• Review: C170B By Adrian Fernandez Gomez

    Review: Freeware Cessna 170 By Adrian Fernandez Gomez

    Reviewed by Shawn Weigelt

    Introduction

    I'll admit it. I just love getting presents. Though I'm well into my adult years by now, I still get a little bit giddy when I unwrap a present with my name on it. It doesn't really matter if it's Christmas, my birthday, or Valentine's Day, there's just something special about the whole event that transports me back in time to my childhood. As a kid I would often ask for a specific thing (who hasn't?) and even though I sometimes intuitively knew what was under the wrapping paper, just the anticipation of getting that item I really wanted was a great feeling in and of itself.

           

    Last November Adrian Fernandez Gomez of Alcala Simulacion posted early progress screen shots of his newest general aviation project to FlightSim.Com; a Cessna 170B. When I first laid eyes on it I was absolutely smitten. I was that kid again looking through the toy catalog prior to Christmas, instantly knowing exactly what I wanted. The difference with Adrian's Cessna 170B is that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would get it!

    My passion for flight simulation primarily lies with general aviation. I see it as the area of aviation that is at least the most attainable for me in the real world. Though I'm not a pilot, I aspire to be one, one of these days. That will probably happen when money grows on trees or when my kids head off to college, whichever comes first. I'm never going to fly fighter jets (though that was once a childhood fantasy), and commercial aviation just doesn't excite me at all. Sure, I can appreciate the utility of an airliner as a means to my traveling ends, but when I look at the airplane all I see is a flying Greyhound bus. Meh. A classic 1950's all metal piston single tail-dragger though? Now we're talking!

    Adrian Fernandez Gomez's design philosophy, dating back to his earliest model for X-Plane, his Beech 58 Baron, is that all of his work for the time being is intended to be completely freeware. Adrian develops his aircraft models utilizing free design tools, and believes that if one cannot afford to purchase an airplane add-on, they can have one of his for free. If individuals are able to afford an airplane add-on, they can always send him a monetary donation. Fair enough. I personally think this is a pretty awesome and very generous philosophy, and I certainly appreciate all the fine work that Adrian has done to date for the X-Plane community, all without expecting a dime in return. His work is certainly worthy of it and is very highly regarded within the community with thousands of downloads. His newly released Cessna 170B is just another shining example of his hard work, generosity, and obvious love for aviation.

           

    Before I get into Adrian's take on this classic airplane, I want to take a brief moment to describe the real Cessna 170B and a bit of the history behind it.

    A post war design, Cessna's model 170 was produced between 1948 and 1956, resulting in over 5,000 examples of the type. Early 1948 170's were little more than a four place 140, retaining the constant chord fabric-covered wings, but with a 145 hp Continental engine. The 170A came about a year later sporting an all metal wing and tail shape designed after Cessna's radial engine flagship 190 and 195. In 1950, the US Military evidently saw the utility in the 170 and started operating an observation variant (the 305) that would later be designated the O-1 Bird Dog. In 1952, Cessna further refined the design into the 170B model, the ultimate civilian variant of the type. The 170B introduced a new tapered metal wing like the Bird Dog's with a noticeable dihedral and highly effective Fowler flaps. This variant was produced in the greatest numbers, up until 1956 when production ceased. Cessna then essentially put a nose wheel on the 170B and a squared off vertical stabilizer and designated the new aircraft as the 172. You may have heard of it. The new tricycle geared airplane (later known as the Skyhawk) completely replaced the conventionally geared 170B and would go on to be the most successful aircraft in the history of aviation.

    For those interested in the real airplane, the link below will take you to a fascinating pilot report on the 170 written by prolific aviation writer, Budd Davisson.

    http://www.airbum.com/pireps/PirepCessna170B.html

           

    Documentation

    Adrian has provided an excellent and very comprehensive pdf documentation file within the root file for his C170B. Essentially everything you would need to know about his airplane including: technical data, recommended rendering settings, cockpit and systems overviews, procedures, and more, are covered in outstanding detail complete with labeled visual diagrams. The file is very professionally done and reminds me of the comprehensive level of detail often found with Alabeo and Carenado add-ons. I highly recommend one reads and understands the manual fully before taking to X-Plane's skies in this aircraft.


    4 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      A very comprehensive review of an exceptional freeware aircraft.

      Many thanks to Adrian for gifting the X-Plane community with such a fine aircraft and to Shawn, for writing such a great review!!
    1. leen de jager's Avatar
      leen de jager -
      Thanks Adrian, I really enjoy (painting) this little bird.

      Leen "Flybike" de Jager
    1. bobr2's Avatar
      bobr2 -
      Any way the you could do a FSX model?
    1. 5171's Avatar
      5171 -
      Outstanding Plane, Outstanding review! Thank You! This little plane is a stellar example of X Plane freeware taken to the top, and what a great gift to the X Plane community and to all the simmers that don't posses a ton of cash. I well remember the days when I didn't have any pay-ware planes and went bananas when something like the c170 Cessna came along, not very often I might add.

      So glad Adrian now posses such a great review on his plane.

      Mark
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