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Ken A

MCP on J41

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I will clearly be showing my ignorance of flying here, but I seem to having trouble understanding the use of the MCP on the J41. I d/l this A/C yesterday and love the flight characteristics, but am having a devil of a problem trying to get the MCP to work. As yet I haven't got to grips with the FMS and I wonder if that is where I am going wrong, but all I tried to do yesterday was fly and maintain a heading and altitude, I fail to see how the AP engages. I enjoy the workings of both the PMDG 737 and 747 and find very little trouble there, particularly regarding the MCP, so where am I going wrong here? Would appreciate any form of help, as yet I haven't found anything which directly points to my problem in the manual or tutorial.Ken Alderslade

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You engage the autopilot by pressing the AP Engage button on the center console. Check out pages 485-491 in the J41 AOM. As for how to capture a heading and altitude, heading is just like any other plane, you just press the heading. To capture an altitude, you must use the ALT SEL button. Just get her climbing on autopilot, then set your altitude you want to capture, then press the ALT SEL button. Then she should capture the altitude you're aiming for. Look at pages 471-476 for information on that.Hopefully this makes some sense. It's late and I'm tired, so I might not be helping all that much. :(

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Love the JS41 but why did the designers put the AP button and scroll wheel on the center console far away from the glareshield MCP controls?Poor engineering imho.Not taking anything away from the PMDG JS41, only plane I fly right now. biggrin.gif

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Love the JS41 but why did the designers put the AP button and scroll wheel on the center console far away from the glareshield MCP controls?Poor engineering imho.Not taking anything away from the PMDG JS41, only plane I fly right now. biggrin.gif
They are positioned very close to the pilots hands, making then very easy to find without taking your eyes of the important stuff or having to reach half way across the cockpit. It is not poor engineering at all, it is just not Boeing engineering.

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I will clearly be showing my ignorance of flying here, but I seem to having trouble understanding the use of the MCP on the J41. I d/l this A/C yesterday and love the flight characteristics, but am having a devil of a problem trying to get the MCP to work. As yet I haven't got to grips with the FMS and I wonder if that is where I am going wrong, but all I tried to do yesterday was fly and maintain a heading and altitude, I fail to see how the AP engages. I enjoy the workings of both the PMDG 737 and 747 and find very little trouble there, particularly regarding the MCP, so where am I going wrong here? Would appreciate any form of help, as yet I haven't found anything which directly points to my problem in the manual or tutorial.Ken Alderslade
Hi Ken, the JS41 can be flown completly without ever turning on the FMC. It is a pilot aid, not a flight control. The mental 'gotcha' most people have with with the AP if they are used to default aircraft or tubeliners is that the AP does not have a VNAV or autothrottle component. 'ALT' means 'Altitude HOLD', 'Alt Sel' means switch to ALT mode when (if) that altitude is reached. IAS means use pitch to maintain the indicated airspeed and VS means use pitch to maintain the indicated vertical speed. What ever mode the AP is controling, the pilot must still control speed and power etc.

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Well thanks a bunch for your help guys, I managed to get control of heading and alt during the climbing phase, but by golly the descent needs further practice, I figured I must have been wearing a kamikaze headband. I must admit it is a very nice A/C and I will get used to it, practice is all I need and many thanks to all of you for the advice you have given.

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Well thanks a bunch for your help guys, I managed to get control of heading and alt during the climbing phase, but by golly the descent needs further practice, I figured I must have been wearing a kamikaze headband. I must admit it is a very nice A/C and I will get used to it, practice is all I need and many thanks to all of you for the advice you have given.
We all got caught out by that. Just remember, slow down or go down, you can't do both.

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They are positioned very close to the pilots hands, making then very easy to find without taking your eyes of the important stuff or having to reach half way across the cockpit. It is not poor engineering at all, it is just not Boeing engineering.
So Paul, you think a pilot will be pressing autopilot controls WITHOUT looking at what he is manipulating. I dont think so.The layout in the JS41 causes the pilot to divert his attention away from his outside view to look down and away to manipulate some of the autopilot controls. Say what you like, but I much prefer all the autopilot controls all in one area near the glareshield. Just good common sense. Theres a reason most every other airliner has that type of grouping.

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So Paul, you think a pilot will be pressing autopilot controls WITHOUT looking at what he is manipulating. I dont think so.The layout in the JS41 causes the pilot to divert his attention away from his outside view to look down and away to manipulate some of the autopilot controls. Say what you like, but I much prefer all the autopilot controls all in one area near the glareshield. Just good common sense. Theres a reason most every other airliner has that type of grouping.
Just to remind you, the JS41 is an IFR aircraft, the pilot is expected to look inside the cockpit everynow and again. I think that any trained pilot knows where his or her controls are without having to look, and since the feedback mechanisms for the AP engagement is not whether or not the light bulb turns on when the switch is pressed, the pilot should not be looking at the switch anyway. Fortunatly, your idea of good common sense is not one shared by most aircraft designers.

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Just to remind you, the JS41 is an IFR aircraft, the pilot is expected to look inside the cockpit everynow and again. I think that any trained pilot knows where his or her controls are without having to look, and since the feedback mechanisms for the AP engagement is not whether or not the light bulb turns on when the switch is pressed, the pilot should not be looking at the switch anyway. Fortunatly, your idea of good common sense is not one shared by most aircraft designers.
As a real world pilot, I always confirm what button or control I am about to manipulate before I actually do it. Very easy to turn a tense situation into a horrible one if you start turning knobs and pressing buttons without confirming what you are about to do. It is ironic that my common sense approach you find suspect is one most all other designers use in most aircraft. It’s ok to be critical of some things in order to improve it.I’m sure there were people around when the model T was made saying that turning the starter by hand in the front of the engine is a good thing. It gives people exercise before they drive. :( Thankfully, common sense prevailed. I respect your opinion on the autopilot controls and if it suits you that’s great. I guess we can agree to disagree on that.Like I stated earlier, I love what PMDG had done with the JS41 and I love flying it. I am looking forward to the 737NG as they say it will be even better. Hope to see you in the skies sometime. Take care.

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You do not turn on the A/P in a high stress situation so its positioning is not critical. Did you ever wonder why the dis-engage button was on the control wheel but the engage button wasn't? Its because if you have to take your hand off the stick to engage the A/P, then you have a strong reason to trim the aircraft first. My concern with your 'common sense' approach is that you do not seem to be aware of the human factors, in particular, that there is a significant difference between being used to something and it being common sense. You talk about the starter handle at the front of the engine as though it was some how a bad thing? Apply some thought for a moment, what were the other options available? You could reposition the starter handle, reposition the motor or invent a whole new way of starting the engine. The first two options were impractical so 'plain common sense' was to put the handle at front of the engine. Technology evolved high capacity batteries, magnetos, dynamos and then stators to recharge those batteries and small and efficient electric motors with brushes that didn't wear out and all the other technologies required that allowed the starter motor to be invented, but as late as the 1970's was it 'plain common sense' that said put a starter handle on the front of the engine, just in case, or was it simply that is what we were used to? It was not 'plain common sense', nor the widespread use of starter motors that got rid of starter handles, it was the widespread adoption of the transverse engine layout in cheap reliable japanese cars that rendered starter handles redundent.

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Wow, what a post…..you sure got me. :( Wise man say better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt :(

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Wow, what a post…..you sure got me. :( Wise man say better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt :(
Perhaps you should have listened to him :(

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