Sign in to follow this  
Guest av84fun

Spartan Executive Landing Dynamics

Recommended Posts

I would like to commend the Miltion Shupe team for yet another outstanding add-on....the Spartan Executive.Particularly exceptional is the flight model in the landing phase which is one of my pet peaves regarding most FS aircraft.With few exceptions...the fantastic RealAir Spitfire being one...landings are far too easy compared to the RW.Typically, you can set up an approach to landing at least 10 kts too fast (say in a light single) and fly the thing all the way to touchdown at a rate of descent of 400+ fpm and get a perfect, "chirp and stick" landing.ITRW such an approach would invarriably result in a LONG float in ground effect (longer/shorter depending on make and model)...probably a balloon as the pilot adds back pressure while carrying excessive airspeed, a BOUNCE...or two...or three and finally a landing.At the above-mentioned 400+ fpm descent (6.7 ft. per SECOND), the RW pilot might also have to visit his friendly A&P mechanic for some undercarriage repair.The Spartan behaved EXACTLY as noted above...float, balloon, bounce and all. Even at a pre-touchdown sink rate of less than 200 fpm, it will still bounce...as is should...because you are dropping the plane onto the runway from approximately waist high in a single SECOND...OUCH!!!Admittedly, some types are better than others at absorbing such impact loads but when excessive airspeed is added into the equation, there are FEW RW airplanes in which you will not get your "choice of landings" after such an approach.My assumption is that most developers are worried about realistically modeling the landing phase for fear of hurting sales if users decide that landing is too difficult...at least more difficult than they are used to and I understand the economics associated with "dumbing down" the landing dynamics.But as freeware, the Shupe team obviously is not worried about that and I am sure they spent CONSIDERABLE time getting the landing dynamics about as real as it gets.CONGRATULATIONS to Mr. Shupe and company for creating one of the most realistic landing phase flight models in the sim community.Regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Jim,since you raised this issue...you are surely much more expert than me since you appreciate such bouncing landing. I have to say that the first times I experienced it with the new Spartan I said "Oh ####, it's a pity that such an hand-flyable plane have such a difficult landing" - I would prefer not to bounce when I touch down at 100-200ft/min VS :-)But I have to agree that is probably the real world...BTW, what would be the variables I could modify to reduce this bouncing?Francesco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<Hello Francesco. Your reaction is pretty typical which is why IMHO, the payware developers are a littly shy about landing dynamics.If I knew how to tweak it, I would be happy to tell you but I don't.But, let me encourage you to take up the landing phase as a challange. It's one of those things that is "easy when you know how."I don't mean to be presumptuous, but here are some pointers that will help you improve your landing technique.1. Control your airspeed on short final to NOT MORE than 1.2 times Vso...i.e. 20% higher than the bottom of the white arc on the airspeed indicator.2. When you judge yourself to be a full wing span from the runway, start to ROUND OUT...or more simply stated, just raise the nose a touch so as to begin the process of achieving a level attitude...and therefore, slower airspeed.3. At one half wing span, "ground effect" starts to become a factor. Think of ground effect as a cushion of "compressed air" (not a scientific description...but you get the idea.) At that point, your nose should still be angled downward A TOUCH. What you DON'T want to do as add lift by raising the nose just as you "hit the cushion" because THAT is what makes you tend to balloon.4. Now, you have reduced your airspeed...adopted a NEARLY, but not quite level deck angle...are contuing to slow down. 5. Since you are slowing down, ground effect is "wearing off" and you will begin to sink...even though you are in a level attitude and NOW the magic happens...At that moment, your mains will be...say...a foot or so above the runway and instead of trying to land...YOU TRY NOT TO LAND. By SLOWLY and CONSISTENTLY applying more back yoke/stick pressure, you raise the nose SLIGHTLY above the horizon...so you can't see the end of the runway any more... and just HOLD IT OFF...DON'T LET IT LAND...by continuing to bring in more and more back pressure. In a perfect world, you will get the stall horn JUST before you touchdown...which at first, scares a lot of RW students because they are so used to landing too fast that they never hear the horn!If you do the above, you will not balloon because you will not be carrying excessive airspeed into the ground effect zone and you will not bounce, because you will have reduced your rate of descent to well under 100 fpm.Now, you will get the same "chirp and stick" landing that you get with most FS aircraft...but you will have achieved that based on skills instead of unrealistic landing dynamics.Just remember...get slow...get low...get level and HOLD IT OFF!!!!!!!Enjoy!Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<>You are very welcome Tord.BTW, are you any relation to Willie Hoppe...the legendary American billiard champion in the early 1900's?Regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim, nope afraid not. Especially when I look at my dubious "skills" with a pool cue, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great write up Jim. I finally registered here just so i can reply to your post! =)I will definitely go and try out the Spartan now. Landings in fs9 has always bugged me. Being a RW pilot myself, it just didn't feel real. I'm not sure if fs9 even simulates ground effect - i never get the ballon effect, even if i'm 10-20kts over and applying back pressure. Plus it's almost impossible to bleed off speed in the sim and get the stall horn warning. The plane usually just sinks right down to the ground like a rock. I wish landings were that easy in RW! haha. Sounds like the Spartan was able to over-come this. Great news...-fz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jim,An excellent post on landing. Until one realizes the pitfalls of landing too fast, one can never make good landings. I know that I was always scared of stalling the airplane so used to come in on finals way too fast. One day my CFI showed me just how slow a C152 could be on final, and that helped cure it.Another pitfall with fast landings- since any pitch-up movement will cause lift and tend to balloon the aircraft, some come in too fast and try to land without adequate flare, which produces the famous "porpoise" manover. I wish this was modelled in FS, along with the damage it can cause if not arrested quickly by adding power, and the increase in oscillation magnitude. I'm sure that all of us that have landed an aircraft have seen what a porpoise is :)Bruce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree wholeheartedly, Jim! The Spartan Executive is a fantastic freeware addon. Along with that aircraft, like you, I also fly the RealAir Spitfire. Both aircraft simulate landing very well, and for that reason I stick with those and generally avoid other aircraft (except for some great freeware military jets).For many here who will avoid flying aircraft due to them being a little difficult to land, you need to realise that there is no better way to improve your landing (and flying) skill than to get into aircraft with more realistic flight models, especially in the landing phase.If you learn proper landing technique, and you practise regularly, you'll find that eventually you'll be able to touch down gently (<30 fpm!) almost every time, even with some AS6 real weather included. There is nothing more satisfying than that, especially in the Spartan and Spit!James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Just remember...get slow...get low...get level and HOLD IT OFF!!!!!!80 kts onto the tarmac at 130 kts just as smoothly if he had the skill and the judgement.It because we do not have the skill or the judgement that we balloon.I am not trying to knock what you are saying which I agree with in most parts but that is not the whole picture in all conditions or aircraft and is excellent advice for someone learning to land.Try holding off a Citation five or Bravo and you will be in for a shock. The flare is more of a wrist jerk.The FDE is at its weakest in slow flight. All us pilots know that at high speed we will move the column maybe 1 cm against huge forces to pitch an aircraft 10 degrees above the horizon.At slow speed pulling back to the stall the column will come right back several inches.At high speed control forces are huge and the aircraft is responsive.At slow speed control forces are low and the aircraft in unresponsive.Until these areas in the FDE and our controls are dealt with we will never get a realistic landing experience.Until the relationship between the aircraft and airmass are better modelled the same goes.Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<>Yes, of course, Peter. Thanks for bringing that up. I was discussing the BASIC modeling of FS aircraft and meant only to dicuss technique associated with relatively steady winds without large cross-wind components. I actually thought about adding in your caveat but felt the post was getting too long as it was.<>That, of course, depends on the aircraft in question. Landing a 777 at 20 kts over, is one thing and trying to land a Skyhawk at +20 kts is an entirely different matter. In a 172 at +20 kts you might get a "perfect landing"....eventually...if the runway was long enough (ask my former partner (a CFI by the way) in a 172 who ran off the runway at Palwaukee and almost killed himself because he landed too hot. An airplane cannot LAND (at least not in the proper definition of that word) until it has stopped flying and it cannot stop flying until it has reached an airspeed below the stall speed in a given configuration.<>Right. The Chiefton I have a fair amount of time in is just one of many. But "flying it on" is something of a misnomer IMHO. Clearly you need to carry power all the way in and do the "power chop" at the last instant but that is because you will DROP IT ON HARD if you don't carry some power...and it is the carrying of the power which helps to HOLD IT OFF....i.e to arrest the sink rate to some acceptable limit. But even in a Chiefton there is a round out and bleed off of excessive airspeed and a nose high deck angle prior to touchdown and therefore, the ship has been "held off" aerodynamically.If you simply maintain the glidslope descent profile all the way to the tarmac you will have accomplished a controlled crash at best! But my point is...that is exactly what you CAN do with the vast majority of FS aircraft and get a "greaser" landing. No way...ITRW.<>Again, under non-blustery wind conditions, it works just as well in relatively low lift as well has high lift aircraft. You just need less back pressure in a lower lift machine.<>Yes, exactly and too many pilots just can't bring themselves to get the stick back far enough...and keep it their...which is why there is so much nose gear damage in Skylanes and other nose-heavy aircraft.<>Agreed and without knowing beans about creating FDE's I do know that the landing phase modeling is a challange. But clearly, that challange is me better in some add-ons than others. I just wanted to give the Shupe team a big "attaboy" for doing as well as they have done. The RA Spit is another example and the other end of the spectrum are the vast majority of add-ons that give us "greased on...chirp and stick landings in spite of coming touching down as...say...1.4x Vso at 400+ fpm...in a NOSE DOWN attitude by the way. I just am encouraging developers to improve on that unrealistic behavior...UNLESS as I admitted...they think that doing so will hurt their sales.As always...I enjoy dialoging with you.Best regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<>THANKS!!!<>From what I can tell, its not so much a FS9 issue as it is the flight model created by the developers and I know FOR SURE that it is not easy.Some are doing better than others along those lines which is what keeps us interested in this great hobby...and continuing to buy new add-ons as the state of the art marches forward!!Best,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<>Roger that. And thanks James.And let me take this opportunity to respond to Peter's excellent observations about different techniques being required for different wind conditions and aircraft types.First, my "basci" recommendations had to do with light singles and up to some medium tiwns and in relatively benign weather conditions without a major cross-wind component.ON AVERAGE, gust components are not too excessive and many airports have intersecting runways so the cross-wind component is often not excessive. But winds CAN be blustery and cross-wind components CAN be large which requires different technique.It was not my purpose to conduct a seminar here about landings in all sorts of conditions in all kinds of airplanes and I am not qualified to do so.It was just my basic point, that under relatively average conditions in most FS9 aircraft, "perfect" landings can be accomplished without any particular regard to airspeed, deck angle, float, ground effect, bounce or porpoising that are real and genuine factors ITRW.So, improving flight models along those lines is a noble pursuit IMHO and learning to land more realistically would in NO WAY be more difficult or time consuming than trying to figure out all the totally cool advanced avionics that are represented to perfection on the sim!Developers...GIVE US THE CHALLANGES and we will rise to the occasion!!:-)Regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, as I said before, my point of view was of course a lazy-desktop-pilot's one ;-)I enjoyed very much the discussion and surely I learned a lot. I'm sure I'll become an FS grease-lander following your advice...ThanksFrancesco

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JimI am always aware with our medium of text as coming over wrong and I hope this isnt the case with my response to your posting. I agree with all that you are trying to say.The main reason for my response is that I think that the landing arena in FS is the weakest link.I have not yet tried the model above but hope that in FSX MS take a step further by giving us a realistic FDE regards to slow flight and landing.We do not have that yet!Part of that equation is also the medium we fly in and again MS need to deal with airmass movements in a far more realistic way.Only then will MS give us a "more real" landing experience which as I have stated aboveis not the case at present.Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<>No, not at all Peter. I enjoy the dialog and since I know nothing about FS modeling, I always learn from you.Best,Jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this