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greeneg

IT AMUSES ME........

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when people talk about the flight characteristics of aircraft like 707s, 727s, 737s,747s, etc , etc, etc. Particularly when that talk involves statements like "unrealistic, poor, etc".Just how many airliner Captains with the requisite experience to make such judgements do we have in this forum ? Barry

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Very few.I remember a discussion I had with one of the best FDE experts out there several months ago who told me he got so many negative responses about his FDEs (which had been checked out by several real pilots and instructors on type) that he decided to make them less realistic and more what the average user expected them to be.

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BarryIt sort of depends on what you mean.A)Does the aircraft hit the numbers accurately through the whole envelopeB)Does the aircraft have the correct "feel" given the restrictions inherant in the sim throughout the whole envelope.Part A is reasonably easy to checkPart B isnt and because of the restrictions in the flight engine and other real world versus sim world has to end up as a compromise or a flavour of the real.This Flavour will hopefully envelope the specific characteristic of a specific aircraft and they can only be known by having flown the aircraft yourself or having that conveyed to you by someone who has.May I add with a big dollop of guesswork and an even bigger dollop of compromise.CheersPeter

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Many flight characterstics can be evaluated against hard performance specifications. Rate of climb, take-off distance, roll-rates, time-to-altitude and a host of others. For example, if the performance specs for an aicraft stipulate a climb-rate with so-and-so AUW at t/o and the model exceeds it by climbing like a bat out of hell, it's usually a good indicator that something is amiss. ;-)AndyEGTR

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My problem, as it has always been, is that I am not a pilot and have to rely on the judgement of real pilots discussing the characteristics of a flight model. I have no way of personally evaluating the model. Since the vast majority of people who are using FS2002 are not pilots many are in the same boat. I believe that Larry commented that he places his faith in payware when seeking a realstic (within the usual parameters) flight model. I have to agree. I would also encourage real pilots to then comment on the acuracy of the payware model so we non-pilots may determine if we received value. Perhaps the real pilots here could sign their messages with some indication of their type quals.Dick

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Peter,regarding your point B, I often have the feeling many simmers tend to judge FDs as good, if the plane is easy to fly, but if the plane is somewhat more difficult to fly (what very often is more realistic), than it's FD is bad in their opinion.Regards, Wolfgang

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Barry,Peter Sidoli gives you a very complete answer, I believe."A)Does the aircraft hit the numbers accurately through the whole envelope"You do not need an airline Captain to tell you that for a specific GW the ROC with so and so N1% applied and such an IAS maintained is plainly wrong, or right on. Or that the pitch to maintain Vref on finals should be +2 degrees and not -1 deg for this type, etc., etc., etc. All you need for that is Performance Charts and Tables, which admittedly is not easy to find. But if you have them, you can be the judge of the Performance aspects of an airfile without ever having flown an aircraft in your entire life, never mind that particular type."B)Does the aircraft have the correct "feel" given the restrictions inherant in the sim throughout the whole envelope."This is much more difficult because:a) It is subjective, at least to a degree:( It requires knowledge of how the real aircraft handles, which narrows down the number of judges tremendously :-)Regarding little a) above, suffice to say that I have had two pilots of the same type testflying an airfile in my basement sim, who disagreed between themselves as to the handling properties, and as to what needed correcting! Hence my use f the word "subjective".But making an overall assessment of the "authenticity" of a flight model is not as "impossible" as you make it sound.Stamatis

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WolfgangMaybe, but every aircraft has its own characteristics and you need to fly them yourself or an aircraft which is fairly close to judge the feel factor.Take this as an example when we worked on the Siai Marchetti none of us had flown one and we knew that building an aerobatic aircraft the important characteristic would have to be that it performed well in the aerobatic arena something which isnt needed if you are working on a 737 airliner.I had flown a 260 hp Firefly and we based the snap roll on that.Finally I got to fly a Siai Marchetti very late on in the development for a short flight but it was enough to confirm whether we were about right or miles out in a specific area.One thing that we did find was that the aircraft was quite lively on the ground and had to be flown down to a landing with power. getting too slow the aircraft just dropped on you.You talk of an aircraft being easy to fly try a Cessna 172 and you will find an aircraft which flies like a stable old wagon and about as exciting as the same.Fly an RV6A and here you have an aircraft which although stable is ultra responsive to an extent that you think it through turns rather than making large control inputs.Make it like a 172 and your onto a loser as you are if you make an RV6A like a 172.Peter

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Well, I have never driven a Ferrari..... but I sure as hell know it handles differently than my Dad's SUV!!John-Paul (kidding by the way!)

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There must be something in between A) and :(, and I'm thinking about the SM. It has a way of girating around its CG which I find gives a very "realistic" feel. At the same time inert as it should be ('cause it weighs) and reactive, particularly in the horizontal plane.Having not flown a SM, although I certainly wish I could own 1!, I can't say for sure, but the behavior sure seems to correspond to what the animal looks like.There should be some right numbers at work here too...

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Peter...I've often wondered about how to impart feel from a pilot's perspective into an aircraft. I've found that playing with the MOI parameters, along with the elevator, aileron, and rudder sensitivity parameters can go a long way towards giving an FS aircraft a general feel of what it's supposed to model.But I wonder, in what area of feel does FS lack most? In a sim where feedback is mostly limited to visuals, are there any other parameters I can play with to improve general feel of the aircraft?My only cockpit time is limited to light aircraft, and it's been twelve years since my last touch of the yoke. But having flown millions of miles in commercial aircraft, I'm almost certain I could be blindfolded, yet still know the difference between an A320 and a 767, as an example. What I don't know is feel vs. pilot input--how do the aircraft react given a finite movement of the stick/yoke, etc.... I'd expect a 747 to roll more slowly, as an example... Given a flight model where it doesn't, I can always tweak the aileron effectiveness or add to the MOI, or both. But I sense there's more to feel than that.... What's missing?-John

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Good post & discussion. I was very surprised when I attended a course which included time in an airline full motion 737 simulator. Most of my "experience" was simming with the usual CH yoke & pedals in a variety of planes, mostly jets. My real world time has been in single engine Cessnas. My classmates were high-time General Aviation types, mostly CFIs. Yet they had MUCH more trouble trimming and especially landing the 737, because of its sensitivity. (I've also heard airline pilots complain that airline simulators are harder to fly than the real thing, so I don't think they're an absolute measure).After this experience, and after reading many arguments in the forums, and being happy with or disappointed by many aircraft packages, here's what I think:1. There are some planes with flying characteristics that are clearly not realistic, even to an amateur. Fortunately, it's often clear which ones are & aren't, by the description and size of the file, and interests of the authors.2. Easy to fly does not equal "good", and sensitive does not necessarily equal "bad". I've read that the MD-11 has a bad reputation among many pilots for it's handling. I'd love to feel what that's like.3. Hardware matters. I can't wait to replace my CH yoke with a high end product with a feel more suited to the planes I fly. With a myriad of setups out there, each simmers experience is bound to be a little different.4. Developers are handicapped by what FS gives them to work with. I don't pretend to know specifics, and sometimes people make discoveries & breakthroughs, but the bottom line is this: unrealistic handling doesn't necessarily mean the developer was careless.Not everyone is into realistic handling, and we should respect that. Some of us emphasize "Flight" and some emphasize "Simulation"; the scenery and attention to visual detail that some simmers achieve is amazing and shouldn't be dismissed as "eye-candy"On the other hand, sharing opinions about handling characteristics is valid too. I love hearing from the airline pilots among us, and realize that they disagree, too. The argument, "What do you expect from a $70 sim?" is pretty lame. How many posts per day are there just at Avsim? People take this hobby seriously.I'd love it if people were able to respectfully evaluate, compliment, and criticize freeware & payware, because it furthers the hobby. Sure, not everyone is a real pilot. And not everyone is trying to build the most realistic handling airplane. But the extreme reactions on both sides after a new release ("it's looks awesome" or "it's flies like ####") tends to crowd out the meaningful evaluations from people smarter than me that I'd like to read before installing a new plane.

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In my mind, any sim can never really reproduce a specific aircraft handling exactly.One thing we'll never get is the 'sensations' of flight. I recently took an SR-22 for a ride in the Seattle area. While putting the plane through it's paces, I decided to see what full aileron deflection would get me.It got me in a 30-degree bank within a matter of 1/8 Second!...compared to a 172, which takes about a full-second.When I rolled into the bank, the plane's reaction was so quick that I immediately neutralized the ailerons, which put me at exactly 30 degrees. This made me look very professional to my passengers who were loving the ride, but indeed it was just dumb luck. The plane wanted to own the sky.Those sensations are such that can never be duplicated on a sim, although you can set the proper roll rate, it falls short of the real thing.Ray

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Ray...I wish I could have seen the look on your face when you blinked and found yourself in a 30 degree bank! :)

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