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Cessna T210M ‘Centurion II’
Published by Carenado for FSX
Reviewed by Andrew Godden
December 2011

Carenado originally released the Cessna Model 210 ‘Centurion II’ as part of their extensive Cessna range for FS2004.  Now released as part of the Carenado HD Series for FSX, the upgraded Cessna Model T210M ‘Centurion II’ is replete with the features and quality synonymous with Carenado models.


The Cessna Model 210 ‘Centurion’ is a six seat, high performance, retractable gear, single engine, general aviation aircraft.  It was developed from the popular Cessna Model 182 ‘Skylane’ by adding the retractable landing gear, a swept tail and a new wing design.  First flown in January 1957, the Model 210 was produced from 1957 to 1986, with approximately 9,200 built across 17 model variants.  During it’s production life, it was the top of the Cessna single engine model line-up.  Many improvements were made over the course of production, primarily, more powerful engines, increased take-off weight, the introduction of a turbocharged engine option from 1966, various airframe improvements and, most notably, the introduction of a pressurised variant, the P210N, in 1978.

Availability and Installation
The T210M ‘Centurion II’ is available as a download only direct from Carenado and Carenado resellers (some resellers also offer a master back-up CD service for a minor additional cost).  It is typically priced at US$34.95, or the equivalent on currency cross rates.  The file size of 120MB is reasonable for an FSX aircraft of this type and quality and requires 660MB of HDD space for installation.  Depending on where it was purchased from, a ‘key code’ may be issued to be used during installation.

There are two models provided (one pilot and two pilots) and five HD paint schemes with the same schemes also provided in ‘Lite’ versions for low performance computers. There is also a HD blank texture provided for aircraft painting enthusiasts.

There are seven manuals / documents provided in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf):

  Normal and Emergency Procedures, and Performance Tables – this 32 page manual provides the Procedures and Performance Tables for
   the operation of the aircraft and is also provided as a ‘panel window’ in the aircraft;
 Reference Table – this single page document details all operating reference speeds and is also provided on the ‘Kneeboard’ in the
 Carenado GNS 530 Users Guide – this two page document details the operation of the Garmin GNS 530 GPS unit;
 Carenado GNS 430 Users Guide – this three page document details the operation of the Garmin GNS 430 GPS unit;
 Autopilot KFC225 Manual – this three page document details the operation of the Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot unit;
Operations Tips and Reality XP Integration – this single page document provides instructions for the integration of the Reality XP
   instruments and other operations tips; and
Recommended Settings – this two page document details recommended settings for Display and Realism for Carenado aircraft.

Model Features
The model features listed by Carenado for the T210M ‘Centurion II’ is typical of models in the Carenado range and includes:

·       HD quality textures (2048 x 2048);

·       3D gauges;

·       Instrument reflections;

·       Reality XP integration with 3D gauges;

·       Carenado Garmin GNS 530 and GNS 430 GPS units;

·       KFC225 autopilot;

·       Original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft;

·       Realistic flight dynamics and weight and balance; and

·       Tested by real world Cessna T210 pilots during various phases of flight, such as: take-off, climb, cruise, descend, approach, landing and
specific manoeuvres.

Other visual features and the texture mapping effects introduced in FSX Service Pack 2 are also included.

Paint Schemes 

General Visual Appearance
The aircraft displays incredible attention to accuracy and detail.  A comparative review of photographs of real world aircraft to Carenado’s T210M reveal the exterior shape and dimensions appear accurate and a true representation of the real world aircraft.

There are four pattern types across the five paint schemes and each aircraft has a unique aircraft registration number.  The surface textures, reflections, and shadings give the aircraft a very realistic appearance.  The paint schemes are relatively clean, but with exhaust and oil stains to give the aircraft a “used” look.  Some minor misalignments of the paint schemes were observed, particularly from one side of the vertical stabiliser to the other.

Consistent with the exterior, the general appearance of the cockpit and the panel layout are also modelled to a high degree of detail.  However, with so many model variants produced over the 210’s production life and with the variations in avionics fit out and options available, I was unable to find a real world photograph that matched the exact panel layout modelled by Carenado.  Nonetheless, when compared to real world photographs of similar layouts, the cockpit and panel layout are modelled to the same degree of accuracy, albeit not as complex.  This is not a critical comment, merely an observation.

The accuracy and detail displayed on the exterior is a feature that has become a hallmark of Carenado aircraft.  The level of this detail portrays individual fuselage panels, panel access screws and rivets, vortex generators on the wings and vertical stabiliser, and the positioning of the small antenna, right, forward of the empennage.  The disc brake assemblies and the brake discs on each of the main wheels are also represented in high detail.

Any attempt to undertake a detailed comparison of the interior is difficult due to such a plethora of variations in avionics fit out and other options available which provide such a wide variety in cockpit styles and appearance.  Nonetheless, based on photographs I was able to research, Carenado’s rendering of the T210M’s cockpit is excellent and indicative of real world layouts.

Instruments and Panel Layout  
All primary flight instruments are on the left side (pilot side) with only engine management instrumentation on the right side of the panel.  The radio, GPS, autopilot and throttle and trim controls are all located centrally.  The four primary flight instruments are laid out in the standard “T” arrangement with the turn coordinator and vertical speed indicator forming the common “six pack” layout.   All the flight instruments are clear and easy to read and both yokes can be removed to provide an unobstructed view, particularly of the ignition and light switches located on the lower panel. 

The Carenado Garmin GNS 530 and GNS 430 GPS units are more versatile and provide far more functionality than the standard FSX Garmin 295 and 500 GPS units.  They are also used to change both radio and VOR/DME NAVAID frequencies.  The GNS 530 unit is also available as a panel window.  The KFC225 Autopilot unit functions differently to the FSX standard Bendix/King units and deserves some brief attention to the manual to ensure correct operation. 

Various alternative cockpit camera views are available to provide more detailed views of the instruments.  The panel dashboard has a textured finish closely resembling that of textured vinyl and the panel background displays some paint chips to give it a less than pristine appearance.

Cockpit Layout
The cockpit layout of the T210M follows the standard six seat arrangement for the model.  Both door and window levers open and close these features respectively.  Again, the detail in the textures of the leather seating and floor carpet provide an extremely realistic appearance, including the seam stitching and creasing in the seats.  In one of the alternative cockpit camera views, the dome light can be activated by the switch on the dome light assembly.  The dome lighting effect is visible in all other views.

The attention to detail on the interior is, again, of an extremely high quality.  This detail even includes various minor switches and systems, such as the cabin air levers on the panel and the oxygen lever on the overhead console that operate to provide a more realistic feel to the layout.  I did find the following minor issues that detract from such a high quality rendition:

·     The “flight time” display on the transponder unit initially displays a standard hh:mm:ss type format, however, after the first hour, it displays the hour then total minutes in the minutes display.  For example, instead of 02:44:38, it displays 02:164:38.

·     There is a time variance between elapsed time on the clock and the transponder “flight time” display and that recorded on Hobbs Meter and the engine hours on the RPM gauge record time.

·     Problem of visual perspective in relation to the vertical stabiliser.  In my opinion, when viewed from an off centre position, the angle appears exaggerated for the position it is viewed from.  However, it does improve when the view position is adjusted.

Animations and Static Elements
The animations and moving parts on Carenado’s T210M are all modelled faithfully.  In particular, the retractable landing gear displays the peculiar operation involving a multi stage retraction and deployment.  Initially, the main gear moves to a ‘dangling’ position and pauses before it begins a rearward movement to retract into the gear wells and the reverse during deployment.  Another nice animation demonstrating the attention to detail is the retraction and deployment of a footstep below the right side door when the gear is retracted and deployed.  The T210M is fitted with Fowler flaps and the animation models their typical rearward and downward movement accurately.

Animations and static elements include:

  Primary control surfaces – ailerons, elevators and rudder;
  Secondary control surfaces – flaps;
  Others – retractable gear, elevator trim tab, rolling wheels, pilot and passenger door open / close, luggage compartment door open / close,
  windows open / close, vibrating antenna and exhaust;
  Pilot’s head turning; and
  Wheel chocks, pitot covers, engine air inlet covers, and safety cones.

One disappointing aspect of the animations was the lack of changing propeller pitch, even though this feature has been modelled on previous Carenado Cessna aircraft. 

The lighting effects on the T210M are all faithfully reproduced.  In addition to the usual navigation lights, rotating beacon, strobe light, taxi and landing light effects, there is also a wing de-ice inspection light.  Of particular note is the strobe light effect, which replicates the true asynchronous flash effect of these lights.  The detailed night light effects for the instrument panel and the cockpit, generally, are quite exceptional and represent the night lighting seen in photographs of real world aircraft.

A highlighted feature of Carenado’s T210M is the
original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft and the Carenado delivers on this feature.  The engine exhibits a deep throaty rumble on start before settling into a steady burble sound during idle.  As the throttle is increased for take-off, the engine quickly adopts the familiar whine of a Cessna at high manifold pressure/RPMs.  As the aircraft is configured at cruise, the aircraft exhibits a deep burble sound.  The stereo quality is excellent and so lifelike as you swivel the head position in the cockpit.

However, there is more to it than just the engine sounds.  The sounds of the gear and flaps during their respective deployment and retraction phases is also very realistic and includes a gear warning sound that activates when the throttle is reduced to idle whilst the gear is still retracted.

Of course, there
are the usual sounds associated with the doors opening and closing, however, no discernible sound associated with the opening and closing of the window latch. 

General Characteristics and Performance Specifications
The general characteristics and performance specifications for the Cessna T210M ‘Centurion II’ are provided in the table.  This is based on data from “Janes’ All the World’s Aircraft 1982-1983” and varies from some of the data in the aircraft details provided by Carenado, which appears to be incorrect.

General Characteristics:
Crew One
Five passengers
Length 28 ft 2 in (8.59 m)
Wingspan 36 ft 9 in (11.20 m)
Height 9 ft 8 in (2.95 m)
Wing Area 175 ft2 (16.23 m2)
Empty Weight 2,303 lb (1,045 kg)
Fuel Capacity 90 US gal (340 l)
Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) 3,800 lb (1,724 kg)
Power Plant Continental TSIO-520-R air cooled turbocharged flat six, 310 hp (231 kW)
Performance Specifications:
Maximum Speed 204 kts (235 mph, 378 km/h) at 17,000 ft
Cruise Speed 193 kts (222 mph, 358 km/h) at 20,000 ft (6,100 m)
Stall Speed 58 kts (67 mph, 108 km/h) flaps and gear down,  engine at idle
Range 900 nm (1036 mi, 1668 km) economy cruise at 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Service Ceiling 27,000 ft (8, 230 m)
Rate of Climb 930 ft/min (4.7 m/s)
Wing Loading 22.9 lb/ft2 (111.8 kg/m2)
Power/Mass 0.078 hp/lb (0.13 kW/kg)

Flight Performance
Two Test Flights were conducted from Essendon (YMEN) to Bundaberg (YBUD) and return.  The flights were both conducted in clear weather with a full load of fuel and the aircraft at maximum take-off weight (MTOW) and the route distance was approximately 860 nm.  The route was particularly chosen to provide a basis upon which to test the range characteristics of Carenado’s T210M.  Like most aircraft of this type, adjustments must be made to fuel / pax loading to remain within the MTOW limitations.

During the first Test Flight, a cruising altitude of 7,500 ft was adopted.  Even at MTOW, the T210M climbed effortlessly to the cruise altitude and within the specified rate of climb and speed performance parameters for the aircraft.  On shutdown on the ramp at YBUD, there was still sufficient reserve in the tanks to have easily met the maximum range performance for the aircraft.

For the second Test Flight, the aircraft was operated at the service ceiling altitude of 27,000 ft.  Again, and with the obviously required adjustments to the rate of climb, the aircraft was able to climb to this altitude.

The aircraft was easy to taxi, but needs some careful control as speed increases during the take-off roll.  With 10 degrees of flaps, aircraft rotation occurred at 65 to 70 knots indicated air speed (KIAS) and the aircraft maintained an enroute climb speed of 105 to 120 KIAS at a rate of climb of 900 ft/min.  At 7,500 ft, the aircraft cruised comfortable at 131 KIAS (146 kts ground speed) with a manifold setting of 25 in Hg and at 2,200 RPM.  This provided a fuel flow of 80 to 85 lbs./hr.  Configured for landing, the aircraft’s approach speed was 75 to 80 KIAS and it touched down at 70 KIAS.

In all, the Carenado’s T210M performed excellent in flight, displaying the typical flight characteristics of this aircraft.  The aircraft model displays a very accurate rendition of the flight characteristics and performance of the real world aircraft.  Carenado claim the aircraft has been tested by real world T210 pilots and provided testimonials claim a high degree of accuracy in the flight characteristics.

Technical Requirements
The Carenado Cessna T210M ‘Centurion II’ is for FSX only.  Other specified technical requirements are as follows: :

·       Windows XP with SP3 installed, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 or 64 bit);

·       Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX with SP1 and SP2 (or Acceleration Pack) installed; and

·       Pentium V, 2GHz or similar, 2GB RAM, 512MB graphics card, 660MB available HDD space.

Simulator Performance
The aircraft model performed very well within the existing settings I have in FSX.  I have most of my settings set very high and there was no need to make any adjustments.  FSX continued to perform smoothly and as it would with any default aircraft.  The only minor issue was there would sometimes be a delay in redrawing some elements of the panel in the virtual cockpit view when switching from the outside view.  However, this is not peculiar to the Carenado T210M as I have experienced this problem with other highly detailed aircraft I have installed in FSX.

Review Computer Specifications
The specifications of the computer on which the review was conducted are as follows:

·       Intel i7 990X Extreme 3.46GHz;

·       NVidia GTX580, 1536MB graphics;

·       12GB Kingston DDR3 2000MHz

·       Windows 7, (64bit);

·       Microsoft Flight Simulator FSX Acceleration; and

·       Additional major add-ons include Orbx FTX Australia and Ultimate Traffic 2.


Carenado’s Cessna T210M ‘Centurion II’ is an excellent, high quality aircraft.  It is a fantastic general aviation aircraft and great to fly.  If you are a Cessna fan in particular, you would want to have this aircraft in your hangar.

    High quality and attention to detail.
    Excellent animations.
    Realistic performance.
    Thorough performance documentation.

    Issues with clocks and timers, as highlighted under the Interior section.

The Carenado Cessna T210M ‘Centurion II’ is awarded a Mutley’s Hangar score of 9/10.