• Review: Mooney M20J For X-Plane

    Mooney M20J For X-Plane

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Dominic Smith

    Suggested Price:
    $26.95

    Buy Here

    Introduction

    The Mooney M20 has been a favorite among GA flyers for over fifty years now and she is still a regular sight at most private airfields. Sleek lines, impressive performance and handling have lent herself to being a favorite among GA and student pilots alike.

    With 200 HP under the hood, the Mooney M20 is a welcomed performance break after flying the faithful but rather leisurely Cessna 152. For that slightly longer trip and a little bit more comfort, she is almost the perfect choice for pilots who crave that little bit more performance and refinement.

           

    For some time time now (maybe seven years), I've been flying Carenado aircraft in numerous flight simulators. Starting with FS2004, then FSX, until progressing further into X-Plane, these wonderful additions by Carenado have become a familiar friend in regards to my GA flying.

    When one usually hears the name Carenado you automatically think of aircraft that have been designed with highly detailed cockpits, wonderfully created exteriors and a flight model which is often a dream to fly. So, would the Mooney for X-Plane keep that reputation intact?

    Installation

    One of the wonderful things about Carenado is that there is no tedious online activation. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I purchase something I want to know it's mine; I don't want to go online and wait for a response from a server or wait for a key. So, after unzipping the downloaded file you place the folder into your General Aviation directory and once it's there, it's just a case of firing up X-Plane and selecting the Mooney.

    One thing to note though is the compatibility of using the Mooney in versions of X-Plane higher than version 9. On Carenado's web site it clearly states:

    WARNING: This aircraft was NOT developed for X-Plane 10. It works in that platform, but it doesn't take advantage of all the new features. We will provide a patch in the future which will make it 100% compatible.

           

    However, as I do most of my flying in X-Plane 10 now, I thought I'd take the risk and see how she performs. Upon installing the Mooney in X-Plane 10.11 all seemed to be fine as far as flying her was concerned and I didn't notice anything untoward. Small things like cockpit lighting was a minor issue but didn't distract from flying at night at all: there was lighting, just not enhanced, as in planes made specifically for X-Plane 10 (Carenado C337).

    One thing I did notice though, was that in the beta version of X-Plane 10.20 I was only able to produce 40 HP, instead of the normal 190+ HP. I think by the time I had reached the end of the runway, I had reached around 30 MPH. Great for fuel consumption but not particularly great for clearing the trees!

    After speaking to Daniel at Carenado I learned that this was actually an issue with the waste gate function in that particular beta version of X-Plane 10 and was in the works to be fixed. A couple of days later when the RC (release candidate) of X-Plane 10.20 came out I had full power and the problem was fixed! The trees this time, were left in my wake!

           

    This is one of the joys (in my opinion) of a constantly moving simulator platform. It isn't static, the simulator is in a constant state of development. Sometimes in betas things break, but that's the nature of betas and personally I find them exciting!


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