HighBypass

A2A Connie - sweet ride, eventually :)

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Pulled the trigger on the Connie yesterday. Beautiful. Installed fine, loaded in the sim fine. FPS still pretty good. Mistakenly assigned my rudder axis to nosehweel steering in the configurator: No rudders moving! OOPS, reverted back, all OK.

Had Larry(the FE) do his stuff. Cool! Then I let the engines idle too long whilst generally faffing about... so he shut them all down again! LOL.

Eventually got her moving and took off from Manchester EGCC, full bore. OOPS shouldn't cane the engines like that (thanks, Larry!)

Flew out and around, getting her trimmed out about 2500 feet. All the time wondering why the prop rpm was still at full chat redline despite me throttling back to reasonable manifold settings...

Was going to land at Manchester but then saw Liverpool EGGP off to my right. OK I'm low enough and far enough out - go for it.

Got her lined up and slowed down - just guessing at the speeds - no less than 85 knots dirty and it was working.

Landed fine... on one main first :)

She flew pretty sweetly. I'd read that the Connie was a bit sensitive in pitch, but apart from a little porpoising on the approach I don't think she was any worse than other aircraft in my virtual fleet. Note - she wasn't loaded at all for this flight.

Back to the prop rpm. I guess Larry was expecting me to manage the rpm from up front... especially after I discovered the little master prop switch with increase & decrease labelled on it!! LOL :blush: Manuals are provided for a good reason I guess.

Thank you A2A from a jet guy who may now be crossing to the dark side of cantankerous fire breathing radials...:cool:

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Glad you like it. Yes that little switch makes a big difference :)

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Wait 'til a bad landing or too much turbulance, whence you will be summarily fired when reading your captain's log.  I've been fired so many times I now regularly make trips to the vurtual unemployment office.

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6 hours ago, HighBypass said:

Thank you A2A from a jet guy who may now be crossing to the dark side of cantankerous fire breathing radials...:cool:

I have the Connie, PMDG DC-6 and Milviz Otter and like you have spend most of my sim time on tube jets but here lately I have become hooked on recip props and am losing interest in the sterile  world of jets. So much to learn managing those engines and so satisfying to get it right. Even with the autopilot on you still are basically flying the aircraft and best not walk away long. A lot of hand flying. Lower altitudes where you can enjoy that great ORBYX Global LC scenery. No FMC to load and fuss over. Just plain fun as well as providing a sense of accomplishment.

I guess I'll have to go back to burning kerosene when Leonardo releases that updated Maddog.

 

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4 hours ago, PATCO LCH said:

....No FMC to load and fuss over.....

and Betty bringing us drinks and meals too on longer flights!

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Interesting thing about pitch in the Connie is that it seems pretty stable when you're hand-flying, but gets amazingly twitchy once you turn on the autopilot.  After that it's a constant struggle to retrim and/or adjust the autopilot pitch control.  At times I've opted to leave the autopilot's elevator axis turned off and just treat it like a course hold with a wing leveler - or just bag the whole thing and hand-fly all the way.  The other challenge is to get used to the instant-response VSI - if you're accustomed to the more typical damped ones, it looks alarming, and there's a big temptation to go chasing the needle even if you know better.  I can't say I find the Connie a really pleasant airplane to fly - which surprises me, because I was sure I would.  But as a rule I prefer the "planted" feeling you get from the Douglas transports.

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Absolutely agree with Alan - i had higher expectations and i thought i would spend all my time using Connie, but not.

Apart of pitch , A/P i also don't like incompleteness of F/E actions, lack of full implementation of AccuSim, lack of F/O input, lack of interactive checklists, default lightning, strange and restrictive judgement when u are in career mode and so on...

I like A2A and have other planes from them, but Connie is not my fav...  

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I find very little problems with pitch - what controller are you using? If it bothers you so much you could always use the freeware Connie FM. 

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That Connie has the same issue. Almost impossible to trim.

Manfred's DC3 for example is easily to trim and fly. So its not my controller setup. A lot of other planes fly nicely.

A guy on youtube (Wells?)was busy with it and saw a lot of wrong settings. He never did the pitching moment correction, and for me its to long ago to know how to solve this.

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4 hours ago, warbirds said:

what controller are you using?

I'm using a Yoko yoke and MFG Crosswind pedals, so I don't think the controller is the issue.

Nor do I think there's necessarily anything wrong with the flight model.  The Connie was reported to be skittish in the pitch axis.  And it had hydraulically boosted controls, which the Douglas transports didn't, so it'd likely require a much lighter touch.  We may just be talking about our preferences, the way we would about real aircraft.  Or about cars, for that matter.  I switched from a base model Acura TL to the uprated TL-S model in part because when you accelerated to pass in the base model, it always felt like you were trying to balance on top of a beach ball.  I hated the instability.  Other people probably liked the work it took to keep the base model in its groove.  

It's really impossible to say whether the Connie behaves authentically or not because there aren't any flying examples of the 049 model.  Connies in online videos seem to "sit" very solidly - but they're later models, which makes them effectively different aircraft.  The Breitling Super Connie is a case in point.  The A2A Connie feels, subjectively, exaggerated in its pitch response.  But we have no way of knowing whether that's a mistake or whether it's accurate.

I will say that the thing I value most in the work of the best flight-model authors - Alexander Metzger, Rob Young and Bernt Stolle come to mind - is the ability to make the aircraft feel like it's a heavy object with mass and inertia.  It's probably more art than science to achieve that.  The Connie doesn't have that quality - but again, maybe the real one didn't either.

I have other things on my Connie wishlist - for example, I'd like it if in some future revision, they'd give us the option of using the later Sperry A-12 autopilot from the Stratocruiser.  That'd add useful features like an effective altitude hold without breaking immersion the way the current alternative (FSX default autopilot) does.

Bottom line - it's probably just that I'm finding out through experience that I'm a Douglas guy.

@Johan - I'd be interested to see those YouTube videos if you can track down a link.



 

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Thanks!  More than I can process tonight - I'll try to spend time with it tomorrow.  I've watched his series on the Flight Replicas Canadair Northstar - he's very thorough.

I don't want it to sound like I'm Connie-bashing - I'm not.  I've logged plenty of time in it and it's a wonderful package.  Just looking for a ride that suits me, same as with any test drive!

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15 hours ago, Alan_A said:

Bottom line - it's probably just that I'm finding out through experience that I'm a Douglas guy.

I am very impressed with the recent high quality piston transports - PMDG DC-6 and Manfred Jahn DC-3 - but haven't purchased the A2A Connie yet. I planned to right away, but so far I am challenged and satisfied with the PMDG DC-6 that haven't taken the time to buy it. I do want to an probably will.

But one of the things that trouble me is not with the A2A Connie, but the cockpit layout of the real plane. I like to have all of the controls in front of the pilot - as on the DC-6. But with the Connie's FE behind and to the side, it would trouble me that many of the engine controls are not available to the pilot if he wishes to fly it himself instead of depending on the FE. Any comments form those who have both?

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The Connie's cockpit layout is very easy to work with in practice.  Actually, I like it better than the DC-6 because the ergonomics are better - the layout is clear and makes logical sense, where in the DC-6, which wasn't originally intended to have a flight engineer, the engineer's instruments seem to be jammed in random places all over the panels.

Most of the work you do at the engineer's station will happen on startup, or in cruise when you can let the autopilot do the driving.  It's a couple of strokes of the A key to step over to the engineer's station.  Two of the main engine instruments you need - manifold and RPM - are present on the main panel as well as on the engineer's panel.  The rest - BMEP and the pressure and temperature gauges - are pretty large and easy to see over your shoulder (via panning or Track IR) from the pilot's seat if you need to glance at them quickly.  And again, if you need to do more, the engineer's seat is just a short walk away.

So I'd say that even if you're going to turn off the flight engineer and run everything yourself, it ought to be quite easy to do.  I'd say the cockpit arrangement shouldn't keep you away from it.

Hope this helps.

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I concur, despite me only just beginning to fly the Connie. Whilst I like some technology, I find that analogue gauges are better than a bunch of numbers for a quick scan. Good old school needles and the angles they're at are hard to beat. Once I'd got used to normal readings, a quick pan with the hat switch and I could see the FE panel at a glance - the numbers may not have been clear from that virtual distance, but the needles were! If you're careful with the mouse I think you'd be able to operate most of the click spots.

 

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