JustFlight’s BAE Hawk T1/A review

Today we’ll step on the new aircraft from Just Flight, the BAE Hawk T1, to make a comprehensive and realistic review and see if it has the same quality of the previous general aviation products.

 

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The BAE Hawk, very popular for being the RAF Red Arrows’ aircraft, is a British single-engine, jet-powered advanced trainer used both for training, acrobatic displays and also as a low-cost combat aircraft. There are a lot of different variants of this aircraft, that is still in production, the ones modelled by Just Flight are the T1 and T1/A variants (you can choice between them in the menu).

 

The aircraft is fully IFR capable and is also equipped with an HSI that makes it perfect for training also in IFR scenarios. Anyway, as well as the real one, it’s not fitted with an autopilot, so you will have to fly manually for the entire flight, and again this is just perfect for training and also air shows.

At this time, I didn’t test the aircraft alone, as it’s a very complex aircraft and very far from a general aviation one, so I joined up with a close friend of mine Alessandro, who helped me a lot during flight tests and review process due to its deep knowledge of military jet aircrafts like this one. So, anything you will read here has been concluded in collaboration with him.

Flight model

I have to say that my expectations from Just Flight were very high for this aircraft and that I was a little bit worried on the change from General Aviation products and a military jet-powered aircraft, but when I first tried the aircraft the fear has gone away, and expectations were meted.

The aircraft is not easy to be flown, even if it’s a trainer, but this is absolutely normal and realistic as flying aircrafts at high speeds without a real feedback on the command is of course tricky, but this is one of the reasons why I love this aircraft. Simple and easy things like arcade are not funny at all, you can’t expect to fly a F18 the same way you fly your Cessna or your Boeing in the simulator It’s normal and exiting to learn a new way of flying.

Me and Alessandro have tested a lot of manoeuvres like:

  • Looping
  • Tonneau
  • 60°/90° Steep turn
  • Stall
  • Spin
  • Low level flying
  • Inverted Flight
  • Etc

As well as normal operations flying, and everything went as expected even if it required some time to get used to the way this aircraft flies, but, as said, it’s normal. For example, the looping entry point was at 5000ft at 300kts and after the manoeuvre, at the exit point, I had 5000ft and 300kts meaning that the manoeuvre was correctly performed. A suggestion I would give you Is to watch some Red Arrows videos to see how they perform a certain manoeuvre and replicate it as closely as possible to what you’ve seen, it will give you the exact same results at the real world, it’s up to you to do the manoeuvre correctly, but if you do so the aircraft will behave extremely realistically.

So, for what we were able to see and as far as we can compare to the real world we can say that the flight model is very realistic, as much as the previous products of Just Flight.

The only problem we encountered was with the throttle that needs to be moved at normal speeds (not slamming or abruptly) due to the custom logic that the developers put in it to be more realistic. This synchronization issue is not a problem and will not limit your aircraft usage in x-plane, anyway the team is aware of the problem and is working for improving the integration of the virtual throttle with the hardware one.

Flight Model mark: 9.3/10.

Design

Aircraft 3d and textures part is gorgeous as the others Just Flight’s products.

Each small detail is reproduced without being too heavy on FPS and the cockpit itself gives you a very realistic touch, making you feel like the real aircraft (based on many real videos online).

Textures are also very clear and realistic, making easy to read labels on the cockpit.

(note the gear mehanism and  wheel wells details)

Canopy modelling and texturing is awesome, and the characteristic explosive cord is modelled making you love the shadow in the cockpit it creates. Again, it seems very similar to real experience.

If you loved the previous Just Flight products form this point of view you will not be disappointed by this new aircraft, I promise.

Design mark: 9.5/10

Systems

Flight equipment and systems of this aircraft is very simple and may seem primitive, but It’s exactly as the real aircraft is and as many military fighters are.

The Just Flight rendition is very realistic both from the graphical point of view and from the operative side. Hydraulics circuits are custom and well reproduced and also the RAT is fully functional. Each system operation is well detailed, for example the airbrake system is inhibited when gears are down.

Flight equipment like the HSI and IFR related one has been deeply tested and is working as expected allowing you to perform a complete IFR flight without any problem.

Reviewing and testing military grade system is not easy at all and we don’t want to tell you something that has not been proofed so I won’t talk too deeply about such systems, I can just say that, to me, it all seems very realistic and that the feeling returned is very good.

In this section I will also talk about the menu, that is different from the GA one, but that I personally like and find very quick and well thought. From there you can toggle a number of objects and animations, as well as change the aircraft from T1 to T1A and from display aircraft to combat equipped one.

System mark: 9/10

Sounds

In this section I won’t write too much, sound system on this aircraft is just perfect and the most realistic one for fighters in X-Plane 11. There’s not much more to add. If you search on the internet some real videos of the Hawk you will hear the exact same sound you hear in x-plane, it’s just unbelievable. Another astonishing fact is the air sound in the fuselage when you are flying with high G forces and the oxygen system and breathing getting louder at those attitudes. It’s the very first time I hear something like this in X-Plane and it left me really amazed.

Sounds mark: 10/10.

Documentation

The manual provided by Just Flight isn’t the real one, but it’s very complete and contains everything you will need for studying this aircraft, its systems and its behaviour.

One addition I loved Is the example flight in the manual where they explain step by step a realistic flight to learn the aircraft, much needed and appreciated.
Even if there’s no real manual, the one included is more that complete and very useful.

Documentation mark: 9.5/10

Conclusions

As I said I had some doubts on how realistic this aircraft was, but after trying it deeply I can state without fear that is one of the most interesting and realistic aircrafts I’ve tried.

Moreover, I’ve tried, in the past, almost every fighter jet in x-plane and I have to say that this is one of the most realistic and well done, if not the best at all at the moment. It can be considered a study level aircraft and will give you some very good timing flying it and learning it.

For all those reasons I highly recommend you add this aircraft to your personal fleet and you won’t regret. Even if my testing for the review is (unfortunately) over I won’t stop flying it and learning it deeply.

If you like this type of aircraft and think this is for you grab it now here.

The photos in the article and in the upper slideshow are featuring also the beautiful additional livery package that you can find here.

TOTAL MARK: 9.6/10

Special thanks to JustFlight and its press team for providing us this review copy, they were so nice and friendly with us. Thank you a lot guys, you’re awesome!As a side note I would like to ensure that even if we’re thankful to JustFlight for providing the copy, this review it’s not influenced by this, it’s the aircraft that is truly valuable, try yourself!

Specifications: the plane has been flown by the following machines: Francesco’s one (Intel i5 3.2 GHz, GTX750ti 2GB)

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