• Review: Carenado - Beechcraft 58 Baron For X-Plane

    Beechcraft 58 Baron

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Shawn Weigelt

    Suggested Price:
    $27.95

    Buy Here

    Introduction

    Perhaps no other name in general aviation is more legendary and deserving of accolade than the name Beechcraft. Beechcraft airplanes are renowned for their quality craftsmanship, legendary performance and handling qualities, and a keen attention to detail in the manufacturing and design process that has set them apart from the competition for generations. Among the original "big three" US general aviation airplane manufacturers (Cessna, Piper, and Beechcraft) Beechcraft is certainly the producer of the "high end" luxury and performance models. In most cases, comparing a Cessna or Piper airplane to a Beechcraft of a similar type and vintage is sort of like comparing a Ford or Chevy to a Mercedes Benz.

           

    When I was thinking about Beechcraft's reputation for quality and performance I couldn't help but see the similarities with Carenado, the producer of several high quality add-on airplane models for X-Plane, FSX, Prepar3D, and Redbird Jay. Carenado has certainly earned a reputation as a leader in the flight simulation industry, and when it comes to general aviation add-ons for X-Plane, at least, it is my opinion that, like Beechcraft, no one does it better.

    The Beechcraft Baron 58, the model Carenado's version is based on, is essentially a 36 Bonanza with two engines. Sure, there are some subtle differences between the Bo and the Baron, but Barons are more similar to single engine Bonanzas than the actual Twin Bonanza is itself. The Baron 58, known as the "long body" version was first produced in 1969 and itself grew out of the model 55 by introducing club seating and rear passenger/cargo doors. Twin Continental IO-550-C engines that produce 300 hp each, power the Baron to cruise speeds in excess of a little more than 200 knots at middle altitudes. (Source: Wikipedia)

    Beechcraft's Baron 58 has garnered the reputation over the last few decades as the ultimate piston airplane attainable by a general aviation airplane owner/pilot and is undoubtedly a status symbol in every sense of the term. The saying "you know you've arrived when you own a Baron" has long been familiar to those within general aviation circles. Unless one is virtually made of money, however, I don't know that I'd be bragging about owning a Baron in today's economic environment. Flowing around 35 gallons of avgas an hour for a cruise of about 200 ktas is not what I'd call economical transportation (though the speed isn't bad). Add to that expensive maintenance costs often associated with Beechcraft airplanes and Baron ownership may not look all that attractive any more.

           

    Still, the Baron is one fine looking airplane (in my opinion at least) and I wanted to see if Carenado could do it some justice and provide X-Plane pilots with the ultimate Baron experience. I proudly already own all three of their Bonanza files (the V35B, F33A, and A36) and consider them among my absolute favorite payware files for X-Plane. They look, sound, and, most importantly, fly great. To say, then, that I was excited to test and review Carenado's Baron is a serious understatement. Let's see how Carenado's Baron stands up to their "oh-so-sweet" line of Bonanzas.

    Sights And Sounds

    I've said it so many times on here with previous reviews but it bears repeating: When it comes to beautifully rendered payware general aviation files for X-Plane, no one does it better than Carenado. Period. Carenado's Baron is just another fine testament to Carenado's dedication for producing high fidelity add-on airplanes for X-Plane users to enjoy. The quality that one gets when purchasing a general aviation file by Carenado is pretty much guaranteed and unsurpassed. You will be happy with your purchase and get many hours of enjoyment out of your investment. Carenado's Baron, just like a real Beechcraft, is a beautifully crafted work of art that simply outclasses the competition.

    As I've mentioned in previous reviews, when it comes to testing aircraft files I always start X-Plane with aircraft set to load in a "cold and dark" state. That means engines and all electronics off. Loading up Carenado's Baron in such a state, one will notice static objects such as the pitot and intake covers in place with cones under the wings and the pilot and passenger figures absent. Accessing the handy "O" tabbed menu at the left of the screen enables one to add or remove static objects, open the rear passenger doors, open the baggage door in the nose, add or remove window reflections, and even add or remove window tint in the aft passenger windows.

           

    The file includes five beautiful liveries to choose from to include a blank white one so users can create their own. My personal favorite is the "GoldGreen" U.S. registered paint scheme that looks representative of a mid to late 90's to early 2000's factory scheme from Beechcraft.


    1 Comment
    1. donshapansky's Avatar
      donshapansky -
      I'm waiting for a good version of a Piper Aerostar 700 and maybe a Mohave Piper twin.
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