by Gilberto Agostinho
FlightGear’s default aircraft, the Cessna 172P, went through a major makeover. This post will show some of these improvements.
The aircraft exterior is now much more detailed, with new higher resolution liveries (as well as several cockpit and interior themes).
The cockpit is now fully textured and fully functional. All switches, buttons and levers are operable (try pulling out some circuit breakers!). When using ALS, the new interior shadow effect is very immersive.
There are six variants avilable now (default, two bush tire variants, amphibian, pontoon and skis) as well as two types of engine (160 HP and 180 HP). Below, the amphibian variant at San Francisco bay.
The cockpit has now a glass effect, making the windows reflective. The instruments can also be illuminated if the sunlight is getting weak.
If the conditions are just right, the cockpit glass will get foggy or display some frost, as in the image below. To control that, use the air vent and air heat levers (as well as cracking the windows!).
Pre-flight inspection has now been implemented. It’s possible now to add and remove tie-downs, wheel chocks and the pitot tube cover. On top of that, one has to keep an eye for the oil level and possible fuel contamination. The plane has a tutorial explaining how all these new features work.
The aircraft can now get damaged. Land too hard and the front wheel will collapse; dive and pull the yoke at once and the wings will break. But there is no need to worry if your plane gets damaged: a repair button has been added to the aircraft menu.
Regarding sounds, some major improvements have been done: these include not only new cockpit sounds (switches, levers) but also environment sounds: water sounds for the amphibian and pontoon variants, new wind, rain and thunder sounds for all of them.
The aircraft comes with two flashlights (one white, one red) for night flights, allowing one to start the plane from cold and dark regardless of the amount of sunlight.
Among other improvements, we have now a better flight dynamics model, with better stall and spin behaviour, and new hydrodynamics for the float variations.