X-Plane 11 community website and store, X-Plane.org, was recently celebrating their 20th year of operation discounting random aircraft and random times with some great sales. The Aerobask DA62, an aircraft I’ve contemplated buying several times over the last 9-months, came up with a 50% off sale so I jumped on it and have started flying it. My first impressions on this aircraft from Aerobask ahead!
A twin with a cool design
There are a bunch of reasons why I wanted to buy this aircraft for X-Plane. An airshow I was at a few years ago featured Diamond Aircraft as a sponsor of the show and, admist the jet and aerobatic displays, arranged to have one of their aircraft do a couple of fly-pasts. That aircraft was a DA62 and I thought it was one of the coolest GA aircraft I’d ever seen.
Next on my list of reasons for wanting this aircraft is the developer. Aerobask are a third party developer for X-Plane 11 that have put together some great aircraft for that sim. I already have their Epic E1000 G1000 edition and I also have their Robin DR401. The DR401 is an excellent aircraft for X-Plane 11 and it just so happens that Aerobask made it free. See my first impressions of the DR401 as well.
Finally, Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming with its own DA62 later this year (probably) and so I’m setting myself up to compare the two sims with some interesting points of comparison. The DA62 included!
Aerobask’s DA62 starts to impress right away with a beautifully detailed cockpit (more on that later) and a simple control panel that lets you control some of the basic details of the aircraft. Doors and service hatches can be opened and closed, passengers determined, and overall fuel and weight settings adjusted.
Setting out from Orbx’s highly detailed Skaggit Regional Airport (KBVS) I decided that my short flight would feature a flight out to Mount Baker to check out the scenery in that area (again thanks to Orbx) followed by a flight southwards to Darrington aiport (1S2) which is another airport I bought from Orbx that is highly detailed.
I’m still very much learning the G1000 avionics system that’s setup for the DA62 so much of my flying was either hand flown or using the simple autopilot and directional guiding features. The GPS map is insanely useful and great help when you’re flying in the mountainous regions.
The DA62 performed this flight beautifully. It’s not exceptionally fast with maximum continuous speed of 192 knots at 14,000 feet but it has good maneuverability and controls respond quickly. Overall I feel like the DA62 mostly flies like a lighter aircraft and that makes getting into it fairly easy when coming from something simpler like a Cessna 172 or the DR401 that I fly around a lot.
In some ways the DA62 is actually very simple despite being well modeled by Aerobask. The FADEC based throttle system automatically adjusts things like fuel mixture so you really only need to put the power lever in the correct position and monitor everything to make sure it stays in the green.
Landing was simple enough too and with Darrington’s small and short runway there isn’t a lot of room for error. But fortunately the DA62 was easy enough to get slow and low before putting it down on the runway. This wasn’t my best landing but it was serviceable and not a rough one so I’ll take it as a win.
Pretty good for sightseeing
The DA62 has enough speed and climb rate along with maneuverability to make it a good sightseeing aircraft in X-Plane and that’s kind of what I wanted it for. While the E1000 is a great GA aircraft that can make a beeline from point to point, it feels less well suited to taking in the scenery and that’s exactly what the DA62 seems to excel at.
The sightseeing on the outside is aided by the high quality interior on the inside. The seats, the materials, and all of the instruments are beautifully rendered. This is a really good looking aircraft for X-Plane… I don’t have enough experience to say for sure but I do think this is one of the better ones if not one of the best.
Tighter mountain passes are easier to navigate with this aircraft if you take it a little lower down and climbing above some of the higher ridges also doesn’t seem to be an issue. This is a slower, more maneuverable and still pretty capable aircraft that can get up to altitude and go from point to point thanks to the twin engines. This was a fun first flight and I have some more planned soon!
Overall impressions are of yet another excellently done aircraft by Aerobask. I’ll have more to write on it when I have a chance to fly it some more! The DA62 is available from the X-Plane.org store for $34.95 USD.
Here are some choice screenshots from my flight.