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Cessnaflyer

Manual Flying

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HeyAfter notchng up about 70 hours in the pmdg 737 I realised that I had probably become to relient on the autopilot. So i organised a fun filled day of circuits around Gatwick: Takoff runway 8R, climb to 5000ft and level of and mantain a speed of 240kias then perform a left hand pattern intercept ILS, land, turn around and do it again. It all sounded easy but on my forst attempt i had trouble keeping altitude to withing +/- 100ft of target, my speed was everywhere but on a positve note i managed to keep my heading steady :-hah I gradualy improved by the 4th circuit could:Keep airspeed withing 10kts of targetKeep atitude +/- 70ft of targetmake a flawless takeoff!Landings are still a bit shaky, i touch down fine but fail to anticipate localiser capture and as a result the approach is poorly stabalised and glideslope control leaves alot to be desired!What I would like to know is howt do i compare to other virtual pilots, steady can you keep your airspeed and altitude? Also, how would a real world pilot be expected to perform, and how often do pilots (commercial and private) take full manual control of the aircraft?Happy Flying,Dave

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Hi Dave,Sounds like you are doing quite well. This is pretty much the kind of drill I've had to do on a Jet Orientation Course. I have to say a real full motion 737 simulator is both easier and harder. I can't comment on how the simulator compares to the real real thing. Hopefully somebody else with chip in on that count. KevinAU or Boxjockey perhaps?My impressions from the simulator:One obvious reason why it is easier is because there is somebody else to do the radios, flaps, gear and select frequencies for you. However, multi-crew brings other challenges. But is is much easier keeping the scan together and only having to call for gear, flaps, navaids, etc without taking your eyes and hands away from the instruments and controls.I think it is much easier to fly a stabilised approach than in FS, but I put that down lack of smoothness and instrument readability in FS. In addition, we had to memorise the EPR and attitudes required for the cardinal configurations and speeds, this knowledge makes all the difference. Piston IFR flying is about attitude, jet IFR flying is the same just with even more precision as a 1 deg shift will be 1000' climb/descent!I think the 'real' thing is, in some ways, harder with regard to speed control because there is more specific detail in the way engine EPR and the drag curve is modelled meaning that letting the speed drop out of your scan can result in problems very quickly. EPR changes with speed, not just throttle and I was suprised how stealthily and quickly speed builds at around Vimd and how unstable speed is below Vimd...basically how quickly things can get out of shape.I was taught to give myself a 10kt buffer from my target speed. This meant no less than 240kts downwind as 250kts was the limit and aiming for no more than 10kts above the scheduled speeds for flap. On final holding Vref+15 is borderline acceptable, but not more as then you cannot land within the calculated distance. Vref+5 is the minimum and target speed on approachHolding altitude is tricky in the 'real' thing because the tail is so powerful that a slight change in speed means a you have to be on the ball with the trim. Constant trimming is required all the way after rotate to touchdown, the stick forces build rapidly as you accelerate. Also FS doesn't really represent the power coupling, the real sim created significant changes in trim on power increase/decrease. But due to the instruments being readable and smooth and realistic control forces, the 'real' thing is easier to hold an altitude when trimmed. +/- 50' is acceptable with prompt attention if it falls outside that.However, the main thing I came away with, was critical speed monitoring and control is. That was the major major difference compared to flying a piston twin like a Seneca where the IFR limits are +/- 50' , +10kts -5kts in the cruise and +50' -0' MDA , +5kts -0kts on approach.I won't go too much into asymetric flying. Needless to say FS is a very fluffy kitten compared to the simulator. My sim partner had us nearly upside down after a V1 cut. The roll coupling in a swept wing jet is vicious and asymetric circuits and approaches within the limits required with a powerful and sensitive rudder meant quite a lot of work from the pilot flying.

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>What I would like to know is howt do i compare to other>virtual pilots, steady can you keep your airspeed and>altitude? Also, how would a real world pilot be expected to>perform, and how often do pilots (commercial and private) take>full manual control of the aircraft?>Recently, the only similar aircraft I fly that often is the A321.I always hand-fly my takeoffs and landings, no matter what I am flying. I just have always done it that way.I have found that if I fly a plane a lot, such as when I flew the iFDG A320 around the world last year, I get pretty good at it. But as with your experience, it takes several cycles for me to do it well if I'm in something new.If I lay off and don't fly a plane for a while, it takes a few cycles and I have it back.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2530 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8, WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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Wow round the world in an A320, sounds tempting.I had another try at a manual circuit about an hour ago, yet again the first attempt was not too good, but this time i had it almost nailed the second time, altitude was +/- 50-60' speed was +/- 10kts. landing was vastly improved, i almost mucked up at about 100ft, i was of center line and banked slightly to correct myself in concentrating on this i flared way too late and came down at about 400fpm!Still its a visible improvement, and its clear to see practise makes perfect, im going to do at least 2 circuits manualy each day, although its back to college tomorro:-( Thanks for the replies,David

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Well you know what they say, don't you? ..... any landing you walk away from, is a good landing.Not all of mine are perfect. In fact I have a tendency to be a few feet left of centerline all the time. If I spent less time designing scenery and more time flying maybe I would be better. :)When I flew around the world I used iFDG's A320, in Grupo TACA livery, from San Jose Costa Rica, to San Jose Costa Rica...via Rio de Janeiro, ...Accra Ghana,... Riyadh SAudi Arabia,... Kuala Lumpur Malaysia,... Sydney Australia,... Easter Island,...San JoseSome of the legs were really long but an lightly loaded A320 seemed to handle 3200+ nm fine.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2530 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8, WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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I can't comment on jets, but holding speed/altitude in a single engine piston is definately easier in real life. A half inch of yoke movement doesn't make the plane dart up/down 500 feet a minute like in the sim. And trimming is easier in real life. Don't get me wrong, you can still find yourself off your desired altitude if you don't check it, but not as wildly as flight sim. And this is after 23.8 hours in real life compared to the 100s/1000s I've had on flight simulator since 1984 when I got my first copy.The best thing about flight sim is if you have a goal, you can spend 20 hours practicing for nothing. 1.7 hours in a real plane cost me $282 dollars this past Saturday. Even if it's nothing like the real thing, I am making a concerted effort to use it as much as possible to train for things I don't need the real plane for.

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>I can't comment on jets, but holding speed/altitude in a>single engine piston is definately easier in real life. A>half inch of yoke movement doesn't make the plane dart up/down>500 feet a minute like in the sim. And trimming is easier in>real life. Don't get me wrong, you can still find yourself>off your desired altitude if you don't check it, but not as>wildly as flight sim. And this is after 23.8 hours in real>life compared to the 100s/1000s I've had on flight simulator>since 1984 when I got my first copy.>If I want to stare at a simulated horizon on the monitor, I can hold altitude quite well. But I confess, I don't much care for staring at a simulated horizon, and therefor let the altitude wander, or usually use the auto-pilot for simulated flights of any distance.L.Adamson

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>If I want to stare at a simulated horizon on the monitor, I>can hold altitude quite well. But I confess, I don't much care>for staring at a simulated horizon, and therefor let the>altitude wander, or usually use the auto-pilot for simulated>flights of any distance.>>L.AdamsonI am the same way for MSFS.Today I was my first day back to school and practicing my ATP VOR approaches was not good. Granted it is an old Frasca, I better get more skilled with it because that is what is used for the interviews!

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"In addition, we had to memorise the EPR and attitudes required for the cardinal configurations and speeds, this knowledge makes all the difference."Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? What is 'cardinal configurations and speeds'?Thanks :)

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>>Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? What is 'cardinal >>configurations and speeds'?There are specific speeds for climb, cruise, approach and the flap schedules. To hold specific speed for a configuration such as 170kts, Flap 5 there is a recommended EPR, pitch attitude and fuel flow, for example something like 1.45, +6 deg and 1500 kgs/hr each side. Therefore, as you decelerate through 190kts, select Flap 5 and continue to 170kts as you approach 170kts simply select 1.45 EPR or 1500kgs/hr hold altitude round +6deg and the speed will settle at just above 170kts, then trim. 1.45 EPR might not be enough so maybe 1.47 or 1.44. But knowing this makes light work of the trial and error that you would otherwise need to work through. Knowig this means you nail the speed rather than have to play with the throttles for while loosing and gaining speed and wasting lots of fuel!It is simply a fact that FS does not really do real world power settings very well. I would suggest that you take your fave jet, set it up at a typical arrival weight and make a note of the pitch attitude, fuel flow and power settings for the key flap speeds (not the intermediate ones). Key flap settings and speeds are those you will be maintaining for 250kts clean, initial approach, holding, intermediate approach, final approach and go-around.I forgot to mention fuel flow before. In the real sim, because EPR changes a bit with speed, you could establish that you had the right power setting from the fuel flow. Other jets use N1% as the main reference, I believe this can be interepreted like fuel flow (independant of speed). Just be aware that you cannot set a power setting at any speed and expect the plane to achieve it, the power settings only make sense when you are near the target speed.

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Using set figures seems like a good way to hold speed etc.I assume depending on weight those figures change slightly?Also, apart from taking the 737 out for a spin to try and find those setings, is there any other source for me to find this info?>Today I was my first day back to school >and practicing my ATP VOR approachesWow! sounds good to me, today was my first day back to college revising Law and History, give me complicated sounding approach procedures anyday!Thanks,David

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The sim is better designed for prop hand flight than the jets.Feel of the aircraft and visibility limitations are a greater handicap for the jets.The jets accelerate rapidly and are fast movers. Changes in pitch and airspeed can only be seen and reacted to after the event.Then there is a lag due to stick input and finally the reaction displayed.The jets are designed to be multicrewed. The copilot actually helps fly the aircraft.I note the A/P and A/S can fly the jets much better than I can. Very little deviation in pitch and a/s. A reason is no lag time and commands closer to processor control.Manual flight in heavy's means A/S auto and manual roll/pitch to me. Used from about 4 mi to touchdown ILS. The a/c is designed for flight, the pilot trained for management. Manual jet in the sim means pilot "flys" and manages.Try elevator trim of 1.5 for faster response. I also increase pitch stability on some a/c, Lear 45 for example.

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