In the last days I was flying the Alabeo WACO YMF-5 for X-Plane flight simulator. In real life this aircraft was built in 1986 by WACO Classic Aircraft Company. It is still produced today and you can buy a new one for a price around $430,000 USD. The modelled WACO YMF-5 is a very beautiful aircraft and is a mix of two worlds. It is a Golden Age style aircraft with modern IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) capability of the 90’s. The WACO YMF-5 have a double wing style and a fully equipped cockpit for IFR flights. It has a Jacobs R755A2 engines with 300 HP and a wooden fixed pitch propeller that gives aircraft a cruise speed of 127 mph.
This add-on is fully compatible with the X-Plane 9 and 10 (32/64 bits). For this review I use the X-Plane 10 64 bits.
Installation and Manuals
The installer has 109MB and the installation process was as easy as only need to unzip the installer file to the aircraft folder of X-Plane. Inside the add-on folder is a sub directory with 6 documents that provides the following information:
3 pages with recommended settings for joystick and graphics in X-Plane to get the most realistic feeling and performance using this add-on.
1 page with a datasheet of WACO YMF-5 with information that is important to know.
2 pages with copyright information and credits.
It is sad that not exist a document that fully covers all the cockpit panel. Anyway, it isn’t a complex aircraft and you can easily master it as soon as you finish your first flight.
The 3D model of this add-on is very detailed and impressively well-made. All the antennas and tiny details are there, including the workable fuel gauges below the upper wing. Everything that moves in real life are animated in this model. The front cockpit door and cover can be opened through a provided 2D menu. All the flight control surfaces are animated and when you see the aircraft from outside an animated pilot exist in the rear seat.
This add-on includes four liveries based on real models plus one blank to use as a template for custom paints. The textures are all in high definition and not blur when zoomed.
Typical of Alabeo add-on’s, it includes a well-made and impressive prop 3D holographic and volumetric effect.
This aircraft is not only beautiful at day, at night it also has all lights working like the real aircraft.
Inside and systems
For all people that never saw the cockpit of this aircraft, after watching it from outside, will be very surprised on how an old style looking aircraft are so well equipped inside.
This aircraft is well equipped with navigation gauges and radios and all systems work as expected. The cockpit is all in 3D and are very detailed and fully animated. Through the mentioned 2D panel you can also enable the instrument reflections and the non-transparent windshield. These features plus the high definition textures of the cockpit improves the quality of this add-on.
Usual in Alabeo add-on’s, and I really like to see, is a 2D panel that have pre-defined camera positions and a field of view adjustment. This panel is very useful while flying.
The cockpit looks very realistic and gives you a good feel of being there. It hasn’t a plastic look that sadly some add-on’s have.
Through the pre-defined camera positions I could go to the cockpit in front and was a nice surprise to check the quality of it. That position have the same quality as the rear main cockpit. It has all gauges working, with animations and with high quality textures.
At night this add-on is also well-made, you can smoothly adjust the gauges light intensity as in the real aircraft.
Flying, sound and performance
I did some flights with this add-on. I like it and this Alabeo add-on has a very realistic behaviour. As the real aircraft you can even lock and unlock the tail wheel and because his tail-dragger nature, I could do some nice manoeuvres while taxing.
It was a pleasure to pilot it and because his well-equipped cockpit his longevity increases. With this add-on you can do nice VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and IFR flights. It hasn’t an autopilot and you don’t need to worry about that because it is a very stable aircraft and very easy to pilot.
The sound quality of this add-on is impressive. Immediately after you load the aircraft with the engine running you will notice why so many people prefer prop engines than jets. It has a powerful and great sound. The start engine sequence is very good and you feel as if you are in the real aircraft. In matter of sounds Alabeo also includes many details, like the sound of knobs, buttons and door animation.
Despite all the 3D details and HD textures this add-on runs very smoothly in my PC even using the HDR turned on and over very complex scenery.
It is a great aircraft for X-Plane 9/10. This add-on is very beautiful and well-made, fun to pilot and also good for your VFR and IFR flights. I’m happy with it and with a low price of 19.95 USD I recommend this add-on. For FSX/P3D users, also exist a version of Alabeo WACO YMF-5 to these flight simulators at the same price.
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Intel i7 920 2.4GHz, 6GB RAM, ATI/AMD Radeon HD6970 2GB
TM Hotas Warthog, TM WCS, CH TQ, Track IR, Raildriver, Logitech G25
Windows 7 Ultimate x64