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What's the appeal(s) of Flying Heavy Airliners?

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On 12/21/2017 at 6:22 PM, Rob Ainscough said:

I doubt there would be any aircraft I wouldn't want to fly, virtual or real.  If there were an Aircraft Anonymous, I'd be their #1 member living it one day at a time.

Cheers, Rob.

Rob, with your sim pit setup, you have no excuse not to try everything there is. :)

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For me flight simulation is more of a game than a step into reality.  I'm not seeking a challenge or trying to return to the past.  I just want to have a bit of fun.  Therefore all my flights are in clear weather with 1/8 cirrus at about 35,000 feet to give the sky a bit of texture. All of my flights start at 10;00 AM on the 29th of June..

Mostly I fly my Quest Kodiak over mountainous scenery for flights of 90 minutes to two hours.  That's about the length of my attention span.

Once in a while I like to play Maverick and  feel the 'need for speed' so I fly the default  FA-18 for 20 minutes or so zooming around the sky.

And maybe once a quarter or so I'll fly the default B737 from say San Francisco to Albuquerque.  Not much to see at 30,000 feet but I have the Airport ID utility turned on so the nearest airport displays at the top of my screen.  Then I look for it and see if I can find it.  The GPS displays it but I want to see it on the ground.  Many times I can't. 

I agree with Michael.  Simulators give you a visual experience but come nowhere close to really flying.  And the feeling you get flying solo several thousand feet above the ground with your destiny in your own hands just can't be explained, let alone replicated on a monitor.

But since I lost my medical a decade ago those days are gone for me.  

Noel

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4 hours ago, birdguy said:

Simulators give you a visual experience but come nowhere close to really flying

Agree.

In my view, if you are not able to sustain real world flying on an ongoing basis, the worst thing a sim pilot can do is fly a GA aircraft for real, if only once or twice.  Although it completely makes sense that you would want to do it, it completely destroys your virtual delusion and it takes you a while to completely feel comfortable with flying your desk again.  Nothing really feels the same after that.

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1 hour ago, ErichB said:

In my view, if you are not able to sustain real world flying on an ongoing basis, the worst thing a sim pilot can do is fly a GA aircraft for real, if only once or twice.  Although it completely makes sense that you would want to do it, it completely destroys your virtual delusion

Hi Erich,

I beg to differ. I have flown a C172 once and would like to do it again on occasion, but I actually prefer simulated flights. They are better for the environment, cheaper, much more convenient, and I can fly airplanes that in real life nobody can fly anymore. I found it most interesting to compare my virtual experience with the real thing, but now I know the difference and I happily continue flying my sim.

Peter

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Peter, you flew a 172 once or you got a ride in a 172 once?   If you went up in a 172 only once you obviously never soloed.  So you really don't have the experience of having flown an airplane even if the pilot let you handle the controls for a while.

People ask me what it's like to fly.  I can't tell them.  There is no ground based experience that I ever engaged in that comes close.  I've never raced motorcycles or cars so perhaps that might be somewhat comparable.  

But being all alone in the sky you have a sense of complete control.  No pause button.  No walking away when the telephone or doorbell rings.  It demands your complete attention.   

Having said that flight simming in an interesting, enjoyable pastime.  I like doing it among my other hobbies.  But it's not flight.

I like train simming too.  It's also fun.  

In Portola California they used to have a railroad museum.  And at the time for a hundred bucks you could drive a real diesel locomotive.  I plunked down the money and drove the thing around a track under the supervision of a qualified engineer for 20 or 30 minutes.  But I'm no locomotive engineer and can't compare train simming to driving a real train.  Observing speed limits.  Getting the feel of pulling 50 loaded freight cars behind up a long grade.  Braking on a down grade.  Stopping a passenger train so each car is in it's proper place on the platform.  I can't even do that right on the simulator.

But I think I would enjoy being a locomotive engineer more than I enjoy playing one on a simulator. 

Noel

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8 hours ago, birdguy said:

Peter, you flew a 172 once or you got a ride in a 172 once?   If you went up in a 172 only once you obviously never soloed.  So you really don't have the experience of having flown an airplane even if the pilot let you handle the controls for a while.

Hi Noel,

I did a 45 minute introductory flight lesson. In preparation for it, I got the A2A C172 and practiced a lot before the actual flight. I think I did a good job: the instructor led me do everything (taxi, t/o, ..) except for final approach and landing. He also operated flaps and radios. Of course it was just a short VFR flight, no planning, waypoints etc.

I completely agree with you: real flying is different. My biggest surprise was the role of the instruments. As a simmer I learned you have to keep your eyes on the instruments almost all the time, but in the plane I instinctively focused on the window to scan for obstacles, birds etc. The instructor told me that this was more important, and at least for a VFR flight that makes a lot of sense. And yes, the level of responsibility and the amount of adrenaline is quite different as well.

On the other hand, I actually found the real plane easier to fly than the one in FSX. I had no problem keeping the altitude, for instance. I guess one gets more direct feedback on changes in direction. I was delighted to observe the instructor's pre-flight exterior inspection, which was exactly like simulated in A2A. They did a great job on this model.

Generally, I would say that the procedural aspects in the simulation are very precisely modeled. It is a little bit like in a racing game. In good racing simulators, the physics and operation of the car is accurately modeled, but it still makes a difference if you go at 270 km/h in a real car (I did that once as a passenger. As a driver, I only got up to 220 km/h in a rental car in Germany).

Having said that, my response to Erich was about his hypothesis that even 1-2 real flight will spoil your virtual experience. I did not for me. I am very happy to know the difference, and I actually enjoy simming even more because I am now aware how close the procedures are to the real thing ( at least with real weather and on Vatsim :) )

Peter

 

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I tend to fly mixed aircraft! as a streamer people want to see different things. But end of all days I only spent 350 hours in game and I'm still an newbie at it. I can say that flying light aircraft is allot easy and not as much work then flying in a A320 or 757. I can fly but the landing is the hardest part!

If you setup before you take off like your ILS and whatnot then when you landing you have there there in front of you, just need to watch for speed and alt..  With Active skys! and some other add-ons that I have, makes it even more realism and sometimes way to hard! Like, winds, cross winds, rain/snow, dark very dark, thick clouds. 

With me, I be staying with more smaller aircraft's so that I can look at orbx more :)  

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22 hours ago, birdguy said:

Simulators give you a visual experience but come nowhere close to really flying

Unless it's airliner sim.  More reflection and watching YouTuber convinced me of this.  Most airliner pilots work the machine, the departure and approach are strict, and during cruise it's mostly watching for system status and see the sky goes by.  Mind numbing, just as people hate to sit in airplane for long hours.  So I believe the sim airliner "feeling" is the same as the real thing.  I almost did not buy the PMDG 777 because of the tedium of long flights.  I only bought it at the end because I saw the time accelerating feature.  Nowadays, I am more incline to do a freight flight rather than a passenger flight (if I decide to get back to it), and stick to short route.  I also did not get the PMDG 747v3 yet, largely because of the stiff price tag for P3D.  However, the new cockpit and the variations are mightily tempting.  But then again, if I only use it for cargo then all the others will be a waste. 

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This thread really explains why they build more than one type of car.  Like they used to say back in the 60's "Different Strokes For Different Folks".

Me, I don't like "Bus Driving" but I understand those that do. 

You never get to sightsee and are tied to a fixed schedule.  As a truck driver, I have been all over the South and Southwest whizzing right past all of the POI's, never having the time to stop and explore.

I have spent way too much money on scenery not to take the time to carefully explore it.  I find that jumping into my J-3 or 185 and flying a general heading stopping in to visit the Orbx Freeware Airports and farm strips that I discover on the way a very enjoyable pastime, and it sometimes can become exciting because I have got myself into a pickle and have to find a way to survive it.

Don't sell flying simple aircraft with simple instruments short.  Try flying the mail using only 1930's instruments and aircraft with your weather cranked up to the max, and no excuses for being late. 

Never forget that IFR used to mean I follow the railroad and Dead Reckoning really meant If I make a mistake I'm dead. 

Dale

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You're right about one thing, Peter, sim aircraft are harder to fly than real aircraft; especially landing.

Dale, when I first started to fly the first instrument I had to learn how to use was the E-6B.  Does anyone remember those?  And flight planning meant spreading out a chart, drawing your route on it and circling prominent landmarks.  

The Luscombe I learned in had no avionics in it at all.  

Do todays pilots have to learn tower light signals?

Noel

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20 hours ago, Gypsy Pilot said:

Dead Reckoning really meant If I make a mistake I'm dead. 

Ha ha, and you are resurrected and try again :laugh: I agree with you.  Airliner sims are definitely buses and trucks.  The appeal I gather are the fact that one can "touch" and work the controls of a very significant piece of advanced engineering, and simply some of the largest aircraft ever built.  There is something to say about taking a big bird like the 747-8i or Airbus A380 up in the virtual sky.  One can also use the sim in total ridiculous way, such as to fly freight or less than 50% passenger load in short routes with over capacity huge plane, and well why not? The "fuel" is free and I don't like long cruise time.  I just have to be careful with fuel load to make sure my bird meet landing weight by the time I arrive.:biggrin:

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21 hours ago, birdguy said:

You're right about one thing, Peter, sim aircraft are harder to fly than real aircraft; especially landing.

Dale, when I first started to fly the first instrument I had to learn how to use was the E-6B.  Does anyone remember those?  And flight planning meant spreading out a chart, drawing your route on it and circling prominent landmarks.  

The Luscombe I learned in had no avionics in it at all.  

Do todays pilots have to learn tower light signals?

Noel

 

Good morning Noel,

Yes, I do remember the E-6B.  I was always amazed how our pilot could find the carrier again using his E-6B.  Navy pilots have something that no other pilots have, their airport is never where they left it.  

I also remember Tower light signals and answering them with wing wags.

I forget when radios became mandatory but I think it was sometime in the early 50's.   

Dale

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Radios are still not mandatory for VFR flight in class E and F airspace Dale.

Noel

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If anyone wants to just fly and be as close to the "Feeling" of flight as one can be (that includes the cold, noise, vibration, wind in the hair) without any hassle and no instructor requirements for a license OR medical, go buy an Ultralight (single seat).  Your ultralight just needs to be part 103 reg compliant:

https://www.eaa.org/en/eaa/aviation-communities-and-interests/ultralights-and-ultralight-aircraft/getting-started-in-ultralight-flying/about-faa-part-103-for-ultralights

Having flown Ultralights by myself (It does take a long time to get from A to B and I rarely flew if winds were above 6 Kts) you simply can't get any closer to the "feeling" of flight and you can still operate in Class B, C, D, E, and G airspace (see restrictions) with ATC prior notification.  But what a great way to buzz tree tops, land on small lakes, and land just about anywhere with about a 20Kts stall speed.

Real Flight is not as "exclusive" as many think.

Cheers, Rob.

EDIT: I do miss the Ultralight in P3D

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45 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

EDIT: I do miss the Ultralight in P3D

My solution. It's also a helpful aircraft for reviewing airport design.

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2 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

 

EDIT: I do miss the Ultralight in P3D

 

I just moved whatever missing in P3D from FSX SE into the Add-ons folder. I still have fun with the ultralight when buzzing rooftops of those amazing real to life sceneries and airports. 

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Love the GoPro ... and the gloves, a MUST have even on warm days.  I "think" I miss those days, not sure, I like the creature comforts of a C172 (like the heater for example).  If I ever go solo for Private, it'll be time for the GoPro (sounds like a song).

Cheers, Rob.

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10 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

EDIT: I do miss the Ultralight in P3D

Rob, Ant's Airplanes made a Drifter ultralight that works well in P3D v3  or 4.

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13 hours ago, birdguy said:

Radios are still not mandatory for VFR flight in class E and F airspace Dale

There is no class F airspace, perhaps you meant G.

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You're right Michael.  I got this reference:

There is a big difference in requirements between airspace classes, and between flight rules used. As emphasized by vortaq7, no radio are mandatory for VFR in E and F airspaces in the US. But as soon as IFR is used, or A, B, C or D airspaces are entered, there are requirements for radio equipments (duplex voice, navigation, ILS, transponder, TCAS, SELCAL, GNSS, ELT)

But checking the FAA Regs it should be G instead of F.

Noel

 

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4 hours ago, michal said:

There is no class F airspace

If you fly in the USA that's true.

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On 12/28/2017 at 10:27 AM, birdguy said:

You're right about one thing, Peter, sim aircraft are harder to fly than real aircraft; especially landing.

AMEN. I hear real airline pilots who also sim say this all the time. It's a lot harder to make the small inputs needed to the controls with a home simulator joystick or yoke.

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1 minute ago, cleonpack93 said:

AMEN. I hear real airline pilots who also sim say this all the time. It's a lot harder to make the small inputs needed to the controls with a home simulator joystick or yoke.

Indeed, add to that the Radio tasks if one is flying Online, Checklists done "by self, to self', essentially doing two pilots jobs on your own...and...landing the plane at the end of it.

Well done Simmers - real world ain't got nothin' on us!

 

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Well done Simmers - real world ain't got nothin' on us!

Au Contraire Ganter.

One thing that is never mentioned when comparing real world flight to simming is the fear factor.  Something no sim pilot ever experiences.  But I venture to say that almost every pilot here has experienced it some time or other.  Hitting unexpected weather, severe (for a light aircraft) turbulence, getting lost.  I've experience all three.

That little pang of anxiety that you feel in the pit of your stomach is not programmable into any sim.

Even when you're up with an instructor and not expecting it when he pulls the throttle back while you're not looking and before you realize what happened you're looking for a place to land with that feeling in the pit of your stomach.

I once asked my instructor what to do if the engine quits at night and there are no lights on the ground.  He said, "Establish a glide and hope you don't run into the side of a barn".

And the thought is always in the back of your mind when you're airborne.  What can go wrong?

Did I check the fuel before I took off?  Do I have a chart with me incase I have an electrical failure?

No, that part of real life flying is never experience by a simmer.  It's nothing like an OOMs.

Noel

 

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8 hours ago, birdguy said:

 

No, that part of real life flying is never experience by a simmer.  It's nothing like an OOMs.

Noel

 

Absolument, Noel,

 

Mind you, Vatsim can be pretty bloody nerve wracking at times.

Though still nothing compared to the first time my instructor demonstrated a power on stall in a Piper Warrior II. I can still feel the buffeting and yes, it gets you right in the seat of your pants for sure.

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