thefrog

Unrealistic ground handling when taking-off

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How realistic is ground handling in FSX/P3D? I don’t mean  taxying, I’m talking about taking-off with even a tiny amount of wind.  I find I am often slewing / skidding all over the runway, particularly with light aircraft especially twin props.

It’s like the aircraft is flying while it’s still on the ground. I’ve never noticed this happening in a real plane.

My flying skills are not that bad and I’ve got properly calibrated rudder pedals. 

It always seems to have been like this with Flight Sim. But I seem to remember that MS Flight (RIP) was better in this regard. Are there any tweaks that can help?

And are other sims better at simulating realistic ground handling i.e. X-Plane, Aerofly, DCS World etc?

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I think this can happen in turboprops due to the propellers not being synced? Some planes model this quite well.

 

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Unfortunately, ground handling is never going to be simulated that well on a desktop PC because in a real aeroplane as you know, it's very intuitive to make corrections when you see a trend developing, as you tend to spot it early, whereas it's much harder to pick up on that in a static sim when all your feedback is from a view straight ahead with little to no peripheral vision and no seat of the pants feeling. 

And no, it isn't any better in other sims because they all face the same issue, in fact, one of the worst things about XPlane is actually its ground handling, which is markedly worse than other sims, which is ironic because it does have a great simulation of undulating runways. The take off roll in XPlane is possibly the worst thing about it, with torque and such being massively overdone to the point that it's an achievement to get a propeller aeroplane off the ground in XPlane without it looking like the pilot's been chugging back Jack Daniels all night before opening the throttle.

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As you probably know, there are a couple of factors apart from crosswinds which can produce a tendency to swing on take off and these are the torque effect of the engine and the P-factor. The intensity of the effect of both of these can be modified by adjusting the sliders within the aircraft realism settings and, if the problem is bad with a particular aircraft, you might find that moving these sliders to the left might help a little.

Unfortunately a few aircraft models just seem to have poorly simulated ground dynamics - the Just Flight Viscount particularly comes to mind although it’s problems are mainly related to a serious slewing/skidding tendency when landing. An update did not really make a big difference to this problem but activating auto-rudder in the realism settings helps to some extent - a shame really, as this issue somewhat spoils what is otherwise a very good product.

Bill

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If I could add 2 things here to what has already been written above, 
1.) To mitigate the slewing or otherwise wild ride Ground handling and takeoff run, would be to set your Controller sensitivity sliders (full right) in FSX, the aircraft and controller inputs will be synchronised where input lag will not have you chasing the aircraft or external effects, also the visual model control surfaces will directly reflect your hardware controller inputs.

2.) If you have a Payware FSUIPC there is a setting to prevent wind turbulence on the ground, this will make it easier to keep your center while on takeoff, negatives will be simulated crosswind landing where crabbing will not be in effect. Only above a certain alt will turbulence and wind effects impact the model.

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2 hours ago, Jethro said:

1.) To mitigate the slewing or otherwise wild ride Ground handling and takeoff run, would be to set your Controller sensitivity sliders (full right) in FSX, the aircraft and controller inputs will be synchronised where input lag will not have you chasing the aircraft or external effects, also the visual model control surfaces will directly reflect your hardware controller inputs.

It's essential that you always have the sensitivity sliders at max since they don't actually reduce the sensitivity. 

They only slow down the flight controls movement, which leads to awful PIOs (pilot induced oscillations) and delayed response.

Furthermore I don't think that the FSX/P3D friction model is too bad. As Chuck mentioned, x-plane is the king of unrealistic crosswind handling.

Just take a look here concerning slewing/skidding IRL.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7P9OAng32F0&feature=youtu.be&t=603

 

Edited by J35OE
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Hi Folks,

I can sit for hours just watching those real world extreme crosswind landings - it's practically hypnotic... Sucked in again - LOL...

Regards,
Scott

Edited by scottb613
  • Upvote 1

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I've never felt that the ground dynamics were good at all in the FSX lines of sims. The slightly 'on rails' flight models (lack of air movement in general) and poor ground physics are probably the main reason for me hesitating in moving on to P3D as my main simming platform. It feels like the ESP/FSX/P3D line are stuck in the dark ages there. (But the number of compatible add-ons I own for FSX are what stops me going elsewhere!)

I agree that X-Plane feels a bit too lively on the ground, almost the exact opposite of FSX, but the X-Plane crosswind landings videos look very realistic in comparison with real life videos. At least the planes seems to exhibit some of kind of friction with the ground, unlike in FSX!!! You also see evidence of the ground 'pushing back' as the suspension works hard and the plane leans and rolls around. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bk7b4x_ZR8

I think DCS is the sweet spot in the middle for handling. It feels lively enough and the ground can bite if you are too heavy handed. You can also burst a tyre too in some cases. But sadly the civil aviation selection is rather limited there...

Martyn

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5 hours ago, Mustang-242 said:

I agree that X-Plane feels a bit too lively on the ground, almost the exact opposite of FSX, but the X-Plane crosswind landings videos look very realistic in comparison with real life videos. At least the planes seems to exhibit some of kind of friction with the ground, unlike in FSX!!! You also see evidence of the ground 'pushing back' as the suspension works hard and the plane leans and rolls around.

I think DCS is the sweet spot in the middle for handling. It feels lively enough and the ground can bite if you are too heavy handed. You can also burst a tyre too in some cases. But sadly the civil aviation selection is rather limited there...

The way too soft shock struts are one of the reasons why x-plane is unfortunately so unrealistic during crosswind ops.

Try taking off with the 737 or the 747 in a 30-35kts crosswind and maintain the centerline.

Even without crosswind the friction model / aerodynamics are questionable. Just fail an outboard engine on the 747 at a rather low speed, reject the takeoff and try to stay on the runway.

The linked video looks realistic but you don't know how high the crosswind component is. Turbulence and wind shear simulation in x-plane is also far away from being realistic.

I fully agree with your DCS observation. Also the graphics are top notch. And flying a non precision approach in bad weather can be a very realistic experience. It's by far my favorite sim right now 🙂

 

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Fair points all around. I can't say too much in favour of X-Plane since I don't own it. I have used the demo version about a dozen times, and I mainly fly GA. The short time limit before the controls lock out is frustrating (whole point of a demo) and makes it hard to really evaluate and decide if it's the sim for me going forwards, but I did at least try bouncing a couple of aircraft along the runway and stamping on the rudder a few times to see how the ground physics worked. To my pleasant surprise it's possible to taxi the Baron on one engine without major dramas. In FSX that would be near impossible. Holding one wheel brake at low speed typical means you don't go anywhere, for starters...

I've a good few aircraft for DCS but find I spend most of my time in the helicopters. The feel of those is incredible, including how they interact with the ground. I'm currently enjoying the Mi-8's Oilfield Campaign, which is full of civil activities 🙂 The newly added raindrops & wet windscreen effects are icing on the cake. (The rotor doesn't affect them but airspeed & flight direction do.)

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