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Christopher Low

Mooney TLS Bravo

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I have now started experimenting with the Mooney TLS Bravo (sorry Tom, the Baron will remain in the hangar for the next couple of months at least), and I have noticed two aspects immediately.Firstly, I can put the aircraft into a shallow turn........and then let go of the joystick. It will remain at the same attitude throughout the turn. This certainly was not the case with the Baron.Secondly, those brakes are incredibly powerful. Is this a feature of the real aircraft ?I have just done a few quick circuits of Flying B Ranch, simply to get a feel of the aircraft. To be honest, it took me five attempts to become familiar with the glide speed and handling characteristics before I completed a successful landing at this tiny dirt strip.In fact, this is my first flight of any kind in FU3 for probably around two months. I have been rather busy with my Dance of the Planets software, trying to determine if two comets seen nearly 140 years apart are actually the same object. Some guys at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California are currently looking into this for me.Best Wishes,Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Chris,"sorry Tom, the Baron will remain in the hangar for the next couple of months at least"I have been known to use other planes myself. I am kind of partial to the ones I released... but not to the exclusion of the others. I will admit that there aren't many that I haven't done some customizing on. The Bravo is an exception... I haven't changed a thing on it. I like it just the way it came out of the box.The brakes are probably to control the weight. It is pretty heavy for such a small aircraft. The speed brake comes in real handy for controling overspeed... especially when decending... but should not be used instead of flaps... also quite handy for planting you on the runway in just the right spot. Don't forget to give it some throttle when you have it "dirty" (gear & flaps deployed). But you knew all that... sorry... just thinking "out loud". :)

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I don't think I like the Bravo.It is supposed to be powerful, but isn't the FU3 version way overpowered? If I put it in level flight and crank up the throttle to max it will just keep accelerating past the redline.I think I read that the cruise speed of this aircraft is 195KTAS but when flying it in FU3, that number seems closer to 220-230KTAS.Also the prop RPM lever doesn't seem to work when flying high and fast. Even when I pull it all the way back, the prop RPM gauge still shows 2500 RPM or more.Any ideas?

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Hey Chris,Interested in your comment about your Astonomy links,I am currently taking a degree with the Open University, in Astrophysics subjects- hard but rewarding.Have you a telescope? have a 200mm Newt its ok.Love your FU stuff BTW excellent.regards,AndyEngland

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Andy,No, I don't have a telescope. I am more interested in using my Dance of the Planets software to integrate the motions of comets backwards in time. I am currently searching for possible past apparitions of short period comets, with the help of a great book called Cometography, Volume One by Gary Kronk. This is a catalogue of virtually every comet observation throughout history, and it will help me a lot.So, what do you do in Astrophysics then ?Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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PLEASE fix the Moonie!As noted, the prop RPM stops working at the higher cruise speeds...this is a speed related issue. For realism's sake, you should always be able to govern the speed of the engine with the prop controls, albeit at risk of wrecking the engine.Also, it cruises too fast for 20" of power...if I remember correctly (been flying the 182 lately), go to around 6,000 and set 2300 rpm and 20" of power. Now, I'm nit-picking, but you should be exactly the same BUT WITH 23" of power. Try 23", and you redline the engine (like it or not) and approach the red in airspeed.Cruising and top speeds seem to be fine...and from a pilot who flies a Beech Bonanza (many same handling/flying characteristics), he says they're hard to get slow.Dan

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Cool Chris,I remember 'dance of the Planets' from a while back, but never used it.I am on my final degree year (taken 8 elapsed years cos of work comittments) and this years subjects include 'Active galaxies', Accretion in star systems, and Stellar physics. In my time with them i have done Planetary science, maths, Space and time, Quantum mechanics, and optics. good stuff, but sometimes a bit too hard for me.2 months to go then its all over - boy my wife is pleases about that!What do you do, type in the orbit stats into DofTP and let it rip?

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Andy,Dance of the Planets has a huge database of comet orbital elements. I choose a particular comet (in this case the earliest apparition of the required comet that has sufficiently accurate data), initialise the start date to the perihelion epoch for the elements in question (usually a few days away from perihelion passage), and then integrate the motion backwards very CAREFULLY. This means that I run the simulator at a slow pace for accuracy. To give you some idea of the time that this takes, a typical orbit of 1P/Halley (around 75 years) takes approximately 1.5 hours at a PACE of -100 (remember, we're going backwards here).When I have completed each orbit of a comet, I save the situation in a RESUME file. This is done when the comet reaches perihelion (identified by a click from the PC speaker).Now, DANCE integrates the motion of the comet, but it also integrates the motions of each of the nine planets. This means that the simulated positions of each planet become less accurate with time. This amounts to around one degree or less in heliocentric longitude (over a period of 75 years) for eight of the major planets, but Mercury's position can be in error by several degrees. Therefore, at each perihelion passage I re-initialise the positions of the planets to maintain accuracy.Dance of the Planets is quite simply the most impressive piece of astronomical software that I have ever had the pleasure of using. When I first purchased the software (over TEN years ago), I immediately started working my way through the entire comet database, looking for close encounters with the planets. When a comet approaches a planet to a distance whereby the gravitational force exerted by the planet is AT LEAST one per cent that exerted by the Sun, a distance indicator appears in the lower left corner. This shows the distance of the comet from the planet, and is measured in PLANET RADII. The vast majority of close encounters that I have witnessed in DANCE have been with Jupiter, and really close encounters can be fascinating to watch. When the distance indicator appears, the user can "lock on" to the planet in question. You can then "zoom in" close to the planet to get a detailed view of the event. This clearly shows how the powerful gravity of Jupiter bends the comet's trajectory, and this can seriously perturb the orbit. I have seen several comets actually pass within Jupiter's Galilean satellite system (the four major satellites).Anyway, I'm getting carried away here. The comets that I am currently integrating backwards in time generally do not make close approaches to the outer planets. This is fortunate, because any error in the planetary positions during an encounter would result in an even larger error in the long term motion of the comet.Please feel free to ask any more questions about DANCE. I could talk about it all day !Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Dan,Sorry about getting "off topic". I am not familiar with the real flight characteristics of the Mooney, and I am currently only doing circuits with this plane (I haven't even retracted the undercarriage yet). Despite everyone telling me to trim the aircraft in FU3, I still enjoy cruising around at low speeds with a high angle of attack, and controlling the rate of descent by engine power alone. I have become quite adept at doing this in FU3, and it is one reason why I find the flight characteristics so strange in FS2002. Aircraft in "that other flight sim" don't seem to respond anywhere near quickly enough to changes in engine power, which makes them almost uncontrollable using my method.Incidentally, my method may not be realistic........but who cares ?Best Wishes,Chris Low,ENGLAND.PS. I hope that someone can help you with the Mooney. :-)

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