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2 December 2011

Alabeo Pitt's S-2S for FSX

Ladies and Gentlemen Welcome aboard this Brand New Review for Alabeo.

As you may or may not know this is Alabeo's first release for FSX in a line up of 2 that they have planned for the very near future by the looks of things. Anyway enough about the future lets get onto what you all came here for!


Taking any accomplished pilot and say the words Pitt's aircraft - they are likely to give you a rough description of the airplane you are about to fly. Aerobatic bi-plane is pretty much a rounded description of the aircraft. Although behind the old looking exterior we are looking at a history of successful aerobatic airplanes. Pitt's Aircraft originally bough out the S-1 a single seater bi-plane that was rated and could fly very nice aerobatics. Few years and many variants later the S-2 was released into the portfolio of aircraft that they made - the update was a tandem cockpit layout making it easy for 2 pilots to take part in the ups and downs of aerobatic flying. This is when the S-2S was born!
     The S-2S is based on the S-2 however this one being built by Aerotek - had a single cockpit layout and a small fuselage by 14 inches making room for a better, much more powerful 260hp Lycoming AE10-540 engine to be installed.
     This went into production and was selected for the Royal Jordan Air Force Display Team.

Installation and Documents 

In the blue corner, weighing in at a light 53,302KB is the installer? Surely not?
    Yup and after a mere 3minutes download time I have got the first Alabeo aircraft in my hard-drive.
The installer runs very similar if not identical to the Carenado one which is no surprise because they are in business together after all. Which makes it nice a simple and quick to use from the word go!
    After 5 menus later and a matter of seconds she is there in my virtual hanger waiting for a rough ride ahead.

On the document's side of things I am rather disappointed that I have to go all the way to my FSX root folder, find the Alabeo Pitt's open that folder then open the documents. It is a shame that they couldn't of made a file that was accessible from my 'All Program's' folder. Nevertheless I got there in the end. The documents from the outset look quick comprehensive - the one that caught my eye straight away was the Aerobatic Maneuvers. After opening this .pdf file I find 9 pages of documentation which is quite poor considering that this is after all a aerobatic aircraft. Anyway, looking through the 2 pages of introduction I get to the first aerobatic maneuver 'The Loop' which after reading I noticed that there where no specific entry speed's for the maneuver - however a quite detailed overview of what the loops entails. Which was nice.
The next one 'A Roll' this time a more detailed specification about what to do etc... Like Pitch nose up to around '20-30 degree's nose up'.
 Documentation wise it all went downhill from that point - It seemed that every maneuver that should have throttle position and entry speeds etc. Didn't mention the fact that they did. Maybe an update is necessarily to get these up to scratch because unless you are actually a Pitt's S-2S pilot you don't have a clue!

Livery's and Variant's 

Okay, looking around my aircraft file I find 2 textures and a blank texture for home repaints if you fancy a challenge of your own. We also have the opportunity to download 3 extra textures from the Alabeo website which is a 11.5MB file which literally takes a minute to download and install which is not a problem - a potential for integration into the base package download, but nothing to worry about. Below are all the livery's that you can get for this aircraft:

Ford Livery

Red Private

Bretling Livery

Gabriel Livery
Unfortunately there should be a blue with yellow stripes livery however when loading this the Ford Livery appears again.

Virtual Cockpit

Jumping into this airplane at any airport you are faced with a very very basic cockpit layout. For this sake I have divided the cockpit into 2 sections one to be right of the pipe and one to the left. So left of the piper - it seems like we have all our main flying instruments . The altimeter, airspeed indicator, g-counter and compass. Wheres the Attitude indicator?!? - Look out your shoulder to the left and you will find a spiral on the wing this is the pilots referenced before entering any type of maneuver (I'll explain this later). On the right side of pipe, we have all the engine controls the engine display, RPM-tachometer and the oil gauge. All seems well and good with the engine shut down. Although just clicking through the cockpit I found that hovering over the cockpit instruments and lever's doesn't appear to show what they are called, so for people like myself that have never flew a Pitt's in there life it is very difficult to tell what things are just by eye especially when zooming in and the text gets blurred!
    Moving down the main display we find that the radio stack it bolted to the floor with a transponder. I'm not sure weather in real life the cockpit has an integrated radio stack in the instruments because it seems a pain in the simulator to look down, flying such a twitchy airplane to change radio.
    Starting the engine is a breeze with a key a few cranks she starts up and ticks over at idle, all the corresponding flight instruments seem to make realistic adjustments! Although you will find that I think Alabeo have tried to integrate some sort of shaking when the engine is started however this seems to be a bit over the top making it seem more like a unrealistic propeller over speed rather than engine vibrations.

    Want to open the canopy to wave to the spectators? Doing so is easy just clicking the canopy will open her up but you will notice with the propeller on you don't get any wind noise from blowing wind over the fuselage. The last 2 aircraft that I have flew the Aerosoft Diamond DA-20 and the Piper J3 both have this integrated however nothing to report on this aircraft.

Exterior Model

So far this model hasn't been the best in the world I'm not going to lie. However this exterior model is where this model really starts to shine. If you excuse the pun. It is simply amazing if you are looking for a good exterior model you have found one here - the Carneado and Alabeo skills have obviously been spent on the exterior of this model trying to make it better than the rest.
   The textures are of good quality across the board with not one of them being at all pixleated at close zoom, this as well as the realistic shine that this aircraft seems to have on it really makes this one of the best exterior models that I have seen in a long time - If i was to compare it to anything it would have to the be the Carenado T210 with the shine integrated.
     All the animations of the elevator, ailerons and rudder are all bug free and smooth.With the propeller animation that actually works in conjunction with the speed of the engine. Comparing this to the real aircraft design it is very similar almost like for like. Maybe too much time was spent on the outside of the plane instead of the rest of the aircraft?

Flight Characteristics

Here we go, the most single most important part of this air frame how does it compare to the real Pitt's that I've seen on YouTube. In fact very well within the limits of FSX. The roll and pitch rates seem rather responsive and the engine and speeds are all very well modeled.
     In order to allow you readers to get a good understanding of the aircraft I did all the maneuver's listed in the Maneuver's pdf.

Starting with the first on the list. The loop, the aim of the loop is to enter at say 2000ft and then exit the loop at around 2000ft. Easy you say? Not at all. Getting the amount of back pressure correct and the amount of rudder needed to stay straight in the loop is paramount to the success and precision of the loop. Below is a video of the Alabeo Pitt's Loop. Which are to be followed by a aerobatics course for all you viewers to enjoy!

Overall I would rate this plane 8/10.

The idea of making aerobatic airplanes for FSX is a great idea and will be hugely popular throughout the community! However there are still a few bugs that need ironing out of this model once they have managed to do this we are in for a treat!
Stay tuned for the aerobatics course that I'll be uploading onto YouTube very soon!


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