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J van E

Md-11: 'translating' The Tutorial To A Flight Of My Own

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After doing some succesfull tutorialflights, I want to try a complete new flight tomorrow. (Although I have to dig up a flightplan first somewhere.) However, some things that were typed into the MCDU in the tutorial, were simply given without explanation where to get the info yourself if you are flying somewhere else (which is logical: I'm not complaning :( ).In chronological order:1. The temp and wind of the first enroute fix: in the tutorial I had to enter -56/T022 but I am sure I'll be needing something else. Where can I obtain that info (if that's possible at all in FSX!)?2. I suppose the cost index of 80 is quite appropriate for other flights too?3. On the Take off page I had to enter 54 for FLEX. What other options are there, apart from derated thrust and full thrust (I suppose entering the real temp (16C) will result in full thrust? And how do I know which figure will result in what kind of thrust (if there are any more)? I am planning to do a flight with about the same length as the tutorial, so with about the same amount of fuel, so 54 will still be fine, I guess, but still, it's nice to know the options. I also presume that number 54 will change a lot when I fly during the winter...?I guess all other settings are standard, like flap 22 for take off etc. etc.My biggest problem will be to find a working route and specially the best SID and STAR and transition: pity you can't preview them when you select (and not yet choose or insert) one in the MCDU (so you can see if the one you chose is okay or waaaaaay off). I'll let you all know how all has gone... if I don't crash badly... :(

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Hey Jeroen,1. You can get this information from ASX or ASA - If you do not have if it, I highly recommend it...it makes the weather feel so much more real than the default weather engine, which is shameful..2. Different companies use different cost indexes depending on different circumstances. The highest cost index will result in the highest fuel burn and therefore will be the least economical choice..and vice versa. Its generally up to you what cost index you use.3. An assumed temperature de-rated take off depends on the runway length, current temperature , pressure, weight and a couple of other things. Topcatsim is available for the 747 but the author is unable to get sufficient data to create a file for the MD-11. I think I read somewhere that 48 is the usual temp you should use..Hope this helps,

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Thanks for the replay.1. Don't have any of those... The last few years I only did short GA-flights and setting up the default weather was good enough for me. But now I am going to make longer flights it might be nicer to get better weather indeed: seems fun to see it change during the flight. Although I'd like to be able to disable wind because I do not have a rudder. Or is the MD-11 smart enough to take care of that too? (I suppose autolands are prohibited when there is too much wind.)2. Okay.3. The FLEX entry doesn't have boxes so it's not mandatory to enter anything there, is it? If I leave it empty, will I get in trouble or will I simply take off with full thrust?

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1. I recommend you fly with clear weather (no winds) until you get a registered copy of FSUIPC for wind smoothing and Active Sky for wx generation.3. FLEX is not required, I don't use it because of the lack of data.Which STAR to use is a recurring topic here. This is knowlege that comes with experience. I think the best advice is to either copy other real world flight plans or get charts and look at them. STAR charts will reveal the arrival route to use like a road map.I don't know what part of the world you are in, but in the US I recommend picking short flights from flightaware.com. There are many good training flights that are comprised of a departure and an arrival. KLAS/KLAX is my favorite. KDFW/KATL is a little longer flight but is still just a SID and a STAR connected at a common VOR (MEI).

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Okay, well, here I am, still alive. I just finished my none-tutorial flight, from EHAM to ENGM. Things went reasonably well. I mean, I DID autoland,while I even had to enter another runway in the end! But I've encountered a few things I'd like to share. :( First of all, entering the flightplan into the MCDU. The last part of the tutorial says you have to add waypoints by going to the LAT REV page of the last waypoint in the SID. (BTW Choosing the right SID was easy: my plan was EHAM > SID > SPY... to I chose the SID that had SPY in it!). Then you have to chose AIRWAYS. But the airway I got (from the planner on the internet) was UZ704 and the MCDU wouldn't take it... So, I went back to the flightplan and (how simple can it be) just entered the waypoints right into the plan (LIMBI at the next empty slot, AMADA, KOPIN and TOR. Dead easy! Then I cleared the discontinuity and that was it. Dead easy. And it worked. So... I wonder, is it better to use the LAT REV pages and enter the VIA fields...?Second thing: during cruise I constantly lost speed... I had to press FMS SPD and PROF a lot of times to get back on track. Really don't know what caused that. At first I thought it had something to do with time accel, but even at normal speed it happened all the time! Maybe this also had to do with the fact I can't add fuel with the load manager: I did that using the PMDG menu (40.000). But I noticed that the ZFW and the other numbers you can enter by rightclicking seemed almost the same as the ones I got during the tutorial flight with 30.000. Maybe something went wrong there...Or maybe it had to do with the temp and wind you have to enter into the MCDU. Still don't know what the second part stands for: speed or direction...? I have to add I did buy ASA today and flew with real weather! (Although I turned the sliders in ASA for wind down to 50% or so).During cruise I decided to simply pick a landing way and a STAR plus transition that seemed logical: that went well (I first picked the runway on the right and then chose a STAR that had TOR in it). I chose runway 19L (or 17L, I forgot). I got some disco's again but could clear them. During descent I finally got in contact with the ENGM ATIS and heard runway 1 was used...! Problem was I was already flying the other STAR... Still, I pressed on the LSK left off the first waypoint that accepted it and changed the STAR and transition... The plan looked like a mess. (Luckily you can use the PLAN view on the ND and see where you are going later on). I solved that by clearing a few waypoints, but still an older one was left somehow, so my plane made a weird turn back to where I came from... Then I tried a DIRECT TO the waypoint of my choice and I think I succeeded... somehow... can't remember how, really. All in all I was quite high during approach but... I MADE IT! :( I'm so proud of myself... :( The next time it will go better, I am sure. I only wonder why the MD-11 kept on losing speed al the time...

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The speed problem is almost certainly (have to guess) due to wind shifts. You can check this by looking at the wind vector info on the ND, if it is rapidly changing then I recommend adjusting the wx smoothing in a registered copy of FSUIPC. I haven't tried ASA yet, but FSUIPC smoothing was still required with ASX and ASv6.SPY does lie on UZ704, so I don't understand how you could not use AIRWAYS? If you go to the LAT REV screen from SPY and select airways and enter UZ704 it should work. The advantage of using an airway string is you only need to enter the first and last fixes on the airway you are flying and all the fixes inbetween will be filled in automatically.The avg temp/speed entry second part is headwind or tailwind component, speed not direction.

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3. The FLEX entry doesn't have boxes so it's not mandatory to enter anything there, is it? If I leave it empty, will I get in trouble or will I simply take off with full thrust?
Correct, it is not mandatory. If you leave it blank you will get FULL TO thrust. If you go full thrust on a lightly loaded MD-11 prepare yourself for a QUICK take-off procedure.Disregarding the numbers you unfortunately don't have, if you do a short haul flight you should always derate the thrust a bit, unless of course you're departing from a very short runway (approx. 1.5 EPR or 105% TO thrust, not more - these are quick & dirty numbers only of course, but better than nothing). This will make the take-off run a lot easier.Regards,Markus

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I finally got in contact with the ENGM ATIS and heard runway 1 was used...!
Obviously it helps a lot to know what runway is in use before you decide flying some STAR!

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Thanks for the info!I just did another flight and didn't have that speed problem...About the AIRWAYS: my last flight was a hop from EHAM to EKCH. At first I had the same problem again, but then I got it solved. I think. The problem probably was that the point from which I was trying to get on the 'highway', wasn't on that highway! So the computer couldn't connect. I guess. Anyway, it worked: I went from UN873 to UP729 and left that one at LUGAS.But now something else: I waited with entering the STAR until I could contact EKCH. But... that wasn't until I had descent a LOT and was only 7 minutes away from the airfield... So I had to add the STAR in a hurry and since I don't have charts, I couldn't get the right STAR and transition... Big mess again. I managed to land nevertheless after a lot of clicking and clearing on the MCDU, but I had to land manually: where I normally see DUAL LAND, it now read G/S APPR ONLY. Luckily that went well. Don't know why this happened but it's good to get some practice. :( But this makes me wonder how you can ever get the information about which runway is active on time...?!? I know I can simply pick one myself, but I want to do it the right way...Talking about the right way... are there charts online which can help me with choosing the right SID, STAR and transition...? The SID is no big problem: I simply try them all until I see one goes into the right direction. But that's impossible to do with STARs while in flight... Or do I have to buy an actual chart? I mainly fly in Europe, starting on EHAM.

Obviously it helps a lot to know what runway is in use before you decide flying some STAR!
That's what I mean (read the post that I typed while you were typing too. :( ). But how can you know that on time...? BTW I did choose the runway first of course, so I did have a STAR that was right for the runway, but it turned out to be the wrong runway.

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But how can you know that on time...?
In real world ATC would tell you what runway to expect and they would assign you specific STAR to fly... in MSFS unless you fly with something like Radar Contact you are flying in a highly imperfect simulation of ATC. This topic keeps coming again and again - on the main FSX forum there was a lot about it recently - go there and search for it.

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Anyone knows if this is any good?http://www.fscommander.comI would only use it to make the plans and the manually put them in the MD-11 MCDU. I suppose it will make choosing SIDs and STARs easier...? Anyone here has it? If I am not mistaken even the unregistered demo version would be good enough for my purpose!

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I use FSBuild2 to build pln and rte format flight plans at the same time. The pln file is used by ASX, which gives me a TAF report for my destination, which in turn I use to select runway and STAR. I keep a large number of charts that I download from either FAA or Eurocontrol on a harddrive dedicated to data... always need to look at the charts. Besides, this is the basic operation in real world. Nice thing about ASX is you can always get destination weather while enroute with via a comm freq.

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in MSFS unless you fly with something like Radar Contact you are flying in a highly imperfect simulation of ATC.
I use Radar Contact which is far from perfect but it is the best I have found so far. Even Radar Contact cant tell you which rwy to expect until you are around 60nm from the airport, which for the longer stars is too close.

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Second thing: during cruise I constantly lost speed... I had to press FMS SPD and PROF a lot of times to get back on track. Really don't know what caused that. At first I thought it had something to do with time accel, but even at normal speed it happened all the time! Maybe this also had to do with the fact I can't add fuel with the load manager: I did that using the PMDG menu (40.000). But I noticed that the ZFW and the other numbers you can enter by rightclicking seemed almost the same as the ones I got during the tutorial flight with 30.000. Maybe something went wrong there...
I also have the Speed problem with the MD-11 in cruiseand perhaps it is the wind shift anomality of FSXbut for sure it makes the MD-11 slow down to - high flight level - Stall, and that's really badcan be 'fixed' by 'tweaking' the derate settingwhen at cruise, the MD-11 goes to CRZ derate (<100%) and this is too low for maintaining speed under 'these' circumstancesset the performance derate (temporarily / or for the res of this flight) to CLB (climb) and it will max to >100%this will fix thissure would like to hear what PMDG thinks of this

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mtjoeng: please sign with real name.Speed variations in cruise are probably due to the msfs wx engine, which will not only throw wind shifts at you but also pressure and temperature variations. There is lots written on this in the forum.. I recommend a registered copy of FSUIPC with wind smoothing set to 1 deg/kt per 10 seconds. The CRZ thrust limit should be more than adequate.

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I am doing a flight from EHAM to LFPG right now. I donwloaded the demo of Flighsim commander and it does help a little with choosing SIDs and STAR's: you can easily see try them out and choose the one that is right. But the problem is I can't always find the one that is right. I decided to look at the weather at LFPG (using ASA) and chose runway 9L as my arrival runway. However, my route goes from EHAM WOODY NIK BARTU LERVO NILEM to MOPIL, but there is no single STAR that connects to that route and rw 9L... I am at the other side of the city at MOPIL! Flying all the way to an appropriate STAR would make the flight almost twice as long... Very complicated... I mean, the route is normal, but what if you find out you are at the wrong side of thc airfield when you get near...?Maybe I should get FSBuild but unfortunately there is no demo... and I just bought the MD-11 and ASA...

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I use Radar Contact which is far from perfect but it is the best I have found so far. Even Radar Contact cant tell you which rwy to expect until you are around 60nm from the airport, which for the longer stars is too close.
Guys,don't blame everything on the FSX ATC, you may blame it for a lot of things but not for everything. In reality it is very common to get the runway information while you are already flying on the STAR, lower area control will give you the STAR to fly but very often it will NOT give you the runway.What you do you make an educated guess on the runway in use (based on weather reports before departure, or weather forecast on long range flights, previous experience (normally you or your airline has landed there before) and local restrictions according time of day) and programme that into the FMS. You may programme your second educated guess into the secondary flight plan, there's a reason why that exists and it is perfectly simulated in the MD-11.Now with these two guess programmed chances are very good one is the correct one. And if it's not then by all means change it while flying the STAR. Usually changing the approach and runway does not mean you need a different STAR. Again, this happens lots of times in reality.MSFS has a 66nm limit for the range where you can receive ATIS information. Don't wait until the ATIS appears in the ATC menu, get the frequency off the chart and tune it using COM2 so you'll hear it as soon as you are within the mentioned range of the airfield. 66nm it a bit less of a range yes but it is better than nothing and paired with the educated guesses mentioned above it works most of the time. And if not, well expect the unexpected, that's why there are two pilots flying those airplanes... enjoy, reality is not always planned in advance...(to make this as real as possible you NEED to use ActiveSky with real weather, the built in FSX weather has very poor WX information and forecasts)Regards,Markus

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<<to MOPIL, but there is no single STAR that connects to that route and rw 9L>>Yup. Preflight can take an hour sorting out all the information, just like real world flying.Once you find that the likely runway is 9L, then you work backwords from that point. Have you looked at the arrival charts? I am looking at the LFPG.txt sidstar file and note there are 17 different ways to get to runway 9L (DJL DPE DVL EPL KEPER KOVAK LATGO MATIX MMD MOPIL MOV RENSA RLP SABLE SONUR TINIL VEDUS). MOPIL is inlcuded and the procedure is:STAR MOPI4H.09B FIX MOPIL 26000 FIX XERAM 18000 FIX SOTUS FIX BS38A 14000 FIX GIMER FIX D075Y 11000 FIX SOLBA FIX VELER 11000 SPEED 250 RNW 09L RNW 09R I am not suggesting you replace charts with reading the procedure file, but it took me 2 min to find a connection for you using the procedure file. As for being on the opposite side of the airfield, that has to happen when you route is East and they are landing West or whatever.

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(I can't edit my post anymore, so... I'll have to add this in a reply...)I have lowered the amount of possible wind using the settings in ASA (to 20%: I don't care too much for wind) and I have had no problems with losing speed anymore.Right now I also use ASA to see the weather at the destination and that makes it a lot easier to guess the right landing runway. :( (And if I really, really need to know the exact landing runway before taking off, I simply go there FIRST, let ATA load and then listen to the ATIS, after which I can go to the departure airfield. :( Bit of a workaround but it works. Although I have to say making an educated guess feels more satisfying. :( )BTW I already did that trick with tuning to ATIS long before I got there, but for me (still being new to the MD-11) time is too short. But I am reading the FMS pdf now, so... I'll be an expert within a few days! B)

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I know I am the only one posting here, but I just want to update the readers with my progression. ;) Maybe someone may benefit from this all in the near future.I think I finally got the idea about the STARs. I thought (because this was the fact in my first flights) that the STAR would lead me into a good position for intercepting the ILS. I was wrong. The STAR simply brings me from my route along the 'highway' into the right direction towards the airfield. So the STAR can already be entered in the flightplan during cruise or even before departure! I also thought it was mandatory to enter the STAR and the runway and the transition at the same time, but that's not true. So that's part one.Next I found out that ATIS comes on usually while flying the STAR. I had the idea ATIS was always way too late but that was because I thought I needed that info before I passed the last waypoint on my route. Well, ATIS won't come on before you pass that last waypoint (I found out the hard way) so you HAVE to enter the STAR before that! During my last flight ATIS came while I was 5 minutes away from the last waypoint in my STAR! That's not too much time, but (after practice) it's okay, I guess.After getting ATIS and still flying the STAR I have to enter the runway into the MCDU: now the approach points are added. Last problem is how to fix the disconuinity between the last point of the STAR and the approach point. I guess I should have charts and all for this, but FlightSim Commander (the free version) offers a simple though probably not too official solution. (BTW FS Commander is the PERFECT tool for choosing the right SIDs and STARs!!! It works very easy!!! And free too!) On my last flight, again to LFPG, I'd chosen a STAR that ended at VELER. I had to land on runway 9R, so I had to fly around the city. Well, after choosing the STAR in FS Commander I opened the window with the arrival, chose the right runway and then Commander gave me this information:leave Int VELER heading 258, after 43nm turn left until intercepting localizerSo I looked into the FMS manual how to handle this and discovered I could simply add the following into my plan via the MCDU:LEVER/258/+43After that I only had to clear the disconuinity between this 'homemade' waypoint and the approach point and that was it! And it worked like a charm: I had a perfect AUTOLAND! :( Well, since I don't have any contraints entered for the 'homemade' leg, I don't think this is the official way to do it, but for now it works. :( The only thing that I still haven't figured out are the transitions... but in this case I (or by doing it this way) apparently didn't need one...

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I don't fly Europe very often, but when I have I have found that each ILS approach will usually have a transition that starts at the last fix in the STAR so it is a simple matter of connecting the STAR to the approach by selecting the appropriate approach transition. In this case, you have to use the correct approach transition. I have noticed this convenient feature at EGLL EDDF LIMC and a couple of others I can't remember the ICAO. Don't know if this is the rule or the exception, but you should look for it.That is seldom the case in the US, where most arrivals are terminated with "expect vector to final." In this case I provide custom SIDSTAR procedures for 68 locations where the "vectors" are replace with actual traffic patterns that I can observe at flightaware.com. Hope you give my procedures a try when you try your first Atlantic crossing. They are in the AVSIM library in the FS9-Flight Plans library, or do an advanced search with author=dan downs and sort by date.

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I don't fly Europe very often, but when I have I have found that each ILS approach will usually have a transition that starts at the last fix in the STAR so it is a simple matter of connecting the STAR to the approach by selecting the appropriate approach transition. In this case, you have to use the correct approach transition. I have noticed this convenient feature at EGLL EDDF LIMC and a couple of others I can't remember the ICAO. Don't know if this is the rule or the exception, but you should look for it.
Yes, you're right: this is quite often the case. But not always: yesterday I flew to EDDP (or something like that) in Germany. There were only two STARs and both ended at KOR. But there was only one transition that started at KAS... Quite weird because both points were on opposite sides of the airfield. Anyway, I simply decided not to use a transition because KOR delivered in a good spot for the approach. I guess it's simply a matter of looking what works best in a given situation. I have to say I am beginning to like figuring out the route before taking off! And during my last flight I used the secondary flight plan on the MCDU for the first time to try out some different approaches: very easy to do! I had the PLAN view on the ND, copied the active f-plan, and experimented with it. Everytime I made a mess of it or things got complicated I simply copied the current f-plan again. :( Actually a nice way to spend the cruise! And if you have an approach setup that works nice you can keep it in the 2nd plan and activate it in case it's the one you actually need in the end. And if you need another approach, it's a lot easier to pick the right one because you've tested most already. Very handy feature!

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You've come a long ways since your first tutorial flight. I've seen your posts in the hifi forum next door. Are you using ASA? I've read the graphics are sweet but they don't have the msfs wx engine tamed yet.

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You've come a long ways since your first tutorial flight. I've seen your posts in the hifi forum next door. Are you using ASA? I've read the graphics are sweet but they don't have the msfs wx engine tamed yet.
Yes, and I am having a great time. B) And I've come a long ways also thanks to you and some other very helpfull people over here! :( :( :( And yes, I use ASA: bought it last weekend. The weather it produces looks nice (thanks to FEX...) but the REAL weather isn't real everytime... and to get rid of wind shifts, weird weather transitions and awfully sharp horizons you have to enable some option that makes the weather global around you, which is a pity imo because when you are flying high the weather is the same all around you. And STILL there problems with wind and the horizon still looks awfull... I have to say that up to now it isn't worth the money.... and it wasn't cheap too: it's number 3 on my list of the most expensive addons I bought. (MD-11 is number 2 B) and VFR GenX is number 1.) But it's quite new and support seems to be okay, so I am sure things will work out. AS# isn't the number one weather program for nothing, I guess!EDIT:I intended to post a longer row of applauding smiley's but this forum seems to have a limit...!

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