Carenado T206H Review
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For FSX/P3D Published by Carenado
Reviewed by Andrew Godden
November 2013

Introduction

The Carenado Cessna T206H 'Stationair' is another release in the Carenado HD Series for FSX/P3D. This aircraft also has a supplementary avionics pack release, the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack. Carenado have had a major focus on the Cessna stable over the years and have previously released an earlier variant of the Cessna 206, the U206G, for FSX and in their original FS2004 series. This release also continues Carenado's recent development focus on current production aircraft models.

Over the years, the Cessna 206 range has been a versatile workhorse in the Cessna single piston engine category and general aviation category. It's rugged construction, large capacity, generous cabin, and ability to be fitted with amphibious floats and skis, have made it adaptable to a range of applications, including utility and bush flying, skydiving, and, when fitted with luxury appointments, as a personal air transport. Carenado have recreated the current Cessna T206H 'Stationair' offering in the classic personal air transport role with a beautiful exterior finish and luxury appointments in the cabin displaying the Carenado trademark quality and level of detail.

History

The Cessna 206 'Stationair' is a six seat, single engine, general aviation aircraft. It has a strut braced, high wing and a non retracting, tricycle landing gear. Developed from the Cessna 210 ‘Centurion’ and introduced in 1962, the first variant in the range, the Cessna 205, was essentially the Cessna 210 with fixed landing gear and changes to the crew and passenger door arrangements. The eponymous 206 variant was introduced in 1964 with a number of sub variants, namely the U206 and P206 series, and introducing a variety of improvements in increased take-off weight and engine capacity, including turbocharged options. In 1969 the 207 variant was introduced with a stretched fuselage, with further increases in take-off weight and an increase in seating capacity to seven and a subsequent increase in seating capacity to eight in 1979.

Originally in production from 1962 until 1986, the Cessna 206 was reintroduced into production in 1998 after a 12 year hiatus and the current 206H and T206H models remain in production in 2013.

Availability and Installation

Cessna T206H 'Stationair'. The Cessna T206H 'Stationair' is currently available direct from Carenado and Carenado resellers as a 'download only' product (some resellers also offer a master back-up CD service for a minor additional cost). Some of the Carenado range are subsequently being published as 'boxed media' so the T206H may be available in this format in the future. In 'download only' format, the Cessna T206H 'Stationair', is priced at US$34.95, or the equivalent on currency cross rates. The file size of 154MB is reasonable for an aircraft of this type and quality and it requires 485MB of HDD space for installation. Depending on where it was purchased, a ‘key code’ may be issued to be used during installation.

There are two models provided (one pilot and two pilots), five HD paint schemes and a HD blank texture provided for aircraft painting enthusiasts.

Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack. The Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack is currently available direct from Carenado and Carenado resellers as a 'download only' product (some resellers also offer a master back-up CD service for a minor additional cost). In 'download only' format, the T206H G1000 Extension Pack, is priced at US$14.95, or the equivalent on currency cross rates. The file size of 44.4MB is reasonable for an extension pack of this type and it requires 40MB of HDD space for installation. Depending on where it was purchased, a ‘key code’ may be issued to be used during installation.

There is one model provided (two pilots) and two HD paint schemes provided in the Extension Pack. Of the paint schemes, one is an additional new paint scheme, whereas the other is one of the existing paint schemes.

Documents

Cessna T206H 'Stationair'. There are nine manuals / documents provided in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf):
     ● Normal Procedures – this 14 page manual provides the procedures for the normal operation of the aircraft;
     ● Emergency Procedures – this 13 page manual provides the procedures for the emergency operation of the aircraft;
     ● Performance Tables – this 13 page document details the operating cruise performance specifications of the aircraft;
     ● Quick Reference Table – this one page document details the performance specifications of the aircraft; and
     ● Carenado GNS 530 Users Guide – this two page document details the operation of the Garmin GNS 530 GPS unit;
     ● Autopilot KFC225 Manual – this three page document details the operation of the Bendix/King KFC225 Autopilot unit;
     ● GPS Annunciation Control Unit – this single page document details the operation of the GPS Annunciation Control 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.

Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack. There are four manuals / documents provided in Adobe Acrobat format (.pdf):
     ● Carenado G1000 Users Guide – this 24 page manual details the operation of the G1000 Primary Flight Display (PFD), and Multi Function
        Display (MFD);
     ● G1000 Normal Procedures – this 22 page manual provides the procedures for the normal operation of the aircraft;
     ● G1000 Emergency Procedures – this 18 page manual provides the procedures for the emergency operation of the aircraft;
     ● G1000 Performance Tables – this 13 page document details the operating cruise performance specifications of the aircraft;

Model Features – Cessna T206H 'Stationair'.

Developers / publishers of payware add-on aircraft are continually pushing the boundaries in their efforts to reproduce as much realism in their aircraft. What this entails varies and will sometimes be a compromise by focusing on a higher level of accuracy or detail in one aspect of the aircraft at the expense of others. Other than the basic avionics suite, the Cessna T206H is fundamentally a solid rudimentary general aviation aircraft and, as with other aircraft of this type in their product range, it is this aspect that Carenado have focused development attention. The T206H is about the simple experience and pure pleasure of general aviation flying and touring and that's what you get with the Carenado T206H. This review has involved over 35 hours of specific review and flight testing flying time and Carenado deliver an aircraft in the T206H that focuses entirely on the flying experience and pleasure. There are no "eye candy" or "wow factor" features that will lose appeal after regular flying.

The standard model features listed by Carenado for the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' are typical of models in the Carenado range and include:
     ● HD quality textures (2048 x 2048);
     ● 3D gauges;
     ● instrument reflections;
     ● original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft;
     ● realistic night lighting effects
     ● realistic flight dynamics and weight and balance; and
     ● tested by real world T206H pilots during various phases of flight, such as: take-off, climb, cruise, descend, approach, landing and
        specific manoeuvres.

In addition, and an area in which Carenado focus a lot of effort, are the special model features, which include:
     ● window lighting scratches effect (crazing);
     ● volumetric side view propeller effect;
     ● dynamic propeller shine effect;
     ● lighting rendering system, with landing, taxi, strobe and beacon lights illuminating objects and the ground;
     ● hide / unhide wheel pants;
     ● original Carenado GNS 530 with Reality XP integration option;
     ● 3D stereo sounds; and
     ● knobs and switch sounds.

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

Features – Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack.

The Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack, upgrades the base T206H to the Garmin G1000 avionics suite currently offered as standard equipment by Cessna. You can certainly start flying immediately, however, there is a lot of detail in the operating of the G1000 unit that delivers a new level of flying experience and the Carenado G1000 Users Guide is a "must read" at some point.

In addition to the standard and special model features listed for the Cessna T206H 'Stationair', the specific features for the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack include:
     ● Carenado G1000 PFD and MFD;
     ● Normal and Emergency Checklists on screen;
     ● TAWS and TCAS with visual and audible alerts;
     ● fully customisable (AUX page included);
     ● inset map with traffic, topographic and terrain awareness option;
     ● three different wind option displays;
     ● MFD map with traffic, topographic and terrain awareness display option; and
     ● flight plan creation option directly from the MFD.

Paint Schemes


General Visual Appearance

Exterior. Carenado’s Cessna T206H 'Stationair' displays all the usual exceptional level of attention to accuracy and detail that is now an expectation with each new Carenado release. A comparative review of photographs of real world aircraft to Carenado’s T206H reveal the exterior shape and dimensions to be highly accurate and a true representation of the real world aircraft.

Interior. Consistent with the exterior, the general appearance of the cockpit and the panel layout are also modelled to a very high degree of detail. A comparative review of photographs of real world aircraft matched the panel layout modelled by Carenado, with only minor instrument variations. Other areas of cockpit fit out were exceptionally accurate including such things as the positioning of passenger oxygen outlets and access panels.

Paint Schemes. There are five individual paint schemes provided with the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' and each aircraft has a unique aircraft registration number. The Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack provides an additional paint scheme with a unique registration number and one other which is an existing paint scheme. The surface textures, reflections, and shadings give the aircraft a crisp and realistic appearance. The installation of the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack had errors in the aircraft.cfg file relating to the identified paint schemes. Whilst these were minor and could be corrected by a simple edit, this is uncharacteristically tardy of Carenado.

Exterior

Like other aircraft in the Carenado range, the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' displays the hallmark accuracy and detail on the exterior. The level of this detail includes individual fuselage panels, panel access screws, panel rivets, various aerials and antenna, tie down points, and static discharge wicks on the wing, elevators and rudder trailing edges. The wheel pants are also modelled in high detail with access panels for the tyre inflation valves.


Interior

Carenado’s rendering of the T206H's cockpit is excellent and very realistic when compared to real world layouts.

Standard Instrument Panel Layout. In the Cessna T206H 'Stationair', all primary flight instruments and engine management instrumentation are on the left side (pilot side) with only the ADF receiver on the right side of the panel. The radio, GPS, autopilot and throttle and trim controls are all located centrally. The primary flight instruments are laid out in the standard “T” and "six pack" arrangement. All the flight instruments are clear and easy to read and have the option for instrument glass reflections to be enabled or disabled 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 GPS unit is more versatile and provides far more functionality than the standard FSX Garmin 295 and 500 GPS units. It is also used to change radio COM1 and COM2 frequencies 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. The KFC225 unit is also available as a panel window. 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. Unfortunately, no checklists or aircraft reference data is provided on the 'Kneeboard'.


G1000 Panel Layout. In the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack, the PFD is located on the left side (pilot side) with the MFD located slightly right of centre with only the ADF receiver on the right side of the panel. The KFC225 Autopilot unit and throttle and trim controls are located centrally below the secondary flight instruments. The flight instruments are extremely clear and easy to read and have the option for instrument glass reflections to be enabled or disabled. The PFD and MFD, whilst being discrete, also have some degree of duplication in functions and can be configured for a variety of different displays of information. This is covered quite well in the documentation. Again, various alternative cockpit camera views are available to provide more detailed views of the instruments and the panel dashboard is similarly textured. The PFD, MFD and autopilot unit are also available as panel windows. Again, no checklists or aircraft reference data is provided on the 'Kneeboard'.


Cockpit Layout. The cockpit layout of the T206H follows the standard six seat arrangement for the model. Both door and window levers open and close these features respectively. The dome lights can be activated by the switches on the respective dome light assemblies, with the front and rear dome lights controlled individually. This lighting effect is also visible in all other views. It's the little things that differentiate quality and whilst they are mostly aesthetic rather than functional, this is a focus of every Carenado model. In the case of the T206H, the sun visors can be lowered into place, various cabin conditioning and temperature controls are operable, and the oxygen system switch is operable, all these being for affect only. Again, the detail in the textures of the seating, seatbelt webbing, and floor carpet provide an extremely realistic appearance, including the seam stitching and perforated leather in the seats.


Overall, the attention to detail on the interior is, again, of an extremely high quality. There was an error in the readout on the flight timer function on both the OAT / Voltage Meter gauge and Garmin transponder unit on the standard panel. The displays are configured for a standard hh:mm:ss format, however, after the first hour, it displays hours, total minutes in the minutes display and the last digit of the seconds is truncated when minutes go above 99.. For example, instead of 02:44:38, it displays 02:164:3. This error has been evident in other Carenado models for some time.

Animations and Static Elements

The animations and moving parts on Carenado’s T206H are all modelled faithfully.


Animations and static elements include:
    ● primary control surfaces – ailerons, elevators and rudder;
    ● secondary control surfaces – flaps;
    ● others – elevator trim tab, rolling wheels, pilot and passenger door open / close, windows open / close, vibrating antenna, exhaust and
       static discharge wicks;
    ● pilot’s head turning; and
    ● wheel chocks, engine air inlet covers, and pitot tube cover.

Another identified issue relating to the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack aircraft models only, is the engine air inlet covers are not displaying when "Static Elements" is selected in the respective panel window. Again, as this is a standard feature, on the standard T206H, it represents another disappointing level of tardiness on Carenado's part.


Lighting

The lighting effects on Carenado's Cessna T206H 'Stationair' incorporate the new light rendering technology which provides an improved lighting effect. There is the usual navigation lights, rotating beacon, strobe light, taxi and landing light, and panel and cabin interior lighting, but the rendering technology has the beacon, strobe, taxi, and landing lights illuminating objects and the ground. Of additional 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. All interior lighting affects can be seen when viewing the aircraft from an external view.


Sounds

A highlighted feature of Carenado’s T206H is the original HQ digital stereo sounds recorded directly from the real aircraft. 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 a strong steady 'thrum' that then settles to a 'humming' sound as the aircraft is configured at cruise. 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 flaps during deployment and retraction phases is also very realistic. Other realistic sounds include the switch sounds, and, of course, there is the usual sounds associated with the doors opening and closing, however, no discernible sound associated with the opening and closing of the windows.

Again, the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack exhibited errors. This time with the switch sounds in the cockpit.

General Characteristics and Performance Specifications

The general characteristics and performance specifications for the Cessna T206H 'Stationair' are provided in the table. This is based on data from the Cessna web site, data in the aircraft details provided by Carenado, 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 Carenado.

specs

Flight Performance

Two Test Flights were conducted from Essendon (YMEN) to Roma (YROM) and return. Both flights were 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 699 nm. The route was particularly chosen to provide a basis upon which to test the range characteristics of Carenado’s Cessna T206H 'Stationair'. Like most aircraft of this type, adjustments must be made to fuel / pax loading to remain within the MTOW limitations.

On the first Test Flight, a cruise altitude of 7,500 feet was adopted. During cruise, a manifold pressure setting of 27.5 inHg and rpm setting of 2200 rpm were established. The mixture setting was leaned out to produce a fuel flow rate of approximately 13.5 gph. The cruise setting produced an average speed of approximately 135 knots true air speed (TAS) for the flight and on shut down on the ramp at YROM, there was 18.2 gallons of fuel remaining in the tanks.

For the second Test Flight, the aircraft was operated at the service ceiling altitude of 27,000 feet. During cruise, a manifold pressure setting of 25.0 inHg and rpm setting of 2200 rpm were established. The mixture setting was leaned out to produce a fuel flow rate of approximately 13.0 gph. This produced an average speed of approximately 157 knots TAS for the flight and on shut down on the ramp at YMEN, there was 30.2 gallons of fuel remaining in the tanks. These Test Flights confirm the modelling of the aircraft for range performance to be very accurate.

The aircraft was easy to taxi. With 10° flaps, aircraft rotation occurred at 55 knots indicated air speed (KIAS) and the aircraft easily maintained a normal climb speed of approximately 100 KIAS at a rate of climb of 600 ft/min. Even at MTOW, the T206H climbed effortlessly within the specified rate of climb and speed performance parameters for the aircraft. When climbing to the service ceiling altitude, with the obviously required adjustments to the rate of climb, the aircraft was able to climb to this altitude with relative ease. Configured for landing, with full flaps and trimmed for a descent rate of approximately 500 ft/min, the aircraft’s approach speed was 70 to 75 KIAS and it touched down at approximately 65 KIAS, with a landing roll out comparable with the specifications for the T206H.

In all, the performance of Carenado’s Cessna T206H 'Stationair' was 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 T206H pilots and provided testimonials claim a high degree of accuracy in the flight characteristics.

Technical Requirements

The Carenado Cessna T206H 'Stationair' and Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack are for FSX / P3D 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) or Lockheed Martin Prepar3d Flight Simulator installed; and
    ● Pentium V, 3GHz or similar, minimum 2GB RAM (4GB recommended), 512MB graphics card, and 380MB 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.

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.

Conclusion

Carenado’s Cessna T206H 'Stationair' and Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack is an excellent, high quality aircraft. It is a fantastic general aviation aircraft and great to fly. Minor quality issues, which don't affect the flying and only detract from the overall quality finish, were disappointing and should hopefully be addressed in time with a Service Pack. There is no available timeline from Carenado for such a Service Pack. If you are a general aviation and / or Cessna fan in particular, you will want to add this aircraft and the G1000 avionics suite to your collection.

Pros:
High quality and attention to detail.
Excellent animations and sound effects.
Realistic modelling and performance.
Excellent user manual, normal procedures and emergency procedures documentation.
Good value for money.

Cons:
Multiple noted errors with the G1000 Extension Pack.

Verdict

The Cessna T206H 'Stationair' and Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack are two solid products from Carenado that display the general high quality and attention to detail and represent good overall value for money.

Cessna T206H 'Stationair': Cessna T206H 'Stationair' G1000 Extension Pack:
    ● External Model: 10 / 10       ● External Model: 8.0 / 10
    ● Internal Model: 9.5 / 10       ● Internal Model: 9.5 / 10
    ● Sounds: 9.5 / 10     ● Sounds: 8.0 / 10
    ● Flight Characteristics (does it fly by the numbers): 10 / 10       ● Flight Characteristics (does it fly by the numbers): 10 / 10
    ● Flight Dynamics (does it feel like what it looks like): 9.5 / 10       ● Flight Dynamics (does it feel like what it looks like): 9.5 / 10
    ● Documentation: 10 / 10       ● Documentation: 10 / 10
    ● Value for Money: 9.5 / 10       ● Value for Money: 8.0 / 10

 Overall Verdict:   silver
   • External Model: 9.0/10
   • Internal Model: 9.5/10
   • Sounds: 9.0/10
   • Flight Characteristics (does it fly by the numbers): 10/10
   • Flight Dynamics (does it feel like what it looks like): 9.5/10
   • Documentation: 10/10
   • Value for money: 9.0/10
Mutley’s Hangar score of 9.4/10, "Highly Recommended" and a Mutley's Hangar Silver Award.