Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Carenado F33A Bonanza. Our own screenshots

FS9. Yes. Sure. There are many developers out there with pristine skill when it comes to developing general aviation aircraft renders for home based PC flight simulators. But there are only 3 developers whom I personally credit for not only continuing to develop new skills, but for revolutionizing the craft of GA development itself. These are the teams of Milton Shupe, William Ortis, and the team I am here to discuss: Carenado. These guys have stunned the FS community on the news that years after dropping the platform we know as FS9.5, finally, we get a very in-depth look at their return to the platform and the undeniable skill the team is bringing with them. Many are talking, the excitement is growing. Let's find out why. Bandwidth Warning! 70 mouth watering screenshots inside. That's right. 70.

The return to FS9.

Mathijs Kok, someone whom we highly respect, recently made some statements about FS9 (as he always does) and its inferiority to FSX. There are many reasons why various developers have abandoned the platform and why so many have chosen to stick with it. But 'till now, only 1 has returned. This is truly an opportunity for all those whining FS9ners to put their money where their mouths are.

I am one of those complaining people. One of Mathijs' many points regarding the dying field that supports FS9 is that the FS9 base is still large but few FS9 people are still spending money for the platform. Now I can disagree and debate against that statement 'till the cows come home. The bottom line here is Carenado has made an investment into the FS9 customer base.  They have put their cards on the table. It's now up to the FS9 fanbase to put proof in the pudding. So with that said, let's just see what Carenado did for FS9 here and why it's so impressive.

Ah wait, before we start, I need to reference some material. Ah here it is, an article written by Bill Ortis last year. Please read it if you haven't before:

Now what is so important about that article for those who are unaware of it, is a technique developed by whom I assume is still an unknown developer although known now as Touch The Sky Simulations. Simply put, he discovered a way to beat the FS9 code and render objects to such a finite and detailed way, FS9 aircraft could actually match the same level of detail of FSX aircraft minus some FSX features of course. I won't go too much into this because you will get all the information you need from the above referenced article.

To date, the only developer to actually implement this technique into FS9 aircraft is Bill Ortis himself. We see this work implemented on his Avelina and WT-9 Dynamic aircraft respectively. I am behind working on a unfinished review of the Avelina to be published in coming weeks.

So the question to be asked here is: was this technique used here? When Carenado first broke news of this development, the team mentioned they had "invested in a new technique which allows porting some FSX developed aircraft into FS2004." So it is not clear if they developed a whole new technique or if in part, portions of the technique in Bill's review were used. Either way, what I can say is along with the Avelina and Dynamic, this among is the most detailed aircraft ever developed for FS9. And by far the most detailed aircraft for FS9 developed by Carenado.
When Carenado first broke the news, I could not believe my eyes! I honestly thought they were screwing with me. But after the news marinated a bit, I then asked myself: Why the Bonanza? We already have several Bonanzas developed for FS9. The best of course developed by Carenado themselves. Why not the C340, C90B, C337H or AC11? Aircraft much more needed in the FS9 market. Then it hit me. I need to compare this thing to the older Carenado Bonanza and see what the difference really is.
The difference was so big, it's a disgrace to call them both Bonanzas! I looked at my older Carenado and couldn't think of why I thought it was so good. I quickly put the other Bonanza back into the hangar and rolled the the new toy back out.
The thing here is, it's not just the looks that separate this gem from its predecessor. It's the way it flies and sounds as well. I was very taken off guard on how this aircraft handles. Carenado, did not just do a simple backport to get an airplane into FS9. They really took their time and went over every ounce of code to make sure this model performs as well as the FSX model or should I say as close as the real thing.
The next thing as I mentioned is the sounds. This baby sounds DAMN good! I sat on the airfield for like 5 minutes just reviving the engine. Oh heck yeah! I don't use a simple sound system with my PC. I use Realtek HD run through a digital optical cable to a Sony 5.1 receiver so I get good bass through the LFE. And lets not mention the THX audio software that crystallizes the sound. So like yeah, I had the volume up way high while my wife was out just sitting here reviving the engine. I'm such a looser...
Besides those amazing sounds, comes the enhanced features and full manuals you can view while you fly within the sim. Having engine trouble? A simple keystroke command whips out the manual to help you stay on track. It's more than enough in the manual to properly handle and maintain this bird.
I really love how this plane moves. Even while taxiing the maneuvering is very realistic. And it shakes those thighs very well in the way it bounces while it rolls. The sound of the flaps and gear impresses too.
Taking a look at the business end we see a very detailed virtual cockpit complete with everything you need. The yoke is removable so you can get a better view of switches. If you use TrackIR 5 like me, then you can just sit up and look over the yoke.
Just look at the interior textures. The detail is amazing to say the least.
When I lifted this baby off the ground for the first time I was immediately taken aback by the handling characteristics. This baby does not handle like my old Bonanza. I actually trained my wife on the old Bonanza and it's her aircraft of choice when she sits at the controls. I don't have the heart to let her fly this one as it might discourage her. This new F33A is not as forgiving as the older version.
My flight controls are set to a very sensitive setting so just slight movements yield quick results. I found myself needing a steadier hand than usual.
Overall I did not find myself enjoying the first flight because I was so nervous. I was not comfortable like I am with my other proptoys. This is a good thing! It challenged me, which is something new planes don't seem to do these days.
Another interesting thing is I seemed to feel the weight of this thing as I lifted off. That was nice. The weight and balance is damn near dead on. The approach was smooth but I really needed my rudder pedals with this plane to keep her on target.
I did not manage my flare too well as I am just too used to the lighter feel of my older planes. As a result, I came down harder than i should have. This plane feels heavy.
But where I was impressed with this landing is how the aircraft bobbed and bounced without lifting off the ground. The shocks make themselves very apparent with this plane. It just looks and feels so real and that is what sets this plane apart from everything else in my hangar.

Let's have a look at the detail that went into this project.
I was still in Hungary wrapping up my previous review but hopped on a flight to France where I am following the Tour de France. So that's where we are now at the little airport of Megeve.
Let's take a closer look at the amazing detail that is found all over this aircraft.
A really awesome feature here is the moving passenger seat. How cool is that?
Just look at the amazing detail! So clear and readable. The textures, the quality. This thing is very real!
Here we see the full panel. Just about everything is clickable and has functions. No dummies. The trim wheel is fully animated as well.
Having a closer look you can clearly seethe depth and detail. No comparison to the older version.
I love the window decals here. Well done. Perfectly clear and legible.
The autopilot, light switches, trim wheel. All looks like the real thing. Highly detailed. It's okay to get close!
Even the carpet is well detailed. I love the different interior colors and panels.
The view from the cargo compartment. You should not hang out back here! Nice leather!
No hit on frames by the way. This baby is smooth as silk! After all, it's FS9!
Here you have the option to toggle luggage, pitot flags, and wheel chokes.
Nice slick design.
All the wording on this bird is very clearly readable.
Another look down the business end shows a very detailed and realistic instrument panel.
Everything is exactly where it should be.
Lifting off again I still felt surprised by the flight handling. I was not as settled into my seat like normal. I was a bit tense.
Taking off at a higher elevation did not help either. The bird really performs like the real thing. Besides, I am too comfortable at my simulator these days anyway.
This baby looks great in the world of FS9. And the FPS hanging at about 60-75, the scenery blows by fast.
Yes fast. When I first started flight simming 10 years ago it was all about flying 747's. I only got into GA's about 2 years ago and I find them to be more challenging and fun to fly then the heavies.
Here I am flying low above the trees, watching them whip by. Can't get this same experience in an A320.
Another close up of the amazing detail.
An exterior of the bird. She is very sexy!
It's fun to fly through the canyons.
Let's test the performance and climb this baby!
Now much higher, she chops the air well but not too fast. It's more fun to keep her under 6,000MSL
Cruise time!
Here we see another livery and interior textures.
Very nicely done!
The textures almost have an HD type of look. Sure it looks better in FSX but not damn bad in FS9.
Here are some close up shots of the exterior textures.
Look at that crafting! Nicceeee!!!
I really like the liveries here!
Again, well crafted.
Here is a good look at the belly. Awesome textures!
On the plain white model we get a good look at the window reflections and textures.
Now here we get back on topic of the technique. Look for the NAV/GPS slave. Can you read it?
And here is is up close.
That is just too cool. Okay, let's see how this girl dresses up at night shall we?
This is one beautiful aircraft!
 Everything lights up as you should expect.
 With the dome lights off we see just how well the panel is lit for night flying conditions.
Here though, I wish there was a better way to light up the aircraft from the exterior. It just looks too dark.
 In this shot I lit up the environment a bit so we can at least see it.
 From the outside the panel is seen lit up very well.
Another feature I did not mention here is the animated pilot. This dude looks very realistic and has a facial expression that means business.

Overall on a scale of 1-100, I am 150% pleased with this aircraft. The detail, flying characteristics, sounds, features are all to die for. (metaphorically speaking) Carenado has lived up to their expectations in terms of quality, but they have certainly exceeded my expectations for FS9 aircraft. The last 2 planes to do this were the Lionheart Avelina, and QualityWings Avro.

For a mere $22 bucks this aircraft is a steal! What a way for Carenado to return to the world of FS9. There are so many others I want including my alltime favorite aircraft: the Socata TBM850 currently in development. So I truly hope all the whining FS9ners put up the investment in FS9's future. Even if you are not a Bonanza fan, buy it anyway because future FS9 developments are dependent on the Bonanza's success.

Now i did my part on giving you every reason to buy this gem. Not it's your turn to do yours! BUY IT!!

I want to thank the Carenado team for once again producing such a lovely work of art and I for one am looking very much forward to the next FS9 release! So what will it be? My hope is the C340 II! or wait the C90B KING AIR, yeah! or maybe the  C337H SKYMASTER! or... ah! Forget it! I look forward to the next FS9 release!

The F33A Bonanza is now available from Carenado!  and on Simmarket! Go get it!

As always! Thanks for reading!


D'Andre Newman

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AirDailyX - Passionate about flight simulation!


Anonymous said...

Ok...on my way to buy..but what scenery is that? Where can I find it to enjoy the same flight

DAndre Newman said...

Well there were 2 sceneries used here from LHSimulations and one scenery from LLHcreations.

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