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Michel Albrecht

If/How much the simulation is realistic ?!?

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Dear Pilots
 
Hi I'm looking to train pilots on some types of airplanes 
Beechcraft Bonanza 36
Beechcraft king air 200
 
I would like to ask a few questions about the simulation and development
 
1. Is it possible to create different flight modes under weather conditions, all emergency situations,  if all functions of the airplane are facts and work.
 
2. Is it possible to develop certain systems installed on our aircraft.
 
Thanks, Michel 

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It is very much dependent on a high quality representation of those types already being available for the simulator platform. The development costs for starting afresh are unlikely to be something an organisation would want to stomach, and developers tend to make things they think will sell well and they have access to for research. It is possible develop systems installed on your aircraft, but again it means finding a willing and able developer.

In terms of the Beech Bonanza 36 you are in luck, a company called A2A make a very high quality realistic representation that goes above and beyond the included features of the simulator platform (for example spark plug fouling and oil viscosity is not simulated within P3D, but this aircraft will simulate it internally). It may have working circuit breakers and the like, it also allows for a full walkaround. They sell a special licence for training use.

For the King Air 200 you have a choice of Carenado (who are known for making pretty looking planes but with simplified systems and flight characteristics) or Flight1 (this is more in-depth on systems, it simulates ice build up, electrical loadings, autofeather, so I'd look at this one for training). The Flight1 version has Blackhawk XP5 modifications and Garmin G1000 avionics, I think the Carenado has steam gauges. The turboprop simulation within P3D isn't great, Carenado certainly won't have tried to fix that but Flight1 may have (read some reviews, I'm not familiar with the product, but I know F1 modelled hot starts).

Whether those two developers would customise their products to suit you, you'd have to ask them. The A2A and Carenado products support third party GPS units that represent Garmin's GNS430W, GNS530W, GTN650 and GTN750. Those units are developed by either RealityXP or Flight1 and require separate purchase.

The A2A supports panel state saving, so you can save the aircraft in a particular location and configuration and load it back up exactly as you left it. I believe most addons support the default failures available in the P3D simulation platform (usual stuff like engine failure, engine fire, fuel leak, loss of certain systems), in addition on the A2A and Flight1 products mentioned you get misuse and wear based failures.

Edited by ckyliu
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43 minutes ago, Michel Albrecht said:
Dear Pilots
 
1. Is it possible to create different flight modes under weather conditions, all emergency situations,  if all functions of the airplane are facts and work.
 
Thanks, Michel 

You might want to check: https://www.fs-flightcontrol.com/en/

I don't have it, so can't comment on the functionality/quality

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Hi Michel,

As someone with legs on both sides of the fence - my 2 cents - Flight Sim wouldn't work well as primary flight training tool - the feedback and sensations from the desktop aren't really that conducive to learning how to fly... Flight Sim works far better as a procedural trainer - such as learning and practicing instrument procedures or as you mentioned emergency scenarios (providing the aircraft supports this)... Watch some "A2A P3D" videos on you tube - as mentioned - for GA - they take the deepest systems level approach to their modeling...

Regards,
Scott

Edited by scottb613
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6 minutes ago, scottb613 said:

as a procedural trainer...

In that respect it can be very useful, all the other stuff despite what others are telling you can be thrown
out of the window, because it's nowhere close to real life 😉

Edited by awf
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André
 

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Well, it is indeed useful for procedural stuff, entering numbers into the gps and setting autopilot. However as long as you don't imagine you'll get the visceral feel you get in a real aircraft, there are still things that are useful to practice outside procedural things. For example,

1. Fly a pattern/circuit and maintaining a fairly precise altitude as per published pattern procedures.

2. Fly manually straight and level without deviating left, or right, or losing or gaining height.

3. Practising final turn and short finals with the Papi lights 2 reds and whites all the way down to 200 feet (not always easy).

4. Keeping dead on the centre line on take off and landing.

5. Braking in a straight line.

6. Adding flaps, lowering gear and managing engine power so there are no wild deviations in speed or altitude/path.

7. Going on top in misty weather then finding your way down to a perfect approach using a VOR/NDB or non precision approach, all without autopilot.

8. Practicing stall recovery. Dealing with accelerated stalls, tight turns and speed management in trying conditions.

9. Keeping things stable in turbulence.

10. Practicing a typical overhead join at an unattended small airfield.

These are just a few lf the many things that are extremely useful, and that are between procedural and visceral. They won't exactly be the same as being there, but they can be invaluable and time saving when it comes to doing the real thing.

Edited by robert young
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As someone who makes training systems for a living... the short answer to both of your questions is yes.  There are companies that already utilize Prepar3D in certified training systems for both simple as well as complex aircraft.

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Ed Wilson

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To answer these questions specifically...

1. Is it possible to create different flight modes under weather conditions, all emergency situations,  if all functions of the airplane are facts and work?

It's certainly possible to create different weather conditions, although you'd need one of the better add-on weather engines in order to do this (probably Active Sky would be the best choice). Most emergency situations could be simulated, such as instrument failures, comms failures, flap and gear failures etc, although how you go about it may differ. For example, you could simply temporarily alter an existing flight simulator add on's configuration file with a simple text entry to have an instrument or system to work cease to work, but this would not be very dynamic. A more sophisticated method would be to use one of several 'instructor station' add ons which are available to allow this to be done in a more controlled manner. 

2. Is it possible to develop certain systems installed on our aircraft?

Yes, this is entirely possible, although the chances are you would not need to go to the length of developing the systems yourself, because there is a very good chance that any reasonably common avionics to be found out there in the real world would already be something which is available, i.e. if you wanted to have a specific set of avionics fitted to match your aeroplane's exact avionics fit, it is very likely that these already exist and can be bought as add-ons. Even if they don't exist as separate add-ons, it is fairly easy to take the gauges or radios etc from one add-on aeroplane and place them in another one. If your avionics were obscure or unusual, creating gauges themselves is not an especially difficult task (even I've managed to create a few custom autopilot gauges over the years, and I'm no high end programmer although being a decent artist was a big help), so this is certainly another possibility and would not be too hard for a seasoned programmer and a decent GUI artist.

Certainly most of the previous answers and suggestions people have made on this post are worth checking out. With regard to the other comments...

I agree that flight simulators (in fact pretty much all simulators of any kind) are best for becoming familiar with procedures and to drill stuff into people, rather than being exactly akin to the real thing, but they certainly do have their uses. For example, it might be difficult/impossible to obtain clearance to practice emergency landing patterns down to low altitudes or touchdown where you operate, but this is of course no problem for a simulator and with fairly realistic scenery, it could certainly be a useful exercise to demonstrate sight pictures, best approaches and such.

The above is merely one example of how such a use of a PC-based simulator might prove helpful. To those who think this is not the case and that you have to be in the real aeroplane to learn useful stuff, I'll give you an example which might make you think otherwise, and this was by none other than Boeing in 1969, before we even had computer flight simulators:

When Boeing were developing the 747, one of the problems they had, was determining if pilots could even taxy their massive aeroplane around an airport with the standard markings of taxiways when up so high on the flight deck of their proposed design. So before they finalised the design the real aeroplane, they built a basic mock up of the cockpit which was mounted on the roof of an articulated truck, to replicate the sight picture a pilot would have from the flight deck of the finished 747. This contraption was named 'Waddell's Wagon', after 747 test pilot Jack Waddell. Do a search for that on google and you will find a picture of it, and whilst it does not exactly look very sophisticated, it did the job.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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You might want to check out SimStarter over at Aerosoft.  It does exactly what you're looking for, I believe it also works with ActiveSky to pull up specific weather (I'm pretty sure, but double check that though).

 

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I went from sim pilot to PPL with the old UK rating of IMC

To learn the systems and procedures yes most definitely, to gain stick and rudder skills, not really although its a good start, the sim has some quirky flaws in terms of aerodynamics eg cross controls in the sim dont really play out as they would in real life. 

Also fsim pilots tend to focus on instruments and have poor lookout when transitioning to GA

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Not a pilot but just curious. So P3DV4 is most realistic flying my PMDG/ Leonardo liners since they are more a procedural task then say my A2A Bonanza which I prefer to hand fly. On GA aircraft I prefer old school steam gauges and VFR manual flights.

Just as well as my stick and rudder skills are horrible anyway. Especially handling the Bo at slow pattern speeds. I guess taking the lack of any realistic ATC out of consideration this would be true. Airliner flying in the sim is more realistic then flying personal GA?

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Vic green

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45 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

Not a pilot but just curious. So P3DV4 is most realistic flying my PMDG/ Leonardo liners since they are more a procedural task then say my A2A Bonanza which I prefer to hand fly. On GA aircraft I prefer old school steam gauges and VFR manual flights.

Just as well as my stick and rudder skills are horrible anyway. Especially handling the Bo at slow pattern speeds. I guess taking the lack of any realistic ATC out of consideration this would be true. Airliner flying in the sim is more realistic then flying personal GA?

It all depends on the airfile, I have had around 15hrs total in the real 777-200 simulator at Heathrow engineering, a 777 is sensitive in roll and less so in pitch.

A well known fsim 777LR, although slightly different model is sluggish in roll/pitch and takes a good turn/pull of the control wheel to get much reaction. My first touch on the real 777 had me overcontrolling it terribly due to my fsim experience! and that being a GA PPL also! 

On takeoff I over rotated and almost had a tailstrike!

When it came to the systems, I knew it like the back of my hand

Edited by kand
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Chock,

May I PM you please?

Regards

Tony

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Tony Chilcott.

 

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3 hours ago, himmelhorse said:

Chock,

May I PM you please?

Regards

Tony

Yup, anyone can PM me if they want to. 🙂

 

4 hours ago, PATCO LCH said:

Not a pilot but just curious. So P3DV4 is most realistic flying my PMDG/ Leonardo liners since they are more a procedural task then say my A2A Bonanza which I prefer to hand fly. On GA aircraft I prefer old school steam gauges and VFR manual flights.

Just as well as my stick and rudder skills are horrible anyway. Especially handling the Bo at slow pattern speeds. I guess taking the lack of any realistic ATC out of consideration this would be true. Airliner flying in the sim is more realistic then flying personal GA?

There's a bit more to it than this. It is true that GA pilots would probably do more hands-on stick and rudder stuff, since quite a few GA aeroplanes don't even have an autopilot of any description, but any simulated aeroplane, whether it's a 747 or a Tiger Moth, is at the mercy of how well its air file has been created and also what the simulator platform itself is capable of portraying. But regardless of this, here is something interesting to consider...

Put it this way: If you drive a car, when it comes to steering it into a corner, you don't consciously think: 'okay, now I'm going to turn the wheel exactly 17.5 degrees in order to go around this corner', instead what you do is feed in some steering, observe whether you are turning tightly enough or not, and then make a suitable adjustment as necessary to traverse the corner. The same is entirely true for aeroplane controls too, in that you make an input, observe what that does, and adjust as necessary.

Because of this, whilst some might say of a particular aeroplane simulation add-on: 'oh it's not like the real thing, I've got 10,000 hours on that and the real thing turns much faster'. Now this might be true, but whether the simulated aeroplane does or does not turn the same as the real thing will to a large extent not affect how someone might gain experience of the basic concept of aeroplane control inputs in general, and specifically, how you have to adjust them on the fly. Having learned that this is what you do, the knowledge that this is what you do, and the technique, would transfer fairly quickly to a real aeroplane, in just the same way as one would modify how they used the steering wheel of an unfamiliar car with a different steering ratio. Anyone who has ever borrowed a car which is different from their regular vehicle will know this is true.

Having said all that, it is also undeniably true that a PC flight sim could possibly make a new pilot perhaps a bit too focused on the instruments to the detriment of keeping a good lookout, which is kind of understandable since what the instruments say your simulated aeroplane is doing are in large part a substitute for the seat of the pants feelings you don't get when sat at a PC. 

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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6 hours ago, Chock said:

Having said all that, it is also undeniably true that a PC flight sim could possibly make a new pilot perhaps a bit too focused on the instruments to the detriment of keeping a good lookout, which is kind of understandable since what the instruments say your simulated aeroplane is doing are in large part a substitute for the seat of the pants feelings you don't get when sat at a PC. 

I don't think this is something inherent to the sim itself. I think a much greater influence is the fact that most sim pilots have never had any coaching or instruction and therefore they naturally gravitate to the dials.

The average self-taught sim pilot definitely tends to fly on instruments. But, if you look out the windscreen, there's a horizon in the sim just like there's a horizon in real life, and just like in real life you can use it (and the structure of the aircraft from the VC or even the top of a 2D panel) to set the pitch and bank attitude of the aeroplane! In fact, it's much better than the tiny little artificial horizon (made even smaller on-screen) and generally shows up even small deviations much more obviously.

The interesting thing is that I can always tell when people are staring at the dials during the courses I run, even from several thousand miles away over a shared cockpit connection! Once you show them where to look, what to look for and how to properly refer to the instruments in VFR flight, the transformation in their flying is immediate, visible and remarkable -- the constant pitching and chasing of VSI or airspeed indications disappears and is replaced by a nice smooth ride 😊

I suspect if you put someone in a real aeroplane and just left them to figure it out for themselves they'd probably end up looking in as well with similar results!

The one area that I would say the sim is very poor at replicating is landing -- there are very few models which behave anything like a real aeroplane near to the ground and you can get away with (and even have a lot of success with) a lot of things in the sim which in real life would result in bent metal (at best).

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Simon Kelsey

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