I had been wanting to get and try Alabeo's Piper Seminole since they published it on their Facebook page. I'm also grateful they released both an analoge and electronic instrument panel. I purchased it on the day of release and I've been testing it with real-life maneuvers and procedures. I'm using a 1995 Piper Seminole Information Manual, because it's the model they've made. I flew a Beechcraft Duchess for my commercial multi-engine certification, but I've always loved the Seminole. I'll fly it in a few weeks because of a licencing conversion requirement, and this is why I was really interested on buying and using it in my FSX:SE.
Anyway, I've been training with it doing all real-world phases of flight and training maneuvers/procedures: Pre-flight inspection, before starting engines procedure, before taxiing procedure, taxiing, run-up, before-takeoff procedure, normal takeoff, cruise climb, cruise, slow flight, power-on/off stalls, steep turns, Vmc demonstration, simulated one-engine-inoperative procedure with securing and restart, emergency descent, instrument approach with a simulated OEI, normal landing, and a simulated OEI visual pattern.
I must say the textures are beautiful, the flight dynamics and performance throughout the maneuvers is excellent. I'm really happy how the Vmc demonstration goes. The sound can be better, but it does the job. I really like what Alabeo has done!
Now the observations. Starting with the issues that can be fixed easily in the aircraft.cfg:
Viewpoint too low and forward. Fixed in .cfg
Flaps could only be actuated with electrical power. They are manual. Fixed in .cfg
Nose-wheel turn angle was at 20. Fixed to 30 in the .cfg
Governing RPM was at 2000. Changed to 1100 in the .cfg
Fuel metering was set to fuel injection. Changed to carburetor in .cfg
No gear warning when flaps past 10 degree point. Fixed in .cfg, copied the sound file and changed name in the airplane sounds
Fuel selectors are in "all [tanks]" by default. Sometimes they appear to be on, but when you put the mouse over them, they show "off". They should be on, on their respective tank side by default. I kind of solve this issue by saving a flight with the airplane configured in the cold-and-dark mode, with cowl flaps open and fuel selectors on their respective sides, but when you click the cold-and-dark option in the panel again, they go to "all/off"
Cabin heat / fan switch is wrong. When you select cabin heat it's actually on fan, and when you select fan, it's actually on cabin heat
Ammeters have no indication. (As I confirmed from the other topics)
Cylinder heat temperature indication is wrong after maintaining one engine at a low power setting/shut down
Strobe lights / Fin strobe switch doesn't do the job well. When you select strobe lights, only strobes go on (should be both strobes and beacon). When you select fin strobe, both strobe and beacon are on (should be beacon only)
When the engines are off (alternator switches on or off, doesn't matter), there's no ALT indication on the annunciator panel. When the engines are on, and one or both alternators are off, there's no ALT indication. When you turn the left alternator off, you get the LO BUS indication. That's not right, because the other alternator is providing enough power (if not exceeding 60 amps and the tie bus is above 12.5 VDC)
No vacuum gauge (should be where the clock is)
Clock should be to the left of the airspeed indicator
When checking the feather on the run-up, if you allow the props to be on feather by less than a second, the engines will shut down. This should not happen that quickly
The pilot-side sunvisor performance table and documents are from the early Seminoles (70s-80s). I don't mind this, though
I also noticed the cylinder displacement in the .cfg to be at 60 and the compression ratio at 7.5. The performance was good in flight comparing with the performance tables, but I thought this was weird, because with other Alabeo airplanes, both the cylinder displacement and the compression ratio were correct for the type of engine. The Seminole has two 180HP O-360 with a 8.5:1 compression ratio. It means the cylinder displacement should be 90. I corrected them in the .cfg, but the performance wasn't correct anymore. I'm happy with the performance with the original settings, though, so this is not a major issue.
In general, it's a good add-on and it will help many student pilots train the procedures and maneuvers in the sim. I say it's worth the $34.95, considering they fix these few things.
Have a good week!