Carenado C337H Skymaster
P3D. Sheer excitement! That is most likely the best term I can use to describe the C337H release from the leading FS prop aircraft manufactuer Carenado. They dubbed this release as the "Most detailed FS2004 aircraft ever modeled." And in my FS9 review, I found it to be the case if only being applied to VFR aircraft. As for P3D, this baby impresses in every area from gauges, to interior, to external modeling, soungs, gauges, and texturing. The Carenado C337H is a must have for every VFR enthusist. Come fly with me to find out why!
[Note: For format purposes, images are cropped. Click each image for full size resolution preview.]
5 liveries included!
A whole different animal.
Now some people uninsrested in our passion could make a play and say all airplanes look the same. At the very least, some could say a lot of airplanes look similar. In many cases, this is actually true. For example, I have heard people say the C208B and the Kodiak look the same. But regardless of such ingorant uninterested eyes, one the thing is for sure and without doubt: Even these people realise the C377H is in a class of it's own and indeed, there is nothing else quite like it.... Well...
There is the Fokker D.XXIII and the Adam A500. But quite honestly, neither quite captures the beauty and essence of the Skymaster line of aircraft. This baby is a whole different animal.
Now I have drawn what I believe to be a reasonable conclusion that if you are a regular visitor to ADX then there is a reasonable assumption that you have the basic knowledge of the Skymaster. Thus unlike with other reviews of this aircraft, I am not going to insult your intelligence and school you on the absence of differential thrust, Vmc, centerline thrust, or why you should never takeoff on one engine. I am sure all or at least most of you know all this and besides, it's a simulation anyway. What I want to talk about is how this baby looks, feels, and performs in the simulatior... how well Carenado has captured the beauty, presence, accuracy, and elegance in Prepar3D.
So lets go with the exterior looks first. But before I do a quick word on FS9. Now as we all know, all FS9 and X-Plane renditions of Carenado aircraft are ported over from native FSX variants using a special procedure.
What really impresses me is, at first glance, the differences between the FS9 and FSX models really isn't all that evident. There are some small things that remind you of these differences if you know where to look but mostly this all is due to FS9's limitations. Nevertheless, the C337H in FS9 is represented - no strike that - surpasses the usual Carenado quality I fully expect.
Mind you, this review is more or less an upgrade from my previous FS9 review of this same aircraft. But now that P3D has replaced FS9 for my VFR purposes, it only seemed right to go back and do a once over for you lot. Nonetheless, for my fellow, FS9ners, you can find the FS9 version of this aircraft on ADX Classic! http://airdailyx.blogspot.com/2012/09/carenado-c337h-skymaster-our-own.html Users of FS9 will have a great time with this aircraft. Now let's get back back to P3D!
For some reason the Australian Westpac livery in this package is my favorite. Honestly, I am not sure why. I guess a workhorse livery on this bird looks better to me than a private livery. I suppose that's because this aircraft looks strong. It seems to say "what ever you need, I can do it" it looks like it's ready to save lives or something. Living here in Southern California, we are used to working aircraft such as the DC-10's and turboprops that fight our fires every year. I love an executive aircraft but I also love a hard working aircraft too. The wing position also makes it more fun to enjoy the view and scenery... or look for someone to rescue. All the angles are perfectly represented true to form.
Another thing I really want to point out here is the interior. This may be an old aircraft but she looks every bit of new. Just look how well detailed the seats are. With that wide door open, she is very inviting for a comfortable flight.
Now as with all Carenado products, you have all the options you need right at your fingertips. Hmm... Does that say instrument reflections? Let's climb aboard and get a look inside.
What I really love here is in the areas you are mostly likely not to bother looking such as under the panel or in the back seat. There was no loss of detail anywhere in this model. Even under the seats for that matter.
This is skill and passion. I give very high respect and praise for developers who believe in and implement passion in their work. It really shows.
Now finally getting a look at the business end of things you get a very clear look at the 3D VC. My screenshots simply fail to accurately show the level of quality and detail that exists here. Everything is in it's place and incredibly sharp. But that is not the best part of the panel... Now earlier I mentioned something about an option for instrument reflections.
Now I am trying my best to somehow show the reflections on the gauges but for some reason I just can't quite seem to capture it. As you move your head (TrackIR for me) you can see the reflections. I guess you simply have to buy it and see for yourself. The effect looks great and it proves that Carrenado is always developing new effects and eye candy to enhance the exprience. I am very impressed.
Going for the details again you really can see these guys had direct access to a C377 all the details are clearly present around your feet. You may never look down there but rest assured the details are there!
As we look around even more and play with stuff, I can assure you this: there are all kinds of animated stuff in here. I am not going to show them all off. You are going to have to explore your toy a bit when you get one.
I just love the above shots because you can really see all the shinny details. This is a beautiful aircraft.
As we continue to turn our head we can can clearly see the reflective glass textures that is by far among the very best I have seen in P3D. Simply a wonderful job and really adds to the realism to the virtual cockpit environment. Well done here. There are options to turn off all the reflections with the gauges and windows but why would you want too?
As we keep panning we see the complete cabin. See those little switches by the overhead lights. All are animated and activate the dome lighting.
Okay. Enough of all this. Let's get this girl off the ground.
As this is a test flight, we will take off from Shorham Field and do a little air work for a few hours before returning.
Another thing I really liked here is how realistic this aircraft responds and sounds. Once the engine is started you can see the aircraft vibrating and wings shaking from the chugging engines. Now I can't show this effect with a screenshot but trust me.
Another effect I can't show obviously is the sound that emanates from this baby. The sounds from this bird are unlike any aircraft you have ever heard. You clearly know when a C337 is near by. It's unmistakable. Carenado perfectly captured the sound and just trust me when I say: you will not be disappointed.
After engine start, preflight checks, and a very smooth taxi and take off, finally we are off the ground.
Here we see the exterior animations. Extended flaps, cowl flaps, and retracting gear. I also like the cowl flaps activation lights on the panel that extinguish when you close them. Nice touch!
Each plane has it's own interior and panel trim. Carenado just has a way of making them look so real! I also love the exterior window reflections.
A very good looking and fun aircraft to fly!
Carenado's flight dynamics are the most realistic of any aircraft in FS. I love just how the aircraft's simulated struts extend and retract when I touch down. This aircraft is very animated! A++
The approach and landing was very smooth. No complaints. Let's have a look at the night lighting!
All and all I am very impressed with this aircraft. There are fewer eye candy animations in compaeson to other Carenado aircraft such as exterior objects and the passenger seat does not move. Wheras these things are heaps of fun to look at, the real passion here is in the looks and handling. They are adding new features and really putting a serious effort to bring the joy of VFR flying into flight simulation.
And with the easy performance on my midrange system, it's a nice piece of mind that even with it's hot looks, my system doesn't have to work hard to deliver a nice fun experience. Enjoying a nice flight at 60FPS, full clouds and VFR AI, with no stuttering... This is how it should be done.
Head over to Carenado and get your copy today! http://www.carenado.com/CarSite/Portal/index.php