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Greg Gorniak

I need advice

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I am am a former USAF/retired airline pilot and Adjunct Professor at a local college in Ohio. I am trying to developing a college level class, teaching students that have a multi engine instrument rating, advanced IFR procedures. I am looking for advice on what PC sim might be best. I am looking for something that will have more complex SIDs, STARs, and approaches. It would be nice to have a working FMC that can be used to do flight plan loading/modifications/changes. Glass cockpit Boeing or AIrbus would be fine. 

I've never used a sim that is PC/MAC based before and don't know if anything out there will suite my needs.Anyone out there with real world flying experience that can advise me on the above?

 

Thanks

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Posted (edited)

Hi and welcome to Avsim.

The most recent version of Lockheed Martin's Prepar3d (a.k.a. P3D) would probably be the best option for a number of reasons. Having said that, not the least of these reasons is that if you are using it at an educational establishment as a teaching tool with students, then you qualify for using the discounted 'Academic' version of the software, which is offered at a very accessible and affordable cost because of it being aimed at students.

The most recent version of it added the capability to include the display of more complex procedures including SIDs and STARs, although with this being a very recent release, it may well take a while for this capability to trickle down to other bits of companion software which might also make use of that. Nevertheless, since you would need time to work up a curriculum/syllabus, I should think things will time up well in this regard.

Although there is a built-in Air Traffic Control capability with P3D, it is somewhat basic and does not make use of more complex procedural arrivals and departures, but this is where compatible add-on ATC programs step up to help, as there are many which can do this well, and the vast majority of them are able to use voice recognition so that you can actually 'talk' to the Air Traffic Control, which of course is a good thing with training, as the more realistic things are, the better the training will be. And it gets people used to the terminology too.

There are several programs which can interface with P3D to serve as an 'instructor station' similar to the sort of thing you find in a high end fixed simulator too, so the program is very well geared to being a teaching tool.

To help get you up to speed with what can be done and what is available, I have added some website links below to commercial add-on products which function with P3D, which you may wish to look into in deciding if this is an approach you think can be made to suit your requirement:

Base simulation software: Lockheed Martin Prepar3D

Some high end simulated airliners with FMCs which will work in P3D: Boeing, Airbus, McDonnell Douglas and Bombardier

A suitable Instructor Station for P3D.

A suitable weather program capable of decoding real-world METARs as well as making custom scenarios to create that 'socked in' IMC weather.

One of many ATC solutions which are available

The above suggestions are by no means the only options available, but they are some of the best and most popular choices which will give you a good idea of the capabilities of P3D when it is 'souped up' with a few quality add-on products.

If you have any more questions about this, feel free to ask, or if you just want to shoot the breeze, join in and we'll all be happy to chat. There are very many knowledgeable and experienced people who frequent these forums, so there'll always be someone around to help.

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D v4.5 with PMDG's Boeing 737 "NGXu" add-on would answer the mail nicely.

http://www.prepar3d.com

http://www.pmdg.com

P3D v5 released recently, but it is still having some growing pains, and the PMDG 737 hasn't been updated for it yet, hence my recommendation for v4.5 vs the newer v5.

Regards


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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the advice on the P3D. I will check it out. It sounds like what I want. To tell you the truth I haven't heard about that P#D before and glad I joined AVSIM to get advice.....

Does P3D have SIDs, STARs, and approach plates included or is this something that is added on or will it match up with Jeppps or Flip charts

What do I use to control the aircraft that I would be flying....i.e. mouse ....joystick ...rudder throttles. In other words what else would I need to purchase to make this work?

I'm sure I'll have more questions after I check things out

Thanks

Edited by Greg Gorniak

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Greg Gorniak said:

Thanks for the advice on the P3D. I will check it out. It sounds like what I want. To tell you the truth I haven't heard about that P#D before and glad I joined AVSIM to get advice.....

Does P3D have SIDs, STARs, and approach plates included or is this something that is added on or will it match up with Jeppps or Flip charts

I'm sure I'll have more questions after I check things out

Thanks

If you take a look at the 'new features' of the latest V5 version of P3D , which you can see here, you'll note that it lists 'Added SIDS and STARS visualization support for gauges' as one of the improvements. Now even prior to this, there was nothing preventing an FMC in the simulator from displaying such procedures, but this sort of thing is now properly a part of what the simulator can display correctly, so it should be even better for simulating what you are interested in.

There are no approach plates included with P3D, but the approaches and nav aids upon which they are dependent are all in there and are in the Navigraph FMC databases of the aeroplanes themselves, so if you want to for example, use the Quality Wings add-on Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to fly a POL4T SID off Runway 27 at EGGP Liverpool John Lennon airport on your way to joining up with your IFR jetway route to Spain's Almeria airport for example, then you absolutely can do so. Here is that very aircraft setting that up in its FMC. If you check what is on the PFD, you will see it matches the Jeppeson chart for that departure:

76VaDMx.png

So all that IFR stuff is done in exactly the same way and with all the same functions as are in the real aeroplane. Of course if you'd prefer to use for example, a Diamond DA-42 twin to do that sort of training, as the airlines typically do, then you can do that sort of thing as well if you like. Pretty much any aeroplane you want to fly can be found and installed in the simulation, certainly pretty much any airliner you'd want to use, and most of them are either realistic in this manner, or can be made so with the addition of a few tweaks.

You might recall a couple of years ago that a ramp employee who worked for Horizon Air, who sadly was suffering from depression, got in a Bombardier Dash 8 which was parked up in the maintenance area, started it up, taxied it out, took off from Seattle Tacoma, flew it around for an hour or so, then eventually deliberately crashed it in a sparsely populated area, because he did not want to face the consequences of the trouble he was in, in spite of ATC trying very hard to get him to land it. He had no flight training to speak of, he learned how to do all that by using the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 add-on aeroplane in a version of this same simulator. I daresay Majestic would not want to advertise this fact, but even so, that is how realistic these things are.

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Greg Gorniak said:

Thanks again Chock.....you've been a big help

You could even build a 1:1 Cockpit replica of a B737, A320, B747, B777 with your students, as some of us "enthusiasts" have done. (me included) I have an A 320 in my home, where the P3D Software is the Image Generator for the "world outside" and for the flight Physics. The whole Systems and logics of the airliner itself runs on seperate Client PC and with the Panel replicas together you have the same "touch and feel" as in a full-flight-simulator, including FBW-System, FMGS, MCDU, weather Radar, Terrain and GPWS, TCAS etc.

You see, you landed at the abolute Right place for your demands.

Bernd

PS: One Point more to Mention About is, because you are Looking for procedure trainig it´s worth to know, that as in the real world, the procedures like SID and STAR are not in the Simulator, they only exist on Charts. But the nessecary navaids like VOR, NDB, VORTAC, GPS and intersections are in the P3D for the whole world, with the reallife frequencies and coordinates. Though you can use realworld Jeppsen or Lido Charts or the cheaper Twins we use as flightsimmers which are the same in fact, just not meant for reallife Navigation allowed.

Edited by BerndB

Bernd

P3D V5 -  PC spec: Intel i9-9900 overclocked 5 GHz HT off, 32 GB RAM, GPU Nvidia RTX2080, 2xM2 SSD, Skalarki HomeCockpit and Jeehell FMGS on a dedicated Server, PF3 for ATC, MCE, GSX, EFB, AS+ASCA and OrbX

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It is worth bearing in mind incidentally, that when it comes to using real world procedures in your flight sim, as you most certainly are able to do in P3D, their realistic use depends quite a lot upon the ATC communications as you know. There is built-in ATC in P3D, but its realism in terms of IFR procedures is only very basic it will let you file flight plans, readback clearances, clear you to start, push back, taxi, take off, route you via flight plan waypoints, give you altitude clearances and vector you for visual or ILS approaches, so it's not terrible, but it doesn't normally handle SIDs and STARs unless you jump through a few hoops to kind of force it to do so. However...

Since that is the case and absolutely realistic procedures is something most users want, there are two options available to you in order to make that communication completely realistic. You could do what most people do, which is to use an add-on ATC program which can work in concert with P3D and provide realistic A.I. communication and can recognise SIDs and STARs etc. Or, since you are probably looking at having an instructor station, you could have someone play the role of ATC for the trainee pilot in exactly the same way as is done in a full-motion multi-million dollar simulator. You could get very sophisticated with that sort of thing, but all you really need to do that, is have a couple of headsets with boom microphones and a curtain for the ATC operator to go behind, because P3D is capable of displaying a radar scope to another user via its 'multiplayer' communication, where the other person literally has a control tower which they can operate, complete with flight plan strips.

If you did that, the only real difference between what you'd be doing with P3D and what is done with that full-on training simulator, is the motion such a simulator uses, and if you've got the money (i.e. about 4,000 Dollars), you can even have that.


Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, BerndB said:

the Panel replicas together you have the same "touch and feel" as in a full-flight-simulator, including FBW-System, FMGS, MCDU, weather Radar, Terrain and GPWS, TCAS etc

BerndB Would you have any pictures of the cockpit replica? Where did you get the replica panels? We had something like you described when I when thorugh Training at the airline I worked at. We called the CPTs....Cockpit Procedural Trainer. Did most everything but motion.

 

18 hours ago, BerndB said:

the procedures like SID and STAR are not in the Simulator, they only exist on Charts. But the nessecary navaids like VOR, NDB, VORTAC, GPS and intersections are in the P3D for the whole world, with the reallife frequencies and coordinates.

Chock and BerndB    Can the real life procedures for SIDs, STARs, and approaches be built and stored for later call up? I see using this trainer for just a few airports so I wouldn't need the whole world built.

As far as ATC comms, I think the instructor could play that part.

So far this looks like a solution to my needs.

One last question. What type of controls do I need to make this work? Joystick, control wheel, throttle, rudder/brakes etc?

Thanks again

 

Edited by Greg Gorniak

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4 hours ago, Greg Gorniak said:

Can the real life procedures for SIDs, STARs, and approaches be built and stored for later call up? I see using this trainer for just a few airports so I wouldn't need the whole world built.

Yes. The scenery library in P3D can enable or disable sceneries which you don't need. That will make for quicker computer load times. There is the ability to save scenarios and aircraft conditions for practice sessions too; for example, if you wanted to have a scenario where an aeroplane is configured for descent and is positioned near an initial approach fix, so that you could try something multiple times by simply resetting the scenario rather than having to manually fly the aeroplane to that position, you can do that, or any similar other scenario you like.

Interestingly, some add-on airliners which you can get for P3D have features specifically aimed at this capability too, for example, the Quality Wing Boeing 787 Dreamliner add-on has a 'skip ahead' feature, whereby you can jump to any point of an IFR route. Thus it is possible to set it up with a complete IFR flight, perform the take off and SID, then skip all the way to perhaps the Top Of Descent point in order to do the approach and landing without having had to fly the entire route in real time.

In short, it has a lot of functionality which is ideally suited to using it as a scenario training tool, because that is essentially what it is intended to be. Of course many people don't use it in that way, but it is what Lockheed Martin was aiming at when creating it.

  • Upvote 1

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Greg Gorniak said:

BerndB Would you have any pictures of the cockpit replica? Where did you get the replica panels? We had something like you described when I when thorugh Training at the airline I worked at. We called the CPTs....Cockpit Procedural Trainer. Did most everything but motion.

Sadly it isn´t possible in this Forum to attach Pictures to threads. 🤨 But in my profile you can see a part of my Cockpit. The Panels and electronics came from Skalarki from GB. Not cheap but worth. There are even more manufacturer for Boing parts to find like FDS from Canada. And Flightillusion from Netherlands is very interesting for GA stuff.

But there are even more.

I started my build last Christmas break and actually i´am working on my 180 Degree visual System and on the Shell. It is a much more immersive experience to have a closed Shell arround. The Cockpit liners for the Special Airbus slidewindows etc. i´ve got from a real Aircraft, (at a Moment when the Pilots were not in their Cockpit 🤭🤫) no no just kidding, i got them from a dismanteled one.

So once it´s finished, it will be the same appearence as the original.

I warmly recommend to take a Sneak Peak in the Forum for the upcoming "Microsoft Flightsimulator 2020" here on AVSim. Look for the development updates and you´ll get an Impression what will be possible tomorrow. 

Cheers

Edited by BerndB

Bernd

P3D V5 -  PC spec: Intel i9-9900 overclocked 5 GHz HT off, 32 GB RAM, GPU Nvidia RTX2080, 2xM2 SSD, Skalarki HomeCockpit and Jeehell FMGS on a dedicated Server, PF3 for ATC, MCE, GSX, EFB, AS+ASCA and OrbX

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1 hour ago, Chock said:

In short, it has a lot of functionality which is ideally suited to using it as a scenario training tool, because that is essentially what it is intended to be. Of course many people don't use it in that way, but it is what Lockheed Martin was aiming at when creating it.

Abolutely affirmed!! (For what else would someone need a Simulator, for playing with it to be a pilot, or what?!? Weird!) 😜


Bernd

P3D V5 -  PC spec: Intel i9-9900 overclocked 5 GHz HT off, 32 GB RAM, GPU Nvidia RTX2080, 2xM2 SSD, Skalarki HomeCockpit and Jeehell FMGS on a dedicated Server, PF3 for ATC, MCE, GSX, EFB, AS+ASCA and OrbX

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3 hours ago, Sim737Pilot said:

That FMC looks like it was made in Windows for Workgroups in the early 90's. Wow.

The cockpit interface device shown in the screenshot I posted is not the Flight Management Computer, that is the Control Display Unit. The FMC is the computer device the aircraft uses, the CDU is what you use to interact with it.

In most Boeing aeroplanes, the FMC is a Smiths Model 2907C1, which has a Motorola 68040 processor, 4Mb of RAM and 32Mb available for the program and the navigational database, so it is neither suited to, nor necessary for it to look like an app for the latest mobile phone. The CDU's appearance is not intended to be flashy or 'cool' looking, it is meant to be easily understood and simple to use.

In the screenshot I posted of the QW 787, the purpose of that shot was to show that it can use a SID, not to make it look cool. Thus the way the CDU appears accurately replicates the appearance of the touch screen interface of that found in the real aeroplane's CDU. That is why it looks the way it does. This is a deliberate design choice; interface units in cockpits are designed in a fashion which replicates contemporary hardware and software interfaces with which the majority of pilots will be familiar. This is also why the design of older hardware CDUs such as the Lear Seigler/Smiths PDCS unit typically found in aeroplanes such as the Boeing 737 which were first trialed in the 1970s and widely introduced in the early 1980s, were based on making them look and operate much like a pocket calculator from the late 1970s, because this was a device which pilots at the time of the unit's introduction, would be familiar.

So if you are complaining about something looking like it is from the 1990s, then in the same breath championing something, the appearance of which, was designed in the 1970s to replicate the look and functionality of a pocket calculator from that era, then you clearly have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to avionics design haptics.

3 hours ago, Sim737Pilot said:

Don't settle for subpar quality (FMC)  when it is available for free.

You can buy X Plane 11 directly from Laminar Research direct download with no need for CD drive or an additional annoying connection to Steam where they take a 30% cut of the purchase price.  You won't regret it. I wouldn't bother with P3D as Microsoft Flight Simulator is expected to release by the end of this year and the default scenery and weather blows both X Plane and P3D out of the water. It will be subscription based for the full effects, but you could fly low VFR and is based on Bing maps.

The notion that either a freeware modification of the default B737 in XPlane, or default aeroplanes in a forthcoming simulator game from Microsoft/Asobo, would be in any way a superior training alternative to software from Lockheed Martin which is specifically designed for professional training, particularly when used in combination with something such as the PMDG Boeing 737, FSL A320 or the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 for P3D, is absolutely preposterous. It shows that you have no clue what you are talking about when it comes to making suggestions for a practical training solution for IFR students.

Moreover, if you think that 'the scenery' in the forthcoming Microsoft game is in any way likely to be a priority for someone who specifically stated that they were interested in using a simulator for procedural IFR training, then you clearly paid no attention to what it was that person was requesting.

  • Upvote 2

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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On 5/20/2020 at 12:03 PM, Chock said:

If you take a look at the 'new features' of the latest V5 version of P3D , which you can see here, you'll note that it lists 'Added SIDS and STARS visualization support for gauges' as one of the improvements. Now even prior to this, there was nothing preventing an FMC in the simulator from displaying such procedures, but this sort of thing is now properly a part of what the simulator can display correctly, so it should be even better for simulating what you are interested in.

There are no approach plates included with P3D, but the approaches and nav aids upon which they are dependent are all in there and are in the Navigraph FMC databases of the aeroplanes themselves, so if you want to for example, use the Quality Wings add-on Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to fly a POL4T SID off Runway 27 at EGGP Liverpool John Lennon airport on your way to joining up with your IFR jetway route to Spain's Almeria airport for example, then you absolutely can do so. Here is that very aircraft setting that up in its FMC. If you check what is on the PFD, you will see it matches the Jeppeson chart for that departure:

76VaDMx.png

So all that IFR stuff is done in exactly the same way and with all the same functions as are in the real aeroplane. Of course if you'd prefer to use for example, a Diamond DA-42 twin to do that sort of training, as the airlines typically do, then you can do that sort of thing as well if you like. Pretty much any aeroplane you want to fly can be found and installed in the simulation, certainly pretty much any airliner you'd want to use, and most of them are either realistic in this manner, or can be made so with the addition of a few tweaks.

You might recall a couple of years ago that a ramp employee who worked for Horizon Air, who sadly was suffering from depression, got in a Bombardier Dash 8 which was parked up in the maintenance area, started it up, taxied it out, took off from Seattle Tacoma, flew it around for an hour or so, then eventually deliberately crashed it in a sparsely populated area, because he did not want to face the consequences of the trouble he was in, in spite of ATC trying very hard to get him to land it. He had no flight training to speak of, he learned how to do all that by using the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 add-on aeroplane in a version of this same simulator. I daresay Majestic would not want to advertise this fact, but even so, that is how realistic these things are.

I might be missing something, but how is this FMC supposed to be "superior" training tool?

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