Zenith 701 (Sky Jeep) from SimWorks Studios released

I have found this video from Simulated Aviation about the Zenith 701 Bush Plane for MSFS.
The text below the video says that a release is planned for December 24th, 2020. So we will have soon one more Bush Plane. The no door option would be nice for sightseeing tours.

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I am looking forward to this. But they are now an Orbx partner, so it WILL show up on Orbx, however, their initial plan is to release only on their site on the 24th. I am gonna have to wait.

My first impressions after the relase today at their webseite simworksstudios.com are very good. The Zenith sounds and look good. The handling is also fine. It is a good addition to the existing bush planes and a very good STOL plane (in my opinion - i am no STOL expert). And you have also an bush trip and three improved airports: Lufker (49N)/Spadaro (1N2), Sky Acres (44N), Roxbury Runway (1NK0).

Here are some features and the dev team from the manual:

The Zenith 701 was made possible because of the hard work of the development team. A lot of time has been devoted to fine-tuning the aircraft’s visuals and performance
to make the most we can out of Microsoft Flight Simulator’s engine.
Kevin “Gibbage” Miller: 3D modelling, textures, audio recordings
Pam Booker: Flight dynamics
Alex Vletsas: Aircraft animations and coding, scenery development, bush trip creation

PRODUCT FEATURES
This product features the Zenith 701 in a wheeled configuration. The 3D model has been created to the highest precision possible using factory drawings and flight model,
verified by two active pilots, flies exceptionally close to the real envelope. The package features:
Wheeled version of the 701 in two versions: with doors and without
Four high detail liveries making use of the full potential of MSFS features
Copilot and baggage controlled by weight
Authentic sounds recorded from the real 701
Accurate flight model verified by active 701 pilots
Custom checklists
Opening doors by clicking on the handle
A bush trip flying you through New York state
Lufker/Spadaro airfield scenery improvement
Sky Acres airport scenery improvement
Roxbury runway airstrip enhancement.

Wish I could say the same about the handling and sounds.
As someone who has flown a number of Rotax powered aircraft IRL I find the interior sounds far too quiet.
The handling also leaves a lot to be desired.
At low speeds the aircraft wants to wander all over the sky and I have yet to land it without it wanting to fly sideways.
Application of flaps also pitches the nose down very sharply.
I will persevere but it seems to me there’s something badly amiss with the flight model.
Hope I’m proved wrong as it’s otherwise a good product.

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Man the promotional material for this plane really bugs me.

I want a good look at the cockpit (there is a single bad lighting screenshot on their store) in default cockpit view, and what the side view is like when I fly it as I don’t use head tracking or VR.

But everything I can find (including their video trailer) is just one cinematic angle after the other - I don’t care, I don’t fly in cinematic camera views, I fly in the cockpit 99% of the time.

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The sound is perhaps a compromise in terms of volume, because the radio is now a little bit to quiet in relation to the engine sound. It’s a little bit sad that you can hear no different volume of sound between closed and open doors.
The behavior after deploying the flaps is likely too strong.

I have no screenshot from the normal cockpit view. But i fly without Trackir or VR and the view is so that you have a normal look to the instrument panel. It’s not so far behind like in the videos. The side view is also normal but could be a little bit further down. I will try to make a screenshot later.

Edit: Here is the normal cockpit view without VR or Trackir

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Here is an first look review from AvAngel:

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Why airports and sceneries launch on the marketplace, and most planes don’t ?

BTW, that’s not a review, it’s just a first impresions video.

With flaps applied the dive is extreme.
Also the plane rolls when in idle and the parking brake will not keep it in place (or doesn’t work at all).
Has to stay in the hangar as it is not fun to fly like that.
Hopefully they’ll patch it soon…

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At my knowledge the Zenith 701 doesn’t have a parking brake as standard.

I bought this one because I love the 701 and live near the ZenAir factory in Canada. There are a few bugs with this model. CoG is way off, the flaperons seem to drive you straight into the ground and I just went to turn base at CYEE and it told me I over stressed the airframe and “killed me”. Sounds seem weird when the radio is in use…

It was a pretty expensive model for what it is. I really hope they fix/update this. I’d say wait to see if they update it… I feel like I should have waited for the SP-30 from MadFlight.

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Plane has no parking brake. Not a problem.
It dives when flaps are applied. If that is realistic (and i understand why it most probably is) i am fine.
But using the flaps correctly is a miracle to me.

This thing won’t slow down enough.
Once it is grounded it needs little landing estate. But it won’t really slow down in the air.
If i put throttle to idle and keep angle it will slow down. But it catches up speed very easily while descending. It floats long. With flap setting one the aircraft won’t slow down more than without flaps except the angle of attack is stronger, If you apply flaps setting 2 and more it will slow down better but also drop in height like a stone. If you release flaps again the floating will likely resume. That is not very controllable.
Long story short: somewhat controllable descend with the Sky Jeep is working/not working by chance for me.
Perhaps i’m doing something wrong. Would be an idea then to explain in the manual how this thing is operated (which flaps setting when), how to descend reliably/controllably…

I really want to love this thing.
Either something is wrong with the plane or someone please tell me how to operate it correctly.

Okay…Flight modeling is totally off with this thing! Takeoff with flaps down 2 notches=80 mph. Flaps up=30 mph. Won’t go into the rest of it. try it and see. I’ll doublecheck my setup. It’s like they reversed the flaps.

Im really enjoying this little bird but the flaps are as useless as t*ts on a hog

Even if the proper action points you downward, 1 notch isnt enough (but still initially scary) and 2 notches are beyond me, drops like a stone - no chill

Plus the engine low rpm/idle seems high… like the kitfox (dont judge me, its still fun for 8$ :grimacing:)

Little bit quiet too but overall great model and in flight feel imo

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One of the test pilots for the plane (He build/owns it irl and is an avid simmer) has written a nice explanation on the Simworks studio’s discord: https://discord.gg/Ns7GkWW

Imho you need to get used to it’s flying behaviour a bit. flown it for like 12 hours and it’s very nice to fly.
Not much flaps are needed on this plane the wing has a lot of lift and reducing power and nose up=slow down.

The flaps notch 1&2 can be used when pulling the stick aft and nose up in combination with power management for now. (mostly to lose altitude at lower speeds)

But according to the test pilot the engine rpm and full flaps is realistic behaviour (he calls it dive brakes) and flaps notch 1 and 2 need a bit of tuning. (and that is being worked on)

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So a bit more with her today & it seems to check out i guess. Itll take some getting used to for sure
Thank god for the no door variant and seeing the ground out the side bc you cant see squat over the nose at a high angle when landing :grin:
She’s a lovely bird in the air w/o doubt, trimming it is a breeze… in a low breeze

I hope at least wheel chocks are added to keep her put when you’re on the dirt

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I’m a huge fan of the SP-30. So, I’m really happy the SimWorks Studios Dev Team decided to introduce the CH-701. While I’m waiting for the update before posting a review of the CH-701 on the SimWorks Studios website, my initial impressions of this addon are absolutely and entirely positive.

I prefer to simulate flying over British Columbia, Alaska, Idaho, locations fit for a proper STOL adventure. Flaps as is, the STOL performance of the CH-701 is impressive. With the CH-701, excessive icing and zero visibility flying conditions are the only things really standing between you and your next great simulated flying adventure.

My earlier statement wasn’t correct about this plane. I’m understanding how they fly this plane now.

does this work in MSFS 2020 ?