OzWhitey

A test pilot report on the Carenado C337H Skymaster in Prepar3d v4.

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A test pilot report on the Carenado C337H Skymaster.

Location of test flights: Eglin AFB

Aircraft: Ex-Rhodesian Air Force C337H

Technical data relating to flight test: performed using the Prepar3d v4 flight management system. The Oculus DK2 visualisation device was used for all phases of this flight.  

Report is as follows:

A number of technical and operational problems came to light during the flight tests of this aircraft.

A number of anticipated problems did not materialise, or were of minor significance. Notably, all gauges in the test aircraft worked flawlessly. This included the fuel flow, manifold pressure, RPM, electronic EGT gauge and clock, in addition to the primary flight instruments.

Other problems were, however, noted that appear to be more significant with regards to safe and effective flight:

1. The aircraft had a variation of the 'glass cockpit', with the main panel being fully transparent. Other cockpit structural components appeared to be functioning within normal limits.

2. More significantly, the aircraft's flight performance differed significantly from the expected parameters. Further information is as follows:

Test flight A:

The aircraft powered up as expected, and began its takeoff roll with full nose-wheel steering performance as per design criteria. However, at 50 knots the aircraft rolled to the left, leading to a strike of the left wing on the runway. The test pilot escaped with minor injuries, but the aircraft was non-repairable.

Test flight B:

The aircraft was launched at an altitude of 10,000 feet. The test pilot immediately noted a slow but steady roll to the left. The roll was not able to be counteracted with full aileron movement. As shown in accompanying image in appendix 1, the aircraft became fully inverted while over a populated area. The test pilot managed to restore some limited control with pitch and rudder movements, but no aileron authority was obtained during the full duration of the flight. The aircraft struck the ground in a mild nose-down orientation, leading to its complete destruction. The pilot sustained serious but survivable injuries.

Recommendation:

Although the aircraft performance was in some respects better than expected, the uncontrollable roll and resulting near-certain aircraft destruction leads us to recommend that this aircraft not be used for civilian or military flights at this time.

Further testing of other aircraft types by this manufacturer may provide useful information to the aviation community.

Test pilot: Robert J Whitehead.

With thanks to: Girard, P.F. and Everett, W. L. - X-13 Vertijet test pilots - for their help with this report.

 

Appendix 1: Flight test B

http://Test pilot report 1 2017-6-6_22-15-32-86

 

 

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You obviously didn't tell the plane it was no longer in Australia. It was just trying to right itself for Australian airspace.

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Twenty6, your opinion is duly noted and is current being discussed by the Flight Performance Team.

Here is Appendix 2, showing the atypical appearance of the aircraft's forward panel.

Further study of this image by the Technical Analysis Team suggests that - although not specifically noted by the test pilot during the flight - the aircraft appears to be missing a roof. We thus reiterate our previous opinion that this craft is not currently suitable for normal flight operations, until such time as the noted defects - panel anomalies, absent overhead structure and the inevitable, uncontrollable roll to inverted flight status - can be corrected.

Test%20pilot%20appendix%202_zpsmgdmrr3z.

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49 minutes ago, OzWhitey said:

The aircraft had a variation of the 'glass cockpit', with the main panel being fully transparent.

LOL !!!!!

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OzWhitey,

Based on your idea in another post, I redirected my EMT to v4 and installed some Carenado aircraft:

C152

C172

C208 (the first one, not the EX)

Piper Cherokee

Piper Archer

Piper Saratoga (old one)

Piper Malibu Mirage

 

The 152 and 172 looked and flew well, no discrepancies noted.

The C208 had the aforementioned "glass cockpit".  No flight test conducted as of yet.

The Cherokee and Archer were OK visually and flew as expected, but some of the instruments were missing.

The Mirage also had "glass cockpit". No flight test conducted.

I also tried the JF Arrow (non turbo). It looks OK, but for some reason I lost aileron control. Elevator and rudder were functional, however

 

NOTE: Try redirecting the EMT at your own risk. I had a scare when I disabled redirection and got an error message that it couldn't write a certain file. After a minute I realized that, with v4 being on the C drive, it might be write protected. It was, so after changing that everything worked OK. Your mileage may vary, however.

 

 

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That's some great test pilot work there, sarge. :happy:

I've also been testing the default FSX Cessna 172. Here she is, in P3D v4, over Glacier National Park.

gnp%202017-6-7_1-37-20-433_zpswaxagdys.j

Y'all will note that:

  • We've got the full panel AND a roof this time
  • The aircraft is shiny side up

Definite improvements compared to the C337H.

No specific problems noted during the test flight, and you'll see that the frames per second in VC mode is over 200 - this is the best result I've seen from any aircraft in this sim. The G1000 variant also works fine, but frames are only around 130.

The panel looks pretty old-school in VC mode, but in VR mode this aircraft is actually pretty good:

  • Instruments are readable.
  • Eye position is nearly correct, unlike a lot of other planes Ive flown in v4
  • Cabin size is appropriate.

So, this is a good plane for VR if you dont mind the lack of power of a C172, and if you're struggling to get smooth flight with more complex crafts.

Installation: Just copy the single folder, C172: 

(your HDD):\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\C172

And place this into the Simobjects\Airplanes folder in P3D v4. 30 seconds to install once you've got it in FSX, and I don't 

ALSO

I've been testing the Carenado C152. Same story, just install the aircraft into FSX and copy the single folder across, no EMT needed.

General report:

  • Frames are not as strong here, around 130 in similar circumstances.
  • Flight test: no problems identified.

VR report: very easy to read the instruments - one of the more practical aircraft. Eyepoint well set. However, the tiny, tiny yokes are perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've seen so far in a VR cockpit!

Here she is over Spokane, I landed her at Orbx Felts Field and she handled very well.

c152%202017-6-7_2-6-31-656_zpsg2wk0nlg.j

If anyone else has experience with test piloting the Carenado aircraft, let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

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If it's a newer Carenado, most probably not - but I don't own the PC-12, so if anyone does own it and has tested it, please let us know.

Two more Carenados that I have now successfully test flown:

  • The Cessna 172N, confirming Russ's report above that it works fine in P3D v4. Good frames, good VR plane, more fun to fly than the woefully underpowered C152. Suffers from the "tiny yoke" syndrome in the VR cockpit, that I reported above.
  • The Cessna 172N float. Now this one is fun, I've been flying around Glacier NP in Montana some more, there's some great lakes to land on way up in the mountains.

Cessna%20172N%20float_zpsyelcokpt.jpg

Yes, I landed it OK, over the crest as slow as possible and then a late turn to the right on final without stalling. :happy:

Took off again sucessfully as well, you should have seen the smile on my face as we lifted off.

2017-6-7_2-53-59-203_zpswlv03hek.jpg

If you get over the lip of the lake, the ground just drops away at least a thousand feet in a sheer cliff - awesome! 

These planes just perform so well in VR, if you haven't tried it have a look at the second-hand Oculus DK2's on Ebay, they're getting seriously cheap.

Prepar3d v4 plus VR is letting me re-discover these old Carenados that I thought had been garaged for good. 

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I put all of the default FSX aircraft in and they all seem to work fine. For some reason, I really like the CRJ, especially for VATSIM. I have always preferred the simple stuff over the study sims. As such, I'm going to try my Virtualcol stuff next. Stand by for Flight Report.

 

Again, folks, if you want to try this stuff yourself, it is AT YOUR OWN RISK! I don't know about OzWhitey, but I don't really have a problem with installing stuff to the traditional locations, as opposed to an addon folder. I usually do a complete re-install of P3D every 6 months or so anyway, so it's not a big deal to me. YMMV, of course.

Ye have been warned!

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Hi Russ, for testing purposes I'm just putting the aircraft files in the traditional locations.

The C152, C172 and C172 Float all worked fine with a simple folder transfer.

Test report: Carenado Cessna C182Q

I just tried this method with the C182Q. Plane flies well, sounds are good, but the none of the instruments work. I then tried copying the C182 gauges across, managed to get the attitude indicator working. Despite a second attempt, I haven't had any luck getting any of the other instruments alive - so I'd consider this plane to be non-compatible, unless anyone has any other clever ideas. 

<Edit>

Test report: Carenado Piper Archer PA28 (previous tested by Russ via EMT)

One more success! Requires manual transfer of the aircraft folder AND the appropriate files from the gauges folder. I installed in a dummy FSX folder, so I could see exactly what was being added. Transferring the gauges: FSGPS295 and the four files with PA28 in the name - brings the virtual cockpit to life in P3D v4. 

Verdict: mostly functional, as far as I could see from a brief, 4am test flight. Russ noted that some instruments were missing when installed via EMT, I note the same - missing turn coordinator and VSI. But the key instruments work (and the GPS), this plane is flyable in P3D v4.

Note: that's a pretty agricultural virtual cockpit, they're some of the flatest, least-3D gauges I have seen! But it's still a fun plane to fly, something a little different from the Cessnas.

<Edit>

Test report: Carenado Mooney M20J

Plane works, flies well.

Transfer: main aircraft folder and gauges

Note: multiple instruments missing. Only airspeed indicator, attitude indicator and GPS are functional. I can fly with this - but it would be nice to have an altimeter.

VR note: VERY odd cockpit - you're sitting on the floor of the plane, with your legs out horizontal to the pedals. I think this is a very old Carenado!

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Only thing I can say about Carenado, their flight controls on the King Air 350i are ######. As well the realism and behavior of that plane especially when it comes to weather. Ground handling is also awful.

Also the plane is badly coded, their VC costs tremendous amounts of rendering power which cuts your FPS almost in half. This was the case in P3D v3.4 which is fully supported. In v4 the King Air is not working and it wont work anytime soon I guess. A large amount of planes never got even updated for v3 from Cera...

I would never suggest to buy a Carenado plane, they are crap, every freeware plane out there is far better especially when it comes to flight dynamics!

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I'm assuming by reading this thread that we don't understand why the C337 et al from Carenado are showing the "glass cockpit"?

It is because they require .dll files to be loaded in the dll.xml file. These .dll files are currently just 32 bit. These files include gauges and other functionality. These planes will not work properly in V4 until the .dll files are compiled as 64 bit.

EDIT: Any aircraft addon that uses only XML gauges should work properly in V4 with a simple copy from FSX or V3.

Regards the EMT, you are playing with fire.

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24 minutes ago, Henry Street said:

Regards the EMT, you are playing with fire.

Hence the disclaimer...

2 hours ago, b1bmsgt said:

Again, folks, if you want to try this stuff yourself, it is AT YOUR OWN RISK! I don't know about OzWhitey, but I don't really have a problem with installing stuff to the traditional locations, as opposed to an addon folder. I usually do a complete re-install of P3D every 6 months or so anyway, so it's not a big deal to me. YMMV, of course.

Ye have been warned!

We're just having fun messing around with a new toy, right Rob??

 

PS I have used the EMT since it first came out and I have had ZERO problems with it. Just sayin"...

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Mostly all Carenado and Alabeo aircraft uses DLL gauge for some parts of VC, some controls and so... so they CAN'T work in v4 as that gauges are 32bit.

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3 hours ago, OzWhitey said:

That's some great test pilot work there, sarge. :happy:

I've also been testing the default FSX Cessna 172. Here she is, in P3D v4, over Glacier National Park.

 

 

Default FSX aircraft uses only XML gauges, so there is no reason that they can't work in P3Dv4, any plane which uses DLL gauge can't work 100%, depends for what that gauge is used, for example RealAir planes uses gauge for some sounds, so plane works but some sounds missing, same for Aerosoft Twin Otter..

All my Carenado and Alabeo planes does not work - 32bit gauge file for significant functionality and look, Lionheard Pacer pack uses some special gague too + same sound gauge as RealAir do. Fully functional is for example Lionheart Kodiak

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Tried the Virtualcol -8 and EMB 190 and they seem good. Took the -8 from New Haven KHVN to Bradley KBDL. No inflight failures noted.

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3 hours ago, OzWhitey said:

That's some great test pilot work there, sarge. :happy:

I've also been testing the default FSX Cessna 172. Here she is, in P3D v4, over Glacier National Park.

gnp%202017-6-7_1-37-20-433_zpswaxagdys.j

Y'all will note that:

  • We've got the full panel AND a roof this time
  • The aircraft is shiny side up

Definite improvements compared to the C337H.

No specific problems noted during the test flight, and you'll see that the frames per second in VC mode is over 200 - this is the best result I've seen from any aircraft in this sim. The G1000 variant also works fine, but frames are only around 130.

The panel looks pretty old-school in VC mode, but in VR mode this aircraft is actually pretty good:

  • Instruments are readable.
  • Eye position is nearly correct, unlike a lot of other planes Ive flown in v4
  • Cabin size is appropriate.

So, this is a good plane for VR if you dont mind the lack of power of a C172, and if you're struggling to get smooth flight with more complex crafts.

Installation: Just copy the single folder, C172: 

(your HDD):\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\C172

And place this into the Simobjects\Airplanes folder in P3D v4. 30 seconds to install once you've got it in FSX, and I don't 

ALSO

I've been testing the Carenado C152. Same story, just install the aircraft into FSX and copy the single folder across, no EMT needed.

General report:

  • Frames are not as strong here, around 130 in similar circumstances.
  • Flight test: no problems identified.

VR report: very easy to read the instruments - one of the more practical aircraft. Eyepoint well set. However, the tiny, tiny yokes are perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've seen so far in a VR cockpit!

Here she is over Spokane, I landed her at Orbx Felts Field and she handled very well.

 

If anyone else has experience with test piloting the Carenado aircraft, let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

Did you not have to copy anything from the sound or gauge folders to get the FSX default planes to work OK?

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3 hours ago, OzWhitey said:

That's some great test pilot work there, sarge. :happy:

I've also been testing the default FSX Cessna 172. Here she is, in P3D v4, over Glacier National Park.

 

 

Sorry for the duplicate!

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1 hour ago, ricka47 said:

Did you not have to copy anything from the sound or gauge folders to get the FSX default planes to work OK?

 

No, just the folders out of Simobjects. All self contained, it would appear.

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10 hours ago, b1bmsgt said:

 

No, just the folders out of Simobjects. All self contained, it would appear.

Not self contained, but some gauges and souds are included in P3D even aircraft itself is not present.

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18 hours ago, Henry Street said:

I'm assuming by reading this thread that we don't understand why the C337 et al from Carenado are showing the "glass cockpit"?

It is because they require .dll files to be loaded in the dll.xml file. These .dll files are currently just 32 bit. These files include gauges and other functionality. These planes will not work properly in V4 until the .dll files are compiled as 64 bit.

EDIT: Any aircraft addon that uses only XML gauges should work properly in V4 with a simple copy from FSX or V3.

Regards the EMT, you are playing with fire.

Hey Harry,

RE: playing with fire - we're test pilots, this is what we do. We're willing to risk serious injury, death or even a full re-install of Prepar3d if necessary to 'push the envelope' a little further. :happy:

Re: "I'm assuming by reading this thread that we don't understand why..."

I think we understand that 32 bit .dll files are potentially troublesome in a 64 bit sim. However, from other threads it's been suggested that NONE of our aircraft will work in P3D v4, but there was also some opinions expressed that some Carenado GA planes would be good to have. Hence this test pilot project - we want to document PRECISELY what works, and what doesn't. As you can see if you read through this thread, for the Carenado fleet it's highly variable:

  1. - We have some planes that perform flawlessly, and I've already had some enjoyable flights in them, e.g. the Cessna 172N Float.
  2. - There are other planes where some of the gauges don't work, but the plane is otherwise fully functional.
  3. - There are planes where the gauges work fine, but some structural elements - panels, roofs - are missing.
  4. - There are now two planes that I have test flown that have been uncontrollable despite application of the most advanced test pilot skills that we were able to apply to the situation. 

Overall, the level of function is better than I had been led to believe. M/Sgt Russ has also achieved some great results.

Why are we doing this:

- It's good to have some classic GA aircraft to fly. In addition, some of my fleet of Carenado planes have not flown in years - P3D versions were never released for some - and it's nice to see some old friends back in the air. 

- It's fun to 'push the envelope', and see which of these aircraft that we're not meant to be able to use will actually function in whole or part.

In addition, I now fly almost exclusively with a HMD, but P3Dv4 - unlike AF2 - does not easilly cope with the frame rates. There's therefore a new role for older, simple aircraft that will allow users to achieve the performance goals necessary for the smooth VR experience that is required for longer simulation sessions. In my test reports, I've provided information on VR usability where appropriate.

Hopefully some other simmers have dusted off the older Carenados and given them a go! Now I'm back from my sleep, it's back to Carenado testing time... 

 

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Todays Flight Test Report:

Tried the Captain Sim 737: Well... not so good. All cockpit instruments and switches were non-functional, although there were no transparencies. On looking at the external model, the landing gear was missing. Oh well, this is the first one on Capt Sim's upgrade list. No flight test. Uninstalled awaiting upgrade.

Carenado Rockwell commander: transparent cockpit. No test flight yet.

Carenado T-34 Mentor: Some missing gauges, but flies well.

Carenado Seneca II: Not transparent, but missing gauges. Flight test OK.

Carenado V35B Bonanza: Transparent. No flight test yet.

 

I use Air Manager on my IPad for instruments, so this isn't a problem for me. I use a view that just shows the glareshield forward. This also works for the transparent cockpit ones.

 

More to follow...

 

Russ

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Now here's a test result that I find very interesting.

The aircraft in question is Carenado's SR22 Turbo. In the picture, you'll note that the custom G1000 works - both the PFD and ND are functional, with the buttons tested all working correctly. Given that some basic steam gauges fail on other Carenados, I was not expecting that the G1000 would be working so well.

SR22_zps9rceplne.jpg

There are, however, some issues that I think render this aircraft unsuitable for general aviation use by the average pilot. The main issue is that there is no control of pitch. This is the second Carenado where I have encountered this problem during test flights, the other being the CT210M (my previous test). This is not a serious problem for test pilots, of course:

  • The aircraft wants to pitch up, leading to a stall.
  • Simply use the ailerons to roll to the left, at a 90 degree bank angle.
  • Now apply full right rudder, to keep the nose of the aircraft at the desired pitch.

As you can see, I manged to line up with a pretty decent natural runway - not quite the Hudson, but close enough. And - good news! - I nearly reached it, with the mountainside landing being somewhat rough but almost survivable.  

I replaced the air file with a renamed file from another aircraft, and whilst this seemed to improve the pitch-up tendency, no elevator control was obtained.

It's a nice looking aircraft that would be fun to fly in P3D v4. If anyone knows why the pitch - but not the roll or yaw control - is malfunctioning, please let us know!

Summary:

Carenado SR22T: gauges functioning, but malfunctioning control surfaces, some engine performance problems and also a missing floor.

Carenado CT210M Centurion: very challenging aircraft to fly, severe pitch issues with no elevator control available. Also, no front panel. Test flight did not end well (see picture below). However, gauge function is excellent!

CT210M_zpsnucejjlo.jpg

 

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