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DJSean

How do you control 4 engines?

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Hey guys,

 

I have a throttle quadrant with only two physical throttles on it, I'm keen to understand how you all control the 4 in the plane without having to go buy a device with 4 independent throttles on it.

 

From memory a lot of operators only use the two inboard engines during taxi to limit the potential for excessive wind over taxiway signs and other airport objects as they move around - is there a way to be able to switch between that config and all 4 with only two physical throttles available?

 

Kind Regards

Sean.

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I was wondering that myself - have been hoping for something along the lines of A2A's setup, that allows you to assign one throttle lever to left engines and one to right engines, plus a selector popup for when you need to pick an individual engine or some subgroup.  But maybe PMDG has a different/better way of going about it.  Eager to hear what that might be.

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Assign engine 1 and 2 to throttle 1, and engine 3 and 4 to throttle 2.  That's how I do it.

 

If you want to taxi with the inboard engines only, just cut off the fuel to 1 and 4. 

 

blaustern

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This is actually a very good post.

 

Since I run with 6 levers, I really never thought about it this, but it's very important for those with only !.

 

I'll make it a point to speak to LM and Dovetail Games, and let them know that a Port and Starboard thrust/throttle lever control assignment needs to be implemented.

 

It's easily enough to implement, and Microsnot really should have included it with ESP.

 

In the meantime you can assign one thrust/throttle lever to all for engines, or I'd bet that you can perofrm a Port and Stardboard assignment using LVARs in FSUIPC. Throw this one Pete's way on the FSUIPC Support Board, I'll bet he has an answer!

 

Best wishes!

 

 

 

Best wishes!

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All good advice, but the problem is that some of the high-end add-ons don't play well with FSUIPC axis assignments.  A2A's configurator struggles with it (mixture is a particular problem), and IIRC, the PMDG 777 also wants controllers to be enabled in the sim.  I remember having to jump through some hoops to get the Aerosoft Airbus to play well with an FSUIPC throttle assignment - it required some programming within the fsuipc.ini, and things were smoother when I went direct through FSX/P3D.

 

An aircraft-specific configurator often seems to work best.

 

It'll be interesting to hear how 747 beta testers have gone about it, at some point when they're able to talk about it.

 

EDIT: @Dave - it's possible in FSX or P3D to assign levers to Throttle 1 and Throttle 2, which gets you port and starbaord in a twin. The challenge comes in when you have to add more than two engines.  Then you need either the A2A-style custom configurator or something like the FSUIPC arrangement that blaustern describes - but it would have to be one that the add-on knows how to read.  In the absence of either of those things, in a four-engine aircraft, you'll get the left-side engines responding to your Throttle 1 and 2 assignments, but you won't be able to deal with the right-side engines.

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It'll be interesting to hear how 747 beta testers have gone about it, at some point when they're able to talk about it.

I am using a joystick that has only 1 throttle lever. If I am taxing and only want certain engines to provide thrust, I don't turn the unwanted engines on. The engines that are off can be started in a short time.

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I am using a joystick that has only 1 throttle lever. If I am taxing and only want certain engines to provide thrust, I don't turn the unwanted engines on. The engines that are off can be started in a short time.

 

I only have one throttle too, and I think there's an easier way to do it...

 

Usually you'll want all four engines responding to the throttle, so that's fine. If you want to shut Engine 1 down, for example, just press "E" and "1" in rapid succession, pull the levers back, and then press "E234" and that should be all you'll need to do for the rest of the flight.

 

Of you want to turn with the engines on the left only, then "E12", make your turn, and then "E" by itself will make the throttle manage all of them again.

 

I've only tested it a couple of times but it seems to work, and the "E"+"number(s)" command doesn't appear to be time-limited, i.e. FSX will continue to control only those engines until you tell it otherwise.

 

(Unless those commends don't work with PMDG for some reason...)

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Actually, now that I think about it, the throttle issues are easier to solve on the 747 (or any other quad jet) than they are on a prop aircraft.  On a multi-engine prop, you want separate throttle controls (or at least a left/right split) so that you can apply differential power to help with ground steering.  That's especially helpful with big taildraggers like the C-47 or B-17.  On a tricycle-gear prop or jet, that matters less.  So using fuel cutoff or the E+n sequence should work well for the 74.

 

I'd still like to have some way to assign my two throttles to right and left, just so I don't have to keep changing the throttle assignment from one aircraft to another (again, am not using FSUIPC control assignments).  But swapping them isn't the hardest thing in the world.  So I'm guessing it'll be workable, one way or the other.

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I have a saitek 3 throttle quadrant, in FSUIPC you can assign controls as aircraft specific profile. For 4 engines, throttle 1 is for 1 and 2 and throttle 2 is for 3 and 4. The third throttle is for speed brakes. In props, the third throttle is for prop pitch. If I need to do something specific to one engine, i do it manually with the mouse. It works well with the A2A connie and 337. You are usually using manifold pressure mostly and only adjusting pitch during climb, cruise, descent and landing. I've had no issues doing it this way.  

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It works well with the A2A connie and 337.

 

How do you handle mixture in the A2As?  And has the mixture setting ever given you issues when you use FSUIPC with A2A?  I've had problems getting it to "settle" properly - lots of spiking and jamming that doesn't happen with other axes.

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How do you handle mixture in the A2As?  And has the mixture setting ever given you issues when you use FSUIPC with A2A?  I've had problems getting it to "settle" properly - lots of spiking and jamming that doesn't happen with other axes.

I've never had an issue with an AXIS as long as i did a good calibration. But in my early days, I was a flight engineer before becoming a pilot. I am more happy allowing the engineer to do his job and handle the mixture controls. I only work MP and Prop speed when flying A2As. I know sometimes you get the spiking if you don't have a good calibration in FSUIPC.

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I am more happy allowing the engineer to do his job and handle the mixture controls.

 

That'd work for the Connie, but IIRC, the engineer doesn't handle mixture on the Strat.  Could always do it via the mouse, though, since it's basically just a move between the auto-rich and auto-lean detents.

 

Back on topic with PMDG - based on beta-testers' posts, it doesn't sound as though there's any special configurator or interface, so I'm guessing it'll be up to us to take care of controller setup via either FSUIPC or the sim.

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