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    SR22 GTSX Turbo HD Series & CT182T Skylane G1000 HD Series


    Gaiiden

    Introduction

     

    Review by Marlon Carter. In recent times, a lot of focus has been placed on airliners and scenery by larger developers. Sometimes it’s easy to over look General Aviation, but Carenado has not. Carenado has put a lot their focus on this aspect of aviation and they are doing a fantastic job in stimulating interest in this type of flying.

     

    Carenado’s latest offering is the SR22 GTSX by Cirrus and the CT182T Skylane G1000 by Cessna. What can we expect? Well here is a list of features for these aircraft taken from their website.

     

    Cirrus SR22 GTSX

     

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    Special Features
    Carenado G1000 Perspective (PFD and MFD) with GFC 700 Control Unit.
    Windows lighting scratches effect
    Dynamic propeller shines effect.
    Lighting rendering system. Landing, taxi, strobe and beacon
    illuminate objects and ground.
    3D stereo sounds.
    Knobs and switches sounds

     

    Features:
    Carenado G1000 Perspective (Primary and multi-function displays) with GFC 700 Control Unit

    -Normal and Emergency Checklist on screen
    -TAWS and TCAS with visual and audible alerts
    -Fully customizable (AUX page included)
    -Inset map with traffic, topographic and terrain awareness option
    -3 different wind option display
    -Special full engine section with fuel lean assistant
    -MFD map with traffic, topographic and terrain awareness display option

    HD quality textures (2048 x 2048)
    3D gauges
    Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft
    Customizable panel for controlling windows transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and sights props.
    Real behaviour compared to the real airplane. Real weight and balance. Tested by real pilots.
    Realistic night lights effects on panel and cockpit.

     

    Included in the package:
    5 HD liveries.
    1 HD Blank livery
    2 models (1 and 2 pilots on board)
    Carenado G1000 Perspective PDF
    SR22T Emergency Checklist PDF
    SR22T Normal Procedures PDF
    SR22T Performance Tables PDF
    SR22T Reference PDF
    Recommended Settings PDF

    Cessna CT182T Skylane G1000

     

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    Special Features
    Carenado G1000 (PFD and MFD)
    Lighting rendering system. Landing, taxi, strobe and beacon
    illuminate objects and ground.
    Separate dim light system for instruments, avionics and panel
    elements.
    3D stereo sounds.
    Knobs and switches sounds

     

    Features:
    G1000 (Primary and multi-function displays)

    -Normal and Emergency Checklist on screen
    -TAWS and TCAS
    -Fully customizable (AUX page included)
    -Inset map with traffic, topographic and terrain awareness option
    -3 different wind option display
    -Full engine section with fuel lean assistant
    -MFD map with traffic, topographic and terrain awareness display option
    -Audio panel included

    HD quality textures (4096 x 4096)
    3D gauges
    Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft
    Customizable panel for controlling windows transparency, instrument reflections and static elements such as wheel chocks and sights props.
    Real behaviour compared to the real airplane. Real weight and balance. Tested by real pilots.
    Realistic night lights effects on panel and cockpit.

     

    Included in the package:
    5 HD liveries.
    1 HD Blank livery
    2 models (1 and 2 pilots on board)
    Carenado G1000 PDF
    CT182T Emergency Checklist PDF
    CT182T Normal Procedures PDF
    CT182T Performance Tables PDF
    CT182T Reference PDF
    KFC225 Autopilot PDF
    Recommended Settings PDF

     

    Technical Requirements:
    Windows XP with SP3 installed, Vista or 7 (32 or 64 bits).
    Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX with SP1 and SP2 (or Acceleration Pack) installed or Lockheed Martin - Prepar3D Flight Simulator.
    Pentium V/3GHz or similar
    Minimum 2GB RAM (Recommended 4GB RAM)
    512MB graphics card.

     

    From the list of features provided in these aircraft, it is clear to see that Carenado’s efforts to produce high quality general aviation aircraft is not to be taken lightly. While many may consider GA aircraft to be significantly less complex than most airliners, the experience that Carenado has created with these aircraft may have you thinking twice about GA aircraft.

     

    As seen in the features list, these aircraft feature the Garmin G1000 which is a significant step ahead of your conventional T instruments. Other enhancements include HD textures which I found to be unrivalled among other aircraft and along with window and lighting effects that have been unheard of up until this point.

     

    During this review we will examine some of the features of these aircraft and whether or not they live up to the standard that we all expect today.

     

    Cirrus SR22 GTSX

     

    Visuals & Systems

     

    We will first take a look at the Cirrus SR22. The Cirrus SR22 is a single engine, four seat aircraft that was built in 2001 and it is the most powerful version of the Cirrus SR20. Currently the Cirrus SR20/22 is the world best selling single engine aircraft and it is well known for its Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System.

     

    This emergency feature in itself is a huge selling point in the safety of this aircraft. Other aspects of this aircraft that set it apart from others in its class are the fact that it does not have a central yoke. The flight yoke is similar to the style of airbus aircraft which is situated to the left or right side of the aircraft.

     

    In terms of instrumentation, the Cirrus SR22 was originally outfitted with the Avidyne Entegra primary flight display. In more recent times the SR22 came with an option for the Garmin Perspective flight display. Carenado has chosen the Garmin Perspective as the option available for their SR22 product.

     

    Before getting into the details of the systems provided in this aircraft, we will first have a look at the external model and textures. As you can see from the screenshots below, the exterior model has been modeled to the highest fidelity. What is more, there doesn’t seem to be any shortcuts at all when it comes to even the smallest of details.

     

    One of the features of the exterior model that I liked the most was the dynamic propeller shine effect that really adds to the realism of these propeller aircraft. Another feature worth mentioning is that the wheel struts are dynamic in that they react to how hard you land. This to me is a feature that can be easily overlooked but thankfully Carenado has chosen to model their aircraft to the highest accuracy not only visually but dynamically.

     

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    As you would naturally assume, the exterior model also features the option to open all doors and to have either 1 or 2 pilots visible in the cockpit. Another option is the ability to add wheel chocks and engine covers. All of these features are very helpful in creating an enjoyable and a realistic experience when flying this aircraft.

     

    Moving on to the textures, the SR22 comes with HD textures at a 2048 x 2048 resolution. These HD textures can be well admired from the 5 liveries with various registrations that are included in this package. Here are a few screenshots that showcases the amazing textures on the exterior of the aircraft.

     

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    While on the topic of modeling and textures, it would be a good opportunity to talk about the virtual cockpit. My first impression of the virtual cockpit was literally “WOW!” This is perhaps the very first time I had to do a double take to ensure that this is indeed a simulator and not the real thing.

     

    The lighting and textures of the virtual cockpit creates an authentic rendition of what it would be like to sit in the pilot’s seat of the real SR22. The seats, seatbelts, instruments, buttons, knobs and paneling are all modeled and textured to an unbelievably realistic standard that Carenado is well known for.

     

    One of the interior features that I thought was innovative was the window light scratches. If every you have flown in a GA aircraft or even in older passenger aircraft, you might have noticed that at certain angles there are very light scratches in an almost circular pattern on the window. I never thought this would make it to the flight sim platform but Carenado has stepped up their game in bringing yet another level of realism that other developers may soon include in the future.

     

    Here are a few more screenshots.

     

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    Now that we have covered the exterior model and textures, we will talk a little about the systems. As mentioned before, Carenado has opted to base their SR22 model off of the Garmin Perspective variant.

     

    This unit has significantly simplified the overall experience of flying a typical single engine four seat aircraft. The work load has been significantly reduced with the introduction of a number of innovative and simplified methods of both reading and inputting information for the purpose of navigation and communication.

     

    The manuals that come with this package included a walkthrough of the G1000 system and all of the multi-function features that have been modeled. At first glance it may seem a bit intimidating but I can assure you that once you have done your research there is hardly any chance of you returning to conventional instruments (unless the electronic ones fail of course.)

     

    In order to control these G1000 display units you will also be happy to know that the control unit for these displays are also fully operational except for just a few features which are really irrelevant within FS. At first it may be a challenge learning how to use these displays to its full potential but nonetheless with a lot of practice you will be confident enough to enjoy them to the full.

     

    The SR22 is also outfitted with a GFC 700 Control unit which is simply an autopilot unit. If you are familiar with the MCP or autopilot units of your average airliner, you should have no trouble getting used to the GFC 700. This unit is quite a convenience when flying cross country flights since it alleviates the work load that is common with flying similar aircraft in this class.

     

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    How does it feel?

     

    One of the final areas I would like to mention and perhaps the most important is how well does this aircraft fly? Well to answer this question I decided to give the aircraft a complete work out which takes place on a flight from St.Thomas to St.Maarten and then onward to St.Barths. For this flight I decided it would be best to use real world weather which would create a realistic environment to test the handling of this aircraft.

     

    From the very beginning it is quite evident that the SR22 is quite a different aircraft to what you may expect from a 172. Loading the flight plan from FSX was quite simple as this is the only means at the moment of loading flight plans into the G1000 display. Navigating your way around the instrument displays can be a bit tricky but with a little practice I was able to find my way around. If Carenado had provided a tutorial flight as part of their documentation it would have made things so much easier.

     

    Taxiing the aircraft to the runway was quite a different experience. The Cirrus SR22 is equipped with a castoring nose gear which operates differently to the steerable nose gear applications we might be used to. In real life you have to taxi the SR22 by means of differential braking and this was also implemented in the Carenado SR22. Personally it is not my favorite means of “steering” an aircraft but it was modeled quite well and would be very easy to do if you own rudder pedals.

     

    If you do not have a pair of rudder pedals then it may be wise to use FSUIPC to create a special profile for this aircraft and assign your differential braking to your yoke buttons or any other key commands that may be convenient.

     

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    After applying full throttle I was able to maintain the centerline by using the rudders which can be tricky if you do not have rudder pedals. Even if you apply the auto rudder setting it seems to make no difference in terms of using your yoke or joystick. Nonetheless, after some practice it got easier and easier to fly this aircraft the way it is really suppose to be flown.

     

    After takeoff I immediately noticed that the control inputs were a lot more sensitive when compared to the C172. This may seem like a flaw if you are not familiar with the characteristics of the real world Cirrus SR22. From pilot reports that I managed to find at Plane & Pilot and other sources it seems like the Cirrus SR22 is well known for being a bit on the sensitive side when it comes to controller input. Again, with practice it will all be a walk in the park.

     

    During the cruise portion I decided to experiment with just about anything that moved in the cockpit. The feature that caught me by surprise was the air conditioning switch. When I turned it on I was hardly expecting any effect but was pleasantly surprised to see or hear that the air was actually turned on. It sounded convincingly real and I applaud this small but functioning aspect of the aircraft. Another feature I decided to try was the electronic checklist which at first was quite difficult to navigate but after trial and error I eventually got the hang of it.

     

    Going back to the handling of the aircraft, the weather outside was quite cloudy and turbulent but nonetheless the SR22’s autopilot managed to maintain our course and altitude quite effectively. Turning and altitude capture were all very smooth and I was very pleased with the performance of the aircraft during the climb phase of the flight. The engines onboard the SR22 are very high powered when compared to others in its class but Carenado did a fine job in simulating the performance of this aircraft.

     

    Landing at St.Maarten is always a treat and I have to thank Fly Tampa for contributing a copy of this wonderful scenery package for the purpose of this review. I strong encourage you to checkout some of their scenery packages.

     

    While on approach, I was particularly interested in how well the aircraft maintains and handles at low speeds. I found that while the controls were even more so sensitive at low speed it was still very stable throughout the entire approach. The landing on the other hand could be tricky if you don’t have a steady hand but nonetheless I was impressed with the overall feel of the aircraft.

                                                    

    The second leg of our test flight takes us from St.Maarten over to St.Barths where we will test the aircraft’s ability to land at extreme airports that either have a short runway or a steep approach. I thought that throughout this test the aircraft handled quite nicely. The only moments that were a bit tricky was the landing where I experienced a bit of ground effect but still managed to land safely.

     

    Slowing down was also a challenge as I noticed that the aircraft braking power is a bit weak. Taking off from this short runway was no problem at all with this aircraft since it has a lot of power. While doing a touch and go closed circuit at St.Barths I decided to also test the handling of the aircraft when in a stall. I slowed the aircraft and pitched up and prepared myself for just about anything when the stall warning went off. Surprisingly the aircraft reacted as expected with a nose down attitude.

     

    In the end, I have no significant complaints with this aircraft. Its handling is a bit different to the Cessna but this is also the case in the real world so this is not a negative aspect of the Cirrus. The overall package is well put together and I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in trying something different from the typical Cessna aircraft.

     

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    Cessna CT182T G1000

     

    When it comes to general aviation aircraft, Cessna is by far the most popular and I am very excited to review this title. Since I already have a few hours in the real word flying Cessna single engine aircraft, I have very high expectations for this aircraft and how it handles.

     

    For our test flight I decided to fly from my home country of Grenada to Carriacou and then onward to Mustique Island in the Grenadines. Once again, Fly Tampa has graciously contributed their Grenadines package for the purpose of this review and as you can see from the screenshots; this is quite a lovely package!

     

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    Departing from the Maurice Bishop International Airport (formerly Point Salines International Airport) was quite a nostalgic experience since this is the where I took my very first flight as a student pilot. Taxiing the C182 was significantly easier than the Cirrus since the nose gear is steerable.

     

    Getting use to the G1000 displays didn’t take very long and I found it to be easier to use than the controls on the Cirrus. One of the features I absolutely loved about the G1000 display is the ability to run through your checklist. I was able to do this much easier so I made full use of it for each phase of flight.

     

    The handling of the aircraft once airborne was so impressive that I abandoned my plan of using the autopilot. Hand flying the aircraft (which I will always encourage) was very smooth and there was no need to constantly tweak the controls to maintain level flight. Just as in a real aircraft, I was able to trim to C182 to maintain 3000ft with only minor adjustments due to the wind changes.

     

    While in the cruise portion of the flight I decided to explore more of the G1000 features that were simulated and thus far it is quite impressive. Thought this is not a 100% simulation of the G1000, the features that have been implemented will definitely keep you busy. In fact, I doubt you may even use them all since what has been provided is sufficient to carrying out a basic flight from point A to B.

     

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    The approach and landing at Carriacou was uneventful thanks to the superb handing of the aircraft. Carenado did a fine job capturing the feel of the C182 at slow speeds which isn’t always the case with other add-ons. After a short turnaround it was time to explore the Grenadines and to test the aircraft even more.

     

    After flying over Union Island and Canouan I decided to test the stall characteristics of the aircraft. To my surprise, it was very convincing how the aircraft responded when in a stall situation. The nose of the aircraft dipped immediately after the stall horn went off and you could almost feel the aircraft struggling to maintain lift. Overall this is a very convincing flight model and I think many of you will be pleased with this aircraft.

    The final test for this aircraft was to perform a short field landing. I couldn’t think of a better destination for testing this than Mustique Island which has a very unique runway that is sloped on each side. Applying full flaps you can really feel the drag on the airplane as it slowly made its way to the runway. The landing itself was successful but slowing down was a bit of a challenge for some reason. All in all this is a fun aircraft to fly and I would definitely recommend it.

     

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    While we touched a lot on the handling of the aircraft I can’t neglect to mention that the exterior model and textures were of a very high standard. Throughout our tour of the Grenadines I took the opportunity to capture a few screenshots that nicely showcases the exterior and interior of the C182.

     

    Since the avionics are quite similar to that of the Cirrus, we won’t go into the details on the G1000 again but I can assure you that I tested the autopilot on the C182 and it was rock solid.

     

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