• Review: Carenado - A42-500

    Systems Simulation

    While previous Carenado aircraft seemed to be rather light on systems simulation, I'm happy to report that the ATR-42 has seen vast improvements in terms of systems modelling.

    For starters, the ATR-42's engine management systems are included as part of the aircraft. These control the pitch of the propellers during critical phases of flight to both ensure efficiency and keep the propellers spinning within specifications. Carenado has also taken the liberty of creating a video tutorial, which you can view here alongside several other tutorials specific to the ATR-42.

    Additionally, the inclusion of "hotel mode" in this ATR is also rather noteworthy. Whilst not meant to provide accommodation for crews or passengers by any means, hotel mode is used by airlines that fly into airports which do not have GPUs or external bleed air systems to start the engines. To utilize hotel mode, the prop brake is employed in order to allow the right engine to stay running whilst keeping the right propeller stationary. (It's always been remarked that the ATR-42 has an APU, the only catch being that it's also an engine!) Carenado has modelled this into the add-on, allowing the user to engage the prop brake to keep the right engine running when turning the aircraft around at smaller airports.

    Despite all the positives though, there are still a few areas that require work to be done.

    For starters, the turboprop mechanics of the aircraft seem to be rather off. Compared to videos depicting the real-world ATR-42, the propellers of this add-on spin up way too quickly. If you move the condition levers from cut-off to feather and immediately switch to the external view, the propeller would have already spun up. In real life though, it takes several seconds for the propeller to get up to speed.

    Additionally, the fuel cross-feed system appears to have no effect regarding the fuel quantity in each tank. Despite opening the cross-feed valve and turning on the right-side fuel pump, both tanks still drain at the same rate.

    Finally, I was somewhat disappointed to see that the "universal FMC" is still used on this aircraft. There is nothing inherently wrong with the universal FMC as it guides the aircraft just fine and has provisions for flying SIDs and STARs, something very important when flying online. However, I had hoped that the universal FMC would've seen some improvements since its early days in the Beechcraft 1900D. The interface is still rather limited and there still lacks the ability to perform VNAV functions, even ones as simple as calculating the TOD point.

    Nevertheless, on the whole, the ATR-42 still has several marked improvements over previous Carenado airliners and the inclusion of hotel mode, something that is unique to the ATR series aircraft, is a very welcome surprise.

    Flight Dynamics

    In order to get a feel for the aircraft, I took the aircraft on a short flight from Munich to Dusseldorf on the Lufthansa Regional ATR-42-500.

    Carenado - A42-500     Carenado - A42-500

    Carenado - A42-500     Carenado - A42-500

    Loading up at the gate, I used the Carenado utility to set the aircraft to a cold and dark state. The utility provided is very handy since it eliminates the need of first loading up the default Cessna and turning everything off before loading the aircraft you wish to fly.

    Pre-flight of the aircraft was completed using the provided checklists, which allowed me to start the aircraft up rather quickly. As with other Carenado airliners, I did wish that Carenado included a tutorial PDF which outlines where the switches are as it can be difficult to locate all the different switches when loading up this aircraft for the first time.

    Nevertheless, after setting the aircraft up, I had a rather uneventful taxi to the runway. The aircraft was extremely responsive to throttle inputs, a result of using the beta range, which controls the pitch of the propellers to vary thrust and gives quicker throttle response for taxi. Turning the ATR was also extremely quick, and I had no issues making any sharp turns around the taxiways. Whilst I am not a pilot, the aircraft seems to pivot a little too quickly for an aircraft of its size.

    Carenado - A42-500     Carenado - A42-500

    Carenado - A42-500     Carenado - A42-500

    Soon enough, I was lined up on the runway and ready for take-off. Advancing the throttles forward to full power, I quickly reached take-off speed and a quick yank on the yoke later, I found myself comfortably climbing at about 1200 fpm.

    Following the magenta line on the navigation display was very simple, and soon enough, I let the autopilot take over the flying. The autopilot on this aircraft is custom-built, with several modes available to choose from. I opted to use the IAS mode, which adjusts pitch to maintain a pre-set speed.


    2 Comments
    1. flightman's Avatar
      flightman -
      There’s no mention of night lighting in the review. Carenado made an awful mess of this in their Fokker 50, which they still haven’t fixed, so I wondered how well it works in the ATR42.

      I’m happy to accept the simplified system modelling if everything they do simulate works properly. Not fixing bugs is what puts me off buying another Carenado sim.
    1. lear45xr's Avatar
      lear45xr -
      The overpricing is what "puts me off from buying another Carenado sim." Not worth 45 buck.
  • Recent Forum Activity

    Gregory_Douglas

    Heavy Jet ILS Glide Slope Problem

    Thread Starter: Gregory_Douglas

    Whenever I fly a large jet such as a C5 Galaxy, the aircraft engages the ILS OK but the autopilot approach hold has trouble adjusting to the slope....

    Last Post By: mrzippy Today, 04:08 PM Go to last post
    TheRedBadger

    FS2004 crashes loading Gatwick with Norwegian AI

    Thread Starter: TheRedBadger

    After hours of converting each and every Norwegian FAIB texture for FS9 use, although the textures seem to work fine, loading up Gatwick or even...

    Last Post By: johnhinson Today, 03:36 PM Go to last post
    jankees

    Mitchell

    Thread Starter: jankees

    jk4715

    Last Post By: flightsimg Today, 03:28 PM Go to last post
    peer01

    Conny "C&S" leaving Chicago Midway (FSX)

    Thread Starter: peer01

    Constellation "Chicago & Southern" leaving Chicago Midway using the freeware Drzewiecki Chicago Demo. I hope you like plane and scenery. FSX Gold...

    Last Post By: flightsimg Today, 03:26 PM Go to last post