Bear's Cave

The world of Flight Simulators

short reviews by Steve "Bear" Cartwright

During the week of April 9 - 14 , we saw an abundance of excellent and high quality files uploaded here in the AVSIM Library, including a set of files which is the first recipient of my new "Bear Approved" stamp for outstanding excellence. Take a peek at No. 5 if you just can't wait! There were several mesh scenery files, aircraft repaints, original design aircraft, airport/bush sceneries, flightplans, an excellent MACH 3.0 SR-71 for FU3, and one of the finest examples of a complete aircraft/airport scenery/Terrrascene packages yet seen for FLY! Through all of that, here are our 5 picks. First up this week is a scenery package reviewed by Joern for all of you FLY! fans. Thanks Joern.

DC-9 Fly! Aircraft
by Roberto Vigetti/Jean Sabatier uploaded 11-Apr-2001
8,699 Kbytes

Fly! Aircraft

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After Rob Young's V88 series of aircraft for Fly! I am not easily satisfied with just any new plane that is available. The new DC-9 from Roberto Vigetti and Jean Sabatier plus team is a project that had me Fly!ing around my home country, Canada, shouting 'WOWS' and 'AAHHS' all night so much so that my wife was wondering what I was really doing on my machine...

DC-9's flight model feels very real. The responsiveness is smooth and the attention to detail superb. From moving thrust reverses, great night vision for the gauges to excellent air and ground handling.

I think the fact that a whole team of talented people got together makes the DC-9 such a quality plane. Even the sound is 'one of a kind'. Thanks to Cory Burke (aka Prince). Finally something other than the old Hawker recordings.

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It wouldn't be fair to review the DC-9 without letting you know that it is a project in progress. Little things still have to be worked on (AP, no flaps on Mac, etc), but it's certainly worth having in your hangar at this stage. Jean is working on some additional liveries as well.

A special Flyscript! is a nice bonus included in this package. ALT+L tells you the landing IAS and ALT+B the takeoff speed depending on the current cross weight. Very handy!

The DC-9 fills a nice gap as a short to middle range plane in my Fly! aircraft collection. The real world version has been in service since 1966 with Air Canada. A standard version seats 91 passengers and it has a range of 1265 miles (2036km). This Fly! version is a 10 out of 10 in my opinion!...Joern

VikingCraft DHC-3 "Otter"
by Viking aka: Ron Andersen uploaded 12-Apr-2001
3,491 Kbytes

FS2000 Aircraft

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When it comes to float and or bush aircraft involving the Dehavilland Beaver's and Otters, a new name has appeared as providing a extraordinarily well designed FS aircraft and that name is "The Viking" or none other than Ron Anderson! Ron has designed one of the most beautiful (if you can call a DHC-3 Otter beautiful) examples of the DHC-3 Dehavilland Otters I've seen yet for FS2000. Ron's design is of the all metal monoplane (single engine), Otter, equipped with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine and is the float version of that age-less aircraft design.

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Ron's design is right on and very highly detailed from all outside views, and it obviously includes fully moving and animated parts. One of the items that I particularly like is the animation of the propeller which seems to appear as realistic as any I've seen before, like you can even notice it ghostly rotating backwards at certain rpms. Flying this aircraft is equally as rewarding as Ron has worked out the airfile where it exhibits the flight dynamics you'd expect of a medium weight aircraft and it reacts very smoothly to trim inputs.

Ron didn't or was unable to include a custom panel or sounds, but you can find the appropriate files in the AVSIM library by doing a search for (Fred Banting & Eric Johnson)! Ron Anderson's DHC-3 Otter is a very excellent flyer and is a equally good looking example of the DHC-3 Otter and I highly recommend it. ....Bear!

P-3C Orion
by Kirk Olsson uploaded 13-Apr-2001
1,462 Kbytes

FS2000 Aircraft

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Kirk Olsson has uploaded his latest version of the P-3 Orion, but unlike many of the prior uploads of the P-3, this version is in the "C" model configuration. The P-3C is the US Navy's current anti-submarine warfare aircraft (patrol) and Kirk has done the externals using photorealistic textures. From the MAD (Magnetic Anomaly Detector) tailboom to the rivet lines of the aircraft's radar nose enclosure, this example of the P-3 is extraordinarily very real appearing. This aircraft is a flying screenshot waiting to happen.

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Frankly, I had only minimum time to fly this aircraft, but my initial impression is that the flight modeling is about average considering an aircraft of this size and weight, but further flying of this aircraft is planned in the near future, ugh-so many aircraft-so little time!

The most eye-catching item of this aircraft are, again, it's very excellent external textures combined with the anti-sub missile's slung underneath it's belly (six of them)! Kirk's aircraft does not include a custom panel or sounds, but as usual, a search either in the AVSIM library or at other locations on the web should afford you some prime examples of either (I installed the panel and sounds from the L-188 Electra in Reeves Airline livery, which was uploaded earlier this year into the AVSIM library). Kirk's example is another excellent version of the Lockheed P-3 and I suggest that if flying aircraft of this type interest, take a look, you won't be disappointed. ...Bear!

Bombardier CL-604/CC-144 Challenger
by Premier Aircraft Design;; uploaded 15-Apr-2001

135/157/132/9 Kbytes
FS2000 Aircraft

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The fellows at PAD or Premier Aircraft Design have been busy working up this group of FS aircraft depicting the Bombardier CL-604 Challenger and it's military version the CC-144. The aircraft design and artwork was performed by Barry Blaisdell and the flight dynamics were handled by Jens Borgstroem (of Duckling Air) and these two have combined their efforts before with several prior uploads.

Of the 3 liveries, I think that I prefer the civil version in the demonstrator colors, but you do have 3 choices. Barry designed these aircraft using AF99 (Abacus's Aircraft Factory 99) and even though he used only a 12 sided fuselage/engine nacelles, they look excellent! All of these versions of the Bombardier Challenger use the FS2000 default panel and sounds, but I'm sure that with a minimum search one should find a more appropriate panel, either in AVSIM's library or at the other normal websites!

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My flight testing time, again as with all the aircraft I've flown for the last couple of weeks, was very limited (my regular flight sim computer has been down for nearly two weeks now being upgraded), but I didn't notice any particular fault or anything of that nature. As usual I found Jens's flight modeling to be beyond the average and quite realistic in feel and control input reaction. Being as I've been using a computer with a rather small processor (AMD 450mhz) and minimum ram (128mb), if there had been any particular problem it would have shown it's ugly little head immediately, but these aircraft, each in turn, flew quite well and did not over-task my little system whatsoever. These aircraft are fun to fly and are easy to achieve some excellent screenshots as well! I suggest that you give them a try, as I believe you may find them quite appealing, as I did! ....Bear!

FLY!Ontario Scenery/Aircraft Project
by Project FLY!Ontario;;;;
uploaded 14-Apr-2001
0.4/64.2/34.6/69.0/8.5 Mbytes

Bear Approved!

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Well, I don't know exactly where to begin, but I think I will start off by awarding the entire team at Project FLY!Ontario with my first ever presentation of the "Bear Approved" stamp (which will become a regular feature of the Bear Cave in the future)!

The Project FLY!Ontario team includes: Jim Kanold, Dan Martin, David Haynes, Rob Westhouse, Elrond & Sandra Elvish, Jak Fearon, Todd Klaus, and of course Paul "Bart" Simpson!

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This entire package is so outstanding as to almost defy words, but I will tell you that if you're a fan of the FLY flight sim, then this scenery/aircraft package is an absolute MUST have download, end of statement! This team has spent the last 8 or so months developing this extraordinary package, which includes: a complete database for all of Canada (airport IDs, runway re-alignment, etc. and this download is mandatory for the rest of the package to function correctly.), 12 beautifully and fully rendered airports, 160x140 mile detailed ground scenery blended into the surrounding Terrascene2 scenery, static and dynamic aircraft, taxiways, taxiway/runway signs, new and unique runway/airport lighting, pilot activated lights at those airports lacking night lighting, and.....well wait a moment while I catch my breath......., okay, are your ready, how about a Cessna 140 with FLOATS! Yeah, you read that right, a floatplane for FLY, which is a first, and it was Paul "Bart" Simpson responsible for this little gem of an add-on!

I don't have any more that I can add, other than to say congratulations to all of you that worked on the FLY!Ontario Project and if you're a FLY fan and for some reason have been on the planet Mars or something, then I'm not telling you anything here you don't already know! ....Bear!

Authors Note: My Heart and Prayers go out to Richard Harvey and my most sincere hopes for a speedy recovery! Keep the faith my friend! Steve.

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