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David B

Curious, Why do folks not like the L188 Electra

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After the release of the PMDG DC-6, it reminded me of how hard I tried to Lobby Mr. Randazzo for a PMDG

Lockheed Electra.  I did the same to Scott at A2A.  With the Captain of the ship, I felt like the Electra would have been a perfect segue from the Connie.

Same with PMDG, when I saw the detail, of the DC-6...I thought how cool would it be to have an Electra at that detail too.

It was not too happen.  About the only reason I could think of, is that most of the Avsim community had no interest.

Yet, I recall when a while back, KPT released their Electra, folks were raving about it.

Even now, Just Flight etal, released a Viscount, DC-6 . yet, they are any other dev, have stayed away from the Electra. Big part of history IMHO.

I'm just curious. Why don't folks like the Electra?  If a dev offered a study level Electra, you folks wouldn't be interested?

Does everything now have to have a darn magenta line?   

Now before I get the standard...you want it...you design it nonsense.  I have tried many times, to develop something.

Just doesn't click for me.  Even if I were lucky to accomplish that monumental task, I wouldn't have a clue

about how to fix the bugs.  Hence I hope that a dev will come along at offer a plane I love. FSW Marquise comes to mind for me. I love the MU-2.

Based on Milviz statements re their "Solitaire" announced back in 2013, I'll have to be content with the FSW "Marquise"  Hope that I will see it in FS2020 someday.

Even in P3D, a Lockheed MArtin product...there is no Lockheed Electra!  Anyway, I'm just curious of the dislike of this beautiful plane.

Enough dislike it seems, as any dev feels like it is not worth their time. IE No good sales.

Just curious.   There are some pretty good vids on YT re flying the Electra. Check them out sometime, perhaps some folks may change their minds..

I can hope.





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The main reasons people don't have much love for the L-188, is that it had a very troubled production run owing to some bad design features, so it is eclipsed by other aeroplanes which didn't suffer that fate. Like the DH Comet, if you ever see a TV show about it, it won't be celebrating its venerable service for years, it'll be all about the ones which broke up in the air owing to a design flaw.

As you probably know, the Electra had to have the engine location altered owing to a resonant frequency making the thing very loud for passengers in the forward cabin. It wasn't the only aeroplane that's ever suffered from that of course ATR-72s aren't exactly a haven of serenity if you sit near just forward of the wings, but when they relocated the engines on the Electra to get rid of that resonant sound frequency, the designers then created an even worse problem - rotation flutter which the propellers could induce from another frequency at certain RPM settings - which then began to resonate with the engine mounts and the wings, to a point where the wings would be shaking so much that they separated from the airframe. This was the cause of I think two or three fatal crashes before the completely understood causes were discovered.

This entire disaster cost Lockheed well over one hundred million in law suits and modification costs to the existing L-188 airframes - and this was in 1961's money -  so you can multiply that $100m figure by about 24 times to put that cost in a modern context. That put an end to the Electra, but it was also not helped by competing aeroplanes without a reputation for breaking up in the air, such as the Viscount, Vanguard, IL-18, Britannia etc.

So it's a bit like the Comet in some respects, it pioneered some stuff, but in doing so, it also revealed the potential for design flaws with new types and systems, then ended up getting redesigned to the point where it was actually pretty decent, but by the time that happened, the damage to its reputation had been done and it became one of the planes people don't talk about, unless it's part of a conversation about their troublesome development.

With regard to sim versions, I think there might be some freeware P3 Orions about, and that is I seem to recall a development of the Electra, coincidentally in much the same way as the Nimrod was developed from the Comet.


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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Chock, Thanks for the history lesson. Well aware of all you mentioned.  I should have been more clear.

Stated why don't folks like the Electra in flightsim....Question was answered to my excitement by coastaldriver.

Just got to get KBT on board.



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I guess there is no harm at this point in giving some more information about the updgrade. Both the Cargo and Passenger version are done!

I would like to say that this upgrade is not a 'study level' model. It is pretty close and there has been some very clever programming xml work done by the team to get a lot of systems functioning. The major limitation was the 3D modelling of the original VC - that is there were only a limited number of spaces for switches, instruments etc for us to work with. For example, lighting and exterior lights were a significant problem, the older FSX and MS2004 models used specific fx effects and mostly texture files to change lights this is why the adaptation of FSL Spotlights to get the cockpit and panel lights working properly (and Cabin illumination). The whole thing had to be reconfigured to be 64 bit and xml compliant as well for P3DV5. Most critical annunciator lights are now functional as well. So you can drive this with a mouse and click spots without any problems at all. 

Reproducing the behaviour and performance of the Allison 501-D13 turboprop was a major challenge. The way this turboprop worked is significant to operating the aeroplane and its performance. This turboprop (or the Military T56 as on the C130) ran at high speed rpm then reduced via a gearbox and then was further controlled via the props. The fuel flow and hence power was controlled via an automated system that kept the prop speed constant (and quite low at 1040 RPM) hence the torque gauges measuring horsepower. The low idle mechanism controlled the power on the ground and hence kept the engine rpm and thrust down. Low idle is switched off for TKOF but the low idle warning lights will not go out until the engine passes predetermined thrust parameters. All these gear boxes got quite hot hence the oil cooler flaps (In the original these were electrically switched but in the model they are controlled via the flap settings) Engine start and shutdown began and finished with Engine #4 because it carried a very big generator that would power the entire aircraft. The outcome is you do not worry about prop control (There is only ground idle/beta/and reverse) but flew the aeroplane on HP output. You could go to max HP per engine of 3900 HP for 5 minutes on TKOF but had to reduce power after that to avoid over temping the engines. From there on in you just left them alone until on descent. Another quirk is the Fowler Flaps, these are set to 2 stages or TKOF setting you cannot use a single setting but had to be reduced to 1 stage basically as the aircraft passed 500 ft and the speed accelerated to 167 knots. Effectively you will be flaps up by about 1000 ft AGL and well on your way to the climb speed of 220 knots. The aircraft is limited in cruise to 362 knots because of the original prop resonance issue so while it could have gone over 400 knots Lockheed reduced the speed and hence the airframe prop fatigue problem. The aircrafts climb rate is robust and it will easily manage 3000-2000 fpm all the way to its operational ceiling of F240. It could go a lot higher but they did not have drop down oxygen masks so hence the altitude limit. A lot of time and effort went into getting the Flight Dynamics sorted and these are completely new air and aircraft config file as are the mdl files.

Another interesting peculiarity is that its fuselage and carrying capacity was a basic copy of what the Constellation could do but a broader cross section and tapered plan form wings. Most were configured to about 60 passengers though up to 90 was possible but the issue here was you could carry fuel and passengers but not large amounts of both so if you fill the cabin you have to reduce the fuel load to about 55% or less. The model always loads to full both which of course puts you seriously overweight so you have to set the fuel and pax load accordingly. 

There are two pop ups one is the AP and the other which is freeware FMS-GPS. We could not incorporate the controls for these into the VC completely due to the 3D modelling issue. There is autofeather and arming switches. 

We would really like to make this available so here is hoping that KBT will respond and give us the go ahead!


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Posted (edited)

Lastly just a few more screenshots:

The Wombat 


An early VC shot but it shows the weather radar on (This is also a freeware guage that actually works properly as a WX Radar should)


Lastly we all did this work because we recognised the potential of the original model. KBT did a great job in designing and building the Electra in the first place. We all did this because of our affection for the Electra and wanting to see it continue on in the new sim. It will of course be freeware in the spirit of KBT's original release. That's about it for the time being. 

Edited by coastaldriver

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Folks, I've removed a number of posts for violations of our screenshot policy.  Please read it, it's located in the Rules and Policies drop down at the top of the page..

We have users on low/limited/metered bandwidth connections that don't want their bandwidth spent on a bunch of embedded pictures when they're reading the forums.

Bob Scott | AVSIM Forums Administrator | AVSIM Board of Directors
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