In the last weeks I was flying the Alabeo Cessna C195 Businessliner. This add-on is based on the real aircraft with the same name. The C195 entered production in 1947 and 1180 were built including all versions. It is a classic and beautiful general aviation aircraft and also been operated by the USA military forces.
The model reproduced by Alabeo has a Jacobs R755A-2 engine that produce a maximum cruise speed of 178 mph. Typical for its age, it is a tail dragger aircraft and without any GPS gadget. It is a lovely aircraft for VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flights. Also, important to mention, it is equipped with a HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator) and a Navigation Radio associated with it. These instruments enable some radio navigation flights.
The Alabeo C195 that I tested was developed for X-Plane 10.30 or higher and I use it in my X-Plane 10.31 64 bits version.
Installation and Manuals
The installer is a Zip file with 106MB. As many X-Plane add-on’s, to install the Alabeo C195 you only need to unzip this file to the X-Plane’s Aircraft folder. Inside the C195 directory exist a document folder that has seven files and they cover the following areas:
Reference speeds, performance table and detailed normal procedures to correctly pilot this add-on.
X-Plane 10 graphic and joystick settings to improve the experience while using this add-on.
Using the mouse on the cockpit controls.
Copyright and credits information.
Including all sections, the manual has 16 pages and covers everything that you need to master this kind of aircraft. Anyway it’s an easy aircraft and everyone can fully manage it after few time flying it.
As other Alabeo add-on’s, the 3D model of this aircraft is amazing. It includes all tiny details like the rivets, antennas, lightbulbs. This add-on have four liveries based on real C195 models plus one blank for custom paints. The textures are in high definition and not blur when you are close to the aircraft.
The details go also to animations. Everything that moves in the real aircraft are animated here as well. These animations include the controllable flight surfaces, doors and the pilots all with realistic animations. Regarding the propeller, Alabeo developers did a great job, it has a very realistic prop 3D holographic effect. It includes a volumetric effect and is beautiful to see.
Through two 2D panels, you can configure and operate many things in this add-on. There, you can adjust your field of view and go to pre-defined useful vision positions. The doors can be operated through these panels and you can also insert or remove the wheels fairings, the static elements and the cabin sun shields.
At night this add-on is also well-done, all lights work like the real aircraft.
Inside and systems
The quality inside was not forgotten. The 3D models and textures are so well-done that in some situations is hard to believe that some screenshots are from the PC and not real photos.
The gauges and controls works as expected and the reflections and illumination of them increases much the feel of being there. It’s not a full certified aircraft for IFR flights, but as mentioned before, it still has some equipment to help you in your flights. It’s an aircraft that if you already have experience with other traditional Cessna, you will fully understand all the buttons, knobs and controls.
For all VFR old-school General Aviation aircraft fans, this add-on is amazing.
Important to mention is the new and very useful feature that gives the ability to rotate the knobs and operate the engine controls using the mouse wheel. This feature is a great one because gives a very realistic feel when using the cockpit controls.
Flying, sound and performance
I spent many hours with great pleasure while virtual piloting this C195. It hasn’t autopilot and not need it. The C195 is a very stable aircraft and have 3 axis trims. In all my flights I feel that it has a very real behaviour. It also has a good weight and balance.
It is a nice aircraft to bush flights, it can take off and land in short runways, have a great manoeuvrability and a nice cruise speed.
Regarding sound, again, this C195 add-on is impressive. It has a powerful and high definition sound. The start and ignition of the engine is a pleasure to listen, usual with all radial prop engines.
This add-on runs very smoothly in my PC even using the HDR turned on and over complex scenery.
It is a very beautiful and amazing aircraft. The 3D detail and textures quality gives you a feel of being on the real aircraft. It is a perfect add-on for VFR that is very easy to manage and pilot. With a cost of 22.95 USD this is a must-to-have aircraft for all old-school general aviation fans, but not restricted to them. Alabeo, well-done.
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