The Cessna C172 Skyhawk is one of the most classic aircraft in the aviation history. It was made by the Cessna Aircraft Company and are still in production with around 60.000 units made. It’s the aircraft more produced in the world and it’s very popular. The C172 is a four seat single engine aircraft and it’s perfect for many kinds of jobs, including training. It was introduced at 1956 and the last versions are well equipped and let this airplane do IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) flights. The aircraft reviewed today is the C172R made by A2A Simulations as an add-on for the FSX (Flight Simulator X). This C172R is one of the latest versions and is powered by a Lycoming IO-360-L2A engine rated at 180 hp.
This company is well known to have a module, called accusim, installed on many of their add-ons. The accusim module gives to their base aircraft many characteristics and features beyond the FSX limits. This C172 is no exception and again pushed forward the limits of what can be made for the FSX.
The download file with the installer is almost 230MB. After unzip it, the Installation procedure runs like a charm. Later I installed the last patch available at the moment. The manual provided is one of the best manuals I saw for this kind of add-on. It has 102 pages and cover all information that you need to know. It includes the following areas:
- All the features explained and a very complete and interesting history of the real C172.
- Normal and emergency procedures with great detail and the associated checklists.
- Performance charts and aircraft specifications.
- How all systems work, including the engine, avionics and propeller.
The manual are full of pictures to give an easy and pleasure reading experience.
The 3D model of this aircraft and their textures are very detailed in high definition quality. It didn’t blur even with high levels of zoom. The reflections are well made and the overall look of this aircraft is as if it was real. The package includes three distinct liveries based on real models.
The aircraft inside has the same quality as outside. Everything is very detailed and in 3D. All the gauges are well made and easy to read. The knobs, buttons and levers are modelled to works as the real aircraft. The light effects at night looks very realistic. Many of the lights can be adjusted smoothly and independently as in the real aircraft.
All the gauges are well modelled and you can easily configure the radios stack for what you want. Without any need for manual files change, you have a full integration with the Reality XP Garmin G530 or G430. This configuration have many combinations, from different types of GPS to a radio stack without any GPS. The radios and avionics included are an authentic representation of the Bendix King Avionics stack. It includes the KMA 26 Audio Panel, two KX 155A NAV/COMMS, KR 87 ADF, KT 76C Transponder, KN 62A DME, and a KAP 140 Two Axis Autopilot. All worked correctly like the real aircraft.
This aircraft has many 2D windows that are very useful. For example, they cover the following functionalities, features and information available:
- Aircraft configuration panel. Here, you can for example insert or remove the wheel chocks, or open and close the doors. In this panel you can also remove yoke for a better vision of the lower part of the cockpit. Important button in this panel is the Damage On/Off if you want to disable some realism features to have a more relaxing flight. Also, exist a reset button if something goes really bad after a not so good flight.
- Full and detailed Pre-flight inspection with interactive task to do.
- Information and recommendations like the checklists for each flight stage and the estimated range and endurance.
- Aircraft fuel and weight load manager that dynamically in-game change the weight and centre of balance of your C172. The pilots and crew chosen will also show in 3D and are realistically animated.
- The impressive maintenance hangar. There you can configure many aspects of the aircraft that will influence their performance and use. These can be the type of battery, tires, propeller, oil or spark plugs. In this panel you can also make a full inspection of your engine and see the status of each engine sub-system. There you can also do a compression test check of the engine cylinders. In this panel you can also remove or insert the wheel fairing and the flaps seals. It will change the visual look of the aircraft as also the aerodynamic performance of your C172.
The sounds are perfect and was recorded from the real aircraft in high quality stereo. Each button has his own sound and the roar of the engine and his starting sound is top-notch quality.
The flight model of this aircraft was made to match as perfectly as possible the real one. The accusim model enter in action in this department to give many realistic effects that the FSX core engine not have. Many real Cessna C172 pilots help in the developing process and the A2A Simulations had access to a real C172. With that, was possible to test many manoeuvres and flights to collect valuable information and later make this add-on as real as possible.
I want to say that it runs perfectly in my PC. I flight in many dense areas and not had any stutter or low frames per second using this add-on.
This aircraft was made to be flight “by the book”, and you really need to do it!
As examples of realism of this aircraft I can say that the battery capacity is based of temperature. Also, the oil viscosity and the fuel delivery system are all modelled as the real aircraft. This airplane was made with the basis that you really need to think and act as a real pilot. If you do anything wrong or forget something important, you will probably have some problem like a damaged engine. This accusim is very impressive to give you as much realism as possible. For example, your aircraft goes aged even if you are not using your FSX. It is a very immersive aircraft.
You feel that its more than a simulation, it’s almost a real aircraft that you need to take care.
With a price of 49.99 USD, you must have this aircraft on your FSX hangar. It is many steps forward comparing with the default FSX Cessna C172. This add-on is simple the best representation of a C172 in the FSX.
More details can be seen here.
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