Lionheart Creations has just finished a long-haul update for their Bucker BU-131 Jungmann biplane. Already a favorite among flight simulation pilots, the Bucker Jungmann got some serious love and attention in this latest update to make it even better and more authentic. The Jungmann is a classic German/Swiss classic from the golden age of aviation in Europe in 1930.
In the 1930s, most of Europe wanted this airplane to train their pilots, so Karl Bucker licensed it to many European countries, producing it in mass. Containing a back seat for the pilot with full controls and a front seat for the student with limited controls, this was the military training airplane of choice.
Lionheart Creations felt the need to produce this major update to fix some minor inconsistencies and introduce more authenticity in the airplane. Some modifications include:
- Build 1.3 and 1.4 tweaks & updates Moderate Flight Model and Handling Improvement
- New Engine Sound Improvements and updates, now featuring a louder cockpit environment
- New Wind Sounds update for realism to the open cockpit environment; now featuring loud, realistic wind whistle through the wings struts and wires
- Added Speed Tapes (markers/bugs) to ASI KPH Instrument to show Cruise and Max speeds in Yellow (Max) and Green (Cruise); 170 KPH and 212 KPH
- Asobo ‘aged’ style windshield plexi now featured, and improved decal graphics
- New instrument panel textures such as machine-turned polished metal and ‘crinkle black’ panels.
- Some additions of ‘grunge’ were carried out for realism in the paint schemes
Many of the paint schemes have been “retouched” (remastered) and given tidbits and layers of “grunge” as they describe it. This gives the sim planes that lived-in” look and some wear-and-tear. Some changes are subtle, such as weathering on the outside or instrument “grunge” on the inside. The overall experience is more authentic, even if we don’t realize why.
Some of the features in this new, refined version of the Bucker BU-131 are:
- High-performance 3D instrumentation resulting in better frame rates.
- Basic Autopilot system with ALT and HDG
- The ability to switch between German and English panel labels.
- 15 paint schemes in 4K resolution complete with crinkle and aluminum swirls
- Brilliantly detailed linkages and rigging lines
- Highly detailed engine model (Hirth 504 A-2 105-HP)
- Asobo prop-blade technology and famous Asobo rain-effects
- New sound pack of a 4-cylinder classic engine of the Hirth 504
The full list of their updates, fixes and new features can be found in the manual that is provided with the product or available here.
In all, Lionheart has done a ton of work over many months to bring this classic airplane to a higher quality level, both in flight and in looks. The fourteen liveries look different from each other both inside and out. These are not just different paint colors on the outside. This also displays the need for the sim version creator to show how they have changed from the original plane. They represent “today’s” Bucker Bu-131s, not the exact original, as classic planes get modifications through many decades of ownership. This includes the three main categories: show planes, rough planes, and what appear to be training aircraft from the WWII era. As you fly this new version of the Bucker, you may experience the thrill that pilots of the actual plane do and realize how it got the label “The Stradivarius of antique light aircraft of the 1930s.”
The new flying manual that Lionheart provides has all the details we need to understand what is new, what is typical of this airplane, and how to fly it. They have even added a COM1 radio and a transponder so we can pass through airspaces in our modern-day world, as aviation enthusiasts would do to their real Buckers. You can visit Lionheart Creations’ website for more information on their other quality products, such as the Trinidad and the Quickie. Still, if this Bucker update is any indication of their quest for a higher standard of simulation airplanes, they are all going to be quality projects, too.