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George Cooke

In search of an Avro Avian

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Hi there. I am trying to find an Avro Avian. Ideally I'd like the 581E that Bert Hinkler flew in 1928 from London to Australia, but am happy for any variant. for P3D or FSX. I did find an FS2004 version by David Molyneaux but was wondering if there is a payware version that anyone is aware of.

Thanks

Darren

 

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1 hour ago, dagbostar said:

I did find an FS2004 version by David Molyneaux but was wondering if there is a payware version that anyone is aware of.

Hi Darren, I am a bit of an add-on aircraft junkie and I am forever looking at what new payware is available and trawling the website listings for interesting freeware. I have however never come across an Avro Avian for FSX and I would be surprised if there is a payware version out there. You might however find that the FS2004 version by Dave Molyneaux will function in FSX, as many FS2004 add-ons do, although sometimes they can have an issue with the textures of the spinning prop. There is however a ‘prop fix’ available as freeware which usually resolves this issue.

Bill

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@scianoir Thanks for the reply Bill, appreciate it. Am currently using P3D and I tried to load Dave's Avro Avian but only the 2D panel appeared 😞 I really like bi-planes so am trying Ant's Tiger Moth but am finding that a bit of a fps hog so now back to searching. It's a shame no-one has made the Avro Avian since FS2004 as it's a well documented, pretty nice little plane. 

Cheers

Darren

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7 minutes ago, dagbostar said:
8 minutes ago, dagbostar said:

Am currently using P3D and I tried to load Dave's Avro Avian but only the 2D panel appeared 😞 I really like bi-planes so am trying Ant's Tiger Moth but am finding that a bit of a fps hog so now back to searching.

It’s a shame the Avian wouldn't work in P3D, Darren. I have Ant’s Tiger Moth and it is superb but I use it in FSX and can’t say I have noticed any FPS issues (but then I don’t usually monitor FPS unless I’m testing a new aircraft or there seems to be problems). There is also a Tiger Moth from Just Flight which I replaced with the better Ant’s version but I don’t think that is available for P3D and Milton Shupe has produced a nice freeware Puss Moth, but again I don’t know if it would be compatible with P3D although as it is freeware there is nothing to lose by trying it.
 
Sadly, apart from the Tiger Moth, there are very few classic British biplane simulations available. However if you are willing to try an American biplane, I can recommend the recently released Golden Age Boeing Stearman PT/N2S which I use in FSX and which is excellent. I know this is available for P3D but I don’t know how it would perform for you from the viewpoint of FPS on that platform. Vertigo Solutions also produced an excellent but resource friendly Stearman but again I think that is only for FSX. 

Hope you manage to find a biplane that suits your system!
Cheers,

Bill

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think there is one for P3D, as unfortunately the Avian is probably a bit too obscure for most people's tastes. Having been eclipsed by the various DH Moth types, it was once rather cruelly described as 'a failure looking for somewhere to happen', which is maybe a little unfair as AVRO did produce over 400 of them, but since there were almost 9,000 Tiger Moths built and many other preceding and following versions, you can kind of understand why the comment was made.

You might want to take a look at the Golden Age Simulations Travel Air Package for FSX and P3D, which includes the Travel Air 2000. Whilst not an Avian of course, it does work in P3D and is a reasonably similar-looking aeroplane with comparatively similar performance (the 2000 first flew in 1925 and the Avian in 1926, so they are contemporaries). You can see the Travel Air 2000 in this video I made if you fast-forward to timestamp 13:00:

 

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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19 hours ago, scianoir said:

However if you are willing to try an American biplane, I can recommend the recently released Golden Age Boeing Stearman PT/N2S which I use in FSX and which is excellent.

Hi @scianoir I've nothing against American bi-planes and have been eyeing that Stearman so think I'll give it a go 🙂

Odd question, but any advice on landing Ant's Tiger Moth? I find it just jumps and bounces everywhere (most likely my lack of skills!) but as I've been mostly flying Carenado's excellent C152 trainer I'm a bit lost on the approaches b/c of the lack of flaps, etc. Do I just go in as slow as I can and then pull back? 

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18 hours ago, Chock said:

...it was once rather cruelly described as 'a failure looking for somewhere to happen'...

You might want to take a look at the Golden Age Simulations Travel Air Package for FSX and P3D, which includes the Travel Air 2000. Whilst not an Avian of course, it does work in P3D and is a reasonably similar-looking aeroplane with comparatively similar performance (the 2000 first flew in 1925 and the Avian in 1926, so they are contemporaries).

That quote "failure looking for somewhere to happen" made me laugh out loud. Very funny @Chock!

I will give the 2000 a go. I love those huge wheels they have and until I can find myself an Avian it looks like it will do the job nicely. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, dagbostar said:

Odd question, but any advice on landing Ant's Tiger Moth? I find it just jumps and bounces everywhere (most likely my lack of skills!) but as I've been mostly flying Carenado's excellent C152 trainer I'm a bit lost on the approaches b/c of the lack of flaps, etc. Do I just go in as slow as I can and then pull back? 

Landing a taildragger like the Tiger Moth requires a different technique to a tricycle gear plane like the 152. When you say “do I just go in as slow as I can and then pull back?” you are pretty well on the mark. What you are aiming to do when landing the Tiger Moth is what is called a three-point landing which basically means reducing to a slow speed, not too far above the stall and then holding the aircraft a couple of feet above the runway by gently pulling back on the stick. As the speed drops off the aircraft should gently sink towards the runway and then touch down on all three wheels at once. In an ideal three-point landing the stall warning should sound just as you touch down. The Tiger actually has a relatively low stalling speed and if you touch down at even a few knots above that speed the plane just wants to keep flying hence the bouncing! You also have to remember that landing a taildragger doesn’t end when you touchdown and you need to keep working on the rudder to maintain directional control until you stop! 

Bill

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Another point to bear in mind when doing a three-pointer (actually this is true for pretty much every aeroplane), is that when you come in and are getting the stick back at the point you are just about to touch down, don't be afraid to get the stick back a lot; you are going slow at this point, so the elevator is not as effective because of the reduced airflow over it, so you do need quite a large deflection of the control surface to flare.

Basically the trick is to try to keep the thing flying as long as possible just above the surface of the runway, by hauling back on the stick to get the nose up, then because the nose goes up it creates drag, which reduces your flying speed and you start descending, so then you get the stick back more, to get the nose up, which creates more drag, which slows you down so you start descending, and so on, repeating this until eventually the thing stops flying altogether, hopefully when you are only a few inches above the ground.

A tricky thing with a Tiger Moth (and similar tail draggers) is that it is an aeroplane which predates the commonplace use of hard concrete runways we have these days (and indeed softer grass ones) which are on a fixed magnetic heading. Back when the Tiger Moth and other aeroplanes like it were common, most airfields were just a big field with a windsock, and so you buzzed the field low enough to be able to check the windsock direction, then came in against the wind and landed on the field in whatever direction that happened to be. That all changed when heavy bombers started being used in the early 40s; these would sink into the grass or be slowed by the drag of wet grass on a take off roll, so paved surfaces had to be employed, and since it was impractical to make the entire airfield one big concrete surface, the runway was born.

Modern airfields usually have some runways which are aligned with the typical prevailing wind, which invariably means little to no crosswind on a typical day. In the UK, the prevailing wind is usually from the West, coming off the Atlantic, so this is why the vast majority of UK runways have their alignment to somewhere around 270/09 or usually within 20-30 or so degrees of that.

As noted, since taildraggers can fairly easily ground loop and can also be a handful in a large crosswind, this is why the first military and commercial airfields with paved surfaces, looked like this:

450px-Beaulieu-04mar44.jpg

The British called this a Type A airfield layout, since the runways look like a big letter A and it was one of several standardised designs for RAF airfields built during the war, with a perimeter track around the runways so that you could simply go around the peri track until you got to the runway most closely aligned with the wind and Bob's yer uncle, that was your take off runway, and your landing runway.

But in your Tiger Moth these days, you are stuck with using a runway where there might be a crosswind. Although opinions vary on what the actual crosswind limit for a Tiger Moth is - that's because the pilot manuals for it were written when this wasn't an issue - most people would say that 10 knots of crosswind component as a sensible limit for pilots not very familiar with the type, going up to about 15 knots when you are more familiar with the handling of it.

So if you are having difficulties with landing it, keep in mind that you might not actually be doing anything wrong at all, it could be that there is a fairly wicked crosswind making life hard for you, and if that is the case, don't be afraid to do a 'wheeler' landing on the main gear instead of a three-pointer. Yes a three-pointer is the preferred technique, but the sensible thing to do with any aeroplane, is to do what is the safest procedure least likely to cause a mishap, and if that means doing a wheeler landing, then that is the right choice.

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Alan Bradbury

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Also another thing to bear in mind depending upon what control hardware you use is the wheel brakes. By default FSX will slam the brakes on full and thus lock the wheels up. Even with proportional rudder pedals with brakes, there's no feedback regarding lock-up or harsh braking apart from the visual aspect of the prop heading towards the floor!

I always enable the anti-skid command - it's mapped to a button on my HOTAS so that I can let the auto-brake function of many tubeliners do it's job.

Even with anti-skid activated, you still have to be mindful of not sticking the nose into the floor with a taildragger. :cool:

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Mark Robinson

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On ‎7‎/‎5‎/‎2020 at 11:59 AM, scianoir said:

Sadly, apart from the Tiger Moth, there are very few classic British biplane simulations available

Actually I had forgotten about one freeware gem - the Avro 621 Tutor by Nigel Richards and team. I don't think it is in the Avsim library but I know it is available in the library over at Sim-outhouse. It is a beautiful rendition (payware quality to be fair) of this biplane developed by Avro as a trainer for the RAF in the late 1920s.

Bill

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Posted (edited)

If you want a real Brit classic biplane, look no further.

This beautiful rendition of the RAF's SE5a works in FSX and P3d. It has two main versions with both the Wolsley Viper and Hispano Suiza Eight powered variants depicted with four and two bladed props. The SE5a, was frequently called 'the ace maker' and was later referred to as 'the Spitfire of WW1' because of its impact on the war. It was of course the mount of many famed WW1 flyers, including the man who - notwithstanding the 'official' records of all sides - was almost certainly the highest-scoring WW1 pilot of them all, Edward 'Mick' Mannock VC.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

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@scianoir @Chock @HighBypass - thanks for the amazing insights and advice, and great new planes. Really happy with all of that and I've learned a lot from the above posts. I bought the Stearman and am going to try flying AND landing that over the next week before looking into any of the others. Will let you all know how it goes.

Cheers

Darren

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Good thing about sims is that it doesn't matter if you crash, and in fact because there is a replay function, it can actually be quite educational to crash, then look at what you think went wrong, which is in fact one of the purposes of a flight simulator. So don't be afraid to push things and see where the limits are when in your flight sim, and let us know how it goes too; it's all very educational for everyone when talking about this stuff. Every decent pilot knows that you never stop learning. Another great thing about flight sims is that you're not strapped in, and here's a funny story about that:

When flying single seaters for the first time, there's often a bit of nerves, which is a good thing since it makes you alert to potential dangers. But it can lead to some amusing stuff too such as this...

I can remember the first time I flew a K-18 glider. This is a type lots of Avsimmers will have flown, it's a great little aeroplane and it climbs like a homesick angel when you get it in some good lift, but as noted, it is a single seater, so the first time you fly it, you are on your own. Mindful of this, the first time I flew one, I was being very careful to check everything and then double check it, so one of the things I did was to really tighten the seat straps up like crazy so that if there was a mishap on take off, I'd be well secure.

I was winch launching on this occasion, so as per the smart procedure, I trimmed it ever so slightly nose down so that if I had to let go of the controls for any reason or my hand slipped, it would dip its nose on its own and maintain flying speed. So, the winch starts cranking up and the plane jolts up to flying speed really quickly and I ease the stick back a bit to get it off the deck then keep it there while the speed builds, then I make sure the thing has plenty of airspeed and I haul back on the stick into a steep climb. Not having an artificial horizon instrument, I look at the wings either side to judge the climb angle and wind lay off angle, but I find I'm too far back to be able to get a decent view, and worse, when I go to adjust one of the instruments, I find I'm strapped in so tight that I can't reach the panel! So I have to fly the launch as best I can before eventually releasing from the cable, then leveling off, then struggle to be able to undo the harness because it is so tight, so I can then loosen it off to a more sensible setting. You don't get that stupid stuff in a flight sim! 🤣

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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