• Review: Soul Made Simulations Beaver

    DHC-2 Beaver

    Publisher: SoulMade Simulations

    Review Author:
    Shawn Weigelt

    Suggested Price:
    $29.99

    Buy Here

    Introduction

    The word legendary immediately comes to mind when thinking of de Havilland Canada's Beaver. How could it not? The big, high-wing, radial engine airplane has firmly solidified its position over the years as the ultimate, quintessential STOL bush plane. Though it is true that other dedicated, purpose built bush planes may be able to take off and land in shorter distances (think Super Cub or Cessna 185 to name a couple), no other piston single can operate in the most remote, inhospitable terrain on earth while carrying the almost ridiculous full fuel payload that the Beaver can.

    SMS Beaver     SMS Beaver     SMS Beaver

    Yes, the DHC-2 Beaver is a legendary airplane for her unmatched performance, but also for her rugged good looks. Some may question my affectionate reverence for the Beaver's lovely, albeit somewhat blunt and draggy lines, but to my eye, the DHC-2 is a truly beautiful "old gal" and can emotionally move me in a way that few other airplanes can.

    Designed by de Havilland Canada just after World War 2, the aircraft was intended to be operated as a civilian airplane in Canada's remote wilderness, being able to make use of wheels, skis, and floats as needed. The airplane's tremendous power and STOL capabilities combined with unprecedented load hauling with easy cargo and passenger loading made it perfectly suited to the task. The Beaver became a popular aircraft with the militaries of several nations who recognized its unparalleled capabilities as a "do all" STOL utility aircraft. The DHC-2 was manufactured from 1948 to 1967 with 1,657 aircraft having been built. (Wikipedia)

    The music of that big 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Jr. radial is a thing of magic, and I can't help but smile when I hear one rumble by overhead. Living in the Puget Sound region of Washington State as I do, seeing and hearing a de Havilland Beaver in the skies above is a relatively common occurrence here. Kenmore Air in Kenmore, Washington not only operates a number of Beavers (and Otters) as float plane air taxis, but also runs a very successful Beaver rebuild and refurbishment business. Actor Harrison Ford owns and pilots a "Kenmore Beaver".

    SMS Beaver     SMS Beaver     SMS Beaver

    Needless to say, I have a bit of a thing for the de Havilland Canada Beaver and was absolutely thrilled when I read the news back in October of 2011, that an as yet unknown developer, Pete Krause, founder of Soul Made Simulations, was bringing a DHC-2 to X-Plane. I have followed the development of the SMS Beaver almost religiously over the past few years, reading Pete's "Sunday updates" and drooling over 3D renders and screen shots, pining for the day that this magnificent, legendary airplane would be available to X-Plane sim pilots. I am pleased to report that that day has finally arrived.

    Sights and Sounds

    When it comes to pure visual aesthetics with general aviation add-ons for X-Plane, it is my opinion that developers Alabeo and Carenado have set the benchmark for design excellence. There are a couple other developers out there who do a pretty decent job with 3D modeling and textures, but no one really combines these two aspects of airplane design better than the two aforementioned development teams. I realize this is only my opinion and not measurable fact, but it was definitely forefront in my mind as I began examining every detail, inside and out, of Soul Made Simulations' DHC-2 Beaver.

    SMS Beaver     SMS Beaver     SMS Beaver

    Let's just say that I already knew the SMS Beaver was going to be a visual masterpiece. After all, I had been keeping close tabs on its development the last few years and closely scrutinized every new screen shot and, more recently, videos released for those of us eagerly awaiting the arrival of this beauty. Still, seeing a screen shot or watching a video on YouTube just isn't the same as having the file loaded up in X-Plane on one's own PC.

    As soon as I got the file, I dropped it into my general aviation folder, cranked up X-Plane 10.36 and waited for what seemed like an eternity for the sim to load. I was just a little excited! Once the cockpit materialized I quickly switched to an exterior view so I could begin examining the outside of the amphibious version of the plane and save the cockpit for later. Wow! Despite all the screen shots and videos, despite all the anticipation, I still wasn't prepared for what I saw. I was beholding a legitimate piece of art and the fruits of several years of hard work and dedication on the part of the Soul Made Simulations development team, and especially the project lead, Pete Krause.


    5 Comments
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Thanks for a great review Shawn. It looks like you had a lot of fun with this aircraft. She really does look beautiful, incredibly detailed too.

      Time for another flight up the Inside Passage!

      Dom
    1. LowTransition's Avatar
      LowTransition -
      Thanks, Dom!
    1. RatRace's Avatar
      RatRace -
      Someone who doesn't love the DHC-2 Beaver simply doesn't have a heart.
      Thanks for the review
      Soul Made a real masterpiece indeed !
    1. Bamboo Cougar's Avatar
      Bamboo Cougar -
      Great review. Thank you!

      There should be an update coming from Pete within the next7 to 10 days and I do believe that it will please all who have, or have been preparing to get, this amazing model.

      Cheers,

      Joel
    1. Cole's Avatar
      Cole -
      The owner for a company I worked for had a crashed Beaver resurrected from a lake and used the existing license for that plane to have it reconstructed with a turbine engine instead of a radial engine.
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