Review by Ray Marshall . RealFlying Video Company, based in Germany, has just released their latest, greatest, and most up-to-date video. This one features the Piper Cheyenne II operating as a charter service in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. This is a long running video covering 2 hours and 20 minutes total with 3 round trip flights in varying weather conditions plus a local introductory flight from a small airport.
Using a crew of 3 video specialists, just about anything you would want to see on a video is covered in great detail. The Cheyenne II Ultrapack video is presented in High Definition at 1080p using several different cameras. This is the first RealFlying video to use split screens.
If you’d like to go along with the flight progress there are ample close-ups of the various instruments and avionics along with the full ATC transmissions to allow you to follow the flight plan on the GPS. Checklists are used on most flights and the language is a mix of local European and English.
The weather has something for everyone – blue skies, gray skies, rain, low visibility approaches, night flying and some absolutely stunning mountain and sunset views from the cockpit and cabin.
The video starts with some impressive camera work with extreme close-up views and zooms for the initial ground inspection and startup. The stereo sounds are fantastic as are some of the macro views in the cabin and cockpit.
Multiple pilots are used so you can watch the local flight with a single pilot not using any checklists that I could see with all the cockpit action captured by a GoPro HD3 camera mounted in the corner over the co-pilot’s seat. This is a high performance takeoff from an extremely short runway. With no obstructions at the end of the runway turboprop landings here using reversing props are a little easier. High quality outside views with good sound captures all the actions from an observer’s point of view.
It is a massive effort to assemble what appears to be a simple aviation video. I really never gave much thought to what I considered were simple aviation videos, but there is nothing simple about producing one of these. It is a massive effort to assemble one of these ultrapacks with four total flights. This one was filmed in March, April, August and December of 2013. Fortunately, the three major flights were all round trip or return flights. Sometimes the flights are one-way and it is up to the filming crew to find their way back home.
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The compilation of the separate flights, the sorting and editing of various bits and pieces with different lighting and different background sounds is just the initial step. Adding titles, captions and background music comes next. Then light and sound balancing and final editing that requires a capable computer for processing and finally uploading the finished product to the retailers around the world. The size of HD video files are huge with this one coming in at 4.1 GB of download. The installed AVI file is 3.82 GB for the 140 minutes.
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For those who may not be familiar with the Piper Cheyenne II aircraft, a spec sheet is included at the beginning of the video.
I captured some screenshots to illustrate the resolution of the video image and to give a quick overview. Notice the clarity of these images, you can easily see and read the smallest detail.
The camera movements are very precise and very smooth so the viewer has time to absorb the content. It is quite easy to pause, backup, and replay scenes.
Demo video available
You can watch a demo on Youtube and see some of these images. Just remember, the quality should be much higher when played in HD from your downloaded file.
demo video of Cheyenne II 6 flights (4:51)
Flight from Donaueschingen Germany EDTD to Grenchen Switzerland LSZG (65 nm)
Return flight from Grenchen Switzerland LSZG to Donaueschingen Germany EDTD
Flight from Donaueschingen Germany EDTD to Colmar France LFGA (46 nm)
Return flight from Colmar France LFGA to Donaueschingen Germany EDTD
Flight from St. Gallen Switzerland LSZR to Lelystad Netherlands EHLE (341 nm)
Return flight from Lelystad Netherlands EHLE to St. Gallen Switzerland LSZR
Plus a local takeoff and landing at EDMQ, Donauworth Genderkikngen airport which has a very short runway of only 1738 feet (530 m).
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The release of the Ultrapack Piper Cheyenne II brings the Realflying Video Company’s products to 7 total. The previous six downloadable videos each have something for almost everyone. Two for Cessna Citation XLS lovers, two propeller driven twins - the Beechcraft King Air C90GT turboprop and the piston powered Cessna 340A II and the final two featuring the Garmin G1000 flight panel. These last two represent the extreme ends with one being the Cessna 172 Skyhawk and the other the ever popular Cessna Citation Mustang.
I was going to mention my personal favorite of the existing six but it turns out that I like them all - each for a different reason.
I have flight time in all of them except for the XLS, although I have time in the Citation CJ1+ which has a similar cockpit but is smaller and slower than the XLS.
Each of these six videos is interesting in its own way. The two Citation XLS videos should boost resurgence in popularity in the flight simulation circles now that Eaglesoftdg is actively working on bringing the Citation XLS+ with the Pro Line 21 panel to the FSX market this year. Eaglesoftdg is also modernizing and updating their Citation CJ1+ to 2014 FSX standards.
The two videos that feature the Garmin G1000 should interest not only the large Cessna 172 crowd but also the Citation Mustang lovers. I did Avsim.com reviews for each of them just last year. Of course, the A2A Simulations C172 Trainer was not equipped with the G1000 Avionics panel but the Cessna Mustang was the top-of-the-line Flight1 G1000 edition. Both are highly recommended.
Should you prefer nice propeller-driven twins then the Cessna 340A II should be on your short list and if you like them with turboprops then step up to the King Air C90GT. Both of these videos are excellent.
All of the Realflying videos are offered at four Flight Sim sites. Simmarket, PCaviator, Fspilotshop and Flightsimstore.
REALFLYING - Ultrapack Piper Cheyenne II, February 1014, 3.82 GB Newest, largest and most up-to-date video, 140 minutes, 3 complete flights plus a local introductory takeoff and landing. 14.90/12.52 Euros or $14.95 4:51 min demo video available
REALFLYING - Ultrapack Cessna Citation XLS, Nov 2012, 2 GB, Largest and smoother video to date, 86 minutes, 2 complete flights - Augsburg to Berlin – Augsburg to Innsbruck 12.90/10.84 Euros or $12.95 3:09 min demo video available
REALFLYING - COCKPIT CESSNA CITATION MUSTANG April 2012, 60 minutes, 1.43 GB, largest and costliest company video. Geneva to Liege. Garmin G1000 11.90/10.00 Euros or $12.95
REALFLYING - COCKPIT CESSNA 340A II, Feb 2012, 25 minutes, 843 MB, last commercial flying Cessna 340A in Germany. flight from bayreuth (edqd) to osnabrück (eddg) 11.90/10.00 Euros or $12.45 2:05 min demo video available
REALFLYING - COCKPIT GARMIN 1000 CESSNA 172SP SKYHAWK, Dec 2011, 42 minutes, 993 MB, 4 flights in Italy and Switzerland. Augsburg to Locarno – Locarno to Albenga – Albenga to Verona – Verona to Augsburg Donauwörth to Heidenheim – Heidenheim to Leutkirch – Leutkirch to Augsburg 8.90/7.48 Euros or $9.95
REALFLYING - COCKPIT BEECHCRAFT KING AIR C90GT, Nov 2011, 46 minutes, 1.17 GB, 3 flights Donauwörth (EDMQ) to Eisenach (EDGE) - Eisenach (EDGE) to Donauwörth (EDMQ) Donauwörth (EDMQ) to Augsburg (EDMA) 11.90/10.00 Euros or $12.95
REALFLYING - Cessna Citation XLS Augsburg-London, August 2011, 25 minutes, 642 MB, Augsburg (EDMA) Germany to London-Heathorw (EGLL) 8.90/7.48 Euros or $12.95
Direct talk from the Producer
I exchanged several emails with the producer in Donauwörth, Germany. His statements and responses are as follows:
Yes that's true in 2013 I spent 80 hours in planes. Most of the time as a copilot in the small planes but also getting booked and recording for Realflying. I'm in all of them but I'm recording and not flying myself. Sometimes I'm in the right seat and other times recording from the cabin.
The editing time of photos for a video production varies greatly and so it has taken over one year to finish the Cheyenne II project. The next project will be the Nextant 400XT which should be ready in November 2014. This was filmed at Stansted airport located about 40 miles North of London. This one will be followed by the Socata TBM850.
Yes, the stuff is already recorded but it takes so long to edit everything and with new cameras and ATC recording the time for finishing one project is that long. I can promise you that the new Cheyenne II video is much improved over the Ultrapack Citation XLS, which is our most popular video to date.
The effort of making one of these video productions takes a tremendous amount of time. Every scene has to be edited for brightness, sharpness, color, contrast and video stabilization. With a video length exceeding 2 hours and over 500 different scenes amounts to one huge undertaking for a project. Every production is being saved over 10 times to make sure there are no issues in. To save a 2 hour video takes about 8 hours. The company wants to be at a very high level of presenting the video to the customers so we make sure all scenes, ATC, crew communication, etc. are correct. The actual recording of the flights is the fastest thing.
Don't forget that the pictures for the video, the titles and the music have to be edited and have to be displayed in the video. It's an extra huge period of editing and has to be mentioned. Also the new cameras and ATC are taking time which is that long. Due to the recording of separated scenes with the big video camera the ATC and GoPro cameras separately have to be putted under the normal video on the exact time what is often a big problem. In the newest video production it was very difficult and it was very often at the wrong spot which took very long to be corrected.
We also have to get to the different airports and sometimes fly back because there is no return flight.
The complete time effort of finishing one single project is a big amount which is not calculable and that's the reason why it takes so long to complete a new video.
I found a neat website for calculating straight line distances that also show the map with the preferred driving path. Just substitute the last two cities with any two cities of your choice.
I really don’t understand why the Cessna 172 equipped with the Garmin 1000 avionics suite is not more popular. The video covers popular flights in Italy, Switzerland and Germany with some sensational views from the cockpit.
Italy – Germany – Switzerland
Watch many flights in a brand new Cessna 172SP Skyhawk equipped with finest Garmin 1000 avionics suite. Every flight was fully recorded in best quality. Of course you can hear the ATC and the traffic callouts from the Garmin. Included are 4 flights in Italy and Switzerland with dramatic looking mountain areas as well as 3 flights in Germany featuring some interesting approaches. Enjoy the classic Cessna 172 with this avionics package.
- AVCHD 1080 Quality
- ATC communication
- 7 full recorded flights
- Gorgeous Locarno approach and take off
- Beautiful mountain sceneries
- Garmin G1000 close ups
- Short runways
- Cockpit close ups
- Traffic callouts
- Difficult weather situations with heavy turbulences
- Wonderful Italian landscape
- Plenty of different views
- Augsburg to Locarno – Locarno to Albenga – Albenga to Verona – Verona to Augsburg
- Donauwörth to Heidenheim – Heidenheim to Leutkirch – Leutkirch to Augsburg
Realflying has 7 real world flight videos available with the aircraft and/or flights that should appeal to most flight simulator enthusiasts. The painstaking editing to ensure the ATC transmissions are matched exactly with the video clips and the nice slow and deliberate instrument panel scans should please most everyone. The airport traffic sounds and scenes are a big plus in many of the videos. The Geneva airport is bustling with high dollar corporate bizjets mixing with the airliners. The close-up views are excellent.
While all of them are of superior quality, each one seems to outdo the previous release. This newest, the Cheyenne II, features the very last operating Cheyenne II in Germany in outstanding HD images and stereo sounds that puts the viewer in the cockpit with the flight crew. You get to witness all phases of the flights from the extensive ground inspections, to the pre-start cockpit checks, startup, taxi, takeout, climbs, cruise, descent, approaches, landings, taxi and shutdown. You can follow the flight plans with the ATC transmissions and the close up views of the GPS and flight instruments. Practically every pilot action is captured as switches are thrown, frequencies are changed, throttles are adjusted, etc.
This is a very long video at 140 minutes but is packed with interesting scenes and sounds.
If you like turboprops and would like to envision flying or riding along on several charter flights in Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands in all sorts of weather, then this Ultrapack Cheyenne II video is for you. All those new King Air B200 sim pilots should enjoy this one as will all those Aerosoft/Digital Aviation Cheyenne sim pilots from yesteryear. Actually, you don’t have to be a multi-engine pilot to enjoy the experience. This one should appeal to all pilots, real or simulated.
All photos taken by Mark Ulm. Permission to use in review granted.
All screenshots taken by Author using screen capture while playing video.
3 flight distance maps from web based calculator
Video downloads provided by RealFlying and PC Aviator.com
Recommended VLC Media Player, free download from VideoLAN, used to play AVI video