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My Good Old N94268 C152II

Introduction

I’ve just finished my test flight with a commercial jet and now I’m sitting in my PPL aircraft, the Cessna 152 II. This takes me back to the summer of 2003, when I struggled to fulfill my wish in getting my FAA PPL license within 28 days, but why 28 days?

Simple, my flight ticket was only valid for 28 days. I was stationed in New Smyrna Beach, Florida (KEVB), where I had my lessons at IFT (International Flight Training). I believe this flight school doesn’t exist anymore. But the memories of the thunderstorms that build up during the midday and caused me many hours of trouble stay with me.

This review is based on the current model version 3.2. It is intended to be used with X-Plane 10.30+ and 64 bit compatible. It has an enhanced plugin (SASL, 32-bit and 64-bit) and, as you may expect, a user-friendly FPS optimized (Frames Per Second) aircraft model with scroll wheel support and DDS textures for faster loading times and optimization.

The aircraft comes with the following features:

• Polygon optimized model,
• Interactive virtual cockpit,
• Improved manipulator control,
• 342 pixels / meter textures,
• Full moving parts: Ailerons, elevators, rudders, flaps, rolling wheels,
• Animated sections such as: doors, pilot and copilot’s window, ashtray, copilot seat, glove compartment, sun visor, fresh air control,
• Realistic lights: Navigation lights, beacons, landing lights,
• 3D modeled pilot and cockpit area,
• Many details as: pitot pressure chamber, antennas, chocks, pitot tube cover,
• Realistic textures and original paint designs,
• Realistic light effects on gauges,
• Accurately reproduced flight characteristics,
• Real weight and balance.

Although I wrote before a comprehensive review of the Carenado Cessna C152 II, I still think it’s worth writing a new comprehensive review of this Carenado model, tested with X-Plane 11pb9. I think it’s also a good idea to contact Carenado to inform them about flying X-Plane 10 designed aircraft with X-Plane 11. According to Fernando Herrera; “Most of our aircraft work well in XP11 (except the turbo props), but they don’t take advantage of the new visual improvements of X-Plane 11. But, you can fly the Cessna 152II without any problems.”

The Real Cessna model C152

The best way to find data about the real Cessna C152 is by using Wikipedia and, as far as possible, the Cessna company. So, let me see what information will be interesting for you.

Cessna took the venerable 150 and made some very significant changes to it in order to deal with the problems of bigger, heavier pilots and the unavailability of 80 octane fuel. The changes were so significant that Cessna introduced the upgraded aircraft under a new model number, the Cessna 152.

It was first delivered in 1977 as the 1978 model year, with the 152 as a modernization of the proven Cessna 150 design. The 152 was intended to compete with the new Beechcraft Skipper and Piper Tomahawk, both of which were introduced the same year. Additional design goals were to improve useful load through a gross weight increase to 1,670 lbs. (757 kg.), decrease internal and external noise levels and run better on the then newly introduced 100LL fuel (100 octane Low Lead).

As with the 150, the great majority of 152s were built at the Cessna factory in Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A. A number of aircraft were also built by Reims Aviation of France and given the designation F152/FA152.

Production of the 152 was ended in 1985 when Cessna ended production of all of their light aircraft. By that time, a total of 7,584 examples of the 152, including A152 and FA152 Aerobat aerobatic variants, had been built worldwide.

During my PPL lessons in Florida, KEVB (USA), I flew two different Cessna C152 models as can be seen on the screen shots below. These photo’s are just some examples of that’s available and even the cockpits could differ. For sure one thing was correct.

None of them have an Auto Pilot, and due to the aircraft weight, it was an unstable aircraft to fly. Any comparison with its bigger brother the C172, therefore was useless. I keep on remembering this cute, small aircraft as a nice airplane for learning to fly although new students quickly chose its bigger brother, the Cessna 172 instead of the many other brand models.

 

Courtesy of Angelique van Campen (C152 II | real aircraft registrations N94268 and N67404). Photo’s made during my PPL lessons at KEVB (New Smyrna Beach) Florida at the International Flight School.

The 152’s airframe is an all-metal construction. It’s primarily Aluminum 2024-T3 alloy, although some components such as wing tips and fairings are made from fiberglass. The fuselage is a semi-monocoque structure. It has vertical bulkheads and frames joined by longerons which run the length of the fuselage. The metal skin of the aircraft is riveted, which allows loads to be spread out over the structure.

The wings are of a strut-braced design and have a 1-degree dihedral angle. The tapered (outboard) portion of each wing has one degree of washout (the chord of the tip section has one degree lower angle of attack than the chord at the end of the constant-width section). This allows greater aileron effectiveness during a stall, although it is much less than the 3 degrees used in Cessna 172 wings.

Dual controls are available as optional equipment on the Cessna 152 and almost all 152s have this option installed. The Cessna 152 is equipped with differential ailerons that move through 20 degrees upwards and 15 degrees downwards. It has modified Fowler (slotted, aft-traveling) flaps which are electrically operated and deploy to a maximum of 30 degrees.

The rudder can move 23 degrees to either side and is fitted with a ground adjustable trim tab. The elevators move up through 25 degrees and down through 18 degrees. An adjustable trim tab is installed in the right elevator and is controlled by a small wheel in the center of the control console. The trim tab moves 10 degrees up and 20 degrees down relative to the elevator chord line.

The Cessna 152 is equipped with a fixed tricycle landing gear.
The main gear is a tubular steel undercarriage leg surrounded by a full-length fairing with a step for access to the cabin. The main gear has 7 feet 7 inch (2.3 m) wheelbase. The nose wheel is connected to the engine mount and has an oleo strut to dampen and absorb normal operating loads. The nose wheel is steerable through 8 degrees either side of neutral and can caster under differential braking up to 30 degrees. It’s connected to the rudder pedals through a spring linkage.

The braking system consists of single disc brake assemblies fitted to the main undercarriage and operated by a hydraulic system. Brakes are operated by pushing on the top portion of the rudder pedals. It is possible to use differential braking when taxiing and this allows very tight turns to be made. The 152 is also fitted with a parking brake system.

It is applied by depressing both toe brakes and then pulling the “Park Brake” lever located to the pilot’s left. The toe brakes are then released but pressure is maintained in the system thereby leaving both brakes engaged.

There are hundreds of modifications available for the Cessna 152. The most frequently installed include the tail dragger conversions such as the ‘Texas Tail dragger’ conversion is available and have been fitted to some 152s. It involves strengthening the fuselage for the undercarriage being moved further forward, removing the nose wheel and strengthening the tail area for the tail wheel. This greatly improves short field performance and is claimed to give up to a 10 knot cruise speed increase.

Another modification is the STOL kit (Short Takeoff and Landing). The wings can be modified using a number of modification kits, some improving high speed/cruise performance but most concentrating on STOL performance.
However, the C152 life is not endless as you can see on the screen shots below.

 

Courtesy of Jetphoto’s.Net (Denin, Mateusz Janiec and Luc Brousseau)
This is not the way a Cessna 150/152 should end its life. The C152 is, in my opinion, nice, “very” small, elegant and a great aircraft to fly.

There’s so much more to explore on the Internet. This section is only a tip of the Cessna C152’s iceberg, but I hope it was informative enough.

Installation and Documentation

The installation of this Carenado aircraft is simple, straightforward and fast. Just download the XCE1000.zip file from Carenado, unzip it and copy and paste “Carenado C152II_v3.2” into the Aircraft/General Aviation folder. If you prefer another folder, feel free to make your own such as Aircraft/Carenado sub folder.

This was the easiest part and if you want, you could fly now, but first, let’s highlight the DOCUMENTATION folder.
This folder contains the following documents:
– C152 Checklist
– C152 Reference
– C152II Version History
– Copyright
– Credits
– General Information
– Joystick Settings X-Plane 10
– Recommended Settings X-Plane 10

Most of the manuals are straightforward except the General Information manual. This manual explains something about the SASL (Scriptable Avionics Simulation Library), the prop disc, 2D popup windows, sounds, night lighting in combination with HDR and miscellaneous issues.

In case you’re totally lost, there’s a trouble shooting section included. For the diehard XP simmers, they know where to look for or what to adjust. But for new XP simmers, it’s very helpful to have a X-Plane 10 settings page.

C152 II Inspection

While walking to the virtual flight school to my C152 II, I see from this distance a nice, cute aircraft. Since it’s a small GA (General Aviation) aircraft, it won’t take a long time to perform my walk-around inspection. On the other hand, knowing Carenado, it should come with many tiny details and it’s my job to find that out. I’ll start as usual at the nose of the aircraft, with the propeller.

The propeller blades look OK to me including the manufacture logo, although it could be sharper. The manufacturer text in unreadable. The engine inlet gives you a good view of the air-cooled boxer engine as well as the engine cowling. You can’t remove the cowling to have a look inside, but the outside Aluminum covers with quick fasteners are nice and realistic.

Another well modeled piece is the Nose Landing Gear (NLG) although the wheel fairings hide much of the tires. If you don’t want the wheel fairings, then open, click on the “O” from Options. This opens a 2D window and allows you to show or remove the wheel fairings. Aha, that’s the way I like it! With the Options window available, it shows that you can open and close the pilot and passenger doors and activate or deactivate the static elements.

For the C152 II the static elements are the pitot-tube cover with REMOVE BEFORE FLIGHT tag and the yellow wheel chocks.

While walking from the nose section away, towards the left-hand wing leading edge, I can clearly see the air inlet for the inside mounted fresh air outlet, and a little further outboard you’ll find the pitot-tube and the STALL warning device. Moving further along the leading edge to the wingtip, it seems the there’s some weathered look as well as the red navigation light.

No, you won’t find a strobe light or aft white navigation light. The white navigation light is mounted at the aft top of the vertical fin. Anyway, there’s no need for me to drain water from the fuel tank.

I lowered the flaps before starting with my inspection, although during normal walk-around inspections that’s not needed. They are looking good and I can’t see any misaligned parts. Before moving to the tail, I have a quick look at the main wheels. You can clearly see that the tire and wheel assembly are made with the help of photo-real material.

I like that since it gives you a realistic view of the modeled C152. While walking from the left hand main wheel to the tail, you can clearly see the presence of NORMAP MAP files. These give the entire C152 II a slight 3D effect due to the skin plates, rivets, quick fasteners etc.

I’m happy with the tail section. Due to the skin textures, it has a realistic look. I just mentioned something about the NORMAL MAP files. If you change the outside lighting conditions (Shift + L or K), you can see it for yourself. Beautiful! At the bottom the aft fuselage, I see the mooring hook and the mechanical linkages of the rudder control system.

The red anti-collision light on the top of the vertical fin of photo-real material. It looks good! I’ll finish my walk-around inspection via the right-hand side, which will show the same things I’ve seen on the left hand as well as checking the overall quality. Before closing off my inspection, I’ll have a look at the upper wing surface with fuel caps.

Your Flight Deck

The C152II comes with a 2D and 3D cockpit. Based on the high frame rates and, of course, depending on your Rendering settings, it’s not difficult to get 30-40 frames.

And yes, it depends not only on your settings, but also which airport you’re at and your PC or Mac specifications.

Before checking the 3D cockpit, I would like to highlight the screen icon C. The “C” is from Cameras. You can select different angles and having therefore cockpit positions (views) and you’re able to change the Field of View, which is standard set to 74.00. Just click left or right on the value to increase/decrease the angle view.

Anyway, the 3D cockpit. When you look around in this tiny cockpit, you’ll be surprised that two pilots can sit next to each other. I can tell you that if your instructor is not a thin person, there won’t be much space between each person. Tall people won’t have a pleasant stay in the C152 II cockpit.

Anyway, the instrument panel, which is flown from the left-hand seat, offers only basic instruments like the altimeter, IAS indicator (Indicated Air Speed), turn and bank indicator, horizon, suction indicator, compass, an ordinary clock, VSI (Vertical Speed Indicator) indicator, ADF indicator, VOR indicator, RPM and electrical Amp indicator.

Somewhere in the middle you’ll find the ADF, VOR and ATC control panel. All basic, and it’s indeed nothing more then this. Although simple, it still looks good. You can, for clarity, temporarily remove the control wheel by clicking on the output shaft. Below the instrument panel in a slightly different color you’ll find all the switches, knobs, engine controls, circuit breaker all of which are working and let’s not forget the pitch trim (elevator) wheel.

And no, this aircraft doesn’t have a rudder or aileron trim. In this lower instrument section, you’ll also find the ENGINE OIL TEMP and FUEL QUANTITY indicators.

Moving on, all sidewalls, ceiling, floor and rudder pedals are accurately modeled. I almost forgot to mention the two air outlet controls, located at the left and right corner of the windshield near the wing structure. The left-hand control tube can be pulled out and rotated for fresh air while the right hand one also has a temperate gauge built in.

And what about the virtual cabin?
That’s quite simple and straightforward. There’s nothing except for some bags and other personal stuff. The baggage area can only be reached from the inside by throwing your stuff over the seat. There’s no external baggage door available.

For the evening and night flights, you’ve got a light control rheostat. The inner knob is used for the integral lighting of the ADF, VOR and ATC control panels. The outer rheostat knob is used for all other instrument back lighting.

New screenshot of instrument and cockpit DOME lights

Then, near this rheostat, there’s a DOME switch, but for some reason this isn’t working. This won’t stop me of reviewing and I’ve already passed this issue to Carenado. Carenado’s answer is quite clear; “The texture is working but not the effects. Placed on the to-do-list for the next update.”

After all, I’m very satisfied with the overall porting of this model.

Cross-country flight KEVB – KCDK

I think it’s a good idea to make one of my real favorite flights from KEVB (New Smyrna Beach) to KCDK (Cedar Key). It won’t be a flight as it was in real since I’m not sure how accurate the Florida default scenery is beneath me.

I’ve planned an early flight, with hardly any clouds and after checking the latest information on 1-800-WEATHER, I’m ready. The cross-country flight goes from KEVB (New Smyrna Beach), passing south of KDED (Deland-Taylor), along Leesburg Regional (KLEE), heading for VORTAC OCALA (113.70 KOCF) and then straight on a heading of approximately 270 to Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge. Just East of it is the George T. Lewis airport (KCDK).

Starting with the right-hand screen shot, I depart from KEVB, runway 29, which due to no wind conditions, is the closest to the apron. On a heading of 270° I fly towards De Land-Taylor airport. From De Land-Taylor I climb as quickly as possible to a higher altitude before flying towards Lake Yale and Leesburg (KLEE).

Before approaching Leesburg, it’s time to tune to VORTAC OCALA.

I fly on a heading of 270° towards and along the coastline to Cedar Key over a swamp. I hope nothing happens and just in case, I’m flying over the swamp at 6,000 feet. In that case, I’ve enough altitude to descend to a safe area outside the swamp. Another advantage of this high altitude is the great view.

I’ve done all my preparations, and ready to go. Since KEVB is an uncontrolled airport and therefore no TAF available, I use the one from KDAB (Daytona Beach International) but it seems there’s hardly any wind, so I can choose from one of the eight runways and since I’m alone at KEVB, I decide to take off from 29, which is the closest to reach.

Engine running, checks performed, I finally taxi to holding point for runway 29. Flaps set, and before turning onto the runway, I listen once more to the radio to check if suddenly somebody decides to land on 29. Full power and there I go .. me and my C152 II. At around 70 knots I pull slightly on the yoke and she’s airborne.

I’ll stay at roughly 1,000 feet for a while because I’m not interested in getting in contact with Daytona Beach, which is a Class C airport. I’m currently flying on a heading of 270 and that should bring me straight to De Land-Taylor airport.

If you look at the Jacksonville Sectional Chart in front of you, you’ll see two highways. The moment I pass this intersection, I can climb to 6,000 feet or higher.

Since there’s no Auto Pilot in this C152 II, it’s important that once you’re at your cruising altitude, you trim the aircraft. And since there aren’t many clouds, there’s no need to constantly correct for trim, but you need to be awake.

That said, it’s an easy aircraft to fly and if you want to go to the basics of flying, then this is a great choice. Oops, I should watch out for the prohibited areas on my right and I can see the city of Orlando and KCMO far away on my left. And easy to see from this distance is Lake Apopka.

With so much time available for myself, I’ve selected Ocala VORTAC (113.70). When I’m close to Leesburg Regional, I make a gentle turn to acquire the VOR and fly straight to Ocala. With these clear weather conditions and the external view, it’s not difficult to pinpoint Ocala City.

In-between this stretch I have some time to check out the C152 II flight dynamics like slow flights, pre-stall conditions and some steep turns although the steep turns could also be done near my destination outside the swamp.

I’m approaching Ocala and arrive west of the city and yes, I can see the airport from 6,000 feet. This is the right moment to turn to a heading of 270. From now on to my destination airfield, I’m not planning to do any tricks or whatever would put me in danger.

Remember, most of the land below is swampland and I don’t want to sit next to an alligator. This last part to Cedar key is a pure flight under Visual Flight Rules thus VFR conditions. There’s no longer an NDB or VOR beacon in the vicinity, so it’s just me and my eyes and the default X-Plane Florida scenery.

My flight is reaching the end and I must say that I’m very happy with the C152 II. It feels like the good old days of my PPL lessons are popping up again. Although the C152c is a less stable aircraft compared to the C172, it’s so much fun to fly and this C152 from Carenado. My compliments to the Carenado team!

I’m approaching the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge and this looks slightly different then I remember from the real flights. No, in that respect the default XP10 scenery is not what I had expected, but never mind.

I’m now dealing with the C152 II. Still flying at an altitude of 6,000 feet, it’s time to descend to at least 1,000 feet. Circling on the way down helps and before I know it, I’m at a more decent altitude to make my landing.

The runway at Cedar Key isn’t very long and on both sides, there’s water, so I have to watch out and brake at the right moment. But first I need to land at the right spot on the runway.

I liked this.
I liked it very much!
I fell in love “again” with this Carenado C152 II.

Anything else?

As far as I can see in the Sound folder as well as what I hear, the C152 II sounds are OK with me. I think I covered most of it but there’s always a chance I missed things. Although it’s a simple aircraft with a minimum of instruments, you can easily forget something.

And …. how was the testing with X-Plane 11pb9?
I couldn’t find anything that was working with X-Plane 10, so yes, it’s is indeed compatible at the moment with this new simulator platform.

Summary

It was intended to be first an impression, then I decided to write a medium length review and it finally turned out to be a comprehensive review. I think, if you’ve enjoyed the review, you’ll know why.

Thus, the question is, is it worth acquiring this version?
If you own the C152 II v1, then, for sure it’s worth it, since the update to version 3.2 is free of charge. If you don’t own v1 and liked this review and confirmed for yourself by checking the YouTube movie, then go for it.

Good worth being a member of your GA collection!

So, if you don’t own the C152 II, you can buy the Carenado C152 II version 3.2 at CarenadoX-Plane.Org and Aerosoft. Want to see more than is in this review? Check out this C152 II YouTube movie.

Feel free to contact me if you’ve got additional questions related to this impression. You can reach me via email Angelique.van.Campen@gmail.com or to Angelique@X-Plained.com.

With Greetings,
Angelique van Campen

 

 

Add-on: Freeware / Payware Cessna C152II
Publisher | Developer: X-Plane.Org or Aerosoft | Carenado
Description: Realistic rendition of Cessna C152
Software Source / Size: Download / Approximately 250MB (unzipped)
Reviewed by: Angelique van Campen
Published: February 10th 2017
Hardware specifications: - iMac 27″ 3.5Ghz Late 2013
- Intel i7 3.5Ghz / 3.9Ghz during Boost Mode
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB
- 32 GB 1600 MHz DDR3
- 1 internal 1TB SSD (Sierra 10.12.3)
- 3 external 1TB SSDs
- Saitek Pro Flight System
Software specifications: - Sierra (10.12.3) | El Capitan (10.11.4)
- Windows 10 Professional
- X-Plane 10.51c | X-Plane 10.51m | X-Plane 11 pb9

4 Comments

  1. Bradford Cathey

    oh, the memories! 14 years old when my Dad drove me out to the local airport for my first lesson ($20/hr) in the 152. It was a warm August day, the smell of asphalt tarmac and aviation fuel filling the air. The 152, my airplane until I was 16 and graduated to the 172, then the 177 (Cardinal), then finally the 182. Thanks for the memories, Angelique!

    Reply
    • Angelique van Campen

      Yeah, when I started the review, it brought up good old memories too although I was slightly older.

      Reply
  2. glennchambers

    Great review again Angelique…. helemaal top 🙂

    Reply

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