r_stopnicki

"Tricks of the trade" for Autopilot Heading?

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Hello to all:

I wonder if there are a few "seasoned" DC-6 pilots, who could advice on any "tricks" or "rules of thumb" that will assist in "nailing" the heading to which we want to turn, using the autopilot turn knob. 

I find that I am "chasing the heading" a bit until the airplane settles on the heading I want to fly.

Obviously, how much I "miss" the desired heading on the first turn, depends on the bank I have allowed, the airspeed and, likely, also at what point I pushed the centering metal plate (on top of the turn knob). But I have never (yet) managed to get the airplane to return to nice level flight, on the heading I wanted.

If anybody could advice that .... "if you turn with xx degrees of bank, then start levelling the wings YY degrees before the desired heading....." 

That would be a good starting point for excercising this!

Many thanks!

Roberto

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The best trick in my book is (:rolleyes:):

Go to the 2D panel view (no 2D cockpit, but the view still exists), hit 'W' until you have the condensed 2D cockpit view (the "sacred six"), and set the heading bug there precisely to the heading you want - you can slew the aircraft that way.   :tongue:

More realistically, I'd start with a lead of one-half of my bank angle, try to optimize from there, and hoping that the "automated pilot" provides consistent roll-out rates. (It may or may not and then there is always weather.)

Oliver Märtens (Maertens)

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My method is based on an ability to scan my view to my lower right such that I can see the flight instruments and the A/P in one view then rotate the turn know to half way left or right if the heading change is greater than 15 deg.  This will result in about a 15-20 deg bank turn and I return my view to normal if I have the time.  I then look down and press the center button when I am a little more than half my bank angle to the heading.  For example, at a 15 deg banking turn I'll click to center the turn knob about 10 deg before desired heading.  You'll get closer with experience.  Also, closing in the the exact heading from a setting that is less than 10 deg in error only required a 5 deg bank... don't overdo the corrections.  Keep the correcting maneuvers small enough that passengers wouldn't notice.

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Not flown the DC-6, but the general rule of thumb taught in real life here (and which we teach our FS students) is to lead the roll-out by about half the bank angle, as Oliver and Dan have said, and as Dan says you may want to lead that slightly as well in order to allow for inertia (so that the aircraft is actually rolling as you pass the calculated number of degrees before the target heading).

In other words -- at 20 degrees AOB, start rolling out 10 degrees before the target heading, at 30 degrees bank start rolling out 15 degrees before the target heading, and so on.

Likewise for small heading corrections, the general advice would be to limit the bank angle to no more than the number of degrees to be turned.

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Roberto-

I haven't forgotten your beautiful model!

Here is a view I have mapped.  It allows me a good view of the panel, and the AP, so that I can effectively "fly" from this perspective for course changes.  It's not good for the airport environment, where you would want to be heads up, but I am manual by that point anyhow.....

6UZqpUJ.jpg

HTH- C

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Thank you Oliver, Dan and Simon for the pointers. I'll practice them, particularly the "half the bank", that repeats itself often!

Carl , great idea on mapping a "comfortable view". I'll certainly implement one!

And the model, yes! It is sitting on its pedestal, high above my right shoulder. Likely laughing its head off, as I write another "help me!" post!!

Cheers!

Roberto

 

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A simple solution is to disengage the autopilot, turn to the new heading and re-engage it.

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2 hours ago, JoeDiamond said:

A simple solution is to disengage the autopilot, turn to the new heading and re-engage it.

I would Joe!

But with my flying skills, I would loose (or gain!) 600 feet on a 30 degree turn!!

(In clear weather, with the horizon fully visible)

And, please, don't tell me to stick to cars!!

:-) :-) :-)

Nevertheless, your suggestion is a great: "If all else fails" solution!

Cheers

Roberto

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