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bkeske

Descent rate on old 'propliners'

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I've been putting in some time with the A2A B-377, which, as I understand, would typically descend at a rate of 500-700 fpm max. I find when using RC with the 377, I am almost always forced to descend at a rate close to 1,000+ to meet crossings and requests. I've tried using both prop and turbo prop as selections, but regardless always seem to be 'dive bombing' this old bird.Am I missing a 'trick' here? Or is RC simply created to believe you are in more modern aircraft and assuming I will/can descend at 1,000 or more? And if so, would it be a consideration to develop an RC selection in the future for aircraft as the 377, or DC-3, or similar?

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I've been putting in some time with the A2A B-377, which, as I understand, would typically descend at a rate of 500-700 fpm max. I find when using RC with the 377, I am almost always forced to descend at a rate close to 1,000+ to meet crossings and requests. I've tried using both prop and turbo prop as selections, but regardless always seem to be 'dive bombing' this old bird.Am I missing a 'trick' here? Or is RC simply created to believe you are in more modern aircraft and assuming I will/can descend at 1,000 or more? And if so, would it be a consideration to develop an RC selection in the future for aircraft as the 377, or DC-3, or similar?
what do you have the aircraft type set for under plane info screen? try changing it to turbo prop or propjd

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what do you have the aircraft type set for under plane info screen? try changing it to turbo prop or propjd
As I noted, I have tried both. Either way (prop or turbo prop), RC seems to desire a fairly steep descent from 20,000+. I thought perhaps by including the VS input in the aircrfat.cfg to a default of 500 may help, but it did not, thus, I assume RC does not 'read' this setting.

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As I noted, I have tried both. Either way (prop or turbo prop), RC seems to desire a fairly steep descent from 20,000+. I thought perhaps by including the VS input in the aircrfat.cfg to a default of 500 may help, but it did not, thus, I assume RC does not 'read' this setting.
You need to plan and request your own descent profiles for the old props - remember that they generally were flown with a moderate rate of descent and power on, unlike modern jets that throttle way back. Since a recip is actually more efficient than a jet at lower altitudes there is generally no need to wait until the last possible moment and plummet from the sky like an aluminum rock.DJ

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You need to plan and request your own descent profiles for the old props - remember that they generally were flown with a moderate rate of descent and power on, unlike modern jets that throttle way back. Since a recip is actually more efficient than a jet at lower altitudes there is generally no need to wait until the last possible moment and plummet from the sky like an aluminum rock.DJ
Yep, I do that. But there comes to a point where I am denied a lower clearance....typically about 16-12,000 or so.Seems to me it would be useful to have a special selection for aircraft like the 377, or DC-3. But I know this use would probably be used by a much smaller group of users. Would be appreciated though, all the same.

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Yep, I do that. But there comes to a point where I am denied a lower clearance....typically about 16-12,000 or so.Seems to me it would be useful to have a special selection for aircraft like the 377, or DC-3. But I know this use would probably be used by a much smaller group of users. Would be appreciated though, all the same.
Not a bad idea really... perhaps in Version 5?DJ

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Yep, I do that. But there comes to a point where I am denied a lower clearance....typically about 16-12,000 or so.Seems to me it would be useful to have a special selection for aircraft like the 377, or DC-3. But I know this use would probably be used by a much smaller group of users. Would be appreciated though, all the same.
not sure what you mean, being denied 16-12000. have you been started down, and then you request lower? request a second time. you're always approved on your second request, if you are denied the first time.jd

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not sure what you mean, being denied 16-12000. have you been started down, and then you request lower? request a second time. you're always approved on your second request, if you are denied the first time.jd
Hey jd,First of all, let me premise by saying I have only used RC with the 377 a couple of times (I flew a few times without RC to get used to the characteristics of the aircraft, and its limits), thus perhaps I need to keep trying different 'approaches' to getting myself down to maintain a 500-700 descent rate.....I'm going from memory here, so I hope I have this approximately correct...Cruising at 22,000 +/- I knew I would not be lowered until I would get beyond my 500-700 target, thus, I asked for, and received a descent to approx. 16-17,000. I then asked for lower as soon as I reached my requested altitude, and was asked to wait for 10 minutes. I did that, asked again and was almost immediately told to expect a crossing restriction of approx, 12,000 40 miles out of my next way point. I was then given the crossing restriction almost immediately. Traveling at close to 200 kts, going from 16 to 12,000 40 miles out meant (in this case) I had to descend close to 1,000+ to meet the restriction (after doing some quick calculations). Had I been allowed to descend during that 10 minute waiting period, I do believe I could have reached 12,000 without a problem. The 10 minute wait kind of 'did me in'. I also noticed once I was given about a three to four choices for a descent altitude once, but only one or two choices another time. I assume this has to do with the restrictions of the airway I was 'on'.Similarly, after being handed to approach, I have been told to get to 6,000 +/- (from about 12,000 +/-) and given heading directions at the beginning of the vector. This phase does not seem to be as much of an issue, as approach will (seems to) wait for you to get the the requested altitude before requesting the turn to the base leg, or similar.Again, perhaps I need to use this a bit more to work-out various techniques with aircraft as the 377. What I do know is that when flying a smaller GA prop, most all ATC requests seem to fit within an 700-800 +/- fpm descent rate without having to request lower ahead of time. Thus, I assume RC takes into account the approximate type of aircrfat I am flying when asking for crossing restrictions or altitude requests. Or, if flying a more modern turbo prop (as example), I can pull way back on the throttle, and as it is not unrealistic to descend at 1,000+, getting to requested altitudes does not seem to be a big issue, unless of course I miscalculate my descent rate :( . But....as stated above...this aircraft (the 377) is just hard to slow down, especially if being forced into the 1,000 fpm range. Perhaps I need to really 'step on' the flaps more....dunno.

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Hey jd,First of all, let me premise by saying I have only used RC with the 377 a couple of times (I flew a few times without RC to get used to the characteristics of the aircraft, and its limits), thus perhaps I need to keep trying different 'approaches' to getting myself down to maintain a 500-700 descent rate.....I'm going from memory here, so I hope I have this approximately correct...Cruising at 22,000 +/- I knew I would not be lowered until I would get beyond my 500-700 target, thus, I asked for, and received a descent to approx. 16-17,000. I then asked for lower as soon as I reached my requested altitude, and was asked to wait for 10 minutes. I did that, asked again and was almost immediately told to expect a crossing restriction of approx, 12,000 40 miles out of my next way point. I was then given the crossing restriction almost immediately. Traveling at close to 200 kts, going from 16 to 12,000 40 miles out meant (in this case) I had to descend close to 1,000+ to meet the restriction (after doing some quick calculations). Had I been allowed to descend during that 10 minute waiting period, I do believe I could have reached 12,000 without a problem. The 10 minute wait kind of 'did me in'. I also noticed once I was given about a three to four choices for a descent altitude once, but only one or two choices another time. I assume this has to do with the restrictions of the airway I was 'on'.Similarly, after being handed to approach, I have been told to get to 6,000 +/- (from about 12,000 +/-) and given heading directions at the beginning of the vector. This phase does not seem to be as much of an issue, as approach will (seems to) wait for you to get the the requested altitude before requesting the turn to the base leg, or similar.Again, perhaps I need to use this a bit more to work-out various techniques with aircraft as the 377. What I do know is that when flying a smaller GA prop, most all ATC requests seem to fit within an 700-800 +/- fpm descent rate without having to request lower ahead of time. Thus, I assume RC takes into account the approximate type of aircrfat I am flying when asking for crossing restrictions or altitude requests. Or, if flying a more modern turbo prop (as example), I can pull way back on the throttle, and as it is not unrealistic to descend at 1,000+, getting to requested altitudes does not seem to be a big issue, unless of course I miscalculate my descent rate :( . But....as stated above...this aircraft (the 377) is just hard to slow down, especially if being forced into the 1,000 fpm range. Perhaps I need to really 'step on' the flaps more....dunno.
When the controller tells you to wait for whatever period, wait about a minute and ask again - you will generally get the clearance you requested. If not, wait another minute and ask again.I don't know about the 377, but in the DC-6 series it was common practice to drop the gear to slow down in a quick descent; as I recall there was even a special position for the gear lever that let the mains part way down and left the nose gear up...DJ

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When the controller tells you to wait for whatever period, wait about a minute and ask again - you will generally get the clearance you requested. If not, wait another minute and ask again.I don't know about the 377, but in the DC-6 series it was common practice to drop the gear to slow down in a quick descent; as I recall there was even a special position for the gear lever that let the mains part way down and left the nose gear up...DJ
Good hint. 'The book' says the gear can be lowered on the 377 at 174 kts. And it does slow it down.This is when I wish the old man was still alive, as he piloted KC-97's in the Air Force (SAC), the military refueler version of the 377. Would be interesting to pick his brain about these issues. :(

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Good hint. 'The book' says the gear can be lowered on the 377 at 174 kts. And it does slow it down.This is when I wish the old man was still alive, as he piloted KC-97's in the Air Force (SAC), the military refueler version of the 377. Would be interesting to pick his brain about these issues. :(
I bet he had some great stories! I've always had a soft spot for the Stratocruiser; I remember them showing up in the papers and on radio news when I was a kid... usually because one had engine problems and was being escorted in by the Coast Guard.The A2A model is the only thing I've seen so far that has even made me consider setting FSX up on one of my machines. If they put out an FS9 version I'd get it in a heartbeat.DJ

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I bet he had some great stories! I've always had a soft spot for the Stratocruiser; I remember them showing up in the papers and on radio news when I was a kid... usually because one had engine problems and was being escorted in by the Coast Guard.The A2A model is the only thing I've seen so far that has even made me consider setting FSX up on one of my machines. If they put out an FS9 version I'd get it in a heartbeat.DJ
Yep....One of his stories was losing the NAV radios one night on a mission out of Goose Bay. They were essentially lost for a short time, but remembered the local AM radio station they listened to on the base. Tuned the ADF to the radio frequency, and it 'pointed' them back close enough to to Goose Bay to locate the base. And heck, they had music along the way getting 'un-lost'. :( There are others....one of the things he tried one night was to operate the boom for a jet refueling once.....once...would never do that again....he was much happier flying the KC97, not operating that boom. A delicate maneuver for certain, and it gave him a bunch of respect for that serviceman's job.The 377 is really special. I almost always fly it in Air Force colors, and, there is a chance A2A may release a C97 version of the 377 for a museum project they are working on for the aircrafts involvement in the Berlin air lift. Now...that would be neat for sure.

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