Carenado PA46 Mirage.
P3D. Howdy people of ADX! I'm back yet again with yet another fascinating aircraft from the legendary Carenado! This time it's the venerable PA46 Malibu Mirage 350P and once again the Chilean masterminds bring an absolute fascinating aircraft to life in our virtual world. So hop along with me as I make my way from Eaglsbach to Győr-Pér. It's a beautiful aircraft, the frames are high and weather good to fly!
[Note: For format purposes, images are cropped. Click each image for full size resolution preview.]
The best in the business.
And I really mean that. When Carenado first came on the scene all those years ago, they brought with them a level of skill never before seen in light aircraft. The use of high resolution photo-real textures and gauges really gave me the immerseive feeling that my little virtual Cessna was real.
Since then, not only has the team managed to uphold their unmatched level of quality in lite, sport, VFR, and training aircraft, they have also managed to add so many more realistic features without compromising performance. Besides these points, it's the sheer innovation that goes into each release. Things other developers just aren't thinking about. Or if they are, than I'll revise my statements to read: things other developers are just not doing. To what exactly am I referring? Think about it.
The first time Carenado rolled out their "Windows lighting scratches effect" never before had we seen anything remotely like it. It's not a default reflection image like we see on most aircraft. This is something that is only apparent in the perfect lighting conditions. If you are climbing through thick cloud cover for example, and you happen to fly through a perfect break in the layers and the Sun just happens to shine through for just a second across the glareshield at the right angle, you will just for a flash of a brief moment, see scratches on the glass. Even if it's brief, it's one of those things that keep me from reminding myself I am actually sitting at my computer.
It's the little things like this that have always made Carenado and it's growing baby sister Alabeo, stand out among the crowd.
As always, the team has done their homework. The props are angled perfectly with their dynamic propeller shine effects, the unique body, weather raydome, the tail. It's all represented in the level of accuracy I have come to expect from this team. Hard to believe this is a 70's aircraft.
And let's not forget to mention the amazing HD quality textures at a staggering 2048 x 2048 resolution. It's almost as if the textures themselves come with their own atmosphere.
Looking below the wing in the above shot, you get my point. The way the textures reflect the environment is simply stunning. I'll also note that the exterior lighting effects are displayed perfectly. Not too bright, not too dark.
Moving to the interior.
This is where the expectation of my expectations start to get a bit disappointed. Keep in mind here, I am only referring to the interior upholstery and not the panel and instruments.
My thoughts here is, maybe the photographer was not able to take high-res photos. Or maybe direct access to a PA46 wasn't possible. Did the team have to improvise? Take a close look at the following interior upholstery images. Afterwards, we will compare with other Carenado aircraft. Mind you. I'm not saying it doesn't look good. I'm simply saying they seem to have rendered better.
Now compare with previous Carenado aircraft interior work:
Is it me? Is there a quality difference? Or am I just overacting? I'll admit, my expectations are high with this team. Or it could be that the interior in the PA46 they got a hold of just wasn't that great in real life.
Let's move over to the panel.
Here you will find high-res gauges and screens depicting the weather radar and GPS. As a side note, the aircraft does come complete with a PDF detailing Reality XP product integration should you choose to go that route. Getting back to the gauges, Carenado does offer an option to disable the gauge glass reflection effect although I cant imagine why anyone would want to. But you never know. Obviously, I elect to leave it on. As always the screenshots can't really display the effect. But it's there. Trust me.
The weather radar and GPS screens are very vibrant with very realistic animations. Hard to believe none of this is real. It's like The Matrix, you can see all this stuff, but none of it actually exists! Just pictures backed by 1's and zero's baby.
The taxi and flight!
Okay I think we have seen the aircraft on the ground enough. What's true about the Mirage is, she is much better looking in the air! So let's get there!
She is a very smooth taxi. Just small inputs on the rudder pedals.
The flight dynamics are good as they always are in Carenado aircraft. Not much to say there. Nice engine sounds too. As I said, she just looks so damn good in the air! And she likes the camera too!
The approach and landing was very smooth. Great performance and a fun aircraft to fly. Most of my readers know how much I like to admire my interior and leather seats on my flights. This area was the only let down for me and I found myself looking at the external view when my eyes didn't need to be focused on the instruments.
Looking at Carenado's own PA46T shot below, I realize both are nearly exactly the same. Even in color. Could this be the same interior?
Maybe i'm nit picking too hard here. I mean seriously, is this the most important aspect of the aspect of the aircraft? No. But I suppose you could say this has become something of an unofficial trademark of Carenado. As I said earlier "The use of high resolution photo-real textures and gauges really gave me the immersive feeling that my little virtual Cessna was real." I am just wondering if the interior here could have had better resolution somehow...
But I digress. It still looks good and I need to pull my panties out of my rear-end on this one..
Lining up for final. Flaps and gear check!
Getting to the night lighting, this is one area Carenado never fails at. The dimly lit cabin seems to almost say, climb aboard. I am very comfy! Like some kind of mood lighting going on. Always the panel looks sharp at night. Love the shadow effect. Who else is doing this? Another bit I like is the blueish splash of light from over the pilots heads. Just click to activate. There is also a switch to backlight the gauges as well.
The Carenado boys have done it yet again! They have delivered another damn good looking aircraft that performs well and is fun to fly. In fact, it's almost as good to look at as it is to fly! Any owner of this aircraft will not be disappointed. It's well worth the price and will look great in your hangar. But who are we kidding, this baby looks best in the skies and the only way she is going to get there is with you at the helm!
This wraps up yet another review delivered within a day of release! Hope my quick timing helped you whip out that credit card!