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flyforever

My issue with X-plane

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I've had x-plane since version 7. Yes, that many years ago. My main sim is FSX, but as many of us like to do, if a new sim comes out, we purchase it, hoping that this sim is the one that replaces the "older" sim.

 

Yet, I am still not comfortable with xplane.  After all of these years, some things about it simply turn me off.  The biggest issue for me is how aircrafts respond to joystick pitch movement.

 

As a former general aircraft  pilot , and a simmer for 30 + years, I think I can comment on this issue and, hopefully, get some good conversation going.

 

Here it is: xplane aircrafts respond too quickly to joystick movement. Regardless of the settings and null zone, the joystick-aircraft behavior is simply too arcade like.

 

As real pilots know, in real airplanes if you pull back the stick quickly there's a "lag" due to the sheer mass of the airplane. This is what can break the wings if you pull too quickly. Nevertheless, when you push or pull the stick, the airplane has a smooth response, like moving through fluid.

 

With xplane I am constantly fighting due to the lack of that "lag". 

 

It reminds me of those early video games that could not be run on faster computers because the joystick behavior was tied to cpu speed.

 

So despite my many attempts to like xplane, I keep shutting it down after a few short flights.

 

In case some of you are thinking that I am referring to xplane default aircrafts, no. I have several payware aircrafts and their behavior is simply unacceptable. One is a regional plane and one is a heavy metal.

 

 

I think xplane has a lot going for it, and the developers get my respect for ongoing upgrades. Yet, it's like concentrating too much on the paint job and not on the more important , structural stuff.  I'd love to see Austin talk about this and show us in a video how he flies a xplane aircraft.

 

Despite my many calibration efforts , the planes always want to turn left or right, and I am constantly tweaking the joystick.

 

tony

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 problem in XPlane for me is that the joystick pitch axis is not getting calibrated so the the pitch is always down and I need to pull back hard and keep the stick in that position and keep trimming else the nose goes down 90 degrees. 

 

Strangely if I use FS9 / FSX or DCS I just need to re-plug the joystick and it gets centered but even after re-plugin in Xplane does not seem to help .  I wish they had something like the DCS curves they are really good. 

 

 Yep it's not stable on the ailerons too. I have to keep adjusting to keep it leveled , never flown in real so don't know if an aircraft should be stable or keep rolling left or right.  But yes I know this much that the props would roll to the right due to the torque when you lower the rpm.

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There ARE X-Planes out there, these days that I'm happy with. I do enjoy flying them.  I was also a long time GA pilot/aircraft owner.  In days past, I often complained that X-Plane reminded me of puppets on a string. Kind of what you're describing.  As to the second reply, the roll issue has been taken care also.  That was a complaint I had for many years. 

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There ARE X-Planes out there, these days that I'm happy with. I do enjoy flying them.  I was also a long time GA pilot/aircraft owner.  In days past, I often complained that X-Plane reminded me of puppets on a string. Kind of what you're describing.  As to the second reply, the roll issue has been taken care also.  That was a complaint I had for many years. 

 

 I have read your complaints on many threads :).

 

Not the left roll but the aircraft or even the helis keep rolling in both the directions , it could be due to my nonadjustable joystick in Xplane gotta check.

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Here it is: xplane aircrafts respond too quickly to joystick movement. Regardless of the settings and null zone, the joystick-aircraft behavior is simply too arcade like.

 

As real pilots know, in real airplanes if you pull back the stick quickly there's a "lag" due to the sheer mass of the airplane. This is what can break the wings if you pull too quickly. Nevertheless, when you push or pull the stick, the airplane has a smooth response, like moving through fluid.

 

X-Plane aircrafts tend to have an exaggerated static longitudinal stability, and an exaggerated flight controls effectiveness (including elevator).

 

This produces very sensitive elevator response and high frequency short period movements in pitch, and hence it is felt as a twitchiness or (paradoxically) instability in pitch.

 

This can be compounded by the fact that X-Plane tends to underestimate the moments of inertia around the 3 axes, if the aircraft designer does not use custom values for those.

 

In addition to setting at full right both control response curves (max non-linearity) and stability augmentation curves, the simplest thing you can do to improve things is open the aircraft in Plane-Maker and reduce the max deflection of the various flight controls.

 

Of course, the ideal solution would be a revision of the flight model making it more accurate, but I doubt we'll see it soon.

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Further to what Murmur says, I believe that at least for some simulators using professional, "high grade" hardware also makes a big difference.

 

I am a long time user of one of those sims, dedicated to IFR trainning, and with the hardware controllers ( cheap joystick and rudder ) I use in my setup in some way it also presents some of the issues you refer too, although not as aggravated as in X-Plane ( the twitchiness / wobbliness some refer to ).

 

Yet, when I had access to their full FNPT solutions, with dedicated hardware ( force-feedback and mechanically damped using a quite sophisticated approach ) which get's the necessary data from the simulator - the same simulator and the same data that my chep joystick can't process... - the exact same aircraft handle in a totally different way, exhibit the stability in pitch and yaw that are probably the closest we can get to the real thing, and reveal how the use of good hardware makes a whole difference, even if painfully expensive :-/

 

OTOH I found that some combat flight simulators have implemented this "stiffness" and stability in a very believable way, making "flying" their aircraft a totally unparalleled experience - the only reason why I kept them in my PC, and actually became a fan of using them, for quite a while....

 

Murmur mentioned the use of custom Radii of Gyration instead of the default assigned by X-plane if not edited in Plane-Maker. A few aircraft add-ons I have used had this approach, and tweaked the Radii of Gyration, and / or used "plugins" to create an intermediate layer pf control between the sim and the "cheap" hardware most of the time used to play it.

 

I use the control linearity sliders almost at 90%, but keep the Stability Augmentation System sliders at their leftmost ( nill ) settings because setting SAS on an aicraft that doesn't have anywhere near such a system IRL can sometimes have unwanted side-effects and a pretty much "on-rails" feel  :-)

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Gentleman, may I remind you that Xplane (or any other sim for that matter) is a 59.99 piece of software that no matter how brilliant the developers are, there is still the "human factor" involved and since we all humans are NOT perfect we can conclude XP, P3D whatever else is out there, will never be perfect, I will go as far as to say the same applies to those multi-million dollar simulators.

 

Trying to compare it to a perfectly balanced environment (real world physics) is futile and won't accomplish anything but one's frustration.

 

Enjoy XP (or whatever else yo like to fly) for what it is and what it has, be patient as it will only get better as time goes by, just keep in mind it will never be... the "real thing", not even close.

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Gentleman, may I remind you that Xplane (or any other sim for that matter) is a 59.99 piece of software that no matter how brilliant the developers are, there is still the "human factor" involved and since we all humans are NOT perfect we can conclude XP, P3D whatever else is out there, will never be perfect, I will go as far as to say the same applies to those multi-million dollar simulators.

 

Trying to compare it to a perfectly balanced environment (real world physics) is futile and won't accomplish anything but one's frustration.

 

Enjoy XP (or whatever else yo like to fly) for what it is and what it has, be patient as it will only get better as time goes by, just keep in mind it will never be... the "real thing", not even close.

 

I think that is an over-semplification. It is true that flight simming on a monitor is different from the real thing, but many people would like to have a flight model that is representative of the real aircraft (otherwise, we'd just use flight simulators as scenery generators).

 

So having an aircraft that is unrealistically maneuverable can detract from the enjoyment. Not to talk about the fact that some inaccuracies (for example excessive twitchiness, or the old torque bug) can downright make it just unpleasant the simple act of flying.

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Since the PC gaming world has unfortunately moved away from force-feedback joysticks, I think it's not completely fair to lay all the blame on the flight model. The aircraft should "tell us" what it's doing through the stick or yoke, and there is no way to do that without force feedback.

 

It's why secondhand FF sticks like a Sidewinder sell for a premium price among Rise of Flight combat sim pilots, because it tells you when you're about to stall in a turn. Without that, the stall point is just something you read from visual cues on the monitor, and you have to train your hand to remember how far you've moved the stick. It's a poor substitute for the plane actually telling you what's happening through your hand on the stick. So even though the modeling of inertial movement may not be 100%, I'd cut X-Plane a little slack here.

 

Maybe there is some hope for a return of affordable consumer-level FF controls due to the VR fad. There is interest now in "haptic" controls that provide feedback to the user in the VR world. Anything that does that and ties software to hardware might be adapted to FF flight sim yokes and joysticks. The market will have to grow large enough to support it in a sub-$500 controller though.

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but many people would like to have a flight model that is representative of the real aircraft (otherwise, we'd just use flight simulators as scenery generators).

 

Im one of those, but I do realize that even with all the pc harware available (yokes, joysticks, etc) is not going to get me there.

 

Take one example: My $149.99 yoke with its .99c ginbal  potentiometer is just not going to perform as a 737 $$$$ yoke with its highly sophisticated electronics and servo motors.

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I got a 20$ stick :). Just for fun I took off in the default 747 yesterday and wow was she heavy never flown big birds till now.

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 problem in XPlane for me is that the joystick pitch axis is not getting calibrated so the the pitch is always down and I need to pull back hard and keep the stick in that position and keep trimming else the nose goes down 90 degrees. 

 

Strangely if I use FS9 / FSX or DCS I just need to re-plug the joystick and it gets centered but even after re-plugin in Xplane does not seem to help .  I wish they had something like the DCS curves they are really good. 

 

 Yep it's not stable on the ailerons too. I have to keep adjusting to keep it leveled , never flown in real so don't know if an aircraft should be stable or keep rolling left or right.  But yes I know this much that the props would roll to the right due to the torque when you lower the rpm.

 

It sounds like your joystick either isn't calibrated or it's faulty.

 

Try this -- With X-Plane running, go to the top menu and select Settings/Data Input & Output. Under Item #8 joystick/ail/elv/rud, click the 4th box (cockpit display). Close that dialog, and you should see a small display in the upper left corner of the screen showing your joystick's raw input.

 

If those numbers are showing anything other than a rock-solid 0.000 with your stick in the centered position, then you either have a bad calibration or a bad joystick.

 

Note: You can test this in Windows too (if that's what you're using), to make sure it isn't X-Plane causing the problem. In Windows 10 go to Settings/Devices/Devices and Printers and right-click over the joystick icon to get to Game Controller Settings/Properties. On the Settings tab, click Calibrate. During the calibration screen, there is a small check box for "Raw Data" that shows the input numbers from the joystick. If those numbers are fluttering, there's a problem. A good joystick will show stable numbers. If it's fluttering, you might need to set a larger null zone in the center.

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I use the control linearity sliders almost at 90%, but keep the Stability Augmentation System sliders at their leftmost ( nill ) settings because setting SAS on an aicraft that doesn't have anywhere near such a system IRL can sometimes have unwanted side-effects and a pretty much "on-rails" feel  :-)

 

This. The best settings to use is linearity 100 and no augmentation stability. Also one must be gentle with the stick. I felt the same way as the OP when I switched from FSX to X plane, but now I realize how advanced X plane is in terms of flight dynamics and aircraft fluidity.  Anyway after some practice and once you get used of it you will see why many of us love X plane and the way plane feels. 

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It sounds like your joystick either isn't calibrated or it's faulty.

 

Try this -- With X-Plane running, go to the top menu and select Settings/Data Input & Output. Under Item #8 joystick/ail/elv/rud, click the 4th box (cockpit display). Close that dialog, and you should see a small display in the upper left corner of the screen showing your joystick's raw input.

 

If those numbers are showing anything other than a rock-solid 0.000 with your stick in the centered position, then you either have a bad calibration or a bad joystick.

 

Note: You can test this in Windows too (if that's what you're using), to make sure it isn't X-Plane causing the problem. In Windows 10 go to Settings/Devices/Devices and Printers and right-click over the joystick icon to get to Game Controller Settings/Properties. On the Settings tab, click Calibrate. During the calibration screen, there is a small check box for "Raw Data" that shows the input numbers from the joystick. If those numbers are fluttering, there's a problem. A good joystick will show stable numbers. If it's fluttering, you might need to set a larger null zone in the center.

 

Paraffin,

 

 Thanks for the Joystick monitor in Xplane I had never tried that.

 

Yes the joystick is a bit faulty because I have a habit of dropping quite often and this is like a 7th Logitech stick :).

 

I will try the above mentioned method.

 

 In windows Devices the joystick is always centered even if the pitch is way down in Xplane. The left axis is not deflecting full to the left but as I said in FS9 / FSX / DCS if re-plug the stick it gets centered. I will also check the Raw Data during caliberation.

 

Right now I am in the AS350 and it is stable , the moment I fly the EADT 737 or the SSG 170 down the nose will go :).

 

Let me try all the methods you have mentioned.

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This. The best settings to use is linearity 100 and no augmentation stability. Also one must be gentle with the stick. I felt the same way as the OP when I switched from FSX to X plane, but now I realize how advanced X plane is in terms of flight dynamics and aircraft fluidity.  Anyway after some practice and once you get used of it you will see why many of us love X plane and the way plane feels. 

Flight dynamics wise, for aircraft (not heli's), I consider the better X-Planes & those well designed planes for FSX, to be about the same.  Sometimes, when the fluid look is high, I have to remind myself which sim I'm in. 

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As Murmur said, the default RoG values are usually off, but they are customizable by design in PlaneMaker  A skilled designer can fix this in a few minutes.  

If done right both the short period damping and long period phugoid oscillations will be correct.

 

http://www.xplanefreeware.net/morten/MOV/pitch.mp4

 

So basically just up to the designer..

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think my stick is faulty but why is it OK in FS9 / FSX / DCS. The pitch axis shows 80% to the left in Xplane's Joystick setup. The moment I pull up it loses the axis rascal.

 

I am going to dismantle the stick again and check the potentiometers and if need be I will swap the broken Logitech which I am using as a hand yaw and throttle circuits with the one for the pitch / roll authority don't want to keep spending 20$  every time. 

 

See the pitch axis, if I caliberate in windows it will show up correctly in this , but the moment I pull the stick back it's gone.

 

calib.jpg

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I can send you my old x52 Pro.

 

Stick is OK, TQ works partially....

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think my stick is faulty but why is it OK in FS9 / FSX / DCS. The pitch axis shows 80% to the left in Xplane's Joystick setup. The moment I pull up it loses the axis rascal.

 

I am going to dismantle the stick again and check the potentiometers and if need be I will swap the broken Logitech which I am using as a hand yaw and throttlcircuits with the one for the pitch / roll authority don't want to keep spending 20$  every time. 

 

See the pitch axis, if I caliberate in windows it will show up correctly in this , but the moment I pull the stick back it's gone.

 

 

 

Did you calibrate your axis via xplane? they are "red" as if you were not!!

 

You need to clic calibrate joystick hardware and move all axis in all directions until they come green.

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Did you calibrate your axis via xplane? they are "red" as if you were not!!

 

You need to clic calibrate joystick hardware and move all axis in all directions until they come green.

Did you calibrate your axis via xplane? they are "red" as if you were not!!

 

You need to clic calibrate joystick hardware and move all axis in all directions until they come green.

yes I calibrate under xplane but it will go back to uncalibrated mode

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X-Plane aircrafts tend to have an exaggerated static longitudinal stability, and an exaggerated flight controls effectiveness (including elevator).

 

This produces very sensitive elevator response and high frequency short period movements in pitch, and hence it is felt as a twitchiness or (paradoxically) instability in pitch.

 

This can be compounded by the fact that X-Plane tends to underestimate the moments of inertia around the 3 axes, if the aircraft designer does not use custom values for those.

 

In addition to setting at full right both control response curves (max non-linearity) and stability augmentation curves, the simplest thing you can do to improve things is open the aircraft in Plane-Maker and reduce the max deflection of the various flight controls.

 

Of course, the ideal solution would be a revision of the flight model making it more accurate, but I doubt we'll see it soon.

 

What kind of yolk/joysitck are you using ? I had the same problem with a over sensitive pitch when I was using that cheap plastic saitek yolk. I finally broke down and bought a PFC yolk ! It was the best money Ive ever spent on simming ! It was expensive, im not going to lie but if you are a hardcore simmer or pilot then it's defiantly worth it ! My stick and rudder skills defiantly improved in real world flying !

yes I calibrate under xplane but it will go back to uncalibrated mode

 

After calibrating make sure you "Use this position and CENTER" ??

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What kind of yolk/joysitck are you using ? I had the same problem with a over sensitive pitch when I was using that cheap plastic saitek yolk. I finally broke down and bought a PFC yolk ! It was the best money Ive ever spent on simming ! It was expensive, im not going to lie but if you are a hardcore simmer or pilot then it's defiantly worth it ! My stick and rudder skills defiantly improved in real world flying !

 

My claims on excessive pitch stability/control effectiveness are the result of a quantitative analysis made with a plugin I coded and then the results compared with real world aicrafts data, so it's not related to the type of joystick involved. :smile: Although as you said, using high quality flight controls can improve the feeling.

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My claims on excessive pitch stability/control effectiveness are the result of a quantitative analysis made with a plugin I coded and then the results compared with real world aicrafts data, so it's not related to the type of joystick involved. :smile: Although as you said, using high quality flight controls can improve the feeling.

 

I guess you lost me at "static longitudinal stability", lol........

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Just dismantled the joystick and looks like a potentiometer issue. Got to test further.


But now my roll authority is slightly offset hehe.

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