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Posted (edited)
On 5/10/2020 at 6:54 PM, ark said:

I also prefer to fly approaches without the autopilot, did that in real life at one time. But as I mentioned above, I'm just trying to understand the the extent to which different developers have gone in implementing their version of the UNS-1. So I would still appreciate if a Majestic Dash 8 user would confirm whether or not the Dash 8 UNS-1 will command the autopilot to fly a GPS LPV approach glide path.

Thanks,

Al

Yes. When set up correctly it will fly an LNAV/VNAV approach. Note that it is not hands off. You will be managing the throttles (and the rudder trim). However the AP and FMS will manage the LNAV and VNAV path.

Edited by cwburnett

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Posted (edited)

I have the 1) Aerosoft airbusses, but the latest iterations (derived from the A330) introduced a few bugs which severly curtail my enjoyment (the biggest one is the introduction of the "18 fps minimum" bug which means that if your framerate falls below 18 the plane basically quits functioning. Also, Aerosoft recently introduced an "amazing new livery manager" which basically doesn't work. Read all about it on the Aerosoft fora, ha ha.

2) Aerosoft's CRJ, sorry, I just can't get myself to buying this. It seems thoroughly mediocre.

3) Leonardo's Maddog - it's a non starter for me, since I fly Airlines schedules in Europe, and it has been basically retired over here.

4) TFDI 717 - ditto, with the exception of Volotea, but their 717s are being phased out.

5) FeelThere's CRJ, vol. 3 - incredibly expensive. Don't trust FeelThere any more to provide bug free products.

6) FSLabs Airbus: too expensive, shady company. No go.

7) Majestic Software Dash 800 - not interested in Turboprops (edited to ad: but this thread is making me reconsider......😀)

This means that for short and medium haul flights I use the Aerosoft Airbus or the iFly 737.

Recommendation: iFly 737 - incredible value for your money.

The Airbus and the 737 variants cover most of the routes I fly in Europe - so best value for money.

Plus, the iFly is quite frequently on sale over at Flight1. So, do the math: $39,99 (on sale) for all variants. PMDG: $125 (not all variants).

Edited by Ricardo41

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On 5/11/2020 at 4:00 AM, PilotPete99 said:

Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good YouTube tutorial for the Majestic Q400 that begins at the default state. Many of the ones I’ve seen start with cold and dark, but I generally don’t do that. I’m looking for something basic that can just get me up and flying it properly. I have had this aircraft for years, but sadly I haven’t flown it much. I have on a few occasions attempted to work through some of these tutorials but I always screw it up in the end. Quite frankly, it’s a bit intimidating. Thanks in advance.

Cheers, Pete

Although not youtube, this helped me a lot:

https://www.airline2sim.com/course/q400-cadet/

https://www.airline2sim.com/course/q400-first-officer/

I don't remember whether the guy said which European airline used to be his employer but from the route structure he showed (he showed only the things he had done at work*) he was flying for FlyBe.

* e.g. he didn't fly to EGLC so they didn't show that but they picked another steep approach showing the technique

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1 hour ago, Ricardo41 said:

Majestic Software Dash 800 - not interested in Turboprops

Wow, you are really missing out. 

I am still flying this thing, 7 years since I bought it. Amazing.


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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, cwburnett said:

Yes. When set up correctly it will fly an LNAV/VNAV approach. Note that it is not hands off. You will be managing the throttles (and the rudder trim). However the AP and FMS will manage the LNAV and VNAV path.

Thanks very much for the info. I'd like to ask what version of the Majestic Dash 8 you have, and if you happen to know if the AP and FMS will manage the VNAV during an LPV appraoch in all three versions of the Dash 8?

Al

Edited by ark

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8 hours ago, emko said:

Although not youtube, this helped me a lot:

https://www.airline2sim.com/course/q400-cadet/

https://www.airline2sim.com/course/q400-first-officer/

I don't remember whether the guy said which European airline used to be his employer but from the route structure he showed (he showed only the things he had done at work*) he was flying for FlyBe.

* e.g. he didn't fly to EGLC so they didn't show that but they picked another steep approach showing the technique

Thanks! It had been so long that I flew this that i realized last night I never upgraded to the 64 bit version. I bought that last night (what a deal) and boy I forgot how great this plane was. The cockpit display is so crisp, and for some reason I can’t stop looking at the aircraft. I have officially made it my mission to learn this aircraft inside and out.

Cheers, Pete


Pete Solov - Lake in the Hills 3CK

and Schaumburg Regional 06C
Proud AOPA Member - PPL 2001
Real World Piper Cherokee Pilot

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I have the Aerosoft A32x and the Majestic Dash-8 Pilot Edition. Most of my simming is done in 2 or 3 hour stints around work and other leisure activities.

If I want to get up and get flying with minimal fuss, the Aerosoft bus with full sim automation (the built-in first officer who does almost all the switchology for you) is the one. But if I feel like being thorough about it, I can also do that in the Aerosoft bus; it's modelled well enough that you can carry out most if not all of the normal checklists in a realistic fashion. The only important things it doesn't do that I can think of are manual engine starts, published hold patterns and flaps 3 takeoffs. Its performance seems close enough to real-world data that you can use it seamlessly for calculating takeoffs and so on, though the engines are a little thirstier than they ought to be (I take around 1.6t of finres fuel in the A320 IAE against Aerosoft's default setting of 1.1t)

It is possible with the Aerosoft bus to put the autopilot in at 400ft after takeoff and leave it engaged until you're rolling out on your destination runway, if you program the FMGS correctly. Personally I don't do that but that should give you a flavour of what it's capable of. The systems modelling supports all IFR flying: ILS and RNAV approaches, non-precision approaches, minima callouts, etc. The four models are different in performance terms: I constantly flare high in a 318 or 319 and late in the 321 unless I'm paying close attention!

Latest updates are best avoided - don't install any patches from Aerosoft until they're at least 6 months old! - and it does have a few minor snags but on the whole it's plenty good enough if you want to simulate routine airline flying from A to B.

 

The Majestic Dash-8 is a very different and rewarding kettle of fish. I still haven't cracked the approach and landing technique! This needs a fair bit more time to pre-flight before you can start the engines and go but it's a much more faithful flight model than the Aerosoft buses, which tend to fly on rails. You'll find in a strong crosswind that manual trimming becomes necessary to keep the deck level (passenger comfort!) and your manual flying skills are really put to the test. With no autothrottle you start to appreciate the need to know pitch and power settings!

In flight the Majestic Dash hunts like a real aircraft and won't reward you for letting go of the controls to make a cup of tea unless the autopilot is in. Additionally, the autopilot is not 100% perfect in terms of flying accuracy and that's fine: I find I have to watch the thing like a hawk when intercepting an ILS or localiser in case it lines up half a dot or so offset from centre, which makes approaches to minimums quite hair-raising sometimes. Majestic's implementation is just random enough to feel realistic, keep you on your toes and make sure no two flights are the same. You really do need to be thinking about 5 minutes ahead of the aircraft.

Unlike the Airbus, the Dash doesn't auto-program relevant radio navaids for you and you need to be on top of your switchology when making any instrument approaches. I found my sim flying sharpened up when I had to read and understand approach charts instead of just following the little green line!

 

Bottom line: the Aerosoft Airbus is plenty good enough for learning how to simulate airline-style IFR flying. You'll learn a lot from working the FMGS and autopilot, which are underrated against competitor simulations IMHO. The Dash-8 is more in-depth to learn and fly and therefore more rewarding when everything goes to plan. So far I haven't found any essential real-world features missing from the Pilot edition, though I don't normally simulate failures or pull breakers. YMMV.


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1 hour ago, ark said:

Thanks very much for the info. I'd like to ask what version of the Majestic Dash 8 you have, and if you happen to know if the AP and FMS will manage the VNAV during an LPV appraoch in all three versions of the Dash 8?

Al

I have the Pro edition with the most recent patch from Majestic installed.  As far as I know, there are no differences in LNAV and VNAV capabilities between the editions, but I have only flown the Pro.  Product page details what added features the Pro has. http://majesticsoftware.com/mjc8q400/products.html

Just to be clear, I don't believe Q400 flies LPVs, just LNAV/VNAV and I believe some of the RNP approaches are usable. I could be wrong and there's little practical difference in the sim. However, with an LPV approach in the real world, the glidescope indicator is (typically) used (as with the GTN and GNS add ins for other aircraft) and it increases in sensitivity with proximity, just as an ILS glidescope indicator.  The Q400 follows the VNAV Path to the runway per the published VNAV path, but I don't believe there's any increasing sensitivity and the separate VNAV path indicator is used, rather than the GS indicator. The aircraft follows this path when set in APCH and VNAV modes, whereas with an ILS you'd just select APCH and it would pick up the GS.  Quite a few people have struggled with making LNAV/VNAV approaches work in the Q400 because the buttonology is different from a standard ILS approach.  There's a thread on it here (http://majesticsoftware.com/forums/discussion/731/rnav-gnss-approach-tutorial) with some collected resources, but I haven't read or validated them.


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Landing the "Crash-8" is certainly an art form not for the faint of heart virtual pilot 🙂

But boy, what a feeling when you finally grease one...


Dave

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21 minutes ago, lambourne said:

Unlike the Airbus, the Dash doesn't auto-program relevant radio navaids for you and you need to be on top of your switchology when making any instrument approaches. I found my sim flying sharpened up when I had to read and understand approach charts instead of just following the little green line!

Just to clarify, if the ARCDU is set in FMS mode, when you arm and activate a VOR or ILS approach in the UNS-1, it will auto tune the approach nav frequency. It doesn't periodically update VORs throughout the flight, though, like the Airbus does.

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Thanks guys, appreciate all the info.  In some ways, the GTN 750 seems more useful than some of the UNS-1 implementations except for things like calculating V speeds, fuel requirements, etc.

Al

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36 minutes ago, ark said:

Thanks guys, appreciate all the info.  In some ways, the GTN 750 seems more useful than some of the UNS-1 implementations except for things like calculating V speeds, fuel requirements, etc.

Al

The GTN is a more intuitive interface; Garmin did a nice job learning from the GNS series to optimize the UI on the GTNs.  You're right, there really isn't much difference in capability. The biggest difference is full VNAV management via the VNAV AP mode. I use the RXP GTN750 with a variety of GA aircraft and haven't found one that will couple to the VNAV profile, only the LPV final approach glidepath.  The UNS-1 VNAV capability in the Q400 allows you to setup your VNAV profile prior to TOD and then, set in VNAV mode, the AP will follow the VNAV path all the way to the runway, including automatically respecting the lower bounds of any crossing restrictions.  This only works if the the FMS is setup correctly and it is certainly not as intuitive as the GTN to do so, but it does have more capability.  The UNS-1 does provide fuel management and does a landing weight calculation, but it is on par with the GTN's ability to do that - it isn't as complex as the FMS on the modern Boeing or Airbus in that respect. It does not calculate V speeds for takeoff or landing, those are manually referenced and the bugs are manually programmed on the PFD.


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3 hours ago, PilotPete99 said:

Thanks! It had been so long that I flew this that i realized last night I never upgraded to the 64 bit version. I bought that last night (what a deal) and boy I forgot how great this plane was. The cockpit display is so crisp, and for some reason I can’t stop looking at the aircraft. I have officially made it my mission to learn this aircraft inside and out.

Cheers, Pete

In addition to the airline2sim video there is two nice tutoriel in PDF you can dowload on the Majestic site (go to "ressources" and then "tutorial".

They are fairly well done and explain fairly well how to use the aircraft even if the video goes a bit deeper in details and provide a welcome explanation from a real pilot.

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29 minutes ago, cwburnett said:

The GTN is a more intuitive interface; Garmin did a nice job learning from the GNS series to optimize the UI on the GTNs.  You're right, there really isn't much difference in capability. The biggest difference is full VNAV management via the VNAV AP mode. I use the RXP GTN750 with a variety of GA aircraft and haven't found one that will couple to the VNAV profile, only the LPV final approach glidepath.  The UNS-1 VNAV capability in the Q400 allows you to setup your VNAV profile prior to TOD and then, set in VNAV mode, the AP will follow the VNAV path all the way to the runway, including automatically respecting the lower bounds of any crossing restrictions.  This only works if the the FMS is setup correctly and it is certainly not as intuitive as the GTN to do so, but it does have more capability.  The UNS-1 does provide fuel management and does a landing weight calculation, but it is on par with the GTN's ability to do that - it isn't as complex as the FMS on the modern Boeing or Airbus in that respect. It does not calculate V speeds for takeoff or landing, those are manually referenced and the bugs are manually programmed on the PFD.

Ah, I see, I thought the UNS-1 would calculate the V speeds. You are correct that the GNT750 will not fly the VNAV aspect of a cruise or STAR type descent via the AP. It will, however, give you the VSR (Vertical Speed Required) if you have loaded the corresponding way point altitudes. That's actually fine with me since it gives me something to do while it takes care of the LNAV side of things. And it will fly the VNAV part of a GPS approach that has a published glide path although I usually prefer to turn off the AP and just use the flight director guidance. 

Al

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On 5/9/2020 at 3:48 PM, DaveCT2003 said:

 

Well I'm going to have to completely agree with that!

We (the Majestic team) worked the Dash 8 400 for over 6 years before the aircraft was released.  A few reasons make the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 one of two of the finest and most accurate airliner models ever developed for desktop flight simulation:

1. No expense was saved when it came to both the internal and external modeling (graphics) which was done by two very professional 2D/3D graphics modelers which is one reason why the frame rates are absolutely amazing, especially given the complexity of the aircraft and features that had rarely if ever been seen in flight simulation at the time of release such as fogging windows based on internal and external atmospherics, etc.

2. The aircraft coding is amazing, and along with the graphics modeling make this aircraft a true representation of the real aircraft.  So real in fact, that a non-pilot who had used the software was able to jump into a real Dash 8 Q400 and fire it up, taxi out, take off and fly around rthe Seattle area for quite some time until he ran out of fuel.  But enough about that...

3. There are three different Q400's produced by Majestic, the Pilot Version, the Professional version, and the Training version which is not released yet.  Each version of the aircraft have additional systems/capabilities.  If  you are going to pick up the Dash 8, do yourself a favor and pick up the Professional version as it not only has some additional capabilities but also offers the very best Shared Cockpit in all of flight simulation - it's seamless!

 

So, up above I wrote that the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 is one of two of the finest and most accurate airliner models ever developed for desktop flight simulation (at least in my 40 years in this amazing hobby).  Allow me please to qualify my statement further by saying that I've work on the development and testing side of flight simulation for the past 15 years or so (seems like that's all I do these days), and I have experience with most every high end airliners released for FSX an P3D, and I'm pretty familiar with airliners made for XPlane. 

The other aircraft (the other "1 of 2" of the best aircraft) is the Leonardo MaddogX MD-80.  In addition to my work at Aerosoft, I've been on both the Majestic and Maddog teams for years and it is impossible to rank one over the other simply because they are two completely different types of aircraft which requires two completely different types of flying and pilot skill sets.  I absolutely love both aircraft.  Additionally, Leonardo recently released Shared Cockpit for the MD-80 (increasing the difficulty of ranking one aircraft above the other) although there is room to believe that the existing Maddog Shared Cockpit will be expanded in the future.

I just haven't seen any airliner match the fidelity and realism of the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 Professional, and the answer to any question such as "what about XXXX aircraft" would be the same, it's not quite up to par.

With the above in mind, there is one bit of critical information I feel compelled (the power of unbiased flight simulation advice compels you... LOL!) to share, and that is that not everyone will need or appreciate the complexity, fidelity and realism of these two aircraft.  For instance, not everyone will be impressed that the circuit breakers are accurately modeled and the correct systems loose power and the aircraft systems respond as they should when a circuit breaker is tripped, and not everyone needs random and programmed failures, and not everyone will notice or appreciate the flight models - especially the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 which uses an external flight model developed by NASA allowing the darned thing to fly and act as a true turbo prop!

 

As you can tell, I very much enjoy writing about these two wonderful aircraft, and I hope the information I've shared compels (lol) you to consider purchasing them both!

 

Best wishes my friend!

 

 

 

 

 

Got the Majestic Q400 and the MaddogX. Both amazing aircraft but the MaddogX is quite something cause it gives me the same feeling when I use to fly as a SENSO in the CH-124 Sea King. Thanks for your advice. Having a lot of fun right now.

 

 

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