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Whew! These classics are hard to fly!

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I'm blown away by how difficult these planes are to fly! Especially the Spirit of St. Louis! How on earth did Lindbergh fly across the Atlantic in that thing!? Finally after bouncing around the airport and knocking the plane over on either side I got it into the air, and then landed... and ALMOST on the runway, too. I think I need to update my 6 year old rudder pedals and flight yoke to something USB with the differential braking. That might help some, no?At least the new helicopter is actually flyable. For the first time I can take off and land reasonably within the area that I intend. That JetRanger is still too darn powerful for me to handle though, at least with a flight yoke.Kenneth

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I learned how to fly in a cessna 150 and people who talk about how easy it is now with the 172s they fly for the PPL now could have learned better aircraft management in a little 150 and then appreciated the 172 for its elegance.That said, the classics were difficult because the whole flying world was new and the things we know now about flight dynamics was completely unknown then. Also, my guess is that Lindgergh had a lot of time in the Spirit before he ventured across the North Atlantic!As for your old CH yoke and pedals, yes you should replace them. USB is so much faster that it makes the old serial connections look like molasses in January in Maine. Several years ago I used a game port stick and when I went to the USB yoke this spring, I could not believe how much better it worked.

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Actually if you read in the Century of Flight section on the flight, you will see that Lindy did not have a lot of time in the Spirit at all. It was built in less than 60 days, and Lindy flew it from San Diego, to St. Louis, then to New York. He left New York two days later practically without any sleep from the previous night.In fact, Lindy's flight did not actually qualify for the $25,000 purse because he flew before a required 60 days waiting period from accepting the challenge. However, the backer of the prize waived that technicality. So from the time he accepted the challenge to the time he had the Ryan built and flew was less than two months.And as amazing as all that, he actually welcomed the instability because if forced him to stay awake. It also is said that he only averaged a couple hundred feet above the ground and in some cases was as low as 10 ft above the ocean.When one reads of this feat in detail, it becomes almost mind boggling. And with all that, he crossed the irish coast only three miles off of his intended course.We all imagine him between 1000 to 5000 ft above the deck taking it in. Imagine skimming between 10 to 200 feet the entire time. The margin of error for this flight must have been razor thin.

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Amazing. I don't think I could get it that close even using the GPS to tell me where the land is. I cannot even imagine how much attention to detail he must have had to put into the environment he was flying in. Truly an amazing feat.It really does give you a greater respect for these aircraft and their pilots, even though they seem to be quickly bypassed in favor of heavy metal or modern GA planes. I for one am humbled.Lindbergh was always closed off about his experiences, wasn't he? I know I read some time ago that he actually had a child of his kidnapped and ransomed, and after that was a virtual recluse from society. It would be hard to live with that much fame, and harder to have it take advantage of you... but then again I'm antisocial, so I can't fathom it anyway :-)Thanks for the tip on the USB controls. I've been sorely tempted to get a new set for probably years now, only for the differential braking on the pedals, and the three throttle/prop/mixture levers on the yoke, but now hearing that the response time is that much quicker I'm one step closer to just getting some and dealing with the credit card repercussions later.Kenneth

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At Oshkosh they had several mock ups of the wright bothers plane-complete with hip controls etc.-driven by a screened version of ms2004.I was amused at how many "real" pilots gave it a try only to crash.Of course if they had been disco dancers and had the hip swivel down they might have done better-those hips had to move a lot! lolGives a newfound respect for those pioneer pilots!http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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Geof -My two girls and I both tried this mock-up ...Must say - they did better than I did ...JerryG

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The most tricky plane for me is the Comet. I think you must have dual throttles to take of with that thing. Damn thing's just too powerful and it doesn't seem to have anything there to control it on the ground :DNow the Cub and the Jenny are the most fun planes I've flown in a while. You really feel like you're FLYING, not just watching the autopilot fly, and you've got great visibility too (at least in the air :-lol ) Try taking off and landing the Cub in a crosswind. Scary, but very fun :)It takes some practice to control tail draggers on the ground. Start with the Cub, it's IMO the easiest.Fly the pattern and do some touch 'n go's and you'll get the hang of it. The first few times, I was all over the place on takeoff, then ground-looped on landing :-lol but after three or four attempts I kind of got the hang of it.

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Can't keep the Jenny in the air. It just enters an uncontrollable roll to the left after leaving the ground and crashes.Faring slightly better in the Vimmy, as long as I don't want to climb or turn :)The Comet I can now fly most of the time, but takeoff and landing (and taxi) are difficult indeed.

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You're probably trying to climb too steeply with the Jenny. Anything above 100 fpm is considered a steep climb in that plane ;)

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Might be it. I loaded it in flight and could handle it (though it did spin just on landing causing me to tip over onto the left wing).

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