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RandallR

Staying in Trim

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Once get airborne, how do you keep your aircraft level at a certain altitude with continuing to climb or descend. I can't seem to keep my airplane level. Can anyone offer any advice please feel free to do so. Thanks alot.

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use your autopilot! :-lol but really....use the trim keys! then just trim the aircraft so that it will fly pretty much level. but with any wind at all, you will have to correct it at least a little;) think that the defult trim keys are num1 and num7. but i have programed my contols so that one of my rocker switches is my trim....works much better than the key board!anthony

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I usually trim the aircraft with the wheels on my joystick. Is there a downside to doing it like this instead of trimming the sim? Just curious.John IvanENHD

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>I usually trim the aircraft with the wheels on my joystick. >Is there a downside to doing it like this instead of >trimming the sim? Just curious. >Not that I know of. I'd just consider joystick trim wheels to be the same as mechanical linkages of a real trim wheel. I use buttons on my joystick because I prefer electric trim in real planes, but in the end, they still serve the same task.L.Adamson

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Airman,Trimming aircraft can be difficult and takes patience - but, if you don't start with the proper technique, you'll end up "all over the sky". Also, different aircraft respond differently to trim inputs, so you'll need to develop different approaches for some aircraft.First of all, remember these items when considering changing speed, climbing and descending:1. Throttle changes altitude2. Elevator changes speedObviously, both of these work together, but those are good rules to remember. For instance, to descend you would pull the throttle back, then adjust your pitch with the elevator until you maintained the speed you wanted. Then, you would adjust your trim settings so you wouldn't have to hold on to the controls.To climb, you would open your throttle to a proper rpm, then adjust your pitch to set your speed, followed by adjusting your trim to hold that climb angle (and maintain that Indicated Airspeed).To level off (in most aircraft), lower the nose to both maintain that altitude and accelerate to cruise speed. Once you reach cruise speed, pull back your throttle to set proper RPM, Manifold Pressure, N1 - whatever is appropriate for that aircraft. Now the fun starts. :-) Once you do this, you'll find you need to add or remove back pressure on the yoke as the plane responds to the power change. When you have her where you want her, apply trim to hold it there, allowing you to remove your hand from the controls.Trim wheels (as I've seen them on simulator controls) will get you close, but change the setting too much for fine control. For that purpose, as some have mentioned, assign some buttons, rocker switches, etc. to the trim functions on your yoke or joystick. One quick keypress up or down will then allow you to make minute adjustments and maintain altitude or speed when climbimg and descending.A few special comments:Be sure to download, if you haven't already, the Flyhawk and Pilatus fixes from Rob Young. These make quite a difference in the flight characteristics of both of these aircraft when it comes to handling, performance, and trim response. The Flyhawk autopilot does not include Altitude hold, so learning to trim her out is real important. Once you have her trimmed, she will still descend or climb slightly. that's actually the way the real aircraft behaves too - I let her climb about 100 ft. above my cruising altitude, then give the down trim button a "tap". After some time passes, she will descend to 100 ft. below my cruising altitude, so I'll give her a tap up.For all the other aircraft you can use the autopilot (if you wish) for altitude hold, but some aircraft still require special techniques to handle their flight characteristics within Fly! When cruise-climbing, I use settings that vary from 800-2,000 fpm, mattering on the aircraft I'm flying. When I get about 1,000 ft. from my assigned or chosen cruising altitude, I begin to bring the nose down to reduce my climb rate to around 500 fpm. For the aircraft that have vertical navigation (VNAV) on the autopilot, you can simply dial in the new rate. This will really help the APs on some aircraft capture the altitude without oscillating all over the place.For the Pilatus, you'll have to greatly reduce power also, or you'll just keep right on climbing, even with the altitude hold actvated! As you approach your cruising altitude, reduce to 500 fpm. When you are about 300 ft. from cruise, pull back your power slowly and steadily all the way to 15-20 on your Torque reading. Once the aircraft settles down and the AP can keep her from climbing, begin increasing torque slowly, allowing the AP to adjust. Eventually you'll be screaming along and the AP will have her right on altitude.Sorry about the very long reply to your short question, but trimming has a little more to it than just "press this button here".

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Nice post, Randall! The only suggestion I have is for the climb procedure.In propeller aircraft, establish a climb by first pitching the nose up until the desired climb speed/rate is established, then add climb power, then adjust the trim to maintain that speed/rate.Pitching first for climb speed and then adding power will prevent the possibly of exceeding redline on the engine RPMs.John

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