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VOJu24

Searching VAS-friendly VFR aircraft for scenery exploration

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Hi everyone,

Recently, I've reviewed the VAS usage of my planes, since I've had some OOMs or close calls. To my 'dismay' I discovered that the A2A planes actually take much more VAS than even the Alabeo C400 which has the G1000 (that supposedly needs a lot of VAS). (Obviously that's for good reason and I enjoy flying them, but sometimes I want to fly more to enjoy the scenery.)

Since my very well-used A2A planes aren't quite as VAS-friendly, I'm looking for a lighter simulation. I'm looking for a nice-looking VFR aircraft to enjoy VAS-hungry (ORBX and other) scenery. Important is that the visibility from the cockpit is good for enjoying the scenery.

Actually, the default Maule is already pretty good, but it looks too dated inside (and the "reflections" on the window are driving me crazy). Of course I don't mind if the systems are a bit more extensive than in the Maule, but priority is VAS-friendliness over extensive systems.

So far I've seen the Alabeo C177 as an option. It probably needs less VAS than the C400, I'm just not sure how much I enjoy the "Alabeo"-isms.  So, I would love to learn about some other planes that you think could be a great fit for exploring scenery at high settings. 
I tend to favor single engines over twins (because I somehow believe the smaller the plane the less VAS it uses), but that is not set into stone. Overall the question is just, what aircraft would you use that looks and flies nice, with basic systems, when you want to crank up the scenery settings?

Thank you for your suggestions!

David

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If you can, I would change to P3D. Sure you heard this enough. I still keep FSX SE alive but rarely fly it. I could usually fly Carenado  AC without VAS OOM issues though in FSX SE. I gave up on the PMDG 747 and QW 787. Could only fly into default airports.

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12 minutes ago, t4murphy said:

If you can, I would change to P3D.

Since we are in the FSX/FSX-SE forum, let's stay on topic for the OP and concentrate on his options for this Sim.  He did not state his interest in P3D.

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6 hours ago, ckyliu said:

What about JustFlight's newish GA stuff?

Thank you, Yeah it's a good idea!  I have been tempted to buy once of them many times. I think the warrior or the archer would both be great.  In this context maybe the c152 makes more sense.  I'm just a bit concerned with all their amazing features that they would be more in the A2a region.  I guess the socata tb10 and tb20 could be more friendlyto the VAS. There really just the layout/looks of these cockpit put me off a bit.

 

But definitely something I might get at some point. 

Best, 

David

 

Ps. P3DV4 is currently not an option for me. 

Edited by VOJu24
P3d

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Hi David,

Here is a link to a post which I added to another thread about 2 weeks ago which you might find helpful. As you can see in my post I included a table comparing the VAS footprint of various addon aircraft to that of the default Baron:

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/539138-heavy-planes-vs-vas-memory/

As you can see the Alabeo C177, which you were considering has a considerably lower VAS footprint than the C400, as do a few other Alabeo singles with the exception of the PA-22 Tri-Pacer! You mentioned that you favour single engine aircraft and there are also quite a few Carenado singles with low VAS hits and, although these tend to be the older products, they are still quite good leaving aside the various little quirks which most Alabeo/Carenado aircraft tend to have. With regard to Just Flight's newer products, I don't have their Cessna 152 but as you can see their Arrow and TB-20, both of which are excellent, do not have low VAS footprints. Unfortunately a lot of higher quality aircraft such as those from A2A have higher VAS usage which is perhaps to be expected with more detailed modelling, better textures, etc.

As you can see from the table there are still quite a few aircraft out there that might fit your criteria both from the well known and some less well known developers, although it is always worthwhile looking at the reviews before you buy anything. One I often use for low and slow (very slow!!) flying in the VAS hungry Orbx regions is the Vertigo Simulations Stearman although it is quite an old product and I am not sure if it is still available. It does however have a pretty basic cockpit and being a biplane the visibility from the cockpit might be a bit too limited for you although that doesn't bother me too much as I tend to fly a lot of sight-seeing flights in spot view. Others worth considering are the Aerosoft Robin DR-400, quite an old product but a nice touring aircraft with a low VAS footprint and the excellent Lionheart Quest Kodiak which is very nicely modelled, doesn't eat VAS and being a bushplane will get you into and out of some very short strips!

Bill

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13 minutes ago, scianoir said:

Hi David,

Here is a link to a post which I added to another thread about 2 weeks ago which you might find helpful. As you can see in my post I included a table comparing the VAS footprint of various addon aircraft to that of the default Baron:

https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/539138-heavy-planes-vs-vas-memory/

As you can see the Alabeo C177, which you were considering has a considerably lower VAS footprint than the C400, as do a few other Alabeo singles with the exception of the PA-22 Tri-Pacer! You mentioned that you favour single engine aircraft and there are also quite a few Carenado singles with low VAS hits and, although these tend to be the older products, they are still quite good leaving aside the various little quirks which most Alabeo/Carenado aircraft tend to have. With regard to Just Flight's newer products, I don't have their Cessna 152 but as you can see their Arrow and TB-20, both of which are excellent, do not have low VAS footprints. Unfortunately a lot of higher quality aircraft such as those from A2A have higher VAS usage which is perhaps to be expected with more detailed modelling, better textures, etc.

As you can see from the table there are still quite a few aircraft out there that might fit your criteria both from the well known and some less well known developers, although it is always worthwhile looking at the reviews before you buy anything. One I often use for low and slow (very slow!!) flying in the VAS hungry Orbx regions is the Vertigo Simulations Stearman although it is quite an old product and I am not sure if it is still available. It does however have a pretty basic cockpit and being a biplane the visibility from the cockpit might be a bit too limited for you although that doesn't bother me too much as I tend to fly a lot of sight-seeing flights in spot view. Others worth considering are the Aerosoft Robin DR-400, quite an old product but a nice touring aircraft with a low VAS footprint and the excellent Lionheart Quest Kodiak which is very nicely modelled, doesn't eat VAS and being a bushplane will get you into and out of some very short strips!

Bill

Hi Bill,

Thank you so much, what an amazing list! This will go right into my bookmarks, it's pretty much exactly what I need to make a good purchase decision!

Thank you for taking the time to compile this. I had started to compile my own but yours covers almost all the aircraft I have, and I know it's a lot of work to compile such a list in a consistent way.

I will definitely look at the Vertigo Stearman, Lionheart Quest Kodiak and the Aerosoft Robin as well as some others from your list.

 

2 hours ago, Tom Wright said:

The Just Flight Warrior is actually really nice, and performance friendly.

The problem is that performance as in fluidity or frame rate does often not correspond with VAS, the C400 has low framerates but takes less VAS then the more fluid A2A products. That's why I think Bill's list is so amazing, it doesn't talk about performance it really focuses on VAS, which is usually not obvious to the sim pilot!

 

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49 minutes ago, VOJu24 said:

Thank you for taking the time to compile this. I had started to compile my own but yours covers almost all the aircraft I have, and I know it's a lot of work to compile such a list in a consistent way.

It would be hard work to do it all at once but basically I have added to it over the years each time I install a new aircraft, so it wasn’t too much effort!

As I mentioned, I rechecked any surprising readings where the VAS usage seemed unexpectedly high or low and generally most aircraft when rechecked came up with readings in the same ball park so I think the list gives a reasonably accurate idea of relative VAS footprints. 

You mention frame rates in your post above and I also measure that when I first test a new addon aircraft, but I didn’t include those in my list so as not to confuse things. It was interesting though that many VAS intense aircraft actually had significantly better frame rates than the default Baron! As a rule however in my day to day flying I do not bother monitoring frame rates providing everything looks smooth. 

Hope you find something that fits your criteria and you like but, as I said, read any available reviews first!

Bill

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8 hours ago, scianoir said:

It would be hard work to do it all at once but basically I have added to it over the years each time I install a new aircraft, so it wasn’t too much effort!

As I mentioned, I rechecked any surprising readings where the VAS usage seemed unexpectedly high or low and generally most aircraft when rechecked came up with readings in the same ball park so I think the list gives a reasonably accurate idea of relative VAS footprints. 

You mention frame rates in your post above and I also measure that when I first test a new addon aircraft, but I didn’t include those in my list so as not to confuse things. It was interesting though that many VAS intense aircraft actually had significantly better frame rates than the default Baron! As a rule however in my day to day flying I do not bother monitoring frame rates providing everything looks smooth. 

Hope you find something that fits your criteria and you like but, as I said, read any available reviews first!

Bill

I absolutely agree, the frame rate is a whole different aspect of performance, but here I'm less concerned. 

Thank you so much for your help. So  I guess after spending the last 4 hours scouring around, despite mixed reviews I think I'll still go for the C177 and then probably also the DR 400 (maybe not right now but eventually) since it looks like it's an amazing plane even if the looks aren't quite up to the standards anymore. 

I considered many other planes, for example Ant's Eaglet, which definitely would have been an affordable alternative, and Alabeo's DA40 who has pretty good reviews but in the end, sometimes the looks just catches you and for my VFR encounters I can definitely live without an autopilot and the view from the C177 cockpit is just great (doesn't mean I won't ever use spot view 😉 )

So thanks again Bill, and I'm convinced your list will help many more simmers!

Best,

David

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