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cavaricooper

I can't wash the oil out of my jeans anymore!

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Two things happened this week in the DC-6 world that forced me out of my recent reticence. 

 

First, a fellow named Roberto Stopnicki built a model that reminded me of how treasured the smell of castor oil in the air really is. 

 

Then, the beta team received an update that finally allowed flight of the cargo variant.  Having spent several months flying the passenger airframe out of Ketchikan, into Whitehorse, Dawson, King Salmon, Bethel and other such cosmopolitan destinations, it was a welcome relief to replace the starched trousers with jeans, t-shirt and a well worn Avirex jacket, and not have to worry about tourists who felt much more rugged (and correspondingly wordy), as they were spending a few days in the “wilderness”.

 

I confess spending great portions of the last several years managing systems above FL300 and deriving enormous pleasure in ETOPS and fuel planning.  With my beloved fat-girl waiting in the wings, I shall return to that world soon.  In the meanwhile, however, I have been getting my hands dirty with the -6.  Doing so, the words that most often flash through my head are “busier than a one handed paper hanger”.

 

This is a visceral, vibrating airframe that is not softened by the subtleties of modern flight. She shakes, snorts and sort of bullies herself into the air.  Load her up with cases of freshly caught fish and she will scare the daylights out of you, before finally gathering up her bloomers and clawing into the air, just in time to watch the fence flash below you.

 

Many have seen and heard about the incredible job that the AFE does, and truth be told, having that sort of assistance does indeed make single pilot -6 flight manageable.  I of course  therefore chose to only use this brilliant chap as a mentor, and then started using less and less of him; and correspondingly more and more of my physical and mental capabilities.  The resulting choreography of visual scan, VC view movement and hands dancing over virtual levers is surely hilarious to anyone watching.  Thankfully, the trolly-dolly is so used to my inane peccadillos, that she just rolls her eyes and moves on.  Today, climbing out over Pennock Island, I was so utterly exhausted from this physical and mental exercise, I had to pause mid-flight and take a break…. hence these few lines.

 

Just getting the old girl cranked up is exhausting.  The walk-around is hard work.  There’s no casual stroll examining brake pins and fan blades.  Instead you are poking, prodding, climbing and sweating your way around this smelly, sticky and sooty girl.  From her ancient proboscis to her straight tail with the old glass domed anti-collision light sticking into the breeze, she is nothing like the modern tube-liners you normally see at the airport.  Her wings look as stout as a ship’s deck beam, and her engines are living breathing, belching, creatures that tear her way forward.  Watching her radials belch flames into the night is a very satisfying experience.

 

Try and not step in a drip pan while you’re at it!  Have you seen those tall thin tires, sticking out of spindly appendages?  No small nose wheel here.  It’s just a tiny bit smaller (in inches, none of that new-fangled metric nonsense here). You will be able to smell the rubber when you duck to avoid hitting a cowl flap dripping with oil. Remember to wear a ball cap so you don’t wipe oil off your forehead all day.  A trip to the washroom is certainly in order, before climbing into the cockpit.  The words “Flight Deck seem atrociously out of place.  I feel crowded, without two others crammed in with me.  Thankfully, my office hasn’t absorbed the leathery, sweat stained, vacuum tube and warm wire, oil and hydraulic fluid odor that wafts into my nostrils every time I load her up!

 

There’s no glass (except for the oil stained, somewhat murky panes that enclose your cramped quarters) to speak of.  Even the glass on the seemingly hundreds of round dials show the opacity of sixty odd years of greasy fingers, nervously tapping on oil pressure gauges.  There is no ergonomic placement, no crash survival forethought.  Instead, you are confronted with a hodgepodge of switches, knobs, dials, and very substantial levers (the sort Archimedes used to move the earth).  Thankfully, these are all placed conveniently, to assure instant impalement in the event of a sudden stop.

 

By the by, without mincing words, let me say that this is the very first time in my X-Plane experience, I have enjoyed the flight experience.  PMDG, and Chris in particular, have worked very hard to negate the monstrous inaccuracies within the XPL platform.  Some of their efforts are trickling into the XPL eco-system and should already be making itself known through the simulator in the form of system updates.  The entire XPL community will owe this team a debt of gratitude. 

 

Ok- enough rambling, I need to get back to the old bat.  Stay tuned, I made notes on my last departure out of Dawson, and as soon as I decipher what the rubbish I have scrawled all over my POH is, I shall add to this post.

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What Carl said.

 

I've been mesmerized by the DC-6 while we progress thorough the beta build by build taming the bad habit that XPL has of assuming anything with props is a single engine, so there is much work with torque and adverse yaw effects to make this an enjoyable experience.  We are very lucky to have a small number of guys on board who are flying this beauty for a living today and in the past. Adds much to the enjoyment.  Most of my logbook time is in light twins, I love props. This is going to be a real wake up call for guys who have been flying the PMDG 77X and NGX products because this girl demands constant attention. It is work to fly her, but the effort is so very rewarding.

 

Thanks for the eloquence, Carl. You know it's the Bard's birthday, right?

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Well, the "click-bait" of your thread title worked Carl! ...can't wash the oil.... WHAT'S HE ON ABOUT??.... CLICK...

 

and what an enjoyable read it was! I'm just getting back into FSX now that I finally have a PC good enough, so know nothing about the latest X-Plane (apart from the fact it exists), nor the DC-6 add-on for it.

 

Your write-up brought a smile to my face. I fully understand the love of older machinery. Machinery which had "souls".

 

Thanks!

 

Mark Robinson

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Carl has returned to the eloquent and poetic descriptions that we have known for so long.

I am sure that the final product will entertain many pilots for a very long time.

Well done, Carl. I await more of your experiences as beta testing progresses.

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I've just googled some images of the DC-6, and to mis-quote 2001 a Space Odyssey: My God, it's full of dials!

 

A wonderful old girl!

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Ok you got me. I wasn't going to buy this bird as I'm not a fan of the old props, but reading the OP seeing pics of her in the air and on the ground has changed my mind. Very well stated Carl, now I'm having shakes just waiting on her. :)

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Thanks all, glad you enjoyed the glimpse into what is becoming the -6.... She is perfect for those post salt-mine wind downs when you only have an hour or so to spend before tucking in for an early start the next morn'. By the time you get the third engine cranked- 'tis time for bed ;).

 

I suppose this is why our adroit AFE works though the checks with admirable alacrity... allowing for a much more manageable, and much quicker flow... Still, for those moments when you want to experience the magical complexities of awakening a mechanical marvel... She's hard to beat.... Solid like a bridge girder, simple like the movement of a Jeager le Coultre, breathing air to awake, thrashing it behind her to tear forward, she is a living, breathing creature from Douglas.

 

Armen, long a magician, has outdone himself.... In the resonating cacophony that is the cockpit, juxtaposed with 4 whirling sets of paddles pushing air, turned by 72 pistons, corresponding connecting rods, superchargers and cranks, it is necessary to turn down the speakers to avoid blinding head-aches and long term exposure, with its corresponding hearing loss. I swear I hear a tiny bit of piston slap in engine 2.....

 

She's coming along.... and dragging me, kicking and screaming, with her.... Into the XPL world.

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Hello Carl:

You had me at: "Two things happened this week in the DC-6 world that forced me out of my recent reticence."

What a great read.

I want to say "can't wait", but that is getting a bit old. It is quite obvious that whatever the wait, it will be worth it.

Like the others said above, time well spent while waiting, will be searching for photos of DC-6's and their innards, and looking for current operations of DC-6's down narrow valleys that lead to far away runways at airports with animal names. And jotting them down for future reference.

Keep the stories coming. They make the time go by faster.

Thanks!

Roberto

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Roberto, glad you liked my glimpse into the old girl... I sure did love yours!

 

Here's something I think some may appreciate... I was flighting the latest build around Tampa Bay, and stopped in at Hangar 1 to go make a cuppa.  On my return, I walked up to with her Pratts just ticking over, cowls fully open for the local heat, and the beacon winking in the afternoon sun... so I wanted to share.... BTW... are there any other freight dogs here?

 

DC-6C_1_zpsmwrrmh3f.png

 

DC-6C_2_zpsvkxkyg3k.png

 

DC-6C_3_zpsi1jey0kb.png

 

DC-6C_1_zps79ccg4t4.png

 

She's been created in a sim I don't yet fully understand, but she enthralls nevertheless..... I hope you enjoy these piccies as much as I do.... she's such an oddity on the modern ramp, but then I've always chosen the path less traveled. The close up photos with the radials just loping along are great, but wait until you see and HEAR them ticking over... the flames are just icing on the cake... unless at night, then they take the cake... and oh, wait until you can see the cowl flaps pulsing as the collector ring fires... a complete and total coup de grace!

 

I'm just about through deciphering my scrawling from a couple of weeks ago... so stay tuned for notes on a flight out of Dawson in the days ahead....

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Very nice, except the main wheels don't seem to be touching the ground in those shots.

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You can't look too close in XPlane, the rendering engine is very primitive compared to P3D.  It depends on the angle, sometimes you see things that disappear at other angles.  I don't know which scenery Carl is using, all the default XPlane sceneries are 2D only (no buildings, structures or objects) and his screenies show buildings:  It could be the scenery (like my FSDT KDFW in P3Dv3... horrible).

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It's default XPL... I haven't bought anything for it... yet.  The wheels are most definitely on the ground, it's the camera angle....

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I don't know which scenery Carl is using, all the default XPlane sceneries are 2D only (no buildings, structures or objects) and his screenies show buildings:  It could be the scenery (like my FSDT KDFW in P3Dv3... horrible).

 

It used to be like that at the beginning of X-Plane 10 - if you hadn't installed any custom scenery (a lot of it being available for free), you only had the runways, taxi ways and aprons. Some versions ago however Laminar introduced what they call the scenery gateway, where they bundle 2D and 3D scenery (based on their "lego brick" objects set) and ship it with X-Plane updates. So by now chances are good to have a basic 3D at least for more common airports. There's a web frontend where you can browse the default scenery available through the gateway interface (and thus bundled with the current or next update of X-Plane). For Tampa you can see there's a 3D scenery available and included (cf. https://gateway.x-plane.com/scenery/page/KTPA).

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... the main wheels don't seem to be touching the ground in those shots....

 

I immediately thought that when I saw the pictures. If it was in FSX (which it isn't!) I'd be trying to tweak the contact points in the aircraft cfg file. However, that niggle aside, the old girl is an incredibly detailed beauty!

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Hello all:

 

I found this video, that clearly explains why six hands are needed to operate the DC-6.

 

 

I think it is from one of the very last operators of cargo DC-6's into Miami from the Caribbean.

It is possible to understand the crew over the noise of the engines (and a bit of a latin accent) as they go through the checks.

 

Enjoy!

Roberto

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The guy in the jump seat is simulated in the PMDG DC-6, and we have a couple of RW pilots advising what the flight engineer should be and shouldn't be doing.

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I was loading more fish at YAK this afternoon, and thought this the perfect angle to show that the wheels really do sit on the ground....

 

DC-6C_1_zpsz4btmont.png

 

This is PAKT (a tiny bit less detail than the Orbx version).... ;)

 

 

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I don't really know what ( many ) contributions from the PMDG Dev team may have been important to the advances in X-plane 10, but I do about at least one, not from the Dev team, we all owe to Murmur, and has direct implications in the dc-6, and any prop aircraft modeled in X-Plane - the solution to the infamous torque bug.

 

For years developers used many strategies to overcome the limitations imposed by that core flight dynamics bug, and truth is we can now create good prop aircraft that behave very plausibly, even using only RW data and plane maker ... Being a 4 engine multiprop, PMDG owes 4x to Murmur :-)

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Jose-

 

I do NOT want you to derail this thread.... so, let me just say native XPL (in the most current version) still leaves a LOT of work for PMDG to do.  OK- BACK TO THE -6 PLEASE...

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