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

    I'm not a real world pilot so any comparisons I make on any simulated aircraft to the real airplane must be done through the included PDF documentation and any performance data I can scrounge up online. Having said that, with the limited amount of flight time I was willing to put up with in the Carenado Cheyenne II, its simulated performance compared very accurately to the real deal. Most of my testing was in regards to climb performance and cruise speed and the aircraft was consistently within +/- 5 knots of book values. I'll take that for accuracy in an X-Plane aircraft all day long!

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

    Graphical Performance And Documentation

    It is always shocking to me that despite the amount of modeling detail and picture perfect textures that go into Carenado aircraft, they consistently perform well on my machine (a mid-grade iMac) on X-Plane 11. Sure, adding clouds and weather effects definitely gives the frame rates a hit, but I came away quite impressed that such a gorgeous looking file as the Carenado Cheyenne II performs so well.

    I have read complaints about Carenado and Alabeo aircraft possessing sub-par documentation, but I have never found this to be the case. While there are a few other developers out there that definitely go into more detail, I have always found Carenado's included PDF files to be more than adequate and very professionally produced. Their latest Cheyenne II is certainly no exception in this regard. In fact, every bit of information I was looking for, with regards to aircraft performance and procedures, I was able to easily obtain within the included "DOCUMENTATION" folder.

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


    Now that we're near the end of my review, did the Carenado Piper PA31T Cheyenne II live up to my expectations of it? Yes and no. The Cheyenne II has a lot of great things going for it and I have already gone into the details regarding the visuals, sounds, graphical performance and included documentation. These qualities are all top notch as is to be expected from any aircraft produced by Carenado. Flying the Cheyenne II, however, was, for me, very disappointing. As I've explained, I just never could get comfortable with the significant performance increases, feel of the controls, and heavy pilot workload I have experienced with this aircraft. This is by no means a slight against the Carenado team and the work they have put into this file. Nor should it be suggested that I think the Cheyenne II has a bad flight model...far from it! I was just so unprepared for the learning curve associated with the file that it made every flight an exercise in frustration rather than fun.

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

    So...should you, reader, purchase the Carenado Cheyenne II? Honestly, I can't answer that for you. If you are anything like me, however, and enjoy puttering around low and slow in a relatively uncomplicated piston single, I will warn you that this file may not be for you. The learning curve is steep. If you feel it necessary to ignore my warning and really have that longing to graduate to a turbine, I would suggest considering one of Carenado's less complex turbine singles like the Cessna Grand Caravan or Pilatus PC-12 instead. More advanced X-Plane pilots used to flying complex twin turbines, will probably fall in love with the Cheyenne II and will likely find the price tag ($37.95 USD) attractive as well. All in all, the Carenado Cheyenne II is another great release from a legendary company in the business. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

    Purchase Carenado - Cheyenne II for X-Plane

    Shawn Weigelt

    Purchase Carenado - PA31T Cheyenne II for X-Plane

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