Abinesh Shrinivas

Hello AVSIM community

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Hello AVSIM community,

                                       I'm Abhi and from india. I used to be curious about how planes works and now into the fun part of actual simulation of a plane. This seems really cool since we have a lot of freedom where to fly. So, i purchased x plane 11 from steam and now face a lot of doubts on how to actually fly an airliner. I find that the learning curve for flight simulation is steep. Any generous member who can step up to coach me on how to fly an airliner will be hugely appreciated :) . If your willing to coach me please reply 

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Welcome to the community!

I'm sorry, but I'm using P3D, so I can't be of assistance... but welcome!

 

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Welcome. 

I'll give you the basics, although I would recommend looking on youtube for some tutorials, there are plenty of them to be found.

So, there is a Boeing 737 included with XPlane 11, it is not quite as fancy as some of the payware add-on ones you can get for XPlane, but it does the job and is okay to learn with. The Boeing 737 is the world's most popular airliner, it was first built in 1967 and is still being made today, so there are a lot of them about, which means it is a good choice to learn on if you are wanting to fly an airliner.

So, from the pilot's seat in a 737, in front of you can be seen a big glass screen, which is the main display, it is known as the PFD (primary flight display), it functions as an artificial horizon so you can see what angle you are banked at when visibility is poor, and what pitch you are at (either nose up or nose down). Along the left hand side of that PFD there is a speed tape which will tell you how fast you are going, along the PFD's right hand side there is an altitude tape which will tell you how high up you are. Both the altitude tape and the speed tapes have additional info about whether you are speeding up or slowing down and whether you are climbing or descending.

There is some additional information which can be displayed on the PFD too, and you can change how it displays that additional info by using the small panel directly above it which has various selector wheels and buttons on it with labels such as CTR, STD, TFC, on them, this small panel is known as the EFIS (electronic flight instrument system), it is used to choose what information the PFD will show, such as other traffic nearby, how altitude is measured, the range of the map etc.

The other side of the cockpit, where the co-pilot sits is essentially a mirror image of what is in front of you, so the co-pilot can also operate the aircraft, so he too has a PFD and an EFIS panel too, so try not to be overwhelmed by all those dials and screens etc, because they are duplicated for each pilot. In between the two EFIS panels up at the top of the main panel in front of you, is the MCP (mode control panel). This has the controls for the autothrottle, and the controls for the autopilot. Most of the time, airliners are flown automatically using this panel if the autopilot is switched on, although they can of course be flown manually too. Modes can be selcted by pressing the various buttons, and values such as what speed you want or what altitude you want can be altered with the MCP's control knobs.

There are other glass screen displays on the panel in the middle directly below the MCP which can display things such as engine condition, route information, pressurisation etc, but for now, the PFD should be what you are focusing on.

To your right in between the pilot seats is the centre pedestal. It has the throttle levers on it, and immediately to your right further back on that pedestal, there are the controls for the radios, and a few other systems.

Near the throttles, are two computer display units (CDUs) which look like big pocket calculators, these are used to input information into the aircraft's FMC (flight management computer), this computer can then be linked to the autopilot to allow the aircraft to navigate an entire route automatically providing you have entered the correct information, such as altitude you wish to fly at and the various points along a route which you want to fly to. Learning how to work that is the main thing you have to do.

Airliners tend to fly along predetermined routes in the sky known as airways, these typically have a radio beacon on the ground at either end of them, and so you can tune your radios to the frequencies of those beacons and have the autopilot fly to and from them, but typically, what is done in the real world on an airliner, is the various waypoints at the start and end of those airways are input into the FMC using that CDU display, and then that is linked to the autopilot so that the airliner flies along those airways automatically. You can think of airways as 'roads in the sky' and you can think of the waypoints at the ends of those 'roads' as the intersections where you turn off onto another 'road'. That's basically how navigation in the air works. Anyway, back to the cockpit...

Directly over your head in the cockpit's ceiling, is the overhead panel. This has the controls for systems such as pressurisation, electrics and hydraulics, the auxilliary power unit (APU), lights, air supplies to various systems etc. You tend to use this most when starting the engines and setting up the flight before take off.

So, there's quite a lot to learn, but it isn't hard if you are willing to study a bit and watch a few tutorial videos on youtube, of which there are many, and I would recommend you do that.

But, here is basically what you are after learning... You will need to know how to start and operate the engines, you will need to know how the navigation systems work, and how to put a route into the FMC, and you will need to know how to operate the autopilot. But you will also need how to fly the airliner by hand too, as that is the fun part.

Actually flying an aeroplane manually is not that hard, most people who have seen a few films or TV programmes will know you ease the control wheel back to get the nose up, and ease it forward to get the nose down, you turn it left to roll left and turn it right to roll right, and the rudder pedals on the floor allow you to add some rudder when you turn in order to make your turns correctly with the plane leaning into the turn. When you add more power with the throttles  you will climb and go faster, when you reduce the power with the throttles  you will slow down and start to descend. As long as you keep your control inputs gentle, it is fairly intuitive how this all works. Typically an airliner will climb at about 10-12 degrees nose up, and decend in a similarly gentle manner, and you can measure that angle by watching the marker lines on your PFD.

Don't get frustrated if you can't learn it all instantly, even real airline pilots start out by learning to fly on smaller aeroplanes first, so you might want to try using that method yourself, but if you want to jump straight onto that airliner, then I really do recommend looking on youtube for a few tutorial videos.

 

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1 hour ago, Abinesh Shrinivas said:

Hello AVSIM community,

                                       I'm Abhi and from india. I used to be curious about how planes works and now into the fun part of actual simulation of a plane. This seems really cool since we have a lot of freedom where to fly. So, i purchased x plane 11 from steam and now face a lot of doubts on how to actually fly an airliner. I find that the learning curve for flight simulation is steep. Any generous member who can step up to coach me on how to fly an airliner will be hugely appreciated :) . If your willing to coach me please reply 

Hello Abhi,

Flying with X-Plane 11 has little difference than using any other simulation.  The user interface is the biggest difference. The rest is only minor differences in handling from the different logics that the sim uses to give flight dynamics to the aircraft, but if you can fly X-Plane 11, then you can use P3D,  FSX, FSW, or any other simulation.

A side from getting familiar with the simulation user interface, you need to learn what is involved in flying the larger airliners.

Flying in a simulation has a lot of differences from real-world aviation in several aspects (outside of the "seat-of-the-pants" feel).

For one thing, there is no danger of dying or hurting anyone else from your learning mistakes (that's a big one).

Because of the safety factor, hobbyist can actually start out flying an Airbus A320 or Boeing 747 instead of starting out with a Cessna C152.

What you need to do is get some good educational material that will show you what you need to know to fly the large airliners.

You can go to YouTube and find tons of video tutorials on flying large airliners in X-Plane 11.  

Also please check out my absolute favorite teacher, Cpt. Mike Ray, who offers his books and magazine articles at his website: http://utem.com/

His books and articles are a pleasure to read but they are packed with easy-to-understand information on flying Boeing and Airbus airliners.

Cpt. Ray is a retired United Airlines captain who was rated to fly the Boeing 737 and 747, along with other aircraft.  He is also a very passionate flight sim enthusiast who has a desire to share his knowledge on realistic airliner aviation with anyone interested.

Blackbox711 is one of my favorite video instructors on YouTube and also was a real world commercial airline pilot.  Blackbox711

Also you will want to look at the tons of instructional information available from this Avsim forum. X-Plane Tips and Tricks

You will also want to check out the "Vatsim Online Pilot Training"

Vatsim Online Pilot Training Academy

You will find a wealth of information and challenges there.

Look into PilotEdge ATC on YouTube and later you might even want to experience flying with real-world ATC on the PilotEdge Network.

PilotEdge ATC Videos and Tutorials

I hope this will help you to get started.  You can always ask questions here on Avsim, but you have to start the learning process in order to know what questions to ask and these links should get you started with the learning process in flying airliners in X-Plane 11 or any other simulation.

 

Bob

 

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Welcome to Avsim and the wonderful world of simulation, Abhi. In my opinion you should start learning GA airplanes first, and after you feel comfortable with them you could move to the airliners. Have fun! :cool:

Cheers

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Thank you members for taking your time to help me out ! very much appreciated. Feeling much warm from the passionate simmers. I'll start with General aviation airplanes and move to airliners ;) 

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WELCOME to AVSIM! Real life doesn't have a pause button, but the simulations do! :D No shame in using it now and again, especially when getting used to a new plane. :cool:

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