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Christopher Low

Opinions wanted on these FU3 features

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1. BEECHJET WEATHER RADAR......is this still unique, or has it been equalled/surpassed by MSFS, Fly2, and/or X-Plane ? Do these other sims have a lightning detector incorporated into the weather radar ?2. BEECHJET LANDING LIGHTS.....are these particularly impressive ? Is the pulsing nature unique ? Are they better/worse than their MSFS/Fly2/X-Plane counterparts ?3. BEECHJET AUTOPILOT.....Is the "smooth" autopilot still better than those in MSFS/Fly2/X-Plane ?Chris Low.PS. There is a reason for all of these questions :-)

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Chris, to be honest I could not find a Beechjet for FS that does fly like the FU3 aircraft! I could only compare it with the Lear which has very "funny" characteristics like trying to flip nose-up on its back when the spoilers are applied.I also did not see any "stock" FS aircaft with more than the standard landing lights. However, I know many things can be modelled into FS aircraft. A while back I mentioned the Nihon Aircraft Manufacturing Company (NAMC) YS-11 - you fly it like it should be done or the engine(s) really comes to a grinding halt if the temperatures and all that are not nursed, as with the real aircraft, very realistic! Thus not being there doesn't mean it can't be done.> "smooth" autopilot I'm not sure what you mean by this, there are many "things" behind using an autopilot that can make it either smooth or rough...Let's see what others will answer as well (even a link to a "good" freeware Beechjet for FS would be appreciated ;-))Pieter

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Pieter,You misunderstand me. I am not trying to compare the FU3 Beechjet with any MSFS/Fly2/X-Plane Beechjet. I am looking for opinions on the actual devices mentioned. Is the FU3 Beechjet weather radar better than ANY weather radar in MSFS ? How do the landing lights compare to those on ANY plane in other flight simulators ? Do you understand what I mean ?As for the autopilot, the "smooth" description refers to something that Peter James mentioned in his "Beechjet secrets" article. He stated that autopilots in other flight simulators were "violently sloppy" (whatever that means). In other words, are autopilots in FS2004 vastly improved ? Do they match that of the FU3 Beechjet ?Chris Low.

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Chris, to the best of my recollection I haven't seen or used any weather radar in FS. Landing lights? They tend to be a brownish beam that washes out details rather than enhancing them. I'll try again in FU III as well as FS2004 but I have generally avoided them. I like to retain my night vision and go by runway lights rather than by the landing light beam.The "violently sloppy" AP could be the jerky hunting for the ILS beam that we had in FS98 when clicking "APR". In other words, the AP would overshoot and correct the course several times before running a stable heading. Also, when setting a heading the aircraft would be pulled around in a violent manner -- lack of damping and max turn rate. These are much better in FS2004.best regards,Hans Petter

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Hi Chris, with FUIII,Fly!2 and Msfs 2002 on my hard-drives (as well as IL2 and LOMAC :-lol) feel I can comment some!!"1. BEECHJET WEATHER RADAR......is this still unique, or hasit been equalled/surpassed by MSFS, Fly2, and/or X-Plane ? Dothese other sims have a lightning detector incorporated intothe weather radar ? Still pretty unique,there is a similar radar in Fly!2, but for Msfs there are programmed add-ons that make use of the FSUIPC interface by Peter Dowson, but thats pay(extra) stuff, "2. BEECHJET LANDING LIGHTS.....are these particularlyimpressive ? Is the pulsing nature unique ? Are theybetter/worse than their MSFS/Fly2/X-Plane counterparts ?"Umm imho the Fly!2 lights are best,MSFS ones are hard to beat,especially with the unrealistic tilt and slew options!The pulsing lights are available in FUIII and Fly!2"3. BEECHJET AUTOPILOT.....Is the "smooth" autopilot still>better than those in MSFS/Fly2/X-Plane ?" Both FUIII and Fly!2 auto pilot functions are better than MSFS,but Msfs has easier unrealistic interface,again,this can be put right by panel makers:-wavePete

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Pete wrote: "Both FUIII and Fly!2 auto pilot functions are better than MSFS, but Msfs has easier unrealistic interface,again,this can be put right by panel makers".The basic FS AP looks pretty much like the one I've seen in jetliners. As its function is concerned you pre-set a desired altitude, define a climb rate and go ALT hold soon after take off. In FU III we always have to level off at the present altitude first -- once in ALT mode you can scroll the altitude setting and start climbing but it always starts with holding the current altitude.I believe different autopilots work in different ways. Further I believe that the FU III autopilot is typical for smaller aircraft.Hans Petter

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Chris, please don't hold is in suspense any longer... ;-)PieterPS is there a way to mail me that BeechJet weather phenomena file? No matter how I set the weather, I can't get the engines to flame out!

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Pieter,Send a quick note to the e-mail address listed below, and I will send you the weather file.Christopher.Low@btinternet.comChris Low.

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Hans,So the pulsing landing lights in FU3 are still some of the best available in any flight simulator ?Thanks for the information regarding the FS2004 autopilot. I will assume that this is now as smooth as the one in FU3 (I need the opinions of others for this, because I have never used the FU3 autopilot) ;-)Chris Low.

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Pete,Thanks for the information. So the weather radar is still one of the best available in any default flight simulator ? Add-ons do precisely that....they ADD ON money !So only FU3 and Fly2 have PULSING landing lights ? Do you consider these to be extremely realistic ?Hmmm...so is the default autopilot in FU3 superior to that in FS2004 ? How does it compare to that in Fly2 ?Chris Low.

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I think all of the FU3 aircraft have the same hard-wired (i.e. coded) autopilot, but its implementation is different on different craft, especially with altitude hold. So in the Beechcraft, I can switch on altitude hold, then dial up the required altitude. Easy. In the 'Baron' you 'capture' the current altitude when you select altitude hold, but you have options to program in rates of ascent or descent from that start position. I can testify that APR, NAV, HDG, SPD etc modes all work correctly, with amazingly few limits or bugs even under harsh handling.One difference with a real plane's autopilot is that it doesn't model the long term oscillations that a real autopilot includes. That is, it is slightly overdamped and grabs the correct altitude extremely firmly. I understand that the long-term oscillations are deliberate in real life, whether to give less overcontrol in rapid change situations or whatever, I don't know. But FU3's AP is a supersmoothie, in a league with Marlon Brando and James Dean, and better than real life. Its very hard to knock off its stride even in rough weather, although it will switch off correctly if the turbulence is outside its limits. So as a flying guideline, don't use your autopilot when flying in storm cells! (But of course, never fly in storm cells anyway, since FU3 models these very well, and your plane can suddenly turn from a winged machine to a wingless rocket).Here's a challenge - try flying through a storm cell with your attitude indicator disabled. Keep your speed low (to encourage your wings to stay with you on the flight), look for your turn indicator to keep level, and its possible. Essential to have environment sound level set to shrieking. Not recommended for beginners on first solo.Which has got nothing to do with autopilots.Cheers,RobD.

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Hello Chris,hello Robert,concerning the autopilot of FU3 I can tell a bit about... ;-)All the AP functions and their paramters are set in the planes Res-file!I must tweak this parameters at my B747-400 extremely since the standard values of the beechjet sure doens

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Dear Ansgar,Have you ever written anything down regarding the AP damping values? You mention they are in PID format, which kinda makes sense. In fact, they should be easy to master if that's the case.As to coments regarding FU3's 'rock solid' AP, I believe it may be critically damped for the B400 but not necessarily optimised for anything else (the Bravo's is very smooth). I have tried some chamges with my aircraft (GeeBee, Dash-8, L-13 and DHC-6) with wildly differing results (because I didn't know what did what). The GeeBee is absolutely rock-solid. In fact, almost any changes I made sent it spinning wildly :-eek Maybe overdamped - but so light it doesn't matter? :-rollAs one progresses to larger aircraft, the proportional 'band' must be widened to compensate, otherwise the aircraft continuously oscillates back and forth (mostly up and down actually). At this point, it would be good to lengthen the '

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Jon,I don't know much about the autopilot, but I do know that I would love to see the ground handling of the Dash 8 improved. It surges forward like a Ferrari when power is applied :-eek It currently feels far too light on the ground. The acceleration should be slower, as befits a plane that is rather heavy as far as FU3 is concerned.Is this something that can be done ? I find it rather uncontrollable on the ground at the moment.Chris Low.

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Chris, the real Dash 8 DOES surge forward like a Ferrari,each engine has @ 2000 horsepowewr to play with !:-wavePete

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Chris,There is unfortunately no way that FU3 can truely simulate the Dash. Fanda's (Oleksiy Frolov) Dash 8 for MSFS is the only way to really experience this aircraft! ;-) I'm not going into all the detail here more than saying that the prop settings and the pilot control of the Dash on ground can't be simulated in FU3 ("During the taxi Dash-8 is normally steered

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Pete,No, what I mean is something more subtle. The ground handling of Jon's Dash 8 (and I apologise to him here if this sounds offensive) reminds me of the planes in MSFS. When a certain power level is reached (which is not much more than idle), the plane does not gradually start moving....it leaps forward. That can't be right...can it ?When I increase power in the Beechjet, the plane starts moving slowly. It really feels that it is struggling to overcome inertia. In complete contrast, the Dash 8 feels like it's on ice :-eekChris Low.

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Chris,Pieter has it quite right. The Dash-8 is modelled as a piston engine with constant-speed props. I did play with the 'beta' control aspect but found it too touchy. Specifically, the 'zero' or 100% feather point was VERY narrow. One requires finer control around zero than at either end but this was not possible. If someone would like to try it, I have version of the flight model which does this as I wanted to model reverse beta. The standard model varies pitch between 0 and 20 degrees, the modified one between -10 and +20 (with different prop settings to compensate) but it's real hard on the ground - if you think the standard one is touchy...A couple more things:* Yep, on the ground, both the Dash-8 and DHC-6 steer with a handle (which, as one Dash-8 pilot said, was rather 'dicky'). After witnessing a crosswind landing from the right seat of a DHC-6, I realised that the nosewheel isn't engaged until you reach a very low speed, although the pilot said that many times he's decided to leave it engaged during takeoff as using the brakes to steer seriously increases the takeoff roll.* In the real thing, the ECU regulates engine power automatically. In our case, we can't do that but I adjusted the settings so she doesn't move at idle but moves off withh just a couple of 'taps' on the throttle. In this respect, think of the throttle as the pitch control. As you increase the pitch, the engines must produce more power to maintain a constant prop speed. BTW, it's 2500shp each engine ;)* On the ground, I agree that the Dash-8 needs more drag. Not much but a bit more. Of course, this requires readjusting the engine model settings. I believe I got closer with the DHC-6. Any comments? * The pitch control in FU3 is fairly slow, limiting precision somewhat.* The Dash-8 is due for re-release soon. I had to recreate the entire plane from a Baron as there was something amiss with the cockpit and TFT couldn't edit it (I could, but only on my original PC :-( ). I will post a message asking for input (not this thread) shortly.:-waveRegards,**************Jonathan Point**************"I'd rather be down here wishing I was up there than up there wishing I was down here"

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Yep thats' correct Chris, the Dash 8 will taxi around quite happily just above 'idle' setting, the reason for the behaviour is quite simple really. As Pieter and Jon say, the engine fuel setting is controlled by the EEC, (engine computer) in ground 'beta' range, the 'throttle levers' are then giving you direct control of propellor pitch,at low forward speeds a propellor is more efficient at moving air; silly statistic coming up....for each single revolution of the prop, an air mass the equivalent of 2.5 tonnes is on the move !!Contrast that with the Emb145 jets that I also taxi around,(both aircraft are roughly the same weight) it needs a good half-throttle or more to develop enought thrust to ,as you correctly say, overcome the inertia, then the throttle is moved back to 'idle' and you have to keep your feet on the brakes to stop it getting toooo fast!! Jet engines take time to develop thrust, and likewise to reduce thrust,with a (turbo)prop its' more instantaneous.:-wavePete

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Pete,Sorry to labour the point, but there should still be a feeling of "weight" involved as the plane overcomes inertia.Chris Low.

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Chris,Yes, I agree but exactly how did you intend 'feeling' it? Having to throttle-up over a threshold, then the aircraft moving off and accelerating (requiring you to throttle-down slightly) is about as much 'feel' as one can get without a motion platform!Actually, few platforms actually model any movement at all during this phase although I remember once where I throttled-up to move off before releasing the parking brake. I hadn't noticed the nose bearing down as I applied throttle (it's hard to tell anything when you attempt to fly a high-powered military aircraft with no training...) and, upon releasing the brake, the platform shot up about 12", I hit my nose on the glare shield and my headphones fell off. It was totally embarrassing ;) All this said, I'll repeat what I said yesterday; if you can suggest how you would like it to work, along with any other changes, I'll put them into the next flight model. As you can understand, engine/prop response (around idle) and ground drag interact a lot. A small increase in ground drag will require at least 50% throttle to move off, yet makes little difference once rolling. The biggest problem many people have with ground control in the Dash-8 (and DHC-6) is leaving the prop on '

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I still don't fully understand why the Dash 8 surges, but I found the same points being made in a recent computer pilot magazine article, that turboprops do surge in taxiing once past a critical AOA on the propellor blades, so this is realistic, and that pilot's are constantly using reverse pitch to keep the speed constant, leading to the distinctive noise on a taxiing turboprop - the wahh..wahhh...wahhh noise. Anyway, congrats to Jon for modelling this effect so well given the piston limitations of FU3.

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