So, there’s a new player now. A new aircraft file developer…Milviz, or Military Visualizations, an FsX dev that’s specialized in, you guessed it, military aircraft like the F4 Phantom over the years…so of course they come to X-plane with a Cessna 310. Two new freeware airports to look at today as well, one by ruifo, another in west-central Germany. An interesting development in AP tech came to light this week, and we’ll cover that a bit too, but first, let’s look at some noteworthy new paints…
For the FF763, a well done TAM One World, seen here at SCEL Santiago, Chile.
And a new Delta 763 PW WL, also at SCEL:
And for the Rotate MD80, Saudi Arabian, at OMDB:
Always nice to welcome a new dev to the market, and especially good to have another GA developer enter the fray. “Milviz” comes to Xp with a background in military jets, but they’ve made their fair share of GA singles and twins, too…including a good looking Baron and (insert drum roll here) a Cessna 310.
So, fresh on the heels of Digital Replica’s 310L, Milviz hits the market with a 310R, which also just happens to be the model that Alabeo has made for FsX/P3D. The Alabeo model differs primarily in panel color and instrument choice, though I’d dearly love to see this .acf come to Xp – soon:
I’ve made several flights in this new .acf today and formed a couple of opinions worth sharing, so let’s work through them, all while referring to the images below.
First, the physical model is quite good and appears much smoother than Digital Replica’s (as seen in a few rough transitions on the DR fuselage). The Milviz interior is okay, not quite Carenado Class – but very close. The black panel is mundane and a black hole at night, but instruments are lighted very well, among the best lighted I’ve encountered in a GA .acf in Xp. Manipulators and switch controls are smooth and trouble free, especially on the HSI. There are dual “Lean Assist” type control heads, a variety of optional Garmin placements via plug-in, but no second VOR/ILS head and no radar altimeter. Fuel tank and cowl flap controls are hard to see and a pain to use, and there is no quick “camera view” tab to help out here. Garmin ops are Laminar, so no surprises. Starting cold and dark is a no brainer, though the parking brake control is hard to see with the yoke in place. Textures take advantage of HDR lighting and the overall effect is quite a pleasure to see, especially at night on lighted ramps.
A flight in marginal VFR conditions between MMMM and MMMX produced a few surprises, however. The G530 was programmed with SID/STAR to runway 5R, transitioning to the ILS/DME approach (109.1) at PLAZA/8300MSL…
And the AP simply refused to lock on to the localizer, even though GS capture was uneventful. After running into the same bug on the TBM900 I am now more suspicious than ever that there’s been a change in Xp11.30bx that’s affecting AP operations. This is more interesting as a new update to the TBM came out this afternoon indicating they’ve found a fix, so I’ll be running that down tomorrow.
Anyway, I killed the AP and flew the ILS manually, then did two touch and goes on the same runway, trying various things to get the LOC capture and without success. The net result? The Milviz 310 has a really docile flight model, not quite an FsX “flight model on rails” feel…not at all stressful…but trim response is slow. As in very slow. Another potential issue? The AP hunts when trying to lock in a VS command, to the tune of about +/- 300fpm, which I find unacceptable.
Here’s the plate I used:
Anyway, I think the LOC issue is hidden deep in 11.30bx code, so I’ll try more approaches on my KIDA-KSLC run and let you know what happens.
Many images above were taken at ruifo’s latest updated airport, at MMMM Morelia, a small commercial airport located about 100nmiWNW of Mexico City, so on the windward side of the Sierra Madre. This is another sweet little Lego-brick airport (and with another excellent car park!) that has a bunch of flights to the US (KDFW, KORD, KIAH, all over California) as well as domestic and regional destinations (see the complete list here), and GA flights to Mexico City take you high over the mountains (and more than a few volcanos) so consider this a fun airport to tinker with.
The tree-lined runway is a treat, runway and taxiway markings are perfect, and this one is just a joy to use, as all of ruifo’s airports have been to date. 10/10…Must Have.
Another small commercial airport hit the Org today: EDDR Saarbrücken, which is located about 110nmi S of EDDK Köln and so right in the thick of things. All the basics are here and done quite well too, though the terminal is a little on the dim side at night. Enough commercial OPS here to be interesting; check out the list here, including LGRP Rhodes.
As I’m in Xp11.30b2 I wanted to call your attention to the new AP in the non-G1000 Cessna 172, and I’ve included the excellent, and brief, tutorial Laminar commissioned for this new APs introduction. I’d assume this little bugger will filter out into almost all new GA files in short order, so if I were you I wouldn’t skip this video, and I’d take notes, too:
At any rate, this AP opens up a few new doors for serious OPS with the smaller Garmin heads, and I checked this out with a programmed flight up to Köln. Now…if only Laminar would drop an HSI into the baby Cessna…!
So…a lot to digest today…not least of which is the Laminar C172. If you haven’t been in this one in a while, you owe it to yourself to hop in this old girl and take her for a spin. She payware quality, and then some!
Next, concerning the Milviz 310R: I like this .acf; it looks good and flies better than good. The AP issue is trivial at this point; it could as easily be my error as it might be a bug in 11.30bx…and I need to chase it down a little. That said, if you already have the Digital Replica 310L and are curious about this one, I’d hesitate to call them similar aircraft, and I know that sounds odd but hear me out. The L model at X-Aviation is truly a late-50s panel, while the Milviz panel is more like a circa mid-70s panel, so I find it more reasonable to think of these two files as complimentary to one another, and so not competing files. If you only want one 310, let that be your guidepost…i.e., do you want a really old school panel, or something a little more up to date? Or, who knows, maybe Alabeo will port theirs to Xp and then we’ll truly have an embarrassment of riches. That said, I hope they do.
At this point I’d say the Milviz 310 is a very good addition to the GA stable of aircraft in X-plane, and I’d not hesitate to recommend it to anyone wanting a high performance twin. The panel is a little spartan for heavy IFR use but it’ll get you home if the weather turns unexpectedly bad on you, yet the .acf has a lot more going for it, including bodacious sounds, a near Carenado Class interior, and a pleasant flight model. Try it Down Mexico Way, but keep an eye out for rocks in the clouds.
The Milviz 310R is available at their store (here) for about 40 buckeroos.
We’ll seeya soon with more updates from Chaos Manor. Hasta later…