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philshaw

Converting from GA VFR to Big Jets IFR

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I am sure this has been asked before but cant find anything.I have been flying for many years using single GA aircraft but would like to move up, what plane would you recomend to start learning the bigger stuff?I am using FSX for my VFR flying with the RealAir Scout package.But plan to stick to FS9 for my intro to heavy metal.Any suggestions tips would be welcome.Thanks in advance.Phil

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Well good move. Sounds like you already know all about navigation and flying vor's etc so that's good. All you need to train up on is the heavy liner systems and procedures. I recommend firstly downloading some of the good freeware jets from Project Opensky and others, perhaps a 767. Then get familiar with the autopilot and autoflight systems, which generally are the same from bird to bird. Get the hang of how the jet flies, how to generally approach and land, and how to manage climbs and descents, plan fuel etc. Doing this on freeware first will allow you to see if heavy jets are really for you - Basically airliner flight is two periods of heavy workload either side of a long period doing nothing :-)Then after that take the plunge and buy the Level D 767, arguably the best payware jet around. It's mid range size will allow short and long flights. You can do some tutorials to train up on the FMC usage together with the autoflight systems, then you are ready to simulate a real world flight.

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I would suggest moving up in stages. I went from single engine GA to the King Air, because I wanted to know more about using turboprop engines, but you could also try your hand with the Lear. Either of these planes can be flown above FL180, up there with the big guys.If you decide to stay with these flight sim default aircraft, then I would suggest that the FSX models seem to me to be better than the FS9 models.R-

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ThanksWill have a look at Project opensky stuff. Do you think starting with a smaller type, something like a ERJ145 or perhaps a turbo prop would help, i must admit when i have tried the default 737 or learjet i have quickly "landed"! myself in trouble and returned to the GA Stuff.I guess from what i have read its more preflight prep, rather than just having a look out the window at the airport below, finding the active and getting on the circuit.

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PhilI dont think size matters! As you have stated yourself "tried the default 737 ". If you try to fly a poor aircraft you will get poor results.There are many good free aircraft to download ,Posky, Ready for pushback,even the ifly 747 for example.I think everyone who reads your post will recommend level d or pmdg, but its a lot of money if long haul heavys are not for you.If I were you I would grab a few of the recomendations that are going to come your way and just see which ones you like to fly and find easiest to land.(a good cat3 autoland can get you out of trouble sometimes)any way good luck and welcome to the madness that is a virtual 10hr flight in real time Mark

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I agree. Starting small serves no purpose. The systems and procedures are similar. Handling may differ slightly but if you learn one you can fly all the others because you don't hand fly these things, you use the autopilot.I say start BIG!

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I'm not sure i would recommend the learjet to start on, I would go ahead and start on a 737 before attempting the learjet only because i can fly the 737, 747, 767, but find the learjet to be a real beast to fly for some reason. Could just be me though.

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If you want a FREE large jetliner try any from Historic Jetliners Group: http://www.simviation.com/hjg/main.htm You can try a 707, DC8, Convair, and BAe-146. The installation is not automatic but just follow directions. There's also lots of friendly help available. I would suggest a newer version of a 707, say the 320B or C. There will be some systems to learn (starting up an old airliner), but not as much as in the PMDG or Level D. You can also transition your navigation as these old birds use VORS, no GPS or FMC here. That way you can get the feel of a larger plane without having to learn FMC, etc. Once you get the hang then you can spend some money on the Level D or PMDG for a more modern plane. Besides there just something nice about 4 engines roaring and belching black smoke on takeoff (yes the HJG planes do that) ;-) Mike

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Thank you to everbody for the suggestions, some good pointers i will start the long road to flying big!!!Cheers

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I have to say the transition to 'Big Iron' IFR was a rewarding one for me. You'll find that each payware add-on has a forum community that will be most happy to take you through the essential steps.Good luck!

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Hello there I was also in your situation a few years ago.I used to fly light aircraft and although it was enjoyable enough,i began to get a little bored with no real purpose to my flights(even though i tried outfits like Bush Flying Unlimited etc)and there always was a little underlying dissatisfaction with my lack of understanding of the big jets(felt like a bit of a DUH! monster)i actually used to load up the default 737 take one look at the controls and put it away again so daunting did all those instruments look,but the seed had been sown and i knew i was going to have to give it a try,i would throughly recommend you do the same.Contrary to other posters views i would use the default 737(i never had any real problems with it)the last thing you want is to be worrying about complex panels and even performance issues etc(although if you must try third party try the IFDG or Project Airbus models they also use the default FS9 737 Panel and sounds (which you can change of course for better ones as your skills improve)but are much improved models(lookers) over the default ones.Now a little downer(only little don't be put off)you will have to do a certain amount of reading up on the subject(i personally hate manuals instructions etc),but learning to use the ILS landing system and other more complex functions of the Heavy metals is not something you are going to by guesswork alone(i personally am winding myself up to move to some of the more complex aircraft models,but am dreading the bicep busting manuals)myself.Finally a BIG plus (to make up for the little downer)for me personally the switch to passenger jets has hugely increased my flight simming enjoyment.I still get GREAT satisfaction from making a good takeoff and landing(especially the latter)after years at it.One other thing join a good VA because they have allsorts experienced simmers and real world pilots too and you will get a lot of help there,i will recommend two Livewire Airlines is good (i learnt a mass of stuff there)and they used to have a real 737 pilot as a member who gave lots of advice and downloadable info to on 737 flying.(for simmers)The other VA i would recommend is Airsource (where i currently reside)There big plus for me anyway is that unlike most VAs that have there own liveries with Airsource you can fly all the worlds airlines (or a lot anyway)with all the real liveries.PS one other thing when you are trying out your ILS skills it might pay you to not select some of the worlds most popular major airports as your dep and arrival points as the traffic can become very heavy,and there can also performance issues (Heathrow being a good example even in FS9)and it can rapidly get confusing with all the ATC chatter etc(alternatively you could turn all the AI off i suppose:-) )the last thing you want on approach is stutters and juddersGood luck :-) Cheers Andy

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>you don't hand fly these things, you use the autopilot.Needless to say you should always be able to take over manually and do hand flying for any flight phase regardless of the plane you use.I for my part enjoy hand flying all those LDS 767, DF 727, PMDG 737/747, PSS 757, FeelThere Airbuses etc. etc. a lot. As a teaser I suggest a short trip from LPPS to LPMA Rwy 05 in pure hand flying in the Maddog 2006 for instance (following the LPPS SID FUNOR and the LPMA VOR DME 05 approach; use the Aerosoft Madeira add-on)...Andreas

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AndreasI agree with you regarding hand flight, I personally use the autopilot the way one would use the cruise control on a car Ie great for the boring long straight bits Having said that my hand flying recently leaves a bit to be desired,only yesterday as i rotated out of EGLL bound for KBOS PSS 772I scraped the tail big time x( And today as I again rotated out of LGAV i was admiring my new scenery Panning left and right I looked down and i was 1400 at approx 320 ias.Combine this technique with fspassengers and you dont make much money.Aside from that though Hand flying is where the challenge and the enjoyment are to be found ,though as i stated earlier i am quite happy to do a cat3 autoland.Mark

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I've found the Tinmouse II 737-200 and the Project Fokker F-28 both nice freeware for classic-era airlines. Also the payware DF 727-200. They all use about the same techniques of navigation. the next step is an aircraft with FMS computer that handles most of the navigation chore for you, with integrated thrust and direction management. That's where PMDG and LVLD come in. There is also the "glass cockpit" PFD/ND aspect and system monitoring EICAS/ECAM.scott s..

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gotta agree with andy here with the default boeings. although there are some better addon jets out there don't let anyone fool ya..there's nothing wrong with the defaults. i use the virtual cockpitbut if you're using the 2D panel that's fine as you can get betterfreeware panels later if you want. the defaults aren't complex andeasy to fly. that doesn't make them unrealistic as alot of peoplewill try to have you believe and you probably won't have any problemswith them.i fly 'em all the time while alot of people are trying to get theiraddon to work and find tech support which some have and some don't.bottom line is they are ok so don't listen when people say they'recrap...try 'em first for yourself. william

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