Sunday
Jun142009

Review: Flight1's Cessna Citation Mustang

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Reviewed by: Eric McClintock & Mark Stewart

Click each image for original size.

Installation & Documentation:

Anyone who has ever used the Flight1 system knows that the process is extremely painless and easy. Just download the installer package from Flight1 (194MB), put in your order details and you will be on your way, or you can purchase right from the installer. One useful tip that can be gained from the flight manual is not to start a brand new flight with the Citation Mustang, instead start a flight with a different plane, any default plane will do, and once in game switch to the Mustang. This will ensure that all gauges and flight systems load properly. The product is very well documented. It includes a 93-page user manual, with plenty of visuals and sections. In order to get the full experience if you’re not a Citation Mustang expert, I would recommend printing out the manual and keeping it nearby. The manual also includes all of the checklists you need, and aircraft data.

 

Model:

The aircraft model is detailed down to the last light in the full virtual cabin… But we’ll start with the external model for now. The Flight1 Citation Mustang includes 6 different paint schemes, including one used for the certification test flights. It also includes front and rear baggage areas, which can be controlled through that standard Shift + E + # key commands, or a pop up control panel, and the same for the main exit. In order for any of these surfaces to be activated, Engine 1 N1 must be below 25%, which will prevent accidental opening while in flight, leading to depressurization of the aircraft.

 

The Flight1 Cessna Citation Mustang includes a lot more than just fancy doors. As you would expect, all external surfaces are modeled. Including aircraft lights, engine fans, speed brakes, flaps, rudder, ailerons, elevator, and even communication equipment at the top of the aircraft. In addition to all of this, the pilot’s head moves according to your joystick input, a nice touch. The aircraft includes a full slew of aircraft camera views to enjoy. Going inside the aircraft is where the work put into this aircraft really shows, Most specifically in the Virtual Cabin. The virtual cabin includes dozens of “clickable” items to interact with, including seat arm rests, lights, tables, drawers, the main cabin door, even window shades and the toilet. Yes, there are even instructions in the Pilot’s Guide about how to interact with the Mustang’s toilet…  But we won’t be spending too much time in the cabin, lets move on to the cockpit…

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Virtual Cockpit:

Before going on to the Virtual Cockpit, I think we should really start with the 2-D cockpit, which is something typically not included in a lot of modern payware packages, which is a shame because in my opinion, it comes in useful and yields better FPS than a VC. The 2-d cockpit also  makes clicking switches and turning knobs easier.

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This model includes a full 2-D cockpit, with 6 separate viewing angles, and 7 additional pop-up panels for the Throttle, MFD Controller, Autopilot and lighting panels, and the auxiliary panel for controlling the items we’ll talk about in the “extras” section. The aircraft can be totally managed from the 2-D panel if needed. However, lets move on to the Virtual cockpit. Like in the virtual cabin, there are plenty of extras such as dome lights, map lights, and no aircraft is complete without a “Seatbelt” light, complete with the “Ding-Dong” sound, which actually does produce a Seat Belt light in the cabin as well. Getting even more granular, one of the first things I noticed in the VC was the slight swinging movement of a long coiled microphone cord. Again, a nice touch, and it really gives you the feeling of being in a real living cockpit. I sometimes wonder how many additional lines of code something like this takes, but in the end it is a nice little touch.

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The virtual cockpit is completely usable, and you’re met with the wonderful Garmin G1000 system. It includes panels for the pilot and co-pilot, and a multifunction display which gives you full engine information, oil, electrical, cabin pressurization, warnings and more. To the right, you can find a more customizable section, which allows you to display a navigation and traffic map, waypoint information, trip planning, GPS status, system status and more. You really do realize that this is one sophisticated aircraft with nearly everything electronically monitored and controlled. The development team of the Flight1 Citation Mustang did an amazing job pulling off a near perfect replication of this aircraft’s computerized systems. I say “near perfect” because I am still exploring all of it’s different features. If you are not familiar with the Garmin G1000 system, you are going to want to print out at least this section from the manual and read it over, keep it nearby while you are in flight. Version 1.02b also adds Navigraph navigation data support with SIDS and STARS. I should also commend the team for making the glass avionics “pop-up-able” from the virtual cockpit, it helps for inputting data into the MDF, and just makes it easier to read.

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Wrapping up the features of the VC, both the Pilot and Co-Pilot yokes are removable, and as with the external model, the VC includes dozens of different views. A lot of them are in my opinion not needed, as I only found myself using 2 or 3 views, and it took some time to cycle through them… But they are there and you should find one you like. My one complaint with the VC is that I found the throttle control very touchy, and I actually was not able to cut either of the throttles through the VC without having them “Pop” back to the top. In this case, I had to go the 2-D cabin view, bring up the throttle stack, and cut them through there.

Aircraft Systems:

 

Ice Protection:

One amazing feature with the Flight1 Citation Mustang is the detailed icing systems. If you fly through icing conditions, over time you will gradually see the ice build up on the aircraft windows, engines, and wings. If no action is taken in the case of the aircraft windshield, it will eventually get to the point where you are unable to see past the ice build-up. In the lighting panel, you are provided with a wing inspection light, which can be used while in flight at night to see build up of ice on the wings. The aircraft recreates all of the de-icing features of the Citation Mustang, including engine, wing, stabilizer, and windshield anti-ice.

 

Cabin Pressurization:

Aside from the Garmin G1000 system, the complete pressurization system has to be one of my favorite systems of the Citation Mustang. You are able to control all aspects of it including air source, oxygen source, and whether or not the system is active or not. If you de-pressurize the cabin in flight, oxygen masks will deploy from the virtual cabin ceiling, and swing in the air with the movement of the aircraft. I have never seen anything like this before in any FS addon, bravo! You may also notice that the pilot and co-pilot have their Oxygen masks attached too and the masks show in the exterior spot view.

 

Extra Features/Goodies:

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The Flight1 Citation Mustang includes an “Auxiliary” control panel which lets you control special features, such as:

 

  • Pilot and/or Co-Pilot is visible (And wearing sun glasses)
  • Pilot call-outs enabled/disabled.
  • Complete external exit/door control.
  • Wheels chocked, carpet rolled out, cones placed, and engine intake covers.
  • GPWS active.
  • Fuel Truck, and reload aircraft.
  • You are also able to take in-game screenshots and listen to Wav audio files through the “audio panel” accessible from the cockpit or VC.
  • In the cockpit view, if the pilot has their microphone source though their Oxygen Mask, you can hear breathing. I found this pretty amusing…

 

 

 

 

While I can go on and on about the features of the Flight1 Cessna Citation Mustang,  I have to stop at some point.  It is a great plane to add to any hangar.   If you still have any doubts, have a read at the Pilot’s Guide:

http://flight1.100megabyte.com/manuals/mustang_pilots_guide.pdf

You can find out more information about the Flight1 Cessna Citation Mustang here. [Link]

 

Technical Stuff

Version Tested: V1.02b

 

Product Site: http://mustang.flight1.net/cmx_landing.aspx

 

 

Technical Information: Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06GHz, 4GB DDR2 Memory, nVidia Geforce 8800GT 512MB. FSX Acceleration edition, on Windows 7 Ultimate RC1.

“High” Settings, No AI, at 1920x1200x32, with Anti-Aliasing.

 

Control (Default C172): Spot: 25FPS | VC: 21FPS

F1 Mustang: Spot: 17FPS | VC: 10FPS

 

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