Ok, here´s my first impression of the Just Flight Beechcraft Duchess 76. Although I can´t provide a comprehensive review, there are a few things that I noticed within the first few minutes. Short version: It´s freaking amazing!
Long version: First, a few things that I didn´t really like, but which may be improved in the future:
- Mixture works but the effects are minimal. EGT needles move as expected but only a fraction of the scale even with pulling the mixture levers completely back. You still get the best performance with mixture full rich, even at the service ceiling of 20000 feet. So leaning is possible but in the current state useless and unrealistic. Maybe something to improve in the future.
- Sound is better than the default planes, but still awful. This seems to be a limitation of Aerofly rather than Just Flight´s own work. There is almost no discernable difference in engine sound with different throttle settings, only when you pull the throttle back almost to idle you get a slightly different sound. but as soon as the throttle is more than 10% open the sound stays the same. If you´re used to other simulators sounds, that is still pretty disappointing.
- Propeller animations are a little too "quick", when you cut the engine the props come to a complete stop within the fraction of a second, which does seem a bit fast to me.
But now the good stuff:
- Cold and dark works like a charm. I failed to get the engines started until I realized that both Fuel Selectors were still off. Switching on the batteries make the instruments come to life, fuel pumps increase fuel pressure, switching the alternators changes load and everything works as expected.
- realistic magnetos! performing a magneto check before takeoff works as expected, turning either magneto from both to left or right you see a significant drop in rpm
- carb heat causes slight rpm drop, as expected!
- cowl flaps setting changes cylinder head temperature as expected!
- Prop speed setting changes RPM as expected!
- overall feeling in flight is great
- texturing in the cockpit is top notch, the best I´ve seen so far in Aerofly. Readability of the gauges is great even with the low resolution of my Oculus rift. All gauges are completely readable without leaning in too much, contrary to the default planes.
All in all, this is the best flying experience (along with the R22) I ever had in Aerofly. with a few minor changes the B76 could improve even more. Just Flight raised the bar for addon aircraft for Aerofly to a whole new level. This is the first plane that is on a similar level of system depth as a payware GA aircraft for the big, established simulators like P3D and Xplane. It reminds me of the RealAir B60 for FSX/P3D in many aspects, which was one of the greatest planes for that platform IMHO
Edit: if the rumors are true that Just Flight are planning to add a lite version of a realistic GNS 530 unit to the aircraft, I'd be even more impressed. When I first saw the WIP Screenshots of the B76 I was disappointed that they used the standard moving map inside a GNS unit frame instead of featuring at least a basic working GPS. On second thought I realized that the fact that Aerofly doesn't feature a default GPS means that Just Flight has to deliver one from scratch, where in fsx / P3D you only have to add a single line to the aircraft.cfg. So if Just Flight add a GPS in one of the next updates it would really show they care about the platform.