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saltypete

Tips for landing the queen by hand

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Hi, I have been flying the queen for 2 months and have about 140hours up. I have only been flight simming for eleven months and am completely addicted. I admit to using autoflight from 2000AGL on takeoff all the way to an autoland. Recently i have been inspired to geta bit "hands on" so i have tried getting established on the ILS and disconnecting the autopilot at 500 feet to land manually. But contrary to the cardinal rule of flying, the airplane gets ahead of me. i have got the glideslope down pat but i seem to drift off the localizer and am unsure of how to correct ( aileron or rudder, or both). This has resulted in some dodgy landings and my passengers winding up in the foetal position. From looking at the forum there are many of you who have vast skill and knoweldge of this amazing aircraft and i hope a few of you could share your tips on landing by hand ( i am not at the point where i'm using any weather but clear skies). I feel a great sense of achievment in the fact that i can use PMDG's queen after less than a year in the virtual skies, but being a perfectionist i would like to keep improving to the point where sometime in the distant future i can master this aircraft.Thanks Pete YBBN

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You might find that the LOC alignment at lower level is a bit easier by using a little rudder to skid the aircraft. Large corrections will require aileron as well. Dont over do it. I have a sidewinder joystick that allows rudder to be controlled by twisting the stick...it works well. At 30 or so feet lift your gaze to the far end of the runway. Between 30 and 20 ft (depending on weight and rate of descent at the time) start commencing a gentle flare, close the thrust levers and listen to the height call outs. After 10 ft just hold off a little but still aim to fly it onto the runway. The 747 is already at a relatively good attitude for landing it does not need much flare rotation (however having said that it can be flown like a Cessna 172 and held off when you are familiar with it.) This only requires small movements on the stick...not great panicked yanks. I also find it easier to see if I raise the eye view by one click.Good luck.CheersSteve

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Thanks Steve, for both the advice and the quick reply. I have the same joystick setup as you, and will attempt small corrections using the rudder, as i'm only ever less than half a dot off the centreline, i guess i have to get my brain moving at the same rate as the plane!! Cheers again, it is great to have a 747 pilot that makes himself available to help novices like me enjoy this fantastic hobby. I'd say you are the luckiest man alive to have your job, but i'm sure that hard work and dedication had more to do with you getting into the right hand seat of arguably the greatest aircraft ever made. Kindest RegardsPete

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Use the FD for ILS approaches (I suggest to enlarge the PFD). Just follow the needles and you will do a clean approach. Once you have figured out how to do it, turn the FD off and use your pilot instinct.

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>You might find that the LOC alignment at lower level is a bit>easier by using a little rudder to skid the aircraft. Large>corrections will require aileron as well. Dont over do it. I>have a sidewinder joystick that allows rudder to be controlled>by twisting the stick...it works well. At 30 or so feet lift>your gaze to the far end of the runway. Between 30 and 20 ft>(depending on weight and rate of descent at the time) start>commencing a gentle flare, close the thrust levers and listen>to the height call outs. After 10 ft just hold off a little>but still aim to fly it onto the runway. The 747 is already at>a relatively good attitude for landing it does not need much>flare rotation (however having said that it can be flown like>a Cessna 172 and held off when you are familiar with it.) This>only requires small movements on the stick...not great>panicked yanks. >I also find it easier to see if I raise the eye view by one>click.>Good luck.>Cheers>SteveHi Steve,I'm not sure which Microsoft joystick you have but I have the SideWinder Force Feedback 2. Personally, I don't use the force feedback. I like to get your thoughts on how you feel the joystick's control response compares to flying the real 747-400. I've never flown the real 747s but I've flown the Cessna's 172s and 182s. When I compare flying the Cessna 172 in FS9 using the Sidewinder to the real Cessna 172, the Sidewinder's sensitivity or control response are too responsive. Since I've flown the Cessna 172, I personally know that you don't make such small movements in the real Cessna 172 as with the Sidewinder force feedback 2. It takes greater movement of the yoke to make the real airplane perform a certain thing as compared to the Sidewinder, probably because the distance is greater in the real thing. If so, I guess this needs to be corrected in the Sidewinder. I'm not sure if mine is more responsive than yours. How does your joystick's flight response compare to the real 747-400 you fly? Do you have the force feedback 2 or the standard? Do you feel it is more responsive than the real one? Ken.

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Here is what you do...Put it on complete Autoland....and when its on the LOC/GS and and has a steady descent, note the following 1. The throttle settings.. IS it 70%? 80%..whatever it is..write it down.2. Note down the attitude indicator.. is at 13 degree? or 10degrees or whatever.. not it down.3. Note down the flap settings and the wt of your aircraft (%age of fuel ).Next time... when are you in the LOC/GS... just set it up as you had noted.. Don't be throttling up and throttling down..all over the place..Because of the engine spool lags,,, its very difficult to fly without knowing these numbers.That will help you a lot. Try it.Manny

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>Here is what you do...>>Put it on complete Autoland....and when its on the LOC/GS>and and has a steady descent, note the following >>1. The throttle settings.. IS it 70%? 80%..whatever it>is..write it down.>>2. Note down the attitude indicator.. is at 13 degree? or>10degrees or whatever.. not it down.>>3. Note down the flap settings and the wt of your aircraft>(%age of fuel ).>>>Next time... when are you in the LOC/GS... just set it up as>you had noted.. Don't be throttling up and throttling>down..all over the place..Because of the engine spool lags,,,>its very difficult to fly without knowing these numbers.>>That will help you a lot. Try it.>>MannyThe 747's attitude will be between 2 or 3 degrees once it's captured the glideslope. At 30 feet, start to increase the attitude to about 6 degrees. Like Seve said, it doesn't take much flare because the airplane's attitude is already relatively good for landing. Ken.

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> Once you have figured out how to do it, turn the FD off and use your pilot instinct.Am I the only one here who - upon reading that comment - immediately thinks of the scene in Star Wars where Luke Skywalker is flying down that trench and turns off his guidance computer and 'uses the force' when he's about to ruin the Death Star?Sorry, maybe I am the only one here. :-)As for the original poster, if you're finding that you still struggle with manual landings, you can start by taking the autopilot and autothrottle out at a lower level, say 300 feet, that way you're all lined up, you should only have to use minimal control inputs from there. Once you've got a bit more adept at that, then start taking it out at 500 feet, then 1,000 feet, and so on.Circuits are a great way to practice this. Find an ILS approach with a decent long runway, load up a moderate (1/3rd to 2/3rds) payload and enough fuel for an hours flying plus 45 mins reserve and away you go.If it hasn't been done already, Steve might be able to offer a brief guide to circuits in the 744.

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In TRC4 Robert advised using the FPV when hand flying and I've tried it and its great. Very helpful on the ILS, turn off the FD and put the FPV at 3 degrees. As far as the LOC I have a sidewinder too and using the rudder function helps to track the LOC. Even with all this I still need practice! Joe

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Ken it is very hard to compare the 747 yoke with a sidewinder joystick. They are poles apart (no pun intended). The responsiveness is comparatable but without having the seat of the pants and peripheral view it is hard to compare. Having said that I feel that PMDG have done a fantastic job in getting a sim to "fly" as close as possible to the real thing with all the limitations of PC simulated flight. It doesn't come any better.If anything I would say that my set up seems slightly less sensitive than the actual aircraft.CheersSteve

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>Ken it is very hard to compare the 747 yoke with a sidewinder>joystick. They are poles apart (no pun intended). The>responsiveness is comparatable but without having the seat of>the pants and peripheral view it is hard to compare. Having>said that I feel that PMDG have done a fantastic job in>getting a sim to "fly" as close as possible to the real thing>with all the limitations of PC simulated flight. It doesn't>come any better.>If anything I would say that my set up seems slightly less>sensitive than the actual aircraft.>Cheers>SteveYes Steve, I agree with you that PMDG has done a fantastic job in getting their aircrafts to come very close to the real thing, even with the limitations in FS9. It's the best product I have and every time I fly, I'm flying the PMDG 747-400. I hope that FSX will have no limitations but that may be asking too much. Can't wait to purchase FSX. It'll be release in October and I assume the deluxe version will be released at the same time. Thanks for your comments. It's great to know someone who fly the real thing to answer our questions about flying the Boeing 747-400. Ken.

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Hi guys, Could anyone tells me why everytime when I land the queen by hand, there is a tendency for the nose to pitch up when I am about 100 ft above the ground, and I need to compensate it by pushing the yoke(my joystick) forward to keep it on the correct pitch angle.My second question is do I need to trim the 744 after AP is disengaged, for both the PMDG 744 and the real 744. Thanks you very much.ben

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I would suggest establishing the ILS manually, take control far before the 500 ft above to get a good feel for the airplane on approach. it will make it easier to land, at least that helps me. otherwise you give yourself only a few seconds to adjust to the wind, weight, etc

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Why don't you just take the airplane up to 10,000 feet and do some slow flight, climbs and descents by hand? Just learn to work headings, altitudes, airspeed and vert speed before going on to landings!- Neeraj

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This is called ground effect and you start to fly into it from about 1 wingspan down. It is a cushioning effect. Quite often you will see helicopters use it to cruise along at low level prior to pulling up into high speed forward flight. More efficient and less power required.You will have to lower the nose to stay on the GS.CheersSteve

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What I have found hard - After years of 2d, landing from the vc has been quite a challenge, but fun. All the great advice in this thread still applies, but the world just got so BIG, plus the vc gives you the pilot's (seat) perpective better than 2d.Getting much better now though :)regards,MarkXPHomeSP2/FS9.1/3.2HT/1024mb/X700pro256

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Just flew Singapore to Bangkok with the 744 and some lovely weather provided by Flight Environment. I flew the 03L approach into Bangkok (no ILS at that end) and absolutely greased it. Oh, yes!!!! Just a pension card between the rubber and the tarmac and that was just jockeying the throttles to keep the VASI lights in the right place. I would love to take all the credit for this but unfortunately I can't. The 744 has such great handling that anyone can do it with practice and, as in my case, with a modicum of luck as well. Wish I had videod it! Keep at it guys, it is just a matter of time but as in real world flying you can grease them on, quite by chance simply by doing exactly the same thing for all those times when it didn't happen. Practise and practise again folks, that;s the answer!Gerry

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