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Carenado C U206G Stationair 6 II
Published by Just Flight
Reviewed by Rob Scott
October 2008

Just Flight have recently released several of Carenado’s highly acclaimed GA aircraft for both FS9 and FSX, for this review I will be taking a look at the Cessna U206G Stationair 6 II (for FSX) available as a 49mb download from the Just Flight website for 14.99. The FS2004 version is also available from Just Flight for a very reasonable 12.99.

The Stationair has been described by Cessna as ‘the sport utility vehicle of the air’ and its rugged construction, powerful engine and large cabin have made it a firm favourite for many bush flyers. The aircraft is also used for aerial photography, skydiving and other utility purposes. The plane can also be fitted with floats or skis (the amphibian is included with this package). The U206G began production in 1964 ,the ‘U’ meaning utility, and is powered by a 285hp engine. Originally this model was known as the Super Skywagon and was only called the Stationair from 1970 onwards. Production of the Stationair was halted in 1986 when Cessna stopped manufacturing piston engine aircraft, and by this time a total of 5,208 U206’s had been produced.

This offering from Just Flight has been exclusively developed for FSX and has 12 different variations and 6 different models (Wheel pants. No wheel pants. 1 pilot. 2 pilots. Cargo. Amphibian with retractable gear for water or land use). Sadly there are only 4 different textures which come with the aircraft, which I thought was quite poor, but there will more than likely be new liveries available on places such as AVSIM.com and flightsim.com. As you would expect the model comes with fully animated parts (ailerons, rudder, elevator, flaps, wheels etc..) and an animated pilot when viewing from the outside. The sound set with this package is fantastic, and is one of the best I have heard for a GA aircraft. From the cough and splutter of the engine on start up to the constant hum when in cruise, the sound is very realistic.

The download from the Just Flight website, with a broadband connection, takes a matter of minutes and installation is over just as quick. You just need to run the downloaded file which will ask you for your verification codes which have been emailed to you, the program then connects to the internet to verify this (you can do this over the phone if you wish). Once all this is complete, which takes only a few seconds, installation proceeds and you are ready to take to the skies in no time.

The package comes with a very comprehensive manual which outlines the correct operating procedures of the aircraft and the correct operating speeds for each phase of flight. I thought the manual may have been a bit too large (I have airliner add-ons which have smaller manuals) but this just goes to show the attention to detail which has been put into this add-on. The manual is worth a read as it will help you get to know the aircraft better, but it is by no mean necessary. If you are comfortable at operating other GA aircraft of a similar size to this one you should have no problem at all making the transition to the U206G.

Depending on your set up of your default flight, your first encounter with the U206G is more than likely going to be the virtual cockpit; and it will be a good first encounter. I found the 2D panel to be a bit bland, but FSX is more geared towards using the virtual cockpit so it is understandable that more attention has been paid to this part of the plane. The cockpit is fully functional, but at times I found that the dials did become a little blurred and I found myself leaning in (I was using TrackIR) to make them become a little clearer. But on the whole the VC is very good and gives a fantastic view during flight. On the ground taxing was a little difficult because the nose of the plane obscures the ground, raising my eye point a little solved this.

The exterior model of the aircraft is fantastic, and rightly so as most of the screenshots that people will take will be from the exterior. The lines are very crisp and smooth with no jagged edges. The only thing letting the exterior models down is the lack of liveries! For those of us who are not blessed with being able to repaint our own aircraft or don’t want to install a 3rd party freeware livery, this is a bit of a drawback.

What I like about this aircraft more so than the other GA aircraft I have is that it has quite a quick cruise speed, which means that I can fly longer cross country flights so that I can explore more of the scenery which FSX has to offer. My initial impressions were that the aircraft was a little twitchy, but over time I have become used to flying her. Upon take-off I almost found myself stalling to begin with, but this is probably due to me flying heavies a lot lately (or bad piloting!). Climbing out to cruise is nice and easy, just set the trim and power and she will climb steadily with you just having to scan the instruments and enjoy the scenery as the world falls away below.

During the cruise phase of my flights I practiced some manoeuvres (steep turns, climbs, descents, stalls etc…) and the plane is very easy to handle so long as you don’t make jerky inputs on the controls; just remember to be nice and smooth! I really enjoyed the fast cruise speed of the U206G as it enabled me to fly trips that I would normally fly in faster props such as the Dash-8. The flights took a little longer but were much more enjoyable because I was flying everything VFR by hand, and I was able to land and depart from some smaller airstrips such as Denham and Shoreham. In fact the route from Denham to Shoreham through the London airspace has become quite a regular trip for this aircraft! It’s just a shame that I don’t have any scenery for Shoreham that is as good as the Flying Club scenery which came with FS9 (hint hint Just Flight!).

The final phase of my flights ends with the descent and landing, and in this aircraft it is very easy. Just as with the climb, set the trip and power and she will gracefully descend down to pattern altitude for you to manoeuvre her for the final approach. After setting the plane up for landing on the final approach, it was as if she was being flown to the ground by an auto pilot. I hardly ever had to touch the controls until it was time to flare. I just used the throttle to control my rate of descent and she came down nice and easily. To begin with most of my landings started with a long float down the runway as I was flaring too early; whether that was bad piloting or being used to flying heavies I’ll let you decide!

To sum up this is a great add-on for your GA hangar. For those simmers that are more used to flying complex airliners this may not be the add-on for you as it is very simple. But for the simmer who loves GA flying, or want to take the step up from the default aircraft this is a perfect add-on for you. I really enjoyed flying this aircraft and it will have many more hours flight time from me in the future. Once again Just Flight have published a fantastic addition to their range of add-ons.

Rob Scott

LINKS
Product page FSX :: Product page FS2004  :: Just Flight home page :: User forum