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Guest Kingair315

Hand flying in FS9

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Guest malcolmt

I am a fairly experienced simmer. However, one area of the hobby that I am not particularly good at is hand-flying aircraft. I have a good range of aircraft from GA (F1 Cessna 172, DF Baron) right through to the big heavies (Level D 767, PMDG 747). I know how to get these aircraft off the ground, navigate a course and land safely in reasonable fashion. However, I find myself reaching for the autopilot in the vast majority of cases because I find when I use the joystick to try a bit of hand-flying (I have a Wingman Force 3D with throttle control

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It depends on a lot of factors, including weather. Are you flying in clean air, or lots of turbulence? What kind of winds? You mention FSUIPC, have you tried the wind smoothing? You should be able to reasonably trim aircraft to maintain flight, however things like winds and turbulence will disturb that both in real life and in the sim. Also if you have ActiveSky, vertical air currents throw another real world problem into the mix. Anyway, my recommendation is to try a flight in a good GA aircraft (you mentioned the DF Baron). Turn off all weather in the sim, and see if you can fly straight and level after trimming. You should be able to with minor adjustments. If not, then you likely have calibration issues, most specifically null zones. FSUIPC is the way to go to fix these. It might take some time, but once you get them set properly, you will enjoy the sim so much more. Spend an hour playing around with null zones, sensitivity, and other settings before running out and buying new hardware.

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Malcolm,You phrased your question very well so I decided to reply though I am not sure how helpful this reply will turn out to be. One thing is sure - you should be able to have rich experience of hand flying in FS9, specially since you are using some of the best 3-rd party aircraft. F1 712, DF products, Level D or PMDG products - you should have absolutely no problems with hand-flying them, they all handle beautifully. I am using a joystick with no FF - Cyborg 3D. I am real life pilot of GA aircraft - not sure if it matters or not. I don't have the registered FSUIPC. Many GA airplanes do not have any AP in the first place - when you learn how to fly you do it manually. Even airline pilots are supposed to do certain amount of hand-flying to not get out of practice. I would say your over-reliance on AP is obviously not realistic.Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/pmdg_744F.jpghttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg

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Lately I've been doing more of this too.I found using the RealAir Spitfire and assigning a knob (X52) to elevator trim worked fantastic. However, assigning a knob axis to elevator trim will mess big time with auto pilots in other planes. So I'd say if you've got a spare axis on your joystick and you aren't using autopilots you could use that method.Then I tried binding one of the up/down toggles on the X52 and worked ok. I was able to successfully hand fly the DF 727. Takes a little getting used to...I don't know if it's me, or like that in real life, but I think I spend waaay too much time trimming the aircraft.?????

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MalcolmI used the Logitech Wingman for a few years and loved it. Then I thought I'd treat myself to the FF version of it. Big mistake. Not only did I find the FF very disappointing - nay, annoying - but control was far less accurate than my original stick. Turn FF off, and it's like wiggling a liquorice stick in a bowl of jelly.I used it for one day and then put it back in the box and went back to my old stick.My advice? Buy yourself a standard Wingman. You'll be surprised at the difference, I think, once you've got it set up and calibrated properly.MarkMark "Dark Moment" BeaumontVP Fleet, DC-3 AirwaysTeam Member, MAAM-SIM[a href=http://www.swiremariners.com/cathayhk.html" target="_blank]http://www.paxship.com/maamlogo2.jpg[/a]

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Guest

I had a microsoft force feedback 2 joystick and loved it. Until I realized that flying without a yoke is a sin. I picked up a CH Products Yoke and Rudder at my local electronics store, Frys, for about a hundred bucks each. I will never go back! You will find it much easier to keep a constant altitude and flying just feels better. I then went out and picked up the ch throttle as well and love that too.

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Guest lamont

Malcolm:Trying to properly trim an a/c in FS9 can be an exercise in frustration which you apparently experienced. Most of the time it's a combination of a bad model, FS9 settings and no feedback.I fly with a CH Yoke and pedals. I have my trim coupled to a rocker button on the yoke and all is calibrated through a registered FSIUPC.I agree with the poster suggesting to start with a good GA model and disabling all outside interference (wind, etc.). Take it up to around 2,000', set your cruise settings and try triming for level flight. It takes practice and a light touch on the trim wheel. Whatever you do don't chase the VSI look out the front and take your cue from the horizon. You'll be able to tell if the nose is falling or rising and correct with light touches of the trim wheel. Btw, you may have to adjust your power setting some to help keep the a/c level. Eventually you'll be able to sit back an enjoy the scenery and the a/c will be absolutely level.Now add some weather and start all over again. :-)

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i've been using the CH yoke and peddles for years. from your list of aircraft above using a yoke would be more 'real as it gets' than a joystick. i find that the 'throw' of the yoke is longer and therefore isn't as sensitive as a joystick (i have a very cheap sidewinder that i use when flying A318/A319/A320/A320/A330/A340).another help is to play with the sensitivities that the latest registered/paid version of FSUIPC allows (was really important for the Airbus aircraft). you can also specify which settings fit to which aircraft (as a 747 is different than a cessna 172).the transition from takeoff to climb was the hardest for me. the key was making sure the trim was correct or there is wild pitching just after gear up. i keep notes on each aircraft listing trim and weight combinations.i took me a good month to learn how to fly by hand well (good thing you don't have to buy a new aircraft after a crash in FS). using real weather you must always be doing fine adjustments. i read once that pilots know is the flight attendants are working because in smooth air the slight COG changes causes by a person walking in the cabin are enough to require trim adjustment. get good flying by hand a slow moving cessna, move to the baron, then the heavy iron.i do force myself to fly by hand now and again to keep in practice (like a real pilot i guess). i do get rusty, and lazy sometimes (this is especially when flying the airbus series).--

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Hi Malcolm,very good and interesting questions! First of all: Hand-flying a plane is actually much, much easier in real-life than it is with the simulator. Usually higher-quality add-on plane developers are going a really good job to simulate the real-life flight dynamics. However, in FS9 it can be very hard to hand-fly a plane, if you don't have very smooth gauges and at lease a constant frame rate of 20+ FPS.Usually GA planes are almost exclusively flown by hand, because for most recreational pilots flying is a hobby and pilots want to actually fly the plane instead of the AP guiding you from waypoint to waypoint. Most recreational pilots circle around the airport or make trips anywhere from 1-2 hours, which is pretty much acceptable to fly "by hand" without any of your extermities going numb. Also, the most overlooked system in a GA plane is TRIM. Proper trimming is almost as good as AP ;-)With airliners, it is a totally different story. Airliners are almost exclusively "flown" with AP depending on the guidelines and SOP of the airline. Typically airliners engage the AP anywhere from 1000' AGL to 10000' AGL and stay on AP until decent, approach or even final approach (or stay on AP for an ILS Cat III autoland), of course, depending on weather, traffic, pilot preference and many other factors. Hope this helps,Pat

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Trim in real life isn't any picnic either though. You'll never get it totally level, ultimately, you're just seeking to lessen the force you need to exert. Winds, updrafts, and down drafts will all play with your aircraft and it takes constant vigilence to keep it level. There's a reason why the FAA Private Pilot Practical Test Standards give you 150 feet of lee-way and 100 for the instrument ride.----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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>>Usually GA planes are almost exclusively flown by hand,>because for most recreational pilots flying is a hobby and>pilots want to actually fly the plane instead of the AP>guiding you from waypoint to waypoint. Most recreational>pilots circle around the airport or make trips anywhere from>1-2 hours, which is pretty much acceptable to fly "by hand">without any of your extermities going numb. Also, the most>overlooked system in a GA plane is TRIM. Proper trimming is>almost as good as AP ;-)>These days, in the experimental/homebuilt/kitbuilt market, we've got some nice two-axis digital light weight auto-pilots that obtain heading information from the GPS. They are also better priced than some TSO'd units.Since many of our aircraft are touchier to fly than a sedate Cessna 172, as they're more like fighters with light stick pressures, the auto-pilot is becoming very popular. Daytime trips might be 400-700 miles or more, and the A/P set up to fly a GPS flight plan is great. The altitude A/P is even more popular than the wing leveling heading axis of the A/P. When it comes to hand flying simulated airplanes, my climb rate and airspeed usually makes for a smooth steady climb. If I want to trim and watch the horizon to keep altitude in check, I can do that too. But usually, I'm not that interested keeping a steady eye on the simulated horizon, and altitude tends to wander a bit, since trim in FS really is touchier than a real airplane; although in reality, few real airplanes will fly a steady altitude without slowly wandering, if you don't keep an eye on it.If I'm not climbing through simulated mountain passes, and am sim flying an hour or so from point A to B, then I'll use the auto-pilot.L.Adamson

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>With airliners, it is a totally different story. Airliners are>almost exclusively "flown" with AP depending on the guidelines>and SOP of the airline. Typically airliners engage the AP>anywhere from 1000' AGL to 10000' AGL and stay on AP until>decent, approach or even final approach (or stay on AP for an>ILS Cat III autoland), of course, depending on weather,>traffic, pilot preference and many other factors. >That's sort of how I fly heavies in FS, I usually AP them from climbout through cruise, and into descent. Usually when I get near the field I turn off AP and hand-fly it in. I don't use autoland, I can take risks in FS even on ILS with very low minimums. (!)

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I find that the classic DeHavilland 88 and the Lockheed Vega are very good easily trimable hand flyable aircraft. A witch to navigate and land sometimes - but good for hand flying.One thing I'd suggest is that you move the realism sliders up to close to the maximum.The "easy" settings are way too sensitive. Tiny touches on the trim have too much impact on the easy settings.The "best" hand flyable, trimable aircraft I've found is the Dreamfleet Archer II. I don't think I've ever flown a flight using that aircraft's autopilot. It's really neat to see the throttle actually control the pitch in an FS aircraft.Another exercise I use to get familiar with an aircraft is 20 to 30 nm flights never climbing above 3,000-4,000 ft AGL and never flying above flap and gear extension speeds. Completely manual. It really helps to be able to fly an aircraft at 30 kts above stall speed with all the flaps and gear out.Makes those tricky landings much better in the future.

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>I am a fairly experienced simmer. However, one area of the>hobby that I am not particularly good at is hand-flying>aircraft. I have a good range of aircraft from GA (F1 Cessna>172, DF Baron) right through to the big heavies (Level D 767,>PMDG 747). I know how to get these aircraft off the ground,>navigate a course and land safely in reasonable fashion. >However, I find myself reaching for the autopilot in the vast>majority of cases because I find when I use the joystick to>try a bit of hand-flying (I have a Wingman Force 3D with>throttle control

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Guest jboweruk

I use the Cyborg FF stick from Saitek, coupled with FSForce which is somewhat better than default force feedback, but still I have trouble holding level, admittedly I've not tried in calm weather conditions, but I never used to hand fly anything longer than half hour at most, now however I'm using FSPax and my best earner is the MAAM Sim DC3, on which I can't even find an Autopilot, so hand-flying for 1.5 to 2 hours has kinda become the norm lately. Still a so-so to do when the only thing you can see out the window is grey, sheets of purest grey.Hand flying is hard, but you do gradually get used to it and can hold level a little easier as time goes on. I found even in a real plane a thermal soon enough deals a blow to perfect straight and level flight, somehow though you just didn't seem to be fighting the controls quite so much.

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Guest gasebah

Since you obviuosly fly aircraft with good airfiles I guess it has not so much to do with the controls. I had a lot of problems regarding level flight in the beginning especially in more turbulent air.Here is what made it easier for me:Trimming and level flight:1. Control climb or descent with throttle, control airspeed with elevator trim. Not vice versa!2. Do not try to counteract every little movement of the needle. Do small changes with throttle and trim and wait what happens. Let the needle oscillate a little. If you are loosing airspeed during an unwanted climb the needle will finally com back. If the airspeed stays constant during the climb reduce throttle a bit et voila level flight. Airspeed and trim always correspond to a mutual descent or climb rate. Fly slow for initial training. At lower airspeeds it is a lot easier to perfectly trim.3. Know your numbers. It is a lot easier if you know what airspeed you can expect during level flight at a certain altitude with a certain manifold pressure. This prevents you from overreacting.4. Get a GF-LGT from Goflight. The trim wheel made it a lot easier for me.I always fly with ActiveSky weather now and I am also using the vertical air movement feature of ASV and never have a problem to maintain my altitude +- 200ft.For horizontal control the answer is easy. Get some decent rudder pedals. To control crosswinds and turbulence with the ailerons alone is a pain and almost impossible.BTW I am only a chair pilot. But this works perfectly, at least in the sim :-).Alex

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Guest b52

I've tried flying an 737 manually all the way. I remember those days when i have FS2002... :-badteeth

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>1. Control climb or descent with throttle, control airspeed>with elevator trim. Not vice versa!>Small throttle adjustments along with elevator trim, certainly helps.Of course the climb with throttle & pitch for airspeed, is another one of those arguments that will never go away! :D Example: You're flying formation with wings tucked within the wings of the lead aircraft. In reality, you're slightly below, just in case the lead's engine blows, and you don't want to run right through the lead airplane, as if it slammed on the brakes.Never the less, you have to maintain the exact formations airspeed with slight throttle adjustments, and then compensate altitude adjustments with elevator as secondary. There are just to many varibles in the pitch for speed & throttle for altitude "saying", to apply the principle to every case. No matter what forum this issue comes up on, you can expect pages and pages of replies and rebuttles. L.Adamson

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Guest gasebah

OK. Here comes the rebuttle:I was only saying "climb with throttle & pitch for airspeed" is the easier way. At least in the sim I find myself doing a lot more try and error when I do it the other way round or with a combined approach. I guess the reason is that you do not feel the control forces as there are no FF yokes.I did not want to open a philosophical discussion :-). And being a chair pilot only I guess I am not fit for it either :-).Alex

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>OK. Here comes the rebuttle:>>I was only saying "climb with throttle & pitch for airspeed">is the easier way. At least in the sim I find myself doing a>lot more try and error when I do it the other way round or>with a combined approach. I guess the reason is that you do>not feel the control forces as there are no FF yokes.>I did not want to open a philosophical discussion :-). And>being a chair pilot only I guess I am not fit for it either>:-).And at least 50% will totally agree. Maybe more! :D And BTW, I often use small throttle adjustments to fine tune the trim.L.Adamson

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Guest bobsk8

I also use the CH Yoke and Pedals. I spent a good bit of time adjusting the sensitivities of the controls in FS9 to mimic the real aircraft I have flown as much as possible. Once set, I never change the settings and can fly all my favorite aircraft with the same settings. I love hand flying the Level D 767, the Bill Lyons Grumman Goose, the Carenado C182 RG, The Aerosoft Beaver, and the Aeroworx Kingair among others. If it doesn't hand fly well, it goes into my hangar permanently.

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Here is a copy of a post I submitted in the Eaglesoft Form regarding similar issues by 'real world' pilot of the plane, describing some of the same 'frustrations'....>>>Hi XXX...interesting comments, as I have found the Cirrus to me much more realistic to this issue than most. So, I end up tweaking a couple settings in 'other' aircraft.cfg's to help this out.The couple setiings I usually 'play with' are within the 'flight tuning' area of the .cfg Here is the Cirrus:[flight_tuning]cruise_lift_scalar=1.000parasite_drag_scalar=1.000induced_drag_scalar=1.06elevator_effectiveness=1.000aileron_effectiveness=1.000rudder_effectiveness=1.000pitch_stability=1.000<<<<

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