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Oracle427

Flew a Stearman yesterday - Is there any sim that models a ground loop?

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I finally took up a Stearman yesterday for an hour of dual. This particular airplane has the slightly shorter Navy style landing gear and a 220 HP engine.

 

Forward and downward visibility totally sucked as expected, but nothing beat the experience of the wind in the face, the sound of the radial and the singing of the flying wires.

 

The airplane was a dream to fly. Contrary to what I expected it had extremely light controls. It handled like a huge J-3 to a degree. The approach stalls were very docile and steep turns didn't demand much effort. When you dial back the power however, the airplane does not glide very far. It looses airspeed and altitude very quickly.

 

Landing was fairly easy and the oleo strut gear make it feel extraordinarily smooth on turf.

 

Before we proceeded to take off we did a few fast taxi runs to get used to the rudder work and especially the rudder fade. I was warned that the airplane is a pussycat on turf and a tiger on asphalt by the instructor.

 

After a few fast taxi runs on turf we tried one on asphalt and I nearly got into my first unintentional ground loop before the instructor stepped in, literally, with a little brake and rudder. I know that the airplane has a very narrow track, and the margin for error while on asphalt is extremely low. You have to be quick and positive with the rudder/tail wheel inputs as the rudder fades away.

 

So this is my question for those of you with RW tail wheel experience. I am dissappointed that no model I have tried in FSX can do this, not even the A2A J-3 :unsure:. Is there any civil flight sim and aircraft model combo that does a good job of modelling a ground loop? I find that I can rest my feet on the rudder pedals in all sim tail wheel aircraft which is 100% off the mark as they will never ever track straight on their own in RL.

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X-Plane used to model ground loops. In X-Plane 9 it was quite easy to enter a ground loop with a taildragger. I just tried it again in X-Plane 10 with the default Stinson and a freeware Stearman (originally designed for X-Plane 9, http://www.ilmioatelier.com/Boeing%20Stearman%2075%20Kaydet.html ): you can still experience a ground loop if you brake on ground, but looks like it's more difficult now in X-Plane 10, compared to X-Plane 9.

 

X-Plane 10 is available as a demo if you want to try it.

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It's been a while since I tried, but between FSX & X-Plane, I haven't found the forces of the tailwheel wanting to continue in a straight path.....modeled very authentically. Microsofts Combat 1&2, just seemed to throw some gound loops in for the heck of it. A good sensation, but not very controllable.

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Thanks for the tip on the model for XPlane. I own XP 9 and gave it a spin with this PT17. It isn't terrible, it will at least ground loop if you hit one brake hard or give full rudder to one side.

 

Unfortunately, it requires effort to cause the event instead of effort to prevent it. Maybe they'll get it right someday.

 

I only tried CFS 3 and I do fly IL2. I think the sims are built for people without rudder pedals. Otherwise too many customers would be excluded.

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Sounds like you had a blast.  I fly my Stearman from time to time - it never gets boring :) 

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