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rodger

RealAir SF260 AP confusion

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Okay, so I bought it. :) Looks cool, flies cool. Very nice to see such smooth gauges! I also LOVE the way you can set everything (click and drag). Man, it was awesome to see that heading bug turn round so smooth and quickly, JUST as if I was REALLY turning the thing for real! What a great difference from the annoying standard FS-method where you first have to wait an hour after which things flash by in seconds. ;)But er... I don't get that AP... Not at all. Yes, I read the pdf, but it doesn't help me too much. Sometimes when I press NAV it shows up in the ARM window, and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes ROL (what's ROL anyway) comes up when I press NAV again and sometimes it doesn't. Pressing HDG switched between ROL and HDG. When I press ALT the plane doesn't react. When I press VS I sometimes see 700 and sometimes 0 and the plane won't go up or down, no matter what height I set. Well, in short: I do not understand one single bit of that AP!!! Specially all those arm modes and how to get them unarmed or working. I'm completely lost here. ;)BTW Made my first loops already and even had a good first landing. I did notice however it takes a LONG LONG time before speed goes down! It seemed it stayed above 100 forever, even though speed didn't seem that high at the low atlitude I was at. Also when on final (at 90) it took longer than I thought to reach 80 and 70. But when it did I flashed down to almost zero quickly. ;) But I managed to get it on something near 70 during touchdown. The view is indeed nice, although the wings prevent me from looking down like I am used too in the Cessna of course. Sounds are great too!BTW 2: Anyone knows how to get another one of the GPS's in the SF260...? And o yes, when switching between NAV and GPS the HDG-mode goes off: I suppose that's how it's supposed to be...? I think I should fly the plane by using HDG-mode to do it more realistic (using the heading from the flightplan...? NAV seems unrealistic because er... it just follows my flightplan without me entering anything anywhere, which seems a bit odd, or am I mistaken...? I've gotten su used to flying with GPS that I forgot how it all works with NAV... ;)EDIT!Yh, read the pdf again and it's coming back to me. Yes, you wouldn't believe it but I've flown all the populair airliners out there in FS9...! Anyway, I'm beginning to rememeber the ALT hode button, which actually HOLDS the alt... and things like that. ;) That's what you get when you fly default planes for too long!The HDG modes are still a bit of a mystery though, specially ROL doesn't ring a bell. Aren't there any tutorialflights for the SF260 somewhere out there?

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NAV follows the bug in the HSI, ROL is just the wing leveler? I don't know much about autopilots, but thats the impression I got from playing around with it...

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ROL is where when you initiate the auto pilot.. the first thing it does it ROL mode. "Wings level"

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>NAV follows the bug in the HSI, ROL is just the wing leveler?> I don't know much about autopilots, but thats the impression>I got from playing around with it...AFAIK HDG follows the bug on the HSI. NAV follows the flightplan, but I don't know where the AP get's the info from. >ROL is where when you initiate the auto pilot.. the first>thing it does it ROL mode. "Wings level"Hm I remember pressing NAV while nothing was activated and pressing NAV again gave me ROL.... Hm, anyway, when I press HDG and get ROL that means the plane will level off as soon as possible, to to speak...? SO it wil fly towards the current heading instead of following the HDG bug...?What confused me most was that I could not figure out what happens when I press a button: it seemed a bit random. Sometimes NAV is on top, and then it is at the bottom (armed). I thought that when something was armed you should be able to activate it or something, but I could not get that done.Well, I'm still confused. ;)

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Which GPS do you want? I have the stock GPS 500 in mine. Just change the line in the GPS window of the panel.cfg to read:gauge00=fs9gps!gps_500, 0,0,234,336Regards, Bob.

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Yeah, it's coming back to me... Armed modes are modes that are busy getting to where you want them to be. They don't need to be activated (as in a standby mode) but they will become the activated mode when they have reached their goal! I'm not at my FSX computer right now, so I can't check it all, but maybe someone can tell me if I'm thinking into the right direction! ;)So to let the AP climb to a certain height, you have to press ARM and then the plane will climb (or descend) to the alt set in the AP. Pressing VS let's you keep the current VS, just as pressing ALT let's you HOLD the present ALT. Changing VS is done with the - and + buttons. (This all is different from FSX-AP behaviour).Pressing HDG let's the plane follow the HDG bug on the HSI. When you press NAV at that point, NAV will be armed and start to intercept the NAV or GPS. When the plane is on the right track, NAV will go from armed to er.... wel NAV at the top. It works just like APR, when you are intercepting an ILS.Pressing HDG or NAV (depending on the mode you are in) will enable ROL mode, which just let's you level of horizontally. So when you are in a GPS-guided turn and decide you want to end the turn and go straiht forward, you should go to ROL mode.Yes, I am having big fun answering my own questions. ;)Only thing that does not come back to me, is where NAV gets it's info from... When in NAV mode, the plane follows the flightplan, right...? But how does it know the flightplan...? I am missing something here. I mean, I don't have to enter stuff into a FMC here...

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Thx! :) I want the one that's in the default Cessna 172: I guess I can simply copy the GPS line from that one into the SF260's cfg.

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The GPS I gave above is the same as the default 172. The window size and location are set to suit me. You can change the window size and location to suit yourself by editing the window. Here is my Window03[Window03]Background_color=30,30,30 size_mm=234,336window_size_ratio=1.000 position=0visible=0ident=GPS_PANELwindow_size= 0.339, 0.358window_pos= 0.000, 0.090gauge00=fs9gps!gps_500, 0,0,234,336Regards, Bob.

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>Only thing that does not come back to me, is where NAV gets>it's info from... When in NAV mode, the plane follows the>flightplan, right...? But how does it know the flightplan...?>I am missing something here. I mean, I don't have to enter>stuff into a FMC here... NAV mode on ALL autopilots comes from one of several sources. In FS, there are only two sources: NAV1 radio or the GPS.NAV1 - if you have an active VOR or localizer tuned, the AP will steer based on that signal's radial & the course knob's setting.GPS - if you have a flight plan loaded in the GPS, the AP will steer according to the fp's data.

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Another thing. If you want it to track the GPS you will need to set a keyboard command for the NAV/GPS switch as there isn't a NAV/GPS switch on the real SF260. However, setting a keyboard command will switch the NAV function to the GPS flightplan and back again. You will have to switch it back to NAV if you want to track an ILS approach. There will be no tell tale indicator for which mode you are in but it is not to hard to fathom out. The SF260 will always start in NAV mode.Have a good day.John

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"Only thing that does not come back to me, is where NAV gets it's info from... When in NAV mode, the plane follows the flightplan, right...? But how does it know the flightplan...? I am missing something here. I mean, I don't have to enter stuff into a FMC here..."You have to tune in a VOR frequency in the NAV1 radio panel and thenactivate the NAV switch on the AP to fly to the VOR. It doesn't followa flightplan though.Hope this helps,Rodger

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To add to all the other info, hitting altitude will capture and hold at the current altitude.Hitting altitude and using the right hand knob to set a desired altitude will capture that altitude and then level.Hitting VS on the top right of the AP will allow you to select your rate of vertical speed for the altitude capture - say, 500 ft p/min if you are ascending or -500 ft p/min if you are descending.As I understand it, ARM means that the AP is set but not yet in control of the aircraft. You hit the HDG or NAV or ALT buttons one more time to transfer each of these controls across to the AP once ready, at which point ARM should disappear from the LCD screen (hope I got this right - only flown with this plane and AP once). The point of ARM is to allow you to preset your preferences before, say, take-off, thus reducing your workload when on initial ascent. You just hit a couple of buttons when you are at your preferred altitude and position and the AP takes over from there.Andrew

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Okay fellows, this may sound persnickety. However, I am not trying to be. It is just the real world fighter pilot coming out in me. Screw the autopilot, fly the airplane!This plane is such a joy to fly. Why let

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>You have to tune in a VOR frequency in the NAV1 radio panel>and then>activate the NAV switch on the AP to fly to the VOR. It>doesn't follow>a flightplan though.Yes, true, I completely forgot that. I've been flying with the Garmin GNS430 during my last FS9 years, and in FSX I used the G1000 and lately the GPS500. So I completely forgot about having to manually dial in the right VOR freqs before NAV can follow them. ;)>You hit the HDG or NAV or ALT>buttons one more time to transfer each of these controls>across to the AP once ready, at which point ARM should>disappear from the LCD screen (hope I got this right - only>flown with this plane and AP once).Well, no, this is what I meant when I said it does not work like a stanby mode, like on the radios. When a mode is armed it IS working, but rather working TOWARDS it's unarmed mode. So when I fly in HDG mode and I press NAV, NAV will be armed and the plane will turn towards the NAV heading, but NAV will stay armed, in the lower screen, until it actually intercepted the VOR-radial and THEN it will replace HDG with NAV in the upper screen. So ARMED means a mode is on it's way to get there. (Still talking out of my head and not out of experience because it will be another 10 hours or so before I am back at my FSX computer...).>This plane is such a joy to fly. Why let

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On the mixture, I just do the usual and it is fine - lean it progressively and watch the RPM needle rise. Once i get to the point where the RPM starts to fall I return the mixture setting back to the point that deliovered the highest RPM - it's easy with those smooth gauges.Andrew

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Okay, well, this is in fact the same as listening to the engine. only a bit more precise. ;) But I thought you had to keep an eye on the EGT...BTW I also like the very complete checklist that comes with the plane! Only thing I'm missing is when to turn on and off specific lights. What's most realistic? In my other GA-planes I turn on the beacon just before starting the engine and I don't turn it off just before I stop the engine again. Landing, nav en strobe lights are turned on before entering the runway. The SF260 has no taxi-light, so maybe I should turn one of those three lights on sooner...? I turn them off again when I leave the runway after landing. During the flight all lights are on, although I usually turn off landinglight when I am above 10.000.Is this a bit realistic? Or am I being too precise about this all? ;)

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We leave the beacon light on permanently as a safety precaution (got this practice from the Civil Air Patrol). The reason is, is that if for some reason you forget to turn off the master switch-when you exit the plane you will immediately notice. Also, when starting up-it will warn everyone that startup is about to occur-so I'd just set it and leave it on-permanently.As far as the other lights-the Faa recommends landing lights within 10 miles of an airport for collision awareness. However, my plane has strobe anti collision lights so I turn those on -I can't rmemember if the real air has the landing lights on the landing gear but it would be impractical to lower it 10 miles out-strobes would accomplish the same. The other lights I leave off during the day time. Nav's are required on at night.I haven't used the autopilot on the real air (like the poster above I see little reason to-I also do this on my real plane except in extremely long cross countries). However, what you are describing is how these model autopilots perform.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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Thx for the info! So my beacon-usage was already good. ;) Didn't know about the Nav only at night! I understand that 1. you dont' turn the strobes on by default either, but only within 10 miles from an airfield, and 2. normally you wouldn't use strobes. So... when are they supposed to be used? Anyway, from now on I will keep the beacon on at all times and only use strobes within 10 miles from the airfield. Nav for nights, and landing er... well, I guess only when I need them (taking off or landing at night).Yes, I like to do things are realistic as possible. ;) So... my first flight will be without AP and GPS but manual and VOR to VOR. I'll use the GPS as a backup though, to see if I am going the right direction. ;) No need to make it too difficult! (Well, that has to be my second flight, because first I want to see if I really got it right about the AP!)

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I turn on the strobes when atc calls out traffic, when getting in congested airspace, or near an airport-e.g. when you really want to make sure you are seen. Mine are actually pulse lights-and they can be annoying to others when taxing around or to you when flying in clouds-so I'd have them off then.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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>Yes, I like to do things are realistic as possible. ;) So...>my first flight will be without AP and GPS but manual and VOR>to VOR. I'll use the GPS as a backup though, to see if I am>going the right direction. ;) No need to make it too>difficult! (Well, that has to be my second flight, because>first I want to see if I really got it right about the AP!)To farther confuse the issue..... :-hah Within the homebuilt/kitbuilt/experimental market; we've got some new high tech solid state auto pilots these days; that use the GPS for heading information.So.........out with the old fashioned "zigzagging" VORs and in with the new A/Ps programed to your colorized moving map GPS flight plan. Use this system as a primary function; and should you have VOR capaibility, then use it as something to pass time with, while remembering the "old days"! :-lol Just a typical homebuilt/kitbuilt panel...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/174036.jpg

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Had my first complete 'real' flight with the SF260 today (didn't have the time yesterday). What can I say... WOW! Great plane. Flew it manually above Norway and it was awesome. Man, do I love the way you have to turn the dials! It's so realistic! And quick! And smooth!Trimming is easy, setting the right RPM and so on too: what else could you expect with those smooth gauges!After landing I spend almost 15 minutes just admiring all knobs and details and turning everything around. ;) Everything is so smooth! Every knob and arrow and whatever. Even the HDG sign on the HSI doesn't magically popup when you turn off the battery: you can see it swivel down!Yes, I am very happy with the plane! :)One general question though about going down... Going up is described well in the manual and checklist, but when I have to go down, should I lower the throttle completely? Or to about 10? Or just leave it and speed on down...? What is a good descentrate and speed? Also, the prop and mixture have to on be before landing. This doesn't mean they have to be up when you start going down, I guess...?Not that this all matters much, because I completed the flight well, but I like to know how this is done IRL.BTW I did not fly VOR to VOR but used the bearing-info on the GPS to set the heading bug and followed that manually. VOR to VOR is often not possible on the trips I make. So I only use the GPS as some sort of back up/guidance/heading info (only looking at it when I really need to) and don't let it run the AP (even though I know it like my back pocket by now).There is only ONE thing that really ####### me off...: I should have bought the darned thing the day it was released... :(

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Going down takes some planning if you want to "baby" the engine.I usually start by reducing the manifold very gradually after starting the decent to keep just out of the yellow area (in calm air) but maintain maximum safe speed. As you get closer to your destination pull the manifold very gradually-reduce an inch a minute or so and time it so that when you reach the pattern or faf you are at about 15-17" (depending on if winter or summer). I usually have the mixtures full rich at 3000 ft. (per manufacturer recommendation). Put the props full in about a mile out-(in case of a go around)-they make a nasty sound that can scare your passengers so save that for last.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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Thx! (Again! ;) ) This is exactly the kind of detailed information I was hoping for. Nothing better than getting detailed info from a real world pilot. I think by now I know everything there is to know now to handle my SF260 as real as possible! :)Funny that you when focus on flying and actually got a great plane to fly, you completely forget about blurry scenery, popping autogen, low settings and the lot. :( FSX looks totaly awesome to me now!P.S. BTW Pity the on/off button positions of the radiostack aren't saved... They are on everytime I load the plane. I'd like it if I have to turn them on one by one. But maybe this is realistic too (that you always leave them on and turn them all off and on with the avionics button...?)

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As Geof mentions 3000' for mixture and full rich; it's a bit different out here in the Mt.West. At 4600' to start with, we lean right after engine start, lean again before takeoff; adjust in flight, and never go full rich to land............cause you'll loose significant takeoff power incase of a go-around.L.Adamson

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I've been following your familiarisation with the SF260 with interest. The SF260, as you are discovering, can be flown either by the seat of your pants (and brain) or with full IFR capability. The choice is yours.Personally I like to fly it with the minimum aids, to practice map reading and occasionally referring to GPS if I get lost, or shooting a few VOR navigation challenges.One thing we would have liked to emulate, but which is hard to do in FS and FSX, is the engine stress related to shock cooling of the engine when running at idle and descending. For this reason descending on idle thrust from a high altitude is discouraged. But there are no hard and fast rules about this which is why we didn't give much advice in the documents about it.Thanks for the appreciation of the handling of the instruments through our unconventional mouse use. We think it works well.Kind regards,Rob Young - RealAir Simulations

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