Cessna’s Citation X is a mid-sized business jet, and currently the fastest flying civilian airplane. Introduced by Arnold Palmer in 1996, there have been over 250 built so far.
The first (and only, till now) Citation X for FS was introduced by Eaglesoft some time ago. The Feelthere team decided to revisit the Citation X, and introduce their in-depth system simulations into this one of a kind Bizjet.
Installation and Documentation
The download is 45.8MB for FS9, and 56.7MB for FSX, and then a simple installation with a product key purchased prior to download. Now, you could go off and begin flying right away, but I’m going to recommend taking a look at the Citation Configuration program found in Feelthere folder under Citation.
The program curiously shows "ERJ Configuration" at the top, so I don’t know if that’s a bug or what. Anyway, the Config Program allows you to adjust....well.....the Configuration of the aircraft. Ranging from VATSIM’s transponder integration and disabling the axes with FSUIPC, to the all essential “Pause 20nm before TOD”. Other configuration options include various noise adjustments, joystick and key assignments, WX Radar options, FPS adjustments for the displays, and startup options, to name a few
There is no Load Manager or Fuel calculator included, but the load is very easy to edit within FS, given you’ll probably only be hauling 8 PAX most of the time.
Documentation consists of a downloadable 19 page manual available in both English, and French. The manual is unique from most others, in that instead of taking the direct approach of, “This is what you have to do, do it now....next we...” they take the relaxed approach of ‘Being your friend’ and including remarks such as “Our umbilical cut, we’re now going to fire our engines” and may relax some of the more tense simmers.
In addition to the manual, Feelthere has a section in their forum not directly intended for the Citation, but it seems members of the forum have made it the spot for Citation related issues.
Panel + VC
Looking into the VC, something I noticed immediately which bothered me quite a bit, was how the viewpoint is shifted about four inches over to the right.....what? I noticed this was also done on Eaglesoft’s rendition as well, and it just irritates me because I’m pretty sure real pilots don’t sit on the right portion of the seat, and the left portion of the centre console. So now I’ve got to hit CTRL, Shift, Backspace every time I reset the view.
All the systems in the panel are modeled within the VC, including Flight Information displays throughout the cabin. Regarding the little Playmate included in the VC, I’m going to quote one of my good friends who I was showing this to last week... “She’s shiny!”
Feelthere, I see what your trying to do and I see that you think it’s neat that we get an FA with a good chest. But please, she’s also quite scary if you like to pretend your a business exec cruising to New York from London, and decide to take a rest in the cabin with your coffee, look over, and suddenly the Shiny, Scary looking, Lady made of Polygons is standing up, and making time coordinated movements. Let’s just say she ’s best left in our imaginations.
The Panel, again, very nice. Just what I would expect from a PIC Feelthere product. All panels included are appropriately balanced, and offer an authentic view of the instruments. Displays are very smooth and easy to read, the night lighting is also very good. All the MFD functions are modeled correctly, and also a new one for the FS world, a Vertical profile view is offered in the MFD. Very handy to use when step climbing, nearing TOC, and TOD. FMC is also in-depth, and offers everything needed to make a very professional simulation from point A to point B (and even on to point C).
Two models are offered in the menu. One is the entire simulation with no cutbacks, and the second is a ‘no candy’ model offering better performance for lower end systems. Five different textures are included: Blue, Blue Bottom, Bullseye, Default, House, and Orange Blue.
Right off the bat I see one very, very minor issue, and that’s the lack of registration numbers in the Aircraft.cfg. I mean, if you bother to produce such a complex simulation as this, you might as well throw the Reg numbers in the Aircraft.cfg file so the simmer doesn’t have to hear “Cessna N700MS ” on every aircraft.
Loading the sim in Houston, the model looks fantastic, animations are smooth and the model is detailed and proportioned correctly. All the systems are exactly what I had hoped for, the simulation of the Citation X is now complete. Where Eaglesoft just did the basics, Feelthere have gone in-depth into the systems providing a much better simulation experience.
The Citation’s performance on my C2D system is very good, and I typically get around 20 FPS from the VC on final to Cloud9’s LAX with Custom AI. This may be a different case for older P4 systems, which I estimate would not likely be able to support dense scenery and traffic, and still maintain smooth frames.
The ground handling characteristics of the aircraft are not bad, but they’re not good either. I say that, because when taxing a plane there’s two factors, maneuverability, and thrust, the latter being the bigger factor.
Feelthere just bombed it. Personally I can’t speak from a realistic experience with this aircraft, but in my opinion the thrust just goes too high, too fast. In order to maintain a manageable speed, one must either tickle the throttle back and forth, or delicately adjust it to maintain exactly 32% N1.
That being said, I did notice on the centre console a switch that reads “GND IDLE” with options for “NORM” or “HIGH”. This switch is not functional, but I assume the High selection will increase the N1 to maintain a good taxi thrust. A thrust such as that found on the Embraer series, which I find easier to maintain the taxi thrust. Factor two, maneuverability, is very good as usual with no problems there.
One thing that Feelthere has added to the Ground Experience, is isolated sceneries within airports for “V.I.P. Welcome” available at Le Bourget in Paris (LFPB), Frankfurt Main in Germany (EDDF), Heathrow in London (EGLL), Santa Monica Airport in Los Angeles (KSMO), and JFK in New York (KJFK). This is just a simple red carpet, with lights, two tiny trees, and three vehicles driving up, and driving away. It’s a nice touch, albeit one that I personally won’t use much unless I decide to visit one of the aforementioned airports (obviously).
The aircraft is just fantastic in the air. The panel includes the VNAV function for vertical profile navigation if you want the autopilot to do the flying. But the aircraft is also very enjoyable to hand fly, just like the Legacy. It’s very easy to control, and offers a realistic experience.
There was a video on Cessna’s website a while ago that showed a Citation X banking to the right at a high altitude, and doing that in FS looks just as beautiful as the video.
The giant Rolls Royce engines offer plenty of thrust, and I was capable of reaching FL400 with ease. I found that the autopilot was having trouble maintaining the desired altitude in VNAV mode, but when I switched to Altitude hold mode, it held very well. I was able to achieve 4x simulation rate with no problems, and only minor problems in maintaining the course at 8x. A very enjoyable ride from rotate to touchdown.
The landing and ILS performance was very good, and very smooth. One thing I enjoyed in particular was when you hit F1 to disengage reverse, it doesn’t cause the flaps on the back of the engines to go back down. Instead, they remain up until you throttle up. After spending upwards of 290 hours at IAH or HOU just watching these planes, I can say this is very realistic.
All around, this is an excellent simulation of the Citation X, with enjoyable flight dynamics and a jet-setting appearance, coupled with in-depth system simulations, weather radar, and wonderful sounds. This is truly what one would expect from the mid-sized, fast, sleek, smooth, business jet, that is, the Citation X.
What I Like About The Citation X
What I Don't Like About The Citation X
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