Today we’re very excited to announce our next aircraft release for XP11: The Grob G109b Motor Glider.
The Grob G 109b is a 2 seat, self-launching motor glider, originating in Germany from the minds of Grob Aircraft AG. The aircraft is used primarily for civilian flight, however it was also used by the RAF to train cadets for basic flying from 1991-2018. The Grob G109b is also famously the aircraft of choice used by the Aerosparx aerobatics team; famed for their incredible blend of aerobatics, pyrotechnics and light displays.
We are pleased to announce that for this project we are working in collaboration with a real-world G109b Pilot. He was an invaluable member of our Spitfire Beta Testing team and we are pleased to say that he will be acting as our SME (Subject Matter Expert) for this project; providing guidance, technical advice, FM feedback and advice regarding ownership & maintenance duties.
Our SME has provided invaluable amounts of information & reference for us to work with, and has generously used his own money to have the aircraft professionally recorded by an audio engineer so that we can create an ultra-realistic soundscape for the aircraft.
The G109B aircraft is a low-wing cantilever motor glider, with a T-tail, folding (and detachable) wings, and side-by-side seating with dual controls. It is mainly constructed from glass-reinforced plastic and has a taildragger undercarriage arrangement. Entry and exit from the cockpit is via two perspex doors which open upwards individually – a modification from the original one-piece G109A canopy. The cockpit can be heated, providing that the engine is running, and the seat backs can be adjusted and cushions of differing thickness inserted to accommodate a range of body sizes.
Total weight is around 1,870 pounds (850 kg) with a maximum load of 506 pounds (230 kg) though this depends on mod state and history of the airframe and is rarely above 200 kg on most examples. Cruising speed is in the region of 60–100 knots (110–190 km/h) on the 95 horsepower (71 kW) engine, which can give the aircraft a top speed of 130 knots (240 km/h). The engine, the Grob 2500 E1, (based on a Porsche air-cooled car unit) can be shut down in flight with its propeller blades feathered. The aircraft then becomes a pure glider, with a best glide ratio of around 1:28. The Porsche-derived horizontally opposed air-cooled engine had the cylinder bore increase by Grob to make the engine 2.5-litre capacity and has had its Time Before Overhaul (TBO) increased by a technote to 1,600 hours after many examples run on condition reached up to or in excess of 4,000 hours in service.
Under the current CAA LASORS document, the G109B can be classed as either a touring motor glider (TMG), or a self-launching motor glider (SLMG).
–From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grob_G_109
- Ultra-realistic Artwork & Texturing
- Multiple Liveries, including an Aerosparx Livery
- FMOD Soundscape – Professionally recordings from a real G109b, everything included from the engine to the smallest switches & levers.
- Highly realistic & accurate Flight Model – tuned & tested by real G109b Pilots
- Full systems simulations – Powered by Xlua & SASL
- Code-driven Engine & Prop Simulation for enhanced accuracy & realism
- Full simulation of the Icom IC-A2910e Radio Unit
- Pilot 3D Ipad/Tablet Integration (Also including optional Avitab Integration) – The Tablet allows pilots to access various functions & features, such as Weight/Balance, Fuel loading, PAX & Baggage Loading, CG, Maintenance options & various other features.
- Checklists Integration
Additional Feature Goals
Below is a list of extra features & development goals that we are currently also working towards that we hope will really make owning our G109b simulation a true ownership experience. These are the features we are aiming to have included in the initial release, however are subject to change. We will be providing regular updates and more information about these features as we develop them.
- Aircraft Ownership & State-saving Features – every switch will be in the same place after you leave X-plane & come back for your next flight. This factors in many system/aircraft states, such as oil levels, battery drain, spark plug maintenance, fuel levels & contamination etc.
- Failures & Damage simulation – Systems will degrade over time and eventually fail, adding importance & meaning to the way you perform your aircraft maintenance. This also includes aircraft damage & flying-induced damage when exceeding operational limits.
- Aircraft Maintenance Procedures & Requirements – We are planning to have a vast array of maintenance functions available; accessible via either menu operation (on the tablet) OR by actually going outside the aircraft, opening up the engine bay and clicking to access the various engine parts & assess their status.
- Particle FX & Pyrotechnic FX to recreate AeroSparx incredible displays
- FlyJSims SharedFlight Integration for true Pilot/Copilot Flight Experiences
- Detailed & Interactive Engine Bay, which can be exposed during maintenance
We will be providing regular development & status updates as we power through towards release.
As you can see, the Aircraft is still very much a Work-in-Progress. Development however is speeding along at a rate we are very happy with, and we are expecting to release roughly between late September – October.