• Review: DHC-4 Caribou For X-Plane

    DHC-4 Caribou by Gerald Rader of X-Hangar

    Review by Rik Nilsson


    The Caribou

    The de Havilland Canada DHC-4A Caribou is a twin engine cargo aircraft with size and performance specifications very similar to the Douglas C-47 of a previous era, making it "heavy metal" class. The Caribou first flew in 1958 as a military transport, but its STOL characteristics requiring a strip of only 1200 feet or 365 meters long have kept a small number still serving as rugged 'bush' aircraft. It was known to the U.S. Army, its primary user, as the AC-1 or CV-2 in a battlefront troop and supply carrier role. It lent itself ideally to short jungle strips during the Vietnam War, when the larger C-123 Provider and C-130 Hercules were impractical for such missions. It can carry 32 passengers, 24 fully equipped soldiers or 14 litters, which it did on return trips, or the equivalent in cargo weight (up to about 9,800 pounds). After the Vietnam War most Caribous became U.S. Air Force C-7 "tactical airlift" assets, and the Army resumed its rotary-wing development path. Caribous were also used by Australia, Canada, India, Brazil, Spain and a few other militaries.



    Gerald Rader has chosen to give us the DHC-4A/C-7A configuration, both with and without the nose radome. The Caribou is installed in the usual clean X-Plane way. This process involves unzipping the download into your X-Plane 9 or X-Plane 10 Aircraft folder. You can then move the /Caribou/ folder into any aircraft category folder you desire. I put it in /Heavy Metal/ just because it's bigger than General Aviation class. However, I might move it into /Vintage/Heavy Metal/ later. What do you think?

    There are no special plugins or .ini files to install.



    Here's the list of docs Gerald has included:

    About.txt -- basically the Wikipedia page contents
    Caribou_checklist.txt -- bullet-point checklist without details
    Supplemental_information.txt -- Pilot Jerry Allen's plane data and checklist
    User_Manual_Caribou.pdf -- sim features and operation, with Mr. Allen's Supplemental as an addendum.

    Everything you need to fly the Caribou in X-Plane is covered; you just need to take the time to read it.

    Walk Around

    There are 22 liveries provided for the Caribou including the default red/blue stripes on a bare hull. Many can be easily modified to suit your needs in developing your own air transport "look" if desired. For instance, I plan to do an Air America version of the Bare Mil livery real soon!


    The control surfaces and engine nacelles are nicely detailed, as are the landing gear. You can open the engine cowls with shift-F4 (port) and shift-F5 (starboard). Shift-F2 opens the rear cargo door and lowers the upper ramp. Shift-F3 lowers the lower ramps and also opens the side passenger doors. You'll have to drive the WWII-era Jeeps out yourself, though, as they are not animated.

    Tags: caribou, dhc4

    1. BayAreaAviation's Avatar
      BayAreaAviation -
      Very well written review Rik! You made it sound so good, I may have to purchase a plane for once! Looks like a fun plane to fly with your sceneries!

      Thanks again!
    1. pilot1958's Avatar
      pilot1958 -
      It's ok, but needs more controllable bells whistles knobs switches woopits whippets doodads gizmos fiddlewiths buzzers sliders levers yaknow stuff to play with
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