CAPTAIN SIM - C-130 X-PERIENCE ALL-IN-ONE PACK
Richardt Raymond Andersen
Test of Lockheed C-130 Hercules X-perience Produced by Captain Sim.
The C-130 Hercules is a four engine turboprop transport aircraft originally designed and built by Lockheed now Lockheed Martin back in the 1950’ies. It was primarily built for the military to transport cargo or troops but later on it was also produced as a civilian aircraft.
en today over 40 models serve in more than 60 nations and the C-130 is part of the elite family of aircrafts, that has remained in continuous production for more than 50 years. The roles that the C-130 has today are many – everything from various military operations to medical evacuation, search and rescue and aerial firefighting.
I received this add-on directly from Captain Sim and the download went perfect as usual. A great connection to the Captain Sim server resulted in a very fast download and this even though I here downloaded the complete version of the C-130 including all expansion packs.
The installation also went without any issues – I just applied the installation wizard which then did the rest very quickly and without problems or delays. The installation wizard is very user friendly, and I have only good experiences with installing Captain Sim products.
ter the installation was completed I opened FSX to verify that the installation had gone as it should and that the C-130 was installed in the right folder. I filtered to my Captain Sim folder, and yes – of course the C-130 was perfectly placed.
When you install the complete package you get multiple models which in total include 26 liveries, so I now had a lot to choose from. I like the fact that I get so many different liveries – they just adds to more realism and a better flight experience because it is a lot easier to imagine yourself flying a specific aircraft with a specific livery, if the livery in the add-on is there.
This aircraft from Captain Sim is actually not a new aircraft to the flightsim world. It was published back in 2007, so my expectations for the quality from back then was limited compared to what I in fact did expect of a payware add-on of today. Here I was proven wrong – even though this is an add-on with the age of 5 years it still ranks at the very top – and it is still today the very best C-130 aircraft made for flightsimulator ever in my opinion.
I started my view around on the outside of this legendary aircraft and I was simply put, stunned by the level of detail found on this aircraft. The various aircraft models are filled with very specific details, animations and effect that fits the individual model perfectly – I compared some of the models to pictures of the real version, and Captain Sim really hit spot-on with all models. I am very impressed by the quality I here experience, and especially because I didn’t expect such a great quality in an add-on from 2007.
There are high quality textures covering the complete aircraft. Multiple animations as the various control surfaces, gear, suspension, doors, ramps etc and it is all made with a superb precision. The models look very realistic and it is easy to notice that Captain Sim really has put a tremendous amount of energy into creating this legendary bird as real as possible.
ter the external view around I continued inside the C-130. Here I found a very well made virtual cargo area again with a huge number of details. I know that this is something that Captain Sim also do put a lot of time into creating in their never aircrafts, but they have also done it in this C-130. Here you have high quality textures and a superb finish.
Even though the cargo area was quite interesting I continued into the cockpit. Here Captain Sim has created both a 2D cockpit and a virtual cockpit. The 2D cockpit is what I would call a photo-realistic cockpit with a lot of animations, functions and details. The 2D cockpit is very well made and I like that the gauges are really taken care of meaning that they are also of high quality.
The virtual cockpit is my favorite cockpit in all aircrafts because I here can experience the real atmosphere if the virtual cockpit is made correctly. Captain Sim has here also done a fantastic job by creating a superb realistic virtual cockpit where you have all your instruments of very high quality and they are all placed with a level of precision which is outstanding. The textures of the virtual cockpit are of course also of very high quality and the depth and finish is over the top. The feeling and the experience I got using this virtual cockpit was way more then I had imagined before the start of this review. So many details and animations I really didn’t expect to find in this C-130.
The next review point was the sound set, and here Captain Sim has provided this add-on with a very realistic sound set. The sound of the C-130 I have heard many times since this bird is still in active service in Denmark, but just to verify I found several sound files on youtube and compared them to the sound set for this add-on. The sound set was spot-on! I tested the sound set both in stereo and in 7.1 surround sound and both worked perfectly.
s extra I noticed that this C-130 also have a very cool smoke effect coming from all four engines – the smoke effect of course varies when using different throttle settings and this is indeed also very well made. This contributed to make the model even more realistic.
I tested this aircraft on 3 flights. The first was a flight where I tested the ground handling, the take-off, general flight characteristic and landings. I flew in French Polynesian with base from Faa’ Intl, Tahiti (NTAA) – Handling the C-130 on the ground is fairly easy. I had to get used to the view from the C-130 cockpit, but I very quickly got the hang of it. I would say that if you are used to taxi e.g. the default LearJet, then this should not be any problem.
roaching the runway I got ready for take-off. This aircraft is built with the possibility for short take-off and landing, so I didn’t need that much runway. When applying full throttle you can really feel the aircraft gaining speed and during the take-off roll I got to experience how stable and easy the C-130 was blasting down the runway. You have 100% steering with the nose wheel or rudder (depending on your speed) and the C-130 is very quick to respond to my control inputs.
r a short take-off roll I reached the V2 and raised the nose 10 degrees – a few seconds later I was airborne. The C-130 is a small but heavy bird but still very maneuverable. It responds very quickly on all control surfaces and doesn’t need that much attention to control the aircraft. The C-130 flies very well. It is extremely steady if you trim it properly, and then you can focus on the navigation or simply just enjoying the view of the scenery or this very beautiful made virtual cockpit.
Landing the C-130 was a different thing …well… it was actually very easy because you can fly the bird at such a low speed so that you don’t have to worry about running out of runway and put your focus on landing it as softly as possible. However I experienced that I had to get used to the view from the captains seat of this aircraft. Somehow it was different then what I was used to, but after a few tries, then I had absolutely no problems landing the C-130 at all.
The second test flight was to try the short runway take-off and landing. Here I went to Herning Airfield, Denmark (EKHG) that has a 1200m (app 3900’) asphalt runway. I set the weather conditions to knots headwind and applied full throttle. No problem, I was able to get airborne with very little use of the runway. Now came the landing and now I had to focus more on setting the wheels down at the threshold, then making the perfect flare. I discovered that you don’t need to stress out when you have 1200m runway ahead – The C-130 doesn’t need such a long runway for landing so I actually had time for making the perfect flaring and setting the C-130 down very softly.
Now I was very keen to the aircraft and could relax when flying it, so I decided to challenge myself a bit, and set up a scenario with the weather theme as thunderstorm with heavy winds and rain. Take-off was no problem because the take-off roll was so short, but the landing was indeed a challenge. I had set the wind direction to be coming from -65 degrees = coming from my left side, but not as directly crosswind. Keeping the course on final did mean that I had to lower the left wing and put the nose up against the wind meaning flying like a helicopter towards the runway, but the real challenge came when I was flaring the C-130. Here I now had to flare the aircraft almost sideways and with the left wing lower than the right – fortunately the C-130 is a high winged aircraft, so this never became critical. It was indeed a challenge, but I managed to make a proper landing in my first try, but this is certainly something that I could need some practice doing. I had a lot of fun trying this out several times, and at the end I became very familiar with this aircraft under these conditions.
Overall you here get an add-on of extremely high quality and that even though it was published back in 2007. The models are very realistic with high quality textures, many details, animations and effect. You both get a 2D and a virtual cockpit also of very high quality with superb textures, realistic instruments, super depth and a great finish. To support all this, you also get a perfect sound set that can be used both with 7.1 surround sound or stereo as standard. All this you get without it even having any impact on your frames!
I rate this superb aircraft 5/5-stars and thank Captain Sim for creating the C-130 to the perfection that they have. It is truly the very best C-130 that I have ever seen or tried for flightsimulator-
CAPTAIN SIM - C-130 X-PERIENCE ALL-IN-ONE PACK
You can feel the age of this aircraft now. The visuals are still great and the virtual cockpit is still good, but there is a distinct lack of variation in tose cockpits. Even the brand new -J models have the same cockpits as the earlier models. The AC-130 is also a bit of a let down, you can do a pylon turn but that's it. Hopefully when VRS release the Tac-Pack Captain sim will release an update encompassing some new sounds and effects for the guns.
CAPTAIN SIM - C-130 X-PERIENCE ALL-IN-ONE PACK
Visually very good, can be a bit boring if you arent into this type of aircraft however if you love the roar of the C-130 engines and the intimidating look of her in the skies then you are in for a treat. This product is a little older now but keeps up with newer products out there.