• Review: Quest Kodiak

    Flight Dynamics

    The flight dynamics of the Quest Kodiak I of course cannot confirm to be accurate since I have never flown that specific aircraft in real life, but my own real world flight experience covers several aircraft including the Cessna C172 and the Socata Rally 180 and I would say that the characteristics that I experienced on this model goes well in hand with what I had expected and resembles the C172 in many ways. Probably more the C208 since they are both of an equal size but since I have not flown that aircraft either it is not possible for me to confirm.

    Taxiing the Quest Kodiak is easy and it has a quick response on the nose wheel and also on the wheel brakes. It handles like most small GA aircraft and I quickly got the hang of it. One thing to remember is of course that this aircraft is a turboprop powered aircraft meaning that there is a delay from when you change the settings on the throttle to when the engine actually starts to spool up or down. If you are already familiar with turboprop or jet aircraft then this is not an issue, but if you are just used to flying ordinary props this is certainly something that you have to be aware of.

           

    Blasting down the runway I found the Kodiak to be very steady - it quickly gained enough airspeed to lift off so the total take-off roll was very short. This is of course also in accordance with the specs because this is a STOL aircraft meaning that it is capable of taking off and landing on very small strips. Together with that the Kodiak's wheels seems to be a bit oversized which gives the aircraft an advantage for operations on rough strips.

    Climbing is also simple - the Kodiak features a high powered engine so the pitch angle can go very high without causing a stall. Also the wing profile is not a super slim profile meaning that the climb ratio gets an additional advantage from that design. (Aerodynamic favor of a thick profile is better climb performance but the downside is that it will provide more drag).

    Even though the climb and pitch angle is of high performance the Kodiak could certainly stall anyway. When the aircraft starts to stall there were no shaking or any signs on the stall coming, the nose just went down and the aircraft gained airspeed when entering a straight out level stall, but when changing this to be a stall during a turn with a bank angle of about 45 degrees and nose too high, the result was a spin. The spin was actually quite realistic and I needed to follow a standard procedure to get out of the spin - in my real world aviation experience I am educated within aerobatics and I have had my share of stalls and spins which I really like when performed safely.

           

    During these stall tests I setup stalls for each model - standard passenger, cargo and floats where I tested for configuration 1 = gear up and flaps up (gear up is only for the float version) and configuration 2 = gear down and full flaps. Both in an altitude of 2,500 feet and for the stalls during turns I had a bank angle of 45 degrees and nose pitch up at 20 degrees.

    According to the specs from the manual from Lionheart the stall speed should be 77 knots for configuration 1 and 59 knots for configuration 2. What I found was that for configuration 1 the stall speed was 75 knots for both the standard passenger and cargo version and 77 knots for the floats version which in my opinion is very well in accordance with the specs. In regards to the configuration 2 I found all versions to have their limit at 60 knots which again is extremely close to the listed specs of 59 knots meaning that this was also very realistic.

    Additionally I also tested the max indicated airspeed because I could see that according to the Wikipedia the max indicated airspeed should be 183 knots but according to the specs from Lionheart the cruise speed should be 185. I know these are small differences but it just seemed quite strange to me that the cruise speed was listed to be higher than the max indicated airspeed. What I found when I did the test was that all three version had a max indicated airspeed of 186 knots which I would define as being within a respectable range of realism.

           

    Flying the Kodiak in level flight is easy. It handles like any other smaller aircraft and the response from the elevator, ailerons and rudder is quick and firm. Trimming the aircraft is also like any other GA aircraft and when trimmed properly the aircraft flies itself. However when throttling down to idle the airspeed drops rapidly and the Kodiak sinks quite fast - this can actually be an advantage for a bush plane because then it is easier to land on small strips that are surrounded by obstacles like trees, etc. but it can also be a disadvantage when just wanting to glide the aircraft in for a smooth and slow landing because that you cannot do without either having a high starting point or using a lot of engine power.

    In regards to the landing of the Kodiak the aircraft features the reverse thrust possibility, meaning that the pilot can decelerate the aircraft by reversing the thrust and using the engine to slow down instead of just applying the wheel brakes.


    2 Comments
    1. lmhariano's Avatar
      lmhariano -
      You forgot to mention the Performance pack, for both FSX and FS9 (haven't tried in P3D). In FS9 converts textures to DXT3, in FSX converts them to 1024 x 1024. Without this, the aircraft was unflyable in my system.
    1. firehawkordy's Avatar
      firehawkordy -
      I've had this for a few years now and it's still fun to fly in and out of rough and short fields. I also recommend the performance pack as it does allow lower end systems to use the plane without seeing a "slide show". As for sound, there is a low cost PT-6 sound pack at the Pilot Shop and it goes well with the Kodiak. If only the Air Claw could be modeled and released as either an addon or a stand alone aircraft.
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