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jcomm

Are you afraid of using Stability Augmentation? The Taboo...

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On many occasions, when testing X-Plane9, and recently before taking the plunge to version 10 as well, I somehow avoided the "Artificial Stability" sliders... I even remember considering worthless trying any models using artificial stability active in their "air" files...

 

Somehow I (stupidly) thought to myself... Well, if the sim is supposed to be a realistic flight sim platform, than any artificial stability will only detract from reality...

 

I believe I even saw coments from MSFS users regarding how unrealistic after all the behind the scenes is in X-Plane when this sort of stability augmentation is used to make the aircraft easier to fly.

 

Well, presently I "fly" X-Plane10 with all of my artificial stability sliders set to 20%, and the joystick axis non-linearity at 15%. Why?

 

There are two reasons:

 

1) I do not yet own rudder pedals - investment in X-Plane and a couple of add-ons will disable further simming acquisitions until Christmas :-/. Without rudder pedals operating rotary wing would be rather difficult, I'd say unrealisticaly difficult. The same aplies to other aircraft types. Until I get the proper hardware things will stay this way...

 

Even after getting the rudder pedals, flying helicopters - which is certanly something UNIQUE to X-Plane (well, and most probably DCS- BS too, but I do not have it...) requires not only the rudder pedals but also a good replica of a "Cyclic", with the adequate arm to allow for realistic deflections. I once met a portuguese R-44 pilot/owner who used X-Plane9 for his ATPL(H) license. He told me X-Plane9 was the only simulator worth the use for realistic helicopter trainning, but he had invested a bunch of €€ in a complete hlicopter (R-44) control system, and that way, so he told me, X-Plane9 was extremely close to the real thing...

 

Again a good reason for most of us, not being able to own such sophisticated hardware, to use what X-Plane offers as an alternative - augmented stability...

 

2) I want to feel the closest to reality as possible, no matter what it takes to get there, and inX-Plane it is really very very simple - use the fully feature UI for your controller hardware settings - it's all there with a lot more option than what you can find in FSX and even P3d (which has a few more than FSX...).

 

Speaking for my RL experience in the AS-K21, I found those 20% artificial stability settings to be just spot on with the real inputs I do in that glider. If I ever find the way to get a better joystick/etc... than I will probably be able to reduce the stability augmentation.

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True. When playing Xplane10 I tried to avoid those settings as well, but eventually found them to be the only way to avoid having to constantly fight the controls. It's also the only way I know of presently to approximate the feel of almost every other Flight simulator I have ever tried.

 

I kept thinking that if real planes acted like that nobody would ever want to fly for fun!

 

Actually flying Xplane, (rather then concentrating on compensating for the planes tendency to wander all over the place) then becomes much more enjoyable, but it is also slightly unsatisfying (as I mentioned in another thread) as it seems I have been in the community long enough to absorb the meme that using these sliders is somehow "cheating"

 

I see even you, at the end of your post felt the need to express your hope of eventually removing the metaphorical training wheels, whereas I have tended to think Xplane may not be compensating for the fact that users are in a home setting, possibly without all the input devices, and certainly without the real life factors (full 3d vision, vibrations, wind, g-forces etc) that an actual pilot would have to aid them.

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Even you, at the end of your post felt the need to express your hope of eventually removing the metaphorical training wheels.

 

True :-)

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I am not afraid.......... and will do so..., if it helps to make it more life like.

 

In my mind, these desktop computer programs are artificial to start with. What's wrong with adding a bit more?

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I think it's more like cheating to think sitting behind a fixed desk with a 99$ plastic yoke, staring at a 24 inch screen would come close to the feeling of really flying any aircraft. From that point It's goofy to think a few percent of stab. aug. would be a dealbreaker. In addition to that most simmers (including me for 98% of them) have no idea how "the real thing" feels and thus are unable to judge their setup anyway. It's all about imagination, isn't it?

 

Flo

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Not cheating at all, and quite necessary I think with the feel of a lot of aircraft in XPX. I use a lot of it.

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Just out of curiosity, how far right do you have you have your sliders?

 

Mine started at 20%, but I zero any turbulence introduced when RW Weather is parsed into X-Plane10 because I find the way variable winds are translated not the best one... Then I increased it to 50% trying to accept turbulence set by RW Weather, and I am not experimenting with 75% :-))))

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Full right......because of the turbulence, feels ok to me, but what do I know, I only fly RC planes and helicopters in the real world. Only did it as a test to see if it would numb the aircraft "gittery" feeling, and it seems to have accomplished that. May not need full right, it's just where I started, will test with slightly lower settings. With no stability augmentation, all planes in XPX feel like a rabbit on steroids on my Saitek yoke system.

 

edit: When using real weather......

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With no stability augmentation, all planes in XPX feel like a rabbit on steroids on my Saitek yoke system.

 

:LMAO:

 

Greatest respect for the RC crew... Been there, done that (again, gliders only, even if some with electric powered engines...) and all I can say is that, it's a LOT more difficult to fly an RC glider than the real thing!!!!

 

Thx for the info - I'll try full right as well

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I currently fly X-Plane helos on 30 percent stability but with the response curves at full linear, using a Thrustmaster Warthog, which is VERY sensitive and needs a bit of help. With some of the well-designed fixed wing aircraft, such as Goran's DC-3, I'm able to turn the stability down to zero, but rotary wing aircraft need a stability fix.

 

If I recall correctly, Nightsta1ker, who's a helo CFI, said that he used a 30 percent stability setting for X-Plane helos until he acquired a set of Rainman controls, at which point he was able to go to zero because of the much greater control resolution. I have a set of Rainman controls on order (journey into fanaticism, yes) and should be able to test this out. Will report back.

 

I felt some of the same stigma about using artificial stability, but decided that a totally uncontrollable aircraft wasn't all that realistic, either. Physical control setups are very different one to the other, and I've found that they often need some tuning in software. I regularly use the response curve settings in FSX to fine-tune my controls for different aircraft, and have usually had to change the curves when moving to different hardware. Nothing wrong with "tuning the rig," as far as I can tell.

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Jcomm, slightly OT but if you want to fly a lot of helo then think about building your own collective.

 

I was going to but with my new pit being a replica I don't have a place for it. You should be able to do it without too much difficulty and would be able to get lots of help from many places.

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Alan and Jason, helos are indeed one of my preferred types :-)

 

That R-44 pilot who used X-Plane9 for his ATPL(H) invested a bunch of €€€ in a very good replica of the R-44 he flew for real.... Of course I will not be able to do the same, but at least I will try what Jason suggests and find some projects around in the internet :-)

 

Thx for your replies ;-)

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helos are indeed one of my preferred types :-)

 

If you haven't already, you ought to stop by Hovercontrol. Nice community and great resources, including a lot of insight and experience to draw on if you want to build your own helo controls as Jason suggests. A lot of the users are FSX-only but X-Plane is decently represented, most likely because the X-Plane helos are so good.

 

In my earlier post I forgot to include a link to Rainman - there it is. And here's a link to the controls page. Mark (Hungo) Hungerford, who runs Rainman, is a Hovercontrol regular and turns up on Avsim as well. He's a pleasure to deal with.

 

Oh, one more thing - in my post above I mentioned the response curve settings in FSX. Of course I meant the settings in the registered version of FSUIPC - there are none in FSX itself.

 

Hope this helps.

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Alan,

 

thx again for your hints :-)

 

Yes, I know Hovercontrol for quite a while. I used some of their best models, as well as DODOSIM 206. Indeed there isa huge difference in the modelling of rotary wing from X-Plane to MSFS / P3D...

 

Those helo controld look VERY GOOD!!!

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Jcomm...

 

At the risk of drifting even farther off topic, here's Nightsta1ker's review of the Rainman controls, complete with photographs.

 

And here's a thread with links to a number of other manufacturers. Many of these, like the Rainman controls, are in the PFC price bracket (that is, they're full professional-grade controls). The Pro Flight Trainer is considerably less expensive.

 

These are also well regarded.

 

I bought the Rainman unit based on Nightsta1ker's review and the quality of my conversations with Mark.

 

Again, hope this is helpful.

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