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747 LR flights without being at the PC

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Good morning folks!

 

As P3D 64bit seems to make good progress (https://fselite.net/news/prepar3d-v4-coming-soon-beta-new-lighting-engine-64-bit-releasing-soon/) and hopefully the 747 64bit version will do so as well it's time for me to think about investing again in flightsim since years.

 

How I want to use my 747 online at IVAO: Start her up in the morning, when she's at CRZ ALT I log off from IVAO, let her fly alone, go to work and after 8-9 hours I come back home, logging in again at IVAO and finish the last one or two hours to the destination.

 

PMDG does have a function "pause at TOD" which is great for days when it takes a little longer at work.

 

But can I leave the queen alone for that mentioned time frame?
Would there be any problems with overheating fuel pumps that don't pump fuel anymore or other ACFT systems?

 

Or is there any function that allows me to let her fly her FMC-programmed way without any issues while I am not present?

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Do it from time to time, all i do is enable

auto step climbs, auto eng/tank so it doesn't cause imbalance and the good old pause at TOD.

 

Never failed for me on 8 to 12 hour flights

 

Edit: the only option i seem to miss is pause when an service based failure occours, but that still has to happen

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Do it from time to time, all i do is enable

auto step climbs, auto eng/tank so it doesn't cause imbalance and the good old pause at TOD.

 

Never failed for me on 8 to 12 hour flights

 

Edit: the only option i seem to miss is pause when an service based failure occours, but that still has to happen

 

I assume these settings can be enabled/disabled via the FMC like in the 737?

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What I would like to see was an adition to control the CTR fuel pumps and the abillity to do step-descends aswel

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What I would like to see was an adition to control the CTR fuel pumps and the abillity to do step-descends aswel

 

CTR pumps won't cause an imbalance so just leave them on and address them when you get back to the sim. TANK/ENG is handled by an auto function, since it will result in a tank imbalance.

 

The auto step climb function will handle step climbs. Not sure if it'll handle step descents. Those are exceedingly rare anyway.

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I did try the AUTO STEP CLIMB setting in FMC but it did not work.

 

Auto step Climb and Auto Fuel Tank change was set in FMC Simulation options.

 

I started an 9hr flight, set 2000 ft. as step climb in PERFORMANCE and leveled off initially at the first step of FL330 and before leaving the PC I set the MCP altitude at FL370 (without pressing the rotary off course), the maximum it would reach later.

 

In first case I did not enter manually the step climb points in the ROUTE DATA i.e. I left it step climb where the change points were set by the FMC automatically.

 

In second case I entered them manually at the next points from where FMC had set them with /350S /and /370S and it did indicate these levels as cruise levels from the next points thereafter.

 

In both cases it never climbed, it just cruised all the way at FL330 for 9 hrs.

 

What do I do wrong ?

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Kyp,

 

I beleive you do not need to set anything on MCP. leave the altitude at 330 and it will change all automatically when needed

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I beleive you do not need to set anything on MCP. leave the altitude at 330 and it will change all automatically when needed

 

During a flight in the cockpit some years ago, I was talking with an Air France captain about step climb and he told me that the MCP altitude has the command over any FMS entries; based on this, I *suppose* that if you leave the MCP altitude at 33000, the airplane will not move from that altitude. Anyone else has tried the auto step climb and can chime in? 

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During a flight in the cockpit some years ago, I was talking with an Air France captain about step climb and he told me that the MCP altitude has the command over any FMS entries; based on this, I *suppose* that if you leave the MCP altitude at 33000, the airplane will not move from that altitude. Anyone else has tried the auto step climb and can chime in? 

 

That is exactly what I theoretically know and hence did not leave it at 33000 but 37000 after it leveled off at FL330.

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Set your initial alt, say FL340, auto step will then take care of any and all step climbs to your final altitude. works perfectly for me everytime. I believe the FMC works out the optimal flight levels and steps you up accordingly.

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So you leave the MCP altitude at 34000 and at the end you will find the airplane say at 38000?

 

 

EDIT:

 

Sorry, just read page 0.00.99 of PMDG_747_Introduction.pdf:

 

"PAGE 6/10 AUTO STEP CLIMBS: Automatically increase the MCP altitude at step climb points and climb to the new altitude. Useful if you are flying long haul while not at your computer."

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So you leave the MCP altitude at 34000 and at the end you will find the airplane say at 38000?

I used the auto step climb on an 11-hour flight from RJAA-KDTW. Initial altitude was FL310. I left the MCP altitude selector on 31000. At the first step climb point to FL330, the MCP automatically dialed itself up, and the aircraft began its climb.

 

If you set the MCP to a higher altitude than your initial, it might disable the auto feature.

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I used the auto step climb on an 11-hour flight from RJAA-KDTW. Initial altitude was FL310. I left the MCP altitude selector on 31000. At the first step climb point to FL330, the MCP automatically dialed itself up, and the aircraft began its climb.

 

If you set the MCP to a higher altitude than your initial, it might disable the auto feature.

 

Yes thats what it looks like. Weird (considering real life priority of MCP over FMC) but it seems true. OK I'll keep it in mind for next flight.

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Weird (considering real life priority of MCP over FMC) but it seems true. OK I'll keep it in mind for next flight.

 

If I understand well (as described in the manual), it's NOT a real feature, it's just a PMDG feature, an invisible hand that dials the MCP altitude for you while you are away from the computer...

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Gents,

 

You're trying to outsmart the code here and in the process waaaaay overthinking it...

 

Think of it this way:

 

The auto functions are "you." When you are flying, you wouldn't set the MCP altitude anywhere other than your cruise FL when you're established at cruise. When you set auto cruise, you're telling the computer "you are now me - function as me." When you, personally, would go to step climb, you would manually roll the wheel up from current cruise to new cruise and then allow the plane to climb. The auto cruise function does the same thing, but in order to make sure it doesn't do all kinds of weird stuff, we programmed it with the (reasonable) assumption that you would behave like a normal crew would and have the cruise alt at the current cruise alt.

 

Literally treat the aircraft exactly as you would if you were to hand the plane over to the relief crew while you hit the bunk. "Hey, I know we'll be at FL370 by the time I'm done with my bunk time, so I left the MCP alt 4000 above current" said no crew handing an aircraft off, ever. :wink:

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Ref. the posts above with auto step descend.

 

My experience so far is that the auto step function does not handle step descends. It poses a problem when for instance transiting between Russia, Mongolia and China where you sometimes may be to heavy to go to next level (in e.g. Mongolia or China) so you rather want to descend less than 1,000 feet to find a more appropriate level there (or optimal winds if more favourable winds at lower altitudes).

 

As this is an artificial function the auto step funcion should go both ways so I hope this will be included in a future update please.

 

In addition I experienced a situation where the auto step function did not make the subsequent step climb after I manually had descended the aircraft (probably as mentioned above the a different altitude disables the function). On PERF page I had 2000 as step value but I suppose that should not be an issue(?). Should I encounter this issue again I will submit a ticket.

Søren Geertsen

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If I understand well (as described in the manual), it's NOT a real feature, it's just a PMDG feature, an invisible hand that dials the MCP altitude for you while you are away from the computer...

That's my understanding as well. Sort of a "virtual first officer" who handles the MCP (and tank-to-engine switchover) during auto cruise.

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Søren,

 

If you descended, you needed to reset your cruise altitude on the cruise page of the FMC. Since the function did not work, I'm assuming that you did not accomplish this extremely important step. Your current cruise altitude needs to match your current flown altitude, and the altitude in the MCP.

 

As I've mentioned before, step descents are such a corner case that I don't think we'd go back and alter a function to accommodate that. It could open up a Pandora's box that I think is best left closed (think about it: not even the FMC will accept a negative step value - even Boeing and other aircraft manufacturers accept this as a manual override of normal logic).

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Kyle,

 

You are probably right - that is why I would like to test it again - there is usually a good explanation to it. ;-)

 

- and it may be that other issues will arise with allowing step descend in the logic; however, I guess that a simple function should allow you to do  FL 310, 330, 350 370, 364, 361, 381. The test should simply be that Crz page FL is identical to Legs page FL which is identical with MCP altitude from the outset. When a step climb/descend comes up the system changes both MCP and Crz page to the new value which should be identical to subsequent Flight Level on your Legs pages and the plane performs the climb or descend and so on.

 

If you do not mess with these pages - and why should you if you are not at the controls - then I suppose that it would be doable and that should be an acceptable solution. In any case I do hope that you would consider such a function for a future update.

 

Søren Geertsen

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Søren,

 

You're welcome to submit a ticket and recommend it, but I really don't see it happening. It's a niche issue, in a very specific segment of airspace, and the FMC itself doesn't even handle what you're asking to do without pilot intervention to manually override the default FMC functions (steps are always assumed to be positive, based on the PERF INIT or CRZ page step size, and so on - our auto step interacts heavily with the default logic of the FMC).

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Thanks Kyle, I will consider submitting a ticket.

 

You are absolutely right. Step climbs are assumed to be positive but in the real world step descends do happen and are entered into the Legs pages. Especially as most western bound (US - China flights and Europe - Asia flights go through this region).

 

So this suggestion is purely based on having the automatic (!) relief pilot to do the manual override of the FMC - and I appreciate that it may interfere with the logic that you have based the auto step function. Hence my suggestion of a simplified logic.

 

However, it would just be another of those really nice features to have and use in your impressive 747! :-)

 

Søren Geertsen

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My last couple of trips into metric altitudes was very easily accomplished without the need for any auto step feature.  I don't understand the logic used, the difference is usually just 100 feet such as FL311 instead of FL310 and when I depart the metric altitude all I do is enter 310S on the LEGS page at the waypoint I want to step down and she does exactly as asked.  Keep it simple.

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On 21/2/2017 at 2:45 PM, jgoggi said:

Sorry, just read page 0.00.99 of PMDG_747_Introduction.pdf:

 

"PAGE 6/10 AUTO STEP CLIMBS: Automatically increase the MCP altitude at step climb points and climb to the new altitude. Useful if you are flying long haul while not at your computer."

It should read:

"PAGE 6/10 AUTO STEP CLIMBS: Automatically increases the MCP altitude at step climb points and climbs to the new altitude. Useful if you are flying long haul while not at your computer."

Without the s's it indicates that YOU do it ;-)

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14 minutes ago, Kyprianos Biris said:

It should read:

"PAGE 6/10 AUTO STEP CLIMBS: Automatically increases the MCP altitude at step climb points and climbs to the new altitude. Useful if you are flying long haul while not at your computer."

Without the s's it indicates that YOU do it ;-)

Typo, sure. The claim that it implies that the operator does is contradicts the entire point of the function, so...no.

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