The British Aerospace Jetstream 32
For X-Plane 10, it seems as if many dedicated X-Plane 10 airplanes of high quality are being designed day by day. As of this writing, X-Plane 11 has been updated to version 11.01 (with a beta for 11.02) and by default the environment looks great although I still use add-on cloud programs. The JRollon Jetstream 32 has been updated for X-Plane 10.51 and for X-Plane 11. While typing this sentence, I’m still not sure which X-Plane version I will use. We’ll see what it will be!
According to Javier Rollon, his British Aerospace Jetstream 32 aircraft was developed in part with real-world Jetstream 32 pilots who assisted in the process of creating the flight model and providing images to accurately depict this aircraft in X-Plane. Find below some of the aircraft features including updates included for version 1.1. The whole list can be found at the dedicated X-Plane.Org store page.
- Custom simulated systems
- Manual or automatic engine startup
- Ground power unit start simulated with visible GPU
- Custom sounds – Failures systems
- Control in-cabin air temperature
- Simulated pressurization system
- Fully detailed and animated 3D cockpit
- High Definition modeling and texturing
- Reflective glass on instruments in the cockpit.
- Immersive lighting effects
- Atmospheric effects, including ice buildup, fog, function wipers clearing water
- 10 liveries available
- Accurate flight model designed with the assistance of real pilots
- Reworked the Night lights textures in the cockpit
- Changed the lights behavior in acf file
- Changed the enrich fuel switch to white (as specified in POH)
- Changed / Added switched for systems (including new GNS430)
- Corrected the Right Landing Light / Taxi labels on overhead
- And so on …..
That’s quite an impressive feature list, but now it’s up to me to find out if the aircraft fulfills my expectations. I almost forgot, if you want, you can download and read the supplied manual before buying the Jetstream package via this link.
Time to Check Out the JRollon’s BA Jetstream 32!
Real BAe Jetstream 32 Series background
The British Aerospace Jetstream is a small twin-turboprop airliner, with a pressurized fuselage, developed as the Jetstream 31 from the earlier Handley Page Jetstream. Let’s go a little deeper and see how it all started.
The development started at Scottish Aviation that had taken over production of the original Jetstream design from Handley Page and when it was nationalized along with other British companies into British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) in 1978.
BAe decided the design was worth further development and started work on a “Mark 3” Jetstream. As with the earlier 3M version for the USAF, the new version was re-engined with newer Garrett turbo-props, which offered more power (flat rated to 1,020 SHP (Shaft Horse Power) / 760kw) and longer overhaul intervals over the original Turbomeca units.
This allowed the aircraft to be offered in an 18-seat option with six rows of 2+1 seating and with an offset aisle. A water methanol option for the engine gave the aircraft the ability to operate at maximum load from a greater range of airfields, particularly in the continental United States and Australia.
The result was the Jetstream 31, which first flew on March ,28 1980 abd was certified in the UK on June 29,1982. The new version proved to be as popular as Handley Page hoped the original model would be and several hundred 31s were built during the 1980s. In 1985, a further engine upgrade was planned, which flew in 1988 as the Jetstream Super 31, also known as the Jetstream 32.
Production continued until 1993, by which time 386 31/32s had been produced. In 1993, British Aerospace adopted the Jetstream name as their brand name for all twin turboprop aircraft. As well as the Jetstream 31 and Jetstream 32, it also built the related Jetstream 41 and the unrelated, but co-branded BAe ATP/Jetstream 61. The Jetstream 61 never entered service, and retained its “ATP” marketing name.
In December 2008, a total of 128 BAe Jetstream 31 and 32 aircraft remained in airline service. Major operators include:
– Pascan Aviation (11)
– Direktflyg (7)
– Vincent Aviation (4)
– Jet Air (4)
– Blue Islands (4)
– Sun Air of Scandinavia (3)
– AIS Airlines (3)
Some 40 other airlines operate smaller numbers of the types. (Courtesy of Wikipedia). More information of the Jetstream family can be found via this Wikipedia link.
Recently, BAE Systems Regional Aircraft has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval for its Life Extension Program (LEP) for the 18-19 seat Jetstream 32 regional turboprop aircraft. Under the LEP the airframe life limit of the aircraft will be raised from the current 45,000 landings to 67,000 landings. The LEP introduces a revised structural maintenance program for the aircraft embodied through the Structurally Significant Inspection Document (SSID), which operators can buy from BAE Systems Regional Aircraft via a Modification Service Bulletin.
Installation and Manuals
I installed the Jetstream in X-Plane 10.51 and X-Plane 11.01. The installation isn’t difficult at all. The aircraft package is install without the need of a serial number, under a folder, depending if you’re using X-plane 10.51 or X-Plane 11. For X-Plane 10.51 you can install the Jetstream under General Aviation or you create your own “JRollon” folder or “Bae Systems”. For X-Plane 11 you install the Jetstream under folder “Laminar Research” or you also create what I did with X-Plane 10.51, a folder “JRollon” or “Bae Systems”.
Looking into the Bae Jetstream 32 folder, I notice the presence of a “Manual” folder. This folder offers the following documents:
– Addendum – Changes.txt
Since my Spanish isn’t good at all I can bypass the Spanish Acrobat document and use the English version. The addendum text file offers all the latest changes from the original version 1.00 up till version 1.1 and said that, since I haven’t mentioned it yet, this review covers Jetstream 32 software version 1.1.
Let’s have a look into the English user manual.
The Acrobat document is 60 pages thick and offers lots of tips and tricks, recommended adjustments etc. Unfortunately, there’s no table of contents included. OK, you can do without it, but it’s a handy document. I don’t think the manual has been updated since it was first released in 2012. I’m also aware that most of the changes and/or fixes are under the hood which not necessarily need and update of the manual. Anyway, the user manual basically offers the following sections:
– Cockpit Guide
– Procedures Guide
Although all pages are important, the 5 Setup pages are quite important and two of them are, according to Javier, very important. One deals with updating the X-Plane and the other about bugs. You can’t miss these pages since one is colored yellow and the other black with red text. Please take a moment to read these.
The Cockpit Guide is a collection of all available panels. The overhead panel, front panel, center panel, left/right skirt panel, side panel, yoke and menu panel (very interesting) and pedestal are discussed in detail about their functions as well as when something is not modeled or only works under special conditions. Along with the yoke and menu panel details there are icons, to place/remove the wheel chocks, connect/disconnect the GPU (Ground Power Unit), open/close the cabin door, switch the cabin lights ON/OFF or let the co-pilot visit the toilet.
The Procedure Guide offers the necessary steps for an automatic or manual engine start procedure. This is directly followed by a richly colored three pages Checklist. It is, as with other add-on airplane models, a good idea to print out these pages and use them to master, in a structured way, the Jetstream 32.
The last section deals with failures or actually cautions and warnings to keep in mind as you’re mastering and handling the simulated Jetstream 32. Let’s give you two examples of this page.
After stopping the start engine process, wait at least 30 seconds before tying again. If not you’ll produce a wet start.
Never stay five minutes in the 60% position with engines running. It can produce an engine fire.
And more examples on page 58 of the manual.
Since the manual doesn’t offer a tutorial, I searched the Internet to see if I could find anything that could help you to master the JRollon Jetstream 32 and luckily, I found three interesting movies.
– JRollon Jetstream32 StartEngines Part 1 of 2
– JRollon Jetstream32 StartEngines Part 2 of 2
– I-5_ BUR to LAS in JRollon JS32 (PilotEdge)
Although the BAe Jetstream doesn’t have an FMS, and thus is not a complex aircraft to master, it’s still worth having a look to these three movies and you never know when you’ll learn something extra. Don’t worry, I’m sure that tutorials will pop-up within no time.
Quick First Impressions
After loading X-Plane 11 (I could also go for the X-Plane 10.51) as well as the Jetstream Experimental livery, I’m impressed with what I see. Hold on .. it’s such an old design, right? Yes, that’s right. The original design goes back to being compatible with X-Plane 9 and X-Plane 10, but for some reason the aircraft is very well modeled, a weathered look can be spotted as well as the presence of NML (Normal Mapping) files. The interior and 3D cockpit are, even for these days, very well although not sure if all simmers like that. Perhaps more important are the flight dynamics thus how real is everything modeled and how real does it fly. It’s my job to figure that out. And as well as my knowledge goes! We’ll see!
For now I can only say … the external model looks great and this isn’t only from a distance. Close-up details give me the idea that Javier does have eye for details. After I opened the passenger door, the virtual cabin looks realistic and here too, it seems nothing is forgotten. Via the virtual cabin I’ll walk towards the 3D cockpit. Even from a distance it’s already gorgeous to see the flight deck coming into view.
The 3D cockpit is an eye opener of how a cockpit should be and what you should expect from a 3D flight deck. OK, I’m aware that the Jetstream 32 is a relatively small cockpit compared to a Boeing, Airbus or many other aircraft types. That said, the Jetstream doesn’t have complicated systems like EFIS and/or EICAS/ECAM. Still, it offers many features and the 3D cockpit is attractive to see.
It’s just a first impression, so now it’s time to move on to a walk-around inspection of the external Jetstream model.
I’ll start with my virtual inspection at the NLG (Nose Landing Gear). Amazing! One word is enough! The tires really look tires. That means, these are round and probably many polygons are used to achieve the round look. The strut itself is weathered and looks as real as possible.
That same look is also there for the strut links, tow-bar connection, and fixed AFT gear door with linkage. Almost forgotten is the realistic taxi light at the front top of the NLG. Via the right hand side I’ll move to the propeller blades and wing leading edge. In the meantime, I check the fuselage that luckily doesn’t look as new but has some scratches, weathered painting and some dirty spots.
The engine nacelle, and the vortex generators on the top of the wing are all clearly visible as well as decals on the propeller blades. Because of the British Airways livery, the spinner is painted black and there’s not much to see on it. But the engine cowling is blue and offers many tiny details such as the ice observation light.
Altogether, a pleasure to look at! Before I move towards the wing tip, I’ll have a quick look at the MLG (Main Landing Gear). Here we see the same tiny details as we saw on the NLG. Even the hydraulic brake lines with connectors are clearly visible as well as all other MLG attachments. Even the inner side of the fixed MLG door is completely simulated perhaps with photo-real material. OK, everybody knows that this is not a real walk-around inspection, but keeping all the details in mind, it almost looks like a real inspection!
Let’s continue on to the wing leading edge and wingtip. The navigation lights, strobe light and static discharges are in place and not forgotten. Via the trailing edge I’ve got a good idea of the ailerons and flap system with external hinges. Also well detailed is the engine exhaust. Moving along toward the rear of the fuselage I take a closer look at the tail section and the elevator and rudder. As far as I can see, the Jetstream 432 doesn’t have a trimmable horizontal stabilizer.
The way the elevators and rudder with balance/trim tabs are made is really worth showing to you. The whole tail section looks so good that you hardly believe you’re dealing with an XP10 model. All rivets, bolts, scratches, dents, weathered parts are included. From the top of the vertical fin, a twin wire runs to the forward part of the top fuselage. As far as I can remember, this is an antenna. Antenna or not, it’s very nicely modeled!
By means of the tail section and the passenger door we follow the same path to the NLG. The opened passenger door shows signs of photo-real material, which is good news. It gives the door and built-in stair a realistic look and with the integrated stair lights, it’s even more lifelike. This is also applicable for the aft mounted handrail and attach brackets and at the front side of the door the hold-open cable.
Continuing, we move via the left hand MLG, wing trailing edge and wingtip to the forward wing section. All the inspections we’ve done on the right hand side are similar for this side. That means, the overall inspection of the modeled Jetstream parts such as MLG, wing, engine cowling, antenna’s etc. is more or less similar. Moving along to the left front fuselage side we reach the NLG and we have to watch out for the Guinault GPU (Ground Power Unit). You can’t miss a yellow unit like this, but let’s be honest.
It’s an old GPU, full of scratches, missing paint, and very weathered. If you select ON/OFF from the control wheel, you can have the wheel chocks in place.
I must say that this walk-around inspection was a success. With the help of some real manuals, I was able to inspect the JRollon Jetstream as if I was doing it on a real aircraft. Overall … well done!
Virtual Cabin and 3D Cockpit
Using the AFT passenger door, which, by the way, is the only door that can be opened/closed, we enter the Virtual Cabin. As I said in the previous paragraph, it’s well developed and with eye for many details. Lets give you some examples.
The cabin seats have a glossy look and looks like leather, which is indeed the idea behind it and to complete that picture, the seat belts are ready to use as well as the cleaned astray. Looking in a sideways and upward direction, I can’t find the right word to describe how the passenger lighting and air control looks as well as the side panels and mid ceiling panels.
Yes, that’s the right word. Especially when you’ve connected the ground power unit and switched ON all cabin lights. Although the ceiling looks great, so does the floor with simulated blue carpet. Stepping out of the flight deck heading towards the cabin, there’s no galley, lavatory or whatever could normally be found in this location on many aircraft. The lavatory and galley on these small airplanes are mostly situated in the back. The end of the cabin, where the entrance passenger door is situated, is small but complete. There’s a kind of kitchen, lavatory and luggage area. I wasn’t able to open the closet nor the luggage door but the lavatory door I could slide open. The result? A completely modeled lavatory!
Before ending this section, here’s some information regarding the external/internal texture resolution. According to Javier “The pixel resolution of all textures, not only internally but externally also, is 2048 pixels, separated in several objects. So externally the full plane is around 4048 pixels, but in separated cases 2048 pixels.”
The moment you enter the 3D cockpit, it seems you enter a whole new world. It’s because the simulated cockpit offers an awesome virtual cockpit environment. That starts with the panel reflection and instrument reflection. And although a Circuit Breaker (C/B) panel behind the co-pilots seat isn’t an interesting item to look at, the Plexiglas in front of the C/B’s offers a realistic reflection.
Before heading to the different panels, we see that the seats are well done, with reflections, a weathered look and the seat belts are also nicely modeled.
Ok, the panels with switches, knobs, lights, indicators etc. and not to forget the panel reflection itself look great. An the reflection I’m talking about is not the instrument or gauge glass reflection, but reflection of the incoming sun. Anyway, the Jetstream is not a modern aircraft and therefore the cockpit doesn’t offer EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System), EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting) or ECAM (Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring) instruments, also no INS (Inertial Navigation System) or IRS (Inertial Reference System) and finally, no FMS (Flight Management System).
That said, it’s a cockpit with old-fashioned instruments like an ADI (Attitude Direction Indicator) and HSI (Horizontal Situation Indicator). The only digital instruments I’ve seen are the Collins WRX-270 weather radar and the Garmin GNS 430. With some electrical power switched ON, the cockpit comes alive. Lights illuminate, gauges and instruments start working, panel floodlights or integral lights can be activated as well as instrument back lights. The panel integral lighting system is yellow.
Not something I expected but it looks nice. Furthermore, I want to highlight the 3D knobs and switches effect. Yes, I’m aware that it is a 3D cockpit, but still. On some of the screen shots you will see this effect. Although the instrument fixing screws of most of the instruments aren’t something special, they have a 3D effect too and so I could continue. Zoom in on anything and you enter a new world called “accuracy and sharpness”. Javier managed to make high quality instruments, knobs, switches etc. I’ve made a few close-up screen shots for you.
As you can see on the close-up screen shots, it stays sharp and is a pleasure to look at. Add to this the instrument glass reflection, and when applicable due to external lighting conditions, panel reflection, and you’ve an awesome 3D cockpit.
But what about the Jetstream frame rates (FPS)?
Javier pointed this already out in his user manual. Frame rates are very good to be honest. Of course, it all depends on your rendering options and your PC or Mac. In my case, I’m running X-Plane 10.51 and X-Plane 11.01 on an iMac 27” with 3.5 Ghz Intel Core i7 CPU with an NVidia GeForce GTX 780M 4096 MB, 32GB 1600 DDR3 memory on an Apple Intel SSD. With decent rendering settings, you can reach 25-30 or more. That’s more or less the same as Javier’s figures.
Popup Card Holder
In many ways developers can introduce popup windows that allow you control the way a panel looks like, the way to control doors, the way to control cabin lighting and so on. Javier has chosen for an elegant way although it must be said that this popup window presentation is only available when in the 3D cockpit. When you click the top part of the control wheel card holder (yellow shaded area), a popup window on the card holder appears (open yellow square). See the following screenshot.
By the way, when you don’t want to have the control wheel in view, you click the control rod and both control wheels (captain and co-pilot) disappear.
With the popup window in view, you’ll notice that all possible icons (option to activate something) are amber which means not active. In the following example screenshots I first ticked the ground equipment icon and the GPU (Ground Power Unit) icon included how it looks externally. In the second set of screenshots I ticked the passenger entrance door as well as an external view with the door opened. For all other icons, I would suggest that you check these out in the provided manual. Most of them are by the way self-explanatory. Some of them are only applicable when you own specific hardware like radio equipment.
Verdict 3D cockpit
What I’ve seen so far is a well-developed and modeled 3D cockpit with lots of simulations and still with high frame rates. I’m quite satisfied with the end result, but a couple of notes are fair to be highlighted; what do I mean with that?
The letter of font type is not always crispy, but certainly not blurry. It could be noted that this font equals the original British Aerospace font. Another thing I noticed at the pedestal; indicators are completely flush with the pedestal construction. It could be that this is the reality, but mostly indicators are mounted from the top into their recess. That always means the indicator surface lies on top of the panel which isn’t the case with the modeled Jetstream 32, but again, I can’t correctly verify this with real photos.
Hold on, is this really correct or should I do some additional investigation. Looking for good close-up screenshots of the pedestal is very difficult as said before, but the following screenshot, not being a close-up (I know) gives me the impression that JRollon and his team did a great job with the pedestal and what I just described seems not completely correct. It looks indeed that the pedestal indicators are more or less flush with the panel itself
What else can I add during my 3D cockpit inspection. It must be said that not all switches are modeled, but this is something that’s not unusual. Even brand new modeled aircraft today don’t have 100 percent modeled systems. Although I tested this “switch/system functionality” with X-Plane 11, it shouldn’t make any difference when using X-Plane 10.51 since the modeled Jetstream 32 is compatible with both X-Plane versions. I could write it all down, I could inform you what is not simulated and so on, but that’s already in the manual. When you go thru the user manual and read all the described and operation, Javier clearly indicated what is simulated and what’s not.
Is the “not switch/system functionality” then a big problem?
What I mentioned before, this is something you still see with new developed aircraft. I’ve not seen yet, unless I’m sleeping and not doing my review work right, an add-on aircraft that has all switches, knobs and/or selectors modeled, and/or functional. Remember, you can model a switch, knob or selector thus it seems that it works/moves, but that’s still not a guarantee that the system behind functions as in the real aircraft.
Initial Flight Impressions
Now we’ve finished the external model, virtual cabin and 3D cockpit, it’s time to check the Jetstream flight dynamics. But first there’s something that should be highlighted and taken from page 6 of the user manual.
There is stated, “This plane uses a code inside that deactivates your assigned axis of your joystick in several situations (when you have locked commands). You won’t be able to assign any axis to your joystick while the Jetstream is loaded. You could stop the plugin in the plugins menu, or load other planes and make the changes over that plane.
It is very important that once you have ended flying the Jetstream, you don’t quit X-Plane with it loaded. You have to load any other plane and then when loaded, quit. If you don’t do this, you will lose all your axis assignments but the throttle one. Especially when the controls are locked.”
As far as I can see and I did face it myself, it only concerns the YAW, ROLL and PITCH assigned axis. Other assignments like the ones under “Buttons:Basic” and “Buttons:Adv” are still available at a new X-Plane start-up.
Being a FAA PPL (Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot License) holder and ex-ground engineer doesn’t mean I know how a real Jetstream 31/32 flies. So this is always a difficult task, but I think I will manage.
For ground movements and flying, I use my Saitek X52 Pro joystick. Works perfect and although I can’t use Saitek’s Windows programming software, X-Plane offers enough adjustment and assignment options to get the work done. But before we can do anything, it’s a good idea to start the engine and it’s also a realistic way to start with. For this steps go to the user manual and look for the “Procedure Guide” section. On page 51 it starts with an automatic engine start procedure while page 54 shows you how to start the engines manually.
You can take either of the two, but when you start for the first time you could also decide to have the Jetstream engine already running. If not, go for the automatic engine start procedure. The items to perform on the checklist are written as a step-by-step procedure. Although it’s not always clear what they exactly mean. Much more important, you need to print out the complete manual or if you don’t want to do this, then read the whole description and operation of all the panels.
After I’ve got my engine running, I decide to make a long detour to one of the larger European airports. This gives me the possibility to check with my own eyes how this airplane taxies. Quite good to be honest! The YAW channel, simulation rudder and NWS (Nose Wheel Steering) movements, act directly and allows me to make small corrections when needed. But then, it’s time for the takeoff and climb.
Then here we go. The takeoff goes fine but keep your head cool and keep the Jetstream on the centerline. Small corrections can be done either by rudder pedals such as those by Saitek or you twist the joystick. A gentle climb and before you know it, you’re in the air. The first couple of initial climbs weren’t really a success.
The aircraft feels little unstable, but as I’ve said before, after a few times you get used to it and then suddenly, you can control the Jetstream as if it was never a problem. I hope you’ve read the manual before in respect to the Auto Pilot and the adjustments to make. The Auto Pilot or Auto Flight buttons, switches etc. are not, as with today’s modern aircraft, situated at the MCP (Mode control Panel – Boeing) or AFS panel (Auto Flight System – Airbus).
No, some of the AP stuff is located at the mid center panel and others on the glare shield. It’s easy to control the AP in any mode, but first go for the basic modes, HDG HOLD and V/S.
The advantage of having the AP connected is that a lot of time can be spent in the cockpit and seeing for yourself how the systems work and behave in flight. I mentioned earlier that this JRollon Jetstream 32 is, in that respect, the same as the basic real BAe Jetstream. This means there’s no FMS or INS/IRS installed. You navigate the Jetstream with the help of either VOR/DME stations or you go for NDB beacons. Thus, the old-fashioned way!
With the Collins radar you can check to see if there’s a need to fly around thunderstorms while the Garmin GNS 430 can also help you with navigation purposes. Oops, I forgot something and that’s the window heating. That’s the problem when you make a test flight and don’t want use the checklist. I forgot to switch ON the window heating and while making a test flight with a cruising altitude of FL200, I got fogged windshield panels and side windows. Time to switch it ON and hopefully, vision comes back.
After a while my external vision is back, so it’s time to fly manually. I disconnected the AP and see how easy it is to fly this Jetstream by hand. With my joystick as control, I can only come to one conclusion. It flies like a charm! With small corrections, it’s no problem to keep it at a certain altitude and at the same time maintain the selected HDG, whatever mode you’re using.
I only disconnected the AP button, but left the NAV and ALT buttons on the glareshield active as well as the FD (Flight Director) pushbuttons. The advantage to this is that you maintain guidance indication on your ADI although you’re flying the aircraft by hand. Anyway, some panels and/or selectors aren’t working, but that is clearly indicated in the user manual. Some of these systems are GEAR and BETA WARNING switches, DAY/NIGHT switch on the center panel, BAT TEMP panel, WEATHER RADAR buttons etc.
I would like to add something and that’s TCS mode built in the JRollon Jetstream 32. This TCS makes it possible, with the AP engaged or as Javier calls it that the AP servos are engaged, to temporarily disengage, so not disconnect, the AP and allows you to manually via your joystick give a PITCH, YAW or ROLL input. According to Javier “This button is not present inside the 3D cockpit, but the flight simmer can assign this via a joystick button. It’s located inside Joystick & Equipment – Buttons:Adv – autopilot – Control_wheel_steer.” More information about this CWS can be found at page 24 of the User Manual.
I consulted Javier to learn a little more then what I already knew and explained about the TCS or CWS. Javier explains, “The CWS or (TCS) button is a button to override the autopilot. What it does when you press it is to disconnect servos, but not the autopilot so the pitch and roll modes are overridden by the controls of the pilot. This is useful for example when you want to have a new pitch angle to engage in VS mode. First you press the CWS, then you pull (or push) the yokes, and then with that new pitch configuration the plane has, press the VS autopilot mode button. That way it will pick up the new pitch mode.
Of course, you can do it with the control wheel, but there’s another interesting reason. When you reach a dangerous situation you can immediately override aircraft control. Just press the assigned button and keep it pressed and then fly the aircraft and bring it out of that dangerous situation. Once you release the TCS (or CWS), the plane will catch the old or new autopilot configuration, if the autopilot servos were on.”
The descent, approach and landing is performed without any complications and after you’ve entered the ILS frequency, selected APR, everything works fine. Again, when you leave the FD (Flight Director) ON, you can fly manually and use the guidance on the ADI.
I don’t have a separate section for sound, known issues or forum items. According to the dedicated X-Plane.Org store page, the provided sounds are real recorded Jetstream sounds. Since I’ve no clue how it sounds, I’ll assume that these implemented sound files are indeed representing the real Jetstream.
Regarding known issues and forum items; I reviewed Jetstream 32 package version 1.1 that corrected a few known problems. I checked on a regular based several forums related to the JRollon Jetstream, and couldn’t find any serious issues. Of course, there’s always something, but as I said before, there were no serious problems to be solved.
Overall, a greatly detailed and uncomplicated airplane to fly and you’ll like the old-fashioned way of navigating. That’s fun! Although there’s no EFIS, EICAS or ECAM installed nor the presence of a FMS, it’s still a complex aircraft and as far as I could detect, at least 95 percent of all aircraft systems can be operated. If they all behave and work as the real systems is something I couldn’t confirm. But there’s a lot to play with and see. Due to the Jetstream 32 dimensions, you don’t need long runways, large airports etc.
Flying under IFR Conditions
Flight Plan Preparations
My planned IFR test flight of today will be from EHBK (Maastricht Aachen Airport) to EHBK. This fms flight plan can be created with your Internet browser by surfing to the Online Flight Planner or you can create it with the help of SkyVector.
Before I forget it, download from our dedicated Dropbox folder the following X-Plained.Com link the IFR package that belongs to this IFR flight. This package comes with a “fms” flight plan, charts and other stuff that could be interesting in case you decide to fly this stretch too.
When you decide to create the flight plan via the Online Flight planner, the waypoints in-between the flight plan are chosen by the program, so there’s no control over this. You either like it or not. That said, when you use SkyVector and thus the created flight plan I made for you, you have more control over which waypoints you want to add. Realistic or not? No, it’s not realistic, but sometimes adding yourself waypoints allows you to manipulate the way you fly to or to bypass mountains, or on purpose to visit scenic areas.
Keep in mind that the generated flight plan with SkyVector doesn’t have the necessary “fms” extension that is needed for the Jetstream 32. A SkyVector flight plan has the extension “fpl”, so we can’t use that however, X-PlaneTools (https://x-planetools.com) allows you to convert this “fpl” into a “fms” extension. For your convenience, I’ve included both the ehbkehbk.fpl and the converted ehbkehbk.fms (with SkyVector and X-PlaneTools) files in this package.
The SkyVector created flight plan contains waypoints and a couple of VOR stations. For the build in Jetstream 32 Garmin GNS 430 it doesn’t make any difference. As you know, the advantage of VOR stations is that they have a frequency, thus you can tune to them, but a waypoint has only longitude and latitude information.
Step-by-Step GNS 430 FP insertion
Copy the created fms file into the X-Plane root folder Output/FMS plans. With the fms file in this folder, you’re able to load the flight plan into the Garmin GNS 430.
Next click once the knob right hand inner ring. The previous page (ACTIVE FLIGHT PLAN) is replaced by a “FLIGHT PLAN CATALOG”. Further on, in the field you see our flight plan file ehbkehbk.fms
Next click once on the middle of the right hand inner knob (PUSH CRS). The selected flight plan, in our case ehbkehbk.fms will be highlighted green
So ….. you could ask yourself the question … what is different on this IFR flight?
Not much, but still worth to make a second test flight and for sure I’ll notice other things I haven’t seen on the first flight. Besides that, I’m now using the Garmin GNS 430 which makes it much easier, but don’t forget, in case you missed it, you need to select the CDI button on the GNS 430, and switch from VLOC to GPS else the flight plan isn’t connected to the Auto Pilot. That said, don’t expect wonders of this basic Auto Pilot. You still need to enter a preselected ALT (altitude) and V/S (vertical speed). By the way, the V/S is set via the thumb wheel on the center instrument panel above the BATTERY TEMP unit, right of the engine indicators.
I kept my cruising flight level low, just 4000 feet, used ZonePhoto photo real ground textures, and real weather and time. While flying this route, it a mix of thunderstorms in the South of the Netherlands, and clear weather in the mid. After takeoff, I leave the AP OFF for a while, but you can preselect already the ALT and NAV buttons on the AP panel. As long as you haven’t engaged the AP, nothing happens. That said, I climb out to 4000 feet manually and trim the aircraft. It will cost some time to familiarize myself how to fly the Jetstream, but once you have that feeling, it’s a nice aircraft to fly. How real it flies, no idea! I may assume that Javier did had real pilots around him to get out of the add-on the most realistic flight dynamics.
Once at 4000 feet, I connect the AP and the aircraft follows the flight plan. Another thing I don’t know, I tried to reach Javier but no reply, if the default X-Plane Auto Pilot engine is used or that Javier modeled with the help of others a dedicated British Aerospace Auto Pilot. One thing is for sure, it flies stable although making rolls are a bit oversteered, as well as with pitch changes.
While the flight continues with the help of the AP, I have a read in the manual as well as walking around in the Virtual Cabin. The review was written on a special request from a simmer, which is good news, but at the same time I’m asking myself the question if there are any competitors on the market. When it comes to the modeled Jetstream 31/32 aircraft, then the answer is short …. None! But when it comes to look alive and equally sized aircraft, then it seems there’s more on the market. Let me stick for a moment to only those models that are also compatible with X-Plane 10.51 and X-Plane 11.
You have the Carenado Beechcraft 1900D, but this model is officially not yet compatible with X-Plane 11 although you can use it with X-Plane 11. Then you could look for the Carenado Cessna C208B Grand Caravan. I’m aware that this is a single prop aircraft, but the fuselage is quite long. I don’t want to compare the JRollon Jetstream 32 with the SSG Embraer Evo or the X-Crafts, but I could compare it with the DreamFoil Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante, but also this aircraft is, according to the X-Plane.Org website, only compatible with X-Plane 10.40. That said, no idea if it will be compatible with X-Plane 11 besides that it doesn’t use all the new X-Plane 11 features. Regarding the DreamFoil model I found the following at the Org forum, dated January 20th 2017 “The emb-110 will be upgraded to XP11 when a stable version is released. No additional fees will be charged for this conversion.”
Oops, back to my flight.
Still being at an altitude of 4000 feet, I decide after I’ve passed waypoint VEBAK, to do the necessary preparations for my landing on runway 21 EHBK. It does offer an ILS, but the weather has been cleared up, so a manual landing is also possible. Although there’s still some time to go, need to fly approximately 35-40 NM, better done this before then doing all these preparations in a hurry.
After ROMIN – officially 19.8NM out EHBK – I enter a preselected altitude of 2000 feet, but leave it as it is for the moment. Passed 10NM, I descent to my intended altitude and when I look closely, I can see the airport already. Operating flaps and gear is obvious, reducing the speed, having also PAPI when I don’t want to use the entered ILS and thus the FD who can guide me. By trimming the glide path, I don’t have to do too much with the controls which is easier for me. Altogether, an easy to go approach and landing.
Although the JRollon BAe Jetstream 32 is an old aircraft that has been developed a long time ago, it’s still in my humble opinion a great airplane to fly.
Javier Rollon has put a lot of energy in the overall design of the Jetstream and gave the model its own and unique identity. It’s a nice looking external model with some liveries included and a realistic modeled virtual cabin, although I can imagine that some flight simmers are less interested in a Virtual Cabin. But above all, it has a high quality 3D cockpit. This is what people like, a 3D cockpit almost as real as it can be.
Lots of features are installed and I’m quite sure I haven’t seen and tested all of it. But I can tell you that what I’ve seen and tested, works flawlessly and the supplied checklist will help you find all the ins and outs of this modeled X-Plane 10.51 and X-Plane 11 aircraft. The User Manual explains which systems are simulated and guides you thru the descriptions and operations. Some systems or just switches don’t work, and are clearly marked as not simulated/modeled.
As I’ve said, it’s not a complicated aircraft, but I miss a tutorial. The only tutorial I found was the one that explains the automatic and manual engine start procedure. But I also checked the two official JRollon movies, found at YouTube. Although they don’t offer a complete tutorial, they still offer a lot more information than expected and thus these can be added to the “tutorial” list. I’m not finished yet. I found another movie from PilotEdge. This movie covers a complete flight and gives us our tutorial.
More information of the JRollon Jetstream 32 at the dedicated X-Plane.Org web page. The X-Plane 10.51 and X-Plane 11.01 Jetstream combined add-on package will cost you, as of this writing June 3rd, 2017, 34.95 USD.
Is there a need to update the Jetstream 32?
The Jetstream 32 version 1.1 for X-Plane 10.51 has been updated already a while ago. That the aircraft is officially released for X-Plane 11 (separate installer) doesn’t necessarily means that the aircraft is using all the features X-Plane 11 offers, unless I’m wrong. I tried to contact Javier Rollon, but unfortunately no reply so it’s difficult for me to say confirm that. I can say that all what I’ve seen works OK and the external model has a nice gloss, but that’s no guarantee that it’s optimized for X-Plane 11. Neither less, it was nice to test the Jetstream 32 with X-Plane 11.
Perhaps I mentioned this before, the user manual is not updated, nor for use with X-Plane 10.51, nor for X-Plane 11. That said, I must admit that for the system operation and description it this doesn’t make any difference. It’s pure based on the pages that deal with installation and configuration. Regarding the liveries the following; I tested all liveries of the X-Plane 10.51 model and it turns out that they are all useable with X-Plane 11. The only thing you need to do is to generate within X-Plane 11 aircraft livery icons.
Used Add-ons in review
Besides the JRollon Jetstream 32, I used the following payware and freeware add-ons:
– Payware | Aerosoft Maastricht-Aachen Airport (EHBK)
– Payware | X-Plane.Org Bella Coola Airport (CYBD)
– Freeware | ZonePhoto Ortho ground textures Belgium and the Netherlands
– Freeware | Livery X-Plane 11 Executive by Vanadeo
– Freeware | Livery Eagle Air TF-ORD by CDN 791M
– Freeware | Livery ADA by telecast
– Freeware | XChecklist version 1.22 by sparker
– Freeware | Jetstream 32 clist by James Gillies
– Freeware | JRollonJetstream 32 replacement annunciators by Dozer
– Freeware | alpilotx.net X-Plane 10 HD Mesh Scenery v3
There’s always that question, did I cover everything?
I know now already that I didn’t cover every tiny system or special feature. But what I do know is that I covered the overall aircraft with enough depth and information for you. Based on that, you should be able to decide what you want to do and else, feel free to contact me.
Angelique van Campen
|Add-on:||Payware JRollon Jetstream Super 31 (32)|
|Publisher | Developer:||X-Plane.Org | JRollon|
|Description:||Realistic rendition of BAe Jetstream 32|
|Software Source / Size:||Download / Approximately 630MB (unzipped either X-Plane)|
|Reviewed by:||Angelique van Campen|
|Published:||June 1st 2017|
|Hardware specifications:||- iMac 27″ Late 2013 | iMac 27″ Mid 2011|
|- Intel i7 3.5Ghz / 3.9Ghz | Intel i5 2.7Ghz|
|- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB | AMD Radeon HD6770 512MB|
|- 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 | 16GB 1333Mhz DDR3|
|- 1 internal 1TB SSD (Sierra 10.12.4) | 1 internal 1TB SSD (Sierra 10.12.4)|
|- 1 external 1TB SSD (El Capitan 10.11.6) | 1 external 1TB SSD (Windows 10 Pro)|
|- Saitek Pro Flight System X-52 Pro and X-56 Rhino|
|Software specifications:||- Sierra (10.12.4) | El Capitan (10.11.6)|
|- Windows 10 Professional|
|- X-Plane 10.51c | X-Plane 10.51m | X-Plane 11.01|