Commercial FSX Review
|Publisher:||Aerosoft Wilga X|
|Description:||Real presentation of the Wilga|
|Reviewed by:||Tércio Sampaio|
Computer / Software Specifications
|Computer System:||- Intel i7 920 2.4GHz
- 6 GB RAM
- ATI/AMD Radeon HD6970 2GB
- TM Hotas Cougar + TM WCS + CH TQ + Track IR
|Software:||- Windows 7 Ultimate x64
- Flight Simulator X SP2
General Aviation is an important part of every pilot’s career. They need to fly in this type of aircraft before going to other, bigger birds. So, there exists many GA aircraft, not only in reality, but also in our lovely hobby, Flight Simulation.
I personally like almost all types of aircraft, but after a tired day or for a casual flight, many times I’ll use GA aircraft. If you try to search for GA aircraft you almost only see Cessnas, Pipers, Beechcrafts and its hard to find something different if you always see the same type of cockpits or gauges. But fortunately, something different is available. For example, the PZL-104 Wilga 35A from Aerosoft/OctopusG also called Wilga X.
The Wilga is a Polish aircraft, designed for short-takeoff-and-landing (STOL), and as usual with this kind of aircraft, it is slow, stable and very easy to fly. It is powered by a radial reciprocating air-cooled engine, AI-14RA with 260 hp giving it a maximum speed of 200 km/h (124mph) at low altitude. The service ceiling is 4000 m (+/- 13,000 ft) and is more than enough for what you expect from a VFR aircraft. It’s not a airliner anyway, and when you start flying it you will see that the great pleasure with it is flying as low as possible.
The first time you see it, you’ll think that this aircraft is really ugly, but after some time you’ll start to understand and feel the beauty of it. This aircraft was much used in Eastern-European countries but after the fall of Berlin Wall, it started to be used in others countries as for example USA and UK.
Installation and Manual
The installation process is as easy as possible. It’s the typical next, next, next, … with the necessary insertion, in the middle of the installation, of the key and email account data associated with the download because of copy protection.
The manual is very good, with 21 pages. Normal for an aircraft of this kind. It has an introduction of the aircraft, all aircraft data, performance tables, limits, systems, the cockpit explained and all checklists that are very extensive and detailed. So, you have everything necessary to fly this aircraft. Everything in the manual is simple and it’s very easy to read. After reading it, you’ll feel like a pro in this aircraft.
Cockpit and Systems
If you are an experienced pilot but do not have any experience with Eastern European general aviation aircraft it might be a shock, but it is as easy as any other aircraft of this kind.
For me, it’s a very beautiful cockpit and a truly fresh look from the sometimes boring western aircraft. Its very well modelled not only graphically but also in the systems. For example, to start the engine, you need to use the primer pump and the air valve also. All textures e.g. panels and external skin or components, are created in high resolution and shows an aircraft that has been used for a while and that increases the realism or should we say, it has a weathered realistic look!
The aircraft comes only with a Virtual Cockpit cockpit, but it’s very easy to use and comes in 4 languages (Russian, Polish, English and German) according to the liveries included. Anyway, don’t worry, because all panels comes with tooltips in English.
As a truly VFR aircraft, as is the real standard one, for navigation you do not have any GPS or VORs, only ADF on some versions.
The radios and navigation system are well made and are representative of what you can find in this type of aircraft. It’s an old aircraft type from the 60’s, so it has the same style as you find in other aircraft from the same era. A good example is the well known Douglas DC-3.
To make VFR flights easy, these aircraft have big windows as you can see from screenshots.
I have flown many times in Russian aircraft in FSX and I would like to add that this aircraft has the gauges very well done. It’s a graphical and functional representation of them.
Graphics, Animations, Performance and Sound
The external and internal graphics are very detailed with high resolution textures and has weathering effects that gives you an awesome looking and realistic feel and is very friendly with your frames per second.
The animations are very good and includes, for example, the movement of the cowl flaps in front of aircraft and the shake of the aircraft when the engine is starting, as well as the associated smoke from the exhaust. About the engine sound, it’s music to your ears for all prop engine lovers. It’s very powerful and very good and was recorded from a real engine and gives you a great pleasure when flying. The others sounds, like the flaps, knobs and buttons are very good and just like the engine sounds, they were recorded from the real aircraft.
As expected, this aircraft is very very stable. I like very much to use it on short and not so easy airfields, including snow covered airfields using the ski version that was included in the last patch. Its an aircraft you want to fly on bush flights, and also to discover and travel over beautiful landscapes and cities, because of its good manoeuverability at low speeds. Additionally, low altitude flying gives you the time to see the outside world in every tiny detail. The quality of the flight model is also expressed in it’s features. It was made from information given by real pilots of this aircraft and tested by them. From what I’ve discovered, it’s an excellent flight model and it’s a pleasure to fly it.
After flying it for a while, you will be happy because even at low speeds you can recover from a stall very easily and you can land it in any airfield that you want. It’s very good and recommended as a teaching aircraft when you are practicing your landings and its slow enough to not put you in stressfull situations.
As you could see, this aircraft has a tail wheel configuration, but with the excellent capacity to view outside from cockpit due to the high seat configuration, big windows and the virtual cockpit view, you don’t have the typical disadvantages of this type of aircraft with this landing gear configuration. So with this Wilga, you can see the runway almost as easily as in a normal tricycle configuration when taking off. The developers had the difficult job of creating a very realistic recreation of the PZL-104 Wilga. Additional modeling and programming was needed to bypass the internal limitations of the FSX engine.
Finally, I’d like to say that this aircraft is easy to learn and fly. It has awesome graphics and sound, it’s very stable and you can use it in all airfields and airports. I haven’t found any issue with this aircraft and its an aircraft that you would feel happy to have in your hangar. With a price around only 18€ i strongly recommend this nice and well modelled aircraft for pleasure flights and VFR and when you feel bored with western style gauges and/or complex systems. As the real one, its a very good aircraft for all new pilots and the developers give you the feel that you are there. If you like aircraft such as the DHC-2 Beaver and Dornier Do-27, this one is a must have.
This review is written for Aerosoft News Service and published via the Aerosoft website.
While the reviewer has complete journalistic freedom, we ask the reader to keep in mind where the review is posted.