SimWorks Studios Kodiak 100 one the best aircraft for MSFS 2020

You can get it to hold trim pretty solid, but it’s fickle and needs a fair bit of resolution to find the right spot. I often get it to hold the slightest positive vs and throttle back a tiny bit. I don’t there’s many aircraft at 180+kt with set and forget trim. At linear settings the trim is too aggressive. With only a few percent of trim range, even noise in the peripheral may ‘move’ it a bit. The C510 has that same +/- 4% range at even higher speeds but takes a lot more wheel movement to change it. Maybe SWS could try to add a little room in the trim response.

I just don’t see flying at those speeds with manual cruise trim for any notable length of time, but you should be able to check over instruments and work a few switches and not look up to a sudden 400fpm change of attitude. Should be able to get it to find a phugoid cycle within a reasonable ~120ish foot range with virtually zero wind or gusts.

No aircraft in normal variable winds holds a perfect trim, any trim wheel in AP moves constantly.

Hi all Found this video on the kodiak and thought it might help some of us when flying it.

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OK, flew this for about 3 hours, testing the aircraft against the videos with the limitations of the MSFS TP and flight models. Pretty good all things considered.

FOR TRIM, you are 100% correct, unless it’s in a very small window, about 160-170KT it is quite difficult to trim. I flew it without thinking and didn’t realize my hand pretty much rests with the thumb on the trim and my index finger on the throttle and I constantly adjust to keep it ~100 +/-. It’s best spot for holding trim is around that 160-170 kt. It will still creep out of the phugoid effect at some point, and that’s in 4KT winds at ~6000’, which would be an unrealistically ideal weather situation. In real winds it’s really not ever going to hold trim, pretty much nothing will.

But in a near vacuum state of weather, it will waiver +/- even as close as +/- 50’ for a few moments and sure enough it WILL find a way to wander beyond 400fpm +/-, which I always corrected at that point so not sure if it would ever fly into a stall or nose dive if left alone. This is with or without YD. You are not going to be remotely hands off at 190+KT. And I have trim set with a very large curve so a quarter turn is only about 4% of trim, so we’re talking extreme small movements of trim and it will still ‘fall’ out of it into a climb/decent.

I do find throughout MSFS when you reach the top cruise design speed of ANY aircraft, all of a sudden trimming becomes extremely difficult. Kind of when the ‘wind noise-you’re going fast sound’ kicks in. Even something humble like the 152 does it.

Without thinking about it, I do hit a click or two of rudder and aileron trim when holding it level manually, along with the elevator and prop, so it takes a lot of babysitting. Other fast aircraft are like this but most DO find a state of equilibrium chasing the set trimmed speed. I don’t know if this type of aircraft will ever be hands off trimmed(even if phugoid was modeled perfectly), but it definitely does not have a natural balance that a simple aircraft clearly has, like a Savage Cub, which will turn into a paper airplane with a throttle/trim miss-match.

I’m not sure if that is part of modeling this aircraft at it’s real heft plus the wing/flap features and cheating the limited TP model. Hard to say. Any maneuvers when hand flying I’ll usually do those, but it was really hard to not just engage a simple AP profile, such as basic heading and ALT or just LVL. In the videos the plane is usually put into AP in almost every instance as well. I’m OK with it regardless as I won’t just change trim endlessly as you do when you have no AP in a simple aircraft like a WACO or Archer II or Savage Cub(which are all pleasant to do so). I don’t think I’d really ‘hand fly’ the TBM for any level cruise scenario. The Kodiak is after all a $3M 700+hp flying Suburban.

On approach, I find a setting of ~ 22-27% positive trim(depending on desired decent rate) seems to emulate what the aircraft IRL does with varous flap settings. It will be VERY throttle sensitive to hold the approach angle, but with the slight delay of TP, so you have to be patient and careful, very similar to flying slow with a heli, if you chase what you see immediately you will always be behind, so it needs to settle in. I’ll be ■■■■■■ if I didn’t land at Barth 10 last night without thinking about it and crossed the road at 74KT and stopped 50’ past the taxiway 8 out of 8 times no matter where I started decent from(can’t imagine how many times I’ve flown that approach, thousands?). But yes, hand flying 15+ miles level kind of sucks…

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Appreciate your findings. Bad weather might throw you around a bit, but once you’ve trimmed for a certain speed the plane should try and hold that speed regardless of wind. And so far, of every plane I’ve tested this holds true, other than the Kodiak. In fact, trimming for speed might be a better way to look at this, as I think it highlights the issue better than trimming for pitch. If I have a plane trimmed for 160kts IAS then it should want to hold 160kts regardless of how the wind buffets my plane.

It makes me lose faith in the plane, because then it begs the question, what else isn’t right about it?

Sure you can fly your way around the problem with constant trim adjustment, yoke input, and AP. Clearly many do, because the Kodiak gets praised all the time. it’s near the top of the top 10 list in this forum. Hell, I flew it a fair amount before I worked out what was making it difficult to hand fly.

Now I’ve purchased the Black Square Caravan the difference has become even more obvious. The Caravan is such a pleasure to fly by hand. Very easy to hold the pitch with mostly trim. It’s a lot like the Comanche, which is even easier again and that is a plane often praised by real world pilots for it’s flight modelling - in the Comanche you can easily hold pitch with trim even in some quite blustery conditions, and you definitely can hold speed with trim.

The BS Caravan is an analog cockpit mod of the default Caravan. Not sure if the flight model even got touchedI and I find this flight model basic. The thing feels like it’s on rails at times. The kodiak is so much more alive and as a result a joy.

It says in the manual he updated the flight model to match the POH. It’s also a high wing plane, they are stable by design. The Kodiak, OTOH, is broken - probably why it’s so lively. If that brings you joy, more the power to you. At the end of the day we’re all here to have fun, so we should just fly what we enjoy.

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Certainly fly what you enjoy, what’s the point otherwise. Broken implies it can’t be flown which is totally not the case. Needs some tweaking sure but that pretty much applies to many MSFS aircraft. The base sim keeps moving and so over time the aircraft need adjusting. SWS have said another Kodiak update is coming.

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Fair enough. I would consider a plane that doesn’t follow the fundamentals of aircraft flight to be broken, but I guess it’s open to interpretation. I really hope they fix it, it is otherwise a very beautiful plane.

Have you tried throwing it into reverse in flight?

I saw the SWS Kodiak on sale in the marketplace, so finally decided to get this and even further spread myself thinly among the roughly 20 planes I rotate through. This plane is perpetually on Baracus’s Top 10 Planes list. I was reluctant for a while primarily because I prefer analog gauges and the GTN750 touch screen than the “knob spinning” of otherwise-excellent G1000. (I sometimes cheat and use the PMS50 GTN toolbar popout panel to do flight plan loading or keyboard entry.) But the sale price made it hard to say no.

I’m very impressed thus far…flew it for maybe three hours yesterday, including some touch and go closed traffic patterns. Still getting used to the pronounced leftward movement on higher throttle settings, trying to get the rudder trim dialed in.

Great write above, @phutyoo . It definitely takes some patience to get the throttle right on approach. I still don’t feel like I’ve buttered any landings yet in about 10 attempts.

In terms of feel, to me this almost feels like…the PMDG 737 of all planes. :slight_smile: It has a very heavy feel to it. I’ve extensively flown the Black Square Caravan, and agree with @s0cks182 assessment above in terms of hand flying it vs. the Kodiak, which takes quite a bit more work.

Anyways, gonna give it some more air work tonight.

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when I press the NAV key on the G1000 in MSFS 2020 VOR appears in white next to HDG in green. A VOR frequency has been entered in NAV1

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That sounds normal. VOR will indicate white to show it’s armed, but you need to vector towards your chosen radial via HDG for the AP to then pick up said radial and track it.

Assuming, of course, that you have tuned a VOR that is within range to be picked up by the NAV1 radio.

Yep totally normal if the VOR radial set is not currently within the capture range. If the cdi needle is not in or around being centred it will stay white (armed) until it is and only at that point will it turn green (captured).

thanks
that works

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