• Review: Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal

    C177 Cardinal II

    Publisher: Alabeo

    Review Author:
    Stuart McGregor

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal

    The Aircraft

    The Cessna 177 Cardinal on offer from Alabeo is modelled on the single engine, variable prop, high wing light aircraft introduced in 1967. The real-life aircraft was produced for ten years and more than 4000 units were built during the production run. The concept of the C177 was to develop a more modern replacement for the ever-popular Cessna 172, with both fixed and retractable landing gear being provided. One of the most striking differences is the lack of wing struts, providing an unobstructed view from the pilot's seat. This review looks at the Alabeo's recent release for X-Plane 11, v1.1, although for any X-Plane users still on X-Plane 10, the good news is that there is also a version available for the previous version of the sim.

    Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal     Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal

    Getting Started

    In my humble opinion, the purchase price of $29.95 is pretty competitive considering you are actually getting two models with your purchase. The kind folks over at Alabeo have included both the fixed (177B) and retractable (177RG) landing gear variants in the download, although it took me a little while to work that out. Why you ask? Well, the variants are accessed via the livery option menu, which at first glance wasn't totally obvious, well that is my excuse at least! I will come back to that later.

    I purchased my copy over at www.alabeo.com (other outlets are available), and as with most sites of this nature, there is a good description of the features provided, what is included in the package and also the minimum system requirements. At 339 MB, it is a fairly sizeable download (450 MB unzipped), and based on the description provided, to get the best out of your prospective purchase, you will need a system with a decent CPU (i5 or equivalent, 2.5 GHz or better), 8 GB or RAM and GPU with at least 2 GB VRAM.

    Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal     Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal

    Installation is straightforward; simply unzip the downloaded file and drag and drop it into your Aircraft folder. The first time you start the C177, 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 and off I went.

    Various documents are provided, and these include a variety of procedures, reference documents and recommended joystick and graphics settings for X-Plane 11. For this review, I did follow the designer's advice with respect to Visual Effects, Texture Quality and Antialiasing, 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 rates. Throughout my test it was left at Minimal. 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 a small rural airstrip: Longside Airfield (EGPS), which is just north of my home town airport of EGPD. All tests were carried out using X-Plane 11.26.

    Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal     Alabeo - Cessna 177 Cardinal

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