• Review: Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II For X-Plane

    PA31T Cheyenne II

    Publisher: Carenado

    Review Author:
    Shawn Weigelt

    Suggested Price:

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    Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane


    I have to admit, when Carenado first announced the development of their Piper PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane 11 on Facebook, I was not happy. This announcement followed closely on the heels of the release of their Beech 390 Premier IA light business jet. Why was I unhappy, you may ask? Well, those of you who have been reading my reviews for the past several years know of my love for light piston singles and my relative aversion to twins and turbine engines. The second major reason for my displeasure was the that Carenado still has a bunch of solid X-Plane 10 files that have yet to be ported over to X-Plane 11. Aircraft like the Diamond DA42, Piper PA23 Aztec F, and Cessna CT182T Skylane immediately come to mind.

    Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane     Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane

    In spite of my surly attitude, it should be immediately obvious that I eventually relented, and decided to review the Piper Cheyenne II anyway. What swayed me is what always sways me with Carenado airplanes...they are just plain gorgeous! The screen shots posted to social media were drool worthy and truly highlighted Carenado's ability to make even the most mundane airplane look amazing. The real question in my mind, however, was if their Cheyenne II would sound, fly, and perform as great as it looked in X-Plane 11.34. Read on to get my take on it, overall.

    Sights And Sounds

    I could get really deep into the weeds talking about the history of the Piper Cheyenne but I'm not going to bore you with the minutiae of the real world aircraft. If you want to learn more about it, the Internet is at your fingertips. Basically speaking however, the Piper PA31T Cheyenne is a turbine-powered outgrowth of the successful Navajo series of piston twins with excellent performance similar to the small Beech King Airs.

    Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane     Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane

    Despite my love for all things piston single, I have always thought the 70's era turbine twins were great looking airplanes. While my aesthetic tastes have always gravitated more toward Cessna and Beech with their Conquest and King Air series of turbine twins, the Cheyenne II has lovely lines that have been impeccably captured by the Carenado team. The first thing I did with the Cheyenne II loaded into X-Plane was to pour over the exterior of the aircraft and drink in every detail. The texture work and attention to detail are as good as it gets with any current production aircraft in the flight simulation industry.

    With the Carenado Cheyenne II loaded in a cold a dark state, 3D objects such as cones, chocks, and intake, exhaust, and pitot covers are placed on and around the aircraft in their proper places. A motorized hand tug is also attached to the nose wheel giving the sim pilot the impression that the aircraft is ready to be pulled out of the hangar and prepared for flight. Clicking on the familiar Carenado 2D pop up "O" for "Options" menu provides a simple toggle for instantly removing the exterior 3D objects and placing the beautifully lifelike pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit.

    Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane     Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane

    As I've just mentioned, the familiar Carenado User Interface is present with the Cheyenne II with the usual 2D pop up "C" for "Cameras/Volume" menu, and the "O" for "Options" menu. All of the usual toggles are present within these menus such as the ability to change camera viewpoints, adjust the volume, open doors, add/delete instrument and window reflections, and change liveries on the fly. Also present with this particular file is the "A" for autopilot tab, which brings up a clickable window of the KFC-300 autopilot. This is especially helpful when you want to adjust the autopilot while keeping your focus on aviating and not searching around in the cockpit.

    1 Comment
    1. seippg's Avatar
      seippg -
      Good review. I guess I'm one of those turboprop guys. For me, the weaknesses of this plane are on the ground. Switches that do nothing...inverter switches, gyro switches. The pressurization is a little wonky. It's strange, that after all that work they left some little things like that undone. Apart from that, it flies beautifully. The sounds are rich and immersive. It does have a lot of power, has a heavy roll like a twin and flies at 42 torque by the book right down to the runway. So, some things not so good and some things very well done. Is it worth the money? Um...hard to say. If they'd taken care of those little things, yes. With the little things not done?...it's less immersive than it would be otherwise.
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