Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nemeth Design Eurocopter EC135 for FSX

Nemeth Design are the creators of some of the best modeled helicopters for fs2004 and FSX so we had great expectations for this product as soon as first screen shots appeared on the market. The EC 135 is a twin-engine civil helicopter produced by Eurocopter, used amongst police and ambulance services, for executive and passenger transport. It is capable of flight under full instrument flight rules (IFR) due to it's modern on board avionics.

From the first look outside ND's EC-135 we can realize it features a very well built and realistically 3D model with very good looking livery and a lot of moving parts. The model is also highly animated with moving doors and control surfaces. The helicopter comes with 5 liveries from medical transport to executive variant and two main cockpit configurations (glass and classic cockpit). The photo realistic exterior and interior have only a small frame rate impact, in fact I could barely notice a difference between this helicopter and the classic Bell Jetranger.
Going inside, this is by far the best modeled interior I have seen in Microsoft Flight Simulator. All the textures are high res and very well placed. The vast majority of the instruments are 3D, same applies to switches and knobs. I couldn't find any bad thing about the visuals of this helicopter, everything is just perfectly modeled.

Now about the systems, ND EC-135 features a fully modeled FADEC system along side many of the real world systems. Unfortunately the autopilot and stabilization system is not modeled on this helicopter which in my opinion is a strong minus. As we all know helicopters are pretty hard to fly and keep level in FS as no trim function is modeled for helicopters. During our tests we managed to overcome this by using some freeware gauges for helicopter trim and autopilot. More details about the gauges can be found here.

Having only the trim gauge installed made flying this beauty a real joy, we could literraly fly the helicopter and take our hands off the controls. The helicopter would have kept the attitude as the real world counterpart. Even without the additional gauges this helicopter is far more controllable and nice to fly than any other we tested so far.

As the real world counterpart, we had no problems flying in full IFR conditions and even do ILS approaches. The instruments are very easy to read at night and everything is exactly where it should be.

I will leave you to enjoy some pictures with this wonderful add on.

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