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Alphasim B-58 first flight comments...not exhaustive!

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I have always loved the Hustler. Flew before my time, (just) but such a hot looking jet. I purchased the Alphasim variant and visually its a beauty. Great model. Nice animations. Pretty good afterburner effects. Skins are good but I may make my own... :-) The models are several and well done. Even an exotic TB-58! 2D panel is very good. Pretty much Alphasim standard. The VC nicely matches the 2D and immersion is really very good especially at night. I may tweak the night lighting and the nightlighting in the VC is too bright to me. However the 2D and the VC match so well that flying in 2D is no problem.Where this bird has its problems at least to me is the flight model and the Autopilot. It has a pop up for the autopilot settings, but they dont seem to hold. Also no obvious place on either 2D or VC to turn it on. In fact the VC is missing the NAV/GPS switch entirely, which is on the 2D panel. Also acceleration and decceleration dont seem work smoothly. I dont expect it to fly like a T-38, but the way this aircraft flies doesnt seem right to me. Again, this could be quirks of the real airplane. I know it needs high AOA to land. Also the nozzles on the afterburning J79 engines arent animated...but thats not a huge deal.On the whole, a good airplane. An exotic beauty. However, I think with some good flight model tweakage and some further attention to the autopilot, this one could be great. Alphasim has taken great strides in the last year. The quality has really come up. But this one could use just a bit more technical help. Eye candy it has down!Eric

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I was hoping for some feedback from other users...is my experience similar or different from other folks who purchased this plane?eric

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Regarding the AlphaSim B-58 (at ~$24 US)Visual model: A-Flight Dynamics: Subsonic: B- Supersonic: DPanel: D-I have always had a thing for the Hustler...used to work with a retired USAF colonel that flew it in the old-guard SAC during the Curt LeMay era. I spent the majority of last weekend trying to fix the FDE and the panel.Hard to believe that the same guys that could produce such a nice visual model would sell a panel with FS 5-quality graphics and a pretty seriously challenged FDE. I ran it against the AFSD test suite while troubleshooting, and there is no...zero...mach drag at Mach 1.4 cruise (which it does happily on less than 80% N1 thrust. Clearly the designers need some help with high-speed flight dynamics. The Hustler could do the supersonic mamba, but it sure couldn't cruise that way without afterburner power. Only the SR-71 and the F-22 can do that.I'm still working on it tonight...it's one of those historic planes I just can't let go of. Too bad we couldn't have gotten Milton Shupe to do this one!! CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Guest JIMJAM

I own 8 or more Alpha planes and 4 sceneries. I love the planes because, well lets face it nobody else does em, also they are easy to get into and easy on the frames so you can crank up your settings.My concern is their pricing is going up and the quality is staying the same.Alpha is really cranking then out which is good but Im afraid some are suffering from the cookie cutter approach. At 10-15$, I had the what the heck its not much and bought anything they had that looked interesting.I overlooked any lack of details such as their sterile vr pits cause heck, its not up in the PMDG price range.But as the prices have inched up over $25, all white or gray bland cockpit textures with generic gauges,unreadable huds and sparce clickables just doesnt cut it.The hustler is on my maybe list but $26 is a little steep.Cmon Alpha keep the pricing down or bump up the quality.

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Guest Dakota

>I own 8 or more Alpha planes and 4 sceneries. I love the>The hustler is on my maybe list but $26 is a little steep.>Cmon Alpha keep the pricing down or bump up the quality.I agree for the type of eye candy, fly out of the box modeling they do, they should not be asking a lot and haven't on most of their planes, but I think for this price or even asking a little more money, you cold expect something similar to what Captainsim did with the F-104 or Aerosoft with the A-10. I would love it if they would simulate most of the systems on the B-58 and have a realistic flight model.

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Bob, I'd be REAL interested in your mods if you should like to share.And I agree on their pricing. I would have bought several more planes but with pricing on some birds at 30 USD or so, I'll save my money for something from Dreamfleet etc. Only so much you can do with a military bird in FS anyway. I think its that they went to Euro based pricing. Fine and dandy, but I wont pay that premium most of the time.Thankseric

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Guest JIMJAM

Its a shame cause I really like Alphasim.Its a laid back group and come out with planes nobody else will touch. I enjoy jumping in to their planes without hassle and burning up the sky.With over $500 in addons on my hardrive, imo these are 15-20 planes. I usually end up gutting the gauges,replacing them and tweeking the flight model, and replacing alot of sounds that come only with default fs9 ones. Take the B-2.I bought it and enjoy it but for the price having a non functional vc, I mean nothing works, with no backlighing at all doesnt cut it.Besides now I have a 32 inch LCD and the textureless,pieced together grainy pits look really bad.Like I said I like ALPHA and will support them but if they want to be the Walmart of military add ons that fine with me. But if they continue inching their prices up, more like me are not going to accept and start complaining about the much overlooked lack of quality and detail.

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Guest seniorcrown

Hi Guys,As the modeller involved with this particular project I feel it is my duty to reposnd to your criticisms.First off are the flight dynamics - these flight dynamics believe it or not, are based on the pilots manual - we went through extensive testing to ensure that the dynamics exhibited by the real life Hustler as as close as possible incorporated into our version. A question was posted on our ALphasim forum about engine spool up being exceptionally slow - well this plane is from the late fifties well before quick spooling engines had been developed. I cannot answer the drag question as I did the modelling of this one, and that is our FD guys domain.Having said that, the figures for thrust versus throttle position are by the book, we've checked that. We were concerned that the engines were not spooling quick enough, but thats how it was.The question about the NAV/GPS switch - lets face it - back then there was no GPS, so that question cannot really be posed. The lack of an autopilot switch in the 2D and VC - I went to lengths to try and determine from the manual how the 1950's vintage autopilot worked, and more importantly how it was armed and what functions it actually did.The intake spikes move forward (yes forward!) slowly at Mach 1.42 and above - just like the manual - the jetpipe nozzles are animated - I'm not sure what part you're looking at, but they are definately animated.The main 2d panel isn't my area.I apologise for the 'textureless pieced together grainy bits' - that is my area (in the VC).As for pricing, thats not my area at all, so I cannot comment, except to say that although she looks simple on the outside, there was a lot of hard work put in on the textures, flight model, and general model overall. Remember 5 unique models, 6 textures, sounds, and good flight dynamics. Also the pricing is in New Zealand dollars by default, but you can have the price converted in our shop to whatever you like!!In fact if you head over to www.b-58.com click on contents then flight simulator, you'll see a page that shows our Hustler, and comments by the guys who run the site - one of whom being an ex-crewman of the Hustler. We didn't ask them to do this, but it was certainly a nice surprise : )I'm sorry if this sounds like I'm defending my work and the work of my gracious colleagues, but we feel we have done a worthy job on this one, and am disheartened that no-one reads the check lists to find out how the real aircraft flies compared to our $25 sim version.I do value your comments though and you're most certainly entitled to your opinions - I just wanted to give my point of view. CaptainSim and Alphasim are aiming at completely different markets and I think always will be. Ours are like the Fords of Flight sim.Thank you for reading.David B.

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Guest Alpha_J

>Regarding the AlphaSim B-58 (at ~$24 US)>>Visual model: A->>Flight Dynamics: >> Subsonic: B-> Supersonic: D>>Panel: D->>I have always had a thing for the Hustler...used to work with>a retired USAF colonel that flew it in the old-guard SAC>during the Curt LeMay era. I spent the majority of last>weekend trying to fix the FDE and the panel.>>Hard to believe that the same guys that could produce such a>nice visual model would sell a panel with FS 5-quality>graphics and a pretty seriously challenged FDE. I ran it>against the AFSD test suite while troubleshooting, and there>is no...zero...mach drag at Mach 1.4 cruise (which it does>happily on less than 80% N1 thrust. Clearly the designers>need some help with high-speed flight dynamics. The Hustler>could do the supersonic mamba, but it sure couldn't cruise>that way without afterburner power. Only the SR-71 and the>F-22 can do that.>>I'm still working on it tonight...it's one of those historic>planes I just can't let go of. Too bad we couldn't have>gotten Milton Shupe to do this one!! >>Cheers>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de ChileHi Bob,Thanks, first off, for buying our plane. We appreciate it. Looks like you are a real-world pilot so the last thing I want to do is start preaching flight dynamics. But there are a few things to point out that might clear up some of your initial impressions. The first thing is that the gage used in the panel, unfortunately, reads out uncorrected N1 RPM rather than corrected N2, which is what the actual gage in the real airplane provides. Uncorrected N1 is going to be the lowest possible reading you can get from the sim and it's not what we wanted there. This will likely be corrected in an update, but anyone who can edit a text file can easily update this by adding the word "corrected" in front of "N1" in the .xml file for each of the four gages, takes only a few minutes.The RPM range for cruising is correct, and the plane is flying in the afterburner power range at Mach 1.4. At this moment I have set up a flight at Mach 1.4 and I have a reading of 89 percent corrected N2. If you have the right gages you can run the same test and see for yourself how all the corrected/uncorrected RPM values stack up. 89 percent is pretty darn close for that Mach number. This aircraft had a throttle setup that was very complex for its time. We tried to duplicate that as closely as possible given the limitations of FS9. There is a range of throttle where the afterburner is active, from "minimum afterburner" to "maximum afterburner". Beyond that is "overspeed". If you look at the throttles after your plane is stabilized at 1.4 Mach and 36,000 feet, you'll see that you're partly into the minimum afterburner region of power. That's just about right. The reason you don't see any afterburner flame effects at this speed is because we created a "maximum" afterburner effect, and since the effect comes on and off like a light switch, we decided not to have that effect kick in until nearly maximum afterburner was reached in the power range. To be more explicit, the afterburner effect will not become visible unless corrected N2 RPM is greater than 94.6 percent.Your comment about the mach drag in the .air file was interesting as well. It is not always necessary to have a value in this lookup table. Many of these lookup tables were created mainly to "fix" or modify airframe performance if the default FDE behavior is inadequate or unsatisfactory. If the performance of the aircraft is within the expected range, and it is in this case, there is no need to have any additional drag in that speed range. The sim is already calculating the many drag and lift coefficients in the background and oftentimes this is very accurate without modification from a lookup table. Many of these tables can in fact be omitted from the flight model in many cases. I assume you concluded there was too little drag because of the low RPM figure, but that RPM figure was wrong because of the gage. (It would be impressive to say we obtained the actual Mach drag chart from Lockheed, buried in a dusty vault somewhere, and used that, but we thought that to be a long shot).To expand on that a bit, what we want out of flight dynamics is a net effect. Yes, it is true that the real aircraft had both additional drag (Mach drag) as well as additional cruise lift at Mach 1.4. However, the net effect of this additional lift and drag is what we are interested in. If they, in effect, cancel one another out then there is little reason to plug numbers into those tables. Many aerodynamic parameters are combined into a "net effect" in Microsoft's FS series, especially so in FS9. It's part of the design strategy of the sim.You have indicated that your initial impression of the flight dynamics is that they are "seriously challenged" but haven't provided any other information than the cruise performance at 1.4 Mach appearing to be off versus engine RPM and afterburner power scheduling, which I've explained above as being the result of a gage error and the way we opted to have the afterburner effect kick in. (The throttle quadrant tells the real story). The fact is that this aircraft flies very much by the book. The B-58 manual was used to create this aircraft, and it matches the performance charts in that manual with a great degree of accuracy. The takeoff roll, landing roll, time to climb, top speeds, and cruising speeds are all accurate. We spent a lot of time ensuring the angles of attack for various aircraft weights and airspeeds were an exact match for the manual for landing approach attitudes, and that the power schedule was an exact match for engine RPM vs. thrust and throttle position. All of this information is in the checklist.Many weeks of work went into this particular flight model and it will take more than a few hours to test and confirm flight performance data. Landings, in particular, are very challenging just as they were in the real plane. We welcome anyone who wants to do performance testing because we know if it's done thoroughly and methodically - the way we created the plane's flight dynamics - the plane will measure up. A quick "seat of the pants" impression is not going to garner much useful information; with a copy of the B-58 manual, a good set of comprehensive flight test gages, a pocket calculator, and a thick notebook and a lot of sharp pencils, a fellow might get some numbers that add up. :)

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Hey, thats all fair enough and am delighted you responded.What I cant find is how to properly engage the autopilot, even if its a period limited unit. I can select the various elements for altitude, speed, etc., but they do not hold. Makes me think there is some "autopilot on/off" switch that Im missing in my look around. A very quick little tutorial on how to activate would be helpful. No concerns over spool up time etc. Im generally happy with the plane. My only real comment is that I cant get "Otto" to do his job!I wonder in real life if this was a "GIB" (Guy in Backseat) thing to activate? Eric

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Guest Alpha_J

>How's that B47 coming along?It's getting there... :-hah

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Guest Alpha_J

This autopilot is coded so you have to turn on the master switch to get it to work, it won't automatically come on when you engage the wing leveler, altitude hold, or heading hold. On the main panel in the center, you'll see two icons. One brings up the the autopilot window and the other actually turns on the AP master. They both have the "AP" letters on them, and the one that turns the unit on is yellow. Once it's up and visible you enter the data normally. It should be working fine for you. I have found it is generally easier to assign a few buttons or keys to activate AP master switch, wing leveler, altitude hold, and heading hold. You can also assign a NAV/GPS toggle to a key or button if desired.

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>First off are the flight dynamics - these flight dynamics>believe it or not, are based on the pilots manual - we went>through extensive testing to ensure that the dynamics>exhibited by the real life Hustler as as close as possible>incorporated into our version. A question was posted on our>ALphasim forum about engine spool up being exceptionally slow>- well this plane is from the late fifties well before quick>spooling engines had been developed. No, and double-no! The J-79 engine was also used in the F-104 Starfighter and later in the F-4 Phantom. The engines in this era were low-bypass or no-bypass turbojets that jumped at your command. What you'r suggesting about the engines of this era, and this engine in particular is completely wrong.>The intake spikes move forward (yes forward!) slowly at Mach>1.42 and above - just like the manual - the jetpipe nozzles>are animated - I'm not sure what part you're looking at, but>they are definately animated.The intake spikes are a nice touch. The nozzles do in fact move, although it doesn't appear to be correlated to the afterburner the way it should be.>As for pricing, thats not my area at all, so I cannot comment,>except to say that although she looks simple on the outside,>there was a lot of hard work put in on the textures, flight>model, and general model overall. Remember 5 unique models, 6>textures, sounds, and good flight dynamics. Also the pricing>is in New Zealand dollars by default, but you can have the>price converted in our shop to whatever you like!!No denying there's a lot of good work here, but it's incomplete, and the really awful panels detract from the rest of the good work. Sorry, but the 2D panel looks straight out of a mis-90s version of MSFS.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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>...the gage used in the>panel, unfortunately, reads out uncorrected N1 RPM rather than>corrected N2, which is what the actual gage in the real>airplane provides....>anyone who can edit a text file can easily update this by>adding the word "corrected" in front of "N1" in the .xml file>for each of the four gages, takes only a few minutes.Noted...but I'm stunned that you could have put in the kind of testing you allude to and not notice that the indicated power settings are more than 10% low in the high-altitude high-speed regimes where this jet flies. As you point out w/r/t the gauges...easy to fix in xml, so why is there no fix already posted on your site?>Your comment about the mach drag in the .air file was>interesting as well. It is not always necessary to have a>value in this lookup table. >Many of these tables can in fact be omitted>from the flight model in many cases. I assume you concluded>there was too little drag because of the low RPM figure, but>that RPM figure was wrong because of the gage. I started looking at the drag figures because of both the low power settings on the gauges, and the low fuel flows...range (unrefueled) of the B-58 was around 3,400nm, but with the low fuel flows I saw I had more than double that.>(It would be>impressive to say we obtained the actual Mach drag chart from>Lockheed, buried in a dusty vault somewhere, and used that,>but we thought that to be a long shot).Yes, it'd be very impressive, given that Lockheed didn't build the B-58!>To expand on that a bit, what we want out of flight dynamics>is a net effect. Yes, it is true that the real aircraft had>both additional drag (Mach drag) as well as additional cruise>lift at Mach 1.4. However, the net effect of this additional>lift and drag is what we are interested in. If they, in>effect, cancel one another out then there is little reason to>plug numbers into those tables. Many aerodynamic parameters>are combined into a "net effect" in Microsoft's FS series,>especially so in FS9. It's part of the design strategy of the>sim.I'm a tiny bit familiar with MSFS FDE design. That said...Lift and drag do not cancel each other. They are forces acting perpendicular to one another...how can one cancel the other? That idea just does not make sense.There is no offset elsewhere in the MSFS flight dynamics to the effects of shock (mach) drag. The real airplane experiences a significant spike in drag as it accelerates through the transonic zone, something reasonably approximated by a realistic entry in the mach drag table. It takes a lot of energy to bust through the brick wall at Mach 1...your FDE does not exhibit this behavior, which is a defining trademark of the supersonic aircraft in its generation.>You have indicated that your initial impression of the flight>dynamics is that they are "seriously challenged" but haven't>provided any other information than the cruise performance at>1.4 Mach appearing to be off versus engine RPM and afterburner>power scheduling, which I've explained above as being the>result of a gage error and the way we opted to have the>afterburner effect kick in. (The throttle quadrant tells the>real story). The gauges have to tell the real story...pilots do not generally eyeball the throttle quad for an indication of power setting. Also, the nozzles should be opening up as the burners light...on the J-79, J-85 etc that's the real indication of burner lightoff.>The fact is that this aircraft flies very much>by the book. The B-58 manual was used to create this aircraft,>and it matches the performance charts in that manual with a>great degree of accuracy. The takeoff roll, landing roll,>time to climb, top speeds, and cruising speeds are all>accurate. We spent a lot of time ensuring the angles of>attack for various aircraft weights and airspeeds were an>exact match for the manual for landing approach attitudes, and>that the power schedule was an exact match for engine RPM vs.>thrust and throttle position. All of this information is in>the checklist.Performance in the subsonic regime is acceptably by-the-book, and I'll grant you that part was non-trivial to do. The supersonic dynamics really aren't there yet. Some of it...like the shock drag issue, are sooooo easy to fix. Synching up throttle, nozzle, and visual effects is another, but a bit more difficult.There's some good work here, but as I noted earlier about the panel, it's incomplete. At the $25 mark, people are going to expect a little more I think.Hope to see you work through these issues and not just dig in and defend the errors.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Guest Tophatter

> It would be>impressive to say we obtained the actual Mach drag chart from>Lockheed, buried in a dusty vault somewhere, and used that,>but we thought that to be a long shot).>Yes, it'd be very impressive, given that Lockheed didn't build the B->58!No but Convair (General Dynamics) did and they were bought by Lockheed Martin so they would be the ones with the info.Bud

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Guest Alpha_J

>>...the gage used in the>>panel, unfortunately, reads out uncorrected N1 RPM rather>than>>corrected N2, which is what the actual gage in the real>>airplane provides....>>anyone who can edit a text file can easily update this by>>adding the word "corrected" in front of "N1" in the .xml>file>>for each of the four gages, takes only a few minutes.>>Noted...but I'm stunned that you could have put in the kind of>testing you allude to and not notice that the indicated power>settings are more than 10% low in the high-altitude high-speed>regimes where this jet flies. As you point out w/r/t the>gauges...easy to fix in xml, so why is there no fix already>posted on your site?I have a custom panel I use for flight model development and did not see the final panel until after the plane was released. Due to considerations of time, development of the panel, visual model, textures, and flight dynamics happen in parallel and often I do not see the final assembly until after release. This gage issue was a simple oversight, easily corrected.>>>Your comment about the mach drag in the .air file was>>interesting as well. It is not always necessary to have a>>value in this lookup table. >>>Many of these tables can in fact be omitted>>from the flight model in many cases. I assume you concluded>>there was too little drag because of the low RPM figure, but>>that RPM figure was wrong because of the gage. >>I started looking at the drag figures because of both the low>power settings on the gauges, and the low fuel flows...range>(unrefueled) of the B-58 was around 3,400nm, but with the low>fuel flows I saw I had more than double that.>>>(It would be>>impressive to say we obtained the actual Mach drag chart>from>>Lockheed, buried in a dusty vault somewhere, and used that,>>but we thought that to be a long shot).>>Yes, it'd be very impressive, given that Lockheed didn't build>the B-58!Convair was sold to General Dynamics, which was then acquired by McDonnell-Douglas and finally Lockheed. If anyone would have those old archives it would have been Lockheed.>>>To expand on that a bit, what we want out of flight dynamics>>is a net effect. Yes, it is true that the real aircraft had>>both additional drag (Mach drag) as well as additional>cruise>>lift at Mach 1.4. However, the net effect of this>additional>>lift and drag is what we are interested in. If they, in>>effect, cancel one another out then there is little reason>to>>plug numbers into those tables. Many aerodynamic parameters>>are combined into a "net effect" in Microsoft's FS series,>>especially so in FS9. It's part of the design strategy of>the>>sim.>>I'm a tiny bit familiar with MSFS FDE design. That said...>>Lift and drag do not cancel each other. They are forces>acting perpendicular to one another...how can one cancel the>other? That idea just does not make sense.I am referring to the relationship of two specific tables, one for Mach drag and the other for cruise lift. This reference is very specific to that file and those lookup tables. The effect of increasing cruise lift is to increase the L/D ratio, and vice versa.>There is no offset elsewhere in the MSFS flight dynamics to>the effects of shock (mach) drag. The real airplane>experiences a significant spike in drag as it accelerates>through the transonic zone, something reasonably approximated>by a realistic entry in the mach drag table. It takes a lot>of energy to bust through the brick wall at Mach 1...your FDE>does not exhibit this behavior, which is a defining trademark>of the supersonic aircraft in its generation.>Performance in the subsonic regime is acceptably by-the-book,>and I'll grant you that part was non-trivial to do. The>supersonic dynamics really aren't there yet. Some of>it...like the shock drag issue, are sooooo easy to fix. >Synching up throttle, nozzle, and visual effects is another,>but a bit more difficult.>>There's some good work here, but as I noted earlier about the>panel, it's incomplete. At the $25 mark, people are going to>expect a little more I think.>>Hope to see you work through these issues and not just dig in>and defend the errors.>>Cheers>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de Chile>

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Guest Alpha_J

>Lift and drag do not cancel each other. They are forces>acting perpendicular to one another...how can one cancel the>other? That idea just does not make sense.I didn't answer this properly, but lift and drag do indeed have opposing effects. That is why the lift/drag ratio, or L/D, is such an important part of aircraft performance assessment.Again, I don't mean to lecture to anyone who already is aware of this and I am not trying to sound like a know-it-all (I most certainly am not); I am just responding to your comment.Lift is created in one of two ways; either by increasing the airflow over the wing, or increasing the angle of attack of the wing. There is of course some minimum airflow required to get airborne, so we are assuming the plane to be flying above stalling speed. No matter which one we use, drag increases. If you have a plane flying along in a steady state of cruise at a fixed speed and altitude, and you increase power without doing anything else, the plane will begin to climb. You must then trim the aircraft to reduce the angle of attack to reduce the amount of lift the wing is creating back to where the forces are in equilibrium. The plane will then fly level again.The plane is now flying faster at the same altitude but we have increased the drag of the aircraft, because an increase in lift always results in an increase in the induced drag, which is drag created by additional lift. The lift/drag ratio is so important because it tells us how efficient the wing is. The more induced drag the wing creates for a given amount of lift, the lower the plane's top speed, climb rate, and ceiling will be. And the fuel consumption will be higher at cruise for any given speed.If you increase the lift of an airfoil while leaving the drag value the same, you have more efficiency, meaning more speed, range, and a higher ceiling. By the same token, if you can reduce the drag of an airfoil while retaining lift, you get the same result. A good example of this is the laminar flow airfoil on the P-51 Mustang, which had excellent lift/drag characteristics. The aspect ratio of a wing also has a great effect on this, but now we are comparing wings with airfoils. Both have an effect on the final product, the aircraft.The bottom line is this: lift and drag do cancel one another which is why the L/D ratio is still the gold standard in measuring aircraft performance in most cases. If you can increase lift and keep drag constant, you have increased the plane's performance. By adding drag in Table 430, or increasing lift in Table 401, you are affecting the plane's outright performance by directly affecting the L/D ratio. These two tables have opposing effects. Crank up the values in Table 401 and you will note that the plane now flies faster at the same altitude and throttle setting. Crank up the values in Table 430 and the plane will fly slower. These two tables represent the two opposing forces in the L/D equation and are therefore very useful for fine-tuning aircraft performance.You also commented that since lift and drag are forces that work perpendicular to one another, it didn't seem to make sense that they were related, or could "cancel" one another. Often, forces working perpendicular to one another are directly related. A very good example of another such relationship is that of a common gyroscope. If you were to apply a force to a spinning gyroscope, that gyroscope would respond by moving in a plane 90 degrees opposed (perpendicular) to the place you applied the disturbing force. There are all kinds of physical relationships that don't seem to make immediate sense, but they are nevertheless there.As far as what the flight dynamics engine is doing in the background, no one knows this for certain because there are data that cannot be directly extracted from the simulator. This is well-known to those programmers who've reverse-engineered a lot of this stuff. We know how to change a lot of things to affect the flight dynamics, but we can't change everything that's going on in there. There are many default behaviors hard-coded into the sim and not all are completely understood, nor can all of them be modified. Here's an excellent article about the strategy used in creating the flight dynamics engine for anyone who's not seen it:http://www.microsoft.com/games/flightsimul...4_zyskowski.asp

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>I didn't answer this properly, but lift and drag do indeed>have opposing effects. That is why the lift/drag ratio, or>L/D, is such an important part of aircraft performance>assessment.No, I would agree that lift and drag are related, and complement each other, but they certainly do not have opposing effects.>Lift is created in one of two ways; either by increasing the>airflow over the wing, or increasing the angle of attack of>the wing.I think you mean lift is increased in one of those two ways. But in the supersonic regimes, lift may also very well be increased by *decreasing* the airflow over the wings (in the case where a shock stall is in progress due to shock wave effects on the wing's airflow), or it might be increased by *decreasing* the angle of attack if the current AoA is above the critical AoA (IOW, the wing is stalled).>There is of course some minimum airflow required to>get airborne, so we are assuming the plane to be flying above>stalling speed. No matter which one we use, drag increases. >If you have a plane flying along in a steady state of cruise>at a fixed speed and altitude, and you increase power without>doing anything else, the plane will begin to climb. Only if positive static stability is assumed. And only if the thrust vector of the engines does not appreciably deviate from alignment from the longitudinal axis of the jet. Add power on an F-22 with the thrust vectoring nozzles stuck down and you will see a pitch down rather than up.>If you increase the lift of an airfoil while leaving the drag>value the same, you have more efficiency, meaning more speed,>range, and a higher ceiling. By the same token, if you can>reduce the drag of an airfoil while retaining lift, you get>the same result. A good example of this is the laminar flow>airfoil on the P-51 Mustang, which had excellent lift/drag>characteristics. The aspect ratio of a wing also has a great>effect on this, but now we are comparing wings with airfoils. >Both have an effect on the final product, the aircraft.>>The bottom line is this: lift and drag do cancel one another>which is why the L/D ratio is still the gold standard in>measuring aircraft performance in most cases. If you can>increase lift and keep drag constant, you have increased the>plane's performance. By adding drag in Table 430, or>increasing lift in Table 401, you are affecting the plane's>outright performance by directly affecting the L/D ratio. >These two tables have opposing effects. Crank up the values>in Table 401 and you will note that the plane now flies faster>at the same altitude and throttle setting. Crank up the>values in Table 430 and the plane will fly slower. These two>tables represent the two opposing forces in the L/D equation>and are therefore very useful for fine-tuning aircraft>performance.The bottom line is that, *no*, lift and drag do not cancel each other. Regrettably, your argument is incomplete and misses a great deal. One giant, glaring omission here, for example, is with respect to forms of drag other than induced drag. L/D ratio is a function of the wing planform, but parasitic drag and wave drag are not functions of lift.The reality is that for delta-wing area-rule designs like the Hustler, L/Dmax still drops off as the aircraft enters the transonic regime albeit at a somewhat lower rate than for other wing designs.>You also commented that since lift and drag are forces that>work perpendicular to one another, it didn't seem to make>sense that they were related, or could "cancel" one another. >Often, forces working perpendicular to one another are>directly related. A very good example of another such>relationship is that of a common gyroscope. If you were to>apply a force to a spinning gyroscope, that gyroscope would>respond by moving in a plane 90 degrees opposed>(perpendicular) to the place you applied the disturbing force.> There are all kinds of physical relationships that don't seem>to make immediate sense, but they are nevertheless there.Of course they make sense. Vector math easily explains both of these. In the case of a gyro, you have energy already at work in the system in the form of the angular momentum of the spinning wheel, and the conservation of that angular momentum is what translates force applied in one axis to a force in another. When a force is created on the wing on an aircraft moving through the air, its vector is not vertical...we refer to the vertical axis component as lift, and the longitudinal force component as induced drag. They do not cancel at all...they in fact are additive, and their vector sum is the actual force produced on the aircraft by air flowing over the wings. *By definition* lift and induced drag are perpendicular components of the same vector force.>As far as what the flight dynamics engine is doing in the>background, no one knows this for certain because there are>data that cannot be directly extracted from the simulator. For certain, the internals of MSFS are fuzzy. But when I look at the forest rather than the trees, it's obvious to me that the Alpha B-58 FDE is missing something big in between approach speed and high-speed Mach 1.4 cruise, where the model approximates the numbers in the flight manual. The dynamics of getting through the sound barrier is a big part of what makes this plane and those of its era interesting to me.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Guest Alpha_J

>>>First off are the flight dynamics - these flight dynamics>>believe it or not, are based on the pilots manual - we went>>through extensive testing to ensure that the dynamics>>exhibited by the real life Hustler as as close as possible>>incorporated into our version. A question was posted on our>>ALphasim forum about engine spool up being exceptionally>slow>>- well this plane is from the late fifties well before quick>>spooling engines had been developed. >>No, and double-no! The J-79 engine was also used in>the F-104 Starfighter and later in the F-4 Phantom. The>engines in this era were low-bypass or no-bypass turbojets>that jumped at your command. What you'r suggesting about the>engines of this era, and this engine in particular is>completely wrong.He is referring to spool-up from idle; you are of course correct if referring to engine response once you're up and flying and in the powerband. The spool-up on the Hustler is really not too slow, it takes about 20 seconds to get from idle (67% N2) to full military thrust (100% N2). If memory serves, the J47 used in the B-47 could take as long as 40 seconds or thereabouts.I just did a quick check and unless my source is wrong, current regulations require a jet engine to spool up from idle to go-around thrust in 8 seconds. I am told this figure is still about the norm for most passenger jets.

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Guest Alpha_J

>Regrettably, your argument is incomplete and misses a great deal. It is not an argument, it is a statement of aeronautical fact that can be verified in any "Aerodynamics 101" -style textbook. What I was attempting to do here was to provide a simple explanation to the average flight simmer of the relationship between lift and drag. They are directly related and that's what I wanted to get across. There are other forums better-suited to complicated discussions of supersonic and transonic aircraft behavior. Those discussions can go on forever and are very enjoyable, but they don't really relate to why I jumped in here.

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Guest JIMJAM

I do not know about how most the other Alpha buyers feel but its great to think the FM is as close to the real thing as it can get.But Im happy if it feels right,fun to fly and the numbers are close to the actual.When I buy an Alpha plane I always knew what I was going to get for $15-$20. A nice looking plane,decent 2d,crap VR and a good flight model.And I was happy.But for $25 and up I dont care if the FM was tested by actual pilots or a dusty Lockheed manual was used for authenticity.Just give us gauge backlighting, a vr pit that actually works and can be used at night.And just basically spend a little more time and effort on the appearance of the cockpits. Most of us are not running 486 computers anymore so the whole "we do it for the frame rates" does not hold water.Really looking forward to the Raptor but if the vr is useless and has no gauge lighting but just the same old flood lighting, it had better be less than $20 or Im out.

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Well, then I'll chalk it up to a case of what you're saying may not be what I'm hearing. Clearly you have some idea of what you're doing...the FDE in the Alpha B-58 aren't a complete basket case...but the panel is. Your explanation regarding the poor choice of gauge parameters by your panel designer shed light on the worst of the odd performance issues. With a new batch of xml gauges I just wrote, things are looking much better. Of course the fact that I have to write a new set of gauges for a payware product to make it work right is another issue...RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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Guest Alpha_J

>Well, then I'll chalk it up to a case of what you're saying>may not be what I'm hearing. Clearly you have some idea of>what you're doing...the FDE in the Alpha B-58 aren't a>complete basket case...but the panel is. Your explanation>regarding the poor choice of gauge parameters by your panel>designer shed light on the worst of the odd performance>issues. With a new batch of xml gauges I just wrote, things>are looking much better. Of course the fact that I have to>write a new set of gauges for a payware product to make it>work right is another issue...>>Regards>>Bob Scott>ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300>Santiago de Chile>Just hold onto your ejection seat, we're fixing ALL of this, including the transonic/supersonic flight dynamics. The revisions to the flight model are done and the panel and documentation are well underway. No need to do a thing unless you want to, all these issues will be resolved.Some highlights...-Reworked gages with tooltips on mouseover.-Transonic "barrier" with noticeable trim change and deceleration-Accurate fuel consumption at subsonic, mid-supersonic, and high-supersonic speeds (0.9, 1.4, and 1.8 Mach)-reworked throttle quadrant indexing; power schedule now corresponds exactly to the throttle quadrant markings for easy and realistic power setting changes-afterburner effects now coincide exactly with the afterburning range on the throttle quadrant-new documentation added to explain the location and function of all VC switches (there are many)

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