If you used X-Plane chances are you’ll have heard of Airfoil Labs who’ve produced extremely impressing King Air 350 and Cessna 172s.
And it now appears that the Bristell B23 they were working on has come to the Markeplace.
If this is the case and not someone else using the same name I’m pretty surprised and curious to see what they can deliver on MSFS.
Terrible. It feels like they copy pasted the system/flight model from something else. I noticed I had gear lights on my Bravo and I was able to raise the gear and then proceeded to do a gear up landing… It’s a fixed gear aircraft… It also feels heavy like a plane that’s quite a bit larger which is strange because it bounces around like an ultralight when cruising. The textures in the cockpit are pretty rough and weirdly inconsistant in places. I almost get the impression this wasn’t supposed to be released yet because it feels unfinished.
Oh and the ballistic parachute doesn’t work if you we’re wondering…
If you we’re looking for an aircraft of this class the Sting S4 is a much better option.
First landing in this aircraft caught me off guard. It suffers from the Aerolite 103 issue where you can unknowingly raise the gear and do a gear up landing where the plane sinks into the ground. How is it even possible to release something in that state without knowing it, would be my question?
It’s rated for 117 kts in the menu, but I couldn’t get it to go past 97 kts at sea level. Not a bad plane, but needs some work.
Poor release timing, unfortunately. The hype of the Sting S4, which seems far more feature-rich, still hasn’t died down. The B23 has a parachute recovery system as well, but the addon page doesn’t say whether it’s functional (not the end of the world if it isn’t, but I’m curious.) With the wear and tear modeling in the S4 as well, and better avionics IIRC, I just can’t imagine buying the B23 anytime soon.
I must say that this feels out of character for AFL. Their XPlane products are so good, it’s very weird to see this default quality plane just show up out of nowhere. The fact that it says WIP on their website is even more confusing. My initial thought was impersonation, but there’s no way that two different groups called AFL just happen to be making a somewhat obscure plane! Very, very weird situation. I don’t know what to think.
Just had time for a short spin and after that I’m sorry to say but I’m a bit disappointed by airfoillabs. I really liked their stuff in xplane. So I expected a bit more system deepth and features with this release. I mean it’s a small and simple plane so at least something like functional circuit breakers would be cool. Or tire and dirt effects even the default planes have. An EFB with weights and balance features, a visible co-pilot, maintenance/wear and tear options, a working recovery system,toggleable tie-downs/remove before flight pins etc. would be nice as well.
As an owner of both the B23 and the Sting I am mixed between the two. While I much prefer the sound, flight model and airframe of the B23… I have a hard time going without the maintenance aspects including the saves states of fuel and configurations. If Airfoillabs could bridge that gap in development I would say it could be as good if not better than the Sting in my opinion. Admittedly the landing gear oversight is a letdown but ■■■■ happens and is most definitely on their to do list. Ironically the landings have been really satisfying for me in the B23.
If they add more cockpit variations, some kind of to tweak all the eye candy features, tablet maybe even the UL version it would have been very good plane. But as it is right now it needs one or two updates.
But on their web it says: There is a plan, for the longer term, to make this beauty a study-level simulation for X-Plane 12, too.
From what it offers in the sim, i would say it’s comparable to the RV-14. In comparision to the Sting, the Sting has the maintenance features an the working chute, but the B23 has the much better flight model and sounds. Visuals are great on both. From the price point it’s a little too high in comparision to other products like the RV-14. In the end it comes down to personal preferences. I much prefer a good flight model, sounds and visuals over additional features like maintenance, rescue chute, etc.
All in all I would say it’s good standard priced a little too high. It’s definitly better then all the (in my opinion overrated) Carenado stuff.