• Review: Just Flight PA28R Arrow III

    Piper PA28R Arrow III

    Publisher: Just Flight

    Review Author:

    Suggested Price:

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    Over the last 50 years or more, student pilots have inevitably trained on fixed gear aircraft like the Cessna 150 or Piper Cherokee. No sooner had they obtained their licence than it was natural to get signed off in more complex aircraft, so the first step was to get something that had retractable undercarriage and hopefully at the same time have a more powerful engine (with a constant speed propeller). In my case I had a friend with a Piper Arrow, so after much sweet talking he agreed to check me out in it.

    Just Flight PA28R Arrow

    Compared to what I had been flying before, there was a considerable amount more to learn, but after reading the handbook and an hour or so dual flying I was cleared to fly (I felt as if i had just been cleared to fly an airliner!).

    The origins of the Arrow start with the Piper Cherokee, which began production in 1961. The Cherokee was introduced as a more affordable alternative to Piper's Comanche and to compete with the popular Cessna 172.

    Piper introduced the original Cherokee Arrow in 1967 and it was the first of the Cherokee family to feature retractable landing gear. The Arrow II followed in 1972 with a stretched fuselage to provide increased rear seat leg room, and the Arrow III arrived in 1977 with larger fuel tanks for improved range and a semi-tapered wing and longer stabilator for improved low-speed handling.

    The Arrow III in many pilots opinion was the best of the Arrows, as the later Arrow 4 had a T tail and this made it more difficult to handle on grass runways, as the stabilator was not in the prop wash so one could not reduce the strain on the nose leg until the stabilator started flying.<>/p>

    The Just Flight Arrow III

    As in almost all software installations nowadays, once you have downloaded the Just Flight Arrow, it asks which simulator you wish to install it in to, and the rest is handled effortlessly and without any issues. I chose the FSX Steam version and also P3D v3, and both installed correctly and effortlessly.

    Just Flight PA28R Arrow     Just Flight PA28R Arrow

    However before firing up your simulator and zooming off into the blue, I would advise any person whether fully acquainted with the Arrow or not, to read the exceedingly thorough, but very easy to read, Operations manual supplied by Just Flight (with a link from the start menu), as this will teach you to fly the Arrow correctly and by doing so enhance your experience in next to no time.

    Other software companies that make aircraft for our hobby should take note of this, as a good manual especially for an aircraft of this standard is very important, if not a necessity.


    The Just Flight Arrow comes with eleven high quality liveries and uses 4096x4096 textures to produce a very high clarity of image as well as specular mapping to produce a 3D "feel".

    From the initial walk around it was clear that Just Flight have upped their game with this aircraft. The external detail is top class; from the undercarriage and brakes to the tie downs and tow bar. I was particularly impressed with the reflections in the windows, which are much better than most of the competition. The detail of the rivets, rusty door hinges and rusty step screws and many other little gems, show to what lengths Just Flight have gone to make an exact copy of the real aircraft.

    However, as good as the exterior is, I have to say I was completely knocked over by the interior, as I have flown planes in exactly this condition! The competition to Just Flight, have made a very good Piper Cherokee, but it is too new, not worn, completely unrealistic in comparison. This plane has grass cuttings on the floor, a scratched flap lever from people stepping over it (or tripping over it), and worn out patches on the radio selectors! This is how real planes are, they are never, ever, pristine! Broken stickers on the instrument panel, scratched alloy heel panels, the list goes on; remember these aircraft are 40 years old.

    Just Flight PA28R Arrow     Just Flight PA28R Arrow

    This attention to detail (as seen in the real world) is something I have yet to see from any other company, and that includes the likes of Carenado, Alabeo, and A2A. Yes, they make great looking aircraft, but they all look like they have just come out of the factory. I have never had the good fortune to see, let alone fly, anything like that, so hopefully Just Flight have been just as accurate with the flight characteristics of the Arrow III.

    1. nippa's Avatar
      nippa -
      Nice review
      I now have the three JustFlight PA28s and it's amazing to see the quality.
      On the other PA28 versions the autopilot altitude hold is engaged by pushing the function knob in and out - long cross country flights are easy
    1. drdavid's Avatar
      drdavid -
      Comprehensive review - thanks BritFrog. Good to see a model compared to the real thing and coming out so well.
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Very nice review; thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    1. fcoppel's Avatar
      fcoppel -
      like it very much. Does it runs on FSX SP2?
    1. DrawyahGames's Avatar
      DrawyahGames -
      Just Flight have also made the aircraft compatible for Flight Sim World, making it the first official aircraft add-on! (Drzewiecki Design did release their New York scenery for Flight Sim World, but Dovetail Games did not have any mention in this as they would like, making it semi-official.)
    1. cij50's Avatar
      cij50 -
      Quote Originally Posted by DominicS View Post
      Very nice review; thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      I beg to differ on your test of the Arrow. I am an old arrow pilot with thousand hours on the plane and I can find almost nothing that reminds me of an arrow.
      The sound is wrong, the feel in flying it is wrong. A real arrow is a very nice and stable plane, the simulation one is absolutely not even close to the real one. The control feel is wrong, the flap activation is wrong and so on.
      It has a nice instrument board but it is absolutely no fun to fly. I have a feeling that no real pilot has had any influence on programming this airplane.
      The price is much to high, I have a feeling that a better flying Arrow can be found as freeware.
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