• Review: Carenado - X-Plane 11 DO228 100 HD Series

    Dornier Do-228 100

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Stuart McGregor

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane

    The Aircraft

    The following article focuses on the fabulous Dornier 228-100 from Carenado. The model being reviewed is part of their HD range for X-Plane 11, and in particular version 1.2 released in November 2017. The aircraft itself is a twin turboprop and is specifically designed for short takeoff and landing (STOL) operations. The real life aircraft has been around since the early 1980's and is well tried and tested.

    Getting Started

    On the face of things, the purchase price is at the higher end of what is available these days, so at $37.95, may not be within everyone's budget. Hopefully this review will give you some incite into the features of the aircraft and whether the asking price is a fair one or not.

    Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane

    I purchased my copy over at www.fspilotshop.com and as with most sites of this nature there is a good description of the features, what is included in the package and also the minimum system requirements. It is a large download at 660 MB, and based on the description provided, to get the best out of your prospective purchase, you will need a system with a pretty powerful CPU and GPU with at least 4 GB VRAM.

    Installation is straight-forward enough, simply unzip the downloaded file and drag and drop it into your Aircraft folder. The first time you start the 228, you will be required to enter a license key, however this is provided with the download and only takes a couple of minutes to enter and activate. I had no issues.

    Various documents are provided, and these include a variety of procedures, reference documents and recommended graphics settings for X-Plane 11. For this review, I did follow the designer's advice with respect to visual effects, texture quality and anti-aliasing, so I believe my observations and experience are a fair reflection of what others might experience. One thing I didn't do, was crank up the reflection detail as suggested, as I found this totally killed my frame rate. Throughout my test it was left at Minimal.

    Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane

    For reference, my own system consists of an Intel i7 5820K 3.3 GHz CPU, a GTX1080Ti 11 GB GPU and 32 GB Kingston RAM. I also have a number of Saitek panels and 3 x 27" screens, and my test flights were all carried out in and around my home town airport of EGPD.

    Initial Thoughts

    Looking from the outside, the distinctive 228 is well proportioned and in keeping with the real aircraft, although this is pretty much what you would expect from a seasoned design team such as the folks over at Carenado. Even with the reflection detail set to minimal, the aircraft's external surfaces have a nice shine to them, and the graphics quality is extremely realistic. Some of the details include: dirt and grime around the engine covers and the fuselage, highly polished prop spinners, extremely life like landing gear and tires, static wicks on the trailing edges of the elevators, rivets, screw heads and much much more. The 228 from Carenado really does its real-life name sake justice, and I for one was pretty impressed with what I saw straight out of the box. I liked the animated head movements of the aircrew, although, if I wanted to be pedantic, there was no corresponding movement of the crew's arms when the yoke was being manipulated. Yes, pedantic I know...

    Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane

    Anyway, as far as external sounds go, I have never been around a real 228, so it is difficult to know what it really sounds like, however, the engine sounds do have that characteristic turboprop whine and the heat haze coming from the engine exhausts just adds a further nice degree of realism. The various taxi, beacon and landing lights are bright and easily distinguishable, although they all seem to have an unrealistic halo around them in my opinion. However, this is probably more an artifact of X-Plane than the 228, as I have seen this elsewhere.

    From one of the on-screen menus, you can open a number of doors and baggage compartments, and again the texture details and door operations are extremely realistic. This is where you also get your first real glimpse of the interior.

    Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane     Carenado Do 228 for X-Plane

    Moving inside, the high-quality textures and level of detailing continues; from the detailed texturing of the seating in the cabin, to the air vents and exit signs situated around the aircraft. There really are so many little details. I have been lucky enough to review several aircraft over recent months, and I can safely say that the 228 is by far one of the most impressive. The bar certainly has been raised with this aircraft, and it never fails to amaze me at the quality that design teams like those at Carenado keep on delivering.

    1 Comment
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Fantastic looking aircraft; the attention to detail is stunning. Thanks Stuart!
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