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Piper Cub FSX
By: Tom Hall

Piper Cub
Manufactured: Flight Replicas
Published: Sim Market
Click on image's to enlarge.

The Piper Super Cub was first designed and
manufactured in 1949 and became a very popular aircraft, with over 9000 being
built in just short of 40 years. The Cub is an extremely versatile aircraft and
is commonly used for bush flying, banner and gliding towing. The Super Cub is a
tail dragger aircraft which makes flying more difficult during taxi, takeoff and
landing. The average Cub engine pushes out approximately 160hp of thrust, more
than enough for an aircraft like the Piper.

The Piper Cub from Flight Replicas comes as a 165mb download and is available from their website and also
from many other vendors. Instillation could not have been easier and took only a
matter of minutes. Once installed, I loaded FSX to find 3 different flight
models of the Piper Super Cub, including Ski, water and land versions and 27
different liveries, covering from their first production model and paint schemes
to the present day model. There is even a paint kit for each version, allowing
users to custom create their very own liveries. A different selection of engine
power settings is also available with the least powered cub being 150 hp to a
newer model being powered at a whopping 210hp. After hitting the “fly now”
button I was sat in the cockpit of the Cub.

Piper Cub Piper Cub

Looking around, first
impressions were good with the cockpit and instrument modelling accurately
reflected the real world counter part and virtually all the switches in the
cockpit are clickable! One of the great things about this package is that
depending on which model of Cub you selected the instruments are laid out
accordingly. For example a 1950s version will have just the basic instruments,
whereas one built in the 1990’s will have more sophistication. However, at this
point I think it would have been nice if Flight Replicas included a little ‘wear
and tear’ effect in the cockpit which would have added extra realism.

Moving outside, the Bump and mapping were brilliant, and it was possible to see
all the nuts and bolts which really added realism to the package. There are also
animated pilots in the cockpit. It was clear at this stage that the manufactures
of this add-on had really gone the extra mile to deliver and excellent visual
model if the Cub.

The sound set was very good, and I when I started the
engine the sound was just like the real aircraft. Taxiing a tail dragger is
always a difficult affair, and the model from Flight Replicas has replicated the
taxiing of a tail dragger excellently. I then done a quick break and flight
control check and found the aircraft to be very responsive. Lining the aircraft
up on the runway was always my favourite part and as I pushed the throttle
forward I could sense the aircraft accelerating to the rotate speed. After take
off I climbed to 3000 feet to practice some basic manoeuvres to put this
aircraft through its paces.

Firstly I practiced some basic climbing and
descending where I practiced idle descents and cruise descents they both
performed well. In the idle descent, I noticed that the Cub did not require much
nose down attitude to maintain speed, thus being an excellent glider. The climb
was very accurate too and true to life, depending on the weight of the aircraft
the climb rate would vary.

Piper Cub Piper Cub

The next phase of flight was the Stall.
Initially I practiced a power off stall, where I remained the aircraft’s nose on
the horizon and cut the power, the airspeed started to bleed off and the
aircrafts stall warning had sounded, I let the aircraft go into the secondary
stall phase where the nose dropped and the airspeed started to gain. I applied
full power and let the nose come up. After that, I tried a stall with flaps
extended. When I set the flaps one notch, I was suppressed to see the aircrafts
nose aggressively bank up almost to around 20 degrees! I have never flown the
Cub in real life, but I think this is one thing the Flight Replicas had got
wrong. However as I retimed the aircraft to fly straight and cut the power
again, the stall was an accurate representation of the real aircraft.

I wanted to see how realistic the Cub was at spinning so I put her into a turning
stall and when the aircraft was in the stall I used some aileron, flipping the
Cub into a spin, this was one of my favourite things about this add-on package
as the representation of the spin was excellent and the aircraft performed
exactly how it should have in real life. Then I just had to get out of it...

Piper Cub Piper Cub

I started to bring the Cub down into a cruise descent, I slowed down to
about 80 knots while adding a notch of flap (my earlier comment regarding the
flaps still applies) then I lined up for an approach into Dundee Airport, this
phase of flight was modelled well too, with the pilot having to add a bit a
power to arrest the sink in some configurations, the rudders are also crucial
for remaining on the approach. The sound effects of the engines and flaps were
excellent and added to the sense of ‘being there’. I idled the engine and put
the aircraft into a flare, and settled her nicely on the runway. All in all a
successful flight with a brilliant aircraft.

The Cub is an easy aircraft to fly and is great for the novice simmer wishing to learn
to fly a light aircraft, I think a bit of ‘wear and tear’ in the cockpit would
add more realism to the add-on but this is certainly not major. I feel that when
deploying the flaps, the characteristics do not match the real aircraft, but as
a whole the flight model is excellent and there is a wide selection of liveries
available. For approximately £26 you can grab yourself an excellent little
aircraft that will fit in nicely anyone’s hanger.
System Requirements: System Tested On:

What I Don't Like What I Do Like
Unrealistic flaps Large selection of repaints

Price: £27.50 $41.60 €32.63 Rating: Silver
Reviewd By: Tom Hall Date: 21 Jul 2010
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