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cavaricooper

Tyrollean Travels in a DC-6

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With the beta in full swing, I dug though my XPL install trying to find some scenery that looked as though it had some promise. Much to my surprise, I found a perfectly recognizable facsimile of Innsbruck. Add to that a couple of You Tube videos about the Red Bull DC-6 at LOWI and my mind was made up. While much of the XPL world looks rubbish compared to what we are all used to in P3d, this bit of it was passable… in fact pleasant to maneuver in. So maneuver we did.

 

It was a downright delightful day at Innsbruck Flughafen this late afternoon. The spring sunlight was sending its shafts through the high overcast, and beams of light danced over gleaming metal and water. I hurried through the pre-flight (which means that I only spent 15 minutes in a lather) and soon it was time to turn number 3. Starting an RB-211H and a Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp are remarkably dissimilar. The RB-211 starts in a sterile environment, with a pull on the start switch, a flick of the fuel control switch, one eye on the stop watch, another on the EICAS and a lovely sense of relaxation in an air-conditioned environment. The Wasp on the other hand, requires actioning of the Engine Selector, magneto, mixture and then a delightful 4 fingered trill on the Prime, Start, Boost and Safety Switch Gang. After several blades, counted with ones head out the window, even more belches, an occasional backfire, smoke, actual fire out the barking exhausts, and meticulously orchestrated chaos, it breathes into life and settles down to a rumble. There’s a reason most start-up photographs include a fire-extinguisher cart…

 

After going through all of this 3 more times, we were warming up on the ramp nicely. It was a balmy 17C (62F for us Colonials) and I kept the cowl flaps at 10 degrees to warm us up nicely. Chris has done a splendid job on the engine programming, and they behave very differently at almost 2000agl and 17C than they do leaving St. Maarten on a summer afternoon. I knew that I would be about 3 sets of hands too few, so I set up all the radios before we moved. Flying the RTT 1W DEP on raw data, single pilot, in an aeroplane that had an abundance of levers, dials and wheels was going to be a lot of fun, and I did not want my usual incompetence with the XPL GPS/Radio Head to detract from the moments ahead. A slow taxi had us working our way towards taxiway Alpha, and I cracked the cowls further open and I set 20 degrees of flap and a touch of up trim. This old girl doesn’t rotate in the modern sense. Rather, she gathers her bloomers and rises in a way that would make Mr. Otis very proud.

 

DC-6C_4_zpsec1xtual.png

 

 

The sun was getting a bit lower on the horizon as I made my way out to the runway. We turned left with the bulk of a very familiar mountain dead ahead. All the way to the end for a 180 and we were lined up on 08. Running through the departure in my head (we were light with only 6000lbs of fuel and no cargo) I planned on an initial course of 066 until the needle swung at Absam. Then it was a retune to Rattenberg and 073 outbound. At 11.5DME OEV a gentle left to 058 and then inbound RTT at 9500. I’ve done this a hundred times, I told myself. Not like this!

 

Boost pumps on, power stabilized at 30” I tweaked the cowls to 3 degrees, gave everything a once over and released the brakes pushing the throttles to approximately 45 inches. This is where Hans, my trusty Flight Engineer would have been very useful. Keeping her straight, making sure the Hamilton Standards did not overspeed past 2800 rpm, ensuring I had every bit of 48 inches, looking for an 85kt V1 and 98kt Vr we were off. Rising like a hot air balloon, instead of an airplane is still glorious fun in my book! Steer 066, verify positive climb, gear up, pitch for speed and at 1000 agl push the nose forward for 140 & METO. Clean up as you go, select 44 inches and 2600 rpm. Continue the cleanup and at 5000 (there have been mountains sighted in the area) reduce to climb power, 38 inches and 2400 rpm. Now here’s where things got really interesting.... As though I did not have enough to do, I happened to glance over at the Carb Air temps, and they were through the floor, next thing the engines would cough! While I was climbing in the valley, doing my utmost to avoid meeting several rather large peaks that were strewn about on either side, I had to fidget with the Carburetor Air Levers. Wouldn’t you know, a simple pull up wouldn’t do. From my initial panic about the arctic conditions existing in my carb throats, I was plunged into worry about overheating! Push them down a bit, too much, back up…. Where is Hans?

 

DC-6C_8_zpsd97frrec.png

 

DC-6C_6_zps70ssn649.png

 

Steadying on 058 we worked our way towards Rattenburg. For those who have spent time in this part of the world, you will know that God has thoughtfully placed a fairly comfortable turning basin just to the left of the NDB. Thanking Him, I shoved the nose forward, pulled the throttle and props back to 32 inches and 1850 rpms, unlocked and moved mixtures to auto lean and mopped my face. For some reason this aeroplane has made me appreciate the availability of paper towels…

 

Working our way towards the left edge of the valley , and passing RTT on our right, I cranked the wheel (really, the wheel) over to the right and made a 180- there was no single-pilot hold in my future! Establishing on an approximate 210 course line, it was time to start some gentle heat dissipation for 72 cylinders, that did not take kindly to shock-cooling. We let the speed bleed off, and settle at 160, and then it was just a matter of waiting until the LOC needle came alive.

 

DC-6C_10_zpsyc0hlen4.png

 

When she did, it was time to remind myself that GS deflection was unreliable and should not be relied on for terrain separation! Power and speed were bleeding nicely with a notch of flap and we were ready for the intercept at 21 DME. Now, here’s where Hans would have done nicely. I was moving power back, enriching mixtures, noticing that carb temps were climbing (need to move those down a bit), adding flap, lowering the gear and trimming furiously all the while. Oh, in the midst of this I thought I had better actually occasionally glance at the chart to verify each DME step-down. There are one man bands around the world, playing military marches, that are considerably less busy!

 

DC-6C_13_zpsbbnjbocx.png

 

Speed was decaying with all this drag hanging out and a nudge of throttle carried us over the fence and we squished down on 26, just past the touchdown markers. Squish is the perfect word to describe the feel of these ancient oleos as the wings loose lift, and weight transfers to the mains. Some gentle braking had us turning off on Alpha for the taxy home.

 

DC-6C_15_zpsihoclq7s.png

 

The taxy back was a busy time, raising the flaps, resetting props, unlocking mixture, cutting 1 and 4, and looking very adroit at all of this, while returning waves from the hikers gawking at this contraption on the tarmac (yes, my wife is planning on increasing my Thorazine tonight). All the way to the cargo end, past some tourist trolleys, and with a burst of power on the starboard side, we did a 180 and slid softly into our parking bay. I had remembered to close the cowls as we came to a halt, so it was just a matter of cutting fuel, and opening the throttles and listening to clanking connecting rods and pistons as they ran out.

 

The silence was deafening, and then after a moment, the sounds of gyros and fans and cooling cylinders asserted themselves. I sat there for one long moment, luxuriating in the ability to sit and relax. Then it was time to leave her…. Until the next time.

 

A look back was convincing, she is lovely in the golden glow of sunset.

 

DC-6C_17_zpsshzqzbcu.png

 

Tschuss!

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Carl Avari-Cooper

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LOL!!

 

Only in aviation, can God and paper towels be mentioned in the same sentence!!!

Roberto

 

PS: If it weren't for the little icons on the left-lower photos, it might have been difficult to tell those gauges from real ones!


Roberto Stopnicki

Toronto, Canada

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Hi Carl,

 

Not sure XPL is rubbish, perhaps you should test for P3D :Shame On You:. Anyway, great free scenery over at alpilotx, truly outstanding HD for the region.

 

Looking forward to the release for sure now, where I can fly into London, JFK, Dusseldorf, Zurich, etc.. although these airports are payware :smile:- Did I say the scenery is great :Devil:. XPL best simulator around and will be better once PMDG roll their fleet out.

 

Adam Rogerson

FLYUK

UKV1666  

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Adam-

 

After your initially contentious, presumptive and incorrect statement, the rest of your post was helpful- thanks!

 

I do not believe that X-Plane is rubbish, just that most of the airport world that I have experienced has been barren and featureless. That said, I am aware that default be P3D has room for improvement as well. In that vein I have already spent thousands of Dollars on that platform.

 

I do believe that X-Plane has much promise, which is why I go through the effort of flying a developmental aircraft in X-Plane (for many, many hours I might add) and sharing my experiences here. I hope you enjoyed at least a bit of my recount.

 

Again, thank-you for your freeware scenery tips. As P3D and FSX pilots venture into these uncharted waters, perhaps you could start a post with links to the best freeware X-Plane scenery?

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Carl Avari-Cooper

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I am sorry but I am with Adam on this.

 

"While much of the XPL world looks rubbish compared to what we are all used to in P3d"

 

Firstly as a beta tester for the first product on a new platform for PMDG, do you consider this an acceptable statement?

 

Secondly it is woefully wrong. There is an abundance of stunning freeware meshes, scenery and airports that make X-Plane look on a par with if not better than P3D with little or no effort required to install.

 

As for Adam posting links to these, perhaps you should have made yourself aware of the capabilities of the platform before blindly dissing it. You could have started right here on Avsim's very own active and helpful X-Plane forums.

 

Jason Row


Jason E Row

Join the best X-Plane 11 Community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/XPlaneNG

Read the latest X-Plane news at

https://www.thresholdx.net

 

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Jason and Adam (and all other X-Plane devotees whose sensibilities may have been offended by that single line)-

 

That's the wonderful thing about editorial license, we are all entitled to our opinions. Mine, are mine alone- BUT, I am not too dogmatic to change them as my eyes are opened....

 

As a newcomer to X-Plane I have spent umpteen hours trying to get up to speed on a new platform. Keep in mind I only bought X-Plane for the DC-6. That should be some indication to the X-Plane community of the power of PMDG and the transformation it is bringing to this platform.

 

I am willing to learn all there is to know about X-Plane, and will rely on experience from obvious devotees such as you to learn from.

 

I did not mean to ruffle feathers, and it is obvious I did, so- I apologize. I was attempting to articulate the difference I saw between stock XPL SCENERY and stock P3D SCENERY. Perhaps the remaining 99% of my post will articulate the promise I really DO see in X-Plane?

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Carl Avari-Cooper

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A lot of the promise you see in X-Plane has already been realised. There are without a doubt issues, but the pros well outweigh the cons. Any platform has issues, I would imagine one reason PMDG are exploring XP is the 64 bit environment allows them to unleash their own creativity and increase system depths even further. In order to maximise your XP enjoyment I would recommend three sites. 

 

http://www.alpilotx.net Extremely good high resolution meshes that also add much more to the scenery (Donationware)

 

http://simheaven.com/?p=3124 Contains scenery based on Open Street Maps making for a highly realistic looking sim (Donationware)

 

www.x-plane.org has some amazing freeware sceneries particularly those by Misterx6 and TDG whose work rivals payware.

 

Lastly there are some very active and helpful communities on Facebook if you are a member.

 

These are links to a couple of my own screenshots 

 

http://www.avsim.com/topic/484868-the-majesty-of-flight/#entry3385771

 

http://www.avsim.com/topic/466328-traffic-traffic/#entry3215637

 

Jason Row


Jason E Row

Join the best X-Plane 11 Community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/XPlaneNG

Read the latest X-Plane news at

https://www.thresholdx.net

 

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To be honest take ORBX away from FSX-P3D the hills mountains look like paper mache the water as no reflections the night lighting is non-existent, X-Plane out the box is 100% better.

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I for one, thank you for your time and effort to show everyone the beauty of this bird. I have no idea how so many folks are missing the incredible editorial about your experience in lieu of being fixated on 4 of your words in that entire article. Bravo, great shots, words, and immersive writing!

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Let me guess.... you want 64bit. 

Josh Daniels-Johannson

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Thanks for the wonderful story, and the challenge you took on, I mean NEW to XP and flying the DC6. I was mind numbed just reading the stuff you wrote down, I am sure you missed a lot more details, can't imagine what flying this single handed after we learn it include (safely betting on lots of RTFM). If we didn't already have respect for those aviators of the past, sim acft with such attention to detail will quickly put our magenta-following heads back in their right places.

 

Cheers!!


Charan Kumar
FSX/XPX vPilot
VATSIM ZOA and Oceanic Controller (Pacific)

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has - Margaret Mead

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Some staggeringly over-sensitive X-Plane devotees on this thread!   Great pics and storyline, Carl, I really enjoyed it.   As someone who uses XPL and P3D (and FSX), I knew exactly where you were coming from; XPL has no airport buildings at the majority of default airports, and - out of the box - in many areas the "plausible world" is rather unrealistic and repetitive. That of course doesn't make it a bad sim - just a weak point, and P3D has it's own weak points too.

 

Context is everything.  Looking forward to the DC-6 and thank you to you (and the other Beta Testers) for your hard work - beta testing seems to some like a way to get a free product, but actually once the honeymoon's over it's bloody hard work!

 

:smile:


Bill (JYW)

XP11 ~ P3D ~ FSX:SE

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Thanks for the feedback and the sense of balance. I was beginning to wonder if anyone other than Roberto had actually read the entire article.

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Carl Avari-Cooper

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This old girl doesn’t rotate in the modern sense. Rather, she gathers her bloomers and rises in a way that would make Mr. Otis very proud.

... 

Rising like a hot air balloon, instead of an airplane is still glorious fun in my book!

 

I still remember the first time I saw a jet airliner (almost certainly a 707) take off at then Idlewild airport c. 1960.  I was amazed by its steep climb.

 

Thank you for a very eloquent description of flying the DC-6.

 

Mike


 

                    bUmq4nJ.jpg?2

 

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