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Guest MikeGTO

How 'real' is MSFS on max realism? (Landings in particular)

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Noob here (to this forum, but I've been flight simming since Sublogic's FSII on the C-64). Just upgraded to FS2004 from FS2000 (not a typo).Anyway, I'm enjoying FS2004 but as I've been practicing takeoffs & landings with the various aircraft I'm a little surprised how "tough" they are at surviving a pretty high descent rate on touchdown, even on full realistic settings. It was the same with FS2000 but I never asked anyone about it. For example, if I make a sloppy approach I can hit the runway with the rate of climb indicator at something like 500-600 feet per min descent rate, and not break anything. I'm not sure if the survivable descent rate at touchdown is aircraft-dependent? What can a real Cessna take? A real 737?Also, the aircraft in MSFS have really impressive stopping ability, when you combine the autobrake with speedbrake and reverse thrust, the landing roll seems kind of short to me.I don't consider myself a great pilot (real or sim) but doesn't it seem like something is a little off if I can land a 747 or even Concorde at Meigs Field? (OK, the nosewheel went in the water but still--:) )

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good question and interesting topic...as far as GA is concerned, FS9 is a bit forgiving. You don't really have to fly-by-the-numbers to land planes safely in FS9. However, some aircrafts do simulate high-approach or decent speeds and crash as a result of hitting the pavement (such as RealAir planes). Some also simulate collapse of the gears. Also, since fs9 is a simulator (meaning you can't kill yourself), you can get away with these dangerous landings. I'd never try to put my 172 down unless it's well within the safetly limits. If anything is out of sync, i'll definitely go-around. I'm pretty sure most planes (including the GAs i fly), can take a lot of stress without breaking. However, you'll never want to try that when your life is on the line :(Stopping a plane in real-life depends on a lot of factors (approach speeds, air-pressure in the tires, head-winds, type of payvements, wet/slippery conditions, etc). FS9 doesn't really simulate these factors...so yes, it's not very accurate. Also, i don't want to ware down expensive breaks, so i tend to not use them much in RL...just small-gental taps only. -feng

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Feng pretty much said it all. In real, aircraft gear CAN handle very heavy landings even though people always say they might break with a heavy one (which is indeed always a possibility). I have seen myself a B737-500 landing basically with little to no flare and nothing happened. I have also seen Cessnas landing like I would never even do in FS! I've had a couple of rough landings on Cessnas and Pipers myself as well...

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I once saw a student land a KC-135A (similar to a Boeing 707) so hard it bounced 50 ft into the air, according to the altimeter! Nothing broke, but the instructor had maintenance inspect the gear and structure before the next flight. If the aircraft had been heavier (more fuel on board) it might have been a different story.Naval aircraft hit carrier decks quite hard, but they are designed with that in mind.Some light aircraft can take rough landings - the Piper Cub was designed to make dirt runway landings, as were many other early aircraft.The only part of FS9 landings that seem unrealistic to me, is that you can land a plane on the nosewheel first and get away with it. In many real aircraft, that would cause pitch oscillations, possible tire damage, and possibly loss of control.Some of the better payware aircraft are fairly realistic in landing - the Realair SF-260 is a good example. It allows you to do a "slip" to lose altitude, or correct for a crosswind. It also is unforgiving if you get too low on airspeed on final.Dale

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The contact points settings in the aircraft.cfg control the difference between a crash and okay in a "hard" landing.This number / effect does not vary with realism levels. The default B747-400contact_points //0 Class <0=none,1=wheel, 2=scrape, 3=float> //1 Longitudinal Position (feet) //2 Lateral Position (feet) //3 Vertical Position (feet) //4 Impact Damage Threshold (Feet Per Minute) //5 Brake Map (0=None, 1=Left, 2=Right) //6 Wheel Radius (feet) //7 Steer Angle (degrees) //8 Static Compression (feet) (0 if rigid) //9 Max/Static Compression Ratio //10 Damping Ratio (0=Undamped, 1=Critically Damped) //11 Extension Time (seconds) //12 Retraction Time (seconds) //13 Sound Type //14 Airspeed limit for retraction (KIAS) //15 Airspeed that gear gets damage at (KIAS)point.0 = 1, -25.0, 0.0, -17.5, 1000.0, 0, 2.0, 70.0, 0.5, 3.5, 0.900, 9.0, 8.0, 0, 220, 250point.1 = 1, -114.0, -18.0, -21.3, 2000.0, 1, 2.0, 13.0, 3.0, 2.5, 0.900, 11.0, 9.0, 2, 220, 250point.2 = 1, -114.0, 18.0, -21.3, 2000.0, 2, 2.0, 13.0, 3.0, 2.5, 0.900, 11.0, 9.0, 3, 220, 250point.3 = 2, -152.6, -103.5, 3.0, 700.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.000, 0.0, 0.0, 5, 0, 0point.4 = 2, -152.6, 103.5, 3.0, 700.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.000, 0.0, 0.0, 6, 0, 0point.5 = 2, 3.0, 0.0, 0.0, 700.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.000, 0.0, 0.0, 9, 0, 0point.6 = 2, -222.7, 0.0, 4.0, 700.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.0, 0.000, 0.0, 0.0, 4, 0, 0static_pitch = -1.5static_cg_height = 18.6gear_system_type=1 //HydraulicAs you can see from the bold parts above the B747-400 nose gear will "damage" if the impact is greater than 1,000 fpm, and the mains 2,000 fpm.The C-172 is 1,500 fpm for the main, and 3,500 fpm for the mains.Make a backup of the original first - but feel free to make the numbers more 'realistic' if you wish.I believe the shortest real world B747 landing was on a 2,450 x 48 foot runway in South Africa - a special job to get an aircraft to a final museum resting place - and the outboard engines were shutdown. The engines were removed after the bird was moved to the museum to return to service with the airline - they didn't want them damaged by FOD in the landing.

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I read that the US Navy puts all pilot candidates through 20+ hours on FS9 under supervision before their first flight.Came about because a new pilot scored perfect marks on his first test flight with no previous flight experience. They asked him how he did it. He explained that he had flown around that Naval Air Base in FS9 so many times he could have done it blinfolded.That says something about FS9 realism.

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Reggie's post is very informative. I've played around alot with the cfg file tweaking the plane's perfmormance, but this is one that slipped by me. I often hit the manufacturer's web site, and do a lot of Googling to fine the proper specs for most planes, but I don't recall seeing such info on max fpm on landing. Can anyone point to a reasonable source of such info? Thanks! Mike

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