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Guest FactionOne

Confused but keen!

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Hi Folks,I've got a load of newbie questions, and I'm really hoping you guys can help. I'm sure a lot of them have been asked (and probably answered) before, but as I do more reading, the answers I'm looking for don't get any clearer :( Hopefully someone can clarify for me?...First of all a little background; I've been interested in aviation for a good while, and flying FS since the basic polygons of FS4 (of course currently using FS9 (- and very much on the blag for a Beta of FSX!)). I've always been more interested in contemporary civil aviation than anything else (but certainly not only that); and as this type of flying has developed in FS I've started to enjoy some of the wide-body jets I'm interested in; never to a "pro" level though.The thing is, I normally use Flight Sim whenenver I have free time for a condensed-period of a few weeks, and then it might be a couple(+) months before I come back to it. I think that's been the main reason I've never developed my advanced flight skills in the more realistic aircraft simulations (eg PSS)...I fell in love with the PSS products a while ago after just seeing the screenshots; and I bought the Airbus Pro series, the A330, A340 (as you can see, I do have a thing for Airbus!) Vulcan and Concorde; but I've never really got into them as much as I'd like...My current 'weapon-of-choice' is a POSKY A330-200 in BMI colours with the excellent (but still basic) freeware panel from Ken Mitchell. I try to fly this arrangement as realistically as I can within the limits of the aircraft/panel combination and the stock flight-planning/ATC capabilities of FS. I kid myself that the GPS with an FS flight-plan loaded is my MCDU; but otherwise I try to follow the rules ('loop-the-loop' time-accelerator I'm not! ;)). It's not as true-to-life as I'd like to be; but I enjoy my little hops from EGCC to the Balearic Islands and the Canaries (OK; so my routes are rather fictional too!).The thing is; I really, really, REALLY want to get to grips with the PSS Airbus models I have, and also the Concorde (I think I'd prefer to master the Airbus products first though); but I'm confused about a few things...Is it possible for me to have the FS ATC system and the computers on the Aircraft expecting the same thing? - ie. Can I fly the PSS Airbus models realistically and still interact with the stock ATC? Are there any implications of my wanting to do this? Would it affect my options in terms of flying proper SIDs and STARs?I guess the best environment for the PSS aircraft would be VATSIM? That's definately something I want to get into, I'm confident I understand the etiquitte and radio-chatter but I figured I'd be best getting to grips with flying departures and arrivals in a 'proper' aircraft first - and ideally I'd like to do it with the stock ATC.I guess that kind of thing is largely affected by the parity of the FS navdata vs. the navdata installed in the aircraft computers? Does add-on scenery complicate the operation of the aircraft (especially with ATC) - eg some UK2000/SimWings airports etc?My sincere apologies for asking what may be stupid questions, but I'm genuinely confused about these topics (I'm sure some more will come to me too!); and I'll be eternally grateful to anyone who can help me understand the details so I can start really enjoying my PSS aircraft :D - I'm also planning to write an 'idiots-guide' tutorial which I hope to make available for anyone else who feels they might benefit from a companion to the AOM/Flight Manuals for the aircraft to help them understand these kinds of queries... Fingers crossed I can get my head around it all!Thanks in advance and best regards,Rob.

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Rob, these are certainly not stupid questions and it's nice for us to have something slightly different to answer for once. I think you have made a wise choice in trying to understand the PSS Airbuses better: they are excellent aircraft and although the complexity and functionality of the panel and MCDU is not 100% it is still better than any other Airbus out there by a mile. You will possibly hear that PMDG and others are about to develop A320s but you will have a long wait and who knows what the results will be. PSS have always been the best at Airbuses, so get to grips with them and they should give you immense satisfaction as they have done for me and many others. Sorry, that sounds like a salesman talking, and I'm certainly no salesman!"Is it possible for me to have the FS ATC system and the computers on the Aircraft expecting the same thing?"Not really. As you've realised, one failing of the FS9 ATC is that it doesn't handle SIDs and STARs. I only fly online and if I have to fly offline (usually wheh testing new flight dynamics or something like that) I don't use the FS9 ATC, I just fly."I guess the best environment for the PSS aircraft would be VATSIM?" Well I have flown on VATSIM for about 4 years and it certainly is the best for ATC coverage, although you won't always have ATC just where and when you want them. I recommend that you park at an airport to and listen to the chatter between ATC and pilots for a short while as that will give you the confidence to do it yourself, and you'll see that it's not hard even though you do have to follow procedures. But FS9 ATC and VATSIm are not the same - VATSIM is far far better - so don't worry about using FS9 ATC first. Nevertheless you will be nervous about your first few online flights, we all were!"I guess that kind of thing is largely affected by the parity of the FS navdata vs. the navdata installed in the aircraft computers?"Yes, FS9 navdata cannot be updated and is now very out of date. The navdata used by most add-ons like PSS is derived from real-world navdata available from www.navdata.at on a monthly basis. There has been a problem recently with accesing the raw navdata so cycle 0513 is the most recent. But a new one is imminent. So the navdata for the PSS Airbus is out of step and much newer than the navdata for FS9. You could (for an offline flight) import a flight plan using the FS9 navdata but there would probably be problems if you tried this online."Does add-on scenery complicate the operation of the aircraft (especially with ATC) - eg some UK2000/SimWings airports etc?"Not at all. I have lots of add-on scenery, in the UK and Europe mainly, and it's fine.If you need more assistance don't hesitate to ask, but also have a look at the tutorials and documents I have posted at the Speedbirdonline Airbus hangar in my address below.Rob Elliott, EGPE InvernessPSS Airbus Support andAirbus Fleet Training Captain, British Airways Virtual airbus@speedbirdonline.co.ukhttp://www.speedbirdonline.co.uk/airbus.htmlhttp://www.bavirtual.co.uk

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Hi Rob (congratulations on a fantastic name btw!),Thanks for your replies; they've made what was as clear as mud perfectly crystal!I was kind of afraid that someone might say I couldn't really integrate the PSS Airbuses (or I guess anything with 'real' FMC-type control) into the FS9 ATC...Like I say, I've been interested in aviation for quite a while, and FS probably about as long; perhaps beyond using it as a 'game'; but not to the lengths of a full 'simulation' - somewhere in a grey area between those two levels I suppose. I know to get the most out of the experience and grow my abilities I have to move to more realistic flying than I currently perform (as I described in my first post with my basic but enjoyable A330 and a few FS-mods).I had also figured out that would pretty much automatically mean I would have to get into online flying with VATSIM (that only became apparent a couple of years ago when I first saw it in action at one of the conferences in Blackpool (a friend and I took a WideView/WideFS simulator on behalf of our empoloyer along)).That's all a bit of a scary prospect though; not so much because of the fact you're no longer using single key-press responses for ATC - as I say, I'm fairly confident I'll manage with the chatter - I've had scanners for years (EGCC is rebroadcast here in Preston (EGNH and EGNO are a bit quiet)), and as practice I've done such mad things as vector myself to work in the car! The thing is, it took a long time for me to get to grips with things like basic radio-navigation; as of course the documentation in FS was particularly useless in the early days (that's not to say I rate it highly now); and the internet wasn't the resource it is now either. Proper route-planning and more complicated instrument flying procedures (such as correctly reading SID and STAR charts and then flying them as prescribed) are still things that I've only got the slightest clue about.I've signed-up at the UK AIS website and some reading there has brought me more confidence in reading charts and understanding what's what; but I'm still not confident that, for example, you could suggest two major european (or even domestic) airports at random and I then be able plot, program and fly a valid route between them... I think it's going to be things like that which mean I've got some more to learn before I risk ruining a controller's evening on VATSIM! The problem is finding the correct resources... I must say I had quick look at some of the tutorials for the PSS A320 (Cold & Dark Start, MCDU, EGPF-EGLL Flight) which you've put together; and I've got to say it's the best documentation for the PSS Airbuses I've read. I've never progressed very far with the tutorials on PSS' site (I won't visit that tangent unless someone asks) but certainly yours are a credit to you and BA Virtual!I'm definitely going to kill the FS9 ATC tomorrow and try to develop my PSS skills some more again; I agree with you that they are by far the best Airbuses available (unless of course you get a good discount in Toulouse!), and I can't wait to get flying them properly!Like I say, I think VATSIM is going to be a while off though... I think I need to learn 'proper' flight/route-planning a bit more comprehensively before I make a hash of it. Just out of interest, are there any resources/applications you would recommend that might aid that? I think I would probably benefit from FSNavigator to help get to grips with it all? - I suppose at least for having access to good charts in-flight. I was thinking this would probably be of most use with my current aircraft (the POSKY/Mitchell A332), do you think that's something that would still be of benefit for PSS flights (both offline and online)?I can't help thinking that the best way for me to develop the skills to fly properly in Flight Simulator would be to go to Cabair and get an ATPL! :(I'm going to be attempting EGPF-EGLL tomorrow (offline of course!) in the PSS 320; I'll be sure to let you know how I get on! Sincerely, thanks for your help.Also, my apologies for such lengthy posts (I'm famous for waffling-on!); but these are things I've really been scratching my head about -I've been really confused about integrating the PSS Airbuses with FS9 and I'm extremely paranoid about connecting to VATSIM and making a dog's dinner of someone's scope!Thanks again and regards,Rob.PS> I notice in your tutorials you mention you're assuming that things like ActiveSky aren't in use (understandably because not everyone has them) - does ActiveSky complicate flying the PSS Airbuses considerably? ...BTW - I'm not looking for you to explain how to do it - I'm conscious I've taken up enough of your time already! - I'm just curious as to whether or not it's particularly difficult? ...I do like a pretty sky-scape :D

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