• Review: Carenado - C208B Grand Caravan For X-Plane 11

    Documentation

    You'll find all documentation for this aircraft contained within a folder called "Document C208". Inside of this you'll find normal and emergency checklists and a reference document (with the aircraft's V-speeds) for both the Grand Caravan and Super Cargomaster version. One thing I've seemed to notice though, is that the documentation that comes with many add-on aircraft, always contains items that are not entirely relevant.

    In the case of the Grand Caravan, it looks like the version used in the simulator doesn't have inverters or an overspeed governor. Also, the normal checklist mentions "power cruise tables", but these are nowhere to be found. It was however, relatively easy to find a real-life counterpart of these missing items/tables, so as to be used in the simulator.

    Carenado - C208B Grand Caragan     Carenado - C208B Grand Caragan

    Otherwise, apart from these discrepancies, documentation is well organized and the checklists are very complete. As usual, you're also provided with recommended graphic settings, but with X-Plane's latest updates it seems that these documents will become more and more obsolete (performance has really improved of late). If you're having trouble understanding the C208's autopilot, you also get a nice PDF with slides explaining each of the autopilot's modes.

    Flight Characteristics

    Cessna's C208 is renowned for its ability to cope with tough and challenging conditions in remote regions of the globe, ranging from Alaska's extreme cold climates to New Guinea's stormy region, with short, poorly maintained runways. As such, you can expect a versatile, powerful and reliable aircraft to accompany you on your flights. The Grand Caravan is both stable and sturdy, but at the same time, there's power to get you out of tricky situations when they arise. And in the simulator you get to realize what kind of aircraft this is very quickly.

    As soon as you set takeoff power, especially on a paved runway, the acceleration of this bird is unbelievable - you'll be airborne before you know it. Something that did strike me as slightly odd though, was the amount of downward pitch I found necessary to apply so as to increase airspeed after takeoff (prior to this, trim was set to takeoff). Not sure if this is accurate to the real-world behavior for this particular aircraft, or if it's related to a poorly configured CG on my part (it might even be something else entirely).

    Carenado - C208B Grand Caragan     Carenado - C208B Grand Caragan

    The climb performance though is in line with real world charts. Depending on your weight and weather conditions, you should get somewhere between 500 and 1000 fpm, right up until your cruise flight level. One thing to remember is that this aircraft was not built for speed, so don't expect blazingly fast cruise speeds - my own typical cruise speed was around 150 KTAS. In normal operations, you'll be transporting people and/or cargo, and sightseeing at the same time, so try to choose scenic routes when you fly this bird.

    As mentioned earlier, the Grand Caravan is quite stable - so much in fact, that you'll easily be able to set it up for cruise in a way that will require minimal input. As for the approach, it's easy to slow this aircraft down. Its white arc reaches 125 KIAS, so you can deploy flaps very early on if needed, and with its reverse power, can easily bring the aircraft to a halt, with typical required landing distances being under 1000 feet. I can't compare the responsiveness to its real world counterpart, but the performance is in line with real world charts. It's a very forgiving bird, and a joy to fly.

    Conclusion

    If you're a fan of Cessna's Grand Caravan/Super Cargomaster, then look no further. Carenado's offering includes a very detailed 3D model (both exterior and interior) with a huge number of animated features. It utilises fully updated, high-resolution textures so as to take full advantage of X-Plane 11's new technologies. It also incorporates realistic performance, natural and realistic sounds, and is a very enjoyable bird to fly.

    Carenado - C208B Grand Caragan     Carenado - C208B Grand Caragan

    However, an area I would like to see improved upon (as we stare at it for long periods), is the instrument panel. This would benefit from a higher resolution texture, and it's easy to notice the ELT switch not being modelled. These are issues that don't affect the overall experience, but do however pull down an otherwise exceptionally detailed aircraft. I also struggled somewhat with the autopilot. Not sure if this was a problem of my own making, but maybe someone could confirm in the comments if they also have trouble with it on X-Plane 11 or not. With this said though, if you're looking to fly some challenging routes in remote places, this aircraft comes highly recommended.

    Additional Info

    Carenado - C208B Grand Caravan & Super Cargomaster For X-Plane 11

    AOPA C208B Fact Sheet
    Wikipedia

    Bruno Esperanca

    Purchase Carenado - C208B Grand Caravan & Super Cargomaster for X-Plane


    2 Comments
    1. bstikkel's Avatar
      bstikkel -
      First: thanks for the great review. I want to correct one thing, and that is, there also is another C208 for XPlane, also for XP11, at https://www.x-hangar.com/store/cessn...d-caravan.html. No doubt far less accurate and refined model as the Carenado version, but then also far cheaper. Just what you choose. I lately puchased the XHanger version and it is okay for me.
    1. BasHope's Avatar
      BasHope -
      Quote Originally Posted by bstikkel View Post
      First: thanks for the great review. I want to correct one thing, and that is, there also is another C208 for XPlane, also for XP11, at https://www.x-hangar.com/store/cessn...d-caravan.html. No doubt far less accurate and refined model as the Carenado version, but then also far cheaper. Just what you choose. I lately puchased the XHanger version and it is okay for me.
      Hi bstikkel! You're welcome, hope it was an enjoyable read.

      Having checked the version you mention, I'm surprised it's payware! Anyway, as you said, to each his own.
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