Not quite sure who’ll go for aeroSOFT’s latest scenery file, but it’s out. Helgoland (Heligoland) almost fits into a specialists niche in X-plane, and there’ve been decent freeware files for this airport/island as far back as version 8 – so the immediate question has to be: Was there a pressing need for this one?
Well, yes, I think the case can be made for this one. Easily.
If you fly around northern Europe this is a great training destination – for VOR navigation and even dead reckoning work (assuming anyone still does that kind of thing these days). It’s also an ass-puckering STOL airport that’ll test even the jaded among us, so you can consider this a fun airport to test your skills at. There are wind farms out and about, and they’re a minor challenge to find with vis set at around 20 nmi or less, so give that a try, too, and you’ll get your monies worth from this one.
Another thing to consider. Alabeo released their Cessna 207 Skywagon this week, and I’d say these two files were meant for one another. It’s not a cakewalk to land this thing on the shorter runways here, but give it a try. More below…!
Flughafen Helgoland-Düne is located on the smaller of the two island out here (Düne), and it’s a gem. Built during WWII, the current iteration has been modified a few times recently but the runways in this file look like the originals, i.e., robust concrete and nicely textured. There are three runways, but one (6/24) is only 850 feet. The longest (15/33) is 1575 feet, while the most interesting in the C207 is 3/21 at 1200 feet. You’ve got to hit the threshold and make sure you have “Hold Brakes at Maximum” mapped to your stick! Another trick? As soon as you’re down raise the flaps immediately: you’re dumping lift that way and therefore applying more downward force on the tires, so you’ll have more braking force, sooner.
Alabeo’s 207 is kind of an unexpected treat, too. Rather that feeling like just another GA single, this acf is actually capable of becoming quite a handful – especially when loaded near max gross takeoff weight ( don’t try that here unless you want to swim from your Cessna). Anyway, you’ll find PBR materials on both the acf and main elements of the scenery file, and there is some HDR lighting scattered around the two islands so if you can, try to get HDR up and running on your computer.
Oh, the 207 is fully Xp11 compliant, and includes a “bush” option as well as a wheel fairings option. There’s a single G530 and a decent AP, but lite IFR is about all you’ll want to try in this rig. Where this file excels is at low speed; the 207 is a handful close to stall speed, and with an unexpected rate of descent that will catch the less experienced pilot with bad results. Of course, this is an advantage if you know how to use it, and with the powerful 300 Hp Continental up front you have what it takes to tame that beast if it gets away from you.
Instruments are very clear and nicely lighted, and both the Garmin and the AP are “pop-up” enabled so quite easy to use. Of course, as Alabeo is part of the Carenado family interior detailing is second to none.
All told, aeroSOFT’s latest is a winner, but it’s aimed at a narrow market so keep that in mind. Back in v9 a file for EDWY Norderney came out and that’s an ideal jumping-off-point for this trip (out to the islands); you can find the file here. This part of the German coast is gorgeous (the East Frisian Isles) and it would be nice to see this old airport updated for Xp 11. Here’s a brief sequence from EDWY out to the islands in the new C210, to help put things in perspective:
Still, I can’t quite bring myself to call this new Helgoland scenery file a Must Have, as it really is too specialized for a broad audience to take advantage of. That said, if you have any interest at all in flying around here, this is a good place to start, and the file really is quite good. You may find yourself entranced by flying around here, and note that Hannover and Hamburg are not at all far away.
The Skywagon? A Must Have for old school Cessna fans.
Cami de Bellis’ latest Kiribati file: NGTE
There are two airports in this file, both quite interesting, and CDB’s Polynesian villages are becoming more and more immersive. Get the file here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/45144-tabiteuea-atoll-kiribati/
Drop by her site and check out her work; donations encouraged.
EDDV Hannover by Pfeffer
Updated to v4; this is a major update, and it’s worth the download. Get it here: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/34929-eddv-hannover-airport-haj/
Thanks for dropping by. Happy trails – C