Extra EA-500

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Extra EA 400-500
Image requested
Type Civilian aircraft
Author(s) D-EKEW, D-LEON, D-STHO
--aircraft= extra500
Status Production
 FDM Stars-4.png
 Systems Stars-5.png
 Cockpit Stars-4.png
 Model Stars-4.png
The real Extra 500

The Extra500 is a six-seat single-engined turboprop aircraft produced by the Extra Aircraft company (based at EDLD).


Current stable release is 1.1.0 (22.06.2014):Download

For the stable release make sure you are on the release/1.1.0 branch!

Since March 2013 D-EKEW, D-LEON, D-STHO are working on this model. They are making use of original data from the Pilot's Operation Handbook. People who have experienced the aircraft in real life help calibrating the FDM as well as tuning the systems behavior.

About the airplane

Extra EA-Series

The Extra Aircraft company designed several aerobatic aircraft based on the early experimental EA-230 and EA-260, followed by the FAR-23 certified EA-300 series (EA-300, EA-300/S, EA-300/L, EA-300/200, EA-300/LT, EA-330/LC, EA-330/SC). The company introduced the Extra EA-400 in 2001. This is a cross-country airplane with many exclusive features including carbon fiber construction, pressurized cabin, high strut-less wing, and a seating for six. The EA 400-500 was introduced as a derivative of the EA-400 replacing the piston engine with a Rolls-Royce Model 250-B17F/2 turboprop producing 450 horsepower (340 kW) and driving a MT-propeller 5 bladed propeller. Walter Extra flew the first Extra500 from Germany to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to illustrate its range and capabilities. The most recent changes to the aircraft come from Avidyne with their latest glass avionics: Avidyne Entegra R9.

Extra500 flying in clouds
Extra500 flying in the clouds (2)

General characteristics

Min. Crew 1
Capacity 5 PAX or 525 kg payload
Length 10.1 m
Span 11.7 m
Height 3.4 m
Empty weight 1,420 kg
Max takeoff weight 2,130 kg
Engine type Turboprop
Engine Rolls-Royce Model 250-B17F/2
Cruise speed 210 kts
Stall speed (MTOW, Full flaps) 61 kts
Max. Range 2,963 km
Endurance 7.9 hours at cruise speed
Ceiling 25,000 ft
Climb rate (S.L.) 1,335 ft/min


The Extra500 is available via Gitorious: https://www.gitorious.org/extra500/extra500

We recommend flightgear version 3.1 available via the flightgear master branch or win/mac nightly's, to benefit from the improvents in the canvas system.

Stable release :

git clone https://git.gitorious.org/extra500/extra500.git
cd extra500
git checkout release/1.1.0

or use the download button on: release/1.1.0.

The current development takes place in the master branch

git clone https://git.gitorious.org/extra500/extra500.git
cd extra500
git checkout master

or use the download button on: master.


For full operation instructions, see the official Extra500 POH. It can be downloaded from the manufacturers homepage: [1], right at the bottom.

Below is just a quick start and some selected topics.

WARNING: Below reflects the current development version (master). If you are using the stable version, some functionality will not be available!

General Remarks

All switches are thrown by rotating the mouse wheel in the appropriate direction. Push buttons are pressed by clicking with the LH Mouse button. Rotary knobs are turned by the mouse wheel as well. Hold Shift for large steps.

The IFD buttons on the left, right and lower bezel are always double buttons. Meaning they always have a left and right side. The lower buttons (PFD - FMS - MAP - SYS - CHKL) navigate between the main pages. Once on the selected page the same button will let you navigate through the tabs. The side knobs do not always have a function, but if they have, they are lighted and the function is shown next to them.

There are a few special Extra500 shortcuts:

CTRL+E Connect / disconnect External power cart

CTRL+F Control pitch with pitch trim only

W Gear Warn Mute (you'll need it, alternatively press the switch on the throttle lever)

R Put the propeller in reverse (beta range)

S Condition lever fuel on/cut-off (alternatively click on the condition lever)

D Autopilot disconnect (alternatively click on the red button on the yoke)

C Engage Control Wheel Steering (CWS, see below)

Checklist dialog

Check List Dialog

The checklists going along with the manufacturers POH. The Extra500 provide a dialog to read, view and perform the necessary task for each flight phase. Checklists can performed manually and automated just let the dialog do the work.

  1. Show/hide the checklist.
  2. Show/hide the config options.
  3. Minimise the dialog. For automated in flight usage.
  4. Close the dialog and its action.
  5. Allow the dialog to move the view to the action.
  6. The dialog will show a pink circle at the action.
  7. Write message on screen, nice for text to speech(festival).
  8. Make the dialog transparent.
  9. Faster work through the automated checklist.
  10. Pick a required checklist and load it.
  11. Plays and stops the checklist. All actions will be done in an automated seqence.
  12. Moves the view to the action and schows the pink circle.
  13. Perfom the action.
  14. Subpage navigation of the checklist
  15. Next checklist for the next flight phase.

Engine starting

Extra500 side switch panel

- Parking Brake: Set ( Shift+B or pull out middle Bowden cable in middle console AND press B )

- Battery: Switch ON

- Fuel Pump 1 or 2: Switch ON

- Engine Start: START

- at 12-15% N1: Press s ( or click on condition lever, its the red one )

CAUTION: TOT limit for starting is max. 10sec above 810 °C and below 927 °C

IF engine not start:

  • Engine Motoring: ABORT and back to NORMAL
  • Condition Lever: Press s Fuel off

Wait unitl N1 below 3% and TOT below 100 °C, then start again.

- Standby alternator: Switch ON

- Generator: Switch ON

- Engine start: IGN OFF (only if N1 >= 65%)


- Flaps: 15 degrees ( ] or use the flap switch )

- Power lever: TRQ 111% CAUTION: for Take-off (5 minutes) maximum TRQ limit is 111%, TOT 810degC

- Parking Brake: Release ( Shift+B or push in middle Bowden cable in middle console )

NOTE: For strong sidewind, turn the ailerons against the wind

- At 71KIAS: Rotate - Gear: Retract ( G or click the gear switch )

- Flaps: 0 degrees ( [ or use the flap switch )

CAUTION: Flaps need to be retracted before reaching 120KIAS, gear 140KIAS

- Power lever: TRQ 92%

CAUTION: For continuous operation the TRQ limit is 92%, TOT 752degC, watch the TOT while climbing!


Climb with MCP (maximum continuous Power, 92%TRQ or 752degC) at 110 KIAS.


Descent with 50% TRQ and 2000ft/min. Max airspeed is 207 KIAS.


Do not come in too high, too fast.

At 140 KIAS, gear: Extend ( Shift+G or click the gear switch )

At 120 KIAS, flaps: 15 degrees ( ] or use the flap switch )

At 109 KIAS, flaps: 30 degrees ( ] or use the flap switch )

Power for a 3deg descent, 80KIAS and landing configuration is ~30% TRQ

Dont forget to brake. For reverse press R, will only toggle when power lever is in aft position!

Engine shut-off

- Parking Brake: Set ( Shift+B or pull out middle Bowden cable in middle console AND press B )

- Fuel Pump 1 and 2: Switch OFF

- Standby alternator: Switch OFF

- Generator: Switch OFF

- Press s ( or click on condition lever )

- Battery: Switch OFF

Principle Autopilot functionality

- HDG Follows the heading bug (set HDG bug using the keypad, press to sync)

- NAV Intercepts and tracks VORs, LOCs or your Flight Plan (set course with LH lower rotary knob on IFD)

- NAV/GPSS Intercepts and tracks your Flight Plan and cuts the corners ( press NAV twice)

- HDG+NAV Intercept the course or active flightplan leg with your set heading

- NAV+REV Intercepts and tracks the LOC back course

- GS Is armed and activated automatically when captured on the LOC. You can switch it off by pressing APR, ALT mode will become active. To arm the GS again, press APR for a second time

- VS Follows the VS bug (limited to +/-1600fpm, set with AP rotary knob)

- ALT Holds the current altitude (rounded to 100ft)

- ALT+VS Brings and holds the aircraft to the selected altitude (set ALT bug using the keypad, press to sync) with the selected vertical speed.

- CWS Control Wheel Steering. Follows the turn rate and vertical speed set by controlling the aircraft.

To disconnect press: d

General remarks to autopilot operation:

A roll mode (HDG, NAV/GPSS, APR/REV) must be engaged for a pitch mode (ALT, VS, GS) can engage.

A roll mode (HDG, NAV/GPSS, APR/REV) must be engaged for the yaw trim to work

If pitch trim is switched off, autotrim is not available, but the AP will indicate where to (manually) trim to.

For CWS, a roll and pitch mode must be engaged. Press c (caution: AP servos will disengage!) and with your controls bring the aircraft at your wished turn and climb rate. Press c again and the AP will engage and keep those rates.

The AP will disengage when:

- the disconnect switch is pressed (d)

- the stall warner is on

- absolute g-force (disregarding 1-g gravity) exceeds 0.6g

- manual electric pitch trim is used.

Navigation and Communication

Extra500 audiopanel: Com1, Nav1 and Marker selected

The COM unit (1 or 2 ) is selected on the audiopanel. Just hit the appropriate "XMT" button. Note that FGCOM only works on COM1! If you want to hear the NAV station morse code or the marker tones, press the appropriate button on the audiopanel also. The volume can be adjusted using the inner volume knob.

The active COM standby frequency can be inputted on the keypad. The first "1" is not needed and any trailing "0" neither. Just type in the frequency and switch active/standby with the button just left of the frequencies.

Not-active-COM and NAV standby frequencies are similar, just press the NAV1 / NAV2 button first.

FMS, Nav 1 or Nav 2 may be selected on the IFD or in the NAV dialog (F12) The DME source can be set using the AUX button on the keypad. Select with the FMS knob. The DME hold switch next to the DME indicator overrides all NAV frequency switching and holds the frequency to which the DME was tuned when the HOLD button is pressed.

The FMS (Flight Management System) can be used with or without the autopilot. You can put your flightplan in the autopilot - route manager (dont forget to press activate). The autopilot will intercept the active leg.

While flying a flightplan (FMS is the Nav source and NAV is selected on the autopilot), you can do some special stuff without touching the autopilot:

1. Vectors mode: Press V with arrow or "Fly Vectors" knob on IFD to follow the heading bug while still in nav mode. Deselecting will return normal FMS functionality. Handy for making a brief excursion from the flightplan for weather or ATC.

2. Direct-To mode: In the route manager select the waypoint and on the keypad press the D with arrow button. Close to the waypoint direct-to mode will be de-selected automatically or you can do that manually by pressing the same button again.

3. FMS-OBS: Rotate the LH lower knob on the IFD. Press to cancel. Very similar to VOR functionality, except it will work on all waypoints of your flightplan. Very handy for making an approach on an airport without ILS.

XPDR squawk can be set on the keypad (press XPDR and squawk code) and in the NAV dialog (F12). Default is 7000 (Europe VFR). XPDR modes are selected automatically (GND or ALT), but automatic selection may be switched off Manual mode selection is then possible. The MODE button on the keypad will set the mode manually also.

Pressurization system

Extra500 pressurization control

The extra500 is certified to 25000ft, where the air is pretty thin. So there is pressurization system that keeps the cabin altitude below 8000ft which corresponds to a cabin differential pressure of 5.5psid at 25000ft. So if you are planning to fly above 10000ft, you need to make sure that the ENV AIR and PRESS switches (left lower corner) on the side switch panel are on. In addition, before take-off you should set the cabin controller (center console) to the airport altitude and just after take-off to your target altitude. Before descending from cruise, set the controller to your target airport altitude. You can monitor the cabin altitude, differential pressure and cabin climb rate on the instruments next to the controller.

Night Flying

For lighted instruments switch on the INSTR switch on the side switch panel. On the same panel you can switch the DAY/NIGHT switch to NIGHT for dimming. The 5 round turn knobs on the panel now can be used to set your dimming level. The IFD-s have their own dimming switch on the left upper side of the bezel. For taxying use the RECO lights. For landing the LDG light.

Final approach on 25L of EDDF, B707 outside going for 25R