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Some Q400 questions

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Hey guys,


I asked a question about the Q400 over at Majestic but I thought I might get a quicker response here. 


1.  I'm assuming that all altitude restrictions have to be handled manually, correct?  What's the best way to do it?  Keep the Flight Plan up on the FMS and just monitor the ND and dial them in as the fixes approach...change alt...Alt by one, all the way up?


2.  How do you calculate how much runway you need?  I mean, you can get a V1, V2, etc. for any weight but how long will you roll?


3.  Do you fly with FS2Crew?



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1. You got the gist of it. Altitude limits are dialed into the MCP and you can pick from a variety of modes for your climb, IAS 170-180 kts being a typical setting. Then just adjust your throttles to climb power and you should be good till cruise. There's a relatively simple vnav mode for descent. In the fmc you set the desired altitude at x waypoint, the descent rate you want to use to get there, and 10nm before calculated TOD you roll down the altitude window and engage vnav. It's nothing too fancy, and doesn't adapt to changes in descent path automatically but it gets the job done. The airplane was designed this way partly to make type ratings easier for pilots coming from simpler turboprops.


2. There's a v speed calculator made by Airline2sim via Aurasim and a number of free v speed calculators dispersed on the forums. Personally, I've never used a calculation tool. The plane has an enormous amount of thrust available and I've never found it wanting, even on short runways like CYTZ. Knowing how much to derate the thrust can be tricky, but I've found you can usually go down to 80% and still be ok. Also helps to pull flight plans from flightaware so I know all the airports and routes I use are approved for the q400.


3. No, never got into virtual co-pilots personally.

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You handle altitude restrictions by only dialing in the desired altitude into the FCP. The FMS will not control altitude like a Boeing or other more complex jet. It will allow restrictions or altitudes be plugged in but only for vertical reference, mainly on descent. It has a rudimentary VNAV mode but it's picky. Essentially you program one point into the VNAV page in the FMS and monitor the PFD for the VNAV glide path. Then press the VNAV button at a certain point to capture the glide. Otherwise it won't work. A lot of times pilots dip into V/S mode like a non-FMS equipped plane. Speed is also controlled by pitch and thrust, manually. It's actually easy but busy work. Kinda like the RealAir Duke, doing the work yourself.


You'll never know runway length requirements because you need actual performance charts with weights, temperatures, and other data to calculate that exact minimum. I find that the plane lifts off pretty quick and can do short runways just fine so it's not an issue. Unless you're trying to go somewhere unusual it's not a problem at all.


I don't use FS2Crew so I can't say. They have one and some people swear by it. Seems like more trouble than it's worth IMO. Once you get the hang of the required switch and knob turning it's pretty easy. It just isn't a plane you can sit and watch fly. Only cruise is the less busy portion of flight but that's a good time to plan your arrival and landing so not much down time.

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1. What the previous posters wrote


2. You could use FSCaptain. It doesn't give you an ultra-precise runway length like Topcat, but it gives you a good estimate based on weight, outside temperature and pressure, and a few parameters that are aircraft specific. The estimated t/o run is included in every dispatch release. It wouldn't help you with derating, though


3. Yes, I use it on almost every flight now. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I love it. I have been following amplified checklists even without FS2Crew, but I would say that it feels more immersive if I fly with it. The only complaint I have is that it never understands my reply when I have to announce runway number and heading before t/o, but you can skip over it.



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Seems like more trouble than it's worth IMO


Like   how  it  more  trouble  than it  worth  going  by your  own experience, most  aircraft  are flown by   2 pilots , fs2crew give  you  the  second pilot 

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