What is the ultimate status symbol that says your are rich, really rich, 6 houses?, no, Two Ferrari’s and a Bugatti Veyron?, Close but still no, A yacht, Yes – but it could still be rented for the weekend and it usually is…so still no, A private Jet – absolutely yes.
The ability to drive to an airport and go anywhere in the world, quickly and in luxurious comfort is still the number one ultimate toy, want to go to the Opera for the night but in a city 500 miles away, no problem…just this way sir…
Now I will let into a little secret…I own my own private jet – Well it was really a birthday gift as my family said “What would you like for your birthday Flightime?”, and I said “A private Jet!”, “fine we’ll just pop a little more into your allowance and you can pick the one you want”.
So now I can just swan off to St Trop (Nice usually) or St Maarten’s anytime I want to -
ahhh… some people just have it so good.
And very, very nice it is too.
Its called a Bombardier Challenger 300…
And now it has been just upgraded for XP10 by Denis Krupin of Ddenn Design. (Ddenn)
There is quite an upgrade list:
- Added Fast Preflight function to the External Preflight panel for automatic removing chokes/covers
- Pedestal and glareshield lights are on by default now
- Changed beacon NAV and strobe lights
- TrackIR position in external preflight and camera modes
- Minor speedbrake fix
- Speedbrake axis now works
- Flight model in v10. Thank you very much Ian for your help!
- Standby compass patch included
- Fixed autodialing speed and VVI into autopilot with FLC and VVI modes (new feature in xp10.04.b3)
- All fixes from cumulative patch are included
- Added more drag
- Landing and taxi lights
- Wrong trim indication
- Locked brakes in some situations
- Engines reverse (it was problem with hydraulic system)
- Now all inscriptions have hi-res textures independent of x-planes texture resolution setting
- Clickzones in Preflight Checks mode
- Cameras in Preflight Checks mode and Cameras menu
- Engine exhaust positions
- Locked brakes after preflight procedures
Many items listed came from an upgrade back in Dec 2011, but all have been refined and reviewed now for X-Plane 10.
In look and feel it is very similar to its larger cousin the FJS Bombardier Dash 8-Q400, the same quality 3d modeling, complex cockpit layout and deep systems integration.
But overall the C300 has more features and better detailing – it wins on the subtle detailing that puts it in the class of one of the best aircraft available in X-Plane, JRollon’s CRJ is just maybe a little better, but for the price of US$29.95 the C300 is very good, In fact a bargain.
You will fly it very similar to the Dash8 as well, except one is a turbo prop and one goes like a rocket for 3,100 NM – and then you have work very hard to try to slow it down and get it back onto the ground in one solid piece.
(Click the above picture to enlarge)
It is a Pilot’s manual ABC aircraft, you need to study it to fly it well, there is many aids like setting up the V1, V2, VR and VT (VFTO), VGA,VREF speeds, which are complex but helpful in practise, starting from cold is a not a turn the switch and go for flight (there is a quick setup in the menu) proposition.
It can take 10 minutes or more to be ready to release the parking brake, but it can take more time if you want to absorb one of the best features of this aircraft – Starting the engines.
A lot of work has gone into creating sonic areas around the aircraft, so if you stand close behind the engines and then you would go quickly deaf, but as you move around the sounds change with the distance from the engines, jump to the cockpit and it goes all whisper quiet, go back outside and your ears fall off.
Start them up and you get hairy goosebumps on your neck.
Although it looks very complex but the Challenger 300 still is a very automated aircraft, if you set it up correctly to fly then you will find it will take care of itself for most of the time.
Even when you leave the runway the A/P is already on and when you pull back the throttles to the CLB detent after the inital takeoff - it will then automatically keep the vertical speed as you have already set it.
The auto throttle is working in there too, so you can easily be setting up your flightplan ready for activation while still climbing out from the airport.
And fly it does, the power on climb out is impressive – Cruise is m.82 short range and m.81 long range, the problem is getting the Challenger 300 to stop – Pull back the throttles on most heavy jets and the speed will start to fall off, in the C300 it just keeps on going, worse if you put in to a negative V/S of 2000fpm and it just goes faster!
So you use the airbrakes in this jet a lot, almost like using the brakes on a car, need to slow then up go the spoilers, it is worse at lower levels as you need to control the speed and with so little drag it doesn’t drop down in height so it takes a lot of practise to set yourself up for landings, speed is also controlled by dropping the flaps and not pulling back on the speed so that it is the drag that is what pulls you back, then you have to adjust the thrust to match the speed you want, a little unnerving till you get a handle on it, but once you get it right it soon becomes the normal.
Landing is the same but slightly harder, you can easily come down the ILS corridor, but there is no Autoland feature and in this case the aircraft is a) very light, b) very powerful – so the effect is that when you come into the flare it will just glide on, try to stall the aircraft by putting the nose a little higher will only make it climb and still not go down lower either.
When i first bought the Challenger 300 I found all the above quite unnerving – and was finding it very hard to land.
To the point I would say I didn’t enjoy it as much as the Dash Q400 – so I hardly flew it.
Back then I was still in XP9, and coming into this update i found that Ddenn had for XP10 has adjusted a lot of the settings and tuned flight model and one of the changes that came through was more drag – now I find the aircraft more flyable and flexible and I easily landed it first time out.
The speed is still there of course and the airbrakes have to still do a lot of work to burn it off, but I was more comfortable this time around with the Challenger than I was in Xp9.
I then went back and flew the older version and found it was just like I thought it was – it was still far harder to fly well.
So the update is a big improvement on the older version, and so now I can’t wait to get back in there and do some serious distance.
(Click the above picture to enlarge)
So we know the Challenger 300 goes like a rocket ship and also sounds like one – But even sitting on the ramp and not moving it is an engaging event.
The detailing is simply superb, the quality is first-rate – and in no area can you fault this work…
And there is animations everywhere, from shutting the blinds to rolling out tables and opening doors, the strip lighting is simply beautiful – look outside at night and the cabin is perfectly lit.
A cargo area with opening hatch…
I spend as much time in the replays watching the landings from the seat in the back as much as in the front…
shut it down and then cover your investment up…
Most of these views and animations are available from a pullout menu, the walk around and placing the tags and covers on the various areas is fun and gives a final feel to end a flight, you can save all the changes and when you restart X-Plane everything will be exactly where you left it – I wish this feature was a default on X-Plane itself.
The files come with a Fast-Start and a User Manual that does not go in-depth on the systems but shows you were to get the proper documents.
There is also included a large range of liveries.
This is the default (above) but I would rather prefer the lovely CHALLENGER300 version (below).
There is an all white paint version as well…
One missing that was with the first release version of the aircraft was a QATAR one?…
Night lighting is excellent with HDR on, here the landing lights (missing with HDR off) are both switchable on the left and right sides – reflections are first rate.
Only odd thing is the HDR lighting comes through the cabin floor. (This is not the developers fault but a Laminar bug)
In this upgraded X-Plane 10 version Ddenn’s Bombardier Challenger 300 is certainly the best value aircraft you can buy for US$29.95 in X-Plane, as for quality it is certainly in the top three if not the top…
It is an aircraft that does need experience to get the most out of it and shows that X-Plane does have real excellent quality aircraft for its platform.
This product is certainly a celebration of the developers art and talent – but that is what you pay your money for – Quality, Depth and Features….a lot of features.
And it puts you in to another class altogether….The taste of a very very rich one.
Bombardier Challenger 300 Captain Edition
Developer: Ddenn Design
Buy: Ddenn Design
Rating ***** 5 stars