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Piper Saratoga
By: Eddie Longe

Piper Saratoga
Manufactured: Carenado
Published: Justflight
Click on image's to enlarge.

After the success of the Carenado C152 II, I decided that what I needed for
flight simulator was something much faster than the C152. So the Saratoga seamed
an obvious addition the hangar.
The Piper Saratoga is a six-seat,
high-performance, single engine, all-metal fixed-wing aircraft produced by Piper
Aircraft. The design began life as the Piper Lance, a retractable gear version
of the Piper Cherokee Six. In the early 1970's Piper began to develop the
Saratoga to compete with Beechcraft's Bonanza and the Cessna 206 as a longer
ranged VFR/IFR Aircraft. With a top speed of 165 knots (190 mph) and a ceiling
of 14,900ft it is clear to see why the Saratoga is so popular for touring.
Between its first flight in 1975 and its end of production in 2009, Piper had
built around 3422 Saratoga's Compared to 8509 Cessna 206's.

During its lifetime, the Saratoga has been involved in some notable incidents one of them
including John F Kennedy Junior being killed alongside his wife and Sister in
law when the Saratoga (Kennedy was flying) crashed into the Atlantic seven miles
of Martha's Vineyard.

Seretoga Review Seretoga Review

Purchase, Download and install
The price of the
Saratoga varies from place to place. I got mine from Just Flight priced at
£19.99 for the FSX version and £17.99 for the FS2004 version. As with other
Carenado add-on's it is also available from Aerosoft priced at €19.95 (£17.34).
With a download size of 87.3mb, it took a reasonable 20 minutes to download from
Just Flight. Since introducing the new download system it makes unlocking the
product quick and painless. The new system means that codes are no longer
required so all that has to be done is enter your account details and you’ve
successfully unlocked the product. The new system has been rolled out across the
Just Flight board and is not specific to Carenado products.

Seretoga Review Seretoga Review

The installation
was just as effortless. All that has to be done is follow the on-screen
instructions and make sure that the relevant files go to the correct place in
the main FSX folder.

The Package
Carenado are known for not giving lots
of liveries and this package sticks to the status quo. Included in the package
is one variant and 5 liveries showing the various paint schemes throughout the
decades. The Five liveries include the slandered blank canvas for repaints and
70's, 80's, 90's and 2000 colour schemes. The fact that there is only five
liveries included is a real let down for me. Another thing that lets down the
package for me is that it only includes N- registrations which are
understandable considering that Carenado is a US based developer.

The VC
Virtual Cockpits form Carenado have always been second to none and I am glad to
report no changes either. Included in the VC is a virtual cabin with 4 leather
seats and the detail goes right down to the stitches and the all important seat
belt. Also worth a mention is the sharpness and clarity of the instruments which
is sadly often forgot my other developers. One thing in the VC (and 2d panel) is
the magneto key which could do with a bit of work on it. Compared to the high
quality of the VC, it just looks out of place. Sadly in this package a 2D panel
isn't included. If you are like me and enjoy a high quality 2D panel Carenado
have disappointed us. The VC is also very easy on frame rates which has to be a
plus! Another feature that I find extremely handy is the ability to enlarge
instruments like the Altimeter, GPS and Artificial Horizon. This is the case for
most of the instruments.

Exterior Modelling
If you ask me, this is Carenado's forte. After flying the C152 II I was expecting the exterior to be on
a par but no! Carenado have surpassed and raised the bar of what is possible.
Similar to the C152, the individual reverts have been modelled which is great
eye candy. Carenado have taken great care and attention to the exterior and have
modelled everything from the Flaps to the ailerons and even opening doors to
perfection. I must also give a mention the prop which has also been very well
designed and modelled.
I also love the sound the Carenado have included in
this package. They claim that it was recorded from an actual Saratoga and I have
no reason to doubt this. When taking off, you really fell that there is a beast
of an engine. Compared to the C152, it does sound just as exhilarating.

Flight dynamics
As I don't fly the Saratoga in real life, it would be unfair
to say that they are either good or bad but I have noticed a few suspicious
flight dynamics. For example shortly after takeoff I noticed the plane wants to
descend instead of climb. Also I noticed that when the Autopilot is engaged and
heading not, if you attempt to control heading manually you get a lot of aileron
and control flutter. During flight generally flight dynamics are good.
During most take offs the aircraft is stable. This is the same for landing and
cruise. One other thing I would like to point out is that sometimes when you
lower the flaps in can cause the nose to rise steeply.

To conclude.
It is clear that Carenado take time and pay attention to detail when developing these
additions to flight simulator. As Jack's review of the Piper Seneca he said
"[The sound set] is definitely one thing that Carenado have that completely
blows other developers out of the water". This is also the case for the
Saratoga. Carenado have produced possibly the benchmark for all other General
Aviation developers. Carenado blow most other GA aircraft add-on's clean out of
the water. It has been a pleasure flying the Saratoga and I can't wait till I
get the next Carenado add on. Carenado have developed a purely amazing and
brilliant addition for Flight Simulator.
System Requirements: System Tested On:
Flight Simulator X
Windows XP/Vista/7
PC with 3.0GHz processor or any dual core
1.0Gb RAM
128Mb+ 3D graphics card
285Mb hard disk space
Intel Core i7 [email protected]
Windows 7 64 bit
Nvidia 8600 GT
6gb DDR3 1600mhz
Western Digital 500gb Hard Drive
Corsair 650w PSU

What I Don't Like What I Do Like
No 2d cockpit Exterior model

Price: £19.50 $29.95 €21.79 Rating: Gold
Reviewd By: Eddie Longe Date: 17 Mar 2010
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