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Tecnam P2006T v1.3
For FSX and P3D Published by Wilco
Reviewed by Joe Lawford
November 2014

Introduction

The Tecnam P2006T is a twin-engine, four-seat aircraft with fully retractable landing gear. The high-wing configuration offers stability, superior cabin visibility, and easy access for passengers and luggage. Tecnam has used its extensive experience with aluminium airframes to create a robust yet very light airframe, resulting in an outstanding payload-to-total weight ratio in the Tecnam P2006T.

It is powered by two Rotax 912S engines. This engine is FAR 33 certified (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Aviation_Regulations ) and is currently the only aircraft engine approved to operate on automotive fuel, giving it a significant edge over standard GA engines. The engines have automatic mixture adjustment, so there is no mixture control required on the panel.

History

This is a very young aircraft whose first flight was on the 13th of September 2007. It was designed by Professor Luigi Pascale who, at 91 this year (14/11/2014), still heads up the Research and Design team!

The aircraft was consequently introduced in 2010 with certification in the USA following in 2011. The P2006T is still in production today with the basic version, as modelled by Wilco, on sale in Florida for $479,500, or $559,900 for the glass cockpit version with twin Garmin G950 MFDs.

Availability & Installation

The Tecnam P2006T is available for as a 450MB download from most of the usual online shops for £15.99 and requires activation after installation.

As with most commercial products nowadays the installation is quite straight forward when following the default prompts. The only input required from the user is to choose one of three simulator choices, and confirm or browse to an installation directory.

All the documentation and a handy uninstaller is available from the Windows Start menu as well as the aircraft directory within FSX. 

Model Features

Wilco describe this model as "One of their most detailed and highly finished productions" and goes on to say "We believe that once you have tried it, nothing else will do!

Ok so what should we expect, here is Wilco's list:
        • built over the best plans available;
        • all doors open and there is fully detailed engine bay (port) under removable cover;
        • amazing high resolution reflective and chrome textures bring the aircraft to life;
        • the little details like welded (spot welds as well as butt welds) areas and red ink check marks on suspension parts that add to realism
           are present;
        • innovative system to stop you from taking the engine cover off while engine is started and opening the passenger door while the engines
           are running,  safety is our middle name!;
        • fully animated, realistic pilot movements;
        • security and "remove before flight” display features;
        • a choice of female or male left seat pilots is provided;
        • high quality digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft;
        • optimised modelling techniques used to ensure high frame rates while maintaining beautiful visuals; and
        • the emergency oil pressure gauge is mounted externally in the Tecnam. It is not only accurate in its readings but can be read in external views.

V1.3 Additions:
        • GNC255 radio gauge to enable full NAV2 based use with simulated database update;
        • dimming ability to panel gauges;
        • panel gauge lighting separated from the lighting bus. This allows gauge only lighting;
        • added the function of turning on and off the 2D popup via the emergency horizon switch;
        • three new liveries; and
        • bug fixes.

General Visual Appearance

Exterior. The Technam P2006T has been designed to look sporty. The fuselage section is a slightly rounded rectangle, higher than it is wide. Its profile is reminiscent of a marine animal, such as a dolphin, with a rounded nose and smooth flowing lines. Access to the cockpit and cabin is provided by the cockpit door on the port side and the cabin door on the starboard side. In addition, an escape hatch is provided above the two forward seats, to be used if fuselage deformation in a crash prevents those doors from being operable.


Side View

Overall, the look of the simulated aircraft looks to be very close to the real thing.

Interior. The yoke and throttles are well placed, as is the neat overhead panel for the mags, starter buttons, fuel valves, and pumps. A centre console extends down from the base of the panel, protruding aft between the control yokes. It carries the throttles, prop levers and carb heat selectors, a rocker switch for the rudder trim, plungers for the parking brake and canopy de-mist, and the pitch trim wheel. The elevator and rudder trim indicators are in front of the pilot. Curiously, a big analogue gauge shows elevator trim, while an LED strip shows the rudder trim.


Cockpit

The CBs are located in identical positions on the left and right hand side of the cockpit and are just for eye candy, they are not modelled. Along the base of the panel are chunky rocker switches for the electrical services. Just to the right of the pilot’s knee is the wheel-shaped undercarriage selector. Finally, the flap selector is a simple three-position switch with the flap position indicator gauge located to the left of the co-pilots knee.

Paint Schemes

The V1.3 model reviewed here is supplied with 8 stock textures including an all white version and 3 bonus liveries painted by Thomas Roehl. Here is a selection:


Bartolini


Demonstrator


D-GCWM


D-GLGN


Special Stripe 1


ZK-TZY

Exterior

Generally, the exterior textures are good but very bright on the top edges of the fuselage and wings, so much so, I had to check I didn’t have extra bloom switched on. The 3D objects, such as door handles and hinges, are very well done. The exterior .dds textures are 2048 x 2048 so a fsx.cfg edit will be required to realise the highest detail. Exterior shine on the windows and cockpit glass is very subtle and not as transparent as I have seen mentioned elsewhere. (They are glass after all!)

There is an option panel, selectable using 'Shift + 1'. It offers a 'security' option which, when activated, ties down the wings, chocks the wheels, and removes the pilot and copilot from the cockpit. However, the system will allow you to start the engine whilst tied down and chocked. The picture below shows this happening with no pilots installed. According to the features, we should be able to choose a male (default) or female pilot. How? There is no mention in the documentation.


"Bloomin 'ell!"


Tied Down & Engine Running - How Do I Get In?

Once the engines had stopped, my first action was to open the doors. This immediately uncovered a major flaw in its design. When opening the passenger door, it passes through the starboard engine. This lack of basic accuracy is worrying considering I haven’t started flying yet. I would certainly be dropping the keys back off at the office if this was the real world.

The wings are of a high wing, mono spar configuration with the engines partly buried within the leading edge. The engines turn two bladed, constant-speed, fully-feathering props. The prop feather is animated and can be seen with the engine off. The cover of the port engine can be removed using the 'Door 3' command to reveal a highly detailed and well-drawn engine. This is very pretty but not of any practical use after the first inspection and screen shot.


Spot the Error?


Now You Know What a Rotax Engine Looks Like!

There are landing and taxi lights incorporated into the port wing’s leading edge, and small, barely perceptible, stall strips outboard of each engine. The up-turned, swept-back winglets give the Tecnam P2006T a very stylish look, typically reflecting its Italian ancestry.

The nose wheel is a forward-retracting unit, whilst the main wheels retract inward. The trailing-link main undercarriage units are carried by sponsons either side of the fuselage. The detailing here is very well done, pneumatic cables feed the disc brakes, whilst the suspension damper is smoothly animated with quite a wide travel over rough ground.


Detailed Landing Gear


Tail & Stabilator

Apart from the bloom problem, from mid-distance and inflight, the Tecnam P2006T looks very good and stands up well to close scrutiny.

Interior


Cockpit General View
  When entering the cockpit for the first time, it will be in a semi-cold and dark state. 'Shift + 1' calls the option panel to the screen. 

Here we can see all the options disabled. When switching on the avionics, the LH & RH Avionic and LH & RH Cross bus switches will animate and turn on. The battery master and generators will already be on.

The belts and yoke option is handy to gain clear access to the lower buttons and for simmers using a hardware yoke it is more realistic to turn this option off.

We also have a control for VC glass which introduces some reflections to the windshield, the default is off (No indicator light), however the reflections are on, switching the option on removes the reflections. The VC reflections option will also dim all the glass on the gauges and avionics making them more difficult to read.

Finally, the security option, which has already been described above.

Looking at the internal views, we get six views: pilot, right seat, radio stack, engine controls, switches, and overhead. There is no passenger view, as illustrated in the documentation, but you get the switches view, which was not mentioned. The switches view is far better, giving you clear access to the lighting switches beneath the copilots yoke.

Unlike all other aircraft design of this type, the prop levers are not in the centre of the quadrant, they are on the right hand side as there are no mixture levers because the engines have automatic mixture adjustment. Between the throttle and props are the carb heat selectors and below the quadrant are left and right engine chokes (remember them?)


Pilot View


Preset Switches View


Throttle Quadrant


Preset Overhead View


Escape Hatch


Tombstone View

Unfortunately, another design flaw means you cannot control the choke levers, when you hover your mouse and try to move the lever, it just quivers as though something else is overriding your actions. I reported this along with the problem above to Wilco. After 14 days I was advised to watch 'the tutorial' videos on their product/extras page, but alas, there is no mention of throttle operation and the second video even illustrated the OBI bug (mentioned below). They seem to be disinterested now, so it looks as though they are working on it or I have to live with it. Who knows?

So, the layout is good, but the texture quality is not so good, it just lacks the polish that you get with other GA developers, but is good enough not to ruin your experience. I will let you draw your own conclusions from my screenshots.

Instrument Panel Layout

All of the various engine parameters, such as manifold pressure and RPM, fuel quantity and flow, plus oil and coolant temperatures and pressures are indicated by analogue gauges. A large, dual-pointer manifold pressure gauge and two smaller tachometers show power. The tachometers show propeller speed rather than engine rpm (which would appear unfamiliarly high to those not used to Rotax's).


Panel Without Yokes

The gauges are clear and easy to read in the daylight, they don’t have reflections but do slightly change their appearance when the VC glass is changed via the option panel.

The quality of the annunciator panel is awful.  Flat, low quality textures with a bit of Photoshop highlighting to emulate shine or reflection. Each indicator has a test light activated by a mouse click or roll of the mouse wheel. The indicator will briefly flash, such a feeble effort of recreating this panel seems typical of this development.


Annunciator Panel

Nav & Coms
  In the centre of the panel we have a fine selection of radio and navigation instruments, these are very well modelled and provide full IFR operations. From the top to the bottom we have:
        • S-TEC Fifty Five X - autopilot;
        • Garmin GNS-430 - GPS;
        • Garmin SL-30 - nav/com transceiver;
        • Bendix King KR-87 - ADF receiver;
        • Garmin GTX-328 - transponder;
        • Garmin GNC-255 - nav/com receiver;
        • Garmin GMA-340 - audio panel; and
        • Davtron M800 - chronometer.

I can’t see anyone complaining with this selection, in the real world you would be able to upgrade to a couple of huge Garmin G950s, but I prefer the steam cockpit layout we have here.

Unfortunately I have to report another quirk/bug. When operating the autopilot VSI, I found the VSI knob operation and animation confusing, if you left click the mouse, the value decreases as expected, when you right click it increases, also correct. However, when you use the wheel, scrolling up decreases the value and scrolling down increases the value, this is totally opposite to how all the other instruments work

Overall, the graphic quality of the gauges were below par when compared with Wilco's competitors, more detail would encourage me to fly her more.

I was very pleased with the accuracy of these instruments, they were well able to cope with an ILS approach and VOR and NDB navigation. They have gained my trust when operating in very low visibility.
Animations

Animations of the prime control surfaces are good, as are the animations of the doors and undercarriage operation. Internally, the gauges were smooth, as was the operation of the quadrant levers. As mentioned earlier, I did have problems with the passenger door and the choke levers.

Lighting

When you are flying at night, the panel lights and dome light work well, there is a 3 position dimmer for the instruments and the avionics and you should be able to achieve the light level you require.


Dome Light Off


Dome Light On


Panel Lights Dimmed


Overall Lighting Effect

However, there is another bug connected to the panel light switch, when switched on, the CDI needles on the OBI gauge, and the selected pressure on the co-pilots altimeter disappear, so you have to choose instruments or lights? Another problem happens in daylight hours in that the dome light and panel lights do not work. Recently, I was flying online with some of the Mutley Crew along the north coast of Norway, so although it's officially daylight, the light levels are very low (as in autumn the sun barely makes it over the horizon) and on approach, without the panel lights, I could not easily read those vital instruments unless I zoomed right into the gauge. (Oh, and to top it off the dome light switches are incorrectly labelled, when it says off, it really means on, and vice versa).


External Lights

The exterior lighting was acceptable, all the nav lights worked ok with the strobes, beacon, taxi and landing lights all operating correctly. The taxi and landing lights illuminate the ground in various intensities depending on the selection, for once, faultless.  

Sounds

"High quality digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft.".

The sounds which have been modified, are quite good, the engine start up and shutdown sequence is quite realistic as are the different engine notes. I took time to manually play other wave files independently of the sim to get the pure sound, and I was happy with the results.

Sadly, there were no clicks when operating the switches. The door, flaps, and fuel pump sound were pretty similar to other stock aircraft sound effects, so acceptable.

General Characteristics and Performance Specifications

The general characteristics and performance specifications for the Tecnam P2006T are provided in the table below. This is based on data from the official Tecnam P2006T Pilot Operating Handbook, data provided by Wilco, and general research sources. Some of this data varies between sources and also may be an approximation due to variances in data and the specific aircraft modelled by Wilco.


Flight Performance

I have flight tested the Tecnam P2006T in many situations for over 20 hours now. Flights have ranged from short hops to cross country and multi-player flights.

It was difficult to measure fuel flow and range as they are not exactly quoted. The specifications above quote a range of 742 nm with full fuel load. I worked out an endurance of around 4.75 hours at a flow rate of 40 l/hour and tallied that against a real world flight crew training manual. Actual flying time would be around 2.5 hours allowing for taxi, contingency, alternate airfield, hold, etc., so I wouldn't plan a journey of more than 420 nm.

Reference speeds, such as the stall speed (dirty), were spot on the 48 kts quoted by Tecnam. Rotation and climb were possible at 64 and 80 kts respectively, so no problems there. Cruise at 140 kts and a max of 155 kts were easily achievable with favourable weather conditions.


Very Manoeverable


Cloud Dancing

Taxiing and ground manoeuvres are very easy, the visibility from the cockpit is excellent and she moves with ease. Turning using the diff brakes and/or engine thrust gave me all the control I needed. The take-off roll seems uneventful until the ASI reaches 40 kts then speed increases to 80 kts in no time, almost before you realise, you can rotate. When you look back you will realise the take-off run was less than 1,000 ft, so short field performance is very good.

In the climb, 1,500 fpm was maintained all the way up to 8,000 ft, where, even with heat, the VSI decreased to 500 fpm as we pushed up to the ceiling of 14,500 ft. She was happy to cruise at 140 kts for hours. Despite her appearance, she is not a speedy bird compared with other twin GA aircraft, such as the Beech Baron, quoted at 180 kts. This should be taken into consideration when flying long distances or multiplayer. In a recent session, my fellow pilots had to wait for me to catch up several times.


Low Level Cruising


Over Robben Island

The trim works well and the stabilator is very responsive to elevator inputs. Turns can be quite aggressive, thanks to the Fraise ailerons, allowing the aircraft to turn and roll with less than maximum input, they also lessen the tendency of adverse yaw. Stalling, though, is a quite an uneventful affair, the nose will drop very slowly and is reticent to dive until well into the stall. Strangely, the stall horn sounds after the stall happens and soon stops after forward speed and momentum is achieved.

There were no surprises with landings, even with quite high cross winds. An approach at about 90 kts gave plenty of control and touch down around 80 kts gave the best results. She stops very quickly, so is ideal for short fields.


Underbelly


Landing Configuration

Overall, the the flight performance was very close to the published specifications from Wilco and the aircraft manufacturer. From taxi to landing, I found the P2006T’s handling straightforward, albeit uneventful. Other than the annoyances of the problems listed above, the actual flying experience was good fun.

Documentation

On the face of it, with 10 documents and a check list, you would say the Wilco Tecnam P2600 is well documented. Eight of the documents are for the individual avionic components that you can see listed above. Their content is mostly a nomenclature of switches and buttons and would rely on your knowledge to use the device effectively.

The checklist document is very useful, with an easy to follow flow of checks to follow. Guidance on speeds required at various stages of the flight is also included and encourages you to check those gauges.

The Pilots Operating Handbook is a rather sorry affair. Once you take away two full page adverts for other Wilco products and the glossy cover page, you are left with nine pages of fairly superficial information.

There are two pages dedicated to views, which, as I pointed out above, are not 100% accurate. Also, a page of background history, which, for me, whetted my appetite to search out more information from the internet, as did the lack of some of the technical information provided.

The cockpit guide section was another picture pointer guide with 59 labels, useful for inexperienced pilots but self explanatory for seasoned aviators.

Value for Money

I ended up paying £15.99 for my copy from Just Flight. This price is about 20% less than the Carenado Baron, so it would be a reasonable price if it was a fully working and finished product. So VFM for a faulty product should end up at zero.

Simulator Performance

Great simulator performance helps to lessen the blow of the problems of this aircraft. I have my sim capped at 30 FPS and never noticed a dip in performance over default and bespoke scenery. If you do get a performance drop it will not be this aircraft causing it.

Technical Requirements

        • Windows XP 32 with SP3 installed, Vista 32, Windows 7 32/64, Windows 8 32/64;
        • Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX with SP1 and SP2 (or Acceleration Pack);
        • Lockheed Martin Prepar3D Flight Simulator v1.4 and 2.x;
        • Pentium V/2GHz or similar;
        • Minimum 4GB RAM (Recommended 8GB RAM);
        • 512MB graphic card;
        • 143Mb download file; and
        • 11Mb free hard disk space required.

Review Computer Specifications

        • Intel i7 4770K o/c to 4.2GHz);
        • GTX 690 4096MB GDDR5 graphics;
        • 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1866MHz;
        • Windows 7 Pro, (64bit);
        • Microsoft FSX + Acceleration Pack; and
        • Additional major add-on seen in screenshots include REX4 Texture Direct.

Conclusion

Wilco have missed an opportunity to rid itself of its bad reputation. With the Tecnam P2006T they promised heaven and delivered hell.

I think you may well feel aggrieved having parted with money for this unfinished product. As we, the flight sim public have had to bear before, we have taken the place of the beta tester. I would rather pay more for a quality product and would not recommend this aircraft to my friends.

Verdict & Rating

The Wilco Tecnam P2006T is a mediocre product that falls well short of its promises. It is worth mentioning that Wilco technical support is far worse than their products.

Pros:
Good value for money.
Great sim performance.
Good flight model.
Good exterior textures.

Cons:
Full of bugs.
Unbelievable mistake with door dimension / engine placement.
Poor internal textures.
Poor documentation.

Scores:  
   ● External Model: 7.0/10
   ● Internal Model: 7.0/10
   ● Sounds: 7.0/10
   ● Flight Characteristics (does it fly by the numbers): 7.5/10
   ● Flight Dynamics (does it feel like what it looks like): 7.5/10
   ● Documentation: 5.0/10
   ● Value for Money: 6.0/10

The Wilco Tecnam P2006T is awarded a Mutley's Hangar score of  6.7/10,
and Mutley's Hangar Advice of "Buyer Beware".


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