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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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As the original poster - I would like to thank and congratulate every respondent (so far) for the civilised and considerate manner of their replies.As a relative newcomer to Fsim - and as one who has only a basic input device (joystick) and has never flown - I have to say that I too have come across aircraft that "appear" to me to be "wrong" in some way or another. Of course, I wouldn't really know - but there is something about the aircraft that doesn't seem right - especially when compared to other similar aircraft. BUT - the BIGGEST impression I have is that many of these aircraft are (surely) too EASY to fly. I don't want to name names - but a 4 engine aircraft that I downloaded yesterday, I just got in and flew it away!!!! C'mon!!!!! :) But the Dash 8 by Frolov - after I got over the problems of figuring out how to read the panels, start it, taxi it, take off in it, etc -- I find that it seems just "right" when flying it AND I cannot (at this stage ) for the life of me land it - and surely , this is how it should be!!! (BTW -- I keep stalling it on final approach and crash and burn short of the touchdown point). I would not expect to be able to land a 2 engine turbo-prop in real life -- and I sure as hell am experiencing that in the Fsim model by Frolov. That is why I like this particulaer aircraft -- I just wish there was some way I could save a "situation" so I could save my practice landings instead of each time having to go through the whole startup process, etc.So - c'mon developers - if you are going to spend your time giving us these great looking aircraft, please also give us the "numbers" that we should be attempting to fly to - and don't make it all so easy that people like me can simply get into a 4 engine turbo-prop and fly away!!! :)Barry

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>it, etc -- I find that it seems just "right" when flying it >AND I cannot (at this stage ) for the life of me land it - >and surely , this is how it should be!!! (BTW -- I keep >stalling it on final approach and crash and burn short of >the touchdown point). I would not expect to be able to land >a 2 engine turbo-prop in real life -- and I sure as hell am >experiencing that in the Fsim model by Frolov. That is why >I like this particulaer aircraft -- Barry,If your only measurement of realism is how easy/difficult it is to land a simulated aircraft then you are also falling into a trap of a different kind. I have seen some simulated business jets that were extremely difficult to land that turned out to be all wrong when I talked to real pilots who flew them. One of the best, most acclaimed, most accurate flight model is in the 767PIC and this is NOT a difficult airplane to land. The controls are all crisp and fairly responsive all the way through the flare - this is what, at least for me, makes it easy to land. I got assured by at least 2 real 767 pilots not connected with the product that this is accurate and not some sort of dumb-down modelling.So the moral of the story is that each case is unique and "easiness" or "difficultiness" is not enough to judge degree of realism. If a sim-airplane happens to be very difficult to land - I become in fact highly suspicious of its accuracy.Michael J.

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"...and don't make it all so easy that people like me can simply get into a 4 engine turbo-prop and fly away!!!..."There may be a number of people--perhaps the majority, who'd like the opposite. It kind of goes back to the old question of whether people prefer a systems simulation, vs. an entertainment/simulator. I think usage is mixed.I'd rather see a "mix n' match approach to freeware.... Some people are artists with GMAX, and from even a photo, they create exquisite work. Others are talented in panel design, and yet others in flight model design. It would be great to see them pool their efforts....say someone add a Lancair visual model, and someone who has flown one add a flight model, etc.... If we liberate freeware designers from having to release an entire package, I think we can really transform the hobby. Otherwise, the requirements get a bit too steep, and a true artist might otherwise miss the chance to stage truly beautiful work...Regardless, it is possible to release a complex panel, yet for those who want simplicity, it's an easy step to use a default panel. As for flight models, only reason I've never released one is I've never flown anything other than a 172 & 182, and that was long ago. But I make my own mods all the time based on what I reason an aircraft should feel like.-John

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>If a sim-airplane happens to be very difficult >to land - I become in fact highly suspicious of its >accuracy. Well, I don't know if the Dash 8 sim IS difficult to land -- it is just that "I" am finding it difficult to land at this stage -- and I am suspicious of aircraft that I find too easy to land (especially complex ones).Barry

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I'm with Michal on this one: large jets are not as difficult to fly as you may think. 95% of the large jet airliner (I can only comment on airliners because that is what I have most experience) flight models out there are indeed lacking in realism big time. Flight simmers too often pick up bad habits from years of flying bad flight models in the sim that when they do get a chance to fly a real plane, they will find that it is a completely different beast. To fly a real plane skillfully, there is definitely a level of difficulty, but in general real planes tend to be a lot more stable, steady and more pleasant to fly.Thomas

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"large jets are not as difficult to fly as you may think."Even more so, they are designed on purpose to be easy and gentle to control. And if they are not, like the B777 that is a little "nervous" at high speed/high altitude cruise, they even build-in artificial feel to make it feel easy and smooth even when it is not !So, if an airliner seems too smooth and stable to you, it is probably how it feels in real too. (This is a very general statement, do not bombard me with exceptions please! :-) )Stamatis

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...to which I would add that real or nearly-real controls make a heck of a difference. Back in 1994 I was fotunate to get an invite to the BA TriStar Full-Motion Simulator at Cranebank near EGLL. Up to that time I's been flying mostly subLogic's ATP and whatever the contemporary version of FS was (FS5??). Anyway, I landed the Tristar first time with relative ease, although I got a bit of a flea in my ear from the BA training captain for using the yoke-mounted trim on approach (g). The point being that the yoke, pedals and throttle were so much easier and more accurate to use than the simple CH Flightstick I had at home with what today would be considered prehistoric flight sims.Today at home I use a CH yoke and pedals and PFC 4-jet thottle quadrant. The CH stuff will soon be history as I go all-PFC. This stuff makes such a difference to controlling the aircraft that this has to be factored in when considering how realistic the sim is. In short, if you're trying to paint a portrait with a 5-inch wallpaper brush, don't be surprised if you end up with a clumsy result. AndyEGTR

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Just a comment as a student pilot near getting my "ticket". The first time I ever flew an aircraft (C172), I took off, flew it and I landed it. Remember...aircraft were designed to fly! That why you will every so often read of an aircraft taking off with noone aboard! All most aircraft need is thrust...trim...and the right Vr for the wind conditions and it WILL take off and fly! Yes...some are very difficult, especially High performance aircraft that sacrifice lift in the intrest of reduced drag! But...any Aircraft, of any size, that will land and take off in 900 to 1200 feet (eg; STOL! ) will by its nature have lots of thrust, lots of lift, and generally great low speed performance! And these are the ingredients for an aircraft that, by any standard, is easy to fly!To quote my instructor, early on in my training......"Dont make it any more difficult than it really is!"Scott

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Interesting comments everyone. :-) Gives us new FDE folks some things to go on. :-)To Barry, The Dash 7, 4-engine turbo-prop to which you refer had two Dash 7 pilots on the technical support team. Bernt Stolle, a former Dash 7 Captain, is also on the beta team with 5 other real world pilots. The Dash 7 was tuned to Bernt's specs starting back in May and has been tweaked over the last 3 months to achieve closeness to the numbers.Speaking of the numbers, :-) you will find them in your Documentation folder and in the reference text file in the main folder, by weights and altitudes. I am not a pilot, have never been inside a cockpit, and do not profess to know anything about flight dynamics. All I did here was work hard, study a lot about FDE's and try my darndest to hit the numbers that our real world pilots wanted. Bernt Stolle is an avid critic and pulls no punches. He communicated with me almost daily during the .air file development and never let up until he felt it was right. For that, I am truly thankful.In the end, they all were exceedingly pleased with the performance. Who am I to second guess them?Can any team be so fortunate to have 7 real world pilots assisting with FDE's?Believeable? Your choice. We all love it. :-)Milton Shupe

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>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. >The "heavier" RV6A's will also drop like a heavier rock, and the lighter ones which may vary several hundred pounds will still drop out on you if you don't carry power and the speed gets to low. Never got to land the Marchetti, because we landed in formation and my instructor pilot took over.It's also true that the RV6A is more sensitive than the SF260, and a little less stable in yaw. The RV6 has quite a good fighter feel.... according to military pilots who have experienced them. Being lighter, you'll also get "bounced" around more, when the air is not calm. The Pitts S2B was even more senstive, less stable than a RV6, and would truely be uncomfortable for long cross country flights. But then it's true mission is aerobatics.... period! The Pitt's is sensitive more in line with the default Extra 300, but you have flying surface feedback through the controls which is quite absent in FS2002 and leads to potential over control.L.Adamson

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