So, I finally got to download and install the Alabeo Stagger' last night. By the time that happened (about 12 hours ago) all the initial problems were fixed, most of witch were caused by the corrupted installer.
Although, I had to tweak some minor stuff, but I always considered this part of our hobby. I actually enjoy that process. No, I didn't mean "fixing", I mean "customizing". In case you have similar preferences I just list the changes here:
- Changed the elevator_effectiveness to 6 (default was 1), as I found it very insensitive (I use a "customized" mouse-wheel and FSUIPC)
- Changed the turning range of the tail wheel (contact_point.0, replace 90 with 65)
- Changed the 3rd value of eyepoint (VIEWS section) to 4.07 as that's the realistic eyepoint height (based on photos and the external view)
- Made the flap and gear sounds a bit more quiet using Sound Forge. BTW, the flap sound is mapped to the default flap sound (usflap.wav in FSX/sounds)
Now it's perfect!....for me anyways....
The soundset is a blast! No-one really managed to get the Wasp Junior roaring right so far (I was so disappointed about it ,that I actually sent an email to 3 different soundpack developers asking them to make one for it...no replies so far). Both external and internal sounds are fantastic with an additional "vibration" sound at low RPMs that I heard in all those youtube videos.
Now documentation...well, there is a datasheet only with generic info (like Wikipedia), and it's very hard to find V-speeds or a POH for this one on the web. The engine management info is a lot easier to work out as lots of other aircraft uses this engine.
And now about flying it. Don't forget that I changed stuff a bit (above).
Taxiing is fairly simple, you can use the left bottom section of the windscreen to keep an eye out, it provides pretty good visibility.
There is a sensible amount of torque on take-off, but it's easily controllable. The old girl becomes airborne as early as 60 MPH, and within about 6-700 feet.
The STOL capabilities are pretty realistic (based on videos and a old article), and finally, taking off with one notch or two notches of flaps DOES make a difference (found that on many planes the lift-factor of the different flap stages didn't change much).
In terms of engine management I go by the following numbers (so that everything stays green):
TAKEOFF - FULL THROTTLE, MAX RPM
CLIMB - 35"/2200 (120-130 KTS, 900 FPS)
CRUISE - 33"/2000 (around 150 KTS)
I tried running her with full throttle for some time, and although the CHT raised up, the engine didn't quit or anything (I kind of expected that speaking of Alabeo/Carenado stuff).
I find the Stagger pretty stable on cruise, easy to trim and hand-fly. Stalling it is a very "boring" experience
. It won't drop a wing and get into a crazy spin. It just starts falling "elegantly". Push the yoke and give a bit of throttle and you're out of trouble straight away due to the very low stall speed.
When it comes to landing, this bird makes you feel like the best pilot ever, making a greaser every time
If you manage a 3-pointer, you can expect to stop well within 100 feet.
The other mentionable feature is the lights. The VC dome and instrument lights look photoreal (not just using daylight textures as I've seen with some other add-ons). Also the external lights seem to be custom. With that I mean: The nav lights use textures instead of the effect so they don't appear 5 meters in front of the plane when seen from distance or fly-by camera. The landing lights don't have that boring "yellow triangle on the ground" kind of look, but more like retro-fitted Xenons lighting up the ground. They also retract when you retract the gear.
As a summary, I think I just found my new favorite bush plane...for $25!