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Lionel Mandrake

Aviation is boring

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Dear all, what a kindly crew you are.

JYW, thank you very much for the DC-3 link; should I ever be able to afford it I would love to have one. However, more important than the a/c type for me is the navigational environment, but the thought occurred that it might somehow be possible to generate navaids in the same sort of way as one generates scenery, and I wonder whether anyone knows about this.

qqwertzde, I did look hard at P3D, because as you say effort has been made to rid it of MSFS's difficulties, and Lockheed Martin are as it were an old acquaintance, but what finally sold me X-plane was the ability using Plane Maker to design one's own aircraft and then try to fly it; this sort of aeronautical engineering simulation being quite absent from those of X-plane's competitors which I could conceivably afford. I already have a drawing on the board of something like a cross between a King Air and a P-38, though the idea of transcribing and testing rare birds like the BV141 is perversely attractive.

High Bypass, roger your point, I tried hard (and paid a consultant) to get MSFS to work, as it is the 'industry standard' and has such a huge support base, but alas it was not to be. We never did find out why and have now disposed of the software and modified the computers. As to fun, for myself I fancy an O-1 (flight model roughly similar to C172; cockpit, as we euphemise here in the UK 'as crude as Aerospace'; and about as safe as 'district-visiting in the Apache quarter of Paris' [Saki]), but doubtless it is now Politically Incorrect so much as to mention Charlie, never mind Willy Pete. As to Gliders, you (and my old boss at MBA, also a glider pilot) will not get me up in one of those things. Every landing a forced landing, and all that. I grant that I did nearly buy the old CTP's Kitfox but at least that has a kind of engine, even if it did once belong to a lawnmower.

busdriver, many thanks indeed for the kind thought but regrettably in this I am up against at least four general practitioners, a consultant neurologist, Martin-Baker's company doctor and all of his chums at the Institute of Aviation Medicine at Farnborough, who are unanimous in the view that I am now and will hereafter remain unfit to fly a desk, let alone one of those balsa wood thingies with a rubber band for an engine. You guys are stuck with me now.

 

 

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By trade formerly technical author (computers), industrial TV producer (business systems), research cameraman (aircraft safety), now medically retired; private pilot and motoring enthusiast (alas, no more); X-plane 11 with AirManager; self-built flight controls and other hardware; designing own aircraft for PlaneMaker.

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Take a look at www.dc3airways.com. We are a complete VA with regular MP flights, an active forum plus all the bells and whistles to keep you happy and occupied.

 

Sherm

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One thing that will NEVER make aviation boring:  Landing any plane in swirling crosswinds, be it a heavy, or a small prop...

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Since its unlikely there will be a flight sim released fitting your specifications, may I suggest fast paced/action packed games to keep you engaged. Aviation is only going to get more and more "boring"; that's exciting to me. :-)

The great thing is nobody is required to use an autopilot on any plane, and dead reckoning/pilotage is possible in X-Plane. However, as long as you know your life is not on the line, you will likely be bored with any flight simulator after a few minutes. 

I moved my flight sim PC to a secluded, quiet, dark part of my basement, and found that immersion works much better there, than in a well lit bedroom or office in the home. I have no trouble with being bored flying any kinds of flights from pattern work to 16 hour long hauls which I will sleep/rest for part of the flight (like in reality). When I add VR into the mix, reality is encroached upon and boredom is simply not possible for me.  

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shermank, very many thanks, bookmarked, looks brilliant. I liked the bit about 'It's 1948'. At MBA we always said that within the perimeter fence it was 1947, and would remain so until further notice.

I liked even more the bit about Radio Range 4.0 which is exactly what I had in mind but as usual with such things it is M$ only and for a variety of reasons I've now settled on X-plane. Ho hum.

If I may I will first get my single-engined setup going, as I now have a queue forming (including some people whom I would never have suspected of a conspiracy to commit aviation).

Once I have done that I intend to do a twin-engine cockpit suitable for a variety of types, using interchangeable modules of my own design, one set of which could certainly be for a DC-3. I have downloaded SkinMan for Windows with which it is possible to make the graphical bases of one's own Air Manager instruments, and will look into what is required for this type.

I note the availability of gorgeous instrument panels such as the NH but am convinced that having scenery and instruments in the same focal plane is a dead loss ergonomically, which is the reason for using Air Manager to drive internal instruments, while X-plane, on another machine, drives the external scenery - thus ensuring that one has to refocus one's eyes when looking from one to the other. I hope eventually to use projection for the scenery, to make it even more different from the interior, but having spent some time theorizing and experimenting it seems that I do not own a projector with a wide enough lens to make the optical geometry work.

overspeed3, of course you are right, but I do feel that in the present state of the art, the further one gets in simulation from sedate, rule-bound IFR, the less satisfactory it becomes.

In particular the thing which I find least satisfactory is the hat-switch.

When flying VFR one is always peering over one's shoulder or craning one's neck into the windshield, trying to see the lunatic on a collision course at ramming speed (one day I'll tell the story of my first solo) or to locate something plausible upon which to land.

Gazing sedately into a computer screen and urbanely wiggling one's hat-switch is IMHO not really much of a substitute for this, in particular as it fails to develop any of what a doctor might call 'spinal memory' or what we call 'a crick in the neck'.

Accordingly I designed a cockpit with a field of view that really is restricted to 60 degrees horizontal, to match the default setting in X-plane; the assumption being that for today windows other than the wiped one are unusable. It is this which is currently under construction. I am trying to obtain an old but large TV which I can modify into a monitor (TVs are heavily taxed here) to use for this as I don't have a suitable projector, see above.

Ideally, though, for VFR one would have an available FOV of about 300 degrees, the only way to provide which being cylindrical projection using several projectors and the costly professional version of X-plane which can drive them. And even this wouldn't really do for a helicopter, or fixed-wing a/c with glass noses.

pracines, you may well be right - my favourite computer game of all time was the eight-bit original Atari Star Raiders from about 1977, which being written in machine-code was as fast as lightning; the sixteen-bit replacement was rubbish, and I haven't done computer games since. I can't be bothered with 'creating a character' or 'trading assets' or any of that stuff; for me it's straight out of Harry Harrison's Bill, the Galactic Hero:

GREEN LIGHTS OUR SHIPS. RED LIGHTS ENEMY. FORGETTING THIS IS A COURTS-MARTIAL OFFENSE.

I too moved my apparatus, in my case to the garage, but it was so cold there, and the local wolf-spiders so territorially belligerent, that I moved it back again, having first removed from it sufficient weight to stop it from falling through the floor.

You are clearly knowledgeable about VR; I have never experimented with this, as (a) it is expensive and (b) I cannot help but wonder how long it would be, were I to don one of those totally exclusive headsets, before the carefully crafted immersivity was ruined by one of our cats leaping onto my unguarded lap.

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By trade formerly technical author (computers), industrial TV producer (business systems), research cameraman (aircraft safety), now medically retired; private pilot and motoring enthusiast (alas, no more); X-plane 11 with AirManager; self-built flight controls and other hardware; designing own aircraft for PlaneMaker.

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In or with VR or any PC software/hardware, "expense" is relative. I buy an expensive drumstick because I like the specific characteristics, I know it costs me more than other sticks, but I don't care, so it is not expensive to me . Same with anything, for me. For others price alone dictates everything.

I have no animals, but in my household, if I'm downstairs, I'm either on the drums or virtual flying. I'm never disturbed unless there is a real emergency....in 25+ years of flight simming there has been no emergencies while I was flying or drumming. I have a very peaceful life. :-)  

 

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Lionel, the Bird Dog does seem like a fun little aeroplane, with or without politically incorrect drug references.....   ooh, you mean Charlie in the other sense!!  LOL!

What's wrong with mentioning Willy Pete unless there's another euphemism I've missed and it doesn't mean white phosphorous?? Bird Dogs were out there for a military purpose, but that shouldn't stop anyone having fun in civvy street with its flying characteristics.

(I wonder if anyone does an early AH-1 Cobra, say 1968 vintage for FSX? Not the later -G and -S variants which are available?)

A glider is at least an aeroplane without an engine, unlike one of those duvet-like contraptions known as a paraglider! By all means use something like that for evacuating a proper aeroplane suddenly rendered unserviceable in mid air, but to consider beginning a flight under one of those??  (shudders!) :biggrin:


Mark Robinson

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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1 hour ago, HighBypass said:

wonder if anyone does an early AH-1 Cobra, say 1968 vintage for FSX? Not the later -G and -S variants which are available?)

The AH-1 in 1968 was the G models.  The only changes made to the G was when they moved the tail rotor to the right side (tractor).  I got my tail wheel endorsement in an O-1 and first type rating in a C-47 (DC-3). :smile:

1 hour ago, HighBypass said:

mentioning Willy Pete

No mystery about WP, it was used as a marking round.  

blaustern

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I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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Sorry Wilhelm I was thinking the G was the one with the flat cockpit glazing. Thank you for your correction. :cool:

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Mark Robinson

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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59 minutes ago, HighBypass said:

Sorry Wilhelm I was thinking the G was the one with the flat cockpit glazing. Thank you for your correction. :cool:

I'm inclined to agree, a nice Huey Cobra would be cool to have, and preferably one of the very early ones.

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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I guess all job gets boring once if it's not your passion. There might be some instances that you will be demotivated but that's where the challenge begins. 

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I do not fly IFR if at all possible. I never fly tubes. I always use A2A aircraft or Accufeel.

I go out of my way looking for landmarks. I plan short hops mostly. An hour or so is the longest. KSAN to KLAX for example.

 

Yesterday a bizjet passed within 150 meters of me. A real, "Holy moly" moment. Then a few seonds later the C182 I was in rolled and groaned from the wake.

Boring? No.

 

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pracines, expense is of course relative. Once upon a time (also being a drummer) I was able to have a fancy drum kit made to my own design by a very posh English manufacturer, but alas it is no longer so. Fortunately I bought so many sticks back then that I have yet to break them all.

As to emergencies I reckon you must be the '******* of Cool'. The things that have happened to me (a) while playing the drums, particularly on stage, and (b) flying, pale into insignificance beside mere cats.

High Bypass, the Bird Dog is a delightful aircraft and once upon a time I was so filthy rich (and they so cheap) that I toyed with the idea of buying one. At the time I could find one for roughly twice what the firm's old CTP was asking for the Kitfox he'd just built and was hard-selling to me every time we sat in the same cockpit. The singular problem was that the a/c that were available back then were all ex-Vietnam, having apparently been in storage ever since, and still had the traditional bullet holes. In the practical and sensible USA these are often regarded, I gather, as cosmetic provided they don't intersect anything vital. Here in the UK the CAA* goes into conniptions at the very idea of the Common People owning a/c at all, let alone punctured ones, and so can be rather difficult about airworthiness issues.

And no [LOL], it wasn't a drug reference, though of course now I see what you mean; were we talking about King Airs that would naturally be a different matter.

What is wrong with mentioning Willie Pete: you might not believe it, but here in the UK one risks jail time if anything one says or writes is perceived as 'offensive' by a member of what is called a 'Protected Identity Group'. There is apparently no standard of proof or superfluous legal process; if a PIG member feels offended, the offender is automatically convicted. It is claimed by the MSM that about nine people a day are now being arrested for what they say on Twitter alone. Whether the VietCong are now also a PIG I don't know; it is probably not a very good idea to try to find out. Hence the caution.

IRO paragliders, powered parachutes, ornithopters, etc., see footnote in re 'enforcement'. One has to give the birdmen credit for motivation above and beyond the call of duty (or possibly psychosis above and beyond the reach of psychiatry) but because their mounts are so unlike real a/c I would prefer some kind of traffic separation scheme, like sailors have; for example, the birdmen could have Jan Mayen and Bear Island, and we could have the Rest of the World. BTW 'duvet-like' is too good not to steal and I shall use it at the first opportunity.

* Being an incurable wag I always tell Our American Cousins that the British CAA's sole purpose is the implementation and enforcement of the Birdmen (Prevention) Act of 1899, the last Act of Parliament to be signed into law by Queen Victoria personally.

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By trade formerly technical author (computers), industrial TV producer (business systems), research cameraman (aircraft safety), now medically retired; private pilot and motoring enthusiast (alas, no more); X-plane 11 with AirManager; self-built flight controls and other hardware; designing own aircraft for PlaneMaker.

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LOL Lionel! That was an enjoyable read and I must definitely raise a facepalm to such UK-based P-C bureaucracy! Anyhow Willie Pete was also used in WW1 - no VC there.

As slightly disparaging alternative to "duvet-like" you could also use the term "jellyfish". Well, they do hang around with the tentacles dangling down! You could further insinuate that the clownfish is to be seen at the end of such tentacles, but that might be going a little too far :biggrin:


Mark Robinson

Part-time Ferroequinologist

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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9 hours ago, Lionel Mandrake said:

The singular problem was that the a/c that were available back then were all ex-Vietnam, having apparently been in storage ever since, and still had the traditional bullet holes. In the practical and sensible USA these are often regarded, I gather, as cosmetic provided they don't intersect anything vital. Here in the UK the CAA* goes into conniptions at the very idea of the Common People owning a/c at all, let alone punctured ones, and so can be rather difficult about airworthiness issues.

Reminds me of the other week at Woodford's AVRO Heritage day. I was talking to one of the crew of the Loach which was there (Hughes OH-6 Cayuse for the sticklers to proper nomenclature). He was telling me that their chopper was indeed an ex Vietnam War veteran which had in fact been shot down once whilst in service over there (a not uncommon fate for the type), although evidently not destroyed it would seem. It had been returned for repairs back in the US following that incident and was then bought by the D.E.A. where it probably got shot at again I should imagine.

The idea of something going from combat in Vietnam, to fighting drug lords in a Miami Vice stylee, then ending up based in Blackpool is something which if it were in a movie, would have people going 'yeah right', but it is true. Personally, I can't wait to see the movie 'From Da Nang to Fleetwood'. :biggrin:

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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