• Carenado Piper PA28RT 201 Arrow IV

    Review: Carenado Piper PA28RT 201 Arrow IV For FSX

    By Adam Nardone (15 February 2010)

    In 1967, Piper introduced the PA-28R-180 Arrow. This aircraft featured a constant-speed propeller and retractable landing gear and was powered by a 180 horsepower Lycoming IO-360-B1E engine. A 200-hp version powered by a Lycoming IO-360-C1C was offered as an option beginning in 1969 and designated the PA-28R-200; the 180-hp model was dropped after 1971. At the time the Arrow was introduced, Piper removed the Cherokee 150 and Cherokee 160 from production.

    The Arrow II came out in 1972, featuring a five-inch fuselage stretch to increase legroom for the rear-seat passengers and then in 1977, Piper introduced the Arrow III (PA-28R-201), which featured a semi-tapered wing and longer stabilator, a design feature that had previously been introduced successfully on the PA-28-181 and provided better low-speed handling. It also featured larger fuel tanks, increasing capacity from 50 to 77 gallons.

       

    The first turbocharged model, the PA-28R-201T was also offered in 1977, powered by a six-cylinder Continental TSIO-360-F engine equipped with a Rajay turbocharger with a three-bladed propeller available as an option.

    In 1979, the Arrow was re-styled again as the PA-28RT-201 Arrow IV, featuring a "T" tail that resembled the other aircraft in the Piper line at the time and has been beautifully rendered by the team at Carenado. The aircraft features a superbly modelled exterior and interior to the standard that Flight Simulator enthusiasts have come to expect from the dedicated team. Carenado have been involved within the Flight Simulator community for some and have continued to develop a fantastic array of general aviation aircraft and their PA28RT is no exception.

       

    We start with the exterior design, available in three liveries and a blank texture. Each aircraft features full moving parts including ailerons, elevators, rudder and trim tab, drawing particular attention to the three stage flaps and meticulously detailed undercarriage with rolling wheels.

    There are various animations as you would also expect, both the co-pilot side door (synonymous with many of the Piper aircraft family) and the baggage compartment door open revealing equally detailed interiors. Other, more particular details are also animated, the cabin air and sun visors can be moved by the pilot from within. The exterior model is finished off with vibrating antenna which can be seen from the exterior view, a true testament to the level of detail in this package.

    The aircraft, native to FSX, comes complete with external dynamic shadows, internal dynamic shadows on the virtual cockpit, normal mapping, specular mapping and bloom lights and Carenado state that, again like their other aircraft is a polygon optimized model. The overall result is a great looking, functional aircraft that won't hit your frame rates. For your information, perhaps as a benchmark, my test system is Intel Core2 Quad @ 2.50 GHz with 6.0 GB RAM supported by an NVIDIA GT 220 running Windows 7 64 bit.

       

    Moving to the interior, the first thing that virtual aviators will realise is that interior is a very nice place to be and full of eye candy as briefly mentioned above. The textures of the virtual cockpit are clean and crisp which is just as well as there is no fixed panel window option like many of the previous aircraft released by Carenado. In my opinion, this is actually a benefit as it promotes the pilot to pan around the cockpit in flight which is fundamental if flying VFR as I was and take in the scenery in inside and outside the aircraft. Alternatively, if you prefer flying along the straight and narrow, the aircraft is IFR certified and comes complete with a basic autopilot and a Garmin GPS unit built into the dash.

       

    To put the Piper to the test and see how she handles, I opted for a short flight from North Weald (EGSX), along the M11 and around M25 motorway down into Kent and on to Biggin Hill (EGKB). The first notable point is that the aircraft handles very well in aggressive climbs and banks. The aircraft is also very stable in the cruise and performed well when asked to descend at relative pace. The flight model feels solid and if you wish, gives you plenty of time to concentrate on your navigation or moving around the aircraft as you'll see in some of the images.

       

    In summary, another fantastic addition from Carenado. If you're already a collector, the PA28RT is certainly worth acquiring. If you're new to Carenado or just fancy a change from IFR flying, the PA28RT's accuracy, detail and overall feel certainly does enough to temp you to take the scenic route and leave you wondering what the team will release next. As for me, it's certainly made me fall in love with the simplicity and elegance of man, machine and the open sky.

    Adam Nardone
    [email protected]

    Learn More Here:
    FSX Version
    FS2004 Version

    Reviews Of Other Carenado Products:

    Piper PA-32R Saratoga
    Piper PA-34 200T Seneca II
    Cessna C182 Skylane II RG
    Cessna 152 II
    Mooney 201

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