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Noel

Can you TO and land the Dash 8 w/ auto-rudder?

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Hello,

 

Just picked up the Dash 8, it's awesome, I already love it, but taking off is near to impossible to keep the beast on the runway w/ its limited aileron steering once over I think it's 40 knots.  I was advised you must make sure the Dash 8 is perfectly aligned before advancing the power levers to RATING, but of course w/ x-winds it's really problematic IF you can't steer using ailerons w/ auto rudder enabled.  I think the documentation says you can get up to 8 degrees of front wheel turn BEFORE you get past 40 knots, then it's acting like steering goes down to nil and that is no like any other plane I've used over the past 20 years including all of the PMDG stuff and everything else.  I did discover the .ini file to change the prop effect to zero so that's helped for sure, but again once rolling past 40 knots there is clearly virtually no steering capability using the ailerons, not even 8 degrees, which is actually ample if you could access it past 40 knots.

 

Any other ideas for me besides buying/using manual rudders, which is absolutely off the table for me?  I know auto rudder is not authentic--but authentic is not important to me.   Or, if you're also using auto rudder, what tips do you have for me?  I see there is an aileron trim toggle, however that is located in a bad spot to use during TO.

 

Thanks!

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Given it only happens when you exceed a certain speed, I believe what is happening is you are only able to stay straight up to ~40 knots as that is the point up to which the nose wheel steering is operative, in the real aircraft this is not coupled with the rudder, but with the tiller.

 

You can confirm this by watching the tiller on the left hand side of the cockpit and the rudder pedals, below 40 knots the tiller will move with the aileron input, above that speed it will stay centred, and in fact you are probably not getting any rudder input at all.

 

Given the Dash is a fairly hands (and feet) on aircraft, auto rudder is unlikely to be sufficient.  As I said in the other thread, trim will help, but realistically you might need to use buttons for rudder, perhaps the hat switch, if your stick has no twist function.


A bit more digging and it appears that Auto Rudder only applies to the tiller, hence the 40 knot change in handling.

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You can confirm this by watching the tiller on the left hand side of the cockpit and the rudder pedals, below 40 knots the tiller will move with the aileron input, above that speed it will stay centred, and in fact you are probably not getting any rudder input at all.

 

Yes I noticed this, the stay centered part.  When you say, 'in fact you are probably not getting any rudder input at all', are you referring to auto rudder only, or any rudder input including manual?  If this plane can't be flown using auto rudder Majestic really should give this as an option in the Control panel.  This makes this plane one of a kind in a sea of maybe 100's of FSX/P3D planes, and because of this it should be stated clearly up front.

 

I wonder if if auto rudder can be overridden by manual rudder inputs, do we know w/ P3D?  I'll try it.  That would be fine so I can assign rudder inputs to a toggle and use it as needed only.

 

ADDENDUM:  OK, this has been discussed ad infinitum by several users just like yours truly.  It sounds like it's a case of work arounds if you don't have dedicated pedals for the Dash 8, so off we go to see if we can make peace with this, and while I'm at it hopefully Majestic Software still exists in the flesh as I will be making a case for the many users who also find this unnecessary, that is, to leave out the option of allowing user control via the Control panel to allow auto rudder to impact nose wheel steering for those who prefer this deviation from authenticity.   The die hards exist for authenticity but I don't ;o)

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You should still get response manual inputs, just not an automatic one via the aileron.  As as I remember, the Pilot version just uses standard input, so you would follow your preferred config option (assign through FSUIPC or the main settings dialog), so assigning a toggle or button as you would do if flying with keyboard would work just fine.  If at that point you are still getting no response, a support ticket is in order.

 

As an aside, did you set AUTO_RUDDER_FACTOR =1.0 in Prepar3D v3\SimObjects\Airplanes\mjc8q400\ini\mjc84.ini ?  I just spotted a couple of references on the Majestic forum which indicate that it might be useful in these situations.

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Haha, that is exactly what I just found on my own by looking at the .ini file, and indeed, it's cured the issue.  Now the plane steers like every other plane, thankfully.   That should be plastered where all can see--unfortunately I don't have access yet to the forum, but I see in their FAQ there is no mention of this, and yet there are ample posts by frustrated users who end up adding pedals just for this plane.  I know, it's authentic, and next time I decide to pursue real flying, I'll then think about adding rudder pedals, but never to fly one of a hundred planes.   Once I'm on the forum I will politely suggest they add a configuration radial button to enable auto rudder for this plane--for God's sake!  Nope, but for the sake of the MANY users who don't know this hidden secret, at least relatively hidden secret.  I never saw the reference that you found, but thankfully it's there and wasn't hard-coded out of the Dash 8.

 

Thanks

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You don't have to go to the expense of pedals, you could just use a twist joystick. But anyway, as you've discovered the autorudder setting in FSX/P3D is ineffective and you have to set it in the MJC84.ini An alternative fix is to disable yaw due to propwash in the ini.

 

As per reality, the rudder is coupled to the nosewheel but only allows +/-8 degrees deflection. More steering angle requires use of the tiller, which by default is coupled to the aileron axis in the Majestic until 40 kts. Ultimately to keep it straight during takeoff you need rudder input from somewhere (be it automatic or manual).

 

One thing that hasn't been mentioned here, you can add one needle with of right rudder trim (approx 15 units) before takeoff and it's a lot less fighty!

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An alternative fix is to disable yaw due to propwash in the ini.

 

No sir, you're dead wrong on that.  They are two completely different parameters so it's not an 'alternative'--you can disable yaw due to PW and still you will not be able to steer the beast at ground speeds over 40, it's only when you stop mjc84.ini's killing of the sim's built in auto rudder that you can steer the Dash 8 while at speeds over 40 knots.   But anyway, thanks!

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Well it wouldn't allow you make rudder input (indirectly) but it would greatly reduce the tendency to veer off

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The Dash 8 is really designed to be flown with Rudder input.  As a work around, you should be be able to assign Keys (such as Arrow Keys) as rudder input, but what I'd recommend is the purchase on an inexpensive joystick with a twist rudder axis on the joystick. There are several available for about $20.

 

Best wishes.

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I bought the Majestic Dash Q400 Pro when it was first came out.  I was very excited to fly this bird with all the bells & whistles.  However, it turned out to be a beast to both take-off in, and to land, esp. with any kind of crosswind... Got very frustrated after a time. So basically it's been in my hanger for many months.

 

Instead, got the PMDG's 200/300's and devoted my time to learning their systems & quirks... (An easy bird to fly)

 

Right now, have cash in hand, awaiting the new Queen of the Skies...  

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I bought the Majestic Dash Q400 Pro when it was first came out.

 

Flying a turbo prop is far different than jet aircraft. It handles so differently, and those used to flying a jet aircraft will struggle a bit until they learn the nuances of flying a turbo prop. Now, on top of this, the Dash is going to behave like an actual aircraft (and turbo prop at that) and this will be little surprising to those used to jets or users of other turbo props. This was achieved by the use of an external flight model which has many more parameters than what FSX/P3D has available.

 

If you'd prefer, you can turn the External Flight Model off via the control panel, and the aircraft should be easier to fly.

 

My very best wishes!

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Flying a turbo prop is far different than jet aircraft. It handles so differently, and those used to flying a jet aircraft will struggle a bit until they learn the nuances of flying a turbo prop. Now, on top of this, the Dash is going to behave like an actual aircraft (and turbo prop at that) and this will be little surprising to those used to jets or users of other turbo props.

 

That it be.  What's remarkable to me is how intolerant the Dash 8 is to pilot error, and it is not very easy to get it back once you've lost control.  The autopilot is kind of a misnomer, it's really a semi-autopilot!   So far I'm managing TO, climb and cruise just dandy, but in weather as I'm preparing my approach it's been pretty tricky for me.  That being said, man do I like it, and love it's low impact performance.

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So, DaveCT2003:

 

How do you turn-off the " External Flight Model" for the Dash 8?   Can't seem to find it with a Google search...

 

Thanks

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Well you can't disable it a such but as discussed above you can easily add lines to the mjc84.ini to disable propwash yaw, enable auto rudder and even adjust turbulence. So it can be made much simpler/easier although ultimately you will still have to adjust your flying style to suit, e.g. keeping power on in the flare.

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As I recall, it can be disabled in the control panel, you'll find it as FDE (Flight Dynamics Engine) Sync. Just change it to the other setting.

 

Please don't take this the wrong way, but this and a lot of other valuable information that you'll find helpful in setting up and flying the Dash can be found in the documentation that came with the software. I mention this because the Dash is a complex addon which requires a bit of knowledge in order to be able to enjoy flying the aircraft - as it's a full study level aircraft. I offer this strictly to help you enjoy this truly amazing aircraft model. Along with the Leonardo Maddog, it's the Gold Standard for flight sim models.

 

I'm not sure if I posted it here or not, but I made a minimum of 3 flights per week in this aircraft for six years and thoroughly enjoyed each and every flight, and never once got bored. I knoq many others who feel the same way, and hope you will as well.

 

best wishes to everyone.

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It goes w/o saying how good the authenticity is it would appear even to someone who can hardly appreciate authenticity, but to get this kind of near zero impact on frame performance is something I remained shocked isn't emulated by other developers, especially PMDG.  There must be some proprietary secrets involved.  This Dash 8 seems ultimately more complex than the NGX is, and yet the NGX is a total performance hog by comparison.  And graphically, it's superior to the cockpit graphics in the NGX.

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This Dash 8 seems ultimately more complex than the NGX is

 

I thought so when I first started flying the Dash, but after a while i released it's just different, and less automated - which I love!  I fly the Dash, Maddog or the CRJ-700/900 when I'm in the mood to be more hands on, and the Aerosoft A320 when I'm in the mood for a relaxing flight (I'd add the NGX or 777 for a relaxing flight, but I stopped flying them about 2 years ago).

 

 

 


and yet the NGX is a total performance hog by comparison. And graphically, it's superior to the cockpit graphics in the NGX.

 

Absolutely, truly a masterpiece... a true Gold Standard for flight sim aircraft.

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I thought so when I first started flying the Dash, but after a while i released it's just different, and less automated - which I love!  I fly the Dash, Maddog or the CRJ-700/900 when I'm in the mood to be more hands on, and the Aerosoft A320 when I'm in the mood for a relaxing flight (I'd add the NGX or 777 for a relaxing flight, but I stopped flying them about 2 years ago).

 

 

 

 

Absolutely, truly a masterpiece... a true Gold Standard for flight sim aircraft.

 

Hey Dave, if you will please.  I've read quite a bit on the Dash 8 including some tutorials, so I have enough of the basics understood now.  I'm using the built-in SIDS and STARS, not that I understand what the abbreviation even means...!...but I have managed to control the plane nicely now, having understood what kills the auto-pilot (getting close/at stall speed), and doing well retaining as I say good control.  About 30 minutes ago I did a completely controlled flight (my FSCaptain passengers didn't know what a dufus was at this plane) until the last 30 seconds  whereupon I tried my best to emulate the suggested 'maintain the pitch right on thru touchdown' but I think my scanning got less than perfect and for those critical last seconds lost it again, landed on the apron, etc.  So just a few questions if you will...

 

1.  When winds are reasonably tame, when do you turn off the autopilot?  On this flight I turned off the autopilot about  10nm's out from the runway.  I kept great control until the moment of truth.  I sense it will be long before I have it down, I hope.  So again, when does the autopilot typically get turned off during an ILS landing, and for an LNAV approach landing w/o a glideslope indicator?

 

2.  I downloaded and used Little Navmap--geez, i'll be sending in a donation.  It's amazing!   My question is:  I think the navaids that LNmap reads as you import P3D data is not the same as the data in the Dash 8 as I don't see all of the STARS/SIDS or whatever they are that I used coming into KCIC today.  I guessed which one might be the one to Direct To south of KCIC for a landing on 31R.   So how does one get the same data from the Dash 8 into LNmap, or is that not possible?

 

3.  Any other tips for landing besides being ultra committed to scanning rapidly and continuously, then keeping power inputs as subtle but effective as possible?

 

Thanks!

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1.  When winds are reasonably tame, when do you turn off the autopilot?  On this flight I turned off the autopilot about  10nm's out from the runway.  I kept great control until the moment of truth.  I sense it will be long before I have it down, I hope.  So again, when does the autopilot typically get turned off during an ILS landing, and for an LNAV approach landing w/o a glideslope indicator?

 

If the vis is good, hand fly from as far away as you feel like, 1-2 miles is a good comfortable ballpark, more if you feel sporty.  

 

For instrument approaches, you can reasonably leave it in until your decision height.  If you are flying to CAT I ILS minima,  you can reasonably leave it in until the CAT I minimum decision height of 200ft above the ground, at which point it's AP off then pretty much straight into the flare.  For the LNAV approach the decision height would be higher and approach specific (specified on the charts), but 6-800ft would be a good ballpark figure.

 

2.  I downloaded and used Little Navmap--geez, i'll be sending in a donation.  It's amazing!   My question is:  I think the navaids that LNmap reads as you import P3D data is not the same as the data in the Dash 8 as I don't see all of the STARS/SIDS or whatever they are that I used coming into KCIC today.  I guessed which one might be the one to Direct To south of KCIC for a landing on 31R.   So how does one get the same data from the Dash 8 into LNmap, or is that not possible?

 

You can bring LNmap up to date by purchasing an up to date AIRAC from Navigraph and subscribing to fsAeroData.  The Navigraph cycle will update your Dash, and is the input to fsAeroData to update the sim and LNmap.  You only need one cycle as once they are in synch you needn't update them unless you fly online.  I don't believe there is a way to get them in synch otherwise as they can't read each other's formats.

 

3.  Any other tips for landing besides being ultra committed to scanning rapidly and continuously, then keeping power inputs as subtle but effective as possible?

 

Here's a document written for the Majestic forums by a RW Dash captain that is 27 slides of just pure landing advice:

 

http://majesticsoftware.com/mjc8q400/resources/LandingTheQ400.pdf

 

:Cuppa:  Bit of light reading 

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I tend to establish on the glideslope, gear down and then AP off. There's not really any hard and fast rules, a lot is pilot discretion, although as Jamie detailed above there are points where legally you must be hand flying. If it's a visual approach I generally go manual during the turn to line-up or earlier.

 

As for the final bit of landing/touchdown the key point is DO NOT CHOP THE POWER, you must keep power on during the flare because of the amount of air the props push over the wings. This is the opposite of what you'd do in most aircraft.

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Awesome thanks for those tips Chris they are really clear.  To paraphrase what everyone is saying, the Dash 8, because of its narrow envelope demands you know much more detail about staying on point all the way thru.  With my failed landing today I had absolutely no idea what glide slope I needed to be on and that is because w/ planes that are easier to fly you can correct for less than optimal behaviors.  So now I need to learn more about how to decide what the correct GS is for specific approaches and landings.   Maybe I need a less in charts as well?  I have no idea how to 'read' a chart!

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Cool!  Success!  I realized I wasn't looking ahead and executing early enough so had some pretty good success all the way around tonight.  Pretty fun!  Thanks All!

 

1ST%20SUCCESS%203_zpsszl5svwi.png

 

I do have this weird issue w/ HDR turning off when I go to external view, then when return into the VC now HDR remains off, but I hit the the button again that brings up the VC and now I have HDR on again.  It's annoying!   

 

Plus I get random failure to load the default flight panel state and other times it works fine.  Seems like I actually have to load the flight THEN can select a different flight plan, which is unique amongst my planes to the Dash 8.

 

Here's what it looks like when I toggle from spot view which is w/ HDR off, back to VC view and you can see HDR is still off.  Hit the button assigned to bring up the VC again, and HDR comes back on!  Any ideas?  I did install the latest nVidia driver but to no avail:

 

Without%20HDR_zpspmwmjz7v.png

 

Now hit VC button again:

 

With%20HDR_zpsqhupwebg.png

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There are already some good replies, so I won't take up time or space - just a few things to add.

 

1. Real world, it depends on many things, some in addition to weather conditions / type of approach. One of these is the amount of traffic in the area. The more traffic, the sooner/longer you might use the Autopilot - for accuracy sake.  For making a visual approach, it's really the pilots call and the more stick time the better!  For approach considerations you can check the charts for helpful info on this. For up to date, free charts in the U.S. I use AirNav (alternatively SkyVector), in Europe I use EADs.  Sounds like you've reached the level where taking a look at charts would be very helpful. There are also some great websites that provide info on how to read the charts.

 

2. I've downloaded, but not installed LittleNavMap. But I have spoken with the developer and read up on this software and I'm absolutely IMPRESSED!  Since I haven't had the opportunity to use this software, I'll point you to the developer for an answer to your question. He's the best source anyway!

 

3.  Absolutely!  Unless you've loaded the Dash down, try using Flaps 15 and crossing the threshold at 135 knots.  It will change your controlled crashes in a very positive way. It didn't take long for me to start putting her down nice and soft under those conditions.

 

 

I'm extremely pleased that you're enjoying the Dash 8!  It's one of those aircraft where the more you fly her, the more you love her!  Also, it sounds like you've been in the Dash 8 documentation - but don't tell anyone, they'll think you nuts!  LOL!  Oh, consider that inexpensive joystick with the twist rudder - $19 and it will change your flight sim experience!

 

Keep up the great work.

 

My very best wishes to you.

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Why thank you for the well wishes--back at you!  Don't tell anyone, but I am nuts!  Actually, we're all a little nuts to have this hobby--just ask my wife ;o)

 

I really like the yoke so will just leave what I learned works to re-enable auto rudder.  I actually have a joystick on eBay for sale--a CH Flighterstick Pro USB that I opened and essentially never used years ago.   I guess maybe if I had an Airbus in the hanger I might reconsider but for the moment I'm ok w/ the auto rudder w/ yoke.

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This is probably the wrong place for this but I'll post it anyway.

 

Flying P, I followed your guidance on getting AIRAC data synced in P3D, the Dash 8, and Little Navmap.  What I can't figure out is how to decide what SID to choose in the FMS in the Dash 8.  I'm not seeing these on Little Navmap.  Do I need 'charts' as well?  I was hoping LNmap might solve this but it doesn't look like it will perhaps.

 

Anyone, how does one know which SID or STAR to choose?  That's a pretty basic question I know but I'm stumped!

 

Thanks all!

 

Man i'm enjoying the Dash 8!   The HDR issue which is actually not a terrible thing won't be fixed unless I upgrade P3D to something 3.3 or later I think, so it's cool I'll live with it as P3D runs flawlessly for me now and I value that more than risking problems w/ different versions.  I had another perfect score in FSCaptain and that included, for reasons I don't understanding, losing the glideslope coming into KSBA.  For some reason it just lost it, but I was able to manually land just right, very smooth.  One more quick question:  I notice if I stay just above the stall speed coming in the pitch of the aircraft seem much more nose down than I experience in landing the PMDG airliners.  I understand the role of flap extension in this, but is it expected to have an attitude that is barely above level prior to your flare?

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