INTRODUCTIONNew from the design studios of Lionheart Creations Ltd. is the sleek turbo prop powered F124 Endeavor concept aircraft. This is a 10 passenger plane of moderate proportions that cruises at 180 knots and features a new innovative rear retracting tail wheel that raises up the fuselage to level for maximum visibility during taxiing and when camping in the luxuriously appointed cabin.
This aircraft is designed originally as a travel plane, and RV aero camper, featuring craftsmanship within its cabin like that of a small yacht. Styled after such classics as the Fairchild 24R, the Fokker FII mini-liner, and the Pilatus Porter and utilizing the construction materials of their times such as Dacron fabrics as well as some compostites and sound dampening materials, the F124 is designed to be inexpensively built as well as resulting in a very lightweight yet durable luxury aircraft.
In testing the F124 before release, it seemed that such an aircraft would actually make a very nice mini-liner for small airlines in such locations as the Bahama's, Alaska, etc. It was decided to make an amphibian version of the F124 with a new generation set of pontoons as well. The pontoons sport a design based of an earlier military concept for a pontoon ship where the pontoons are actually styled with a narrow beam but deep draft to enable the plane to be able to handle slightly rough water with great ease and minimal 'reaction' to waves. The pontoons sport the standard style landing gear that retracts from within. The front gears feature a 'direct down' retraction configuration where the rear mains are designed to carry the bulk of the weight and are capable of taking on rough terrain such as what one might find typically in Alaska.
The F124 model features a colorful interior, sporting a modern carpet, leather furniture, mahogany paneling trimmed in polished lite weight aluminum. The inner compartment doors open separately from the primary door with the Shift/E/2 command. During flight, one can walk about the interior with Active Camera, acting as a passenger, roaming about the plane while taking in the picturesque views out the windows. Even the small galley is accessible and sports a nice set of porthole like classic windows.
The cockpit of the 124 features a custom panel as well as a Virtual Cockpit with fully functioning instrumentation. This particular aircraft has a very good visibility designed into the bitmap artwork, unlike in the past, where William Ortis always had a moderately sized panel that just didn't seem to fit the screen well and usually required being pulled down with the mouse cursor to avail better visibility. So don't worry about having to drag down this panel. The panel features full stock instrumentation as well as dual functionality in both FS2002 as well as FS2004.
You will find the Endeavor to handle quite well, even gentle and almost neutral in her handling. With the hum of the turbine, small virtual trips are nice and relaxing, joined with occasional virtual walks to the rear galley for more coffee, taking in the view out the portal window, (while in auto pilot of course).
The retracting tail gear, designed to lift the fuselage level with the tarmac runs via the 'wing fold command'. Such an innovation would require that it be lowered when beginning to roll on a take-off so that the tail may lower allowing the angle of the wings to catch lift. Just as well, you must lower the tail when you are finished taxiing to allow the passengers to disembark. A retractable set of steps could be worked into such a design, so that when making camp in a mountain park in your Endeavor, you could leave your 'aero yacht' leveled so that walking about inside is more easy.
Lastly, the F124 Endeavor features 5 different color scheme variations, from yellow to black to an Emron metallic blue, each featuring striped schemes and now featuring non-fuzzy graphics as well as dynamic shine and reflection.
The Endeavor is a nice flying plane and sports being a fresh new concept with classy refinement as well. I had great fun creating this lady and I believe it would make a nice addition to your collection of flight sim aircraft.
Kind regards, blue skies, and Gods blessings,
Lionheart Creations Ltd.