• Review: Alabeo - C207 Skywagon for X-Plane 11

    Cessna 207 Skywagon

    Publisher: Alabeo

    Review Author:
    Nils Lips

    Suggested Price:
    $29.95

    Buy Here

    Alabeo - Cessna 207     Alabeo - Cessna 207

    The Cessna 207

    The Cessna Model 207 is a seven or eight seater single engine high-wing (stands out of the crowd by its length), and is popular with air-taxi companies in particular.

    In the early sixties Cessna released the 205, a fixed gear version of the 210. Shortly thereafter they released the successful 206. In 1969 Cessna decided they needed a longer 206, so they stretched the fuselage front and back, so it could have more seats. The larger aircraft needed a powerful engine in the form of the Continental IO-520-F with 300 horses or a turbocharged TSIO-520-G with the same output, just better at (high density) altitude. In 1980 Cessna released a version with an extra seat, the Stationair 8 (the other versions being called the Skywagon or Stationair 7). Production ended in 1984, with 626 Cessna 207s having been produced.

    The Alabeo 207 represents the 'Skywagon' or Stationair 7, with the non-turbo IO-520.

    Alabeo - Cessna 207     Alabeo - Cessna 207

    Pre-Flight Walk Around

    This Cessna 207 looks neat. Highly detailed textures show plenty of details and make the aircraft look like the real deal, yet pretty clean and well looked after for an ageing aircraft. The 207 is a basic aircraft, like most of the Cessna prop family, with the necessary instrumentation but not much more (apart from the Garmin GNS530 GPS unit and the Bendix/King autopilot). You also get a pretty neat feature in the way of the Shadin Digiflo-L digital fuel indicator, situated underneath the ADF gauge. Speaking of the ADF, the wire on the back of the aircraft is the ADF sense antenna. Nice touch.

    Interesting fact: the ADF systems consists of two antennas; the loop antenna and sense antenna. The loop antenna consists of two perpendicular wire loops, making it able to pick up the phase of the ADF signal from multiple directions. The sense antenna basically picks up the phase in two ways (from/to). The ADF receiver compares the two signals to see whether the aircraft is flying towards the beacon or away from it.

    Alabeo - Cessna 207     Alabeo - Cessna 207

    Interior

    The cabin is, like one would expect from a 207, simple and effective, with basic seats, a large passenger door, overhead lights and crisp textures. The same goes for the instrument panel, yet the lacquered wooden lower part of the panel looks rather fancy.

    Bush Option

    Alabeo added a "bush" option to their interface, enabling the user to have 'on-the-fly' choice of switching the 207 to slightly bigger tires and a V-Brace. First of all, these tires are not known as real bush wheels. These slightly bigger than normal tires are known as tundra tires. Real bush wheels are those massive balloons used to take the punch of real rough locations (look for Alaskan bush wheels), where one would never dare to venture in a 207. The tires on the Alabeo are used to take the edge off of unimproved strips.

    Alabeo - Cessna 207     Alabeo - Cessna 207

    The V-Brace is another obvious and true "in your face" modification. Often seen on aircraft with a float kit installed or on generic bush planes, the V-Brace is essentially a stiffener. The Cessna fuselage tends to change shape slightly around the front windshield area, making it pop out in extreme situations. More often, pilots just hate the squeakiness of the area where the wing root meets the cockpit window, or their instrument panel getting beaten up in really bumpy situations (like riding waves with step on floats). The V-Brace will get rid of these issues by supporting and stiffening this general area (mounted near the wing root). This is usually done by adding a doubler underneath the glareshield. As this is not really a structural element, do not hang your entire weight on these braces since it's not what they're made for!

    So how does the 207 perform in the backcountry?

    Alabeo - Cessna 207     Alabeo - Cessna 207

    First of all, the V-Brace made me think of floatplanes right away. So are there any float 207s? I found one (N499K), and it had the Soloy turboprop conversion. This 207 struck a boat on take-off and flipped. No person got injured but I found the airframe disassembled and for sale. Seeing no IO-520 207s on floats makes me believe the aircraft is just too sluggish and heavy to safely operate on floats.


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