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FSX Tutorial 8: Transitioning to Jets

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I have no previous experience with any of the MS Flight Simulator versions. I have a basic understanding of aviation in general. My specific question concerns the FSX Tutorial 8: Transition to Jets. I am using a Saitek X52 controller/throttle unit. It does not matter what I do once throttle is applied the engine can never be shut down or even to make it idle. The trouble starts already in the lineup to take off. Once the plane started to move it will never stop. When brought to complete stop by breaking, as soon as the break is released it will creep ever so slowly forward. There are other things to do, preflight check list, etc. than holding on to the break forever.But the real problem is in the air, where the plane simply will not slow down. The throttle is moved to complete OFF position, but the descent from the required 6,000 ft to 3,000 ft just will not happen. Even with full flaps hardly any height is lost. Of course if the nose is pushed down I am losing altitude but the plane picks up speed and my approach is way above the desired height and speed. I just can not turn the engine off!! The controls (including the throttle) are all properly calibrated and flying other planes it is generally working OK, (even though I have to admit that using the Mooney Bravo behaves similar even with air brake. You have the feeling like you are try landing on the moon with flaps. (Or stopping on ice with a car with bald tires, downhill). Any help and/or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Jets have a lot of power compared to piston engine aircraft. More importantly, they have a LOT of inertia, especially if its an airliner. You have to manage this inertia (or energy) differently than a piston aircraft.Jet engines "idle" at about 25-28% N1 in FSX. The engines aren't going to shut down. If you search for energy management you will find a lot of information about this. But in short, you need to:1. Plan your descent so that you start descending in time. You can use the 3-to-1 rule (for every thousand feet you need to descend, allow 3 nautical miles). So if you're at FL320 (32,000 feet), and you are descending to an airport at 4000 feet, you need to start your descent at 28 * 3 = 84 nautical miles from the airport. If you are using ATC, they usually start telling you to descend at the right time, but not always.2. You can't descend too fast or you will overspeed the jet. Usually, I set my autopilot vertical speed for about -1300 to -1700 feet per minute. You can maybe go to -2000 or -2100 in a pinch, but you start to get into overspeed territory.3. If you aren't getting down in time, do what the previous poster said...use the spoilers (/ key). Don't use the flaps--they give you MORE lift. There are some situations in piston aircraft where you can use the flaps to create drag and point your nose down quite a bit to lose altitude quickly...but I wouldn't try it in a heavy jet.4. If you want to see what power and attitude settings work, just use the autopilot for descent and turn on the autothrottles. Just watch the power and pitch and you'll get an idea.

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Thanks for the suggestions and detailed procedures. I did realize that the jets have more inertia, and generally more efficient wing design and especially with empty planes (the tutorial is an orientation flight) may be harder to control.I did not use the spoilers before, and when I tried I must admit that they will slow the plane down in a jiffy. However I would not like to be a passenger on a plane like that. The spoilers are an on-off device, at least I could not find an option to use them only partially on the jet. (As opposed to the Introduction to Gliders where they are adjustable.) So when I am using them I sink like a boat anchor, and to regain a graceful landing glide path becomes very difficult. Somehow it does not seem to me a recommended routine in commercial flying. But the spoilers will slow me down! I have to learn a lot more about the autopilot. (FSX is my introduction to the MS Flight Simulator family. But I will learn and I am sure it will work just the way you described it.But I believe that my basic problem is still related to the throttle control. I am using a Saitek X52 with a dedicated throttle unit. It is calibrated, (many, many times), to ensure its proper operation. When I start the tutorial my idle is never less then 33% N1. Well that is not a big deal it's not that far from the optimal 25-28% you mention. But when I take off even though the throttle is set to 100+, I can always add more power by using the F3 key. I still could leave with that, it's annoying but works. But when I attempt to decrease my throttle to idle despite that I move my Saitek throttle controller to its 0 position, the idle will not be reduced below 40-42% N1. I believe that is why I just go on, and on, and... I can shut the engines off (CTRL-SHFT-F1), use the spoilers as advised, but this jsut not appear to be normal behavior. I do not have problem with any of the tutorial using piston engines, "Sitka", "San Juan Island Run", etc. etc. but this Bombardier jet does it every time. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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When I use the spoilers, I'm usually using them for short periods of time to make corrections to speed. I don't deploy them for too long. Next time you're on a commercial flight, sit by the wing and watch--I've seen spoilers pop up from time to time during approach. They don't stay up very long.Yeah, if your Saitek can only get N1 down to 40%, then you probably do have a problem there. You could use the F2 key to reduce power even more, but that is still annoying.If you try posting this in the main FSX forum, you'll get more advice. There are a fair amount of people there that use that controller.

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You are correct about the Airbus.I could not get the autopilot to activate in any method that I tried. I flew the entire route manually and then had the same difficulty trying to slow down for landing. I pulled the throttles back to 21% and the plane just kept going, and going.I believe that the throttle problem is either in your controller or another seting config. somewhere. The plane idled fine for me with a MS Forcefeedback 2.Good luck.

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Having the same problem. For some reason, the engine starts spooling up during the last few feet to landing, making it impossible to land jets. I have even slammed them onto the runway, and applied full braking and they simply will not stop. As far as I can tell, it happens with all the jets (Lear, Airbus, Boeing) and at various airports.Let me know if you ever find an answer.I am running Windows Vista, so maybe there is a bug there. (The program also crashes after every time I save a mission.)Phil

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My original problem starting this topic was prior to the release of SP1 (for FSX). I am using Windows XP Pro, so I can not make any comment about Vista related issues.But since the release of SP1 my frame rate for this mission has practically doubled, and I have no problems. The "copilot" asserts that no autopilot shall be used on this short trip, but I activate it and use it without any problems. The only thing I must pay attention that I manually unselect the speed (autothrottle). If left on the plane shall not slow down, even though you have disconnected the main switch for the autopilot.

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To me it sounds like a problem with the aircraft's cfg file or your controller. I don't know much about controoler set up but I suggest you look in the CRJ's (or whatever you are having problems. I'm assuming its the CRJ) cfg file. This is found in your "...SimObjectsAirplanesBombardier_CRJ_700" folder. Inside the CRJ 700 folder, right click on the file named "Aircraft", select "Open With", and choose "notepad". Then scoll down to where to the where it says "TurbineEngineData" and make sure it reads exactly like this except that there will be a bunch of spaces each line and some writing in this format, "//Gain on fuel flow".[TurbineEngineData]fuel_flow_gain = 0.0025 inlet_area = 9.4 rated_N2_rpm = 29920 static_thrust = 12670 afterburner_available = 0 reverser_available = 1 [jet_engine]thrust_scalar = 1.0I am wondering if maybe your engine data got messed up somehow. You can check by taking the CRJ up to 10,000 feet (or any other altitude), level off and set the autopliot to hold 10,000 feet. Then roll the throttle back to idle and see if the N1 goes back to 25% (give or take 9 or 10%). You should also see if the plane starts gradually slowing down. I had to write it in this format because if I didn't the areas in brackets wouldn't show up.

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Hm. Thank you for your information. It is certainly something I did not look into. I have installed FSX once, simply updated to SP1 and is using the application with its default configuration. I did make some changes (recommended by Microsoft and/or other users) to the fsx.cgf file, but I never even looked at the individual Airplane configuratons. For reasons only Microsoft knows I do not have the same path as you described. In my ...Simobjects I do not have an Airplanes subfolder, instead the individual planes are immediately shown. E.g. ...SimobjectsBombardier_CRJ-700, ...SimobjectsB747-400, etc.This should not be a problem, but when looking the contents of the Bombardier_CRJ-700, there is only ONE file: state.cfg. Its FULL content is as follows:[engine.0]accumulated_time=23.854596[engine.1]accumulated_time=23.982102And thats the short and long of it! So there is no Aircraft.(cfg?) file that I could check and/or edit. I could just create the file and paste the information as you documented into it, but would FSX see that? What creates and maintains that file? How can two installation be so different, (I having no aircraft data at all.) This is the default FSX setup, and I have no custom planes whatsoever!The autopilot works ok, as a matter of fact it controls the plane better than manual controls. It will properly set selected values for Speed/Altitude,etc. even Heading in the Primary Flight Display, and controls the plane per those settings. As I said earlier, I do not have any real problem with the Bombardier's behavior, but the absence of the airplane configuration info is something I do not understand!

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I will check. But this is a problem that I have been having with all the jets. The last time this happened (in the Paris Air show scenario), I noticed that I had just increased the thrust slightly (to get me to the airport) and even though I decreased the thrust again, the engines continued to spool up. This makes me wonder if there is some kind of "auto go-around" feature that was activated. (I will check the autopilot - which I have not been using.)Very irritating. At least it is not happening with the prop planes or helicopters.Phil

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That is really wierd. Are there helicopters, boats and animals as weel as the individual aircraft files in your simobjects folder? (maybe you could take a screenshot of your simobjects folder and post it in this thread)Here are some screenshots of my SimOblects, Airplanes and CRJ 700 folders respectivly,http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/175643.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/175644.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/175645.jpg

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Looking further into the problem, I realized that I was looking a wrong folder. Since I installed FSX onto my D: drive, my path to the ...SimObjects is different from yours. (D:Microsoft GamesMicrosoft Flight Simulator XSimObjects) The folders (and their contents including the Bombardier_CRJ_700aircraft.cfg file is then pretty much identical to the one you listed).Sorry for the red herring, but when searching for SimObjects on C: there is a user specific folder SimObjects folder in C:UserNameApplication DataMicrosoftFSXSimObjectsBombardier_CRJ_700STATE.CFG. The contents of that file is the one I listed:[engine.0]accumulated_time=23.859958[engine.1]accumulated_time=23.987464This being of course very different from the one you talked about.Still the discussed snippet is identical, so it can not be the cause of any different behavior of the airplane (engines). Once again since the update to SP1 I have no real problem of flying the CRJ_700 in either manual or autopilot mode. The refresh rate was so outrageous prior to SP1, that the visual feedback of the plane's position and scenery were always delayed and lead to overcontrolling in every which ways.

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Sounds like you have the 'autothrottle' engaged still.Another thing, the spoilers on the default FSX aircraft are WAY too effective at slowing you down. Try something like the LDS767 for a more realistic spoiler effect.

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Hello, Glenn-You probably didn't notice that this thread is twelve months old!

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Hi all,I have a problem with the Tutorial 8 mission (Transition to Jets):After reading the Briefing, I go "flying" the mission. Well enough, I will be placed in the Cockpit of a CRJ 700 ... and that's it. No Copilot (nor other voice) is telling me what to do. Also the Pointer (U key) does not work. Somehow this mission will not start.All other missions work fine, but not No. 8.Anybody here with some suggestion or help? Thank you.Regards, ThunderBit

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Hi, I have the exact same problem that Newbie talked about (the throttle getting out of control on the final approach in the Paris AirShow mission). I have been playing around with FSX for about 6 months now, but I have only had this particular problem on this mission. The throttles are all of a sudden at 100N1 and naturally the jet won't land. I use a Logitech Extreme3DPro. I am starting to think it's a bug. Or maybe it automatically tried to avoid a hard landing by forcing me to go around? But I doubt the latter because even after I turn around, I cannot take back control. A couple of times I have done every thing I coud while the game was going on and also during a pause (use F1 through F4, pressing Shift+4 and trying the mouse on the throttle panel, using the F9 view and using the mouse in the 3D cockpit, and moving the throtle around on the juystick) but none of them let me adjust the throttle and I eventually crashed.

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(Responding to an old thread because I discovered the bug also)This is by design on this aircraft, though why it acts like this on a perfect approach (and I have tried it) is beyond me. I just tried it to confirm the problem. As you approach the runway with perhaps 500 feet remaining the auto-throttle kicks in because of an AFLOOR warning (I believe this aircraft acts like that in real life to keep accidents from happening). It is possible to get beyond this point in the mission by mapping a key to defeat auto-throttle (please don't ask me to explain that statement if you don't understand it) or by resting your mouse on the ATHR button and defeating ATHR every time it kicks on. The autopilot on this airplane is not fully functional I think, but it can be used somewhat. If you engage ATHR at all it will give you problems, or so it seems.

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Hi all,I have a problem with the Tutorial 8 mission (Transition to Jets):After reading the Briefing, I go "flying" the mission. Well enough, I will be placed in the Cockpit of a CRJ 700 ... and that's it. No Copilot (nor other voice) is telling me what to do. Also the Pointer (U key) does not work. Somehow this mission will not start.All other missions work fine, but not No. 8.Anybody here with some suggestion or help? Thank you.Regards, ThunderBit

 same to me. did you solved this?

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To bring this more current with the "fix" I found.  I had the same problem with Mission 8 - couldn't bring the engines down to idle, couldn't fly at the requested speeds.  I noticed the cockpit throttle would not pull all the way back with the Saitek Throttle Quadrant.  F2 would bring it all back, but the moment I touched the quadrant throttle, it would jump forward.  The "fix" was pulling up the controls and giving the throttle full sensitivity instead of the default with the slider only in the middle position.  Now the full motion is there.

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