update of the FJS 727. But UFMC and X-FMC have also been in development for years, until they were as capable as they are now (and even then, they still have bugs).

 

Other developers, such as Carenado/Alabeo, Aerobask, or we at vFlyteAir have to make their/our own experiences, and this simply takes a LOT of time -- for some, because they develop in their spare time or have no professional background in software development at all, and for others (such as Carenado/Alabeo), because their business model is based on fast releases of affordable, beautiful aircraft models.

 

 

Long story short: Carenado/Alabeo could simply have said "no, sorry, until X-Plane doesn't have a default G1000 like FSX/P3D, we won't convert our G1000-equipped models to X-Plane -- it's too much effort". But they didn't. They also were constantly updating their previous X-Plane products with new features over years, when they had developed them. I think both should be supported, instead of boycotted. But that's just my opinion, built both from a user's and a developer's point of view. As a user, you have of course every right to say "Well, all you said is interesting, but in the end it's not my problem."  :wink:

 

 

I hope you do more

 

Thanks! Yes, I will.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, I recently purchased the Alabeo DA42, and it's a nice little aircraft. The G1000 has indeed been improved since the previous Carenado/Alabeo aircraft that use it.

 

I wrote a review here:

 

http://flyingxplane.apps-1and1.net/review-alabeo-da42-twin-star/

 

Great review Mario!

 

 

 

They have an offer with a certain set of features, and either these features are sufficient for you, or not.

 

That is a very excellent way of stating it.

 

I'm torn on the issue. With a lack of procedures, and reports of poor performance (which seems to have been largely fixed on the DA42) I've been hesitant about purchasing any of these. Partly this is due to a bias I've had against G1000's in FSX, where I felt the usability and view-ability was really not enjoyable - this bias has been starting to fade in XP, where I find the few glass equipped GA aircraft I own a pleasure to fly.

 

But the way I see it, there's been a lot of time and energy invested in creating these displays, and that deserves some due credit. And if everyone were to boycott these aircraft, then perhaps the effort taken to keep working on them and improving them just won't be worthwhile, and I think that would be a definite loss to us users in the long run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice to see the 430 functionality expanded upon and its internals made accessible to developers.

Who knows, maybe we'll even see a G1000 in Planemaker one day ;)

 

 

 


I think both should be supported, instead of boycotted.

 

100% agreed!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Partly this is due to a bias I've had against G1000's in FSX, where I felt the usability and view-ability was really not enjoyable

 

In FSX and P3D I've used several G1000-equipped aircraft, such as the Flight1 CT182T, the Flight1 Citation Mustang, the G1000 by Mindstar Aviation, as well as some Carenado aircraft, esp. the SR22. They all get different things right and wrong, and all had their limitations, and usability very much was dependant of having high enough FPS...

 

By the way ... With most Carenado FSX G1000s, users were not even able to enter flight plans! Instead, they had to use the FSX flight planner. They could, however, enter a direct-to destination and then select a procedure for that destination. Sounds nice ... but this had only one problem: The FSX Carenados were not able to use Navigraph navigation data, so the procedures you could select came from FSX' own database -- very old and not very useful nowadays. 

 

It took Carenado until 2015 to develop a system to allow Navigraph data, incl. SIDs and STARs. They first released that expansion for the S550 Citation II (which had no G1000), and later for the Phenom 300, which is to date Carenados only G1000 aircraft with current procedure data.

 

In the FSX DA42, by the way, you were not even able to change the transponder code ...

 

So, all in all I think the X-Plane G1000s are at least on par or even better with their FSX counterparts.

 

This said, I understand why people want to have procedures. I just think that this takes more time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be nice to see the 430 functionality expanded upon and its internals made accessible to developers.

Who knows, maybe we'll even see a G1000 in Planemaker one day ;)

Why not. In X-Plane 12 or 13.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Boycot" is a hard word, I think. It sounds as if Carenado/Alabeo did something unmoral or as if they owe you something, and that this would deserve punishment. They have an offer with a certain set of features, and either these features are sufficient for you, or not.

 

From a technical point of view, there are two main reasons why it is not trivial to add procedures:

 

1. It is not enough to simply add the waypoints of an approach, SID or STAR to the flight plan. This would be the simple part. The problems begin when you want the autopilot to follow these procedures correctly. There exist a lot of different leg types in procedures (see slides 10 to 14 of http://www.peter2000.co.uk/aviation/misc/rnavmanual1_8.pdf ), but for X-Plane, they are all the same: A fix, consisting of a lat/lon coordinate and a "fly at" altitude. Most of the time, this works just fine, but eventually you would encounter misbehavior of the autopilot. Therefore, the developers would need to override X-Plane's autopilot for special leg types, or (maybe better) program their own autopilot.

 

2. The G1000 by Carenado/Alabeo reads and saves flight plans in X-Planes default .fms format. I assume that this is to allow people to use their existing flight plans, that might have been created with external tools, too, although the latter does not yet work 100% all the time. (The reason for this is that many tools do not strictly adhere to X-Plane's .fms format specification. X-Plane's own old FMC and its GNS430 are very tolerant of wrong .fms files, but if you as external developer try to adhere to the specification, you can run into problems.

 

So, for having a true procedures support (where the correct leg types are used in the correct way), a huge development effort is needed. Carenado's G1000 had been in development for 1.5 years when it was released, and it still had a lot of open bugs and a bad performance. Most of these problems have been solved with the DA42, so the basic functionality of the G1000 is now usable in a predictable manner. But there are still some problems with the flight plan system, and at least I want the developers to solve the remaining issues first before they start to work on such complex stuff like procedures.

 

 

A final remark: Sometimes, people refer to X-Plane's default GNS430, which has already approaches. But you cannot use this existing capability in a G1000 (or a SkyView, or any other glass cockpit). The GNS430's internals are not accessable. My impression is that people forget that until X-Plane 10.30 (i.e. not long ago), the GNS430 was not even able to handle a simple flight plan; it was only able to make a Direct-to to one waypoint. The new GNS was programmed by Philipp Münzel, who had previously worked for years on the FMC of the CRJ 200 and the FlightFactor Boeings. So he already knew how it works. Other developers don't have this experience. Some of them nowadays make use of existing software, such as the UFMC used in aircraft by SSG (their 747 or their upcoming Embraer updates) and the free x737, or the XFMC used in the upcoming update of the FJS 727. But UFMC and X-FMC have also been in development for years, until they were as capable as they are now (and even then, they still have bugs).

 

Other developers, such as Carenado/Alabeo, Aerobask, or we at vFlyteAir have to make their/our own experiences, and this simply takes a LOT of time -- for some, because they develop in their spare time or have no professional background in software development at all, and for others (such as Carenado/Alabeo), because their business model is based on fast releases of affordable, beautiful aircraft models.

 

 

Long story short: Carenado/Alabeo could simply have said "no, sorry, until X-Plane doesn't have a default G1000 like FSX/P3D, we won't convert our G1000-equipped models to X-Plane -- it's too much effort". But they didn't. They also were constantly updating their previous X-Plane products with new features over years, when they had developed them. I think both should be supported, instead of boycotted. But that's just my opinion, built both from a user's and a developer's point of view. As a user, you have of course every right to say "Well, all you said is interesting, but in the end it's not my problem."  :wink:

 

 

 

Thanks! Yes, I will.

 

I am not asking anyone to boycott the Carenado G1000 planes, I am just not going to purchase any more of them until procedures are implemented. So maybe boycott is a harsh word, but its all semantics. The G1000 is basically a VFR plane, which I find useless for the type of flying I want to do in the sim. I think steam gauges with the GNS430 would have been a better option until the G1000 is full featured. I am not a fan of factory anything, I prefer quality verses quantity ! Their manuals leave a lot to be desired ! I have to scratch my head when ever I have to read one of their manuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


So maybe boycott is a harsh word, but its all semantics.

 

Well, semantics is important (at least when your profession is communication studies and linguistics...  :blush2: )

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can still fly using airways in the XP G1000 based aircraft... But yeah it's frustrating because they're supposed to be able to shoot RNAV (GPS) approaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a real life comparison, the GNS 430 is quite dated.  I wanted one around 15 years ago, but it's graphics & computing power were less than a Garmin 296 portable, when the 296 was released. I had the 296, then the 496, which was replaced with a 696, and now Garmins  use the 7XX models.

The G1000, even when used for VFR, is much better than a 430.  I considered the panel mount 430 as very lacking, when it came to my 696 portable.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


In FSX and P3D I've used several G1000-equipped aircraft, such as the Flight1 CT182T, the Flight1 Citation Mustang, the G1000 by Mindstar Aviation, as well as some Carenado aircraft, esp. the SR22. They all get different things right and wrong, and all had their limitations, and usability very much was dependant of having high enough FPS...

 

I've never had serious performance issues - though some have been demanding for sure, such as the Flight1 B200.  It's more that I always found in FSX that it was harder to gain information from them as reproduced on a monitor screen, much more 'squinty' than steam gauges, if I can use that term. Combined with the view system in FSX, it just was never an experience that I enjoyed for very long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


It's more that I always found in FSX that it was harder to gain information from them as reproduced on a monitor screen, much more 'squinty' than steam gauges, if I can use that term. Combined with the view system in FSX, it just was never an experience that I enjoyed for very long.

 

Well, yes, most of the time I was using them as popup windows, because there was no easy way to zoom in the 3D cockpit. This is easier in X-Plane -- if you can't read something well, just zoom in for a second.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a real life comparison, the GNS 430 is quite dated.  I wanted one around 15 years ago, but it's graphics & computing power were less than a Garmin 296 portable, when the 296 was released. I had the 296, then the 496, which was replaced with a 696, and now Garmins  use the 7XX models.

The G1000, even when used for VFR, is much better than a 430.  I considered the panel mount 430 as very lacking, when it came to my 696 portable.  

 

You wouldn't actually fly a approach in IFR with a portable would you ?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You wouldn't actually fly a approach in IFR with a portable would you ?

No. It has never been legal....

 

However, before the Garmin 296, I had the latest Garmin (1997), which included approach plates & a moving map overlay. My IFR instructor (now a Delta airline pilot), was totally impressed by this machine. Legal panel mounts hadn't progressed nearly as far as the portables.  Since it became a fact, that Garmin users might use the GPS for illegal approaches, the approaches & overlays were removed.  Back in those days, end of the 90's & early 2000's, we had up linked satellite weather, before the airlines had it. 

 

These days, if a GA pilot has a newer large display moving map Garmin or comparable,  but a bare bones system for IFR, you can usually count on them looking at the GPS for a double check. Especially a synthetic vision system.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this