Flight Journal: First flight in the SWS Kodiak 100 from Sunshine Coast

I’ve been catching up on some of the developments in the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator and one that was high on my list to check out was Sim Works Studio’s Kodiak 100. Released late in 2021, this release of the Kodiak into the sim has garnered plenty of praise so I wanted to see what it was like for myself and here’s my first full flight in it.

From Sunshine Coast to Gold Coast

Set on the backdrop of all of this is some recent scenery purchases that I made. Having loved flying up to the Gold Coast and Brisbane from Sydney in MSFS’ recent Australia World Update, I decided that I was likely to make this area a regular destination. Purchasing YSPT Southport Airport then lead to more purchases with YBSU Sunshine Coast airport and YCDR Caloundra Airport as well as the freeware YRED Redcliffe Airport.

Today’s flight was between YBSU and YRED taking me back from the Sunshine Coast towards Brisbane and Gold Coast along the eastern side of Australia and the state of Queensland.

Getting it started up

Getting started with the SWS Kodiak 100 was almost easy for me as I’ve spent quite a bit of time with another Kodiak, the Thranda Kodiak for X-Plane 11. That said, I did get a little caught up on the application of fuel during the start-up process and I forgot all about the fuel levers located on the roof of the cockpit.

Fortunately this aircraft makes ample use of the baked in checklist system which is so useful in figuring out what the next steps are and pointing the camera right at the control if you need it. It’s a great teacher and a great way to get into a new cockpit and learn or revisit a cockpit you already know and learn again.

Up, away, and down again

After I had the engine and all systems up and running, it was time to get clearance from the tower and then proceed on to taxi and takeoff. The tower cleared me to taxi to runway 13 which was a bit of a taxi. That gave me a chance to get a feel for how the aircraft handles on the ground which to me felt very much like the X-Plane 11 version I was used to. Slightly sensitive brakes but otherwise pleasant and easy to taxi.

Finally I was out on the runway and powered up. The Kodiak 100 has a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34 turboprop with 750 horsepower on tap and that together with the aircraft’s design makes it a very quick aircraft to get up to speed and takeoff and I had no trouble here climbing into a partly cloudy sky.

Before too long I was up at cruise altitude and making use of the types’ G1000 avionics and available autopilot to set course and cruise to Redcliffe Airport to the south.

Here I got a chance to have a look at some of the aircraft’s modeling and features. More to come in my full review but I was impressed everywhere I looked.

The clouds partially obscured my view of the runway until I was underneath the layer but of course the G1000 makes navigation exceptionally easy. ATC cleared me for a landing and I came straight in on runway 08.

It wasn’t the best landing that I’ve made and the flaps really do help you drop speed yet stay stable on the approach. My descent rate could use some work but this is an exceptionally tough aircraft so it would have been no trouble at all I’m sure.

Finally, I taxied into a parking spot and shut the aircraft down. Good first flight!

First thoughts

This is a really exceptional aircraft in my first flight. Great sounds, great visuals, full support of MSFS’ various features (such as the interactive checklist). It’s really great all around. Does it measure up to my experiences in the Thranda Quest Kodiak in X-Plane 11? I think it does!

I have more flights to do and more places to visit before I write my full review but my first impressions are very good.

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