Cessna? What Cessna?

Well it’s been a long long while since i’ve made a post here. I think I owe our readership an explanation and an update!

For the last 2 years I’ve been either working full time or flying/studying full time, and unfortunately had more or less abandoned X-Plane. I attained my CPL in May, and on the 1st of September, I completed my “study” when I passed my IFR flight test. The schedule has been very free these past couple of months which has allowed me to finally get back to work on the Cessna. It’s been a mission re-learning everything again along with learning all the new stuff X-Plane 9 has to offer…and boy does it have a lot to offer! I’ve taken to generic instruments like a duck to water, they have proven extremely useful, as have key frame animations, and manipulators!

As mentioned above, manipulators! I’ve managed to find a few uses for this wonderful new feature. My favorite is the sun visor, which I’ve managed to work a two axis manipulation into, up and down like you’d expect, and left to right to adjust it like the real thing! There’s also manipulations on handles in the cockpit such as the throttle, flaps, and trim. We also have key frame animations appearing here and there for various knobs in the cockpit, that just make the animations that much more perfect. And of course, generic instruments. Generics have made it possible for me to do some very high res, and extremely accurate instrument faces. Take for instance the Air Speed Indicator, the real one uses different scaling to X-Planes. This means if you were to lay the artwork from the real thing onto an X-Plane ASI, it may read correctly at 0 and 163 kts, but at 100 kts, it would be totally out of sync. Not so with generics thanks to the key framing, and as a result, all the instruments are incredibly accurate and totally faithful to their real life counterparts! Every dial has been made from scratch, using high res photo’s from the real 172, using generics, and I must say the results are startling! There’s a whole host of other little innovations going on behind the scenes, such as a magic yoke that makes living with a full time 3D pit a breeze. Here’s a picture of the Cessna cockpit in default view:

Cessna 172 Cockpit

Now, the big question… When can you expect to get your hands on this? Well, soon! It’s so close to release, it makes me all giddy just thinking about it. There is of course a few more instruments left to do. Some polish here and there, then a flight model “re-calibration” and bug testing week since a few things got broke when importing to V9… and well, that’s it! Not a whole lot at all. If anything is holding it’s release date back, It’s getting the means of delivery set up! We have some legal jibberish to sift through, as well as the technical stuff to make sure you get the plane when you want without delay! The silver lining to this, as originally planned when we started the project, is that the little Cessna is literally paving the way for the heavies, so that they may have a smooth release with as few “technical difficulties” possible!


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