A Short Freeware Roundup

Hi folks, EagleSkinner here again. I’ve just spent an interesting few hours flying around “Walter Sutton’s Private Airstrip”  in some very interesting freeware planes from Avsim and I would like to share the better ones with you.

My first new freeware in this very brief review is the Mudry Cap 10 by freeware makers  Dimitri Samborski, Nicolai Samsonov and Antonin Meyniel, three guys who go under the group name “Samdim Design”. I’m introducing them personally even though I have never met them. Why? Because this little freeware plane deserves the publicity. When I started the sim this morning and got my first look at the Cap 10 I was pleasantly surprised. For a freeware plane, this one is very well modelled inside and out.

The Cap 10 was designed and built in France by “Avions Mudry” and has been a popular aerobatic and trainer aircraft since the mid sixties. It has been a popular subject for aeromodellers over the years too – I built a 10cc two-stroke powered model Cap 10 over thirty years ago and was charmed by the looks of this plane even then. One thing that is really useful with this freeware plane from the Avsim Library is a well written and translated “readme” file that includes some of the history of the design. I shan’t go into a full review here, but I will say that this freeware plane is more than worth it. Look for “sd_cap10fsx.zip” at Avsim.

The maker of the next freeware addon in my recommendations today should need no introduction. David Rowberry has made a great name for himself in the freeware scene with his “unusual” glider creations – the Ariane Swift (and the powered version as well), the Horten HoIV and the LAK Genesis spring immediately to mind.

David’s newest freeware creation is just one more reason I rate his work as payware standard (which is a path he appears to be following with an ultralight project over at Aerosoft – well done David, go for it!). The modelling is – as usual – first rate. One really neat touch to the model is the animation once you have taken off from a slope and you press the “landing gear retract” button… The pilot tucks his legs into the coccoon and zips himself in – all with the appropriate sounds.

Another special feature worth noting is, as with all his models, the attention to detail. I have just got to share another picture here – take a look at the VC – very simple of course. But note the little piece of rope that’s left loose after rigging the glider… it’s animated and flutters along in the breeze. You can also see how nicely the carbon fibre yoke has been detailed.

One more interesting feature of David’s “human launched” gliders is that he includes a sub-directory of documents and pictures of how to fly this glider along with some scenery and saved flights for both FSX and FS9 use. Above and beyond this, David also gives the user help and advice how to set this glider up for air tow launching instead of the “Jumping off a cliff” method.

A definite thumbs up here! Look for “atos_vr.zip” in the Avsim FSX file library. (and I hate to say this David, if you ever read this, you really should have made this payware 😉 … it really is an excellent and fun fly!

The third new freeware I’d like to introduce you to today is from German freeware developer Dirk Stuck and his team at www.Flight-Team-Bremerhaven.de. Dirk and friends have produced several freeware models and also have a virtual airline setup on their website. Perhaps you might recognise the name from another aircraft though – Dirk recently released his Fieseler Storch model as payware (avalable on simMarket of course) and is also know for other payware projects such as an aircraft carrier and his GroundX traffic addons.

But enough of his payware and other goodies. These words are to introduce Dirk’s rendering of the Curtis Jenny. I know many FS pilots really enjoyed this plane in FS9 and miss it in FSX. Now she’s been made available for FSX and I must say that this is a really enjoyable “low and slow” flier to take to the skies over your favourite scenery addons.

Perhaps she appears a wee bit too clean and polished for a veteran aircraft, but even so, the Jenny’s puttering flight sounds and animated valve rockers instantly endear her to the new early twentieth century aviator. She’s a tad quirky, but I understand that many early biplanes needed a lot of care and attention during flight. No modern creature comforts such as electronic engine controls and autopilots. You really have to stay in command of the Jenny at all times.

I think you will enjoy this addon – look for “curtiss_266442.zip” in the Avsim library.

Finally today, I’d like to introduce you to another aircraft who’s modellers really should need no introduction. Warwick Carter, David Eckert and Michael Flahault have teamed up to produce a freeware rendering of the North American Aviation Texan T-6G. Yes, there are a couple of nice payware renditions of Texans and Harvards out there, but when I saw the “Who’s who” on Avsim, I just had to take a look.

It was a well rewarded look!

I had left the Cap 10 parked in front of the hangar at Walter Sutton’s Private Airstrip (one of the latest AussieX / FTX scenery addons that fits into their Pacific Northwest scenery) and was mildly surprised at just how big the Texan is by comparison – it doesn’t fit!

My next surprise came when I realised that the model was “cold and dark” – and the quick-start key combination didn’t work. Well done chaps, the surprise worked! You actually have to start this plane from the VC according to the correct start procedures. Having “flown” quite a few piston engine aircraft in FSX, I managed to figure out a starting sequence and get the engines running – maybe not the correct one, but after a few twiddles around the ‘pit I had the engine coughing and spluttering. Very nice feature that! Some may not like it, but for those of you who nee help, there is a detailed startup procedure in the accompanying “readme” file.

All in all a very well made freeware plane showing the Texan with a modern canopy and civilian pilot. Look for “fsds_t6_ver1.1.zip” in the Avsim FSX file library.

Well, that concludes my round up of some of the prettier freeware planes I have had the pleasure to add to my FSX hangar in recent weeks. These have been mere “introuctions” to the aircraft and not full tests. Yes, there are a few small things I could comment about in more detail, but I shan’t! These four planes really are enjoyable addons – I’d even go so far as to say that they really could compete with some of the recent payware addons from some of the more renowned developers.

Just remember – they’re free, and what’s more: they’re FUN!

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Miguel Blaufuks
Thursday, October 7, 2010 00:16

great round-up chris! thanks!