RealAir Simulations Legacy V2
A review by Ray Marshall
My flightsim dream plane arrived on Saturday morning. No, not the A2A biz jet that I have had on order for way too long, this one is my fun airplane. I am talking about serious fun, very serious and very fast turbocharged fun.
Would you believe a two place, custom tourer with retractable gear, laminar flow wing, speed brakes, dual turbocharged 400+ hp engine without any ugly bumps or bulges in a super clean cowl, bubble canopy, oxygen system, full IFR panel with an honest to goodness TAS of 300 knots. That is knots folks, or as the Cessna Citation salesman would say – almost 350 mph.
This one arrived in two downloads. One for FSX and FSX Steam, the other for P3Dv2 and v3. Completely debugged, thoroughly testing by a team of experts over several grueling months, and a handful of new, never before seen repaints with several matching interiors, and would you believe full Flight1 GTN integration in both FSX and P3D. Not only that but for those of us that are still clinging to our RXP GNS systems, they also work in the FSX versions.
Be not dismayed, if you happen to have neither, you can use the user friendly GPS500 with your full load of matching Bendix King nav/coms, ADF, transponder, and top of line and fully functioning KFC-225 autopilot.
I briefly mentioned the new oxygen system that comes with a finely tuned hypoxia system that reacts to the ‘personal fitness profile’ that you select along with the selectable O2 tank size. You may want to choose the large canister if you are planning on getting high. I am talking about FL350 type high.
I don’t have full performance charts just yet, because this is a custom kitplane and the supplier requires that individual owners prepare their own POH and performance curves and tables. I do have some recommended MP and RPM settings and some expected TAS numbers lower down and generally below FL180. A POH template is available for downloading.
We will get into some of those details a little later, but be advised this one is filled to the brim with brand new flightsim technology, much of which is not even thought possible by many of our developers. We are taking about true ground breaking design enhancements that can be turned on or off, or adjusted with new custom sliders on the fly. Did you catch that last part – on the fly. Yep, go to windowed mode, minimize, open the config panel, make your selections or changes, save, exit, maximize the window and hit reload. A few seconds later you are on your way with your custom selections.
You are not interested in all those options, you say. No problem, the installation comes with a pre-selected choice of options for a well-heeled, attractive and successful brave young flyer just like yourself. You can opt not to do anything more than choose your avionics package, depending on what you have available in your virtual hangar, or not even that, and be ready to taxi in short order. However, if you choose not to even glance at the spanking new 127 page Flying Guide, actually it is properly titled Flying and Setup Guide, you are doing yourself a real disservice.
First, a quick look at the RealAir Legacy V2
The Legacy V2 is a relatively small, high performance, aerodynamically clean and very attractive, composite, two-place, low-wing, high speed touring plane with retractable landing gear, large engine with 3 bladed propeller and outfitted with a full IFR panel, and oxygen system.
This ‘fastest in the air’ airplane is unique because it is only available as a kit. Yes, you read that correctly, you can only buy a Legacy RG in kit form, build it yourself or hire a professional team to build it for you, or maybe built parts of it for you, but when completed, it will only be certified as an ‘experimental’ kit built airplane.
There are hundreds of real world Legacy airplanes flying today, some with fixed landing gear and some with advanced retractable landing gear like the one modeled by RealAir Simulations as this Legacy V2. Many of these ‘homebuilt’ Legacy aircraft rival the best factory made airplanes and are in many cases better equipped with the latest avionics and integrated glass panels.
Here is an example of a top of the line buildout. It has been flying since 2008.
As many of you already know, I am a stickler for documentation and ‘how to’ tutorials and guides so we can properly enjoy our add ons. This one ranks right up at the top of the heap for usefulness. As a matter of fact, if this flight guide was presented in book form, I would guess it would be on the Best Seller list and recommended by all the reviewers for newbee and seasoned veteran flight simmers alike.
The reason it is so good, is that is doesn’t just list the choices, but it makes recommendations for certain choices – i.e., this is good, but may not be the best choice. Reading the RealAir Flying guide is almost like receiving special instruction directly from a master designer. Nothing is added to the guide that is not explained by why it is there, or why or how the system or feature was designed. Many times we learn some of the short comings of FSX or we might gain insight into some of the work arounds for specific shortfalls in FSX coding.
The Flight and Setup Guide is arranged in a logical and easy to read manner with a concise index with page numbers and nice bold section headings. Starting with the short History, then New Features, Realview, a little about your flight sim – just to make sure you are reading to correct guide for the flight sim you are currently using, followed by the Setup Guide, Config Panel, and VC. I have to stop here to mention the VC clickspots.
This may be the most fun you can have in a cockpit with your clothes one. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if there was an Oscar for the ‘most useful feature in a starring role’ the VC Click-Spots that allow you to jump between VC views would win my vote – hands down. When I fly one of my other 97 add ons, those not built by RealAir Simulations, this is one feature that I miss the most. More on this later in the review.
The RealAir Realview needs a special introduction for those new comers and first time buyers. Realview is like a large umbrella that covers a comprehensive collection of advanced aerodynamic effects, animations and sound effects related to flight simulation. Of course, it is so much more than this. For instance, instrument needle and cockpit vibrations, propeller torque effects and sounds, the airframe shake as you approach a stall, the changing sounds of the air or wind passing by the window as you turn, speed up or slow down. The bumps and thumps made by landing gear moving or the doors closing, the buffet effect when you deploy flaps or spoilers.
All these type things, and there are many more, including several totally new and never before felt, heard, or experienced fall under that large Realview umbrella. You can think of Realview as Accu-sim on steroids plus a whole lot more. Of course, Rob and Sean were developing and using their RealView effects a good ten years prior to the first Accu-sim product.
OK, back to the Flight and Setup Guide overview. After the VC comes a discussion on Gauges and Switches. I bet you didn’t know there were that many different methods or ways of flipping a switch or turning a knob or looking at a gauge. And every one of them are available for your choosing as your preferred method.
Then the Standard GPS discussion where you are introduced to the left click – right click, or click drag inner/outer knob choices when using your standard two button wheel mouse. Then on to the Flight1 GTN discussion on how to install them and how to use them. If you already have your own F1 GTN units then you already know all the advantages these units bring to the flight sim. If not, you are missing some if the better features that you could be using while flying in the sim. Just the moving charts and approaches are reason enough to add the GTN750, but that is already covered in another review.
Adjustable back lighting is one of those things that most everyone that owns the GTNs have been asking to be figured out. Well, this setup has it figured out and installed so when you dim the panel lights, all the panel lights dim, including the 3rd party GTNs. Kudos to the team.
The custom installation of the Flight1 GTNs are so specific that if you choose the big GTN750, then the separate Audio panel goes away leaving more room in the panel, because all the audio functions are built-in to the 750. But, if you choose the smaller GTN650 which does not have the audio functions built-in due to the smaller footprint, then the Audio Panel is present in the panel. Great minds at work, again.
Because the GTN has built-in dual Nav/Coms and transponder, you can choose to have separate, but not necessary, units installed. Most folks will probably not elect to have the additional transponder or nav/coms but who knows. The option is yours.
Although you can have dual GTN750s, which just about fills the panel with just enough room for the autopilot and ADF, you still have the popup feature available with the big, easy to find click-spots.
We all know the Reality XP folks are officially among the missing, except for the sales website. The old standby GNS 530/430 are perennial favorites for many flight simmers, myself included. The Cross-fill feature will have to be setup using the included RXP Config program. A panel mounted GPS/NAV switch is placed near the Oxygen System panel on the far right of the new V2 Legacy panel for use with the GPS500, but is not needed for the RXP units. The RXP units have a built-in button for Nav/GPS selection.
Like the options available with the Flight1 GTNs, you can also elect to have separate dual Nav/Com radios in addition to the RXP built-in Nav/Com feature.
We now arrive at the Hypoxia and Oxygen section, which is quite lengthy and new to most flight sim add ons. You will want to read this one more than once, because once you start passing out while flying, it may be too late to read the manual. Don’t worry you will be given sufficient warning that something is amiss.
A short intro to the optional turbo charged high horsepower engine comes next followed by a discussion of the 3D landing lights and limitations with suggested work arounds using default landing lights.
Then after a whopping 93 pages, we come to the fun part – Flying the Legacy.
This is the section with the meat. Read it, read it again, and then reread it. It is that important if you really want to enjoy flying this magnificent airplane.
I am not going to go into all the detail that you really should already know, but most of us either had lousy instructors, we didn’t pay enough attention in class, or we have gotten old and forgot most of it, but any safe pilot should be aware of most every word in this section.
Ask yourself this question. When was the last time you bought an add on for your flight sim that came with a bondafide detailed description of how to actually start the damn thing, how to taxi, tips on how to use those touchy differential brakes, things to do and consider before take-off, how to take-off, climb and cruise. Followed by how to get it back on the ground in one piece.
If there was ever an airplane that needed speed brakes, this is the one. The Legacy reminds me of a group of cranky old NASA engineers crowded around this perfectly shaped model that has just completed its final wind tunnel test and they are considering how to shrinkwrap it.
One wants to squeeze it just one more time to make sure all the bulges are gone, another want to make sure it looks like a jelly bean that has been sent through one of those candy making machines where they stretch and twist it until all the air bubbles are gone and then it comes out smooth as a baby’s butt.
In the Flight Guide, Ron gives the impression that using the speed brakes or spoilers is sort of cheating when descending and landing. I totally disagree on this point. In my humble opinion, using the spoilers should be thought of just as you would think of using the flaps - speed or descent control devices. Both are secondary flight controls and can and should be used as needed with no thought of ‘getting away with something’ or a ‘cheat’ device. As a matter of fact, I would enjoy the RealAir Legacy V2 a lot less if it did not have wing spoilers or for some reason I could not use them. I use the spoilers on practically every flight in the Legacy V2.
Watch out below, because if I see an interesting looking airport or landmark as I am cruising along at FL250, I may in an instance, disengage the AP, deploy the spoilers, roll over and point the nose at the ground and fly a needle width under Vne (276 kts) until reaching the 250 knot limit at 10,000 feet. I can be entering the traffic pattern in a matter of minutes. It is not uncommon to have the Vertical Speed indicator pegged at -4,000 fpm but tooltips will reveal twice that descent rate for short periods.
Sorry, sometimes I drift off. There are discussions about speed management and you will most definitely become as master of speed management if you fly this new Legacy. Even though you have these large and very effective spoilers, you might want to perfect you side slip technique for close to the ground work. Hints are available.
The Legacy is so powerful and so aerodynamically smooth and flies so fast that you have to fly it almost like a jet. Meaning, you need to be ahead of the plane at all times and thoroughly plan your approaches and give yourself plenty of distance and time to slow down in order to get the gear and flaps deployed and be at the correct speed and altitude when arriving over the fence. Spoilers will save the day for you.
Although the Vle speed is somewhat low at 132 kts, you can deploy the 1st increment of flaps at 170 knots. Just make sure you don’t accidently move the flap lever to the second notch at that speed because you will hear the flaps fluttering and feel some abnormal vibrations just prior to a loud bang as the flap controls fail. You are screwed until you reload your Legacy. You can still fly the plane with the broken flaps, just don’t land where your friends can see your mistake. This feature can be disabled under the Realism Tab of the Config Program.
With one of the largest and most powerful non-turbine engines available for a light plane and that big wopping 3-bladed Hartzell prop biting into the wind, you will also want to make sure you are well versed in engine management. Remember, you probably don’t have many fuel injected, high horsepower engines in your hangar so go find some web sites where you can learn more about the ‘care and feeding’ of your new pet.
You may have read or heard that Lancairs are known for their speed and fuel economy. Well, not that is an old wives tale. Speed absolutely and in spades, fuel economy, yes that too but, we still have to prove those numbers, but early results look very promising. When you are looking at 38 inches of manifold pressure at sea level with the Critical Altitude just shy of 15,000 feet it opens up all kinds of possibilities.
A key to knowing how to manage your engine is knowing how to read the engine monitoring gauge. Fortunately, the new Legacy V2 has one of the best and easiest to read at a glance. It even has a flashing warning message to get your attention, when needed. Just in case you missed the big flashing red light in front of your nose.
One of the many great features of the VM1000C Engine Monitor is that you have a constant easy to see readout of fuel flow in gal/hr, fuel pressure in PSI, and fuel quantity in each of the wing tanks. The digital readout is quick to read, but the graphic display is nice also.
I downloaded the manual for the real world VM1000C which is 66 pages and covers the basic operation that I am interested in but, also covers the installation and setup. The real one in loaded with optional and customizing features that we probably would seldom or never use in FSX/P3D. Our RealAir simulated unit has plenty of easy to see and easy to understand features. One feature that I especially like is that everything to do with monitoring the engine is in one spot and we are only a click away of a zoomed view and another click away from back to monitoring the flight instruments. On my wish list is the ability of read % Power in the sim version as one of the engine monitoring choices like in the rw version.
You will want to learn all the ins and outs of leaning that beast up front not only for best fuel air ratio but also monitoring the temperatures for longer engine life. The turbocharger’s inlet temperature is measured by the TIT but we only have a graphic for these readings. The individual cylinder head temps have a dedicated readout in the lower left corner of the Engine Monitor with a composite or summary that we use as an average for all 6 cylinders. Most mechanics are quick to tell you that the most important thing you can do to keep your turbo’d engine running long and smooth is to control the temperature and the CHT is the key.
It seems like using the EGT digital readout is the preferred method of fine tuning the fuel/air mixture in lieu of the TIT. When you read that 50 degrees LOP or 150 ROP or any such cryptic recommendation, do you know what they are talking about? Knowing that LOP is Lean of Peak and ROP is Rich of Peak narrows it down a bit. So using the mixture knob all you have to do is find the peak or highest number then either continue leaning for another 50 or so degrees for LOP or push it back toward the firewall for ROP.
Many old timers rely on the engine sounds with their ear tuned to any change in engine sounds to indicate they might want to tweak the mixture a bit. They can’t necessarily tell someone else how to do this, it is just one of those acquired talents based on years of flying experience.
Precise mixture adjustments, percent of power, LOP, ROP, TIT, EGT, and similar readings seem to hold special meaning to only a very select few sim pilots. Most only adjust the mixture when the engine starts coughing.
Ah acrobatics, or maybe aerobatics. The new Legacy V2 is designed and stressed for limited or mild acrobatics (utility category). This means if you perform your loops and rolls and hammerhead stalls correctly it will be very enjoyable. If you are a little rusty then you will hear some strange sounds and new shakes and vibrations to let you know the Legacy has also noticed you are a little rusty and you may be headed for trouble. Yes, you can spin the new V2 Legacy in your flightsim provided you have the proper sliders
set correctly and you know how to enter and exit spins. Read the book to find out what I am not telling you. Hint – You must have the Realism slider full right, not almost, full right for “realistic”. This can be very enjoyable in the V2.
Checklists. A full featured checklist is provided for your use. Make sure you use it every time you fly and you may live to fly another day. Should you wish to become more familiar with the RealAir Legacy V2 you will find the specifications, and performance data bundled with the Checklists.
A few of the early purchasers posted their version of a personalized Legacy checklist and was inundated with howls and suggestions to correct a few obvious errors and omissions. A cut or two later, a more workable and correct checklist was made available for sharing. I personally think these checklists are on the lengthy side, but hey, whatever blows your skirt up. What is important is that you use a checklist every time you takeoff and again every time you come back to earth.
Your checklist can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it, but as a minimum it should keep you from running out of gas, landing with your gear up, and include the proper settings for the mixture and prop controls just in case you have to make an aborted landing or go around for some reason. GUMP is as brief as I get and it has saved my butt numerous times.
As mentioned earlier, because the Lancair Legacy is built from a kit, a Pilots Operating Handbook is not supplied with the kit package. A download link is provided for a POH template, with a big ugly watermark planted diagonally across each page, for a generic retractable gear Legacy. In the real world, the kit builder/owner is required to inspect his work, test the installed components and flight test the completed aircraft and record performance data under the supervision (not really) of the FAA inspectors.
There have been over 195 Lancair accidents with 159 fatalities in Lancairs since the first on August 1, 1989 at Oshkosh when a Lancair 235 was lost with two fatalities. The reasons for the accidents are varied but in the majority of cases the pilot failed the airplane, the airplane did not fail the pilot. The most striking statistic is that 50% of our accidents to date have been with PIC’s who have less than 100 hours in make and model. Many of our losses have occurred on the first flight. Good flight training cannot be overemphasized. (Source: Lancair Legacy Training Manual)
Because RealAir used specific design criteria the specifications, speeds, quantities, fuel flows, etc, are specific to their basic 310 hp powered Legacy V2. The optional turbo’d 400+ horsepower engine is experimental or maybe fictional, and therefore has much less specific performance data. I did notice the RealAIr Legacy and the real world Lancair Legacy have a few differences in speeds, but not enough to be concerned.
AFAIK, there are less than a handful of Legacys flying with dual turbos, and especially with that huge 400+ engine. There was one for sale that has its own website and lots of photos and links to performance data. Let me just say, it is a real screamer with lots of custom mods – one of those real deal racers with a couple of speed records. The RealAir Legacy V2 was loosely based on this one but without the mods, according the Rob.
These specially modified racing Legacys with the dual turbos also have modified cowlings to enclose the extra baffles and piping for the turbos. The unmodified IO-550N Continental is a very snug fit without any modifications.
I have never seen a Legacy with a Lycoming engine, but things like this are possible when dealing with a simulated model. Our RealAir Legacy V2’s exterior appearance is the same with or without the optional turbo engine selected. The only change is the additional 8 inches of manifold pressure, the ability to climb faster and higher, and of course the improved top end airspeed when using the dual turbo option.
There is a very extensive troubleshooting section in the guide and answers to most of your questions concerning this and other add ons that you may have been having problems in your sim. If you do indeed require support for your new V2 Legacy, go to the back of the guide and make sure that you really do need support. Most support issues are solved by reading the manual. Hint. Hint.
The VC Click Spots Feature
This feature alone makes the RealAir models stand out and above the crowd. This works well, even if you use Track-IR5 or not. If this is not enough, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to jump between your most used VC views or even better, map them to your joystick or flight stick. Neat stuff.
Background, beginning and history
I retrieved the Avsim review of the RealAir Legacy that I authored back in July 2012 and read the first couple of pages. Rather than try to improve to the history that has not changed one iota in the last three and half years, I decided to simply correct a few typos and fix some of the grammatical mistakes and paste it here. I was pleased to note that the original Legacy review has been viewed 25,668 times so it must have some substance. You can read the full review here. http://www.avsim.com/index.php/_/reviews/lancair-legacy-r402
Let’s start at the beginning of the story. It seems a young boy who was exposed to high performance flying machines while visiting his uncle got lots of passenger time in a Meyer 200, a very advanced Navion looking aircraft. Twenty years later and now a graduate graphic artist, Lance Neibauer was looking for a used personal airplane. Finding nothing to his liking or thin pocketbook, he joined the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) to design his own.
He had become captivated with the possibilities of using composite materials - fiberglass or carbon fiber held together with epoxy to revolutionize homebuilt aircraft design.
Neibauer prepared a very extensive survey of fellow builders asking what features they were seeking in a homebuilt design, compiled the results then immediately started work on his new design. Looking for high performance and the latest possible features, he selected a new NASA Natural Laminar Flow airfoil. After overcoming a few obstacles, and doing some re-shaping and minor changes, the Lancer 200 was shown at Oshkosh ’85. This first design was equipped with a used 100 hp Cessna 150 engine but easily out flew anything powered by the same engine. A naming conflict was easily resolved by changing his original chosen name of Lancer to Lancair (pronounced "Lance air").
Neibauer loved flying, but existing production designs didn’t interest him. He felt most production airplanes were boring, me-too machines. “That was my primary motivation for starting on the Lancair 200 in the first place,” he says, “to build what I hoped would be an aesthetically more pleasing design with better performance and handling.”
Using his natural talent for lines and symmetry, Neibauer conceived a two-seat, composite airplane that was as wide as a Bonanza and almost as fast—on nearly 200 less horsepower. The first Lancair 200 was a lightweight work of art with a gross weight of only 1,275 pounds. It featured a DuPont NOMEX honeycomb structure with epoxy-impregnated glass cloth covering.
“That first airplane was intended as a one-off machine, and I never assumed I could build a business around it. To start the process, I bought a Cessna 150, gutted it, sold the airframe and kept the engine, instruments and avionics. I wanted to see how much performance I could wring from the little 100 hp Continental O-200 engine by using an extremely light, low-drag airframe and wing.”
The 200 was soon replaced by the Lancair 235, equipped with the slightly more powerful Lycoming O-235. Re-engineered versions quickly followed; the Lancair 320 with the 150 hp Lycoming O-320, and the Lancair 360 with the 180 hp Lycoming O-360. These designs provided the highest performance in the single-engine GA class, and as the kit-build market was dominated by pilots looking to outperform existing "off-the-shelf" designs, the Lancair's kits sold well. By the end of 1990 they had sold over 600 s for the various two-seat models, giving them what Neibauer claimed was 30% of the kit-built market.
After a very successful 4 seat design, the Lancair IV, then starting and selling off a few companies, and collecting a double handful of new speed records, Lance then returned to his roots and came up with a back-to-basics, fixed gear Legacy ES aka Columbia.
15 years after the Lancair revolution began; the Legacy represents the culmination of more than a decade of development, testing and invaluable input from Lancair builders and fliers. Redesigned from the tail to the nose, it’s bigger, faster and easier to build.
This latest version, and the one we are most interested in, the Lancair Legacy, offers increased interior size and even higher performance. Fitted with the 310 hp Continental IO-550-N six cylinder, four-stroke engine and a 3-bladed propeller, this low-wing retractable-gear composite monoplane is a true personal rocket. The byline on the Legacy brochure is ‘The heart of a sports plane, the soul of a rocket’.
With the 310 h.p. Continental 1O-550, the Legacy achieves stellar performance, by cruising 280 m.p.h. at 10,000 ft. The Legacy’s climb rate of +2200 fpm will amaze you.
RealAir Simulations have been creating quality flight simulation software since 2001. They have developed a reputation for creating some of the finest quality and most innovative add-on simulation software in the industry. Their releases have received the highest awards available in the flight simulation world.
They introduced the first aircraft with accurate stall and spin behavior; the first aircraft with realistic side-slip behavior; their ‘Smooth Gauge Technology’ adds smoothness and clarity to virtual cockpit gauges; their exclusive ‘RealView’ system simulates the forces experienced by a pilot in flight as well as simulating the buffeting felt during a stall; realistically simulated engine failures; user-configurable VC panel layouts, and much more.
Sean Moloney was a student pilot when he first teamed up with Rob Young to design the Citabria for Fly. He is currently living near Brisbane, Australia. Sean designs all the graphics, gauges and 3d models for RealAir.
Rob Young, now living on the South Coast of England, has designed flight aerodynamics for many of the major flight simulator developers. He designed flight models for Fly! II and since changing his focus to Microsoft Flight Simulator has designed the aerodynamics for a diverse group of developers including Lago, Just Flight, Eaglesoftdg, feelThere, and MAAM-Sim, picking up awards for nearly every aircraft he has co-designed.
Introducing the newest RealAir Legacy – the Legacy V2.
Because this is version 2, you really should know more about the original RealAir Legacy (we will call version 1) but that is all available for reading in the Avsim review and also the excellent Mutely Hangar review by Andrew Godden where it received the perfect 10 in every category. The Legacy may be the only airplane to ever receive the perfect 10. Read it here. http://www.mutleyshangar.com/reviews/ag/rll/rll.htm
Once you read these two reviews, you might ask, how in the world can this be improved? I am of the opinion that no matter how good a product may be on a given day it can be improved over time. This is usually due to new discoveries or in this case the unexpected introduction of FSX Steam by Dovetail Games Franchise in Frankfurt, Germany just last year. Or consider that P3Dv2 or v3 did not even exist when the RealAir Legacy was introduced in 2012.
Once many of the flight simmers jumped onboard the Lockheed Martin Prepar3D bandwagon, there were immediate wishes and desires, and even demands for RealAir to build a P3D compatible Legacy if for no other reason than to have Flight1 GTN compatibility. RealAir was very straight forward in their response that they did not wish to release a simple port over from FSX to P3D because quite frankly, it didn’t work like that. The Flight1 GTN add ons for P3D can only be purchased from sister company – Flight1 Aviation Technologies (Flight1tech.com) and will not work in FSX. The only way to get what we were asking was to go back to the drawing boards and do what RealAir does best – learn all you can about the simulator of choice and figure out how to build a ‘designed for P3Dv2 and v3 Legacy’.
I think the FSX Steam edition was a bit easier to accomplish and now we have available the FSX and the P3D versions.
It is probably safe to say, RealAir cut their teeth with Prepar3D when they designed their V2 RealAir Dukes with P3D compatibility. Now they had to apply all that expertise to the P3D edition of the Legacy once they had added all the new touches and features to the basic Legacy. This is not to be taken lightly, this was full time work for more than a year.
Borrowing just a bit more from my 2012 review, my first flight in the RealAir Legacy was over the swamps in South Florida and I captured the essence as follows:
The Legacy is light years ahead of your typical FSX add-on aircraft. Not only are you introduced to more than a dozen totally new and previously unseen aerodynamic actions but you instantly know they look correct, feel correct, and sound correct. What is most impressive to me is how Rob and Sean were able to put this all together and get it working so smoothly in FSX. (Note: Although Lockheed Martin had Prepar3D available for commercial use in 2012 , the flight sim community was not convinced they could legally use the low priced academic version for non-educational sim flying.)
I was flying late last night in South Florida and just casually practicing some basic commercial pilot maneuvers – chandelles, lazy eights, accelerated stalls – and I got so excited because it was so realistic. Not just how the aircraft handled, which is absolutely marvelous, but the smoothness of the motion, the spot on sounds of the interrupted air, the propeller pitch changes with attitude, the creaks and groans, the shakes and vibrations at just the right instance. Altogether, the Legacy must be the most advanced and most realistic flight simulator package available for a desktop.
The Everglades is a great place to fly in FSX as there is almost nothing to drain any FPS away from the simulation. Try KTNT, a large boondoggle of an airport, in the middle of nowhere.
OK, Can we talk about the new Legacy V2 now?
Yes we can. There are actually so many new features mixed in with a host of upgraded or refined features that I am afraid I don’t know where to start. To make sure I don’t miss telling you about something that you consider really important, I am going to put the onus back on you. A neat way of doing this is to send you over to the dedicated Legacy V2 section of RealAir’s website for you to read what Ron’s has to say about it. This way I can spend more time talking about those things that blow my skirt up.
I just found out that you can download the full Flying and Setup Guide prior to making the decision to purchase the V2 Legacy. Get it here. (http://www.realairsimulations.com/legacyv2/downloads.php?page=legacyv2_downloads)
This alone is worth the price of the V2 Legacy provided you read it and put what you have read into practice.
Now, for those of you that are only casually interested in the V2 Legacy, I am not going to list all the reason we are so excited about having this new addition for all our flight simulators. (Yes, I know X-Pane is also a simulator, but this in not available for X-plane so you don’t need to leave dozens of messages for me).
In case you missed it, this short, concise announcement was on our front page starting January 24, 2016 with a link for additional information.
RealAir Simulations announced the release of their Lancair Legacy V2 for FSX/FSX-SE and Prepar3d V2 and V3.
The Legacy V2 now has full integration of Flight 1's GTN gauges in FSX and P3d V2 and V3, and continues support of Reality XP GNS integration with FSX. In addition to several new liveries, many new features have been added including a turbocharged engine option capable of up to 4,000 fpm climb rate and 300 knots true airspeed.
The Legacy now has oxygen and hypoxia simulations, enhanced aerodynamic visual and sound effects, panel light dimmer and other new features making it our most advanced aircraft yet released. For further information and details please navigate to the RealAir Simulations Homepage.
There should be one or two items on the list that get you excited. For me, the real biggie is the optional turbocharged engine and the new Oxygen and Hypoxia system. Why you may ask.
Good question. I will now tell you that just having a really, really fast state-of-the-art homebuilt two-place pocket rocket kitplane, with retractable landing gear, wing mounted lift spoilers, bubble canopy, 3-bladed prop, and full IFR instrumentation with the ability for you to add your own GTN or GNS GPS/Nav system is just not enough for some people. I fall into that category. No matter how good it looks, or how good it flies, or how reasonable the purchase price may be, it is just not enough, we always come back with, “I want more”.
Try this on for size. How about they add something special to the airplane and reserve a special place for us to play with our new toy?
A few of the rich guys have already added the JT-6 turbine to the Legacy and broke all the speed records for climb time, speed over a set distance and won a few of the unlimited class races. Sure it looks kinda like a Legacy from a distance but when you get a little closer you see these outrageously oversized exhausts pipes the size of pipelines sticking out the sides of the cowling. Take a look at these photos.
So when they go flying, they have to go really high to make use of their turbines. Maybe a low altitude for them would be somewhere around FL260.
Now consider the hundreds of finally completed and flying Legacy 2000 series homebuilts and we find most of them hanging around the 6,000 – 12,000 altitude band and clipping along at 200 – 220 mph and thinking ‘ain’t life grand”.
You see, the Lancair Legacy kit builders brochure does a good job of convincing you that the $65,000 IO-550 310 hp Continental engine and the $16,000 Hartzell propeller is all anybody should ever need for this aerodynamically slick Legacy. Btw, the full all-inclusive RG-550 kit is only $259,500 prior to taxes and delivery. And after you put in 3 –10 years of build time and maybe another couple of hundred thousand dollars for shop/hangar rental, tools, jigs, and such you can something real similar to the base 310 hp RealAir Legacy V2.
Now consider if you will, what are our options for flying above the crowded denser air skies, above say 12,000 feet and below the high-twenties flight levels where you find all those turbine powered King Airs and old Citations.
Answer: That area that has a floor of say 12,500 and an upper limit of say FL250. The dense air folks can’t fly there because they generally don’t have oxygen on board and their engine conk out due to oxygen starvation, and the Turbine guys just zoom right through it on their way to the assigned altitude of FL260 and above where their engines are more efficient.
The second part is that we are going to assume that we choose not to cut holes and stick big exhaust pipes and things into the slick, beautiful lines of our new V2 Legacy. This gives us two basic choices, once we decide to install an Oxygen system and the new Hypoxia system so don’t forget to add the O2 bottle and flip the switch on the panel.
We could get into the age old argument of whether adding a Supercharger is better than adding a Turbocharger but, we can totally avoid the discussion and just recognize that RealAir chose the Turbo route. It is a done deal and is it does no one any good to present their case for an alternate method of adding ram air to the engine.
We find that with the simple movement of a slider switch about a quarter-inch to the right we can elect to change our already wonderful Continental IO-550 310 hp engine into a growling, howling, whinning dual turbocharged, intercooled 400+ horsepower engine with automatic wastegates so we don’t over boost at low altitudes.
"I am told by those experts with hearing tuned to a very discernable level that RealAir Legacy V2 may have the best turbo ‘whine’ sounds they have ever heard in the flight sims." .
Once we save our configuration and exit the config program we notice the maximum manifold pressure moves from the upper 20s to the upper 30s. Yep, almost an additional ten inches of manifold pressure that will hold steady right up to the critical attitude of something close to FL150. Remember, we have to make our own performance booklet because this is an experimental homebuilt aircraft. No way around it. FAA says so.
You should be able to maintain the maximum MP while climbing from sea level up to the Critical Altitude. This is usually defined as the altitude at which the engine can no longer maintain full-rated manifold pressure minus one inch. But, where the extra available manifold pressure really shines in way up there in the thin air above much of the weather and where you get better gas mileage while approaching cruise speeds near that magic 300 kts.
In summary, we now have an optional turbocharged engine custom designed and installed in our V2 Legacy with the necessary stay-alive Oxygen and monitoring system for us to get way up there over the weather where we can fly even faster, longer, and therefore further. The fuel flow is significantly reduced where we will be flying.
For those of you that lean toward the technical side, I asked our designers if they would describe for our readers this new turbo optional engine for the V2 Legacy. Almost word for word, here is the scoop.
As you know in a high performance aircraft like the Legacy you can add either supercharging, which is a mechanical turbine driven via belts from the engine directly, and places extra strain and wear on the engine parts, or turbo charging which extracts exhaust gases and uses that energy to force more power, and is regulated as you say by (in this case) an automatic waste gate.
We simulate dual turbo chargers that are serial, not parallel in that they are driven by two separate exhaust manifolds. This is less of a strain on engine parts and is overall more efficient. The lag associated with turbo chargers is a slight problem on cars but not really on aircraft as a slight lag is insignificant.
The wastegate is essentially an auto-functioning diaphragm which prevents over-pressure at low altitudes but still can provide extra power even at near sea level. The limit for the Legacy with dual chargers is just over 38 inches of manifold pressure. The wastegate automatically prevents the manifold pressure from exceeding that limit.
As altitude is gained the diaphragm, which is hydraulically driven, allows more and more exhaust gases to boost the inlet pressure and maintain power even though the outside air is thinning. Care has to be taken not to whack the throttles suddenly forward as the diaphragm adjustment can't keep up with the sudden power increase. You can see this on the Legacy's MP readout which can exceed limits temporarily (more than 38.2) then settles back. With normal throttle control this is less likely to happen.
The critical altitude of the turbo chargers is that which provides the maximum, non-wastegated power, and in the Turbo Legacy that is between 17,000 and 20,000 feet, which is why the magic 300+ knots TAS can be achieved around this altitude. Beyond this altitude the turbos cannot compensate wholly for the thinning outside air and the MP begins to decrease. However outside temperature plays a big part in this. If the ambient sea level temp is hot then critical altitude kicks in lower down. Generally speaking though, the Turbo engine will provide a remarkable amount of boost to very high altitudes. The Legacy starts to lose significant power from 25,000 feet upwards and by 30,000 feet is struggling. By 35,000 feet there is little climb power left. Except for the thrill of achieving this extraordinary altitude for such a modest little aircraft, there is not much point in cruising at altitudes more than 25k.
Also remarkable is that the turbo chargers are extremely efficient compared to superchargers and fuel flow remains quite low given the boost in power.
A description of the RealAir Legacy V2
The Lancair Legacy is a high performance, two-seat, amateur built aircraft, and it is powered by a Continental IO-550N engine. This engine drives a three bladed Hartzell constant speed propeller. The aircraft features a composite airframe of predominately carbon fiber in an epoxy resin matrix. The wings have electrically actuated full-slotted fowler flaps and mechanically actuated high aspect ratio ailerons.
Speed brakes, or spoilers are installed at mid-span on the top of the wings. The elevator and rudder have centerline bearings. The elevator is push rod actuated; stainless steel cables actuate the rudder. The tricycle retractable landing gear is hydraulically actuated. The nose gear is a self-centering free swiveling unit and all three gear legs utilize air/oleo struts. The main wheel brakes have their own independent system and are hydraulically actuated.
The battery, alternator, and the magneto/start switches are located on the instrument panel. The circuit breakers are generally located on the far right of the panel. A 70 ampere gear driven alternator is mounted on the right front of the engine. A transistorized voltage regulator adjusts alternator output to the required load, which may be either 14 or 28 volts. The engine starter is located on the engine accessory case (aft right side). To energize the starter circuit, hold the magneto start switch in the START position. There is a 30 second limit on starter operation. The radio master, pitot heat and internal and external light switches are also located on the left subpanel. An ammeter/ loadmeter generally should be installed.
OK, how about some performance numbers.
Owning a blazingly fast airplane that can fly as high as the new V2 Legacy, while having the fuel onboard for 4+ hours of endurance opens up a vast number of overnight getaways for me. Let’s do a little simple math to get us started with the Turbo’s Legacy performance book.
Fuel on board – 66 gallons (62 gal useable)
Fuel Flow – 10.1 - 12.7 gal/hr @ FL250
Endurance – 4.4 – 5.4- hours w/60 min reserve (for planning purposes only)
Cruise speed - 280 knots (fast cruise)
260 knots (normal cruise)
240 knots (economy cruise)
Range - 1,150 nm Normal cruise speed w/one hour reserve
These numbers are being verified by our flight sim community but should be very close, I plan to make a few more cross country flights to confirm that these numbers are indeed achievable. The Legacy is one fugal flyer.
Should a pilot wish to extend the endurance, I suspect you could add several hundred miles to the range by flying closer to the 55% power curve. I’m not sure how to compute a specific power level for the Legacy but some interpolation of the CAFÉ report data would probably be close enough for flight sims accuracy.
Turbocharging vs Turbonormalizing
First, let’s make sure we all understand that we are using a Turbocharger system as in turboboosting and not a Turbonormalizing system. The fairly common Turbonormalizing systems are what we see on the Cirrus SR22 Turbo and the Cessna 210 Turbo and similar airplanes. These are designed to maintain sea level manifold pressure (~ 30 IN) at altitude to avoid the progressive reduction in horsepower that occurs in normally-aspirated engines as we climb.
The turbo boosting system that we are using boosts the manifold pressure about 8 inches higher than sea level ambient, to a little over 38 inches. This system is better suited for those that might use high elevation airports like Denver or Jackson Hole, or live and fly at high elevations. For us that live at near sea level, it just gives up that much more available power as we climb.
This increased horsepower has to be contained or retrained so as not to blow up the system. This is where the automatic wastegates that Ron mentioned above comes in. These are butterfly valves that vent excessive pressure when we attempt to overboost the engine by going to full throttle to quickly, but supplies the proper exhaust volume to the turbine otherwise. You need to be smooooth when increasing or decreasing the throttle. The intercooler keeps the system from overheating and operating within limits.
Smart pilots always adjust power slowly on any airplane, normally aspirated or turbocharged, but it’s especially important on engines with a blower out front.
Fortunately, our system is fully automatic using simulated hydraulic wastegate actuators and a pressure controller to keep our dual turbo output at the desired pressure. There is nothing for us to turn on or turn off, just fly the airplane and pay attention to the engine monitor readings.
Of course, you will find that if you don’t pay attention to the fuel mixture settings you will not be developing the necessary horsepower to climb or go fast. Proper leaning of the Legacy’s turbocharged engine is a continuous learning process.
A little later you will learn about LOP and ROP. This refers to the digital readout of the TIT, Turbo Inlet Temperatures. The EGT, Exhaust Gas Temperature and the CHT, individual Cylinder Head Temperatures are also used as indicators of engine performance. There is a peak setting, and if you continue to pull the mixture knob towards you, you will be Lean of Peak and if you ease it back inward toward the firewall you will Rich of Peak. Full In is full rich, Full Out is full lean (that is when the engine quits running)
Different engine manufacturers recommend LOP or ROP depending on many factors, like age, condition, ambient conditions, break-in periods, etc. You might read or hear about 50 LOP or 50 ROP for recommended settings. The two compelling reasons for these settings are to develop maximum horsepower while keeping the engine from overheating and to extend the life of the engine. Overheating is always the culprit and will damage you engine if left unchecked.
I understand from rw Legacy pilots that TCM does not recommend flying LOP at power settings over 65% with the stock IO-550N Continental. For our optional dual turbo’d Legacy it would be rare circumstances where one could actually fly LOP.
I see this question all the time – Where should I set my mixture? There is no one answer and the better question might well be – Where should I NOT set my mixture?
In the flight simulator is doesn’t really matter where you set the mixture if you are reasonably close to the correct setting. Many sim pilots just ease the mixture setting out until the engine begins to run rough then push it in just enough to get a smooth sounding engine. As you climb higher, you must lean the mixture setting to develop the necessary horsepower. You will need to remember to “enrichen the mixture” as you descend for the same reason. Usually around sea level the mixture is set to full rich or almost full rich.
At the extremes if your mixture is too rich the engine will run rough, you will foul the sparkplugs, and the whole airframe might shake and shimmy. If your mixture is too lean, the first indication might be the rise in CHT and EGT and the Warning flashing on the VM1000C as you exceed the temperature limit, then one of the things most feared by pilots, the one propeller that you have quits turning or maybe starts windmilling as the engine quits running due to fuel starvation.
The new repaints and interiors.
The new Legacy V2 comes with 4 new repaints, all with lightning bolts and jagged striping. The original Legacy’s 5 repaints have been brought over to V2 to make a total of 9 liveries.
The main cabin panel is different enough from the prior model due to the new Oxygen System panel, a new Hobbs meter, a new dimmer knob and a lesser number of electrical breakers. The Nav/GPS switch has been relocated from above the airspeed indicator to the far right side and the new light dimmer knob has been added at that location. These additions and changes do not allow you to use the original Legacy interior texture files with V2 without modification. You will also have to update the V2 interior files if you want your call sign displayed above the DME display. The original Legacy did not have call signs displayed on the panel.
Here you can compare the old and the new panels.
How do I fly the Turbo Legacy V2?
Just like almost all things, there always are more than one way to do anything, but just in case you would like to hear mine. Here goes.
We have to taxi before we can fly and the free-castoring nosewheel which is another way of saying “freely rotating” which means it is not connected to the rudder pedals as you might expect. To taxi the Legacy you will need to steer using differential braking. This may require a little practice so go slowly while learning.
On your takeoff roll the rudder becomes effective fairly quickly and then you will be holding the centerline with rudder pressure.
Should you not have rudder pedals with differential brakes as part of your flight sim setup, then you can disable the freewheeling nosewheel and steer with rudder pedals with whatever means you use. Tight or sharp turns are difficult with rudder pressure only.
Let start off with the term WOT. This is the normal position of the throttle when I am flying the Turbo Legacy. This means wide open throttle, or sometimes referred to as Full Throttle, or balls to the wall (actually have never understood this one but, I hear it often). This is not your Grandmother’s Cessna, Piper, Mooney, Bonanza or whatever, this is the new Turbo Legacy. This leaves me with only two controls for setting the needed horsepower – the Propeller and the Mixture.
Ron has run some tests and determined that only minimal differences can be found with the variable prop settings in the Turbo Legacy. He recommends 2,400 RPM as an almost fixed setting and I see no need to mess with that. Every time I glance over at the Engine Monitor I expect to see something really close to the 2400 RPM setting. I use the Saitek x52 Pro Flight System and the excellent throttle unit leaves a lot to be desired for setting the Propeller. Sometime I have to choose either 2395 or 2405 because that sucker does not seem to like good round numbers. But, this is most likely closer than the age old ‘needlewidth’.
I am going to let you in on a little secret that I learned over years of flight simming. The FSX coding for the mixture is crap. Some of our developers have learned to live with it, others have added custom coding to make it a little more forgiving and reasonable. That is why the ‘higher end’ add ons tend to have mixture setting that may seem extreme when looking at the physical knob. I use the tooltips and my mouse wheel for fine tuning the mixture settings.
Now we come to a clear difference in choice of how to best use that extra 8 inches of manifold pressure if we are starting out at or near sea level. We can set a climb profile using WOT by setting the throttle fully open and leave it there until there is a compelling reason to reduce power. The other choice is to fly like we don’t even have a turbo charged engine and as we lose manifold pressure as the altitude increases, we continually add more throttle.
Cruising in the Turbo Legacy
With the RPM permanently set at 2,400 RPM, and full throttle, the only remaining control to adjust is the mixture. Should you really want to fly slower to maybe increase your endurance, you can tweak the mixture level down to some really low fuel flows. According to most articles that I read about the rw Legacy and comments at some of the builder’s blogs, these fuel flows are a bit unrealistic and probably could not be achieved.
RealAir is working on a new Performance and Endurance Chart specifically for the Turbo Legacy V2. Here is a pre-production copy that we are using to fine tune some of the numbers. If you like to fly cross-country, you can have a ball with this one. Checkout the endurance in the upper Flight Levels. Wow.
This Turbo Legacy uses so little fuel when climbing that I can’t think of any good reason not to climb high for extended touring.
Flying the Legacy V2 in the different simulators.
I have FSX:SE and P3Dv2.5 installed on my fast pc and I try to alternate sims when writing reviews and flying. I don’t see much difference in performance although the scenery seems much improved with P3D but that may just be my setup and not a knock on FSX.
What is very noticeable is having the Flight1 GTN units available in the Legacy when flying in P3D. That was one of the things I that I really missed.
An unexpected, maybe I should say surprising feature when flying the new Legacy in either sim is all the new airflow or wind sounds. I think RealAir calls them aerodynamic sounds, but they are very noticeable. These aren’t just canned sounds that you expect to hear in your run of the mill add ons. These are the sounds that airplanes make when taxiing and flying. It must have something to do with the pitch and volume changes of the various sounds at different speeds and attitudes, because they are so believable.
Once you start paying attention to some of these little extras, it is hard to fly straight and level. I keep wanting to side slip on final, or do what I like most – practice commercial flight maneuvers. I really enjoy the sounds and vibrations and such while flying Cuban Eights, chandelles, and the various stalls. The Legacy V2 makes them all come to life. I have been doing a lot of slow flight, just to pay attention to try to find one more new item that has been added. The side benefit is that I am becoming a fairly proficient and much smoother pilot, once again.
You will most likely find conflicting speeds and procedures when reading how to fly a homebuilt airplane. This is not uncommon and should be expected. Even within this review, I’m sure many people will use different techniques, differing speeds, and so on. In a flight sim, this should not affect the flight model or your general safety.
Specifications for Legacy V2 310 hp engine (non Turbo)
The aircraft has two wet wing fuel tanks in the outboard wing sections holding a total of 66 gallons. The tanks are vented to the outside atmosphere by ports on the bottom of each wingtip and each cell has flush type filler caps mounted at the outboard end. There are two low point drains on each wing. Fuel runs into a baffle tank on the inboard end of the cell. There are two one-way flapper valves to keep fuel from running outboard in unbalanced flight. Generally, only 1/2 gallon per wing is unusable. (very early models had up to 2 gal unusable per side)
The selector valve located on the center console and has LEFT, RIGHT, BOTH and OFF positions and I don’t see how anyone could misread the position. Just make sure the sharp end of the red selector knob is in one of the fuel flow positions and not stuck between detents. Fuel will not flow if the pilot selects an intermediate position. The pilot must select the respective tank and switch tanks often in flight in order to maintain a balanced wing or just select BOTH.
Fuel flows from the selector valve to an electric boost pump in the center console and mounted on the aft face of the nose gear tunnel and then through the firewall to the fuel strainer (gascolator). The boost pump has an overboard drain should the pump diaphragm fail.
The fuel strainer should be drained often to keep water and debris out of the engine. Fuel flows from the fuel strainer to the engine driven fuel pump on the accessory pad of the engine. Excess fuel returns to the fuel tank selected via a return fuel line.
Using the FSX/P3D Tooltips
Placing your mouse pointer on any given gauge, switch, knob, or level should reveal additional details. The easy method of viewing your TAS is to simple place your mouse pointer on the face of the airspeed indicator. You will be able to read both IAS and TAS. You can cross check the accuracy by using the OAT from the engine monitor and using the knob at the 5 o’clock position to set the density altitude and temperature at the top of the gauge.
A lot of detailed information can be seen using these tooltips, Should you place your mouse pointer on the [HSI] gauge you will be given the current heading in degrees, however if you place the pointer on the Course knob you can read your yellow arrow course selection. If you place the mouse pointer on the Heading knob itself you can read the Heading Hold selection degrees.
Of course, none of these tooltips are available should you Pause your sim.
Note: The tooltips for the Flap deployment is in Percent only. First notch = 10 degrees (25%), 2nd notch = 20 deg (50%), etc.
Included in the tooltips are reminders of the click spots or hot spots for the unique VC view zoom locations. For instance, directly below the bottom row of switches you can left click for a zoomed in IFR view or right click for the main VC view. The area directly above the 3 engine levers and below the center avionics bay you can left click for the throttle view and right click for the main VC view.
The click spot that I use most often is the face of the autopilot with a left click to see the GTNs, the engine monitor, the AP and just the corner of the mixture knob. I would like to have this view zoomed out just a hair so I can see the annunciator panel at top center and the throttle, prop and mixture controls at the bottom.
With all the click spot choices none of them includes the annunciator panel. I can see the annunciators ion the full VC view only I can see and the color is green or red so I know something is amiss, but I can’t necessarily read the text. There are 20 unique annunciations announced there.
Speaking of annunciators, I would love to see a small indicator light either just above the speed brake (spoiler) switch or maybe on the switch itself that stays on whenever the speed brakes are deployed. I realize there is an annunciator that is On whenever the spoilers are deployed but, if you are using any of the VC click spot zooms you can’t see it. This all assumes you are flying in the windowed mode. In the full screen mode you can see the annunciator panel.
My standard GUMP checklist is now GUMPS so I can remember to check that Speed brake prior to landing. Some folks use the S for seats adjusted and locked, others for Seatbelts buckled, but I never fly with my seatbelt off but I have been known to slide my seat back a few inches on some long cross country flights to stretch my legs and be a little surprised when I can’t quite reach the rudder pedals when entering the pattern. Duh. Remember, use those checklists.
Another little tip is to take advantage of the new panel lights dimmer switch located just above the airspeed indicator. I find it needs to be turned to the low end of the range to avoid the bleed through in some of the AP indicators. See screenshot.
Descents from high or fast cruise in the Legacy requires that you stay ahead of the aircraft. Smooth air descent can be at speeds approaching Vne until reaching 10,000 feet MSL, where you should slow to 250 Kts. In bumpy air the aircraft should be slowed to Vno or 220 kts and if in turbulent air slow down to Va Maneuvering Speeds of 170 kts at near gross weights and 158 at 1900 lbs.
You will have to keep checking your mixture setting as you descend. A continuously richer mixture will be needed in the denser air.
Throughout your letdown, monitor your engine instruments and speed while making clearing turns. I use the speed brakes in order to stay higher longer and then make a somewhat steeper descent than I would if I did not have the wing spoilers. Power should be reduced to maintain cylinder head temperature and keep the oil temperature in the green and usually a richer mixture setting is needed to keep these engine temperatures within limits.
APPROACH & LANDING
You will appreciate those nice big electrically actuated full-slotted fowler flaps that extend from aileron to fuselage as you get closer to landing.
When approaching the airport area I aim for an airspeed of about 160 KIAS to allow for the first increment of flaps. A shallow descent with a gradual reduction in power but holding 2400 rpm will allow for an good view of the airport traffic from about 3 miles out. The Vlo speed for the Legacy V2 is 132 knots so I aim for 130 knots as I blend in with the traffic pattern at the standard 45 degrees angle.
Enter the pattern on the downwind leg at 1,500 feet AGL and lower your power setting to 11 to 13 in MP/2400 rpm. This should keep the aircraft at 130 KIAS. Lower the gear at the abeam position - opposite the intended point of touchdown and begin a gradual descent. Small adjustments of the throttle will control your rate of descent. Flying the RealAir Legacy you will be able to hear the changes in airflow as you fly your approach.
When turning base, reduce power and add additional flaps as necessary to maintain 110 – 120 KIAS and a 700 – 800 fpm descent. Halfway through base leg your altitude should be approximately 700 – 800 feet AGL at 110 kts .with half flaps extended. I like to perform my final landing checklist at this time. I have never landed with the gear up because I always use a checklist and have never experienced a mechanical failure of the landing gear.
I usually try to turn final no closer than 1/2 mile from the end of the runway and at approximately 500 feet AGL. I aim to cross the fence or threshold at 100 KIAS and usually with full flaps. I add or reduce power as necessary to maintain my chosen rate of descent and I aim for the numbers. The Legacy RG’s recommended normal landing configuration uses full flaps.
You can certainly fly the Legacy V2 at lower speeds over the fence, even as low as 85 knots with full flaps and lighter weights in smooth air, but I reserve for speeds for those short grassy runways with the tall trees.
Allow your airspeed to bleed off and aim to touchdown at 80 kts with full flaps. Don’t use a large flare like you might in a small Cessna or Piper – you have a high performance laminar flow wing so fly the aircraft onto the runway just slightly nose high. I try for a near 3 – point touchdown, using minimal flare. That is just me and it may be because I have been flying small jets so much recently. With an 80 knot full-flap touchdown you may well see the nose well up in the air.
For those of you that may be transitioning from the Cessna 172 trainer or maybe one of the smaller Cherokees all these pattern speeds and climb speeds will be about 20 knots faster and will require some time for your to ‘catch up’ to the Legacy.
You sit high in the Legacy with outstanding visibility so making greaser landing are a chinch in the Legacy. Remember, everyone in the coffee shop will be watching so make it a smooth one with the nose wheel dead center of the runway. If you are not sitting high enough, you can use the appropriate keyboard strokes to change the eyepoint.
Here is a well thought out traffic pattern that has had input from hundreds of real world Legacy owners and pilots. This VFR airport traffic pattern depicts the flight techniques and procedures being taught and flown by most Lancair Legacy pilots.
This is not the only method, but is one to learn if you are seeking a standard for approach and landing in the
RealAir Legacy V2.
You may have to use a slightly lower gear down speed than the graphic due to the real world RG having 140 kts for Vlo and use the 2400 RPM setting recommended by RealAir.
There are a dozen ways to fly a traffic pattern and I have seen all of them. Some are too large, too high, too low, too slow, some look like Navy carrier landings and some break all the rules when some dude flies straight in to whichever runway may be aligned with his flight path. These are usually one of those guys with a half million dollar airplane but is using the free 10 year old VFR map that a few states still publish or maybe even a Shell Oil road map. Duh.
What is important is for you to blend in with the existing traffic and modify your chosen pattern if need be. The problem could simply be a new pilot on is first solo in a Cessna 152 or Cherokee 140 and is flying an extended pattern. This would not be the time to show off your talents with your new faster and sleeker Legacy RG.
I like to listen to the ATIS or CTAF to monitor the chosen frequency to know what is happening at my destination airport long before I can see it. Knowing the active runway and traffic will enable you to preplan you entry in the traffic pattern with ease. But don’t get complacent; remain vigilant for that tractor mowing the grass that may decide to cross your runway or that pilot that may be practicing his cross wind landing technique and thinks it is his own private airport.
The built-in default ATC in FSX/P3D will allow you to monitor airport traffic and announce your intentions to fellow pilots.
A Tutorial Example of How to Fly an LPV Approach with the Legacy V2 and GTN750.
I asked my good friend Bert Pieke to prepare a brief tutorial for our newbees and some of our old timers so that you can see how the Legacy V2 and F1 GTN750 handle an LPV approach. I ask J van E to beta test it and then I flew it a few times and added a piece of text here and there. Bottom line – we have a ‘Quick and Easy Instruction Box for those that think LPVs are old hat and we have the same approach with a more turn for turn instruction. Take your choice, they both will get you to the air`port. Zoom image of choice and print.
Why are there not any Weight and Balance calculation examples?
I suppose because the weight part should take care of itself. The pilot and copilot can be a little heavy or a little light as long as they physically can fit into the seats, and you can close the canopy and still move the flight stick. The wing tanks are almost dead center of the balance envelope and if you don’t add too much baggage everything should stay in balance. As fuel is consumed, the CG will move with a slightly forward bias, which is the direction we would like and at near empty tanks the elevator effectiveness and the elevator trim should keep the fore and aft pitching motion in check.
Running a simple Fuel and Payload/Weight and Balance calculation using the FSX/P3D dropdown feature we find:
Empty Weight 1400 lbs
Payload (Pilot, CoPilot, Baggage) (170, 170, 64) 404 lbs
Fuel (full tanks) 66 gal x 6.0 = 396 396 lbs
Gross Weight 2200 lbs
Max Allowable Gross Weight 2200 lbs
Max Allowable Fuel 396 lbs
Put a couple of chubby guys or girls in the seats and (210, 200) and baggage is limited to a very light flight case and a toothbrush. If the chubby flight crew actually needed to carry 50 pounds of baggage, they would have to limit the fuel to 396 – 56 = 340 lbs or 56 gallons. Ten gallons (15% of full fuel) of fuel weighs 60 pounds to not exceed the MTOW of 2200 pounds. Easy Peasy. My understanding is only about ½ gallon per tank is unusable fuel.
After reading just about everything I could find related to the later model Legacy RG that this RealAir Legacy V2 should emulate, the Empty Weight of practically all of them tilt the scales higher than 1,400 pounds. I’m sure the retractable landing gear and typical full avionics panel are the main contributors to the increased weight. A higher Empty Weight would require lighter weight crews and maybe even a reduction in the full load of fuel to remain within the MTOW. For flight sim purposes this might do nothing more than create a flashing warning that the max weight is exceeded when viewing the FSX/P3D drop down Fuel/W&B feature.
The CAFE Report for the Lancair Legacy N199L, February 2002
This official report is probably the most detailed and most accurate measurements and recorded data for any kit built airplane – ever. There are tons of information and data recorded and a myriad of measurements that are normally only done for certified aircraft developments.
The IO-550N develops 310 horsepower at full throttle, 29.6 in MP and 2700 rpm. A cruise climb setting of 2500 rpm and full throttle initially yields 240 horsepower, but power available will start decreasing after approximately 6,000 feet MSL. (from CAFÉ report).
One key concept was introduced based on this particular report. The CAFÉ Foundation term VbC defined as “velocity for best CAFÉ”, or best Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency. This occurs at a particular mixture setting that delivers the best CAFÉ score for a given RPM, altitude and throttle position. This special power setting depends on the drag curve of the aircraft, the torque and fuel economy characteristics of its engine, the propeller efficiency, etc. This is getting a little deep for a flight sim model so I am going to see if we can approximate some of the report finding and see how the RealAir Legacy V2 compares
My test will be to match as close as practical the test Altitude, RPM, and Fuel Flow and then record the TAS. We will do this at two altitudes – 8,500 ft and 12,500 ft and at 2550 and 2300 RPM for both altitudes. I used MTOW and climbed directly to the test altitudes. We will only use the base model 310 hp engine because that is the engine that the CAFÉ report used.
The bottom line is this new VbC Index should the absolute best cruise power settings using about 55 – 65 % power. Not exactly what a flight sim pilot with a virtual credit card and therefore an unlimited fuel and oil budget might be seeking.
8,500 FT 22.3 MP 2300 RPM 12.6 gph 262 smph converted to kmph = 228 kts 227 kts 12.6 gph
8,500 FT 22.1 MP 2550 RPM 14.2 gph 282 smph converted to kmph = 245 kts 234 kts 13.6 gph
(I was not able to reach 14.2 gph at this altitude with the RealAir Legacy V2)
12,500 FT 19.1 MP 2300 RPM 11.5 gph 262 smph converted to kmph = 228 kts 220 kts 10.7 gph
12,500 FT 18.9 MP 2550 RPM 12.0 gph 266 smph converted to kmph = 231 kts 227 kts 11.6 gph
(I was not able to reach either 11.5 gph or 12.0 gph at this attitude with the RealAir Legacy)
There is a section is this report that should be of interest to most anyone that has an interest in the Legacy. Starting with First Impression (Awesome performance), External Appearance Stands out from the crowd), Cockpit (Long text), Ground Operations (Mostly Superb). Takeoff and Climb (WOT climb), Maneuvering, Stability, Roll Rates, Trim, Stalls, Field of View, Descents, Traffic Patterns, Landing and Summary (Superior performance and handling qualities). Plus many tables of data and minute details of the flight data.
You can find the report with a good search and read it front to back, if interested. I found it at
Here is a copy of the test Legacy data and specification table. I did notice a few differences in N199L and our RealAir Legacy V2 base model. We have wing spoilers and a 3-bladed propeller. N199L does not have spoilers and has a 2-bladed propeller. This was a very early model when only 8 – 10 kits were flying, although a hundred or more were in work.
There are other differences but none that should influence how you fly the RealAir Legacy V2 in your simulator.
Legacy V2 Turbo option Performance
With the new Oxygen system, you can fly both airplanes at FL180, The conventional or normally aspirated 310 hp will still cruise at 210 kts on 8.6 g/h with a light load when properly leaned or on a good day will return 240 kts TAS at 8,000 feet. Of course, you can expect the Turbo Legacy V2 to climb to the higher altitudes much faster and then keep climbing into the Flight Levels.
At 18,000 the Turbo Legacy V2 will easily accelerate to 300 kts TAS on any given day, some days a tad more. You can also achieve remarkably high cruise speeds in the mid-teens with equally remarkable fuel economy.
I made several timed climbs in the Turbo Legacy from Sea Level to various altitudes and then recorded my TAS and fuel flows. Using full power and 2400 RPM and paying special attention to leaning the mixture for peak power, I was able to climb to FL250 in less than 10 minutes – every time.
At maximum Manifold Pressure, 2400 RPM and leaned for best climb/cruise conditions my notes show:
8,000 feet, 267 kts TAS, 33IN MP 2400 RPM, 17.2 gph, TOC in 3 minutes
12,000 feet, 276 kts TAS, 33IN MP 2400 RPM ,17.4 gph, TOC in 4 minutes
15,000 feet, 291 kts TAS, 33IN MP 2400 RPM, 17.5 gph, TOC in 5 minutes
18,000 feet, 300 kts TAS, 31.7 MP 2400 RPM, 17.7 gph, TOC in 6 minutes
22,000 feet, 286 kts TAS, 26.9 MP 2400 RPM, 15.1 gph, TOC in 7 minutes
25,000 feet, 280 kts TAS, 23.7 MP 2400 RPM, 12.7 gph, TOC in 9 minutes
A visit to some Legacy builder’s site.
First, not just any Legacy builders site, the site of one of our very own repaints – N508DB. This site can keep you captivated for days. The narrative starts with the excitement of the first flight, followed by the owner’s first solo the next day. There is a builder’s log starting with the arrival of the big kit, then follows the 2,200 hours of work, and concludes with a generous gallery of N508DB photos and another gallery of other Legacys. Work started in early 2002 and it came out of the paint shop in April 2005.
http://lancairlegacy.com/introduction.html (Legacy #198)
Be sure to visit or follow all the heading and links. (There are a lot of dead links due to the age of the website).
Award Winner – N25XY Builders’s Site
A second builder’s site follows N26XY and has flight videos and other articles of interest. This is a Grand Champion winner at Oshkosh and was started in March 2004 and had the maiden flight in August, 2009. Painting was completed in June, 2011 just in time for Airventure 2011. This builder’s log contains 65 photo albums that covers just about every step of building this stunning Legacy. These are fascinating stories if you are interested in following some of the human interest stories of Legacy builder and owners.
Our Special site is the home of N321TF – 14 years in the making
Valin and Allyson Thorn are NASA retired aerospace engineers and owners of N321TF and Starflight in Broomfield, CO, a custom design and supply firm for Lancair Legacy customization options, innovative cockpits, rudder pedals, and other improved features for the Legacy.
After retirement, Valin and Allyson focused on completing their Legacy build project of 14 years. N321TF, which they call the “StarHawk Legacy”, is flying and has completed flight testing.
He sent me this image of what their N321TF Legacy’s instrument panel will look like when it comes out the paint shop. The paint scheme remains a guarded design and will probably be unveiled when on final at AirVenture later this year. I have seen the sketches and it will make the astronaut corps proud.
The Thorn’s had their paint scheme design concepts modeled for 1TF by Joseph Thompson to help in refining the design concepts. Valin told me that he’ll make the repaint textures available to the flight sim community this summer before Oshkosh AirVenture. This futuristic panel should be the envy of those seeking glass panels and more situational awareness.
N321TF made its first flight the end of September and now has a grand total of 72 hours flight time. A recent trip over the Rockies out to the birthplace of the Legacy in Oregon had them cruising at 16,500 MSL with the stock Continental 550N Platinum engine.
Valin upgraded his RealAir Legacy to the new Legacy V2 model and is enjoying flying in FSX while 1TF (One Thorn Flyer) is down for painting. He says he was happy to see the GTN750 panel option but keeps hoping for an option for the Garmin G3X Touch system he and so many builders are now installing. Be sure to zoom up these panel and cockpit images. Wow.
I thought a NASA aerospace engineer and newly flying Legacy builder/owner that has already upgraded to the RealAir Legacy V2 could provide the flight sim community with a unique view and perspective of how the RealAir Legacy V2 compares to the real deal. Valin says:
I’m still exploring the RealAir Legacy V2. So far I see the model is amazingly accurate in exterior, interior, and visual effects modeling. I noticed even the label for the brake calipers is shown! The sounds are very accurate. Yes, the electric fuel pump really does sound like that at the high setting. Performance modeling, engine and aerodynamics, is very close to the real world Legacy. If anything, it under models the rw performance.
As far as handling goes, even on the most accurate, sensitive settings, the rw airplane is much more responsive. In the rw Legacy, the slightest pressure on the control stick at anything above pattern speeds results in a response from the airplane. The rw airplane is flown at most higher speeds with only fingertip pressures. It would be difficult to model that type of control responsiveness in a home sim.
I can say that I truly love the Lancair Legacy. The performance, handling, visibility, and good looks are fantastic. I’ve talked to a number of veteran, life-long pilots, who’ve flown almost everything out there, and they say the Lancair Legacy is their favorite airplane to fly. I asked one of them if they’d flown a P-51 and he said yes, and the Legacy is more fun to fly…
It’s great that sim pilots have the RealAir Legacy available that so faithfully models the truly special, real world Lancair Legacy airplane.
What the RealAir Legacy V2 doesn’t have.
I have either mentioned most of what is included with the RealAir Legacy v2, or provided links for further reading, so now let’s explore what is not included.
Our flight sim model does not have any type of winglets, a movable elevator trim wheel in the cockpit, no operating buttons or switches on the flight sticks, no maintenance tracking or repair functions, and no visible icing on the airframe - or my often asked for feature – bug splats on the windshield or windscreen.
Caution: Flying the RealAir Legacy V2 may be habit forming and may affect your sleep patterns and interfere with your real world hobbies and home life. Not only that but for some strange reason almost all my other add ons seems dull and a little lifeless.
We can certainly do without the small winglets and the movable trim tab and even do without the maintenance, but having a Legacy that looks, sounds, and flies like the real world equivalent, shouldn’t we be expected to fly in real world weather conditions. With the new ability to fly really high where icing is usually found I think the realism should include looking out and see some ice buildup on the leading edge of the wings or in the edge of the canopy. I don’t know for sure about England or Australia but here in the southern U.S. bugs on the windshield are as common as apple pie and coffee. Just my 2 cents.
I already can guess what Ron and Sean are going to say about the icing and the bug splats. As designer and developers for flight sim add ons you have to draw the line someplace, otherwise you might never get the add on to the level needed to bring it to market and every option can’t possibly be included.
Another consideration has to be a concern for keeping the FPS in check and running smoothly on the lower end PC systems (I almost said the legacy systems, duh). But, maybe just one or two small bug splats . . . . .
You can read the manual in advance of purchase using this free download link. http://www.realairsimulations.com/legacyv2/downloads.php?page=legacyv2_downloads
Do not overlook the hundreds of special features included in the Legacy V2.
I was severely criticized for using too much information from the developer’s website in the original Legacy review, so I will probably be criticized for not using enough in this V2 review. But, what is important is to realize that practically everything you see, touch, feel, or experience while flying the Legacy V2 in the flight sim has been put there after being thoughtfully researched, skillfully coded, tested and retested. You will not find any examples of poor coding, sloppy workmanship, or such that seems so prevalent in many of our recent add ons.
You can expect things to not only look realistic, but to act and react realistically as you fly. The more time I spend in the cockpit of the Legacy V2, to more I little thing that I notice and appreciate just how difficult it must have been to make it look and feel so right. All those fingerprint and smudges that give the instruments and avionics that ‘recently used’ look and how every gauge and instrument looks like it was ordered and installed from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty. Everything is full 3D with just the correct amount of dirt, dust, smudges, nicks and dents.
I found a youtube video showing many of these details using Ezdok to capture some close-in views with good commentary. Although using the original Legacy, just keep in mind that V2 is at least that good but in many cases better with the improvements and additional new features.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMb2q7koswI 56:32 A full HD extreme closeup look and verbal description of the original Legacy by flightsim481. Ooozes with comments like gorgeous, awesome, brilliant, lovely.
In short, this is the most aerodynamic and best handling, highest performing and realistic airplane I’ve ever flown. I thought the Quickie 2 was the ultimate kit in the early 1980s but the Legacy has a 30 year advantage for advancements, both inside and out. I’m surprised that someone like Burt Rutan didn’t come up with the original design but Lance Neibauer beat him to it, otherwise the Legacy would probably have had a Canard Wing up front.
What makes the RealAir Legacy V2 unique, other than all the realism, is that we actually get two airplanes for the price of one. The normally aspirated IO-550N Continental engine and the special 400+ hp Lycoming with dual turbochargers. A flick of a single slider in the config program is all that is needed to switch from one to the other. All the extras are applied to both airplanes.
Let’s check on the Recommendations from my RealAir Legacy Avsim review in 2012.
Avsim Gold Star
The RealAir Lancair Legacy for FSX is no doubt the most advanced, most realistic, and most fun to fly of any general aviation add-on available today. The awesome combination of many totally new visual effects and animations with their accompanying sounds are absolutely astonishing. I therefore recommend the coveted Avsim Gold Star be awarded to RealAir Simulations. I really wish there was a recognition that was even a little higher than our Gold Star, maybe a Platinum Star or a Sierra Hotel Gold Star. I would surely recommend that one also. The Legacy is that good.
Update for V2. Not much more I can add to this. This new V2 improves on almost everything, plus adds new and improved sounds and vibrations, plus the new Oxygen and Hypoxia systems and the dual turbo optional engine. I suppose the biggie in the bunch is that models are now offered for FSX / FSX:SE and P3Dv2 / V3 and all with the GTN 650/750 and the Reality XP units for the FSX models. If you like that turbo whine and high performance, then this is the one for you.
The Future (My personal recommendations for improvement from 2012)
How about adding Page Numbers to the Flying Guide and Checklists for the printed copy (for those of us who like to print and bind the documentation)? DONE. Big page numbers now and printable Checklist.
Sunglasses at night needs to be revisited by the design team. NOPE! Cool pilot still wearing sunglasses at night, errrgh.
While you are there, how about adding an old bald, blue eyed, pilot with a mustache (now who could that be?) as an alternate pilot figure. You could save a few polygons with the reduction of hair and sunglasses! NOPE! I really didn’t expect this, but you never know.
I wonder if the canopy could be cracked open a couple of inches for ventilation for taxiing on those long taxiways on the hot summer days? Open/Cracked Open/Closed/Locked DONE. Yes, you can taxi with the canopy unlocked and cracked Open. Very realistic.
You have to admit it, 2 out of 4 ain’t bad. I just wish I had added my bug splats on the windscreen to this list back in 2012.
My suggestions for the new Legacy V2
A few low key bug splats on the windscreen really would add to the realism.
Maybe some FPS savings can be found in the future to make room for some visible icing on the airframe that melts as we change altitudes.
VC rain is still a favorite for many of the flight simmers. Can the Duke VC rain be adapted to the Legacy V2?
A carryover from 2012. The pilot is no longer cool when wearing sunglasses at night.
Just a casual suggestion.
I would like to see an illuminated indicator that Speed Brakes are deployed. Sure, I know the annunciator panel has it but not at or near the switch and not close to the flap actuator switch. Like this – check the switch.
I forgot to mention that when looking into the cockpit from an external view, you will see the same view as you would if you were using the VC view. This may be the first FSX/P3D model to have this feature.
This is another reason that having alternate pilot figures would be nice. That old bald headed, steely blue-eyed guy is still available for a photo session. Maybe even a hot chick for a change of pace in pilot figures.
Video Link – Legacy V2 at new Orbx Meigs Field, Chicago
I looked for some short videos of the Legacy V2 to capture some of the special sounds and features but failed to find a short one. I did find a rather long video at the new Orbx Meigs Field in the rain. This one is slow moving, but if you are into the details it has captions and captures the gest of flying the new Legacy V2 and it is in HD. Crappy weather for flying, but it is Chicago in January. I had to pause the video and put on a sweater, brrrrr.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLDhOjuhRIE 24:24 Thanks to Gunter Willems for making the video. You will notice the Garmin GTN does not have Meigs Field in the database. This video was made on the very first day of availability of the Legacy V2. Impressive learning curve, Gurnter.
Here is very short but outstanding video that I used in the 2012 review of the original RealAir Legacy. You can compare the old and the new. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmd1ryys4JA 2:26 I love this video by Steadyflyer – it is short, bright, uses excellent scenery, sounds are absolutely superb and the flying is first-rate. This one highlights the sights and sounds from both inside and outside of the Legacy. You will notice that almost all Legacy landings sound hard but remember this is a stiff landing gear. No heavy trailing link mains to soak up the weight on a homebuilt.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y63-oalEjfU&feature=player_embedded 8:27 This features real world VH-ZYA Legacy that has appeared in several print articles in AU.
No doubt, we will have plenty of videos featuring the Legacy V2, given enough time. This review is coming out so quickly I am ahead of the video production curve.
My Newest Repaint – Red, white, and gorgeous .
You just never know when something totally unexpected might drop into your lap. Take a look at this repaint with its first flight at the new Meigs Field for FSX:SE. I’m sure it will eventually work its way into the public domain and maybe the Avsim Library.
This RealAir Simulations’ Legacy V2 is the culmination of a year-long project of the RealAir design team and is as up to date as possible. Practically every detail was looked at, evaluated, and if possible, brought to an even higher level than the original Legacy – which was already at the top of the heap.
Most folks really do not understand how difficult it is to improve an add on that is already the leader of the pack. Sure, much of the work was to solve the dilemma to bringing the Legacy to the P3Dv2 platform, but with P3Dv3 looming the production schedule had to be stretched to comply with the new and untested P3Dv3.
It was when I was watching fightsim481’s (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMb2q7koswI) video that I took time to totally appreciate many of the smallest details of the model and how difficult it must be to balance the level of detail and the expected FPS needed for the older PC systems. And then there is this other crowd, that keep asking for more and more, and even more. Asking why this or that was not included, or why the design team didn’t choose to update a different add on or create a new one.
The catch-22 of flying the new Legacy V2 hit home for me when one of our forum members posted that he had just completed a long cross-country flight and he was disappointed that he had arrived at his destination so quickly. He stated he wished he could have flown the new Legacy just a little while longer. Duh.
Our broad spectrum of flight simmers as a whole are obviously delirious with the new Legacy V2 on several levels. I think most everyone agrees that having the Legacy flying in P3D with GTN avionics satisfies most wishes. The unexpected big 3 improvements – Oxygen, Hypoxia and Turbo Optional engine – certainly will tilt the scales for anyone wondering if they should upgrade their Legacy to the Legacy V2.
On yet another level, we will find those hard core flight simmers that look past all of these totally new features and just sit in the cockpit and listen to the turbo whine or continually flip switches just to hear and feel the feedback. Yet others will marvel at the overall complexity of a homebuilt glass airplane that flies at FL250 and will reward you with a TAS of 300 knots while you wonder how the canopy and instrument reflections work and appreciate the stunning colors and shadows brought to life with Prepar3d V2 and V3.
And the fact that practically every forum member will agree – the support provided by RealAir Simulation is next to none. Not that much support is actually required other than the question - did you overlook the discussion on page so and so of the manual?
I think the one single factor that stands out most for me is the through testing and final polish of the model prior to making it available for download. I don’t think I have ever even heard of a broken RealAir model or one of those silly misspelled placards or switches that work backwards or maybe autopilots that won’t engage or folks asking for help in understanding the basic design logic.
This review is beginning to drag out and is seriously impacting my flying time. Time to send it to the Review Editor. As before, the RealAir Legacy V2 is my all-time favorite propeller driven airplane and I have no qualms recommending the coveted Avsim Gold Star continue with the new V2.
Thanks to Rob and Sean for providing the models for review. Special thanks to Rob for answering my seeming endless list of questions.
Thanks to Valin Thorn, owner of N321TF, for using his Normal Traffic Profile graphic and for providing his new panel design graphic and interior sketches. Also thanks to Valin for providing his unique view and comments about how the RealAir Legacy simulator model compares to a real world Legacy model.
Credit is given to the CAFÉ Foundation for providing the Legacy Report of February 2002.
Credit is given to the hard working folks at the Legacy Owners and Builders Organization for much of the background used to understand the details I used to describe systems and such.