Cloudminer

First Impression and Observations

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Hi, Avsim!

 

I had been wanting to get and try Alabeo's Piper Seminole since they published it on their Facebook page. I'm also grateful they released both an analoge and electronic instrument panel. I purchased it on the day of release and I've been testing it with real-life maneuvers and procedures. I'm using a 1995 Piper Seminole Information Manual, because it's the model they've made. I flew a Beechcraft Duchess for my commercial multi-engine certification, but I've always loved the Seminole. I'll fly it in a few weeks because of a licencing conversion requirement, and this is why I was really interested on buying and using it in my FSX:SE.

 

Anyway, I've been training with it doing all real-world phases of flight and training maneuvers/procedures: Pre-flight inspection, before starting engines procedure, before taxiing procedure, taxiing, run-up, before-takeoff procedure, normal takeoff, cruise climb, cruise, slow flight, power-on/off stalls, steep turns, Vmc demonstration, simulated one-engine-inoperative procedure with securing and restart, emergency descent, instrument approach with a simulated OEI, normal landing, and a simulated OEI visual pattern.

 

I must say the textures are beautiful, the flight dynamics and performance throughout the maneuvers is excellent. I'm really happy how the Vmc demonstration goes. The sound can be better, but it does the job. I really like what Alabeo has done!

 

Now the observations. Starting with the issues that can be fixed easily in the aircraft.cfg:

  • Viewpoint too low and forward. Fixed in .cfg
  • Flaps could only be actuated with electrical power. They are manual. Fixed in .cfg
  • Nose-wheel turn angle was at 20. Fixed to 30 in the .cfg
  • Governing RPM was at 2000. Changed to 1100 in the .cfg
  • Fuel metering was set to fuel injection. Changed to carburetor in .cfg
  • No gear warning when flaps past 10 degree point. Fixed in .cfg, copied the sound file and changed name in the airplane sounds
  • Fuel selectors are in "all [tanks]" by default. Sometimes they appear to be on, but when you put the mouse over them, they show "off". They should be on, on their respective tank side by default. I kind of solve this issue by saving a flight with the airplane configured in the cold-and-dark mode, with cowl flaps open and fuel selectors on their respective sides, but when you click the cold-and-dark option in the panel again, they go to "all/off"
  • Cabin heat / fan switch is wrong. When you select cabin heat it's actually on fan, and when you select fan, it's actually on cabin heat
  • Ammeters have no indication. (As I confirmed from the other topics)
  • Cylinder heat temperature indication is wrong after maintaining one engine at a low power setting/shut down
  • Strobe lights / Fin strobe switch doesn't do the job well. When you select strobe lights, only strobes go on (should be both strobes and beacon). When you select fin strobe, both strobe and beacon are on (should be beacon only)
  • When the engines are off (alternator switches on or off, doesn't matter), there's no ALT indication on the annunciator panel. When the engines are on, and one or both alternators are off, there's no ALT indication. When you turn the left alternator off, you get the LO BUS indication. That's not right, because the other alternator is providing enough power (if not exceeding 60 amps and the tie bus is above 12.5 VDC)
  • No vacuum gauge (should be where the clock is)
  • Clock should be to the left of the airspeed indicator
  • When checking the feather on the run-up, if you allow the props to be on feather by less than a second, the engines will shut down. This should not happen that quickly
  • The pilot-side sunvisor performance table and documents are from the early Seminoles (70s-80s). I don't mind this, though

I also noticed the cylinder displacement in the .cfg to be at 60 and the compression ratio at 7.5. The performance was good in flight comparing with the performance tables, but I thought this was weird, because with other Alabeo airplanes, both the cylinder displacement and the compression ratio were correct for the type of engine. The Seminole has two 180HP O-360 with a 8.5:1 compression ratio. It means the cylinder displacement should be 90. I corrected them in the .cfg, but the performance wasn't correct anymore. I'm happy with the performance with the original settings, though, so this is not a major issue.

 

In general, it's a good add-on and it will help many student pilots train the procedures and maneuvers in the sim. I say it's worth the $34.95, considering they fix these few things.

 

Have a good week!

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The sound can be better,

 

In what sense?  Have they at least got convincing engine interior sounds?  Well blended?

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Thank you Cloudminder :-)

 

Any idea who is making liverys for this Bird? I am looking for the "Lufthansa Training" livery.

 

Thanx, Bjoern

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In what sense?  Have they at least got convincing engine interior sounds?  Well blended?

 

They're ok, but knowing how a Seminole sounds, it's not perfect, but ok. I'm very sensible to any airplane sound and I can identify/notice them very well. The Seminole/Arrow/Malibu is known for whistling when the landing gear is down and it's going at about > 70 knots.

 

I'm going "overkill" on this:

 

The start-up from inside shouldn't be "wouwouwou", but "yahyahyah". Barely noticable if the doors are closed. When flying, the engine sound on full power has a high pitch, this one is somewhat low. Kind of a "waaaaaaaaa", instead of Alabeo's "wooooooo". It changes to a low pitch when reducing to climb/cruise power.

 

This is a good video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VQJ0t6YPK8

 

I wouldn't say the sounds are bad. Just inaccurate, but it doesn't matter.

 

Cheers!

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I wouldn't say the sounds are bad. Just inaccurate, but it doesn't matter.

 

It totally matters.  The sounds are a massive part of the immersion of flying a GA aircraft - and as you know are different for each aircraft type.   I have stopped flying most of the Carenado and Alabeo aircraft because the sounds are just so badly done.  I wish TSS would start to do GA soundsets.  

 

Thanks or the great review though and your insights.

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It totally matters.  The sounds are a massive part of the immersion of flying a GA aircraft - and as you know are different for each aircraft type.   I have stopped flying most of the Carenado and Alabeo aircraft because the sounds are just so badly done.  I wish TSS would start to do GA soundsets.  

 

Thanks or the great review though and your insights.

 

Yes, I think Alabeo and Carenado should improve their sounds. It really adds quality to the product and the experience. Like A2A's 172 and 182. We can't compare both, though. A2A is quality over quantity, the opposite applying to Alabeo/Carenado, but they still develop good products.

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but they still develop good products.

Yeah they do, but that's the pity. Their quantity over quality approach means that they neglect things which are important to an ever more discerning flightsim audience. They have managed to achieve 'good' products, but not great products, and for me, they lack in the areas that matter most (to me). A2A is in another league - unfortunately only doing 1 aircraft per year.

 

As a flyer yourself, what is your overall impression on their flight models compared to the published figures? This aspect seems to have improved.

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There is nearly always an aftermarket sound released...

 

Dave

 

Careful Careando is usually using said payware sounds all ready - how do I know bought a payware sound set and it was the same as the Carenado version - I think they are using payware all ready - do you actually think they go out and record real aircraft sounds - no way they do

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I installed V1.1 today. They only fixed the environmental switch, ammeters, autopilot start-up, gear-up warning conditions (which I didn't check), and supposedly the beacon/strobe switch. It's still not right. They didn't fix the .cfg settings, though.

 

I'll send them a list.

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As a flyer yourself, what is your overall impression on their flight models compared to the published figures? This aspect seems to have improved.

 

 

I'd say the flight models, performance and dynamics are pretty good. The feeling will be different, of course, because of how a PC yoke/joystick feels and how the settings are within the sim. The buffetting at high angle of attacks (when nearing the stall) could enhance the sim experience, like MilViz has done in their T-38.

 

What I REALLY hate is the trim simulation, but that's a flight sim problem. It's programmed as if all airplanes had a trimmable horizontal stabilizer. That means the whole stabilizer will move to maintain a flight attitude and the control surface (elevator) will remain neutral (as in a 737, A320, CRJ...), instead of the trim moving the control surface that will maintain a control surface position, to maintain a desired airplane attitude (as in a Cessna, Piper, King Air...).

 

For example: When flying a Cessna in the sim, you can put aft trim, the elevator remains neutral (which is wrong) and still put more pitch with the elevator. This doesn't happen in the real airplane: Because the trim (tab) moves the elevator (which is linked to the yoke), when you put aft trim, the elevator rises and the yoke will move aft as well.

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There is nearly always an aftermarket sound released...

If you are talking about the Arezone products, they are worse than the sounds that come with the aircraft sometimes. Poor transition sounds, almost no engine sound at the lower end of the power setting, no audible difference with prop pitch changes. Rushed out, opportunistic, badly engineered sounds, and on many occasions not recorded from the aircraft type.

 

I spend many years in my younger days flying and working in GA.

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As for first impressions... now that I have flown it a bit, I would say that the Seminole is one of my favorite airplanes in FSX.

 

Feels great to sit in the cockpit, instruments where I can see them, handles just lovely, great GTN 750 integration..

 

Gold star from me!  :wub:

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In what sense?  Have they at least got convincing engine interior sounds?  Well blended?

 

I have over 1000 hours in the seminole and the sounds in this are terrible. 

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I have over 1000 hours in the seminole and the sounds in this are terrible. 

 

Yup pretty much all their sounds are average at best - cookie cutter - their sound packs are the ones you can buy from simmarket etc. you didnt think they actually go out and record real sounds - thats not going to happen

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FSAudio guy has released a sound pack...

 

Seems pretty good to me although I haven't been in the real thing.

 

You can check it out on youtube.

 

Dave

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Do you have a link? I couldn't find anything.

 

Thanks

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Do you have a link? I couldn't find anything.

 

Thanks

 

Just search Alabeo Seminole at youtube and change to date added to newest its there 

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Cloudminer, I have successfully used your cfg. file, thank you! Is the gear warning tied to your cfg? It goes off at 50% throttle, so beeps all around the circuit. Very annoying!! It may be part of the original cfg, too. I've deleted the gear warning code in the cfg and even turned the gear warning sounds OFF in the sounds package I bought. In the Alabeo Aztec the gear warning sound goes off at about 10% throttle. 

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