What can I say here? This is a great achievement for Big Radials’ first commercial release! If only we had more developers like them putting out product for MSFS… Here’s my impression.
What you are getting here is an aircraft where the WWII era aura is definitely present. It’s very immersive and will make you feel like you are there. From the very start, you can tell that this package is very well put together. The manual is comprehensive but light enough that won’t feel like you have an encyclopedia to read. It’s also written in a style that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is actually a good read to familiarize yourself with the aircraft. BE AWARE OF A MANDATORY STEP TO SET UP THE CENTER OF GRAVITY ON THE MAP EVERY TIME BEFORE YOU FLY (due to a new Asobo bug that resets it)… Hopefully the bug gets fixed soon. There is, however, some minimal information necessary for you to get in and get flying. It doesn’t take a lot of time to get through, but will save you some frustration - this isn’t a Cessna and requires very specific handling on takeoff and landing. This package feels like a true labour of love and you can tell that these guys don’t cut corners.
Very solid all-around. It comes with several liveries for you to choose from. The outside and inside are very nicely done and everything is readable and beautifully lit at night.
This is one of my favorite aspects of this aircraft. From the moment you energize the starter and fire up that engine, its sound will immerse you in the aircraft. Everything is done according the the latest MSFS specs in terms of dampening when closing the canopy etc.
These old warbirds weren’t particularly easy to maneuver around due to poor visibility and their taildragger nature. Just take it slow and be patient. Taxi in S-shapes and the bird handles itself with absolutely no issues for me.
This is a rudder dance aircraft on takeoff and landing. It will likely get you a few attempts before you feel more comfortable. For me, setting 2 degrees rudder trim to the right actually helped with takeoff quite a bit in addition to the 3 degree trim up. Advance the throttle gradually, don’t floor it. Once the nose drops, apply a bit of pull on the stick to keep the nose from going down. It lifts itself off the ground when it’s ready to fly at around 105-115. Nothing else is needed. Then it’s all about trimming it for cruise once you get to your target altitude. It then flies beautifully hands-off. Response for ailerons and rudder feel adequate, elevator requires just a tad bit more input than I am used to, but nothing that prevents me from enjoying it. It feels a bit on the heavy side, but I actually appreciate that, because a lot of modern aircraft can feel twitchy and fidgety - a slightest amount of input will make it feel unstable. Here you will be making slightly bigger movements with the stick, but the aircraft feels steady and stable because of it. Manage speed well on approach with flaps, landing is actually a piece of cake for me if you are gentle in rudder input. I actually love the way it flies.
I can’t recommend this enough to anyone interested in warbirds of WWII. This is on par with Milviz’ Corsair and Flying Iron’s Spitfire. For someone like me, who isn’t particularly a warbird aficionado, I kept flying it over and over again to improve my technique and be better with it. I can see myself flying this often. This is REALLY well done and I am really looking forward to anything else these guys put out. We have yet another example of how not to cut corners and put out quality aircraft for this platform. No more excuses for subpar BS that makes it to the market. These guys put out their first product and it’s THIS good. That’s all I got.