The world of flight simulation is a truly unique and enchanting realm, where creativity and passion intertwine to form an extraordinary tapestry. Virtual aviation unites professionals and amateurs alike, each adding their own unique touch to the vast and ever-expanding universe of simulated flight.
At the heart of this fascinating community are the tireless developers, both from established companies and talented individuals, who meticulously craft aircraft and other add-ons to elevate the experience for all simmers. These professionals pour their expertise and unwavering dedication into every aspect of their creations, ensuring that virtual pilots can immerse themselves in the most authentic and captivating airborne adventures.
Yet, this vibrant world is not solely defined by industry veterans. It also thrives on the contributions of passionate enthusiasts, often with little to no prior experience in developing aircraft add-ons. Driven by their love for flight and a desire to share their visions, these individuals embark on a creative journey, overcoming steep learning curves and countless challenges. We have introduced you to the projects of many of these developers, whose personal motivations often result in a compelling airplane that thousands of simmers can enjoy in MSFS.
One such developer is Nicholas Raupp (AKA B4Gunner) at Hangar Studios 713, who quickly learned the basics of the craft and managed to create a rather decent rendition of the Camair 480 Twin Navion for Microsoft Flight Simulator. It’s an inspiring story of a newcomer taking on the challenge of aircraft development and exemplifies the dedication and enthusiasm that keeps the flight simulation community thriving.
Over the last few days, we had the chance to try B4Gunner’s Camair 480 Twin Navion and will now bring you a review of our experience. In this review, based on a flight around the absolutely gorgeous Bora Bora scenery in MSFS, we’ll delve into the details of the aircraft’s design, performance, and overall quality, showcasing the work that can be achieved when passion meets determination, even in the face of limited experience.
This project has been a true labor of love. With two freeware aircraft, scenery, and liveries for other developer’s planes under his belt, B4Gunner has spent just over two months crafting this aircraft for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The result it’s a unique and quirky little airplane that, despite some shortcomings, is a fun and satisfying product and a promising start from this developer.
The Camair 480 is sort of an ugly duckling in the world of twin-engined aircraft. Looks are subjective, of course, but to me it looks a bit funny at the front, almost like a toy airplane. However, as you look around the aircraft, particularly from the back, it actually displays an elegant form.
The Hangar Studios 713 Camair 480 Twin Navion managed to capture the essence of the aircraft’s shape quite well, although the nose definitely looks more squared off than in real-world pictures. This virtual rendition looks decent, particularly from a distance. However, as you get closer, the exterior visuals start to show some weaknesses, with textures lacking the crispness and detail seen in other aircraft addons.
Inside the cockpit, the visuals are generally decent, but could definitely use some improved textures in the most visible areas. While the gauges are clear and easy to read, some panel textures are not up to the high standard set by the most talented artists in the development community. A section in particular, on the left side of the canopy, right in the pilot’s view, is particularly distracting. Thankfully, the Camair 480 manages to be engaging enough to make you forget about the average visuals. And remember, this developer is just starting out and did all of this in just 2 months!
Options and Customization
B4Gunner clearly put a lot of work into this project, which is exemplified across the whole package. The graphics may not be setting any standard, but the Camair 480 Twin Navion offers some nice customization options, such as the ability to open cargo doors, set static elements, and swap out avionics. These features add an extra layer of immersion and make the aircraft feel more personal and interactive.
In the cockpit, simmers will appreciate the compatibility with the popular GTN 750 units from TDS and PMS50, which provide a brilliant navigation solution for the Camair in easy, hot-swappable options.
Systems and Simulation
In terms of system simulation, the Camair 480 Twin Navion fares quite well. Everything seems to be in working order, including the circuit breakers, which is something many “professional” developers skip. The developer made sure that there were no inoperable switches and that users could use all of the aircraft’s functions.
The sound design on the Camair 480 Twin Navion is appropriate. The sounds seem to be derived from a stock Asobo airplane, but they are good and don’t detract from the rest of the experience.
Flight Dynamics and Performance
During my time flying the Camair 480 Twin Navion, I found the flight dynamics to be enjoyable and appropriate for an aircraft of this kind. The aircraft responds well to control inputs and feels stable throughout various phases of flight. It’s very stable, easy to maneuver, and displays some uniqueness in its take off and landing behaviour. It has a tendency to stick to the ground until rotation and then spring into the air in a somewhat unexpected manner, while landings can be a bit rough if you drop the power, as it will fall like a rock right into the tarmac!
Overall, in the air, the Camair 480 is quite fun for touring and is an enjoyable ride.
Documentation and Support
The developer has made numerous improvements to the overall experience since the Camair was released. Updates are regular, quickly fixing bugs as they are reported by users. The developer is clearly invested in this project, which is always great to see! Besides, there’s a good user manual that provides enough information about the aircraft and how to operate it properly.
Considering that the Camair 480 Twin Navion is B4Gunner’s first addon and was developed in just two months, the result is commendable. The visuals could be improved, but the overall experience is enjoyable. The aircraft’s systems and flight dynamics are well-simulated, and the customization options add a layer of personalization.
While there is room for improvement, the Camair 480 Twin Navion is a good effort from a solo developer, and I look forward to seeing how B4Gunner’s future projects evolve. For those interested in flying a unique aircraft with a fascinating history, the Camair 480 Twin Navion is worth a try, especially if you’d also like to support a new developer whose passion for virtual aviation is simply inspiring!
- Well-simulated flight systems and controls
- Nice options for added immersion
- Impressive effort from a solo developer
- Average visuals, particularly in close-up views
- Distracting textures in the cockpit