Carenado have been designing incredibly high detailed General Aviation add-ons for various MFS platforms for years. Their first release was on July 17th July 2003, and still to the present day they continue to publish second-to-none prop Aircraft for FS2004 and FSX.
The Piper PA-34 200T Seneca II was introduced in 1975, as a successor to its little brother, the Piper PA-34 200 Seneca. It featured improved and
enlarged control surfaces, increased payload capacity, and a brand new Turbocharged Continental TSIO-360E Engine. The Seneca can travel for 990 Nautical Miles at a cruising speed of 162 Knots without having to re-fuel.
Carenado's rendition of the Seneca, for FS2004 or FSX, can be purchased by download only – There is no boxed or packaged variant of the product.
Purchase can be made either through Carenado's Website or Just Flight's Website. The download shouldn't take too long, and installation from
thereon is quick and easy.
Starting up FSX, you may be asked the infamous “Accept This Gauge?” message, which once accepted shouldn't show up again. Once FSX has
loaded, the Seneca can be selected through the “Aircraft Selection” screen within FSX.
Carenado have supplied four painted variants of the Seneca; “Sunset Strips”, “Green Forest”, “Old Beige”, and a blank white variant that is
useful for repainting, or just for those who like the bare metal feel.
Once you've chosen the Seneca and selected appropriate Weather/Airport, hit FLY! And get going! Once loaded, you'll find yourself in a beautiful high resolution Virtual Cockpit, full of 3-D Knobs and Switches.
Let's have a more in-depth look at the VC. Practically everything is modelled in 3-D, and almost everything is click-able. Below is a picture of
Carenado's seamless modelling of the VC.
Carenado have supplied all the correct original Avionics for the
including a Century Autopilot System. Every gauge works and
correctly. The fluidity of each and every gauge is lovely, moving with incredible smoothness. Not a single gauge is a dummy, they all function and
deliver the information they should, meaning that Carenado have designed the Seneca to feature everything.
|The Seneca features the following Cockpit Controls:|
|1.- Clock||19.- Com 2 & Nav2|
|2.- Airspeed||20.- ADF|
|3.- Artificial horizon||21.- Toggle yoke|
|4.- Altimeter||22.- Fuel & Oil indicators|
|5.- Test Panel Annunciator||23.- Radio controller|
|6.- Autopilot Panel Annunciator||24.- Autopilot|
|7.- Gear warning light||25.- RPM E1 & E2|
|8.- Comm1& Nav1||26.- Gear Control & Position gear light|
|9.- GPS||27.- Engine Controls|
|10.- Co pilot instruments||28.- Brakes|
|11.- Avionics & GPS/Nav Switch||29.- EGT E1 & E2|
|12.- DME||30.- Fuel Flow|
|13.- Adjust ADF||31.- Alternate Air E1 & E2|
|14.- Turn coordinator||32.- Manifold pressure|
|15.- HSI||33.- Instruments light|
|16.- Transponder||34.- Elevator & Ailerons trim|
|17.- Variometer||35.- Cross feed fuel|
|18.- VOR Radial||36.- Engine control panel|
Carenado have designed the Seneca to suit both Advanced and
simmers. The Advanced user will appreciate the in-depth systems
detail, while a less experienced user will enjoy the full throttle, pull back and fly method of controlling this bird.
The Autopilot that comes with the Seneca is a fairly simply but realistic system. It features all the usual modes that you expect with a General
Aviation Aircraft – Pitch Control, Heading Control, Flight Director, Altitude Hold, NAV Mode, Back-Course Hold, and Approach Mode.
However, at times, the Autopilot goes a bit hay-wire. This is a
rare event, however it does happen, and on occasions the
hold a random heading/not hold altitude/not hold pitch. However, as this doesn't happen often it doesn't really detract from the great Simming
experience Carenado have provided.
To start the Engine of the Seneca, you must ensure that the mixture is set to Fully Rich, move the Throttle to half travel, ensure the propeller control is forward, turn the master switch on, flick the master switch on, turn the ignition switches on, and then finally press the starter switch. Clearly, it's not a simple process. This is part of the add-on that the more advanced user will enjoy.
Click image for full size view
After starting, you may wish to configure the Radios to your required frequency. Once this has been accomplished it's a case of applying taxi
thrust and rolling to the runway. Once at the runway, apply full throttle – And the sound you get in return is just gorgeous. Carenado have started adding a new feature to their Aircraft – The sound are recorded from the real thing at 44100 HZ, allowing absolute maximum audio quality. With surround sound and high volume the noise of those roaring engines is incredible. This is definitely one thing that Carenado have that completely blow other developers out of the water. Well done Carenado!
Click to hear the sound of the PA-34 engines.
Once a suitable rotate speed has been reached, pulling back on your Yoke/Joystick will get your airborne. However, Carenado's Seneca is
extremely sensitive to any input to control surfaces, so even when pulling back very gently from the runway you'll notice that the Aircraft pitches up very quickly and very sharply.
Climbing away, gear up and flaps in, you can enjoy some of the scenery you're flying around in, as well as still taking in the sounds of those
incredible engines. From here on, one can just feel how joyful it is to fly the Seneca.
The Flight Dynamics provided, even though over-sensitive, definitely give a sense of “Weight” to the controls. What I mean by this is, you an actually feel the Aircraft sinking on approach, meaning that you must pull back quite a bit to ensure you stay on the correct decent profile.
The Control Surfaces of Carenado's Seneca are also fabulous as well. The Aileron/Rudder/Elevator movement is so incredibly smooth, you'll see
yourself grinning at the animation quality. The Trim Tab is also correctly animated on the Elevator too.
An outstanding little detail just had to include in this review was definitely the vibrating Static Wicks on the Seneca's Wing. Whenever the Engine is started, the Static Wicks on the Aircraft's Wing will vibrate in a realistic manner, definitely a feature that has never even been looked at before in Flight Simulator.
Carenado have also featured some very nice details in their
only does the Seneca come with some nice internal animations,
such as the
Dome Lighting Knob, Sun Visors, Magnetos Panel Cover and more,
have included a full external animation feast for everyone to
All Cargo Doors can open, Engine Cowls can be removed, Parking Chocks can be placed under the wheels... Everything!
Carenado have ensured that the Seneca is fully DX10 compatible (as well as DX9 of course), so for those running DX10 they may find that the Carenado Seneca is a good choice.
Window Reflections and highly detailed seats have also been added, giving that sense of intense realism and quality. Another lovely detail is the fact that the Pilot's head moves according to the Pitch/Yaw/Bank angle of the Aircraft. In fact, if you zoom in not only will you notice this, but you'll also notice that the Engines have been externally replicated in detail like no other!
In-depth documentation has also been supplied, in PDF format,
Simmer to read up on Checklists/Procedures and even an extensive
Guide, walking you through every gauge, knob or lever. I found
documentation to be very helpful, as it's useful information
a clear, concise manner.
Overall, the Carenado Seneca is an absolutely flippin' outstanding piece of Flight Simulation engineering that simply cannot be ignored. The fact that there are details right down to the Static Wicks included, the fact that every system is modelled, the fact that the animations are so smooth
A brilliant add-on in every respect. Although the Flight Dynamics are a little questionable, Carenado have promised to fix this in an upcoming patch – Regardless though, the Aircraft is more than usable in its present state. The Autopilot is sometimes a little annoying, but as previously stated it is such a rare and easy-to-fix problem that it is not a problem.
A great Aircraft, modelling every system and featuring details second-to-none.
Absolutely fantastic, great job Carenado!
– Incredible detail, right down to little chips in the paint
– All systems included
– Sounds are excellent
– Nice documentation included in purchase
– Questionable flight dynamics
– Autopilot sometimes doesn't work properly
My Score: 9/10