The Fieseler Storch is one of the most magnificent Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) aeroplanes to have existed. It’s a one of a kind machine of the skies causing goose bumps and bulging eyes to anyone that sets their sights on it. Your heart races and your fingers itch to want to fly one in reality. With the FSAddon Fieseler Storch, it certainly is as real as it gets.
The Fieseler Storch was an aeroplane used throughout World War II for Reconnaissance. The idea was initially selected from one of the many companies that offered their designs when the German Air Force released the requirement for an STOL aircraft. It was used for many important missions especially because it could get into and out of small locations; locations other aeroplanes couldn’t even consider.
FSAddon has taken up the project to design the Fieseler Storch for use on Flight Simulator and have replicated an utterly realistic model. They have included many variations of the Storch with a combination of Wheel and Skid landing gear, Reconnaissance and Ambulance versions, and a variety of passenger versions based on the configuration of the aeroplane.
Installation and Documentation
The Installation process of the Storch is relatively simple and similar to that of many other programs. It is an executable file that is to be run and simply follow the prompts for the proper installation.
The Documentation of this product is simple, yet effective. It includes a Manual and a Checklist of the operations in the Storch. In the manual, the introduction states the process behind the research and the creation of the model which is a very interesting read. There is also information about the actual model including the variants, the installation process, details about the aeroplane and a FAQ.
The documentation also provides the customer with a very well summarized history about the Storch that creates an appreciation of the wonderful aeroplane. FSAddon have enabled users to download the Manual for free from their website prior to purchasing the product, providing a certain level of comfort for the customer in relation to the limitations of the Aeroplane.
FSAddon have taken great care towards making an accurate model of the inside of the aeroplane from the real version of the Storch. They also have specific customizations depending on the type of model being flown and in general, give a fantastic feel towards flying the aeroplane as though it’s the ‘real deal’.
Controls & Instrumentation
The Controls of the aeroplane in regards to the levers are as per the real aeroplane. The cockpit includes accurate presentations of the Control Stick, Mixture lever, Magnetos, Flap Handle, etc. A lot of detail has been put into these, for example, a shoe strap on the Rudder Pedals.
Although all of the placards are in German, hovering the mouse over certain controls brings a small pop-up window explaining what the controls actually are, for ease of use. The instrumentation is also very accurate in terms of design and placement. The gauges have been custom designed for the Storch and have been calibrated to the units originally used, i.e. km/h for Air Speed Indicator.
The coloring and the texture of the gauges makes it feel ‘old’ like the actual aeroplane and not some re-used design which has had no work to it. Just by looking at the cockpit instrument panel in general, it can be seen that a great deal of detail has been put into it to get it accurate when compared to the real Storch.
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The passenger configurations are also inter-changeable and people can be viewed in the aeroplane. Depending on what model is picked, it is possible to get either a general passenger facing the front, a Gunman or Ambulatory patients. The pilot is also viewed in all configurations.
These passengers or pilot can be selected and de-selected using the appropriate feature in the Comms panel. Except for the Ambulance model, the passengers are not viewable from the Virtual Cockpit view. When the passengers are de-selected in the Ambulance model, the stretchers default to a passenger seat.
The Pilot isn’t viewed in any model from the Virtual Cockpit. All persons on board are viewable from the exterior views when appropriately activated.
Rear seat with passenger selected
Rear stretchers with patients for Ambulance model
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The general view of the cockpit is just fantastic. A lot of effort has been put into the aeroplane to not make it look like a ‘cartoon’ image. Designs such as discoloration in the flooring and metal parts make a significant effect towards the view from the pilot. Further details such as the movement of chains form the Flap Handle and opening of hatches make a significant difference to the realism of the design.
The only flaw with the design, if any, is the lack of 2D Cockpit. FSAddon took a great deal of effort into adding a Virtual Cockpit but the 2D Cockpit is non-existent. It just shows the front view of the aircraft. Some users prefer the 2D cockpit, especially while cruising and this may be a disadvantage for them. Nevertheless, the Virtual Cockpit’s design and intricate details far outweigh the potential lack of 2D Cockpit in most cases.
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The Storch comes with 6 unique models, each having different variations. While the details of each model can be found in the manual, in summary, it is a choice of Liaison, Reconnaissance and Ambulance versions with a variety of undercarriages including Wheels, Ski’s, and Wheels with tail skids. There are also numerous accurate liveries available for all models which are in good detail.
List of available models and variations in FSX
The flight controls and exterior manipulation of the aeroplane are one of my favorite parts of this add-on. All the control surfaces such as flaps move very smoothly. If the aircraft is being flown from an Exterior view, this movement gives you a feeling of real control over the aeroplane. It really does make you feel as though you are ‘Pilot in Command’.
The numerous Aerodynamic Balances, such as Mass Balances, look great when the ailerons are being moved and really do provide the user with a perception of solidity and reality while flying the Aeroplane.
This is also a personal favorite of mine. For any add-on, the aeroplane is good, but then it becomes great based on the details the designers have put into it and the work to push it that one little step more.
In the Storch, the designers have taken a great deal of effort to get everything looking absolutely realistic. The hinges, aerodynamic balances, exhausts, wing roots, etc. all seamlessly flow to fool your eyes into a false sense of reality. While looking at the outside, one indulges in the intricate details widening the eyes for a forever sense of greed and a want to keep flying this aeroplane as it is just purely amazing.
The most favorite part of the aeroplane which blew my mind on first sight was the compressibility of the landing gear. While landing, the landing gear actually compresses a great deal and this simple method of compression is one of the smallest features, but one of the best. There is also a similar feature for the tail and the movement of the tail skid when the tail touches down after landing. The rough aura of the surface tickles the skin as it gently provides a surface for the undercarriage to do its job, and make itself look like a well practiced dancer.
The gunman waving his gun while flying gives a feel of combat, a chill up the spine as you look back hoping to find nobody actually following you, before you realize that it’s just a Flight Simulator model and we are certainly not in battle. These details are what make the aeroplane great and the hard work from the designers, has definitely paid off.
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The Flight Dynamics in the design are truly surreal. If viewed from the exterior view, the manipulation of the flight controls along with the Flight Dynamics certainly makes you feel in command. The true capabilities of the Storch can be felt when the flaps are extended and the aeroplane brings itself to what feels like a near hover.
The Storch in real is a fantastic plane in terms of the way it flies and FSAddon have certainly not been lazy in implementing this across to their Flight Simulator version. The feel of the Short Field operations can be felt while flying this aeroplane and the true dynamics of the real plane can also be appreciated from this.
Managed to land it in that much distance. Could probably do a lot less with a bit of wind
Custom made sounds have been included with the Storch. You can hear the unique grunt of the engine while powering up and the gentle clanging of the chain while you extend the flaps. FSAddon have certainly taken their time and effort in the whole aeroplane and the implementation of the Sound is no different.
The chain from the flap system
One of the biggest factors to determine the value and usability of an add-on is by its Performance. The perfect add-on for Flight Simulator can exist but if it cannot be used, it has no value.
The performance of the Storch would have to be rated around average. With my current computer configuration, it was very difficult to fly the aeroplane even with very low graphic settings (although still possible). I did some flight time for the review in places around the world but most of it was done in Antarctica to get the most performance of the aeroplane without having to majorly account for scenery. To give a numeric value, I received around 10 Frames per Second while in Antarctica on the Storch. My 4 year old computer does meet the minimum requirements for the product; however it is nowhere close to the performance of today’s modern computers.
Any computer that is relatively new should be able to run the Storch sufficiently to be able to fly it without any significant lag. If a user has a lower end computer, the performance may impair the flying experience and cause dissatisfaction with the product.
The main lack of performance in this product is mainly due to the immense detail in the Storch. It is a pity there is no 2D Panel or a ‘trial version’, especially for lower end computers which may benefit from such features.
Note: Performance is a highly subjective topic and 2 computers with similar specifications may have a difference performance output. The lack of performance identified in the review is mainly from the Virtual Cockpit and Exterior views. The 2D view (regardless of lack of cockpit design) does work relatively better. The performance seen on your computer may vary from the above description.
| Test System |
• Intel Core2 Duo E8400 @ 3.0 GHz
• 4.00 GB Ram (3GB usable)
• Nvidia Geforce 9800GTX/9800 GTX+
• Windows XP Professional SP 3
• Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick
• Microsoft FSX Deluxe – SP2
Publisher: FSAddon Publishing
Format: Download (200MB)
Reviewed By: Arjun Murthy
It is a perfected piece of art and although I may not fly it much due to performance on my current computer, I will still take it for a spin every once in a while to see what it truly can do, because it is simply amazing.
What I Like About the Storch
- Detail in everything
- Care and accuracy in product design
What I Don't Like About the Storch