• Review: Carenado - Saab S340

    Interior Looks

    As with the exterior, the interior of the aircraft has received similar treatment form Carenado. The cockpit has a full set of custom gauges and realistic night lighting effects. Cockpit textures are crisp and sharp, but still provide excellent performance for the level of detail. This makes the aircraft especially enjoyable to fly at night, as I am able to more realistically light up the cockpit versus the high-powered cockpit floodlights that default aircraft seem to be equipped with.

    Carenado - Saab S340     Carenado - Saab S340

    With the Saab 340, Carenado elected to simulate a pristine example of the S340, and as such, the cockpit textures show no wear and tear. Whilst some may ague that this detracts from the realism of an aircraft that stopped production in 1999, I personally find it rather enjoyable to own and fly a S340 that looks like it just rolled off the production line.

    Carenado - Saab S340     Carenado - Saab S340

    Carenado - Saab S340     Carenado - Saab S340

    Carenado - Saab S340     Carenado - Saab S340

    In line with most add-ons today, the Carenado S340 does not feature a full 2D panel, merely a partial one for several gauges that may be difficult to accurately access in flight. The PFD, MFD, lower pedestal systems and the "Universal" FMC are all part of the panels that 2D panels have been included for. Additionally, a handy panel state selector is available, along with the animation and ground services control panel. For harder to reach gauges, there are several pre-made views in the virtual cockpit that simulate 2D panels excellently, although I'm once again somewhat disappointed that there is no view for the main overhead panel, which made the initial learning process rather difficult as it was more difficult to locate the appropriate switches to start the electrics and engines. Nonetheless, I chalk this up to more of my personal gripe and should become a non-issue once you become familiar with the aircraft.

    I find the inclusion of a panel state selector to be very helpful, as this eliminates the trouble of first loading up the default Cessna, turning everything off then loading the desired aircraft again when you wish to simulate a full flight form Cold and Dark. However, Carenado takes this one step further and supports starting the flight from several states between Cold and Dark and being fully ready for takeoff. Whilst I'm curious as to the rationale behind someone who wishes to start the flight with only one engine running, nonetheless the choice is there should you wish to take advantage of it.

    Systems

    Whilst the aircraft certainly wowed me with the looks, I can't help but be somewhat disappointed with the lack of in-depth systems simulation. Functionality aside, the included "Universal FMC" is non-functional in the virtual cockpit view and must be manipulated using the 2D version. This gives the impression of laziness on the developer's part as something so basic feels like it should be a given considering the price of the add-on.

    Carenado - Saab S340     Carenado - Saab S340

    Carenado - Saab S340     Carenado - Saab S340

    Additionally, the Universal FMC itself seems rather lackluster compared to a fully functioning FMC, providing only basic navigation functions, though it does provide the ability to fly SIDS and STARS. Nonetheless, there appears to be click-spots on the FMC gauge for more functionality than was described in the "FMS.pdf" manual provided, including a VNAV button, though clicking the button produced no apparent results and the manual provides little to no help on this. Perhaps there are plans to improve upon the FMC in the future?

    For now though, it would appear as if Flight1's GTN750 (sold separately) is one of the best options for an immersive experience for this aircraft.


    5 Comments
    1. jgmustang's Avatar
      jgmustang -
      Cannot even get this aircraft to start just like a few other recent Carenado purchases. They should have left things alone panel wise so that no matter what you use, mouse, keyboard, or a co-pilot program, you can fly this aircraft.
    1. bernies's Avatar
      bernies -
      Starts fine for me. All Carenado aircraft including F50 seem to start correctly. Maybe read the doco or go to Youtube if you are having trouble.
    1. novvar67's Avatar
      novvar67 -
      I do love the model. I do not love the performance. As with other Carenado turboprops, these do not start properly. Startup and shutdown should have a feather option or feather simulation with a smooth transition dependent on the condition levers, which these do not. Instead startup is on and shutdown is off, no matter what, even with the prop condition levers moved to the feather position. Why is this?
    1. wills50's Avatar
      wills50 -
      I got the X-Plane version. I love it.
    1. darthfinkles's Avatar
      darthfinkles -
      Why is the Saab so large in the menu? It also has an odd view when you select 's' button to see the outside, does anyone know how to correct this?
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