Tristarcaptain 282 Posted June 10, 2017 Report Share Posted June 10, 2017 (edited) Aerosoft Two Seat Lightning Review During a typical overcast summers day during the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, I stood at an airfield near Nottingham, UK. I was with my father, brother and some friends. The airshow commentator announced that the airshow was about to start and advised us look out to our right. We spotted a shape flying very low and very fast, as it emerged from the murk! Then came that ear splitting sound as this great silver machine flashed by us on its opening pass. The car alarms went off and babies screamed! Such was my introduction to the English Electric Lightning. I saw it at a few more airshows and my last encounter with a ‘live’ one was at a Thunder Run at Bruntingthorpe in May 1999. I was standing very close to the runway as it thundered down the runway and that familiar crackle of two Rolls Royce Avons at full power gave me a bit of a headache!! I was actually allowed the privilege of taking some photos of the cockpit…..but I had to work for it as I had a long climb up a steep access ladder, and had to maneuver by body around the protruding refueling probe. Moving on to flight simulators, a short while after I took up the hobby (obsession?!), Just Flight released a Lightning F.6. I knew that I had to have it. It was good, but not that good. The textures in the cockpit were a bit lacking, but it was very flyable. However, once Aerosoft announced their version, I knew that the boxed version of the Just Flight version would be paying a visit to Mister E-Bay! I had no doubts that the Aerosoft one would be better; after all, their F-14 Tomcat is great! I first bought the F.6/F.2A . Unfortunately, some early versions had a glitch with sound. No engine noise at times!! This problem was soon rectified by Aerosoft and Tac-Pack was added. Also, they released a pack with the earlier single seaters, and yes I did buy this. They were considerably better than the Just Flight version, with more detail and more options. I was a happy man…. A while back, I was browsing the Aerosoft website and was very surprised to see that a two seat trainer version was being developed. This is unusual, as training versions of a combat aircraft rarely get modelled in flight simulator. I know that the trainer is a bit of an ugly duckling compared to the single seat version, but I wanted to add it to my collection. I was not to be disappointed. Those who have the pure fighter versions will know what to expect. Installation is a breeze (even for me!!) and a three part instruction manual comes in PDF format. Several variants and color schemes are provided from the RAF, Saudi Air Force and Kuwait Air Force. The all black machine from Thunder City, South Africa is also included. Once installed, you have options to configure how you want the airplane. Using the Cockpit & Switches Setting, (accessed by pressing ‘shift’ + 2), you can set it up to be ‘cold & dark’ or switches set to go where you just need to press ‘ctrl’ + E. You also have armament options and it should be pointed out that there is an option for the belly rocket pack as used by the T55K. As I said in my preview of Just Flights Hawker Hunter, I am more of a casual simmer and not an expert, so will concentrate this ‘first impression review’ to aircraft details and flying the machine. A walk around the exterior reveals that the detail is very exquisite. There are plenty of airframe details such as vents, aerials, undercarriage legs and exhausts, all of which look very much the part. The weathering on the airframe is also very well done and there are a myriad of stencil markings littered across the plane, just like the real thing. Once in the cockpit, you will notice that this bird is slightly more roomy than the single seater, which is typically British in being’ tight across the shoulders’!! The cockpit is also suitably ‘weathered’ and has a much lived in sort of look. Once the engine is up and running, you will notice the distinctive ‘crackle’ of the twin Avons. I was quite impressed with the sound quality. With getting ready for takeoff, you should note that the flaps are either up or down….no half way. You need them down for take-off. With being an older generation jet, you will immediately notice that the turbines take a while to spool up, but once you get there…..hold on!! With full reheat, take off speed is reached very quickly and you have to retract both the undercarriage and flaps quite smartly being careful not to exceed their limits with regard to airspeed. Of course, the traditional Lighting take off is to retract the undercarriage about five feet off the ground and pull back on that stick, doing your own impression of a Saturn V rocket! The Lightning is fully aerobatic and I derived great pleasure from viewing the plane utilizing the ‘tower view’ in FSX and doing some aerobatics and tight turns. It should be noted that during turns, speed can bleed off very quickly, so keep an eye on the speed (and fuel gauge!!). The Lightning is a very thirsty plane, and these two seaters do not have the over wing tanks, although a few do have IFR probes. The simulator comes complete with the side fuselage mounted air brakes. Be careful with the use of these as they are VERY effective. Landing is achieved with full flaps and plenty of speed! Around 175-180 knots worked for me, but that depends on how much (or how little) fuel you have left. Aerosoft claim that the parachute used for braking is more effective in the two-seater due to recoding. I did not notice much difference compared to the single seaters, but I may be wrong. I am not an expert. However, it is nice to have this feature which at least has some effect, as opposed to being there just for eye candy as on some sims. The Lightning needs careful use of braking and parachute to slow it down and stop. There is no nose wheel steering here, so careful tapping on the differential brakes is in order to get it to go where you want on the ground. So…my thoughts…? Well, I think that it is great. There is a lot for the asking price of $24.99. The simulator is available direct from Aerosoft or other outlets. I got mine from Just Flight, but noted recently that FSPilotshop have just added it to their store. They have the bonus of quite a good discount if you have already purchased a previous Aerosoft Lightning Flight Sim from them!! Please note, that this simulator is only available as a download at this point in time. Now Mister Aerosoft…….how about revamping the lovely F-16 of your and giving it Tac-Pack??!! More details, screen shots and video, etc. here...... http://www.aerosoft.com/us/fsxp3d/flight-simulator-x-steam/aircraft/2026/english-electric-lightning-t5?number=AS14063 Edited June 12, 2017 by Tristarcaptain More info. 1 Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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