Aircraft expansion pack for Microsoft FSX


There are a number of Cessna 152s on the market for Microsoft Flight Simulator and there have been, indeed, since before add-ons were officially available - I clearly remember one being available for FS5 before the release of FSFS, because it was exactly the same paint scheme as the one I learned to fly in a short while later. So why have Carenado, admittedly a company that specialises in light General Aviation types, done another one?

To be honest, I'm glad they have, because every other one I've used recently I've had issues with. Every C152 I've flown, I've struggled to get more than 100 knots out of in the cruise, yet the FS ones have always cruised at 110 or 120KIAS with lower power than I ever had to use in anything I flew. They've always climbed like the clappers with flap down. The ones I remember never did that. They climbed enough to miss trees and villages, but you were always glad when you hit 300' on takeoff and could retract the single stage you used for takeoff. Well, this one is the Cessna 152 I've been waiting for. It climbs like I remember, it cruises like I remember, it descends like I remember. Heck. The first time I flew it, I turned the landing into a touch-and-go and flew a circuit! For fun! In a simulator! Yeesh.

Not only does it fly right, but it looks right as well. Every little tie down loop is present, the air vents, the static port... The paint schemes use bump maps as well, so the ribbed control surfaces and the raised heads of the rivets are represented too.

The download clocks in at 35Mb and contains eight aircraft - four different liveries (all US registered) with and without wheel spats. It doesn't have a manual, but does have a reference card, checklists and a copyright sheet as PDFs in the aircraft folder. It also has a paintkit for those who want the aircraft from their local flying club to use.

Both a 2d cockpit and a VC are provided and both are clear and easy to use, with appropriately simple avionics for an average club trainer. They don't match any aircraft I flew, again, but heck, I never flew two C152s with the same avionics, so that's hardly surprising.

If I have to find something wrong with this aircraft, it's not easy. About all I saw to complain about was that the photo texture showing the engine through the air intakes was a little too "flat" and close to the cowling. Yup, I had to look that closely to find something, which says a lot about the model. I can see myself flying this one a lot... Just not all circuits I hope, even if that's what I did spend most of my life doing in the real thing!

At a glance

Installer: EXE - Average
Documentation: PDF/DOC - Above average
Model: FSX Format - Above average
Texturing: BMP - Above average
Flight Model: Above average
Extras: None included
Download Size: 35Mb
Price: 23.79/US$30.39
Link: Carenado Simmarket

Test System: Intel Core2Duo E8600, 6Gb RAM, ATI HD3870X2 1Gb, Windows XP Pro SP3


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Ian Pearson is a real world CAA PPL-IMC qualified pilot (unfortunately now lapsed) who has been hooked on civilian flight simming since Mail Pilot on the Commodore 64 and Thalion Airbus on the Amiga. He joined the MS Flightsim world with FS4 and almost immediately FS5.1CD, which was when his first attempt at designing aircraft went seriously pear shaped and he gave up. He has Beta tested for a number of well-known organisations and teams from FS98 through to the present day, but still hasn't found a way of making his addiction to Flight Simulation pay for itself, so officially works in the railway industry in the real world.

Nick Churchill has been providing images for marketing purposes of Flight Simulator products for several years and claims that staring at a virtual cockpit for too long can make you go blind.