• Review: Just Flight - Duchess Model 76

    Manual And Features

    The package comes with two manuals. The first contains a lot of technical details, such as the fuel and electrical systems. It also has a section labelled "Systems Guide", which provides masses of information required for you to get familiar with your new aircraft. The manual also goes into detail about the various features included with this aircraft, such as an interactive checklist and the ability to load saved states such as Ready for Taxi and Cold and Dark.

    The ODM manual is the other documentation included. For those of you who are unaware, ODM tands for Operating Data Manual. This is where you can access crucial data important to flight, such as takeoff/landing performance charts. At 25 pages the documentation is very extensive and covers various aspects (you should have no problem synthesising the data).

    Just Flight - Duchess Model 76     Just Flight - Duchess Model 76

    Another important feature included was the flight computer. Often referred to as 'whizz wheels', flight computers like E6B and CRP-5 provide crucial data to pilots. In flight simulators, the process of using one can be quite complex as a lot of aircraft do not have them. A few aircraft do include some tools performed by flight computers, but overall, because this feature is not included with that many aircraft, it can make flying in some situations rather difficult.

    Personally I find it quite a relief when aircraft like the Duchess include features such as this, as it simplifies some of the more demanding tasks. The flight computer included with the Just Flight Duchess is able to perform a whole host of functions similar to that of real flight computers.

    In my opinion, Just Flight's version is the most realistic example I have ever experienced.

    Autopilot

    Before I talk about the autopilot's features, I have to say I am not a fan of them, as I prefer to fly an aircraft manually as much as possible. However, as all of us know, they can be extremely helpful. Just Flight's version of the autopilot for the Duchess works perfectly, and I must say I was rather impressed. Unlike some GA systems, it's not just a simple autopilot, as it includes a fair number of modes that I would not normally expect to see on this type of airframe. The autopilot fitted to the Duchess is so advanced you could almost fly an entire flight without even touching the yoke.

    Just Flight - Duchess Model 76     Just Flight - Duchess Model 76

    Refill Panel/ Failures

    The aircraft includes a complex engine management option which can be enabled and disabled at the click of a button (perfect for beginners and advanced pilots alike). This feature can be selected under the 'Add-ons' sections in the flight simulator (FSX/P3D). When engaged, this will activate the various failures incorporated within the model, and includes spark plug fouling, vapor lock and battery failure.

    It's nice to see that these sorts of failures can be experienced within the safety of a flight simulator as not many aircraft have this feature. Of course, if a failure does happen, then Just Flight provides you with the option to fix it, such as refilling the oil and recharging the battery. This particular feature really made me feel like a GA pilot as it helped increase the authenticity of the whole experience.

    Avionics

    The avionics unit consists of a GNS 430. This GPS unit is custom built by Just Flight and is similar to what can be found in other Just Flight aircraft. Interestingly, Flight 1 GNS systems can also be integrated into the Duchess should you so desire. COMs, NAV and ADF data equipment are also equipped as standard. It goes without saying that you have a transponder, but this can be a bit difficult to operate when flying in the commander's seat (it would have been nice to see some 2D panels overcome this issue).

    Just Flight - Duchess Model 76     Just Flight - Duchess Model 76

    Takeoff

    Performing takeoff in this aircraft is very easy to accomplish. The aircraft will often rotate at around 71 knots minimum, which will take around 20 seconds to achieve (35 on grass) from the time you firewall the throttles to getting airborne. The slightest back pressure is required to get the Duchess into the skies, so be aware of possible tail strike!

    The Duchess only needs around 1000 feet to takeoff and even less to land. I am glad that Just Flight paid good attention to this, as it is little things like this that really add to the authenticity of the model.


    2 Comments
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Very nice review. Got quite a few hours in this model, so it's nice to see it featured.

      Thanks!

      W33
    1. lear45xr's Avatar
      lear45xr -
      I'll wait til it's on sale.
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