Bear's Cave

The world of Flight Simulators

short reviews by Steve "Bear" Cartwright

 

My, how time flies, but here is my 3rd addition of the “new” Bear Picks since we’ve re-established the Bear Cave. As with the previous weeks, we are presenting high quality files from the AVSIM library for FS2002 and FS2004, files that follow a general theme and this week we are concentrating our attention to two FS aircraft designers, John L. Woodward and the team of Lynn & Bill Lyons from over at the Golden Eagle Squadron. Between these two we have here a very wide selection of classic, unique, or vintage aircraft, several of which are of the type or configuration best applied to bush flying. There is something else that all of these aircraft have in common and that is each and every one of them have a dynamic 3D virtual cockpit. It was Bill Lyons that was the first, to the best of my knowledge, to have included a dynamic virtual cockpit-panel, even as far back as with some of his earliest designs for FS98 and here we see the same thing with his previously payware files that he and his wife Lynn have released as freeware. I’m also quite pleased with the latest FS2004 releases from John L. Woodward as two files represent upgrades from their FS2002 counterparts, and John has just released a new aircraft (Beaver) specifically for FS2004. Sit back, enjoy, and I’m sure that even the most critical or demanding of you will find something here that pleases you, as they have me.


(Click on any of these file names for their Library descriptions and to download.)

De Havilland DHC-2 Beaver
by John L. Woodward
beaver2k4_wheels.zip
beaver2k4.zip (floats)
uploaded 15-Nov-2003
6,466Kb/6,453Kb
FS2004
Original Aircraft

John L. Woodward has been designing General Aviation aircraft for Flight Simulator for at least 3 or 4 years now and his Alon Ercoupe, Lake Renegade, & Republic Seabee for FS2002 were all really terrific little aircraft, but he has now purpose built a very fine example of the de Havilland Beaver (DHC-2). John has built his Beaver in two configurations, wheeled and float versions, and in both cases they share common textures so any repaints that appear will fit both models. Each also has a dynamic 3D virtual cockpit-panel, fully animated components, and authentic sounds (brought up from Fred Banting and Yannick’s FS2000 Beaver). They are devoid a 2D panel, but John suggests downloading any FS2002 example if you feel you must have one. Frankly these aircraft are designed to be flown strictly from the virtual cockpit, so a 2D panel is really not needed.

 

  Despite their being very basic in their design, they still are of fairly high quality that I’m sure will please the bush flyers out there. Check them out, as they represent one of the most popular bush planes of all time and they’re both easy on the frame-rates.

 

----Bear!

 

 


1947 Republic Seabee RC-3
by John L. Woodward
seabee2k4.zip

uploaded 4-Sept-2003
5,830K
b
FS2004
Original Aircraft

Updated from its FS2002 version, this revamped FS aircraft is one of my all time favorite movie aircraft (used by James Bond in “The Man With A Golden Gun”) and John has updated the virtual cockpit including a clickable panel and dynamic gauges. This aircraft also includes a very nicely done 2D panel from J. L. Stubbs. Defaulting to the 182S for sounds, this is still a wonderful little amphibian that is equally adapt in the water or on land.

As will all of John’s FS aircraft designs, this one is fully animated including opening front door-panel. This is a great little aircraft for either the waterways of Canada or Alaska, or you can island hop in the Caribbean if you wish. Either way this is a good choice for this amphib designed in 1947.

----Bear!

 


Lake Renegade 250
By John L. Woodward
Renegade1.zip

Uploaded 16-Aug-2003
5,560Kb
FS2004
Original Aircraft

Third up for John Woodward is the beautiful example of the Lake Renegade 250 amphibian. Like the Republic Seabee, the Lake Renegade is a pusher, with its engine mounted atop the main fuselage and the propeller pointed toward the rear tail section. The Lake is rather unique in its appearance due to its mid-fuselage mounted main wing (the Republic Seabee is a high wing aircraft). 

 

 

 

 

The John Woodward designed Lake Renegade 250 has animated components, including dual opening doors on the starboard side and the aircraft’s nose makes for a great place to sit while you fish all afternoon. With room for 4 average sized adults and their luggage (just keep it light okay?), the Lake Renegade 250 is an able performer at home anywhere there is either a strip of clear land or water waiting for your use.

 


Alon Ercoupe
By John L. Woodward
Ercoupe2k4.zip
[  ] uploaded 5-Nov-2003
5,699Kb
FS2004
Original Aircraft

 Alon Ercoupe
by John L. Woodward & Leon Louis
ercadl3.zip

repaint uploaded
3-April-2003
ercoupe_addon_l2.zip

repaint uploaded
20-Feb-2003
ercoupe_addon_l1.zip

repaint uploaded
17-Feb-2003
ercoupe3.zip

aircraft uploaded
29-Dec-2002
ercoupe4.zip

update uploaded
1-Feb-2003

1,433Kb/1,089Kb/2,678Kb/6,128Kb/281Kb
FS2002
Original Aircraft & Repaints

 

Last up for John are a pair of Alon Ercoupes (one for FS2004 and the other for FS2002, with the FS2002 version having several repaints available from Leon Louis). Sorry, the repaints are only available for the FS2002 version at this time, but I’m sure Leon will be working on those and uploading them sometime soon, I hope. The Alon Ercoupe is unique in that it (real-world) lacks rudder pedals and the rear twin rudders are interlinked with this aircraft’s ailerons. So to add to the authentic feel of flying the Alon Ercoupe, you will need to enable your auto-rudder under the aircraft “realism” menu. In addition to the dynamic virtual cockpit, these aircraft also have an opening canopy and they have an airfile based on a Cessna 150, so it flies within a performance envelope that is generally acceptable. These are excellent little trainer aircraft and the FS2002 version has a wide choice of repaints available giving you a lot of choices to pick from. Just a fun to fly little aircraft.

Classic Globe Swift
by Lynn & Bill Lyons
swift4free_123064_123064.zip
uploaded 18-Aug-2003
FS2002/FS2004 Original Aircraft

 

Originally, just over 260 Swifts were built between 1946 and 1951, but despite the low build numbers most are still flyable today. Manufactured by the Globe/Temco company, the Swift was considered a poor man’s P-51. An all metal retract single, the Swift was very popular in its day and Lynn & Bill Lyons’ version is as about as good as it gets for Flight Simulator. First released by Lynn & Bill as a payware package under their Golden Eagle Squadron website, but after a year since its original release, Lynn & Bill have decided to now make it available as a freeware package. The package includes the Swift in 4 variants, 2 classic retract versions, 1 ski equipped model, and an amphibian, plus the file includes a custom scenery package, a drivable Willys Jeep, and a set of adventure flights to enjoy it all. Having a very accurate 2D panel as well as the standard fare fully dynamic 3D virtual cockpit (standard fare for Bill Lyons). A very cool package and the fact that Lynn & Bill have decided to release the package as freeware to the flight sim community is testimony to the good nature of the Lyons family.

----Bear


Ryan STA Classic
by Lynn & Bill Lyons
sta4free.zip

uploaded 18-Aug-2003
10,499Kb
FS2002/FS2004
Original Aircraft

 

Another of the Lynn & Bill Lyons former payware packages released as freeware, the Lyons’ Classic Ryan STA is a must have package. Despite now being freeware, the package is the same complete package as the original with 2 variations of the Ryan (wheeled and float) with several liveries or paints, plus there is a custom scenery, a 1930s era Garwood mahogany speedboat, a snow and ice skater, and several adventure-flights. Among the many Lyons releases, this is easily among my most favored to fly on a regular basis. Don’t miss this one if flying open cockpit aircraft is to your liking. As usual, aircraft includes 2D and fully dynamic 3D virtual cockpit, custom sounds, and even the pilot’s scarf flickers in the air, another not to be missed package from Lynn & Bill Lyons.

 

----Bear!

 


Piper Cub Classic
by Lynn & Bill Lyons
cub4free.zip

uploaded 18-Aug-2003
6,547Kb
FS2002/FS2004
Original Aircraft

The default Piper Cub in FS2004 is actually very well done, one of Microsoft’s best efforts yet, but Lynn & Bill Lyons’ Classic Club package does include 3 additional variations of the Cub that the MSFS team did not include, a Cub with skis, floats, and a specially painted clipped-wing Cub for performing limited aerobatics with.

 

Includes the standard 2D panel along with the dynamic 3D virtual panel-cockpit, plus all the other neat little features that are included with Lynn & Bill’s releases. In this case, it’s a custom scenery add-on, 1934 Ford model “A”, and a working sailboat. This classic aircraft package download has been put together by one our hobby’s most accomplished aircraft designers.

 

----Bear!

 


Waco Classic Biplane
by Lynn & Bill Lyons
waco4free.zip

uploaded 18-Aug-2003
3,270Kb
FS2002/FS2004
Original Aircraft

 

Designed after a real-world Waco biplane, classic aircraft rebuilt with modern gauges and avionics, the Waco Classic Biplane package from Lynn & Bill Lyons is another one of most favored aircraft. Inside and out, this a real gem of an FS aircraft that has all the normal bells & whistles from Lynn & Bill, including custom 2D panel, dynamic 3D virtual cockpits, several repaints, and two variants (wheeled and float).  The original Waco Classic Biplane from Lynn & Bill was their first payware release, now they have released it as freeware so that all can enjoy the days of flying an open cockpit aircraft that just may be the most beautiful of all the 1930s era biplanes. If you like classic open-cockpit aircraft in Flight Simulator, then don’t miss this one.

 

----Bear!

 


Classic Tiger Moth
by Lynn & Bill Lyons
tiger4free.zip

uploaded 18-Aug-2003
8,240Kb
FS2002/FS2004
Original Aircraft

 

It is estimated that up to 90% of the Allied Air Force pilots first learned to fly in either the Piper Cub or the de Havilland Tiger Moth. Lynn & Bill Lyons’ version of this timeless classic is simply the best I’ve ever seen for Flight Simulator, end of story. Having several models included, the Lynn & Bill Lyons’ Tiger Moth comes in both a wheeled and float version, several repaints, animated features, and custom sounds.

 

Of course all models include an outstanding 2D panel with a fully dynamic 3D virtual panel-cockpit. The dynamic texture shine is also about the best I’ve seen from any of Lynn & Bill Lyons’ releases. Truthfully, I’ve never really been a big fan of the little de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth, but Lynn & Bill’s version has certainly changed my mind. Absolutely outstanding FS aircraft!

----Bear!


Cessna T-50 Bobcat Series FCR scenery
By Bill Lyons-JL Stubbs
skyking2.zip

uploaded 23-Dec-2001
6,766Kb
FS2002
Original aircraft

 

One of favorite themes to hear on a Saturday morning, when I was very young (1950s), was “..out of the clear blue of the western sky comes, SKYKING!”! I’m sure there are a number of you that remember the thrill of hearing that from, first the radio (I do), and then later on television. Earl Nightingale was the voice of “Skyking” from the radio show, but it was Kirby Grant that played the television version of Skyking and every weekend we enjoyed the many exciting adventures of Skyking, along with his niece “Penny Marshall” (played by actress Gloria Winters), flying from Sky’s Flying Crown Ranch, located near Grover, Arizona.

Most remember the second of the two aircraft that Skyking flew, a Cessna 310B/320 Sky Knight, but the first aircraft used on the TV show was actually a Cessna T-50 Bobcat, so how many of you remembered that little piece of trivia? Skyking’s Cessnas both had the name “Songbird” on the side and Bill Lyons, in his typical fashion, presented this package, to the flight-sim community, as a Christmas gift (December of 2001) from the Golden Eagle Squadron.

Included with the package are two versions of the Bobcat on floats, the original “Songbird” on wheels, 3 scenery add-ons (Skyking’s original Arizona Flying Crown Ranch, Land’s End in Southern England, and a Columbia River cabin in Oregon), several flight-adventures, and Sky’s 1949 Cadillac convertible (which is fully driveable by the way). The custom panel and gauges are by JL Stubbs and as usual these aircraft (and the Caddy) have a fully dynamic 3D virtual cockpit along with the standard 2D panel. This is an absolutely wonderful FS package that truly brings back a lot of nostalgic memories for me, as it will for a number of you out there, I’m sure!

 

As one last note, I have successfully installed this package into FS2004, but there are some minor issues related to invisible propellers and some moving parts, but other than that, this aircraft, the Caddy, and the scenery add-ons seem to work generally okay in FS2004/COF.

 

----Bear!


Classic Goodyear Blimp: The Defender
By Bill Lyons
gydef.zip

uploaded 27-Jan-2002
1,496Kb
FS2002
Original Aircraft

 

This is a real classic, both for FS2002 and in consideration of its real-world counterpart. The Goodyear blimp, Defender, was built in 1929 and used for 5 years as a passenger blimp. Bill Lyons out did himself with this one as it includes very photorealistic textures, electric Goodyear sign, 2D panel, full 3D virtual cockpit and dynamic panel, authentic sounds, and even includes blimp flying lessons for the newbie to lighter than air aircraft. This is a really beautiful download that I’m sure everyone has tried at one time or another, but I just wanted to remind everyone in the event they’re still using FS2002.

 

----Bear!

 


Classic Hot Air Balloon Kit
By Bill Lyons
blns2002.zip

uploaded
10-April-2002
2,580Kb
FS2002
Original Aircraft

 

Always having something unique to release, Bill Lyons had previously released this outstanding example of a hot air balloon that operates and reacts probably as close to the real thing as you could ever hope for. With authentic sounds, 12 different liveries, 2D panel, dynamic 3D virtual cockpit, an authentic appearing burner flame that lights the balloon canopy at night, and a fireworks display (just hit the smoke key, “I”). Probably the best part is how uniquely correct the airfile is considering that most respected airfile designers had felt it wasn’t possible to develop an accurate hot air balloon airfile for FS2002, but Bill Lyons managed to do it and he did it quite well thank you. If you missed this on the last go around, last year, don’t miss this opportunity to go download this unusual and unique aircraft file from the AVSIM library.

 

----Bear!

 

 
 


Fleet Canuck 80
By Bill Lyons
canuck80.zip

uploaded 25-Oct-2001
3,395Kb
FS2002
Original Aircraft

 

Virtual uploaded into the AVSIM library within hours of the release of FS2002 were these wonderful pair of bush-vintage aircraft from Bill Lyons. Listed as for FS2002 only, these are very accurately designed examples of the Fleet Canuck 80, both in wheeled and float versions.

 

Considering that the number of downloads for this package has exceeded 9,000, its most likely you have probably had these on your hard drive at one time or another, but as a little reminder of just how terrific these aircraft were I felt they deserved mentioning again. Both models have a 2D and 3D virtual cockpit (dynamic), authentic sounds, and reflective textures. They were also Bear Gold winners when originally released.

 

----Bear!

 

 
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