- Accurate flight model performance and speeds.
- Custom airfoils by Peter Meinenger,
- 1600x1600 2D panel designed to simulate the challenge of 1950's ocean navigation. Has photo 360 views.
- 2D panel and 3d object exterior by Sergio Santagada.
- Now with 3D Cockpit
Note on the cockpit: The 2D panel was made by Sergio Santagada who was the 2nd most
important person in xplanes early development, 2nd to Austin. He made
all the early default instruments and scenery. He did an amazing job for
me on the Solent panel because as a child he used to watch it take off
and land in italy. In my opinion it is one of the best 1950s 2D panels i
have ever seen so i decided to keep it as the way the plane is
controlled and just have a simple 3D cockpit for eye candy. Therefore
the 3D cockpit is for eye candy only, you still need to use the 2D panel
to control the plane. Press ALT w for 2D panel, best is to set your
control stick buttons to 3D cockpit/2D panel.
Part of my intention on this project was to make sure the plane would be
able to simulate the challenge that ocean navigation was in the 1940's
and 1950's. Relying only on VOR and NDB and relying on complete dead
reckoning in certain areas of the ocean. There was no satellite or
inertial navigation, and the cruise altitude was too low to be getting
vectors from air traffic controllers.
like many airplanes of this period the Solent has a retractable glass
astrodome for using an octant for navigation which is the aviation
equivalent of the maritime navigation tool known as the sextant.
Aviators and sailors used to calculate position by not only observing
star position but the most common object to "shoot" is the sun.
Although Xplane doesn't have an option to simulate this, mf70 had a
great idea of using the lat/lon output of the "show data" screen, with a
small piece of paper covering the screen over the decimal part of the
lat and lon so you'd have the limited accuracy of the octant. "Giving
you just enough data to give you a sense of wind drift. Once you get
near the islands, you'll be able to use radio homing."
Comments from Brian Appaswami who beta tested / flight tested this plane for me:
"The farthest NDB I heard was in excess of 500 nautical miles. I found
the available autopilot was more than adequate to relieve the burden of
constantly being at the controls but constant monitoring of the progress
was critical to accurate navigation, or one becomes seriously lost.
Being very lost over the vast pacific is a very disconcerting feeling.
According to my calculations with a gentle tail wind of about 6 knots
and at a cruising speed of 210 knots, I'd have reached Hawaii in
something like 14 hours, (with another 5 or 6 hours left in the tanks)
at economical cruising speeds."
Engines........4x 1690 HP Bristol Hercules 637 (sleeve valve)
Props..........De havilland 4 blade featherable
Max weight.....75,000 pounds
Maximum speed at 75,000 pounds............230kts.........7,200 feet
Maximum continuous rich mixture cruise at 215kts.…....at 4,700 feet
Take off over 50 foot obst..………......1,610 yards.....44 seconds
Climb to 10,000 ..........…………………….....12 min
Service ceiling ........………………………......16,000 feet
Range at 180 kts.....30 pax and 2,070 gallons fuel.......1,580 nm
Range at 145 kts.....30 pax and 2,070 gallons fuel.......1,725 nm
Range at 165 kts.....11 pax and 3,160 gallons fuel.......2,750 nm
Max fuel on board: 3160 gallons fuel x 6 pounds per gallon = 18,960 pounds fuel
Accommodation: Crew of seven and 34 passengers