Aerosoft's DHC-6 Twin Otter Extended

The de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter is a twin engine turboprop STOL plane - short takeoff & landing. Believe me, if you've never seen a "Twotter" land or take off, you've not really seen what STOL is about. And Aerosoft created a virtual representation of it, so I definitely needed to check it out.

My first thought: It's engines tend to catch on fire quickly if you're not careful...

I've always done a lot of bush flying, though during my most active time I spent most of it in the F/A-18E, which is just as capable of STOL if handled correctly. At least within the simulation, where your landing gear doesn't break... Please don't try this at home. Anyway, it was about time for me to switch it up, and since the Cessna 182 didn't quite cut it power wise I wanted something new, something quicker, sturdier, more powerful: The Twin Otter. It seemed perfect for the job.

The two turbo powered props allow it to take off at very steep angles, climbing up mountains in no time. It's capable of slow flight just as well as pushing 160kn without sweating and feels right at home in every environment, whether you're heading from one city to another under a blue sky or straight into a heavy snowstorm in the Alaskan wilderness. No airstrip is too short for this plane: If the brakes aren't enough, just engage reverse thrust. You'll come to a halt almost immediately.

The engines have a big power lag that takes some getting used to, but provides a fun challenge to master. Unlike the C182 or F-18 there is a noticeable delay between moving the lever and actually getting the requested power, so you have to think ahead when flying. What makes it more forgiving is the power behind it, because once these engines produce power, they really produce some damn power! But always keep an eye on the gauges, as you also should do anyway, because pushing the engines to 100% and leaving them there will make sure you remember not to do that too often in the future. Once the alarms went off and you pulled the illuminated lever with the words "FIRE PULL" on it after feathering the prop you'll know why I'm saying this. Luckily the instructions for fires are printed right on the dash... But even on only one engine this bulky plane still packs a surprisingly big punch and I've finished a few flights that way. Don't worry, I'm more careful these days.

This is exactly what I enjoy about this plane: it makes me work during the flight, and when I do it right it rewards me with great handling and lots of fun. If I don't, well, it's still fun! Planes like the Cessna 182 and F-18 are either easy and forgiving to fly or warn you before anything bad happens - all you get in the Twin Otter is a stall horn and fire alarm. The rest needs to be handled correctly and requires at least a little skill to get right. And you should remember to de-ice your windshield, just saying.

Not only does the plane handle great but it also looks and sounds great! Aerosoft has done a very nice job here as the cockpit is very detailed. Both the inside and outside of the plane are beautifully modeled and textured, but don't bog my framerate down as much as some other addons would.

Additionally, Aerosoft created some 2D gauges to help you work with the plane: The menu has the form of a checklist which - you guessed it - contains full checklists for operating the airplane. You can additionally set whether the plane should be cold and dark or powered up upon loading it, as well as instantly switch between the these states. Also opened per default is a quick access menu in the bottom left, which allows you to switch views instantly if you need it. Both are neat tools, the latter being especially useful for people without TrackIR and/or EZDok. However, I end up manually closing it all the time.

TL;DR: This plane is a very fun plane if you're able to look beyond the engine lag. And you'll get used to it, I promise! Worth it's price.

9/10 would set engine on fire again. - Mazzn

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