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Caravan Amphib Handling

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A few days ago Steve ("Bear") Cartwright wrote a really good piece on FS2004, and in it he included the Caravan amphib. One thing he noted was that it seemed to handle much better on the water than the 2002 version did, only requiring a touch of power to get it moving. In real life, this is how it should be. However, I'm finding I need just about full power to get the bird moving on the water. I've checked that my gear is up. Has anyone else here played with the Caravan on the water, and if so what are your findings? I'm just wondering if there's something I'm missing here (like that would be a first :-hah).Thanks guys,Glenn

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>A few days ago Steve ("Bear") Cartwright wrote a really good>piece on FS2004, and in it he included the Caravan amphib. >One thing he noted was that it seemed to handle much better on>the water than the 2002 version did, only requiring a touch of>power to get it moving. In real life, this is how it should>be. However, I'm finding I need just about full power to get>the bird moving on the water. >>Glenn The FS9 C208 seemed the same to me as in FS2K2. I modifed the FD files long ago for the FS2K2 208's. While I couldn't get the 'stuck in the water' completly fixed, I improved it a lot. And, many other things. As far as I could see, most of the lousy FD settings in FS2K2 AIR files, and the effects on performance, remained in FS9. Ron

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i find the caravan float version to be much improved over the 2002 version. it has replaced my beaver as my favorite floatplane.i have no problem getting it moving on the water.don

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Glenn,When I tested each of the aircraft in FS2004, I had a distinct advantage over the average simmer or anyone else on our review team. I had installed FS2004 on my computer where I have Train Simulator and FS2002 stayed on its own system from before.What this allowed me to do was have both FS2004 & FS2002 running at exactly the same moment (both of my system specs are very similar, with the same brand of yoke, a Saitek 3D Cyborg "Gold" as well). The systems are sitting in such a way, I simply slide over to one or the other in midflight. What this did was permit me to directly compare the flight modeling of the default aircraft between FS2004 and FS2002 at the exact same moment and anytime I thought I noted a difference, an improvement, or whatever, I would know in seconds if my hunch or impressions were correct.I do have my single-engine sea rating and I must say, in the real-world, it takes more time learning how to taxi on water, under control, than it does to take-off or land. With the 208 in FS2002, I had noted several problems, failure of the aircraft to get upon the step on your takeoff run and most importantly, too much float suction was dialed in. It required (FS2002) near full power to get the 208 to move (taxi) and when it did it only wanted to accelerate. If you reduced power at all, the 208 only wanted to come back to a full stop. You couldn't get the power set to any reasonable point where the FS2002 208 when move slowly through the water.With the 208 in FS2004, I found that by applying enough power to initiate movement and then immediately reducing the power settings you can move through the water at very slow speeds and control of that speed, by gently changing throttle settings, is now possible.This technique or ability to control the 208 in water takes time and lots of practice and interestingly enough, it does in the real world as well.On takeoff, the FS2002 208 would accelerate without ever coming upon the step and once flying speed had been reached, it would just stick to the water. When using the elevators to finally get airborne, the FS2002 208 had a habit of just jumping (usually nose high) into the air.The FS2004 208, now accelerates normally, but once you reach between 30 and 35 knots, you can feel the aircraft lift up on the floats and achieve a more level atitude (getting up on the step of the floats feels just like this in real life). With no wind (in FS2004) you can bump the trim slightly, once you've achieved flying speed, and the FS2004 208 will simply fly off the water with a minimum of jumping.Don't get me wrong either, the 208 in FS2004 is still not perfect, but its airfile has been noticeably improved over its predecessor (now if we could just get MS to put some floats on the Cub).Bear!

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> As far as I could see, most of the lousy FD settings in>FS2K2 AIR files, and the effects on performance, remained in>FS9. >> Ron>>Amen to that, the FS2004 flight dynamics leave much to be desired. Honestly, I think most hardcore simmmers regard FS2004 as "Microsoft scenery and weather Generator" and will use modified add-on .air files and aircraft for the highest fidelity.

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can air and mdl files be copied to aircraft in fs2004 from fs2002 with good results? Thanks...Sherm

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Hi Bear, thanks for this! FYI, I flew 185's Beavers and Otters, almost all on floats in the boonies of Canuckland commercially for a bunch of years, so I know what you are saying about these things being tricky to handle on the water :-).Tonight (before reading your post here) I gave a quick try again of the Caravan, but offloaded a bunch of bodies and gas, and did notice a difference. I have only done 1 takeoff and landing on the water with it though, so after reading this I'll go back and give it a good workout. I did, however, find that yes, it starts to taxi much more easily than before (requiring only 10 ft-lbs to get moving), but I didn't spend much time taxiing it around. I didn't notice the tendency to get on the step, but I also wasn't looking for that, nor was I expecting that. That would be a tremendous improvement if such is the case (and I have no reason to doubt you). Too bad they couldn't model the initial nose-high attitude when it plows as it gets up on the step, but I guess that is asking for a bit too much :-).So, I will again look at the 208 with renewed interest and see how it goes. AND, we also need a new 185 and especially a Beaver on floats for FS2004 ;-). I think this sim would be ripe for 'serious' bush flying :-).Thanks again Bear - really enjoyed your articles on FS9.Glenn

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Apparently not. It was supposed to have been a backward compatible sim, but according to another post I read recently here, FS9 has introduced some extra features in the mdl, air and cfg files that make backward compatibility iffy at best. We are starting over, from the looks of it.Glenn

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Thanks Ron. See my reply to Bear below. I'll play with this a bit more and see how it goes.Glenn

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Glenn,The new 208 does get up on the step, but its not really very pronounced, it was just that I was intentionly looking for it when I was testing for the review. You're also very correct about all of the float planes (FS2002) failing to get that nose high attitude when you first start moving through the water. I once took off from Hood Lake (Anchorage) in a loaded Beaver (I was in the backseat) and for a moment I thought our pilot was going to sink the Beaver's tail, but once he got a bit of speed it seemed to level off pretty good.Bear!

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Yeah, they are really just high powered motorboats with planing hulls. The step acts a bit like the transom of a boat, but placed half-way back to reduce the drag a bit (the section aft of the step is pretty much out of the water once up on the step). Not too worry about it sinking though :-). I've had the Beav loaded such that the floats were underwater from the rear spreader bar on back, and it came out fine on each occasion :-). Same with the 185, but it usually took a bit more "coaxing" :-). One thing nice about the 185 though - if you could get it out of the water, it would always climb. The Beaver you could get out of the water, but then (given the right conditions), it wouldn't always want to climb out of ground effect. My favourite machine was the Beaver, but it was followed closely by the 185. Both great airplanes, and I spent many good years flogging them around the bush.Glenn

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