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jmig

Landing the F-18 and erratic nose gear steering

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I enjoy flying the F-18, but when I make a normal landing I find it extremely difficult to keep this jet steering properly after applying the brakes and the speed drops below where the rudders are no longer effective. I usually end up sliding sideways or end up backwards on the runway. I am an experienced sim pilot and have flown in the real world, but this behavior is very unrealistic for an A/C with nose gear steering. Of all the planes in FSX, this is the only one I can't keep straight upon landing.Have any of you experienced this? If so, is there a parameter in the A/C folder I can tweak, and what value should I set it to. Is there anything else I can do?Thanks,Bill

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I have no problem with steering the F18 on the ground during t/o or after landing. I've double mapped my rudder axis to the steering tiller and rudder input in FSUIPC and am not using FSX's joystick input.Have you checked your axis mapping, or temporarily tried the keyboard equivalents to experiment?Etienne

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Yes, I have that problem as well. When landing the f-18 and I apply the breaks the plane looses control? Are you not supposed to use the breaks when landing? is there reverse thrust or something?

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or something?In the real world a parachute.My first question on brakes - are you using pedals which allow you to apply different brake pressure rather full brakes all the time?

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oh ya, lol, forgot about the parachute. No, I don't have pedals so i can't apply different break pressure. I guess that's my problem - is there any easy way around this with out buying pedals?

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I had some problems like this at first but it was just a matter of my joystick sensitivity and null zone settings on the rudder axis. The F-18 does seem quite sensitive though, it doesn't take much input.

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Ya, I would suspect issues with joystick calibration. I'm not having any problems bringing the F18 to a stop:1) When landing, keep the nose wheel up until you are about 80 knots.2) You should have deployed the speed brake.3) Let her roll out down to 60 knots before applying brakes.4) Don't slam the brakes. Tap 'em.IANATG (I am not a Top Gun) but that's how I do it.Cheers,Maverick

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Thanks for your responses.As to calibration, I have a Cougar Joystick with Hall sensors, so I have not had a need to calibrate for a very long time.......as it works great in Falcon 4.0, IL-2, and a little sensitive in FS9, and FSX, except for the F-18, which is hyper-sensitive. Compared to other sims, Microsoft sims always exhibit over sensitive flight models - which I can live with, except the F-18. All the tail draggers are less sensitive than the F-18.I was hoping for a suggestion that would permit me to just modify the F-18 characteristics, such as a cfg file found in the F-18 folder, so I don't have to "tweak" my joystic/throttle/rudder set for just one airplane. By the way, I have a separate set of rudder pedals, designed specifically for the Cougar that plug directly into it.Bill

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Bill, I fly the F-18 with a CH Products Fighterstick, Pro throttle and, rudders. I don't find it it be over sensitive at all. I did have problems with the nose wheel going full left or right at one time. A recalibration of the rudders took care of that problem.You can change the rudder sensitivity in the cfg file. At least in pre-Acceleration aircraft you can. I have not looked but assume the F-18 is like other cfg files. Be aware that if you change the rudder sensitivity for taxing, you change it in the air too.Another approach is FSUIPC. This program allows you to fine tune your controls for each aircraft. I use it exclusively and turn off the controls in FSX. I think it costs about $20. Well worth it, IMO.

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John,I don't think I will modify the rudder settings as the rudders are probably ineffective below 60 or so knots, but nose gear steering and braking, I believe are the primary issue causing this behavior.Below is a copy of a portion of the F-18 CFG file relating to braking. I notice that differential braking comes on while braking, particularly when using the rudder pedals, and this is when the A/C starts to go erratic. The settings below are default, so I'm wondering if I change the differential_braking_scale setting from 1.0 to 0.0, this might help. In fact, I will try it later today and play around with different values.I did look for nose gear steering, but I didn't see it in the CFG file.......I'll look again.[brakes]parking_brake = 1 //Parking brake availabletoe_brakes_scale = 1.7 //Brake scalardifferential_braking_scale = 1.0 //Delta on the amount of brake when the rudder pedals deflectedauto_brakes = 0hydraulic_system_scalar = 1 //On brakes dependant on the hydraulic system, ratio hyd system to max brake hyd pressureIf you have any other ideas, please let me know?Thanks,Bill

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"I don't think I will modify the rudder settings as the rudders are probably ineffective below 60 or so knots, but nose gear steering and braking, I believe are the primary issue causing this behavior.. . .I did look for nose gear steering, but I didn't see it in the CFG file.......I'll look again."Taking your second statement first:"I did look for nose gear steering, but I didn't see it in the CFG file"That's because there isn't an entry for nose wheel steering. Ground steering is coupled to the rudder pedals (not toe brakes, rudder). Therefore the first statement should perhaps be modified to read:". . . as the rudders are probably ineffective below 60 or so knots, except for nosewheel steering."R-

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Ron,You are right, there is no nose wheel steering in the CFG file. I also looked into other aircraft with nose wheel steering such as the CRJ and Lear. They didn't have entries that I could find either. I believe most military jets, at least the F-16 does, has a button you press to engage nose wheel steering. This feature is not implemented in FSX and I'm not sure how the real F-18 handles engaging nose wheel steering? It was suggested by others in this thread I use a drag chute. I don't believe the F-18 has one since it has a tail hook that can engage wires at either end of the runway incase of a brake failure or other problem. I've been to many air shows (Miramar and Reno) and watched many F-18 landings, but never a drag chute landing. The F-18 has excellent landing characteristics. When I experimented with the Lear and the CRJ, I noticed that all I had to do is initiate braking, and it tracked straight down the runway from touchdown until stopped, without having to use the rudder pedals at all. However, with the F-18, it tracks straight until the speed drops to approximately the 60 knot range. At this point, I absolutely have to get on the rudder pedals as it begins to veer either right or left, and it then becomes a wild ride until I finally stop, usually facing 180 degrees in the opposite direction, and sometimes off to the side of the runway. Of all the planes available to me in either IL-2 1946, Falcon 4.0 AF, FS9, and FSX, they range from excellent handling to at least manageable. Although the FSX F-18 is great to fly, unfortunately, the experience is spoiled by it's low speed steering and braking characteristics. BTW - I also tried a number of different values with the following parameters in the F-18 CFG file (braking section) to no avail.toe_brakes_scale = 1.7 //Brake scalardifferential_braking_scale = 1.0 //Delta on the amount of brake when the rudder pedals deflectedThe toe_brakes_scale parameter seems to affect the stopping distance. But I did find a combination of changes that reduced this problem somewhat, but at the expense of increasing the stopping distance significantly.My next step is to look at some other parameters, or hopefully someone will come forth with a solution that works. Thanks,Bill

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>You are right, there is no nose wheel steering in the CFG>file. Acrtually there is. Look under CONTACTS and see thispoint.0=1, -18.00, 0.00, -6.60, 1600, 0, 0.6349, 75.0, 0.2000, 3.5, 0.6100, 3.0, 3.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0The seventh parameter is steering angle in degrees. In this case the nose wheel turns 75.0 degrees. The original OP was talking about the turning on landing. I had it also and disabled the line under BRAKES section..//differential_braking_scale = 1.0I use a twist stick (no rudder pedals) and this seemed to work for me. Still takes care but by not turning the stick I can apply brakes and be ready to release them the moment a yaw starts to show.Phill

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Yes, many fighter type aircraft use a control stick button (on the F-4 it was the bottom front button, just above the AP disconnect paddle)to engage nosewheel steering. FSX doesn't have that.The F-18 doesn't have a drag chute. Besides, it won't help you with steering. A drag chute is used to slow the airplane on landing. The F-18 used aerodynamic braking which, is a big word to say that pilot keeps the nose high after landing until 100 knots or so.Have you tried increasing the NULL value of the rudders? This will give you a bigger dead zone. Your rudder pedals may be too sensitive and sending spikes to FSX.Hope this helps.

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Phil & John,Thanks for your comments.Phil, did you modify the steering value in the following? point.0=1, -18.00, 0.00, -6.60, 1600, 0, 0.6349, 75.0, 0.2000, 3.5, 0.6100, 3.0, 3.0, 0, 0.0, 0.0I did comment out "//differential_braking_scale = 1.0" which didn't help out much.John, I did make the NULL change to the rudder setting, but didn't help either. As to spiking, my rudder pedals utilize a Hall Sensor, which unlike "pots," do not cause spikes.I may have to live with this issue, but it is too bad the ground handling during the landing phase is so sensitive. I've flown many real planes, including tail draggers and nose geared aircraft, and every Microsoft sim I have ever flow has always been way oversensitive with rudder and pitch axes compared to a real plane. Unless you have a cross wind, nose gear planes are a breeze to keep straight once you have touched down and you are below stall speed. Not so with the F-18, which is very unrealistic.Bill

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i totally understand you Bill, i see some people saying they dont have problems, and they gotta be kidding, because it is impossible to land the f-18 without sliding sideways. theres no way you can land it perfectly like any other jets, even if you turn your rudder controls off, or increase its null zone to max. it gotta be bugged or something.

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Is there any way you can borrow someone's rudder pedals to try on your sim? Did you add the hall sensors? I have looked at doing that for my cockpit but, I have never found any that would work and that I could afford. Beta Innovators had some that worked with the Plasma card. But, he dropped MSFS support with FSX.

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Fael,Afraid I'm gonna have to agree with those who are pointing at your input device. But rather than just tell you that I can't find a problem with the FSX F18's steering characteristics on landing, here's a video I made of it landing at Edwards AFB:http://youtube.com/watch?v=pFXH7X1d6YwI use the Saitek X52. Best joystick I've used.Cheers,Kevin

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Hi All,I'd like to address 3 individuals above specifically, but before I do, let me state something first.Basically, I have a high end joystick/throttle/rudder combination. The Cougar joystick and throttle combination is made by Thrust Master and has been modified by me by adding 3 Hall Sensors to the pitch and roll axis, plus the throttle axis. In addition, I have replaced the stock gimbals, with an Uber II Nxt mod that eliminates a lot of issues inherent in the original design. The rudder set, made by Simped, a company from Germany, is specifically designed for the Cougar and it comes with a built in Hall Sensor. So basically, I have a high-end device, with approximately $1,000 invested in it. Except for the FSX F-18, it works very well with two well know combat simulations (Falcon AF & IL-2 1946), plus all the aircraft in FS9 and FSX, with the one exception.1) fael 097 - you and I are in complete agreement. You have the same issue.2) fsxmissionguy - while you have not experienced issues with your Saitek X52, an excellent stick, I don't believe I have an issue with my input devices, given that it works for all aircraft in 4 very popular flight sims with the exception of the F-18. I just can't explain why.......which is the reason for posting my original message. It seems logical to me there is something fundamentally wrong with the F-18 flight/ground model because it behaves this way, unlike the other aircraft in FSX.3) jmiq - Since I don't have another set of pedals, and because my pedals work well with all other planes in all my sims, I see no reason to go further with other hardware as I'm very happy with my existing stick/throttle/rudder system.I will continue to look further into what tweaks that can be made. However, I do have one question, does the SDK that comes with the Deluxe version of FSX have a description of all the parameters in the aircrafts.CFG file as to what their definitions are?Thanks for you help,Bill

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Bill,I understand your frustration. I've read through this thread a couple of times, and the reason that I posted the video was to demonstrate that with a pristine install of FSX SP2, using a joystick that is widely used, the problem you describe doesn't seem to be the result of a flawed model.If there was a flaw in the flight model causing this problem, it seems to me we'd see it over many installations, regardless of the combination of hardware.I don't recall this issue ever being raised during beta or usability testing. (Not saying that this is proof of anything, just passing along my experience during that process.)So, I realize that you're stumped on this one, but I think focusing on the aircraft model is going to end up being wasted effort.Just my opinion though.Cheers,Kevin

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I've noticed this too, it is easy to ground loop the F18 heheEven if you are taxing at 10 kts, and turn a sharp turn the whole plane just tilts one way, I don't think they do that. At least the F16's I watch almost daily in real life don't

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Ryan,See the video here:http://youtube.com/watch?v=pFXH7X1d6YwI don't detect any abnormal body roll during these taxiing turns.PS: You must be wearing your big azz watch to counteract G forces on taxi turns. Do you have your big azz watch on?

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Yep, just what I thought. Your big azz watch is on the wrong wrist. Try the other wrist.

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hah! I did watch your video too....the watch part was funny....but so true rofl!

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