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    REVIEW - Flysimware Cessna 441 Conquest II


    WR269

    REVIEW

    by Mike Cameron

     

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    Introduction

    The information for the introduction was gathered from the www.cessna.us website, the product page and this product’s manual.  In November 1974, Cessna announced that it was going to develop the Cessna 441 and that it was going to be company’s first turboprop aircraft.  It was designed to fill the gap between its jet and their piston engine aircraft.  It would have cabin class twin seating, capable of seating up to ten passengers.  It was being designed concurrently with the Cessna 404 Titan which was the basis for the 441 and the 404 Titan was a piston powered twin.  The maiden flight of the Conquest was in August of 1975 and first deliveries were in 1977.  The name of the 441 was later changed to the Conquest II in 1983.

    The landing gear of the Conquest II is tricycle type and the earlier aircraft were powered by two Garrett TPE331 Turboprop engines driving two, four bladed McCauley Hartzell propellers.  The majority of the 441’s have been upgraded to the TPE331-10 engines which reduced maintenance costs while increasing horsepower, service ceiling, fuel efficiency and range over the previous model engines.  These conversions also provide a higher resale value over the original model.  Also converting from the standard three bladed propellers to the smaller diameter Hartzell four bladed propellers resulted in improved climb rates of 200 fpm.  The Conquest has been operated by corporate owners, air charter operators and exported to many countries and many are still flying today.

     

    Flysimware decided to design this aircraft for FSX and P3D because their beta captain has flown this aircraft and is very familiar with this specific model.  With hundreds of hours of custom coding, Flysimware believes they have developed the most realistic Garrett turboprop simulated aircraft on the market today.  Due to FSX limitations with turboprop aircraft they have worked around the coding to produce a linked prop shaft direct to the propellers and they are the first FSX/P3D developer to simulate a real world Garrett turboprop system.

     

     

    Specifications:

    (All performance figures are from sea level and full gross weight)

    Airframe:

    Fuel capacity: 481.5 Gallons

    Fuel capacity (pounds, cockpit instrument readings): 3,222 Pounds

    Empty Weight: 5801 Pounds

    Payload Weight: 2699 Pounds

    Max Takeoff Weight: 9850 Pounds

    Max Gross Weight: 9.850 Pounds

    Length: 39 Feet

    Span: 49.4 Feet

     

    Powerplant:

    Two Garrett TPE331-10 Turboprop Engines

    (Now known as Honeywell 331 engines)

    Horsepower: 635.5 x 2

     

    Performance:

    Cruise Speed: 230 – 250 Knots

    Maximum Range: 2525 NM

    Service Ceiling: 35,000 Feet

     

     

    Installation

    I received the review copy of the Cessna Conquest II directly from Flysimware so your install process may be different.  Installation of Flysimware aircraft is very easy.  If this is your first purchase from Flysimware, create an account at their web store.  After purchase, they will email you with a download link to your account.  Download the aircraft’s install file and while you are looking at your order information, copy the registration code to the Windows clipboard.  Run the downloaded file and select the simulator that you would like to install the Conquest to.

    Flysimware is one of the few simulated aircraft developers that include the triple installer for FSX, P3Dv1 and P3Dv2 support instead of having to purchase two licenses if you own both FSX and the Version 2 series of Prepar3D, which is great.

    This is a review of the FSX model of the Cessna Conquest II.  Continuing on, accept the License Agreement, enter your name, Company (this can remain blank) and if you copied the Registration Code, it will automatically be entered in the spaces provided, a great feature for those of us that are not great typists.

    The program will automatically find the simulator location, select “Start” to install on to your hard drive, then “Next” and “Exit” to complete the installation process.  Remember to read the last screen to visit the product page to download any new updates for this aircraft.  If you require comprehensive manual with your complex aircraft and I consider a twin turboprop to be complex, then you will be disappointed because the manual is not very long but does include the cockpit layout with information which is nice along with an introduction to the default GPS unit and a very brief engine start and shut down procedures.

    At first, I did not have an issue with this because Flysimware was going to do things a little different with this aircraft and produce a series of training videos that would go into detail about this aircraft and its procedures.  I thought this is great because personally I get more out of watching a video than trying to understand the written manual.  The first three of these training videos have been released and I will post links for them in later sections of the review and they are very detailed and well worth the time to watch.

    When I asked about the future videos on the support forum, Joe from Flysimware responded that due to lack of responses from the first videos and because they are hard at work on the next aircraft, there may or may not be future training videos.  The videos were created by Joe the lead beta tester or captain and development of the remaining videos will depend on if he gets some time.  I am disappointed with this response and like many other virtual aviators, have never operated this aircraft in the real world; I would have liked some more detailed operating information.

    HTML Performance data and Checklists are located in the aircraft folder for your reference.  The first time that you load one of the aircraft in FSX, you will be asked by the Microsoft Security Alert System to approve the MT_XMLSOUND.GAU file, select “Run” and “Yes” to approve this file as trusted.

     

     

    Interior Textures & Features

    I own two of the earlier Flysimware aircraft and although the textures were good, they were not of the same quality as other aircraft developers in the same price range.  I could live with this because usually the flight models of these aircraft made up for the lack of texture quality.  The Conquest II is the first aircraft that I have installed from them in a couple of years and I have to say that I am very impressed with this aircrafts textures and features.  I would hope so because the Cessna Conquest II is a much more luxurious aircraft then my 1966 Cessna Old School Skylane and the ERCO Ercoupe 415C.

    Looking at the copilot seat is a seat cover over the leather seat and right away I could see that the interior textures are much better than the earlier aircraft.  Also, from this view I can see the three dimensional circuit breakers and a small working HOBBS meter which is one of the realistic features that I look for with premium aircraft.

    Two animations that can be activated from this view, right seat arm rest and the small window are animated nicely and include wonderful sound effects.  I love that I can read the labeling above the circuit breakers and the other cockpit signage is also of very high quality and wording remains clear even when zoomed in close.

    Continuing to pan around the cockpit from the pilot seat, the carpeting and the floor mats also look great and right behind the copilot seat is the aircraft manual and chart book storage.  It is nice to be able to read the titles on the binders.  Sitting in the right seat looking at the left side of the cockpit, I can see the open sliding door to the passenger cabin and the closed beverage cabinet with the passenger cabin CD player on the bottom shelf of the beverage cabinet.  Clicking on the handle will open and close the beverage cabinet to let me see the inside details.

    The interior wood trim looks realistic and clicking on door will slide it closed which is another nice realistic feature.  The textures and labeling on the pilot side of the cockpit are also excellent.

     

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    There are three alternate interior views of the passenger cabin and the textures & features here are just as impressive as the cockpit.  I like how the leather seats have three dimensional details such as the creases and seat belts.  All of the passenger compartment features are three-dimensional, look very realistic and signage are also great looking without blurry textures.

      Passenger cabin animations are outstanding with duo folding tables and cup holders.    The introductory video about this aircraft mentioned that on the real world aircraft the door had both a top and bottom section that needed to be opened separately.

    Most operators would open just the top section to ventilate the cabin on hot days.  Flysimware has included this realistic feature with their Conquest II, which is wonderful.  It would have been all too easy to have a single animation for the door operation instead of requiring the simulator pilot to open/close both door sections.  It is also nice that there are realistic click spots for both door sections and you can also use the Aircraft Options window which is handy when you have an external view open.

    From the exterior view there are also realistic looking steps that extend when the lower section opens with wonderful animations.  Interior lighting is excellent and is controlled from the switches above the pilot & copilot and the passenger cabin also has a switch on the ceiling that is operable.  There is also a lighted fasten seat belt sign controllable from an instrument panel switch.

    The interior lights can also be controlled with the Control Panel window.  Other useful functions on the Control Panel are Panel & Wing lights, Cold & Dark or Ready-to-fly options, and the ability to quickly open the FSX aircraft kneeboard, map, the GPS and ATC windows.

    You can also repair the aircraft and top off the fuel tanks.

    Another nifty feature is that if you are piloting an aircraft with the GTN 750 instrument panel, selecting GPS will open the GTN 750 window instead of the default GPS.  I personally would rather just have a click spot on the GPS to open the window instead of using the menu item or the Control Panel.

     

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    Exterior Features

    There are four external paints for you to choose from and there is a paint kit available on the Flysimware website.  The quality of the exterior textures is excellent.  When I load the exterior spot view for the first time I see the amount of detail that Flysimware has included with the Cessna 441 Conquest II.

    I love the ultra-wide Hartzell propellers installed on this aircraft; they remind me of the large propellers that you see on military transport aircraft.  Also from the front spot view I can see the detailed first stage compressor turbine and these are also animated when performing the propeller checks during your preflight inspection which is wonderful.

    Before moving on I want to quickly comment about the realistic propeller simulation that Flysimware has included with this aircraft.  In the first screen grab it is hard to see but the propellers are flat or in the “Start Lock” position which is required for a proper engine start.  I will go into more detail about this feature when I review the flight model.  Now is a good time to review the excellent Aircraft Options window.

    One of the features that I look for with premium aircraft is the ability to display ground static objects when the aircraft is parked and in a cold and dark state.  Flysimware has included everything that you could think of for a parked aircraft and these are controlled with this window.   I am parked on the ground so I do not think the pilot should be in the cockpit now, just click on him on this window and he is now removed from the cockpit.  I wish more aircraft developers would include this feature because if I want a parked aircraft in a cold & dark state, I do not think that the pilot and sometimes copilot should be visible.  I also like that Flysimware has also included windshield shades to protect the interior when parked on a ramp at a hot location.

    The screen grab at the very top of the review is with all of the ground static objects enabled and the rest in this section was taken at Orbx Palm Springs Airport (KPSP).  I love these small details and they greatly add to the simulation.

    Other exterior features that are controlled with this window are the passenger doors operation, baggage compartment doors, loading & unloading the baggage and the ability to change the propellers to the McCauley four blade scimitar style props which are also very popular with Cessna 441 Conquest II owners.  I am glad that Flysimware has included this option but I prefer the fat Hartzell propellers.

    You can also manually test the propellers from the Aircraft Options window.  The crew is also very customizable from this option window, you can have just a pilot, a pilot & copilot or if you want just the copilot.  You can also have them wear headsets and or sunglasses or neither.  I just love all of the customizable features that are included with this product.

    Lastly this window also displays if the propeller is locked or unlocked and also provides the fuel quantity in each tank.

     

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    There are twelve alternate exterior views that allow you to see the 441 from various exterior angles and provides me with a great way to review the exterior textures and features.  All exterior features both large and small are three dimensional, are detailed and look great.  I really like that Flysimware has included exterior “wear” or “signs of being used” textures on the Conquest II.  I can understand having clean textures for the interior because this is a business or executive aircraft after all, but I think the exterior should have textures that show that this aircraft has been operated and thankfully there are.

    Exterior signage is very good and I like that you can read the decals on the propeller blades.  Exterior lighting is very good and I like that Flysimware has included the realistic three position landing light.

    At the time when the Conquest II was in production, Cessna did not install rotating beacons on their aircraft but Flysimware has included a common after delivery option which I will explain about during the Instrument Panel section.

     

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    Instrument Panel

    One of the primary features that I look for with premium aircraft now, unless it is an antique or classic aircraft, is support for the Flight1 GTN 750 GPS installed on the virtual panel without having to perform manual edits.  Flysimware has included support for this terrific GPS as well as the RealityXP WX 500 weather radar.  Both of these avionics must be purchased separately.  If you own either of these units, Flysimware provides an interesting way to select the aircraft with these avionics installed.  I mentioned that there are four exterior paints included with this package, these aircraft are duplicated three times and you select the aircraft depending on which avionics suite you have installed.

    The three sets of aircraft are the default Flysimware GNS 530, the GTN 750 GPS only panel and the GTN 750 & RXP WX500 weather radar instrument panel.  I like that they have grouped each of these panel options together so that if you only have the GTN 750 installed, the aircraft with just the GTN 750 are grouped together to make it easy to select.

    The first three screen grabs are of each of these instrument panels.  Flysimware has chosen not to model their own weather radar and I do not have an issue with this because most that I have seen included in aircraft were very basic and lacked features.

    On the default GPS and GTN 750 instrument panels, Flysimware still includes the three dimensional model of the Cessna 441 Conquest II weather radar that is powered off.  I do not own the RealityXP weather radar so in the third screen grab you see a blank plate where the weather radar would be located.

    I finally decided to purchase the RXP WX500 and the fourth screen grab is the panel with this instrument installed.  After seeing it in action, I wish I would have purchased it earlier.  I also wish more developers would include support for this instrument on their virtual panels; well at least it is easy to add it as a 2D window to my other aircraft

     

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    If you like fancy instrument panel backgrounds on your simulated aircraft than you will be disappointed because it is the Cessna gun metal grey color.

    I like that the instruments are large enough to be easy to read from the default VC position and you can see the entire instrument panel from this position.   I am going to describe the instrument panel from the left to the right and will comment along the way.  I am not going to go into great detail about the various instruments and avionics operations because the first training video does an outstanding job explaining them.

     

    Here is the link to this video: http://youtu.be/JYdeq_y54mA .

     

    The left side of the cockpit beside the pilot seat contains the left side circuit breakers, Avionics Bus, Gyro Inverter & icing switches, Torque/EGT Limit switches, Fuel Boost switches, left & right engine starter & stop switches, NTS Check switch, Generator & Battery switches and the Ignition Override switch.

    To the left of these switches are the Fuel Computer switches for manual start and the instrument panel and exterior lighting switches.

    The Conquest has a twin avionics bus and both switches operate together in the simulator.

    The Gyro Inverter needs to be turned on for some of the instruments on the panel to operate correctly and Flysimware have realistically included the green color coded icing switches which Cessna was doing at the time that this aircraft was manufactured.  This makes it easy to locate these switches.

    The engines start & stop controls are self-explanatory and I will explain more about this system during the flight model section of the review.  Labeling is very good but this section is organized so well, the average simulator pilot should not have a problem memorizing the locations.

    The lighting switches are self-explanatory but Cessna also at this time did not include a Rotating Beacon but Flysimware has included a popular after release upgrade that can used in place of the beacon, the Recognition light and is installed below the primary lighting switches.

    The instrument panel light switch is partially hidden by the Fuel Computer switch so if you have trouble using it in the VC, the Control Panel has an option for operating it.  I did not have an issue operating it so I just used this switch.

    The instrument panel lighting is excellent.  Also, all switches have an associated sound effect which is nice.

     

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    On the lower left side of the instrument panel is the fuel control switch.  Even though the fuel control has a label that says “Crossfeed”, the 441 does not have a true crossfeed system.

    What happens when you move the selector to either the “LH ENG” or “RH ENG”, the system routes fuel from that tank to both engines and closes the valve on the other tank and is used when you have an engine failure or have a serious fuel imbalance.

    The green In Transit light will be on when the valve is moving and this is a wonderful realistic feature that Flysimware has included with this aircraft.  Most of the time you will just leave the selector in the “Off” position and the left tank will feed the left engine and the right will feed the right engine.  So far I have not had a need move the selector from the “Off” position.  Above the fuel control is the operable Voltmeter and Ammeters, Prop De-ice, Outside Air Temperature & Suction Pressure gauges and the Quartz Chronometer.  It is nice to see that the Chronometer has multiple functions because this instrument is sometimes neglected by developers.

    To the right of these, right in front of you is the primary flight and the navigation instruments.  It is nice to see that the yoke does not obstruct any of these important instruments.  I am not going to go into more detail about these instruments because the training video does an excellent job explaining their functions.

    I do want to say all of the instruments have fluid movements and operate like they are supposed to which is great.

     

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    Across the top of the panel is the Master Caution light, the left & right Annunciator Panels and the left & right Fire Extinguisher switches and warning lights.

    The Annunciator Panel looks nice when illuminated and the individual messages are easy to read.  There is also a wonderful sound effect when you press the Annunciator Panel test button.  Below these panels are the engine instruments, GPS, weather radar, ADF and the COM & NAV 2 secondary radios.

    Just like the other instruments, the engine instruments have fluid movement and are easy to read from the default VC position.  Above the throttle controls is the cabin pressurization instruments, to the right of them are the flaps and to the left below the engine instruments is the landing gear lever, disable gear horn sound switch, emergency gear lever (functional with this aircraft) and the autopilot mode selectors.

    Right next to the left throttle lever is the trim wheel and on the handle of this lever is the Go Around button.  I will comment about the throttle and condition levers during the flight model section.

    To the right of the flaps are the cabin temperature controls, the passenger compartment seat belt, oxygen & door light sign switches and because this aircraft was manufactured in the 1970’s, a cigarette lighter.

    Other than the seat belt switch, all of the other switches and controls in this area are animated but are not simulated.

    Below the center pedestal are the autopilot and pressurization controls and I will comment about these and the rest of the 441’s systems in the next section.  Just like all of the components on the instrument panel, these are very detailed and look great.

    I already mentioned this about the lighting switches but all of the rest of the panel switches and dials are properly animated and have realistic sound effects associated with their action.  I also like that the sound level is appropriate, meaning you cannot hear these sound effects or are barely audible above the loud engine sounds.

    Performance is also very good even with the GTN 750 and weather radar powered on; I could smoothly pan around the cockpit.

    There are four alternate views of the right seat, radio stack, flight instruments (great for practicing IFR) and the pressurization & autopilot panel.

     

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    Flight Model

    Before reviewing the flight model of the 441 Conquest II, I want to explain about the realistic Garrett turboprop engine simulation that Flysimware has included with this aircraft.

    I highly recommend watching video 2 and 3 of the training series to get the most out of this simulation and here are the two YouTube links:

     

    http://youtu.be/qKGWKO4py5o

     

    http://youtu.be/K6-CGg_A9h4

     

    As part of your exterior preflight inspection, the propellers should be in the locked position.

    They should appear flat (or start lock position) during your inspection and if they not in the start lock position, that engine or engines will not start.  Training video 2 does an excellent job explaining this but I am going to do my best summarizing this simulation.  The Garrett TPE-331 engine is a gear drive engine as opposed to a free turbine engine such as the PT-6.  This means that when to press the engine start button, all of the major engine components turn at the same time.  The engine turbine, gear box and the propeller are all connected and moving at the same time.

    The advantages of a gear drive engine are more horsepower and they are more reliable.  The throttle response on the real world engine is similar to a piston engine without the normal turbine lag.  This cannot be simulated in FSX/P3D so throttle response is similar to other simulated turboprop aircraft.  The Garrett TPE-331 engine has more moving parts and was not as popular as the PT-6 engine.

    The reason why you want the propellers in the start lock position is that because the turbine, gear box and propeller are all moving at the same time, it requires a tremendous amount of battery power for proper engine start.  The flat propellers provide the least resistance to allow the engines to spool up as quickly as possible.

    If the propellers are in the unlocked position, the engine will attempt to start but will be unable too.  I will explain how to properly put the props into the start lock position at the end of this section when I explain the shutdown procedures.

    For now, I will explain how to place them into the locked position if you forgot to do the proper procedures when you shut down the engines.  First turn on the Battery, move the power lever of the unlocked propeller to the reverse position, then flip the Unfeather (NTS Test) switch to the left or right depending on the engine that you are working with.  Flysimware has simulated this realistic feature and you can watch the propeller moving into the locked position from the default VC view or if you are quick enough from an external view.

    This procedure uses a lot of battery power and is the reason for following the proper shutdown procedure.

     

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    I own several turboprop aircraft and the Flysimware Cessna 441 Conquest II is by far the easiest to start.  You are still required to monitor the engine instruments and the Annunciator panel but mechanically the startup procedure is fully automated.  The left engine is started first because on most Cessna twin engine aircraft, the left engine is closer to the battery.  There are a few quick before engine start procedures:

     

    Battery on

    Condition Levers in the Start/Taxi position

    Power Levers in the Ground Idle position

    Reset the Generator switches

    Turn on the Recognition light

    Cycle the Fuel Cross-Burn lever and verify that the green “In Transit” light is illuminated during valve movement

    Feather Valve Check – move the unfeathering switch to the left position and verify the NTS Test light is illuminated on the Annunciator panel.  Move the left condition lever to the Shutdown position, NTS Light will go out and Fuel Shutoff light will be illuminated.  Move the left condition lever back to Start/Taxi and Fuel Shutoff light will go out and NTS Test light should come back on.  Repeat this procedure for right engine.

     

    That is all there is to the Before Engine Start procedures and I was able to memorize them without issue.  Now it is time for the NTS check and engine start.  Move the Unfeathering switch to the left, press the left engine start button, verify prop rotation, the NTS Test light will go out and watch to make sure that it comes back on just after 20 percent engine RPM.  If this light does not come back on by 30 percent or at all, the NTS Test has failed and in the real world you would need to investigate this problem.

    In the flight simulator world the NTS Test always passes.  Monitor the engine instruments for proper fuel flow, EGT (watch for overheat) and proper engine acceleration.  According to the training video, the real world engine accelerates at one percent per second and takes about 40 seconds to fully accelerate.  This has also been simulated with the Flysimware 441 Conquest II which is great.

    The engine sounds are outstanding and very loud.  After the left engine has reached full acceleration, move the Unfeathering switch to the off or middle position and turn on the left Generator.  This is very easy and I was able to quickly memorize the engine start procedure.  Repeat for the right engine and now it is very loud in the cockpit.  After the right engine has started, move the Fuel Boost switches to the “Main” position and turn on the Avionics Bus & Gyro Inverter switches.  Place the flaps in the “Takeoff” position (required with this aircraft), place the Bleed Air control in the “Ground” position and adjust trim for takeoff.  Before you can taxi, the propellers need to be unlocked, this is accomplished by moving the power levers to the Reverse position and quickly back to Ground Idle.  If this is done correctly, you should hear a tonal change and you will now have full control of the power levers.

    This procedure is also realistically simulated because one time when I started to taxi, when I applied power to my hardware throttles, the 441 wanted to taxi in circles and sure enough when I looked at the right power lever and confirmed with the Aircraft Options window, the right propeller was still in the Locked position.  At this time the only annunciator messages that should be displayed are the Left & Right Beta and Ground Bleed Lights.

    If you use the icing controls during your flights, they also have a light associated with them and hopefully you will not have any of the other aircraft system warning lights come on during flight.  I do not know if Flysimware has modeled engine damage or failures but I did not have any problems with any of my many flights during this review.

    Flysimware has not released the remainder of the training videos so going forward I am going to have to rely on personal experience, a performance support forum thread and the checklists.  I did not have an issue taxiing the Conquest II; the procedure is similar to the other simulated turboprop aircraft.

    Release the parking break, apply a small amount of power and wait for the aircraft to start moving, there is some lag so if this is your first turboprop aircraft, resist the urge to apply more power.  After the aircraft starts to taxi, I reduce the power back to the idle setting and it seems to taxi at the proper speed.  If I am still moving too fast, I will apply some brake to slow down and if I stop, repeat this procedure with a little less power.

    I followed the procedures for before takeoff from the checklist and they are straight forward and will not go into detail here but will say that is now time to move the condition levers to the full forward position.  These can remain here for the duration of the flight.  Joe does a great job explaining how to operate the Conquest II by the numbers with his forum post so I am going to summarize and comment if needed.  Takeoff is at maximum torque which the checklist says should be 95% with rotation at 100 knots indicated.  According to the forum post, this aircraft still has plenty of power even when loaded to maximum takeoff weight.  Most pilots are comfortable with a runway length of 2500 feet for both takeoff and landing but the 441 is more than capable with short fields.

    I will be flying around the Orbx AYPY Jacksons International Airport scenery package for this section and there are some short fields to test my landing skills.  According to the forum post, with short fields it is recommended to apply full power to allow for quick takeoffs and this works as stated.  With this procedure the torque was at the red line for longer than I was comfortable with so for most takeoffs I would use between ¾ and full power and would still lift off with plenty of runway to spare.

    Unless I was departing a short field with obstacles, as soon as I had cleared any terrain or obstacles I would immediately reduce the power until the torque needle was below the yellow line.

    Climb performance of the 441 is outstanding.  A typical climb speed at maximum torque with average weights is 180 to 200 knots with a climb rate of 2000 fpm or 1500 fpm with higher weights.

    On my early flights before I started adjusting payload, basically flying with an empty aircraft, I was able to climb at 3000 to 4000 fpm, so I reached my cruise level very quickly.  I do not know if engine damage or failure is modeled but to improve virtual engine life, the 441 still had pretty good climb performance at a reduced power setting.

    This is a wonderful aircraft to hand fly, it is very responsive and is very easy to trim for all phases of flight.  Normally I like to hand fly to my cruising altitude but on long flights where I am going to cruise at a very high flight level, I would let the autopilot do the work.

    The installed autopilot is very easy to use and I did not have an issue with its operation.  All I had to do is set the desired altitude in the Altitude Selector and press “ALT” mode on the mode selector.  I would then adjust the vertical speed to 1500 fpm and this would provide a nice climb rate and airspeed.  Also by this time in the review process, I started loading the 441 with passengers and the vertical speeds that the aircraft was capable of depending on the weight matched the speeds referenced in the forum post exactly.

    According to the same forum posting, in order to take advantage of the maximum range of this aircraft you need to cruise at the maximum service ceiling of 35,000 feet but at this altitude the aircraft has a slower true airspeed so I usually would cruise at between 23,500 and 25,000 feet.

    I did one flight at 35,000 feet and the aircraft performed well but none of my review flights were long enough to take advantage of the maximum range so I stayed at the lower altitudes for the rest of the flights which was enough altitude to pass over the tallest mountains on these flights.  According to the forum post, depending on conditions, when cruising in the low to mid 20’s, it is possible to cruise at 300 knots true airspeed and consume 600 pounds per hour of fuel.  This is a simulator so I am not real concerned about the fuel consumption and I like the increased airspeed that the Conquest II provides.

    On my flight at 23,500 feet, I was not able to achieve these results but was still able to cruise at a very acceptable 200 KIAS, 520 PPH and a ground speed of 276 knots.  I loved being able to fly a medium to long cross country in the evening after dinner without having to save the fight and resume the next day.  The Conquest is also very capable for those short quick trips.

    As stated previously, this is a wonderful aircraft to hand fly which I would often do on these short trips but if I wanted to use them, the navigation modes on the autopilot also works without issue.  I did have a small problem when using “NAV” mode and a GTN750 flight plan.  The autopilot simply did not want to follow these flight plans.  The Flight Director always worked so I could follow the GTN flight plan when hand flying.  This mode worked correctly with the default GPS and FSX flight plans.  On GTN flight plan flights, I used “HDG” mode which worked flawlessly and kept me alert because I would always have to adjust to account for wind.  I was able to fix this issue by opening the Flight1 GTN Configurator and enabling “NAV” mode on the Autopilot Link which was set to “HDG” by default.

    The navigation radios also work well and I was able to fly to and from a VOR station without issue.  When dialing the COM2 & NAV2 radios, the corresponding frequencies on the GTN750 also would be tuned which seemed odd to me, I would prefer these to be independent radios.  NAV2 did control the VOR indicator though, so the HSI would still follow the GPS flight plan and I could still practice my navigation skills by following the VOR when I was hand flying.

    As with all aircraft that can cruise at high altitudes, I had to remember to plan my descent well ahead of time.  The checklist or the forum post does not specify a descent speed or rate, so I just reduced power and trimmed for the descent vertical speed that I wanted and this worked very well for me.  When you get closer to the airport, the initial approach speed in 170 knots which is also a good time to lower the flaps to the approach setting which will also slow the aircraft down further.  If I am explaining this incorrectly, I just had to rely on my personal experience with the 441 because the training video for this stage of the flight has not been completed.

    According to the performance forum post, you should be at 110 knots when crossing the threshold and 100 at the numbers.  I did not have an issue descending and slowing the 441 Conquest II and I was even able to practice my short field landing technique which this aircraft is terrific at.  There is a blue line on the airspeed indicator (130 knots) and you must not go below this speed if the runway is not in sight when in instrument conditions.  This allows for plenty of power to perform a go-around procedure.

    According to the forum post, when landing at a short field, it is recommended to place the power levers in full reverse to help with the braking process.  I do not have my hardware throttle controls setup for placing them in reverse so I just used the brakes and the 441 has plenty of braking power and I was able to come to a complete stop in a very short distance.  Now that I am back on the ground, I place the condition levers back into the Start/Taxi position and taxi to the assigned parking position.

    The shutdown procedures are just as easy as the engine start procedure, basically just reverse the steps but instead of pressing the engine start buttons you press the engine stop buttons.  A very important step following pressing each of the stop buttons is to place the corresponding power lever into the full reverse position, which places the propellers into the required start lock position.  There is an engine RPM range where this procedure needs to be performed but it is easier just to do it as soon as you press the stop button.

    Just like the engine start, the internal shutdown procedure is fully automated.  These procedures are very easy and I was able to quickly memorize them.

    To quickly summarize, the Flysimware Cessna 441 Conquest II is an awesome aircraft to operate in the simulator with realistic systems and is very easy to fly.

     

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    Conclusion

    Accessibility: The Flysimware Cessna 441 Conquest II is very accessible because it is available from Flysimware directly or from your favorite flight simulator web store.  The aircraft package is only 118MB so most users should not have any issues downloading this product.

    Affordability: The 441 Conquest II is Flysimware’s most expensive aircraft to date at $34.99.  I think this is still an excellent value because they have included the realistically simulated Garrett turboprop system and include the triple installer for FSX, P3Dv1 and P3dv2 so no additional purchase is required if you own both simulators.   They have also included VC Panel support for the Flight1 GTN 750 GPS and the Reality XP WX500 Weather radar without making the customer purchase additional upgrades to have these instruments installed in the panel.  You still need to purchase these instruments separately but I am happy that I did not have to edit the panel.cfg in order to install these avionics which is great.

    Ease of Installation: Very easy, if purchased directly from Flysimware, simply copy the Registration code from your account page to the Windows clipboard and the code will automatically be pasted in the required area of the install process.   The rest of the installation is very straight forward and I did not encounter any issues.

    Compatibility with Other Products: Excellent, as mentioned previously, FSX, P3Dv1 & P3Dv2 installation options are included, no additional purchase required.  I do not know if the P3Dv2 installation includes any additional functionality or features.  Flysimware has also included support for the Flight1 GTN 750 GPS and the RealityXP WX 500 weather radar which is great.

    Features & System Performance: Very good, I would have awarded an excellent rating for this aircraft if Flysimware would have completed the training videos or included a more detailed manual.  Despite this, I was still able to fly the Conquest in all phases of flight without issue and it is very easy to fly.  The Conquest has excellent interior & exterior textures & features, much better than some of their earlier aircraft.  The sounds and animation effects are also extremely well done but the engines are so loud in the cockpit it would have been nice to have a headset feature.  I have already mentioned the avionics features but I have saved the best feature for last the realistic Garrett TPE-331 turboprop simulation that requires proper procedures for engine start and stop.  Performance is excellent on my system even when I was using the instrument panel with the GTN750 & WX500 installed and powered on.

    Final Thoughts: I highly recommend the Flysimware Cessna 441 Conquest II aircraft.  It will make a wonderful addition to any flight simulator pilot’s virtual hangar and can be piloted by both experienced and novice virtual aviators.

     

    Test System

    Hardware:

    Computer Specs:

    Intel Desktop Computer

    Intel i5 4670K 3.4Ghz Non OC Processor

    8GB DDR3 1833 Memory

    2TB SATA HD (7200 RPM)

    NVIDIA GeForce GTX550Ti Video Card with 1GB GDDR5 Memory

    Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

    Software:

    FSX with Acceleration, Windows 7 – 64 Bit

    REX 4 Texture Direct and Soft Clouds

    Orbx AYPY Jacksons Airport Scenery

    Orbx KPSP Palm Springs Airport Scenery

    DX10 Scenery Fixer

    FSX Fair Weather Theme

    Flight Test Time:

    25 hours

     



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