No Money Monday: North American T-6G Texan by Khamsin Studios

November 16, 2021

For this week's No Money Monday, we are diving into the world of military aircraft and looking at the T-6G Texan fighter aircraft by Khamsin Studios. The World War 2 fighter aircraft helped assist American and Allied Pilots in training and combat throughout the war, and is still a major training workhorse today.

The T-6G Texan is the 7th generation aircraft of the T-6 aircraft series. Manufactured by North American Aviation, this warbird was specifically manufactured in hopes to push back the German Luftwaffe and train Allied Pilots in World War 2. Today, the T-6G Texan is still being used as a trainer aircraft, along with public air show demonstrations and static displays. The T-6G aircraft is the successor to the more well-known AT-6. 

Khamsin is a major fixture on old warbirds and military airfields in X-Plane, when you think of Khamsin, you think of exquisite digital craftsmanship in the old warbirds space. Their work is renowned for their well rounded representation of the real world counterparts, and this freeware today, though seemingly technologically dated X-Plane development-wise, remains without an exception. The model developed by Khamsin studios has been a long-time favorite freeware aircraft of the X-Plane 11 community, amassing over 41,000 downloads on the .Org forums. Featuring modeling above the usual freeware standards, this aircraft is a fun and exciting historic warbird to fly around in sim and sets the bar high for what freeware aircraft developers can do when time and effort are put into a project. An exquisite modeled exterior with a shiny chrome Allied symbolized livery. The exterior modeling is what you might expect from a payware developer, the modeling is by far above some other freeware products.

Khamsin has not included a complete feature list for this aircraft and has not been updated since early 2020. However, giving an eyeshot look at the internal and external modeling, the level of quality is very similar to Aerobask's freeware, such as the DR401, and in some aspects even surpassing those works. A customizable detailed 3D cockpit sits as the main centerpiece, a step above most other freeware offerings, not events featuring a 3D flight deck. However, the developer elected to adopt the panels and gauges in 2D (though it’s done very well), this is possible in part of the developer’s aggressive approach to model optimization, which the download page advertises that the plane is “optimized for low-end computers”, with a grand total of only 75 thousand vertices and a single texture map for external visuals. The texturing is consistent, signage and buttons are clear and legible. Expanding the customization direction, Khamsin has also included a customizable .acf file for users to customize modeling and share their modifications on the .Org Forums. Overall, it is an excellent addition to your X-Plane 11 hangar for its versatile flying and detailed modeling. It is an enjoyable way to simulate your favorite WW2 aerial battle. Not only that, but it is highly customizable for users to customize how they like it.

“The roar of that engine is the biggest thrill in the world, as you power down the runway, coming off the ground, going through all these monkey motions to get the gear up,”

-Martha Lunken 

Various pilot accounts such as the above have characterized that the plane is very versatile in its maneuvers enacts very quickly to changes in the flight controls and dynamics of the elevator, aileron, and rudder. After taking Khamsin’s digital counterpart for a spin and practicing basic maneuvers, it’s safe to say that the developer replicates this rather well, but at times not always accurately. After doing some aerobatic maneuvers and stall recoveries, the plane also handles both types of maneuvers very well, with being able to recover from a basic stall test quite easily. The developer did an amazing job at replicating the aerobatics of the aircraft matching real-world pilot accounts. Conversely, the sounds of the aircraft itself sound nothing compared to the real-world counterpart and have sounds more of default X-Plane 11 propped aircraft sounds - this is despite the developer advertising “New external sound” as part of their update on the 14th of April 2020.

Despite its quirks and fallbacks, the aircraft is a genuinely solid warbird and an attractive trainer for your armchair flight simming. With a well-built visual model that is graciously developed to make this bird run accessible for users with low power systems and a joyful flight behavior that reignites the excitement of virtual flying - Khamsin made their mark and sets a standard for lightweight visual eye candy. You can find the aircraft on the .org forums, along with finding other contributions Khamsin studios has made to the flight sim community at his forum page or on his website.

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