Aviodev C-101 for DCS World - Review

Aviodev CASA C-101 



Aviodev, a Spanish company, released the CASA C-101 in January, 2015.
Following the recurring theme in DCS modules, it was released in early access. The promised features were a C-101EB and C-101CC with AFM (advanced flight model).

As of today, the C-101 is only available at the DCS Store, but will also be on Steam when the C-101CC and AFM is ready.

The real aircraft

The C-101EB is an advanced trainer designed by CASA based on a request made by the Spanish Air Force to have an aircraft capable of replacing the HA-200 Saeta.
The Aviojet did its first flight on June of 1977, and it entered service three years later. Over 80 units were built for the SpAF, of which 8 went to the Patrulla Aguila (SpAF aerobatic team). 
C-101's have Garrett TFE731 engines, which provide 15,8 kN of thrust. 
It's a very maneuvarable aircraft, able to fly inverted for over half a minute and land at low speeds. It includes "simple" avionics systems, only the necessary ones to train new pilots.

What do you get when buying Aviodev's C-101?

Currently you get the C-101EB with SFM (simple flight model), as well as a few extras. You can easily create some more with DCS's excellent mission editor or search for them online.


A handful of missions


Instant action 
One thing that slightly bothers me is the fact that you only get one training mission, but after reaching Aviodev for comment I got told they'll add more as soon as the AFM is implemented.


The only training mission included
The documents folder holds the flight manual (in Spanish, English and Chinese) and a readme.

Example page from the flight manual
Excerpt from the C-101CC manual

The C-101EB manual consists of 118 pages, and the -CC's one has some more pages. Both of them are thoroughly illustrated with high resolution images.

Installation

As all DCS modules, the Aviojet is installed via the in-game module manager, and with just a few clicks you get the job done.
The download size sits around 600MB.

So, how does it fly?

As mentioned before, the Aviojet uses SFM. This kind of flight model is more arcade-ish than anything else, and this is quite noticeable coming from aircraft like the A-10C or L-39. 
This mostly shows while on the ground, where the airplane behaves like it's on rails.

Keep in mind that this is an early access, and that Aviodev is working hard to get the advanced flight model ready as soon as possible.

The cockpit

In my opinion the most important part of a module. As expected, you get an interactive cockpit. 
The startup procedure involves quite a few steps, but is explained on the only training mission included with the aircraft. Most beginners will surely grasp this procedure quickly.

The C-101 is a two-seater, and Aviodev modelled both the front and rear panels in a beautiful fashion.

Front seat
Rear seat
Every switch on the C-101 is clickable, and I mean it. Even the circuit breakers are! The TARSYN gyro system was recreated in exact detail, the flight director system was also replicated in a realistic way, as was the navigation system.
Also, the compass shows deviation after some time, something I haven't seen on other modules.

On another note, the guys from Aviodev were also kind enough to send me some C-101CC cockpit screenshots, take a look below and you'll know what to look forward to!


Front panel of the C-101CC


Notice the attention to detail on every corner of the cockpit!
You can see that the C-101CC is a lot different than the -EB, with the biggest difference being the presence of a HUD. 

Another important feature of this module is multicrew. As of today, although the option is there, it's not working. If you select the rear seat your simulator will crash. Keep in mind that this happens only in multiplayer.
This is another feature that will be added as soon as the advanced flight model is ready.

The external model

This is one of the strong points of the Aviojet. The external model looks fantastic!



Aviodev included some features like a custom ground power unit, stairs and chocks. They also added some small details like the pilots helmet outside the cockpit during a cold start-up. 


The pilots helmet and the stairs

Small details that make everything look more real

Another nice feature is the dynamic tail/nose number system. In short, if you spawn two C-101's they will have different titles, something that adds even more realism.

Take a look below:


Notice the armament it's carrying
The C-101CC's external model is already complete, and it looks stunning.

Regarding liveries, the Aviojet ships with various Spanish Air Force liveries and a fictional USAF trainer one. The -CC variant has Chilean, Jordanian, Spanish and Honduran textures.

Combat use

The C-101CC is comparable to the Hawk in combat.
It can carry a DEFA cannon, two AIM-9, rocket pods, bombs, cluster bombs, and if I'm not mistaken, anti ship missiles. This last weapon is probably the most interesting of them all, specially for people who like to fly on multiplayer servers.

C-101CC in action
Conclusion

After flying the Aviojet for a week, I can say that the module has great potential.
As of today it's kind of unfinished, lacking some important announced features such as an AFM or multicrew, but all of this will be ready soon.

Yes, you can't use any weapon, but still, the C-101EB is still a nice, fun trainer aircraft that can be used for aerobatics, and I recommend it to any DCS enthusiast that hasn't bought it yet.

*Special thanks to Aviodev for providing me with a copy of the C-101 for review.

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