• Review: Cessna 172 Trainer With Accu-Sim

    Cessna 172 Trainer With Accu-Sim

    Publisher: A2A Simulations

    Review Author:
    Bill Stack

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here
    Cessna 172 Trainer by A2A Simulations

    Image From A2A Simulations

    Cessna's 172 Skyhawk is a single-engine, high-wing, four-seat general aviation aircraft that has been produced by Cessna since 1955. It is said to be the most successful light aircraft ever built with more than 43,000 as of 2008. Its primary competitor is the Piper Cherokee. The Skyhawk's relatively low cost and ease of operation makes it ideal for flight training, thus A2A Simulations' "trainer" moniker. I found used C172 Skyhawks for sale on the Internet for between $33,000 and $200,000 US.

    Specification Value
    Occupants 4
    Empty Weight 1,665 lbs
    1,002 kg
    Gross Weight 2,550 lbs
    1,157 kg
    Useful Load 885 lbs
    155 kg
    Fuel Capacity 56 gal
    212 L
    Cruising Speed 124 kts
    200 kph
    Maximum Operating Speed 126 kts
    203 kph
    Ceiling 14,000 ft
    4,267 m
    Range 638 nm
    1,181 km
    Length 27 ft
    8 m
    Wingspan 36 ft
    11 m
    Power 180 hp
    134 kw
    Propeller 2 blades
    Source: A2A Simulations

    A2A Simulations' C172 Trainer

    The Cessna 172 that A2A Simulations calls "Trainer" is a Skyhawk. With notable exceptions such as high visual resolution and advanced flight and operational characteristics, the A2A Simulations' Cessna 172 is identical in all physical and operational specifications to the stock Cessna 172 Skyhawk in Microsoft Flight Simulator®. Although not stated in the product description, A2A Simulations' C172 is identified as a Model R in the aircraft configuration file and in the Aircraft Selection menu (though the specs above seem to better match the S model). This model was introduced in 1996 and was the first produced with a fuel-injected engine. It also had other improvements such as better seating, soundproofing, and cabin ventilation.

    A2A Simulations describes its Cessna 172 Trainer as "gorgeously constructed, inside and out, down to the last rivet," and "designed and built to be flown by the book." The developer also says "eight commercial aviation sponsors have supported the project including Phillips 66 Aviation, Champion Aerospace, and Knots2u speed modifications."

    I grouped A2A Simulations's long list of features into the following easily recognizable categories:

    Visual and Audio

    • Gorgeously constructed, inside and out, down to the last rivet.
    • 3D Lights 'M' (built directly into the model).
    • Pure3D instrumentation now with natural 3D appearance with exceptional performance.
    • Immersive in-cockpit, physics-driven sound environment from A2A engineered recordings.
    • A total audible cockpit and sound engineered by A2A sound professionals.
    • All models include A2A specialized materials with authentic metals, plastics, and rubber.


    • Dynamic ground physics including both hard pavement and soft grass modeling.
    • Immersive in-cockpit, physics-driven sound environment from A2A engineered recordings.
    • Piston combustion engine modeling.
    • Authentic fuel delivery includes priming and proper mixture behavior.
    • Authentic drag from the airframe and flaps.
    • Designed and built to be flown "By The Book."


    • True propeller simulation.
    • Airflow, density and its temperature not only affect the way your aircraft flies, but how the internal systems operate.
    • Real-world conditions affect system conditions, including engine temperatures.
    • Spark plugs can clog and eventually foul if the engine is allowed to idle too low for too long.
    • Overheating can cause scoring of cylinder head walls which could ultimately lead to failure if warnings are ignored and overly abused.
    • System failures, including flaps that can independently jam or break based on the actual forces put upon them.
    • Oil pressure system is affected by oil viscosity (oil thickness). Oil viscosity is affected by oil temperature. Now when you start the engine, you need to be careful to give the engine time to warm.
    • Authentic battery. The battery capacity is based on temperature. The major draw comes from engine starting.
    • Persistent airplane where systems, corrosion, and temperatures are simulated even when the computer is off.


    • Electric starter with accurate cranking power.
    • Primer-only starts are now possible. Accu-Sim monitors the amount of fuel injected and its effectiveness to start and run the engine.
    • Immersive pre-flight inspection system designed by pilots while operating the actual Cessna 172.
    • Complete maintenance hangar internal systems and detailed engine tests including compression checks.
    • Visual Real-Time Load Manager, with the ability to load fuel, people, and baggage in real-time.
    • Authentic Bendix King Avionics stack including the KMA 26 Audio Panel, two KX 155A NAV/COMMS, KR 87 ADF, KT 76C Transponder, KN 62A DME, and KAP 140 Two Axis Autopilot with altitude pre-selection.
    • Three in-sim avionics configurations including no GPS, GPS 295, or the GNS 400. Built-in, automatic support for 3rd party GNS 430 and 530.
    • In-cockpit pilot's map for handy in-flight navigation.


    • Engine, airframe, cockpit panel and individual gauges tremble from the combustion engine.
    • Four naturally animated passengers that can sit in any seat including the pilot's.

    1. vflight2's Avatar
      vflight2 -
      I would love to get this aircraft. If we could convince Bill to write a "How to Fly It" for the a2a C-172 it make a super fantastic package. Jump in let Capt. Stack know what you think.
    1. timster's Avatar
      timster -
      What a drab review! Not really a review....... more like a list of quotes from the manual!
    1. BobK's Avatar
      BobK -
      Actually I thought it was a pretty good review; once you get beyond the first page Bill gives some pretty good information and answers some of the questions I have on the product.
    1. ocseong818's Avatar
      ocseong818 -
      Quote Originally Posted by timster View Post
      What a drab review! Not really a review....... more like a list of quotes from the manual!
      I don't know what you mean. The review is very comprehensive !
    1. CessnaFlyer's Avatar
      CessnaFlyer -
      i don't get that comment either. i read the whole review and if i did not already have the plane i would have bought it based on this review.
    1. iflygary's Avatar
      iflygary -
      This aircraft is by far one of the best buys I have made for FSX in a long time. The flight dynamics are spot on to the real plane. And yes, I do have time in a real world Cessna 172. With the sound and the accusim as well as all of the other features it literally makes you feel as though you are sitting in the pilot's seat. I highly recommend it to anyone thinking of getting it. Without question it's 5 of 5 stars!!!!!!

    1. flightman's Avatar
      flightman -
      I agree with timster, the review is very lightweight for such a complex product. It certainly is not comprehensive. It barely scratches the surface and there is a mixture of bland, obvious statements and misunderstandings. The reviewer is under the impression that A2A's "true propeller simulation" related to the 3D appearance of the propeller from various angles. Err, no, Bill, this is an Accusim product and A2A are referring to the way the propeller aerodynamics are simulated. Apparently individual gauges don't shake (as A2A claim) in the panel though the whole panel does. Why would individual gauges shake? What A2A mean is that the pointers in the gauges shake. He tells us F-GOAP is not a US registration and that his internet research found it was from France. An astounding revelation. I wish I had the internet....

      The section "C172 Trainer in Flight" consists of a few screenshots. I would have expected some description of how the sim flies here, but nothing of substance is mentioned. All he says is that it is raised above the level of the stock C172 sim. Well so it should be, because they want me to invest $49 in this product. So how much better than default is it? He doesn't say. As for how long it took him to download the manual, that depends on his connection, it's nothing to do with a sim review. At the end he talks about the sims myriad features, having mentioned hardly any apart from quoting the A2A website on page 1. What about accusim, what about the many custom sounds? Not a mention. He seems to think we are more interested in how much disk space each part of the installation takes up. As a review of how to install the sim it can't be faulted, I must admit. But unless you've never installed a payware add-on before this information is largely useless.

      I would want a lot more detailed information before this review persuaded my to part with $49 for a C172 simulator. There are some hints about how very good this product is, but to be honest you'd be better off downloading the manual from A2A and watching youtube reviews. If this was a review of freeware it might be acceptable. For a fairly high end payware product it's useless.
    1. boleyd's Avatar
      boleyd -
      There has also been considerable difficulty by some customers to accept the "fast acting" elevator that makes vertical control a challenge. A2A has issued two updates for this issue. I had to change the elevator effectiveness in the aircraft.cfg to reduce the sensitivity to a manageable level. I have no idea what a real Cessna does but this one was like no other.

      Now that it is "tuned" the other advanced features are quite nice and add to the feel of reality. To-date this is the best Cessna 172 I have pretended to fly.
    1. graaant's Avatar
      graaant -
      Through the bland and non-committal language, this seems to be another A2A masterpiece.
    1. IngeJ's Avatar
      IngeJ -
      A word from Norway: I have the same problem as 'boleyd'. Vertical effectiveness is too sensitive. How do I change this parameter? Is it the 'elevator_effectiveness=2' that should be edited?
    1. asos's Avatar
      asos -
      Fine review and the comments just as interesting.
    1. nicksnook's Avatar
      nicksnook -
      In defence of the reviewer, it's a bit like reviewing a matchbox, and he has done an excellent job.

      The problem I have is that no matter how true to life A2A have made it, it is still a C-172!

      A2A are one of those top few developers that you can rely on! So If I want a basic 'trainer' It would be an instant buy without waiting for any review!

      For those who are new to flying this is where you start, it will be better than anything on the market and well worth the investment because it is an A2A product!

      I suspect this product may be aimed at the real world flying club and student pilot, perhaps not the hardened flight simmer like myself ... they have many other products that satisfy my needs!
    1. Dougie D.'s Avatar
      Dougie D. -
      Fun fact: I'm a Civil Air Patrol cadet and flew N990CP from Charlie Brown airport to Rome on an O-flight. How often does that happen? It's actually based out of PDK, nowhere near Maxwell AFB where it's registered.
    1. golfcart22's Avatar
      golfcart22 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CessnaFlyer View Post
      i don't get that comment either. i read the whole review and if i did not already have the plane i would have bought it based on this review.
      He probably only read the first page.
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