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Gift Guide: Virtavia - B-1B Lancer

B-1B Lancer

Publisher: Virtavia

Review Author:
Ray Andersen

Suggested Price:


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The B-1B Lancer is a strategic andheavy bomber specifically designed for high speed, low levelpenetration operations, built first by North American Rockwell andlater by Boeing. The aircraft features a variable sweep wing designand four General Electric F101-GE-102 afterburning turbofan engineseach providing 17,390 lbf of dry thrust and 30,780 lbf with fullafterburner, which enables the aircraft to reach Mach 0.92 at lowlevel flights.

The B-1 is also known as the "Bone" (B-One) and was firstenvisioned as a successor aircraft that would combine the high speedfrom the B-58 Hustler with the range and payload from the B-52Stratofortress. The aircraft was however cancelled for a period oftime, but due to delays in the development of the B-2 Spirit, the B-1entered production once again and now with modifications to fit lowlevel penetration operations better.

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General Information And Aircraft Specs

  • Produced by North American Rockwell / Boeing
  • National Origin United States
  • First Flight 23rd of December 1974 (B-1A)
  • Introduction 1st of October 1986
  • Role Supersonic, Strategic heavy bomber
  • Produced 1983-1988
  • Built 100x (B-1B) and 4x B-1A
  • Unit Cost (B-1B) US$283.1 milion in 1998 ? US$415 milion in 2018
  • Status In active service
  • Crew 4
  • Length 146 ft (45 m)
  • Height 34 ft (10 m)
  • Wingspan 79-137 ft (24 m - 42 m)
  • Wing Area 1,950 sq ft (181 m2)
  • Empty Weight 192,000 lb (87.090 kg)
  • MTOW 477,000 lb (216.364 kg)
  • Power Plant 4x General Electric F101-GE-102 afterburning turbofan engines
  • Max Speed #1 721 kn (830 mph / 1.335 km/h / Mach 1.25) at 40,000' (12.000 m)
  • Max Speed #2 608 kn (700 mph / 1.126 km/h / Mach 0.92) at 200' (152 m)
  • Range 5,100 nmi (5,900 mi / 9.400 km)
  • Combat Range 2,993 nmi (3,444 mi / 5.543 km)
  • Service Ceiling 60,000 ft (18.000 m)
  • Rate of Climb 5,678 ft/min (28,84 m/s)
  • Wing Loading 167 lb/sq ft (820 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/Weight 0.28

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Purchase, Download And Installation

I purchased this add-on at the FlightSim.Com Store and the purchaseand download went easily and without any issues. The connection to thedownload server was very good so the entire download was quicklycompleted. The file downloaded is named VRT-1170 and is a 169 MB zipfile. Not really a huge file for an add-on aircraft.

After the download was completed I started the installationprocess. This process is also very easy using the includedinstallation wizard - about 20 seconds and the aircraft wasinstalled. There were no updates to the version and there is nolicense key required for installing this aircraft.

The installation wizard does not feature an 'auto-find' the correctinstallation folder, so this you have to do manually. For P3Dv4.5which I have tested this add-on on, you could install within thestandard aircraft folder: /P3D/SimObjects/Airplanes - or you can alsoinstall outside the P3D directory if you like that better - LockheedMartin recommend installing add-ons outside the P3D main folder.

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Do note that this add-on requires the P3Dv4.5 platform to work andalso do remember that if you want the afterburner flame-effect toshow, you will need to manually copy/paste the effects files from theaircraft Effects folder into the P3D effect folder. This isunfortunately not done automatically by the installation wizard. Thesame you need to do with the two .wav files in the custom sound folderfound in the aircraft folder - these two files you'll need to copyinto the main P3D sound folder to get the afterburner soundaccurate.

Included in the installation is a well written and easy tounderstand 48 page PDF manual which provides basic information aboutthe add-on, like a quick introduction to the aircraft, an installationguide, an overview of the virtual cockpit functions, systems andoperations, short description of the VSD, information about theautopilot and so on. Also there is a section about weapon systems andweapon management with a detailed description of the differencebetween the three models and their capability as well as variousflight specs like takeoff and landing speeds, wings sweep degrees,flap positions, etc.

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After the installation was completed I went into the virtual hangarand found the aircraft perfectly placed under the Virtaviasection. There are a total of three models and an abundance ofliveries included and ready to be selected in the virtual hangar.


I started out with a walk-around the aircraft like a pre-flightinspection before a flight. The model is huge; it is beautiful andvery authentic. The size of the model seems to be very much inaccordance to real life when comparing it to other aircraft in thesim - it is huge and has a good realistic and authentic appearancewith a special kind of atmosphere that surrounds the aircraft - thisespecially when preparing for a mission starting out on a cold andearly spring morning when the sunrays shine softly on thefuselage.

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The first thing that came into my mind when walking around theaircraft, was that is resembled the earlier FSX version quite a lot,which was an aircraft that I frequently flew. I contacted Virtavia andthey verified that the model was indeed the old FSX model which hadreceived several upgrades and then converted to work on thePrepar3Dv4.5 platform - the upgrade consists of an extensive generaloverhaul, weapons systems upgraded with the ability ofshootable/droppable weapons which however is limited to the P3DProfessional Plus only, animated rotary launchers, the virtual cockpitis optimized for VR, cockpit night lights greatly improved and theaircraft's exterior (wings) are now visible from the virtual cockpit aswell.

I find the model to be very accurate and a beautiful rendition ofthis awesome bird. The model features the distinctive huge tailsection as well as the variable sweeping wings and the mouse-lookingnose section. All created with a great focus on details, realism andquality.

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The textures used are high quality, multi-layer textures thatprovides a very good, authentic and realistic appearance of theaircraft. The aircraft appears like a brand new aircraft when lookingat the external textures, where I here would have enjoyed seeing a bitof wear and tear hear and there or some dirt or similar, but thatsaid, the textures are great and work perfectly with the model andshow the various metal plates that are put together to form the skinof aircraft. I could not see the actual rivets or similar in detail,but instead the aircraft textures feature a lot of various uniquemarkings like on the real aircraft.

The aircraft model of course also features a set of variousanimations. There are animations such as the controls (ailerons,elevator and rudder), the gear and gear suspension, turning nosewheel, rotating wheels on both nose gear and main landing gear, themotion of sweeping the wings together with the flaps, spoilers,leading edge slats, stairs to the entry, bomb-bay doors on the threebelly chambers, toggle crew hide/unhide and the engine exhaustionetc. All animations are created very life-like and with a smoothmotion.

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There are also included some effects in the model like the variouslights - overall the lights are good quality with a soft and fairlyrealistic shine. More interesting is the afterburner flame effect -the flame effect is absolutely awesome with a very realistic mixtureof colors, and I very much like the difference or delay you see inlighting the afterburner. Here I mean, that when you activate theafterburner, the flame effect does not light up on all enginessimultaneously, but with a small difference or delay on each enginewhich just makes the experience much more realistic.

I did miss a smoke effect when starting up the engines or whenflying - there were no smoke, not even when flying with fullafterburners - this I would have assumed there would be in reallife. Also I checked to see if I could see a wing-flex effect andunfortunately this I did not see either.

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Next up I jumped inside the Lancer and into the cockpit. There isno 2D cockpit for this add-on but instead Virtavia has created a verybeautiful and realistic virtual cockpit. Looking around the cockpit Iquickly got the feeling of being inside an elder military aircraft -lots of switches and old fashioned gauges and instruments which Ithink is just awesome. The cockpit is created with a very realisticdegree of wear and tear, and the cockpit and the impression that I gotlooking around, was certainly very authentic.

The textures are good quality multi-layer textures and the degreeof wear and tear absolutely help in creating a very realisticenvironment since this aircraft is of a certain age - last productionwas back in 1988. Virtavia has had a really good focus on the virtualcockpit and especially on the detailing - everywhere I looked, I justkept on finding detail after detail and the complete environment isjust superb with an abundance of eye candy. You absolutely get areally good 3D experience using this cockpit.

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There are several animations included in the virtual cockpit such asthe rudder pedals, the flight control sticks, the various leverssuch as the two times four throttles due to a set for each pilot, andall the various switches and buttons. Like on the external model,the internal animations are also good quality with a realistic smoothmotion.

I did not see that many effects in the cockpit other than of coursethe upgraded cockpit night lighting which certainly is really good -the lights illuminate the cockpit perfectly and are an awesomeaddition to the experience of flying a night or dusk/dawn mission. Theoverall experience and atmosphere created in the virtual cockpit issuperb.

However, one thing I did notice was that not all buttons andswitches were clickable also meaning that not all systems are fullyoperational. I know this is not a simulation add-on that is all-in,and the systems and switches etc. that are not fully operational areonly a few. By far, most of the cockpit is perfectly usable andfeatures systems and actions behind each button, switch and lever.

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There are several sound sets included in this model where one ofthe most important ones, of course are the engine sounds which covereverything from startup to shutdown at all the various rpms - also theactivation of the afterburners have an additional sound set.

Next to the engine sound set I found a complete environmental soundset covering sounds both inside and outside the aircraft. The externalsounds are the gear, the wings sweeping, the flaps, etc. and theinternal sounds are also a second version of the external sounds butalso the movement of levers, the clicking of buttons and so on.

All sounds that are included in the add-on are high quality soundsthat are professionally created and which fit the model perfectly. Iespecially love the sound when applying the afterburner which providesa super deep roar that is just awesome and gave me chills whenblasting down the runway or making a fast descent into low levelmission targeting.

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I also checked for various chimes but here I did not encounter thatmany. I got a stall warning which was quite good, but I did miss anoverspeed warning, a ground-pull-up warning and the coming in forlanding chimes with 50, 40, 30 call-outs. Weather these chimes orwarnings are in the real aircraft I of course cannot confirm, but Iwould assume they are.

I tested the sound set in both ordinary stereo using a standardheadset, then also in a 2.1 configuration using two front speakersconnected to an active subwoofer and finally also in a complete 7.1surround sound configuration. The sound was superb in all tests.

Flight Dynamics And Characteristics

Now the fun part of the test was surely the flight tests. Here Istarted out with a taxi to the runway to see how the aircraft behavedand handled. I discovered that the aircraft is quite easy to handle,you have a really good overview of the taxiways ahead and to bothsides, you sit up rather high which also provides a better overviewand you just have to remember that this aircraft is enormous likea Boeing B747, so you need to take this into consideration whenturning the aircraft.

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To start rolling you do need to apply quite a lot of power whichmakes good sense since this aircraft is very heavy, but to keep theaircraft rolling can be performed almost on an idle setting. The wheelbrakes are very efficient and will stop the aircraft quickly. Turningthe aircraft using the nose wheel is also very easy and the aircraftwill turn in a very short diameter compared to the size of theaircraft.

After the taxi I finally reached the runway and prepared fortakeoff. I lined up on the centerline and checked for traffic before Iapplied full throttle and full afterburner. I heard the engines spoolup and thereafter the afterburners kicking in with an awesome deeprumble - the engines are very powerful but the aircraft is still hugeand heavy so the acceleration did not feel that powerful ... still Igot a superb experience mostly due to the awesome sound.

Blasting down the runway reaching V1, V2 and Rotate was a reallygood experience, then pulling back on the stick and raising the noselifted the aircraft softly off the runway and into a steady climb. Theweather was fair and I really didn't feel any turbulence. The aircraftwas very steady during the entire takeoff and climb and I would assumethat this is fairly in accordance to real life, since the aircraft isa very heavy aircraft, which I would think would need severeturbulence to have an unpleasant impact.

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Flying the B1 is very easy, the controls are smooth and theresponses are quick and the aircraft just has so much surplus powerthat you don't really have to worry about raising the nose toomuch. During my flight test I tested both high altitude flights aswell as low and also very low level high speed flights. Even thoughflying at a very low level with full throttle, the aircraft was stillvery easy to control - of course when flying over a terrain that isnot flat you do need to plan ahead all the time. I did a couple ofcanyon runs and the B1 could be handled much like a fighter jethowever with a bit slower reaction time and with a longer turningradius.

I also tested several of the real specs to see how well the flightdynamics of the aircraft were created and here there is room forimprovements I'd say. E.g. I did a full throttle with afterburner at150' MSL where I reached a bit more than 750 knots equal to about Mach1.12 - according to the specs I should not be able to reach more thanabout 608 knot equal to Mach 0.92 so here there is a smalldifference.

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I did the same test at an altitude of 40,000' where the specsindicated that I should be able to reach Mach 1.25 - my test took meto Mach 1.20 which I would say is very close.

Next I tested the impact on the nose position towards the horizonwhen flying with the flaps up and then lowering the flaps. I foundthat when lowering the flaps the nose also dropped and when raisingthe flaps the nose also went upward which I was very pleased tosee.

When looking at the wings, the flaps and the spoilers I wouldassume that this aircraft would be able to generate quite a lot ofdrag and even more when lowering the landing gear, so this I of coursealso tested. The result was a minimal drag where the impact wasvisible on the indicated airspeed, but not nearly as greatly as I hadassumed. I think this is not that accurate according to real life.

Another detail that I had to check was the stall speed of theaircraft with gear and flaps up and with the wings swept all the wayin. The stall occurred at around 200 knots at an altitude of 2,500' -the same test I did with the wings swept out, with full flaps and thelanding gear down, now the stall occurred at around 140 knots instead,so this was really nice to see that the flight dynamics had thisdifference which makes that part realistic.

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The last spec that I wanted to test was the service ceiling - Iapplied full throttle and started a steady climb leveling out a littlebit at the time the higher I came. The specs indicate that I should beable to climb the aircraft to 60,000' but I unfortunately came nowherenear that. The absolute max altitude that I reached was 48,500' andthat was just a peak altitude and not a steady cruise. I think thedifference in my tests of the service ceiling and the specs is quitemuch. I did this test several times with different climb sequences butI could not get any higher than the 48,500'.

Landing the aircraft can be a bit tricky - you have a great forwardview, but the aircraft is huge and heavy and you need to set it downon the runway softly. Of course the huge flaps helps you out but Iwould say that landing this aircraft was more demanding thane.g. landing the Boeing 747 and this just in fair weather. I alsotried in stormy condition and that was surely quite a challenge -which I of course do like.

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It was absolutely a pleasure flying this old bird once again - Ihad really missed it from the time where I used to fly it back inFSX. Virtavia has created a beautiful rendition of this enormous andiconic strategic bomber featuring a realistic and high quality modelfilled with details, animations and high quality textures.

The P3Dv4.5 version also features a next level of realism with thedetailed weapon systems and weapon management. You are now able toactually fire or drop armaments which just increases the experiencegreatly especially when flying e.g. a low level bombing mission.

The virtual cockpit is very detailed and indeed very authentic withlots of old fashioned systems and gauges showing a realisticenvironment and a realistic amount of wear and tear - I quickly got agood feeling of this aircraft and it is absolutely a joy and much funto fly.

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The aircraft can be rather challenging especially during landing,but in flight the aircraft is very steady and quite easy to fly. Ifyou like old military aircraft and have the 'need-for-speed', thenthis is certainly an add-on that is worth taking a closer look at - Ican definitely recommend this awesome iconic military bird forsure.

The B-1B Lancer scored a good 4/5 rating and I want to thankVirtavia for upgrading and converting this awesome bird to P3Dv4+. Isure hope to see more Virtavia aircraft coming to live in P3Dv4+ inthe future.

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Review Computer Specifications

  • Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit) (secondary system)
  • Intel Core™ i7-4790K 4x4.00GHz (Turbo 4x4.40GHz)
  • Asus Maximus VII Ranger (ROG-series)
  • Antec Kuhler H20 650 Water Cooler
  • Kingston HyperX Beast-series 32Gb DDR3-2133 RAM
  • 500Gb Samsung 850 EVO SSD
  • 3Tb Seagate Barracura (7200rpm, 6Gb/s)
  • Asus GeForce GTX 980 Strix OC 4Gb
  • 150/150Mbit Fiber Internet Connection
  • Prepar3D v4+
  • REX SkyForce 3D



Ray Andersen

Rays Aviation

Purchase Virtavia - B-1B Lancer

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