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Dragonmount

Realistic civilian flights? (Length of flight)

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I love small props like the lancair legacy for being able to go anyplace, but I was wondering, what is a typical real world length of a flight? I've been doing about 40 minute hops to get used to FSX again before I get into the fun things like Superbug and PMDG again.

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How long's a piece of string?

 

Difficult to give any sort of sensible answer really. Anything from 48 seconds (Loganair, Westray - Papa Westray) to sixteen and a half hours (DL201, JNB-ATL) and literally everything in between.

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In real life it depends on your wallet and bladder LOL.  What are 172s renting for now?  $120-150/hr or so now I think.  There is a joke among pilots, the strength of the headwind is related to how many cups of coffee you had before takeoff.   :BigGrin:   It also depends on the task at hand.  Plan your flight time based on what it is you are trying to do.  A lot of people think GA flying is just A to B personal transport.  Personal transport is just one of many things you can do with a GA plane.  Sight seeing, training/refresher flying, aerobatics, bush flying.....etc to name a few.

 

If you are building flight time or sight seeing, it makes much more sense to rent a 172 or Cherokee, not only is it cheaper, but you build more hours per dollar spent.  If you are going A-B with some passengers who can chip in, something like 182/V35/Comanche/Cirrus...etc might make more sense. 

 

Flight time wise, you might spend 1-2 hrs for a training/sight seeing flight, especially if you have first time flyers for passengers.   A-B flying, plan flight time depending on your endurance, aircraft endurance, weather conditions....plan shorter flight or delay flight if weather conditions are unfavorable.  Shorter flight leaves you with more fuel and options.   For me, ideal A-B leg is around 3hrs, 4 if needed.  Shorter if rough weather or at night.....with no autopilot, a long flight through turbulence can be fatiguing.  The most difficult phase of the flight is landing, and that is the least place you want to be fatigued, when pilot stress level is the highest.

 

PilotWorkLoad.gif

 

There is the IMSAFE rule of thumb is good one to judge your own endurance/no-go decision for a flight.  Illness - Medications - Stress/Emotional well being - Alcohol - Fatigue - Eating.

 

If personal endurance is longer than the aircraft endurance, plan trip length on fuel.  I flew an old AA-1 on a ferry trip which had fairly short range.  I planned trip legs that were around 2hrs long with a max trip length 3hrs.  Regardless of the plane, always give yourself a nice safety margin of left over fuel.  Personally, I don't like to use any more than 75% of the aircraft's fuel capacity on a single trip....which other than planes with limited fuel tank size, is much more flight time than my bladder can handle LOL.

 

10 gal/hr is a nice ballpark fuelburn estimate Lycoming O-360 @ around 75% power, which is pretty much full throttle ~ 8000'.  Late model 172s hold 50 Gal.  No wind you'll probably get around 120kts G/S, do the math and you can get an idea of what you have to work with.

 

In the end it depends on you the pilot in command.  Take all the factors of the planned flight, and plan a flight based on that.

 

Cheers

TJ

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I seem to tend to fly between 1-2 hours when I go up.  But I'm not usually going anywhere in particular.  

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I seem to tend to fly between 1-2 hours when I go up. But I'm not usually going anywhere in particular.

 

Yeah...that's the good stuff. 

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The distance between payware airports, such as if I have 2-3 in an Orbx region, I hop between them. In real life as others say it depends on your pocket book, and where you want to go. Usually an hour or so away. Look at your favorite airport if it has coverage by Flightaware, many times GA files IFR flight plans and they show up.

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The distance between payware airports, such as if I have 2-3 in an Orbx region, I hop between them. In real life as others say it depends on your pocket book, and where you want to go. Usually an hour or so away. Look at your favorite airport if it has coverage by Flightaware, many times GA files IFR flight plans and they show up.

 

Which is precisely why I wish there were more payware between some airports like PNW and KSFF and Jackson Hole.  How about an airport in New Mexico?  Anyone? :)

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Which is precisely why I wish there were more payware between some airports like PNW and KSFF and Jackson Hole.  How about an airport in New Mexico?  Anyone? :)

I agree. That's why I hope rumors of an A2A win are true. This way flying between PNW and CRM with a hop in KSFF isn't so bad. I enjoy flying around the triangle of KBZN, KJAC and KWYS, but a KSUN and KBIL plus others would be great.

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About 2 hours max. For a very practical reason. My teeth start to float after that. I'm sure most of you know what I mean. lol

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I agree. That's why I hope rumors of an A2A win are true. This way flying between PNW and CRM with a hop in KSFF isn't so bad. I enjoy flying around the triangle of KBZN, KJAC and KWYS, but a KSUN and KBIL plus others would be great.

 

Twins are great but very expensive for operating and MX costs.   That and they generally aren't any faster, and usually carry less payload then their single engine counterpart.  People who can afford twins generally get them for the peace of mind and safety of the second engine, not for their speed or load capabilities.  Twins have the drag of a second prop and have to carry the weight of extra fuel and engine.   

 

The 'known' twin on A2A's plate is a Seminole.  The Seminole is a training twin with a pair of Lyc O-360, while not a total slowpoke, it is about as fast as the Comanche, but with payload similar to a Cherokee.

 

A2A did get an Aerostar which may eventually be accusimmed, but that is quite a ways off.  

 

Realistic flight planning for a twin is also more involved too, now that you have to calculate accelerate-stop/go distances, single engine service ceilings.   Twins require more runway distance.  While the twin can take off in a similar distance to an similar sized single, you generally don't want to operate out of runways shorter than the calculated accel-stop distance...ie loose an engine, with enough room left to stop.  Twins have a nasty tendency to roll when loosing an engine, which can be quite fatal if it happens right after takeoff.  The sooner you get past Vmc in a twin, the better.  Because of all this, the Seminole will make an excellent addon that can really teach the kind of thought process and instincts needed to operate a twin.

 

A2A's true speed machine is still the Civilian P-51.  The Mustang has one of the most efficient airframes ever designed. 

 

Cheers

TJ

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I am not a fan of the panel layout of the Comanche or the mph speed rather than knots. I'm a picky flyer. And I'd like a twin for higher operations to fly over the rockies all over the FTX-NA area.

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I am not a fan of the panel layout of the Comanche or the mph speed rather than knots. I'm a picky flyer. And I'd like a twin for higher operations to fly over the rockies all over the FTX-NA area.

 

Not to mention over water.  Yeah, I'm hoping for a twin as well.  To me, the only game in town is the Duke and I'd like to get something more mainstream.

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lol The Piper Seminole has one of the worst single engine service ceilings of it's class, maybe around 6-7000'...and that is lightly loaded on a nice day lol.  Fully loaded you can expect around 4-5000'....which is lower than a lot of field elevations around the American Southwest and Rockies. Basically if you loose an engine in it, and you are in mountainous terrain, it will take you to the scene of the crash :lol:   We'll have to wait and see if Scott will model an oxygen system.  We might have to wait until his Aerostar is operational for that, it is currently being restored, so you won't be flying much above 14k either way.   The Comanche has a higher service ceiling than the Seminole as well, but again without oxygen, you won't be going anywhere near those altitudes.  

 

Cheers

TJ

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Fly some $100 burger style flights, its the most common kind of GA flight for private pilots, a flight from the base to somewhere you can get good food, sometimes an attraction near the destination airfield also makes it an attractive airfield itself. An hour or two there and same back makes for a nice day out in the real world and a good fun flight in the land of sim ^_^

 

cheers,

Lewis

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