• Review: Carenado S550 Citation II For X-Plane 11

    S550 Citation II

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Rohan Nair

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here

    Carenado S550     Carenado S550

    Don't be shy. Admit it. You, me and a thousand other flight simmers have dreamed of it. A private jet of your own. Fully crewed and ready on a moment's notice to whisk you away to sign a million dollar deal. Or do you fancy a getaway to an opulent Caribbean island for your flamboyant personality? Corporate aircraft and biz-jets are no strangers to the flight simulation world. If you've been around long enough then you definitely remember the King Air 350 and Learjet 45 from the Microsoft Flight Simulators.

    The question now is: what does X-Plane offer the virtual corporate pilot out of the box? Well there's the venerable King Air C90 and the diminutive Cirrus Vision Jet. If you like to think big then you aren't thinking prop. You're thinking jet. For many of us, that little Cirrus simply won't cut it. So as long your biz-jet fantasies aren't in the league of massive Dassaults and Bombardiers, they're something in the offing for you. It's sturdy, lean, nimble and with 2000 nautical miles of range, ladies and gentlemen, behold.. the Carenado S550 Citation II for X-Plane 11!

    Carenado S550     Carenado S550

    Second in the iconic Cessna Citation lineage of corporate jets, the Citation II (Model 550) series is a family of light twin engine corporate jets. The first variant, the Citation II flew in 1976. It was followed by the Citation II/SP, a single pilot version, and the improved S/II. Eventually, the production line was occupied by the final variant: the greatly improved Citation Bravo. Production continued until 2006 and by that time, more than a 1000 Citation IIs had been built. The improved S/II featured supercritical airfoils and improved turbofans. This is the variant Carenado have chosen to simulate. Will their representation of the Citation S/II live up to the standards they've set for themselves in recent times? Read this review to find out.

    At the time of writing this review, version 1.2 was the latest version of this product for X-Plane 11. Carenado have published the system requirements for the add on as recommended requirements. This does mean that if your system can run X-Plane 11, then it can run this add on too. If you're on MacOS 10.10+ or a Linux OS, then you've no reason to worry as the add on is compatible with those platforms too. A 3.5 GHz i5 6600K, 16-24 GB RAM, a DX12 capable graphics card with at least 4 GB of VRAM that parallels the GTX 1070 in performance are what Carenado recommend to get the most out of their product, though. I did the review on a 3.6 GHz i7-4720HQ with 16 GB of RAM and a 4 GB GTX 960M running Windows 10 and X-Plane 11.34r1.

    Carenado S550     Carenado S550

    They say that the first impression is often the lasting impression. The saying can't be more true in the case of the Carenado S550. The exterior model is in one word, resplendent. True to life visuals are augmented by appealing shines and reflections of PBR textures throughout. Zooming in reveals the amount of details modeled and is indicative of a skilled and competent 3D modeling team. The usual animations and lights are there and work as expected. A few extra goodies are operable passenger and baggage doors in addition to a ground power unit, pitot covers and a few other static elements. Available out of the box, are six high definition liveries. There's also a blank livery to serve as the blank canvas for those of you out there with an artistic flair. The quality of the exterior model is quite pleasing and I'm sure that the screen shots will speak for themselves.

    Carenado S550     Carenado S550

    Inside, the Citation S/II is just as impressive as it is on the outside. The virtual cockpit is fully 3D and highly detailed. High definition textures adorn the true to life representation of the virtual cockpit. All switches, buttons and controls are there where they're supposed to be and almost all of them are operable. The S/II features a semi-glass cockpit with an EFIS. The gauges and displays are quite clear and readable. Along with the windshield, they sport a reflection effect. I'm of the opinion that this effect for the gauges and displays is a tad exaggerated. It's a good that thing that it can be toggled. Lighting in the virtual cockpit is great and the lighting controls allow for a good range of adjustment. There are a few interesting gimmicks like adjustable overhead lights, moving arm rests and an operable cockpit door. Beyond that cockpit door is where, I believe truly is, the business end of a Citation jet. The virtual cabin is impressive with many animations for the virtual businessman. Pull out your own work table to sign that important document. And then turn down the overhead lights, pull down the window shade and then slouch in your seat as you have earned that much needed snooze.

    Carenado S550     Carenado S550

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