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martinlest2

My latest adventure, TU-154

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My oh my, where to start! I saw this on FSNordic last night while looking for some other stuff and thought, cool aircraft, always liked it, lets see how this one works! So today I download it and install, everything went fine and I registered the FSUIPC thingy for the guage. I fire up the sim and end up on the empty ramp at Kelowna, BC. Kind of a cloudy day and it looked slightly like Russia ;) I have the Cessna sitting there looking all lonely on the big wide ramp so I go to select the TU from the menu. Nice liveries there and one commemorating the tragedy with this type last year. As the aircraft appears, I think, whoa, very nice model and superb textures.I'm in slew at the moment so I jump in and watch her squat down on the compressing struts, very nice. A gentle whooshing sound accompanies the aircraft as the big turbofans sit at idle. First thing I do, start taxiing around in spot view and admire this fine piece of work and fine is an understatement. I roll out and takeoff trying to disregard the multiple warnings, and they are loud! Get it airborne and she feels great and looks great too! Smooth and the animations are wonderful. Next thing I go do? you guessed it, hit the joystick button for the 2D pit and jump in, wow! nice Russian feel! Next thing I know, some panels flash on and off and boom, Im a glider listening to the air rush by and I ain't gonna make the turnback! I scramble mashing the CTRL E keys and hear the familiar starting sound...ahh, all will be ok in a moment, folks don't panic we'll have her running again in a just a sec! Well to make a long story short, this one is off the HD tonight after about 5 hours with the 150 page PDF and numerous panel shots printed out with instructions on how to do EVERYTHING. I mean this is one comprehensive piece of software. I do not want to trash this thing in any way shape or form. Project Tupolev has done an amazing job, and it is truly, truly hard to believe this is free. Hats off guys fantastic job!!! I did take the time and get it started with the help of the PDF document. It IS doable. Is it fun, yeah it was once, but as far as I can tell, I cannot save the panel with everything running. It always defualts to a cold jet once you jump into the cockpit. The VC is absolutely gorgeous and my frame rates were really good too. It actually discourages you from saving unless, get this, you are above 250KMH, and above 300m altitude for more than 6 minutes. Can't save the aircraft and the panel state any other time!! Now Im all for realism, but with this one you have lost me to the lack of fun. I mean I love the complexity, but if it takes me 20 minutes to get this thing going every time I try to fly it, then I wont keep it. I won't even go into Navigation, it would probably take me DAYS to figure that stuff out. This is primitive stuff and reuires some real study on how to use the navaids and radios. I cannot seem to save it meeting those above parameters either. All guages are authentically Russian and you basically have to memorize the switches. Also all voice stuff (copilot and engineer) are in Russian too. Its great for atmosphere but I think I'll pass. I can only recommend this to someone who is:A. Russian or can understand the languageB. A sadist when it comes to procedures and panel prepC. Someone who has a LOT OF TIME TO SIM Again, its a fine fine product, but IMHO it's not set up for the general simmer looking to enjoy some different flavored hardware. I fall into that boat perfectly. It was hard to get rid of it, but I got tired of deadsticking after my third attempt to save a flight. I did get pretty good at it!!! :) If any of the Project Tupolev guys read this, Bravo! on a superb jet. There may be a few folks who actually use this to it's full potential. I would ask, no plead, for the ability to get a generic (Russian looking) panel with at least something close to normal everyday FS ops. That would be wonderful and I might then truly enjoy this exceelent bird. I am kind of surprised there isn't an option for it with the complexity that comes with this by default.I spent a good part of my day today with this and thought I would share my thoughts. Maybe it will help someone else to not feel the frustration level I did today.Hornit

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Hornit,This isn't a jab at you, just a general comment on the state of our hobby. :)It is the die hards (and I use that term in the best possible sense) in our community that demand ever more and more "realism". The commercial providers strive to deliver that and so too increasingly are the freeware developers. Yet, enough never seems to be enough. So, developers, both commercial and freeware, stretch for more "realism" until "as real as it gets" is an impediment to "fun", which your message all to well points out.In the never ending pressure to acede to consumer demands, developers are ratcheting up the "realism" bar. But the pressure on them to do so leaves a significant segment of our community behind; that is, those that don't have the time to either learn the endless details of flying a "realistic" aircraft, or the time to do all the things necessary to even get it airborne. I know that I don't have the time most days to spend 30 minutes getting the aircraft to the take off position, let alone reading a 100+ page manual to even turn the thing on, and then flying it somewhere more significant than the pattern around my selected airfield.So the conundrum... acede to the pressure for "realism" or the other extreme, semi-realistic, but not too realistic? My concern is that as the pressure to develop more "as real as it gets" models and functionality is placed on the developers, both commercial and freeware, the smaller the market will become for those developers. The freeware developers can and do develop for "niche" users; that's their right and their reward comes in the way of accolades and appreciation for their efforts. The commercial guys, on the other hand, can't afford a dimenishing market. But, they are caught between the two extremes. What to do? I don't have an answer. But, I do know this; if you are a user who incessently demands perfection, beware... You may be killing off the hobby in your pursuit of perfection.

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Tom, While I agree totally with you on this topic, I guess I found it hard to believe that with all the wonderful stuff put into this aircraft, why not a "lite" version for the average simmer? This thing is defintely NOT aimed at the average flyer. Its downright daunting actually. I'm a huge proponent of freeware, and I'm the LAST guy to look a gift horse in the mouth. I would submit the thousands of downloads of my free paints speaks volumes on where I stand ;) I just thought a word to the wise would give some warning to what they are getting into with this one. It just doesn't have the "fun factor" for my style of simming. I think this is an important aspect for developers to heed in their projects. A good balance of fun and realism is what I look for and I try not to be anal about it! :)Hornit

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Guest mikealpha

Hornit and Tom,Well, first of all I fully understand the remarks, that's why I wrote "steep learning curve" in my announcement.The Project Tupolev team consists of Tu-154 enthusiasts with the aim to simulate the plane with little compromise. That certainly comes at the price of difficult accessibility here and here. For example, there are more than 1000 variables in the simulation and we all know the problem to load/save situations in the correct state.FS standard routines (no pun intended) are not always suitable for correctly simulating a Russian Airliner, you might have noticed how often I described the features with "custom". Some easy features are already in. The Virtual Navigator can do the entire Navigation job. Import an FS flight plan and load it in the Virtual Navigator and "he" navigates for you. You can take over anytime and later give the job back to "him".But anyway : Where else do you have the chance to fly and navigate a Russian Airliner really down to details and learn about its systems ?And you want all this in one day ? Just as an example : Anyone who buys 747-RFP, does he master the plane and manuals in one day ? The answer is : It must be totally YOUR cup of tea. After a while you will memorize the "flow". All memorized, it takes 3 minutes (with stopwatch!) to be in the air for a circling around the home airport ;).I personally started with this a year ago with only Russian manuals, unable to understand a single word in Russian. The actual result is now that 150 page english manual (with still plenty of room for improvements of course). If I arrive at my destination after some hours of orthodromic NVU navigation, land very relaxed with that voice atmosphere in whatever bad weather in the cold Novisibirsk and finally meet a lot of Russian aviation (AI traffic) on the way to the gate ... still one of my greatest moments in FS. And I can't get enough of it :). However, your comments are well taken and they will certainly be discussed in the team !Mike

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Guest Boone

Hats off to you Mike. ;-) Best RegardsBoone,BooneEIDW@hotmail.com"Flying a plane is no different from riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes."

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Overall, I have to pretty much agree here. First of all, IMHO, this is an outstanding piece of work of very high quality. Kudos to the Development Team and thanks for all of their hard work.Secondly, I don't think that anyone is going to master this one in a day, it's certainly complex and requires detailed study in order to enjoy it to its fullest. However, the one thing that turns me off is having to re-set/or modify my joystick setting to use the plane. I use a Saitek X-45 with a lot of custom programming and I really do not feel like doing that in order to fly this one. I kind of wish that they had not made that necessary. But again, congratulations on a "state of the art" addon; the people who do take the time and trouble to learn the aircraft properly have to be in for a treat. :-waveEd GreenKCLThttp://www.panelshop.com/DEV.jpg

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Guest mikealpha

Hi Ed,thanks for the comment>> However, the one thing that turns me off is having to re-set/or modify my joystick setting to use the planeNo, you don't have to modify anything in your FS Joystick Setup.You have to do the setup once for the Tu-154 IN the Tu-154 panel (with Shift-7 Joystick panel). Then it will be stored in your Tu-154cfg and load automatically if you select the plane.Anytime later : Load Tu-154, turn of FS-Joystick with Ctrl-K (this does not affect your settings, it only turns it off).Other planes in FS : Turn Joystick on again with Ctrl-K, that's it.This setup is necessary to correctly simulate some Tu-154 features.Mike

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Pretty soon you'll have to have a sim checkout just to fly the sim...lol.Maybe we should have our customers present their Flight Safety Checkout and have a total of 50 hours time in type before they can purchase our aircraft...hehe.The lines are starting to get blurred now as our abilities and customer wants and needs grow, that's for sure.We'll try to keep it in check as best we can. I can see the days are fast approaching where we might have to have 2 versions on the same product in terms of fidelity.We never thought that we'd be developing alliances with actual airlines and airports to develop our products. The manuals are soon going to be larger file sizes than the actual products...lol.We hope you enjoy them none the less. :-)

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MikeAwesome, fantastic, incredible work. And freeware? Heck. Thank you, thank you.Don't change a thing. There are plenty of aircraft out there for the casual simmer to just jump in and fly, without so much as a checklist, just a CTRL/E and wheeeee! here we go. There are very few aircraft like yours - certainly as freeware - that offer total immersion in as far as you can take it. Please don't even think of dumbing it down.Will I learn to fly it well and have the chance to fly it often? I doubt it, because like everyone else time is always of the essence; but I will look forward to it every time.Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumonthttp://www.swiremariners.com/newlogo.jpg

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Guest ThrottleUp

I am looking forward to flying this plane but admittedly I had a very tough time with the previous release.>>>> why not a "lite" version for the average simmer? :)I havent yet tried this latest incarnation of the TU-154 but I know I can safely say its gonna be awesome visuals!!!! I think Im gonna struggle with its hyper-realism but lets see how I get on!Thanks to the TU154 team!!!

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Guest danowat

Yes, I agree, it is a very good piece of work, nice to see something with that complexitiy for free, it is really something to get your teeth into.BTW, nice to see you around again Mark, its been ages since I last saw you here. :)Dan.

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Mike, Please don't take what I am saying as being negative in ANY WAY. I think I praised this enough, it is very much quality, top notch work. I just think there are some very small stumbling blocks to saving stuff. I mean who's idea was it to not allow a save of panel state unless your meet some parameters for 6 minutes? Why not just allow those who would like to save the panel as its started sitting on the ramp? Thats all I'm saying. You guys went to such great lengths here I don't understand why the option wasn't considered to at least allow this. I mean once I got the manual out and started reading its very good and I was able to start and taxi out, yet even though I met the saving parameters it still does not seem to want to do it here. So every time I want to fly this its back to a cold dark cockpit and restarting eveything. Its just frustrating from an average users standpoint. Just consider this some constructive criticism from a very thankful user! Again, THANK YOU for such a wonderful model and simulation, the VC is fantastic, I just wish we could save the panel state any time we want. I don't think its too much to ask!Hornit

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>BTW, nice to see you around again Mark, its been ages since I>last saw you here. :)>>Dan.Hi DanI have been a bit quiet in this particular forum, yes, having had a family bereavement and, concurrently, a major flood in my home which devastated my computers. I'm still working off a laptop in the kitchen right now until rebuilding work is complete. Every time I call for 'GEAR DOWN' when two-finger-flying on this silly keyboard, my wife throws a cooking implement at me.I've been keeping my eye on the MAAM-SIM forum and am pretty active over at DC-3 Airways, my second home; but I thought it was about time I annoyed people back here again now.Good to hear from you too, Dan!Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumonthttp://www.swiremariners.com/newlogo.jpg

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Guest danowat

Sorry to hear that matey, good luck getting everything back in order, hope to see some more of your wit and humour on these here forums, we certainly miss it ;).Dan.

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Guest Zevious Zoquis

Chances are the stumbling blocks to saving are inherent to the sim rather than something the designers "decided" to incorporate. These panels are essentially a bunch of individual little programs in and of themselves and the fact of the matter is they are way more complex than the sim is actually set up to handle. There are often problems with saving game states when you're dealing with the really complex add-ons like this. It's also the reasonit's usually recommended to load complex add-ons over the defualt cessna...otherwise all those little programs (the guages - often many of which are actually "hidden" but controlling some aspect of the planes operation) don't initialize properly and you get all sorts of funky behavior...

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Mike, you should charge us for the priviledge of flying this a/c. It's simply stunning in its detail and complexity. I am amazed at the improvement. Excellent job and thank you very much for your overly generous contribution to our hobby.best

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Guest mikealpha

Hornit,I understand the issue, I'm also sometimes in the mood to just quickly load a plane and fly. But with the Tu-154 it's different, I don't want to miss that engine start sound :DSeriously : The problem is, with that many variables and custom gauges, FS does not load a saved state correctly on the runway with engines running. Some parameters come back in a weird state. After some minutes in flight with the plane in a clean configuration, it works. So that six minutes waiting time before saving was not done to nerve the users, there was no other choice for the moment. However, that subject is still under investigation.Mike

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Hello Mike, your Tupolev may well become my favourite a/c !and I agree one cannot miss the TU-154 startup sound! :9I would say don't change a thing ..the harder it is to learn the more one will enjoy it in the end :-hahregardsEdhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/109292.jpg"You don't stop playing 'cause you get old. You get old 'cause you stop playing."

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I feel it's a cop out lacking the initiative to learn a complex add-on. We need a few of these in our community. If someone wants to jump in and fly there

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I completely agree with Ed and Dillon, don't change a thing.:D You guys did an AMAZING job!!!THANK YOU!!!:-)

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Guest pugsley

There is a "lite" version of the TU154-B2 available at avsim.com in tu154b2_mal.zip by Tibor Kokai. It has a 2D panel and VC but without the complex engine management features.If you want to simplify the pt_tu154_v9.4 for your own use then edit the panel.cfg to cut and paste the 2D panel from tu154_b2 to replace the 2D panel in pt_tu154_v9.4 while retaining the VC in pt_tu154_v9.4.All the complexity of engine management and joystick functions is in the gauges for the pt_tu154_v9.4 2D panel only.Then Control+E to start engines and you are off like a wounded wippet.The simple choice is up to you. I bet the Russians are still laughing.

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I dont want anything changed either!!!!!!! I just want a simpler 2D panel to complete what is obviuosly a stellar package. I just see this add on as a bit one sided. If this kind of masochism floats your boat then more power to you! No criticism is intended, I just want to FLY!!!! :) Im going to try and figure out this TU-154 lite deal, thanks for the tip. Dillon, You did not need to post that mess, or are you just trolling? I do agree there are plenty of add-ons to have fun with, payware and freeware. I vote with my feet and my money.Hornit

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pugsley,could you be a bit more specific about waht exactly to do? Found the aircraft and have the panel, Am I simply replacing the new models 2d panel section with the one from the older simple panel? which guages go where? Please provide specific step by step, much appreciated.Hornit

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