Cowan Simulation Updates MD 500E for X-Plane

April 11, 2021

The first major update to hit CowanSim’s latest helicopter project, the MD500E has now released and takes the helicopter up to Version 1.10.

The new update to the light utility helicopter comes with a lengthy changelog with new options such as visible pilots and passengers, a cargo pod and a skid mirror.

CowanSim is a new developer in the X-plane scene but has already established itself as a respected one in the helicopter community. The developer’s first project for X-Plane was the Bell 222B, followed by the Bell 222UT, the skids version of the helicopter model.

The MD 500 was originally developed off of the Hugues 500 and is now used all over the world in both civilian and military applications. The helicopter is still in production to this day since its introduction in the 1960s. The version of the aircraft modelled by CowanSim is the executive version, although many other variants have been introduced, such as those with floats.

Below is a summary of the main items in the changelog:

Some more additions:

  • Added the missing keys. The starter will not work unless on.
  • Added click spots to remove EITHER fire extinguisher.
  • Added a hot start notification pop up and reset click spot. Let the engine wind back down before clicking reset.
  • Added several FMOD sounds and remixed/replaced a lot. Still a work in progress. We could spend months on sounds alone. Listen for the hot engine cooling after shutdown.
  • Added/changed/updated textures and normals.

Added more Options:

  • Pilots and passengers
  • Cargo pod
  • Skid mirror
  • Remove duel controls
  • Standard Panel
  • Wire cutters
  • Utility floats
  • All options are added to the persistence script so they will be saved between your sim time.

Fixed Cyclic in VR

The manipulator settings inside of the “500E_vrconfig” file in the main directory needed a change to work properly. This only affected users who did not use a physical joystick or cyclic, but using only the VR controller to grab the virtual cyclic to fly.

Fixed ADF receiver

The ADF power was configured improperly and would not come on with the battery toggle.

Fixed throttle animation

This was just a visual flaw. If you were using a physical hardware device to control the twist throttle then when moving through max rotation the animation would flicker.

Fixed Strobe Light

Initially, this was thought to be a draw order issue but it turns out the strobe was not connected to the beacon light toggle.

  • Fixed Anti Collision and Position lights that were backwards.
  • Fixed COMM & NAV 1 frequencies.
  • Fixed fuel flow issue on startup.
  • Adjusted fuel consumption.
  • Fixed several instrument/device lighting issues.
  • Fixed the save button in the VR config menu.
  • Corrected typos in textures.
  • Switched fuel cut off valve to be closed (IN) by default.
  • Adjusted fuel cut off on the throttle.
  • Adjusted rotor brake strength.
  • Adjusted horsepower.
  • Adjusted skid flex animations.
  • Coded custom ammeter behaviour.
  • Adjusted oil pressure.
  • Oil temperature coded to be at ambient temperature until above.
  • TOT temperature coded to be at ambient temperature until above.
  • Added code for smooth gauge needle animations when battery switch cut off.
  • The re-ignition light works when testing now.
  • Center window framing, windows, trim all narrowed. It was too wide.
  • Made grab handles thicker.
  • Several flight model changes. The Floats have drag when active and 0 drag when not active.

To check out the full changelog, head over to the CowanSim news page on their website.

Thanks to Highbrow in the Threshold Discord Server for tipping us off to the news.

The CowanSim MD 500E is available to purchase on the CowanSim web store for $24.95.

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