Anyone up for a spin in a French, tandem military trainer? I am! I am! And thanks to Kylian Bernard, I can actually fly it in a virtual world without putting all of my real world readers in danger! 😉
The Socata TB-30 Epsilon was concieved in 1977 as a replacment for the 1950’s era Fouga Magister. It first flew in December 1979 and underwent an extensive redesign due to poor handling. Once students completed their training in the Epsilon, they would step up to the Dassualt-Dornier Alpha Jet. <reference>
The Epsilon’s styling reminds me a lot of a cross between the Pilatus PC-9 and the T-38 Talon with the cowl of a Socata Tobago. Its open canopy design and swept fuselage culminating at a tail that looks out of proportion to the rest of the aircraft. As sexy as it is, the mind wonders how it is to fly it.
And flying it is a joy! While takeoff is leisurely with its flat-six piston pushing a two-blade prop, once in the air, the Epsilon handles beautifully. Pull back on the stick, firewall the throttle, bank left and just imagine your guts slamming against your spine and your lunch coming up the back of your throat. Yes, it flies beautifully!
At just over 15-megabytes, the download is a decent size compared to larger downloads for FSX. The package contains sounds, gauges, and three liveries. Being French, the readme.txt file and documentation are written in French, which made troubleshooting the gauge difficult.
Yes, there is a problem with the gauges not showing upon installation. The instructions, when translated at Google, do not mention any installation steps. I simply copied the TB_30_Epsilon folder to my FS9 Airplanes directory. Unfrotunately, after launching the simluator, the virtual cockpit lacked gauges. There was a gauges folder in the aircraft directory so I copied them to FS9/Gauges. No go. Hmmm. I checked the Panel.cfg file and noticed that the gauges were referenced in a TB_30_Epsilon directory. To make a long story short, I created the named directory in the Gauges directory, copied them over and it worked!
The fix for the gauges is as follows: Create a directory named TB_30_Epsilon in the FS9 Gauges folder and then copy all the gauges from the download gauges folder to the new directory you just created. (see above screenshot) Gauges will now show.
Overall, I am extremely happy with the quality of this download. Kylian Bernard’s Epsilon is a must have for your FS9 virtual hangar. Lots of fun to fly, incredible detail in the model and sexy good-looks help set this one above the others.
Best of all, you can buzz the tower in a wonderfully detailed, tandem-seat, French trainer without getting your PPL revoked by the FAA. Good stuff!
Filename: tb30_epsilon.zip <avsim>
Author: Kylian Bernard