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jfri

Two Simcheck A300 questions

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I would like a couple of clarifications regarding the simcheck A300 airbus.

 

This plane has three crewmembers pilot copilot and engineer. That was also the case with the dreamfleet 727 and that meant you would need to pause the sim during takeoff in order to finish all crew members tasks in a short time period. I don't wan't it so since I wan't realism.

How does the simcheck A300 handle this problem with three crewmembers and only one person using the sim?

 

In product description of limitations is stated,

"INS does not have an MSU, no VOR updating or drift"

What does this actually mean and how important is it? What about other highquality addon airliners, do they also have these limitations?

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To be honest, it doesn't really matter much when it comes to operating the thing, which is why when I reviewed the SimCheck A300, I recommended it for an award, which it got (Avsim's Gold Star Award), and deservedly so, since it is one of the best airliner simulations you can get for FSX.

 

But to answer your question more specifically, the MSU is the Mode Selector Unit, and there are in fact three of these in the real A300-B2's cockpit, they are located on the overhead. What they do, is align the inertial reference system, i.e. on the real A300, when you select align on the MSU and enter a set of coordinates (it has three settings, ALIGN, ATT and OFF, plus a few buttons and lights to operate it and let you know what it is doing), the gyros in the aircraft's IRS system spin up, which takes about ten minutes, and it will then be detecting any movement of the aeroplane in three dimensions, because when those gyros are spinning, they can detect movement in the same way as if you've ever had a toy gyroscope and moved it, i.e. it resists you moving it in certain directions when spinning. There are also other accelerometers in the system too, and more modern versions use ring laser gyros rather than mechanical ones, but the principle is the same. For lots of boring info on that stuff, look here at this link, or skip it and read my condensed version of it in the next paragraph:

 

http://digilander.li...atheone/irs.htm

 

In an IRS system's gyros, that detected movement is then translated into data which works out what direction the aircraft is moving, and that is what keeps the navigational systems on board updated from you having told it its initial position when you keyed in the coordinates at the start of the flight, so the aircraft knows where it is and how fast it is going after you've set off.

 

However, on the real aeroplane, these will be a bit off by the time you have flown a long flight (this is what they mean about drift on that system), so the system does need updating after a long flight, because its accuracy goes out (by up to about a quarter of a mile or so after something like a transatlantic flight). But since you typically would only set this kind of thing up when preparing the cockpit for take off, and then use radio beacons to perform an approach, it does not really affect how the thing is flown if it is not fully simulated, although if you are the kind of simmer who likes to simulate a triple redundant IRS failure in the middle of the Pacific ocean, which is about as likely as me being the next Pope as far as possibilities go, then you might get upset about it, i.e. as far as simulating real world operations is concerned, it doesn't really matter too much at all unless you are a really obsessive rivet counter.

 

But, if you do like that nerdy stuff, here's what you are missing (i.e. not much) in theory, if there was an ISDU failure (Inertial Sensor Display Unit), then you would get a code flashing on the MSU which you would then look up in the SOP manual in the cockpit, to find out what exactly was wrong, and if it was a really bad failure, you would switch the MSU from ALIGN mode to ATT mode (attitude), and manually enter the magnetic heading, and you would then have an emergency system which would still be able to tell you your attitude and heading, everything else would be lost including airspeed and altitude, so you would then fly by trimming the correct attitude and using known throttle settings and then select an alternate source for the standby altimeter, or even just fly visually and use the PAPI lights on a runway to perform a landing.

 

Back with the SimCheck A300 however, if you read my review of it, you will see exactly what and what is not simulated on the thing, and the truth is, whilst it does not simulate absolutely everything on a real A300, it does simulate everything you would ever want to do as a pilot and co pilot on an A300, as well as some of what the flight engineer does (in fact actually a lot), but not so much as to let it get in the way unless you want to do that. So you will see stuff such as the parking brake not working unless you have pressure in the relevant hydraulic system and things like that, but you won't see things like the ability to rip fuse 113A out of the circuit boards so that you can stop the toilet flushing at the back of the plane. So really, it genuinely is an excellent simulation on an INS-equipped airliner, since it does simulate the INS navigation CDUs properly and it does simulate the flight computer properly, and the flex thrust modes, and all that other cool stuff.

 

If you appreciate a good simulation, then it will absolutely tick all your boxes, and the good news is that one of the main guys responsible for it is now working on the FSL A320, so that's a good sign of more fab Airbus stuff on the way for FSXers.

 

Here's a link to my review of the SimCheck A300:

 

http://www.avsim.com...mcheck/A300.htm

 

Al

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To be honest, it doesn't really matter much when it comes to operating the thing, which is why when I reviewed the SimCheck A300, I recommended it for an award, which it got (Avsim's Gold Star Award), and deservedly so, since it is one of the best airliner simulations you can get for FSX.

Al

 

I have just paid for it and is downloading it right now. I wanted something instead of LH Maddog and I stopped for this one instead of previoulsly considered B377 or PMDG 737NGX. After trying this one out and seen the performence I will use that info to think about the 737NGX again.

I hope being able to get all three sooner or later.

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Of the three, I should think the SimCheck one will probably give you the highest FPS.

 

Al

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To add to Alan's explanations, you can also use the freeware Civa INS in the plane which would allow some more detail and, obviously, nerdy factor on the whole INS aspect. To give some example, the Simcheck INS rendition doesn't model drift but it does show waypoint names whereas the Civa will stick to pure coordinates and needs some DME update from time to time.

 

Well, with the Civa, it just gets more awkward in comparison to modern FMC planes, but perhaps you gain even more fun just because of that extra work involved. Simmers are strange folks. :biggrin:

 

On the fps impact, I'd say that the Simcheck unfortunately is heavier than the example B377 from A2A. While it doesn't take as much resources as the detailed 'glass' planes, you may receive a rather heavy steam gauge airliner. But, not to be read the wrong way, that award from the excellent review is well deserved by all means.

 

The plane seems to get overlooked way too often, which is sad. It comes at a low price for an airliner addon and offers top notch systems and docs. Make sure to check out Simcheck's forum and especially the tips section. http://simchecksoftware.com/forum/ You will find some more docs and tools there, e.g. on how to determine the derated TO values and things.

 

On the view ahead, there should be a FMC version coming up within some time. Looking on how detailed they devs have worked on the current version, you can expect some realistic operation again, which mainly means that, for instance, 'VNAV' features will not be available.

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Of the three, I should think the SimCheck one will probably give you the highest FPS.

Al

 

Really? I have always been of the impression after what I have read that the A2A B377 should be the given answer here.

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Give the simcheck A300 time, get to know its procedures, there are some really good concise documents on avsim for starting the bird and good tutorials on youtube.

 

I think it is a marvellous, challenging aircraft, and it is lots of fun! I fly it regularly for my VA in Europe on the Vatsim network.... And am also lobbying for MCE to hopefully provide voice support for it...fingers crossed!

 

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