A Cessna 182RG Turbo for X-Plane

Surprises are always great unless they involve death or car crashes.  Luckily for the X-Plane community, this post doesn’t have anything to do with death or car crashes.  That means good news for the general aviation crowd running X-Plane (9 or 10 works).

The great news is the .Org (X-Plane.org) purchased from Shade Tree Micro Aviation (STMA, checkout their awesome DHC-3 Otter!) their Cessna Skylane Turbo RG model and have made it free to their members.  Whenever a former payware aircraft goes freeware, you have to take a step back and bring your expectations down a level.   In this case, they don’t have to come down too far.

STMA’s Cessna SkyLane 182RG for X-Plane


I took the Skylane out for a test flight from Three Forks, MT to Bozeman, MT and have to say my expectations were beyond met.  Granted this is an older model and you can tell it is more of X-Plane 8.6 refinement, but the panel, virtual cockpit, flight dynamics, and overall package are superb.   While perhaps lower in quality compared to Carenado’s payware, the overall package delivered here for free sets it apart.

The modeled interior is a welcoming place to spend a few hours.  While the refinement will likely be hard for some to get over, the fact is that the interior is there.  Seating for four, door handles, and yokes have been fully modeled.  While I was a bit disappointed with the 2D-like panel in the virtual cockpit, you have to remind yourself that everything you need is there; light switches, HSI, altimeter, throttles, etc.

Hey, it has a back seat!

The Skylane Turbo packs a bunch with over 200-hp and a cruise speed of 150+ knots.  The retractable gear is also fully animated and its just cool to watch it fold back into the stowed position with this model.    The flight dynamics are “reactive” yet forgiving.  True to the X-Plane feel, you have to fly this plane or set the auto pilot.

Power and speed in a compact package, the SkyLane Turbo is a great companion.

Perhaps one of the best features is the return you get in frame rates.  Running this model on X-Plane 9.70 on my old 2007 iMac with settings cranked fairly high, I was able to get 45+ fps, easy.  That means more processor power for the world around you.

< Cessna SkyLane Turbo 182RG for X-Plane  >

So, if you haven’t already skipped to this part (who reads these posts anyway?), you can download the model over at the .Org.  Just make sure to say a thank you to Shade Tree Micro Aviation and the .Org while you are over there.



Carenado’s Cessna C340II is Out!

If you are a fan of Carenado like me, then just about anything they publish, you will buy.  Its not because they have some strange power over us, but because they produce some of the best payware models available for FS9, FSX, and X-Plane.

Taking off Runway 1 - Paso Robles, CA

So, now that they officially released their Cessna C340II for FSX in HD, you simply must run over to their website and check it out.

< Carenado Cessna C340II >

I took the C340II out for a test flight from Paso Robles, CA to Santa Barbara, CA.  I am highly impressed with the model, fully functional virtual cockpit and cabin, and flight dynamics.  The C340II lifted off the runway effortlessly and flew well.  I can only describe the FDE as having the feel of a larger aircraft, perhaps the Cadillac of the skies as opposed to a Mazda.  Still, the aircraft responded well to inputs and nothing too unpredictable happened.

A view of Paso Robles from the "office".

The only criticism I can offer is that the price tag seems a little steep at $34.95.  I am used to flying mainly freeware add-ons, so that could be why.  Still, the level of model detail inside and out is superb and it comes with a number of repaints in HD.  There are also a number of preset aircraft views (below is one example) to choose from.  Perhaps, the true value comes to those who will spend countless flying this add-on.  How much do you pay for memories? According to Mastercard, they are priceless.

AN example of the many views, Santa Maria is below.

I am looking forward to a much longer flight in this bird and am planning a cross country flight.  Maybe a flight from Santa Barbara to Aspen, CO would be a good way to really put his bird through its paces.  In the meantime, head over to Carenado and grab this bird (link above).

A True FSX Cessna C310

Another nice release today for FSX, Brett Henderson and Alejandro Rojas Lucena release a sweet looking Cessna C310 for FSX.  This model was developed in GMAX and includes a full virtual cockpit and the eye candy we are used to seeing in FSX.   Both of these authors are known their outstanding aircraft, Brett’s C177 (reviewed here) and Alejandro’s B707.

You can take a look at it and other aircraft over at their website Flight Simulations and Designs.  On their main page, they have some development screenshots of a Lockheed L-188 Electra.  Keep an eye on these gentlemen, they are providing us all an outstanding service with their releases!

update 01sep08 – I took FSND’s C310Q for a quick test flight from Santa Barbara Municipal to Santa Maria Public Airport.  I have to say, this is one impressive flightsim model.  From the detailed virtual cockpit to the stable and realistic flight dynamics, to the above average exterior model, this model is a must for everyone’s FSX hangar.  Some screenshots below for your enjoyment! 


front shot c310

Climbing out of SBA, the engine and wing detail of this model is superb.



Crossing the Gaviota Vortac at 6,000 feet.

Crossing the Gaviota Vortac (GVO) at 6,000 feet.


The virtual cockpit is a wonderful place to do business.

The virtual cockpit is a wonderful place to do business.


Landing runway 30, Santa Maria after a joyful flight.

Landing runway 30, Santa Maria after a joyful flight.


On the Aviation Unlimited ramp at SMX.  Plenty of eye candy in this model.

On the Aviation Unlimited ramp at SMX. Plenty of eye candy in this model.

I have got to thank FSND for developing this model and releasing it as freeway.  I can see many hours of joyful flight simulator time in the virtual cockpit of this new model.  Thank you!