There has been a lot of criticism in the Microsoft Flight Simulator forums about this aircraft, with the loudest opponents stating that it was released too early. I won’t broach that subject here, but rather have a pragmatic discussion of what seems to be correct about the aircraft and what needs fixing. All opinions welcome.
I hear a lot of sounds that do match what I remember about flying in this aircraft, especially the takeoff, climb, and cruise power settings. But there are a lot of weird sounds as well. Things like flaps moving without moving the lever, transitions between various RPM levels (seems either on or off), what sounds like banging against the fuselage, wind and tires on tarmac when the plan is stopped. To my uneducated ears, it sounds more like the programming to get the proper sound at the right time or trigger needs work. Also, the bank angle and descent warnings sound early IMO, like any time over a 15 degree bank. There is rumored to be a patch to fix some of the issues this weekend. Edit: More info. I’m running the alias mod from flightsim.to which I believe is using the King Air 350, until a suitable patch is out. Not perfect, but better than default IMHO.
This topic is very subjective and staggers under the weight of what sim pilots think it should be, even if they’ve never ridden in a Twin Otter, much less piloted one. My memory is that Twin Otters are loud as ■■■■ inside. They are square aluminum boxes with twin turboprops mounted on high wings. From what I’ve seen, pilots universally wore headsets when operating them. And from experience, if climb power is set, you more or less have to scream at your neighbor to be heard. In that regard, I feel that the default volume in the cockpit should be about where it would be with David Clarks on, but louder everywhere else. Needs improvement, but not deal breaker.
This is receiving a lot of criticism, especially those who think that it leaps off of the ground at unbelievable speeds and that it won’t stall. I wanted to put this to a test, but finding a free Twin Otter POH in PDF format is hard. If someone finds one, respond here with a link. What I ended up doing is do a pseudo install of of FSX, so that I could run the install routine of Aerosoft’s Twin Otter Extended, which I remember had a pretty good set of manuals. In the data PDF I found the following, which I will assume are based on the real aircraft.
Edit: I found the airspeed limitations on page 86 of the MSFS version manual. They give similar numbers, but there is less data, like Vr speed.
(wheels, CAS, sea level)
Vmc 66 (64 in the current manual)
Vr (12,500) 69
Vr (9,500) 64
Vfe (0-20) 102
Vfe (10-37.5) 95 (93 in the current manual)
Va 136 (132 in the current manual)
Vs is not given and you can make arguments for or against it being equal to Vmc, because both numbers move, but for this discussion, we’ll assume that it is equal.
I tested the stalls at MTOW at 2000 MSL. If cut power (approach to landing) and apply max aft elevator deflection, it’s hard to get a break. It feels similar to having a front canard in that you don’t get a break, but the aircraft is descending and the VSI shows vertical negative acceleration. I’m not sure if this is a limitation of the sim, or needs work. If you add a bit of power (accelerated) and hold neutral aileron and rudder, you will get a break to a gentle rotation left which will continue until you apply appropriate recovery input (relax back pressure, neutral aileron, and rudder opposite the direction of spin). This feels completely normal to me.
If I am at MTOW, set elevator trim to neutral, apply full power, at rotate at VR (69), the aircraft has a normal takeoff. If I rotate at 55 kts smoothly, the aircraft won’t start flying until ~65. If I pull back aggressively, it will leave the runway, but the stall horn sounds, and the plane begins to roll right or left to stall, as it should. I’m really not seeing any bad behavior here.
I haven’t done further testing, like exceeding Vne. But so far the Twin Otter seems to be flying at least near the numbers.
I need to take a break, but more to follow. What have you found?