I’ve been flying helicopters a lot more in 2021 and when a sale came up on a recommended module, I decided that I should jump on it and give it a try. These are my first impressions of the CowanSim 222B.
Luxury and medical transport
Based on the Bell 222B helicopter, CowanSim sells two different versions of the 222 with the B model possessing wheels while the UT version uses skids for its gear. I decided to just do the B version as I wanted a slick and sleek looking helicopter to go exploring in some new scenery packages and the 222B fits the bill nicely.
4K PBR textures, custom cockpit instruments, 20 liveries, Reality XP GTN 750 Integration, and FMOD sounds are packed into what you’d expect from a quality X-Plane release and this helicopter has it all.
The CowanSim 222B also comes with some nice options like a luxury rear seat or a medical option and the rear doors can be removed. More on this in my full review when that’s done.
First couple of flights
Having spent a fair bit of time with the Mi-8TV2 and Mi-24 in DCS World recently, the Bell 222B feels extremely well behaved in comparison. Smooth and steady with speeds hanging around 140-160kts, this is a real cruiser of a helicopter and doubly so once the autopilot is set and you’re flying along.
My first couple of flights took me from Seattle International north over Seattle proper before landing at Everette airport. A second flight saw me take off and land at Pallma De Mallorca airport while doing some sight seeing on the island of Mallorca.
Both were fun flights although the first and second flights were both marred by some control issues which I think are entirely on my end. After some tweaking and consulting a friend, I think that the problems were on my end and have since been resolved. I have no concerns about the 222B’s controls specifically and I’m finding this a relatively easy helicopter to fly.
I did get into a VRS situation with this helicopter a few times with the usual recovery methods employed to defeat it. It doesn’t have the sound or shake that the DCS helicopters do which is even more unnerving but at least it does do it and it seems to be well modeled. DCS helicopters get into VRS more easily than X-Plane helicopters do and this one seems easier to stay out of than those.
Full review coming soon
I’ll be reviewing this aircraft completely very soon. It and another X-Plane helicopter are on my todo list over the next couple of weeks.