Black Square’s Steam Gauge Overhaul Series continues to impress us with the realism and complexity it has brought to some of the default airplanes in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The Bonanza is the most recent release in this series and is proving to be one of the most engaging GA airplanes in the simulator so far. But the developer isn’t resting on his laurels and the next release is already being prepared: the Analog Baron!
The Baron is a complex light aircraft that builds on the Black Square’s Analog Bonanza, with more systems and, obviously, twice as many engines. To demonstrate the dramatic changes introduced in the simulation of this aircraft in MSFS, and similarly to what was done in relation to the Bonanza, Black Square published a Technical Overview video that perfectly showcases the intricacies of the aircraft’s systems and the workload pilots can expect when flying and managing operations in this aircraft.
The Analog Baron will bring unique “study-level” complexity to a twin-engined light aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator. It combines advanced simulations for fuel-injected engines, pressurization, climate control, door seals and, in the developer’s own words, “the most advanced turbocharger simulation, and possibly the most advanced failure system outside of a commercial aircraft“.
As with the Bonanza, Black Square will offer several aircraft with the Analog Baron. Users will be able to choose from the normally aspirated aircraft without winglets, or a turbocharged and pressurized Baron 58P model, also known as the P-Baron, with winglets and tip tanks. Users can also create their own configurations with the config files.
The Analog Baron shares many systems with the Analog Bonanza, which was previously covered in the previous technical overview video. Black Square recommends prospecting buyers of the Baron to watch both videos to understand many of the complex features that are common to both aircraft. However, the Baron has its unique features, including ground-boosted turbocharged engines, manifold pressure gauges that go up to 40 inches of mercury, and low thrust detectors.
The Baron is also equipped with a combustion air heater, which can warm up the cabin before the engines are started. However, this system can be dangerous due to the toxic gases that can enter the cabin. In the pressurized aircraft, carbon monoxide can also enter the cabin through the turbochargers, which are used to supply pressurized bleed air for the pressurization control system. That’s why a carbon monoxide alarm has been fitted in the aircraft, whose proper operation is critical to prevent a toxic cabin. Black Square’s comprehensive failure system will keep pilots thinking about the consequences of operating all the aircraft’s equipment throughout the flight.
In the video, the Baron is taken on a test flight where the developer demonstrated how to start a flooded engine, which can happen, for example, if the fuel boost pump is run for too long. A specific checklist is included to remedy this situation, along with many other detailed checklists that will help users properly operate the Baron and fix many problems that may arise during its operation.
One of the coolest features in Black Square’s Steam Gauge Overhaul Series is radio navigation signal degradation. This behaviour is also demonstrated in the test flight. The navigation receiver picked up on the faint signal of a nearby VOR station that was tuned in at the end of the last flight. As the aircraft gained altitude on takeoff with respect to the surrounding terrain, the indication became more confident and provided good bearing indication for that station.
As you can see, the upcoming Analog Baron is another impressive light airplane in Black Square’s growing list of modded aircraft, combining advanced simulations and unique features that we can confidently say will turn this into a must-have for twin-engined fliers in the Simulator. This aircraft should be available in just a few days, so stay tuned for more news about its release!