The British Aerospace 146 Professional
The manual which is supplied by the developers in the download contains a detailed section on the background of the BAe 146 Whisper Jet and also the aircraft specifications. Wikipedia states the British Aerospace 146 (also BAe 146) is a short-haul and regional airliner that was manufactured in the United Kingdom by British Aerospace, later part of BAE Systems. Production ran from 1983 until 2001.
Manufacture by Avro International Aerospace of an improved version known as the Avro RJ began in 1992. A further-improved version with new engines, the Avro RJX, was announced in 1997, but only two prototypes and one production aircraft were built before production ceased in 2001. With 387 aircraft produced, the Avro RJ/BAe 146 is the most successful British civil jet airliner programme.
The BAe 146 is a high-wing cantilever monoplane with a T-tail. It has four turbofan engines mounted on pylons underneath the wings, and has retractable tricycle landing gear. The aircraft has very quiet operation, and has been marketed under the name Whisper Jet. It sees wide usage at small, city-based airports such as London City Airport.
In its primary role, it serves as a regional jet, short-haul airliner, or regional airliner, while examples of the type are also in use as private jets. The BAe 146 was produced in -100, -200 and -300 models. The equivalent Avro RJ versions are designated RJ70, RJ85, and RJ100. The freight-carrying version carries the designation “QT” (Quiet Trader), and a convertible passenger-or-freight model is designated as “QC” (Quick Change). A “gravel kit” can be fitted to aircraft to enable operations from rough, unprepared airstrips.
According to the BAe 146’s chief designer, Bob Grigg, making the aircraft as easy to maintain as possible and keeping operators’ running costs as low as possible were considered high priorities from the start of the design process. Grigg highlighted factors such as design simplicity, using off-the-shelf components where possible, and the internal use of firm cost targets and continuous monitoring.
British Aerospace also adopted a system of cost guarantees between component suppliers and the operators of the BAe 146 to enforce stringent requirements. Drawing on experience from the Hawker Siddeley Trident and the Airbus A300, both the fuselage and wing were carefully designed for a reduced part-count and complexity. A high-mounted wing was adapted with an uninterrupted top surface; the BAe 146’s wing did not make use of leading-edge extensions, which also enabled a simplified fixed tailplane.
The undercarriage of the aircraft is toughened to resist damage and stability is maximised by the placement of landing gear, of particular value when operating from rough airstrips.
The engines are not fitted with thrust reversers, instead the aircraft has a clamshell air brake in the tail and full width spoilers on the wings. The BAe 146 was the second aircraft, after the Concorde, to use carbon brakes. The aircraft features a low amount of composite material, used in parts of the secondary structure only. Initial production aircraft featured a conventional cockpit and manual flight controls. At launch, the onboard auxiliary power unit consumed only half the fuel and weighed only a third as much as other contemporary models.
Although I am not a qualified pilot and use X-Plane for recreational purposes, I wrote this review from this perspective and try to cover issues that I would find of relevance when considering this model, but I have flown in a BAe 146 as a passenger.
Installation and Documentation
Download speeds vary with connection but I found the process straight forward. Once the aircraft folder is downloaded it can be placed in the users appropriate aircraft folder. When the aircraft is first loaded on a Mac a notice referring to the Mac xpl file appears. This has to be allowed to open through the system Security and Privacy section in System Preferences.
Once this is done the user needs to go to the Developer tab at the top left of the X-Plane screen and then click on reload the aircraft and art. Once this is done the aircraft loads with a box for entering the product key supplied with the download. Once completed and activated the user is asked to reload the aircraft. From experience at this stage it may be best to load another aircraft and then load the BAe 146 again so everything loads correctly.
Once this procedure is followed for the first time all three variants of the model can easily be loaded from the flight directory screen. The model is supplied with thirty three liveries. The liveries pertain to a particular variant, shown in the list of liveries, and where the user tries to use the wrong livery for the wrong aircraft a warning screen states that the livery and variant are not compatible.
The model file includes a detailed manual of 247 pages within a documents folder. This contains sections for introduction, specifications, installation, a systems overview and detailed discussion of all aircraft systems, instrument panels, auxiliary power unit, doors and stairs, power plant, lights and notices and the Just Flight User Panel. The manual then goes through a tutorial for a flight from East Midlands Airport to Edinburgh Airport.
This goes through the complete flight and the necessary controls and switches are described and illustrated. The manual then sets out the aircraft limits, normal procedures and handling notes. This is a thorough, detailed and informative manual. The documentation folder also includes a change log text file, an End User Licence Agreement and a Laminar Research X-Plane 11 Flight Management System Manual.
Approaching the aircraft from the front right I used the on screen menu provided by Just Flight to open the doors on the aircraft and put the stairs in place. The doors can be opened with a turn of the handle instead of the on screen menu but either way they open slowly and create a lot of realism.
The stairs do not simply appear but fold out in the way they would from the plane. I loaded the aircraft, version 100, with engines off and it appeared with chocks in place. The detail and clarity of the modelling was immediately evident. Moving closer the riveting and panel work is of high quality as are the various textures across the aircraft surface. Colours and shading are very realistic and the light works well across the surfaces.
Engine detail is very good and the signage is clear and legible. Closer inspection of the undercarriage shows all aspects have been modelled to a high standard with the strut mechanism and wheels presented with high levels of detail and very convincing colours and textures.
Views in to the aircraft through the open doors reveal an initial view of the level of modelling in the interior and also the flight crew in detail and moving independently. Moving around to the front of the aircraft allows a clearer view of the flight crew and again shows the high level of presentation of the aircraft surfaces and colours.
The characteristic stance of the aircraft has been captured when viewed from the nose and the quality of the various surfaces is very clear. The model interacts well with other scenery and light and shadow add further realism.
Moving to the front left of the aircraft the open doors reveal views in to the cargo areas and again the detail of the undercarriage is well presented. Looking across the whole aircraft from a higher view there is quality modelling everywhere with panelling, lights, control surfaces and equipment all created to a very convincing standard. Signage is clear and weathering is created to just the correct level.
Moving to the rear left quarter of the aircraft examination of the underside of the wing shows multiple panels, control mechanisms, rivets and signage intricately modelled creating a very realistic wing surface. Coupled with the detailed modelling of the engines and undercarriage this produces a high quality version of the BAe 146.
Views through the aft service door show further views of the interior of the aircraft and also this position affords a good view of the well known high tail on the whisper jet. Looking forward from the rear right of the model the level of textures, colours and weathering remains impressive.
Loading a cargo version of the 200 variant to continue the exterior inspection of the aircraft and moving to the rear left quarter views are available into the cargo interior. Signage remains clear and legible and the vibrant colours of the various liveries can be compared.
Moving further round towards the end of the port wing and raising the view shows the standard of modelling across the model. Panel, rivet and equipment detail all looks really good and the glass effects of the lights and flight deck are of high quality. Viewed from all angles the light and shadow work well with the liveries. Viewing the wing closely the detail in the light and on the leading edge is very impressive.
Using the 300 variant I loaded the aircraft with engines running. The engines look realistic in motion and the exhaust effect is impressive. With the power on control surfaces can be viewed in use and even the linkages and controls are modelled to a high level.
This is a highly impressive model when viewed externally. Wherever I looked the detail was created to a high and accurate level. The multiple liveries provided all appear in vivd and realistic colours and the glass, shadow and light effects are very convincing.
Starting in the cockpit in the 300 variant there is significant detail on the instrument panel with realistic colouring and wear marks. The instruments themselves are clear, legible and convincing. Textures and materials are appropriate and create a great atmosphere. Whilst this a busy flight deck both the instrument panel and overhead panels are clearly labelled helping the less experienced of us identify the correct switch, button or lever.
The movement of all knobs, switches and levers is well modelled and convincing. The pilots small spotlights are adjustable to shine where required.
The fabric of the seats and belts are modelled very well and along with the moving armrests they really do look the part. All of the equipment is great to look at and really does produce a flying environment of the highest quality. Light and shadow work well throughout and views through the glass to the external are good with or without glass reflections.
Looking back from the flight deck into the passenger cabin the quality of modelling and detail remain high with colours, textures and fabrics all presented well. Moving in to the front service area the doors can be opened by the interior handle and the mechanism for how the stairs unfold is modelled.
Moving back through the passenger cabin the developers really have created an airliner atmosphere. Views across the rows of seats offer up a clear view out of the windows. Moving towards the back of the cabin there is a detailed service area and access to the two rear doors.
The interior of the cargo versions is also very well modelled. Views rearward from the cockpit now allow the user to look through the front service area to the hold bulkhead. Moving beyond the bulkhead shows a detailed cargo area with the correct rollers for moving pallets. Theses rollers are individually modelled to a high standard. There is one pallet positioned and netted with in the hold. Markings, signage and equipment are all clearly created.
Engine noise is well produced and responds the throttle inputs. The volume and sound of the engines changes when heard from different places in the aircraft and also outside. The cockpit has a hum when instrumentation is on and doors are shut. Opening the cockpit door to the cabin area allows the pilot to hear the noise of the passengers. All controls and switches have their own sounds when used and moving the flap levers creates the sound of the flaps moving.
The sounds accompanying starting from cold are very convincing for instance the APU spooling up and the air conditioning coming on. Opening and closing both internal and external doors are accompanied by their own sounds whilst the air stairs make their own noises as they are positioned. The runway sounds are very convincing and provide a realistic experience. The verbal warnings and assistance from the aircraft equipment and co-pilot are all very clear and extremely useful.
The model is provided with the developers own systems to facilitate the use of the aircraft and working systems based on those of the real thing. It is also supplied with an X-Plane Flight Management System. Just Flight call their on screen menu the Panel Selector. Clicking on the small arrow at the left of the screen opens the menu and displays several icons to open various control panels.
The first of these is in the form of a lightning bolt and toggles the aircraft between a cold and dark start and a ready for take off start. The next icon is for the checklist panel and opens checklists for Flight Deck Safety, Before Start, Starting, After Start, Before Take Off, After Take Off, Climb, Descent, Approach, Landing, After Landing, Shutdown and Leaving the Aircraft. Once an item has been completed clicking on that line will turn it green to indicate it is done.
The third icon is to open a 2D flight computer panel which gives information on outside air temperature, ground speed, endurance, range, nautical miles per gallon and statute miles per gallon, density altitude and pressure altitude, true airspeed, fuel flow, fuel used, headwind and crosswind. The top right icon is for the animation panel which controls the use of the ground equipment, GPU, the doors and use of the aircraft stairs. This also toggles windscreen and instrument reflections.
The lower line of icons give quick access to some of the aircraft controls: the autopilot, toggles the VSI between analogue and digital VSI/Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems, the thrust management system and the weather radar. The final line of the panel selector allows the user to change the livery of the model.
I found the panel selector easy to use and the panels appeared quickly and were straight forward to access. It is very useful in providing access and information and also allows for changes to the model without having to go back to the flight configuration screen and reloading the aircraft.
The aircraft manual goes through the modelled systems clearly and thoroughly, not only to explain the model but also the systems themselves. In order to illustrate the capability of the model and the systems provided I will use it as a guide to go through those systems but I will not go in to the full detail manual provides. The first one mentioned is the Air Conditioning System.
This is designed to ensure that air is supplied to the flight deck and passenger cabin at a comfortable temperature and pressure through two separate packs each covering one part of the aircraft. Should either system fail all areas of the aircraft can be managed by the other system. Controls are situated on the first officers instrument panel and the overhead panel. Each pilot has their own controls for the flight deck alongside them.
The air conditioning and pressurisation are supplied by bleed air from each engine and controls for this are modelled on the overhead panel. Number one pack is supplied by engines 1 and 2 and number two pack by engines 3and 4. Controls for this are on the air conditioning section of the overhead panel and the recycling of air or fresh air supply are located there also.
The user can also control the distribution, pressurisation and temperature of air from the overhead panel. The selections made are shown on the annunciator panel. The manual provides guidance on how to use the pressure systems on take off and descent.
The aircraft is equipped with an Auto Flight System providing a two axis autopilot, a yaw damper and a flight director. The master switches for these are in the overhead panel. The autopilot computer receives the same information as displayed on the Captain’s instruments and can be taken from various sources as set on the navigation selector.
Modes and altitude are selected on a panel on the glare shield and displayed on an annunciator panel in the two instrument panels. The user also can use master switches to supply power to the various aspects of the system and flight director switches to display the flight director on the ADI. The user can also select whether VOR/ILS or RNAV information is displayed on the HSIs via a switch next to the annunciator panels.
A further control panel, in the central console, allows trim adjustment for the autopilot. The system has an Approach Monitoring System which works in conjunction with the autopilot to monitor an approach down to a decision height of 100feet. The modes available are illustrated in the screen shot and in addition there are alerts and warnings built in as safety measures and modelled to be usable.
The Communication System is modelled to combine voice communication via VHF, passenger address and entertainment, a central audio system, cockpit voice recorder and flight deck/ground crew communication. The VHF system has two separate systems with the control units in the central console.
The cockpit voice recorder provides automatic recording of audio received in the flight deck headsets and the flight deck microphone. There are three audio selector panels in the flight deck, one for each crew station. The passenger address system is controlled from the flight interphone stations and also provides chimes and alerts in conjunction with the use of buttons on the overhead panel for such calls a fasten seat belts.
The Electrical System has both AC and DC power. AC power is supplied by two generators driven by the engines, a APU driven generator, a ground source and a hydraulic stand by generator, which also supplies DC power. DC power is usually supplied by transformer rectifiers which change the AC power to DC power.
The aircraft battery also supplies back up AC and DC power. The power is distributed through bus bars for normal, essential and emergency use. The normal bus bars are duplicated so the aircraft has two channels. The system is controlled from the overhead panel. The electric panel also includes annunciator lights to display normal, cautionary and emergency situations.
When the amber annunciator lights show for cautionary announcements the respective annunciator in the master warning panel also lights. The warning lights and their meanings are fully explained in the manual.
The model is provided with a Fire Protection System with sensors and fire fighting equipment in the key areas of the aircraft. Each engine has a fire detection system which causes red and amber warning lights to display on the flight deck along with audible warnings.
Each engine is fitted with a fire extinguishing system activated by using a fire handle in the overhead panel. The auxiliary power unit has a similar detection, warning and suppression system. A visual and audible warning system is activated on the flight deck when the wings, pylons and fuselage reach a preset temperature, when smoke detectors in the electrical equipment bay sense the presence of smoke or when overheat detectors reach a preset heat in the air conditioning equipment bay.
The systems can be ground tested with the respective lights showing on the warning panel.
The Fuel System comprises of three tanks, one in each wing and a central tank. The centre tank transfers to the wing tanks which feed the engines. The wings are divided in to three sections, a main tank, a feed tank and a surge tank. Pumps move the fuel around the system and to the engines.
The fuel supply to each engine is usually separate but can be cross feed facilities means any engine can be fed by any pump. The system is controlled and managed from the fire panel in the overhead panel. Annunciators show the status of the system and provide visual and audible warnings of issues and failures. Fuel used and fuel remaining in each of the main tanks are shown on the centre instrument panel. Fuel quantities in the feed tanks are shown on the fire panel.
The Hydraulic System for the aircraft is provided by two independent systems each with an engine driven pump as its main power source and with a back up power supply. The hydraulic system services flight controls, landing gear, brakes doors and stairs. It is controlled and managed from the hydraulic section of the overhead panel.
Warnings are provided on the hydraulic panel for temperature and pressure issues and when these occur the “HYD” light on the master warning panel illuminates.
The aircraft has a modelled Ice and Rain Protection System which means the real aircraft can fly in severe icing conditions. The manual states that ice protection is provided for the wings, the horizontal stabiliser, engine air intakes, each engine intake bullet, windscreens, pitot heads, front static vent plates, airflow direction sensor vanes and toilet drain masts.
The system is inhibited on the ground and in the air if a fault is detected by the overheat detection system. Visual and audible warnings are created where a fault is found. The system is controlled via the Ice Protection sub panel in the overhead panel. Where ice is detected a warning light is illuminated on the Master Warning Panel.
The windscreens can be cleaned with wipers on the forward facing windscreens with individual controls for right and left screens on the overhead panel. Rain repellent solution can be sprayed on to the forward facing windscreens to be used with the wipers or, at higher speeds, on its own. Again controls on the overhead panel allow for separate treatment of the respective windscreens.
The aircraft has an Anti-Skid System which is electronically controlled and reacts to sensors on the main wheels. It works with the pressure the pilot is applying to the brakes to achieve the optimum braking pressure. It is controlled from the overhead anti-skid panel.
The Ground Proximity Warning System provides visual, audible and voice warnings relating to ground collision. There are several modes the first of which relates to where the aircraft is over level ground and is losing height excessively, the next is where the aircraft is at a particular altitude and the ground is rising up to meet it, the third relates to accumulated altitude loss after take off or go around, the fourth is where the aircraft has less than 500ft ground clearance without being in landing configuration, the fifth is deviation from the glide slope and the sixth is where the aircraft descends through the decision height set in the radio altimeter. The system can be tested on the ground.
The Oxygen System can supply oxygen to the crew and passengers should it be required. The equipment is kept in the front cargo compartment. Controls for the system are positioned on each side console allowing either pilot to control it.
The aircraft has a Thrust Modulation System which can be engaged and disengaged by the pilots. A Control Display Unit allows the pilot to select a mode of operation from Take Off, TMS Disconnect, Maximum Continuous Thrust, Turbine Gas Temperature and Flight Descent, as well as synchronising the engines. A tutorial for the use of this system can be found via this YouTube link. (https://youtu.be/7PaXS4sAh-o)
The aircraft also has navigation, undercarriage, warning, recording and pneumatic systems which are discussed in the manual. All systems are modelled to be used when required. The amount of operable systems is very impressive and designed to work as the real ones do.
The fact there are so many options may seem quite daunting to inexperienced pilots such as me but studying the manual shows that they are there to assist, are often automatic and many are required only in emergencies. The systems can add layer on layer of interest to flights and continue to provide learning and challenges as the user becomes more confident and accustomed to the aircraft.
I carried out an initial flight without reference to checklists to see how the model can be flown just by getting in and flying. I used a cargo version and checked the load through the side door, whilst on the ramp, before flying, using the Panel Selector. The view through the side door is interesting and impressive. Initially I tried to do this on my external modelling section with the engines off and the doors did not move. I sought advice from the developers and they kindly explained that,
“You will need hydraulic power to operate the door, so make sure to turn on the AC pump if the engine-driven pumps are not available.”
I followed the advice and the door animated successfully.
I then loaded the aircraft at the end of the runway with engines running. I reiterate I know that my first flight would certainly not be by the book, or indeed the checklist. I added some flaps, released the brake and increased the throttle. The aircraft was easy to keep straight on the runway.
I could hear co-pilot inputs and also voice and sound indicators for aircraft performance. Once I heard V2 announced I pulled back on the controls and the aircraft took off smoothly. I was immediately impressed by how stable a platform the model provided in flight and also by how responsive it was to control inputs.
I was able to navigate using the crisp and clear instruments. The views from the aircraft were very good and the model looks very impressive in flight. Colours and signage are vivid and the model works well with the scenery and surroundings. I carried out a circuit and received constant updates and warnings as I came round to my approach, I think probably because this was not a conventional flight!
The warnings were very helpful and easy to hear. I lined up with the runway and the view was very clear, with realistic reflections on the windscreen. I used the height readouts to guide me down and made successful landing then deployed the speed brake, through a button I had preset on the joystick. The aircraft was straight forward to steer on the ground and came to a smooth stop.
Whilst the model has many integrated and complex systems this initial flight showed that it is possible for a relatively inexperienced pilot to load the aircraft and just fly. This does not do the model justice nor does it use it to its full potential but shows it can be enjoyed this way.
The manual takes the user through a tutorial flight from East Midlands Airport to Edinburgh Airport in the UK. I decided to work through the tutorial to cover as many aspects of the aircraft as I could in a more detailed and complex flight. I loaded the aircraft in cold and dark state on the ramp at East Midlands Airport.
I followed the guidance in the tutorial for the pre-flight checks by ensuring the weather radar, transponder, air brake and flaps were set correctly and then powered up the electrical system. Once I switched the batteries to on the action was supported by the sounds of the system coming in to life. I then set the aircraft lights as instructed. The guidance in the tutorial is easy to follow and well illustrated.
I continued to follow the pre-flight guidance which involved checking the landing gear, setting the brakes and autopilot, anti skid and lift spoilers, setting up the electrical system and preparing the APU to start the engines, setting up the air conditioning, checking the annunciators, ground testing the systems, setting the hydraulic system and flight deck emergency lighting and checking the oxygen supply. I then opened the front passenger door and lowered the air stairs for passenger boarding.
The tutorial then worked through the Before Start Checklist which can also be found via the Panel Selector. The checklist involves interacting with most of the systems and equipment I described in the Systems Section and is a great way to learn how all the systems work and integrate.
It further involves checking take off speeds on the flip chart on the central panel and this is set to automatically show the relevant information for the aircrafts weight. The navigation and communication instruments also have to be set. The fact that all systems are modelled to work makes this a really interesting and rewarding process, whilst taking some time to learn.
I was then ready to start the engines and arranged push back across the apron to be ready to taxi when this was done. The aircraft has four Avco Lycoming ALF502R-5 high by pass turbo fans. The fuel pumps are switched on via the fuel section and the engines are started via the engines section on the overhead panel.
The Start Power and Start Master switches are set to on and the engines are started one at a time by using the Engine Selector switch and the Start switch. As each engines spools up the respective thrust lever is moved to allow fuel flow. Once the engines were all started and running I ensured ice protection was set correctly and set the transponder. I then taxied to runway 09.
I then was guided through the Before Take Off checklist by the manual. I checked the flaps and trim then used the Config Check button to ensure the aircraft was configured for take off. I set up the aircraft for continuous ignition in the event of engine failure and the hydraulic system to provide power should such a failure occur. I finally revisited the Thrust Management System to ensure it was set up correctly.
I moved to the end of the runway and followed the instructions in the tutorial to carry out a take off using the correct V speeds then set up Vertical Speed Mode to maintain my rate of climb. I synced the engines through the TMS and used the navigation equipment and VOR Loc mode on the auto pilot to turn towards the first way point. There was a lot to do and much to think about but the model responded and behaved as described in the manual and I successfully completed the first part of the flight.
During my first attempt at the tutorial I found I ran out of time and therefore saved the flight through X-Plane. I found that as I had started from dark and cold, and had followed the engine start procedures and taken off, when I saved the flight it did not open correctly when I loaded it again.
The aircraft was in the position I saved it in and the engines were running but all other settings were as if the aircraft was dark and cold in that the Master Avionics and AP switches were off, the batteries were off as was the engine air or the APU air along with other systems. I then went to go through all the settings to try to put the aircraft in to the correct configuration and some things would not adjust.
I then tried to load a saved flight started with engines running and that overcame the settings problem but I then found all went well for a while and then the flight deck faded to black. Pressing the C key to go external to the aircraft all was as normal and the view was as it should be but returning to the flight deck was going back to a blacked out environment. This happened on several attempts.
I have spoken with Just Flight about the issue and with their usual positive approach to these challenges they have stated that they were not aware of this on release and are now investigating custom state functionality to address this minor issue through an update.
I made sure I had enough time to complete the whole flight and started again covering the processes I had done before. It was then time to carry out the After Take Off and Climb checklists. This involved checking the undercarriage was retracted correctly and setting the engine air switches to on, whilst switching APU air off and confirming pressurisation.
Finally I switched off the AC Pump, PTU and the APU. I then prepared the aircraft to head towards the next VOR by setting the NAV 1 radio and the inbound course to the VOR. I then used the thrust levers to adjust to cruise speed and then prepared to set up the navigation systems for the next VOR.
Following the instructions was straight forward and I passed the first VOR and headed to the second using the aircraft’s navigation systems. Visibility from the aircraft was good whilst the reflections on the glass were evident and the model looked impressive in flight. The aircraft reached the cruise altitude of 24000 feet and immediately captured and held that altitude cancelling the Vertical Speed setting on the autopilot.
The manual then gives a brief cockpit tour with an overview of systems in flight such as the pilot’s lighting and audio panel, air conditioning and electrical systems. The guidance then moves on to preparation for descent by setting the ILS frequency on the pre-select slot on the Nav 1 radio and the frequency for the approach NDB on the ADF system ensuring the RMI/DBI is set correctly to accept these inputs.
The aircraft looks realistic in flight and works well with the scenery and lighting conditions.
Having set the navigation systems correctly I set a new altitude of 3500 feet in the autopilot and armed it. I switched off the altitude hold mode and manually flew the aircraft to a vertical descent speed of 2000 feet per second. I then set the Vertical Speed mode in the autopilot. I then engaged the Descent mode in the Thrust Management System. This process is all clearly explained in the tutorial flight. I then altered other system settings according to the guidance.
Using a combination of navigation equipment I turned on to the course for the ILS and then set the Vor Loc and Glide slope settings on the autopilot. The model moved smoothly on to the correct course and began to descend. I had to concentrate hard to make sure I had carried out all of the actions and it was very helpful to have verbal inputs from both the aircraft systems and the co-pilot for confirming connection with ILS, following the glide slope, airspeed and flap settings.
I switched off the TMS and as I descended through 500ft I switched off the autopilot and successfully landed the aircraft using the airbrake to slow the aircraft on the run way before taxiing to the ramp to carry out shut down procedures.
I followed the tutorial to shutdown the aircraft including checking the pressurisation was in line with the 100ft altitude of the airport, switching off hydraulics, lighting, heaters and ice protection and setting the thrust levers to the fuel of position then I opened the passenger door and lowered the stairs.
This completed the tutorial flight. This was a great way to start to learn the aircraft systems and how they all work together. The manual is thorough and comprehensive. I found I had to concentrate hard to carry out procedures correctly and regularly used the P key to pause the simulator so I could understand the next steps.
This is not a criticism of the model, indeed it is so fully equipped with systems and controls it is a great experience for the user. The assistance provided by the panel selector allowing the autopilot and TMS systems to be “popped out” on screen was also very valuable. This is a great model to fly whether by simply loading and flying or in a much more detailed and challenging flight. I am sure it provides challenges and enjoyment for pilots of any level of skill and experience in a thoroughly immersive environment.
I also checked the aircraft in flight in low light. Again it looks very impressive both in external and internal views and the user has access to control all levels of aircraft lighting.
This is a very high quality model with great character. The interior and exterior presentation is completed to a very high standard demonstrating a keen attention to detail. There are many different and interesting liveries and versions of the BAe 146. The amount of systems provided creates an extremely realistic environment and a challenge for pilots of all capabilities.
The manual for the model is comprehensive and makes understanding the individual systems, instruments and controls and their interaction somewhat less daunting. Flying the model can be done at the jump in and fly level all the way to a completely immersive, detailed and demanding journey.
This aircraft grew on me as a user and each time I completed a procedure correctly I wanted to improve on my performance and then learn the next step. The aircraft is a steady platform in flight and quite forgiving of heavy handed pilots. It responds well to user inputs and also flies very smoothly when linked to auto pilot and throttle management. A great addition to any users hangar of aircraft.
More information about the modelled Bae 146 can be found at the dedicated Just Flight store page as well as on the X-Plane.Org page. Andy Clarke and Angelique van Campen would like to thank Just Flight for their offer to let us review this aircraft as well as the support given by them.
|Add-on:||Payware Just Flight Thranda BAe 146 Professional|
|Publisher | Developer:||Just Flight and X-Plane.Org | Just Flight and Thranda Design|
|Description:||Accurate reproduction of British Aerospace 146|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / Approximately 3.93 GB (unzipped)|
|Reviewed by:||Andy Clarke|
|Published:||August 5th 2021|
|Hardware specifications:||- iMac Intel i5 27"
- 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5
- AMD Radeon R9 M290X 2048 MB
- 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
- Logitech Force 3D Pro
|Software specifications:||- macOS Big Sur 11.x
- X-Plane 11.5x (64 Bit) Private Use
- A variety of freeware and payware airports