Tuesday, 1 December 2020

P&W Wasp Radials: Blood, Sweat, and Tears of Joy!

Introducing the Thranda de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver.




This is to be a truly unique review.

It won't carry excessive descriptive words detailing textures and hi-fidelity objects, there will be no bulleted points revealing specifications, nor any of the usual nitty-gritty descriptions.

If reading about the fully configurable VC panel, the Wasp ignition cycle panel, or the comprehensive configuration options which include bubble windows, ski options, or cargo pod is what you want, then go read Stephen Dutton's exceptionally detailed review of this fine machine here for I can say no more than he has already said.

Instead, I will focus on superlatives as these will do the sort of justice that I wish to bring to the party for something that has been crafted by absolute masters of virtual engineering, Thranda.


For those of you who are familiar with the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver, then you will no doubt already be acquainted with the rousing sensations of the Pratt & Whitney R985 Wasp Junior rated at 450 hp. If not, then install XPRealistic, and go try again.

You'll also not need to be reminded that operating this aeroplane in the flesh will inevitably lead to grubby hands dripping with oil and grease, but what you don't know is that flying the Thranda DHC-2 Beaver under X-Plane 11 will lead to equally oily and sweaty palms because to fly this is to live this.


You will see, feel, and smell the oil and worn leather, and with it the many hides taken from beasts burdened long ago by our hard working Beaver. Nested in the background there'll be that unmistakable fishy odour from long since devoured Alaskan salmon ferried unnaturally aloft from river to plate by our DHC-2.


Reagrding Stephen's review of the magnificent Thranda DHC-2 Beaver, I would go on to say that in fact it may well be the aircraft of the decade, and I'd even surpass that by suggesting that it may be the best of the best of the best in the history of flight simulation. I say this with the utmost of respect to all developers, yet they would, I am sure, all tip their caps in recognising it to be an outstanding product of the finest calibre, one deserving of every imaginable accolade.

And yet, how can this possibly be gauged?

The answer is simple - you'd need to be there. It's a bit like seat of the pants flying and following your nose home. Once seated in the Thranda DHC-2 Beaver, only then will you realise how and why this machine is the definition of virtual flightsim nirvana.


It's impossible to recall flying anything that felt and sounded so real, and in conjunction with XPRealistic, it all becomes unimaginably immersive too. Once the VR helmet is donned, then you'll be magically transported to Beaver territory, Alaska, until you take it off.

Make no mistake, this contribution from Thranda is of special significance simply because it raises the bar to previously unimaginable levels. Just take a look at the landing gear leg, with the immaculate detailing of the disc brake, the hoses, the rivets, the steps, and so on. In my eyes this aeroplane is unequivocally the single most seminal virtual fabrication that ever there was.

Thranda have used their own Wasp radial to shred the rule book, it is no more.


This is an exceptional virtual machine that has been reproduced and rendered atom-by-atom and molecule-by-molecule as per the real McCoy, and is as if Thranda has taken a real DHC-2 Beaver and found a way, as per a science fiction B-movie, to materialise it inside our very heads.

Today the cost is $35, and soon it will be $40. At some point an expansion pack will add a few more dollars to the bill, and yet as with any single thing of true beauty, it is already priceless.

Astonishing, astounding, an astronomical achievement bar none, and should you think that I have lost my marbles, then yes, perhaps I have, but then I am not the cause of it.


Shake, rattle, and roll; that engine is either vibrating or it is out of focus.
You decide which.


Some images have been taken from the X-Plane.org Store Thranda DHC-2 sales page (here).

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