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I love anything from Careando, and fly light twins out of preference on my sim. Last week I picked up the Flysimware C402, but this week am stepping down to a slightly smaller Cessna sibling, the C340 II. These screens are from a quick low altitude test flight out of Timaru (NZTU with the freeware Orbx compatable airport from REAL NZ) around the Canterbury Plains. I'm planning to take it up again to really stretch it's legs around my FTX version of NZ shortly, so expect to see a bombardment of shots to be posted from this awesome addon soon!
As a follow up to my New Toy post on Friday, I took my new Carenado 340 up on a second more extensive test flight along the mountains of New Zealand's South Island. The route was WB - NS - ALADA - BELEE - MAMUS - QN, flown at FL200 to see how the turbocharged IO520's would perform. The pre dawn departure was intentional, to see what sort of interesting colours FSX could conjure up as the sun rose from behind the Southern Alps during the cruise. Before I post the screen caps, a few points of interest for those considering the 340 as their next purchase: The Cessna 300 series have notoriously overcomplicated fuel systems, with the fuel pumps delivering more fuel to the engines than they require, and then returning the leftovers that didn't make it to the manifold back to the main tank (regardless of whether you are running off the mains or aux tank). Therefore it is recommended to run the aircraft on mains for 60 mins from takeoff (or 90mins in the 310), before selecting the auxiliarys, otherwise (with full tanks) the returned fuel would get sent overboard due to lack of space in the already full main wingtips, and be an unnecessary waste of endurance and $$$! This is a little tricky to do with the Carenado model, as the only means I could find to change tank selection was a left mouse click on the central floor tank selector. Scrolling and right clicking wasn't an option, so when changing from aux's back to mains, you are forced to cycle through to 'fuel off' on each side before being able to select back to the main tank- which coincides with an instantaneous engine outage. The fuel tank quantity indicator on the upper right hand side of the main panel didn't seem to read correctly either. A two position switch above it's gauge face allows the pilot to select either mains or aux's, with adjoining orange lights illuminating when the aux's are selected in real life. In the sim, the lights turn on when the mains are selected, although the quantity displayed is actually the aux's. Just two labels in the VC that have been stuck the wrong way around by Carenado, but confusing if you weren't familier with the system beforehand. In real world 300 series that I've flown, these tank selectors automatically change from mains to aux's when aux is chosen by the fuel selector, although I'm unsure if this is an after market modification or not. The Carenado 340 doesn't do this and could catch the unaware out! Having said all this, I absolutely love the external model and VC interior. I'll let the pics do the talking, but proportion wise, I think it's a very appealing looking aircraft. Apologies for the repetition of some of the angles below, but Carenado have always been good at setting up those arty presaved camera angles in the spot view! ...And then FSX crashed. I was about 50 miles out of Queenstown when ATC put me on vectors for the 23 ILS (ZQN doesn't have an ILS, and there were no other approaches available for selection- so not sure where this came from. Anyone know how to download some RNAV approaches for the sim?). About 40 miles out, ATC suddenly cancelled my IFR flight plan without any prompting from my end. I decided to attempt a visual approach, and was within 30 miles of the airport, cycling through views to snap screenshots when the sound stopped and a few seconds later, the program froze. An Appcrash Stackhash error was what caused it according to the debug screen- something I've never encountered before. I'd made a flight from Wanaka to Queenstown in FSX over the weekend with a similar load on my GPU and CPU with no problems at all. Quite disappointed I didn't get to land the aircraft and see if my fuel burn calculations had been accurate or not!