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Some pics and stories about my 747 adventure...

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Told you it would be a 'blast'!! Didn't turn 'on' the turbulence then? Catch up after my holidays :-wave Pete Ps Lining up another T6 flight, just gotta persuade the 'Mrs' to let me spend the $ :-lol

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Hello Tom,you have had the great chance to fly in a real B747-400 sim?!That must be a real and exciting challenge!!!After I had optimized the flight physics of my B747-400 in FU3 the nice australian B747 First Officer I

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Congratulations Tom!Elaborating on Ansgar's post, how did you find the simulator experience compared to PC flight simming? I know that you use several flight sims. Needless to say, the use of any of them is a prerequisite and a primer for handling the more real, full-motion sim. Still, it would be interesting to learn how the flight sim experience compares to the full-motion simulator, except for the obvious difference of the latter providing G force cues.Hans Petter

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Pete,You were right it was a blast and then some. :-hahAll 3 guys gave me some turbulence throughout the flights... not a lot. It was about normal for what you get going in & out of Denver... always some around here. Of course in the sims all the flights were from & to SFO (for everybody).On the first night (Friday) Mark threw me a curve on my 10th and final landing in the A320 (KSFO 28R) he cranked up the fog and gave me a half mile visibility. At least he let me use the AP for the 1st time since that first landing. The 1st real surprise was when I realized that that annoying flashing was my strobes reflecting back off the fog. Then he surprised me again by switching off the AP once I had the runway in sight at 100' AGL. I wasn't expecting that and the nose dropped away before I could react... I caught it and flaired in time but we got a pretty good thud on the runway.The 1st landing had been on autoland but on the 2nd he said we don't need the AP... you're the pilot so fly it. :-eek That was my worst landing... I got too far to the right... was on the runway but not by much. I think part of my problem was that I am not used to using a joystick with my left hand. But I got better with each one and at least in my humble opinion the 8th & 9th were pretty perfect. :-rollDuring my 1st flight in the 747 Dave had me doing a fairly steep decent (not during the landing) and I pointed out that we were getting awfully close to overspeed. He says no problem... pop out the spoilers. Full? Yep. But were going 340 knots? No problem... do it. Wow... that gave us some major league buffeting... and was great fun too!During my 2nd 747 flight Doug suddenly dialed in some rain... which kinda made everything blurry... and was kinda noisy... then he changed his mind and changed it to a full blown thunderstorm. It didn't look as impressive as FU2 but lightning bolts right outside the cockpit and the shaking that they induce will get your attention. After a couple of minutes he turned the storm off because he didn't want me to use the AP. That flight was all manual.Take a look at this post:http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...sg_id=127&page=I listed some of the hilites...

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Ansgar,Flying the 747 sim was outstanding. I am glad that it worked out that I didn't fly it until after I had the benefit of some really good practice in the A320 36 hours before. The 2 planes couldn't be much different but the 747 is kind of a handfull especially without benefit of the AP. I don't think I would have done near as well or had near as much fun without having had the Airbus experience first.Yes... you are very right... a once in a lifetime experience. I sure wish I could do it some more.As to comparing it to your 747... well I have to admit I haven't flown it in quite a while now. Also I doubt I'm up to date on the physics. I'll try to update it and take it out for a spin prior to the chat this week. That way I can make some comparisons at that time.I must admit I was a little bit frightened... but you can't pass up an opportunity like this. I might have been a little less nervous if Pete had told me about J Rails. :-lol

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Hans,Lets see... the motion is about more than just G force cues. On my first take off in the A320 you notice the rumbling down the runway but when you rotate and the nose goes flying up it really does get your attention. Then a few minutes later when Mark said the heck with the flight plan... we can get back to that in a few minutes... go and explore. I asked him how far I could bank... he said United's policy was to never go beyond 30 degrees... but go ahead and put it over to 45. I did. We are used to seeing the scenery and the ADI tilt... but in that sim the whole world tilts. I knew it was coming... heck I made it happen... but it still kinda shook me up. :-lol Banked over like that I looked out the left window (Pete told me to be sure and look out the windows) and looking down at the ground on that angle really gives you a sensation of altitude. :-eek And there is much more to it than just the motion. Sitting in an actual cockpit for whatever type of plane really gives it a real feel too. (I "flew" both the Airbus A320 & the Boeing 747.)http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/91803.jpgI couldn't resist buying a few trinkets to remember the experience by. These are both 1:200 scale so you can get a real feel for the difference in size. Add to that the A320 is "fly by wire" and the 747 most certainly is not. ;) That '57 Chevy is 1:18 scale and about one foot long.Check out this post for some pics of me in the A320:http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...esg_id=30&page=Now if you want to talk about graphics... well FU or FS have it beat. Well in the big sim you do have the graphics surrounding you in a 180 degree arc which gives it an edge over any PC sim. But the quality of the graphics are way below what we have come to expect. It is quite detailed at the airport and close to the airport. But the airline guys really don't care that much about anything beyond that. The rest is... well... they have mountains and bridges where there should be mountains and bridges... city lights where they belong. Mark let me do a fairly low pass (about 6,000) over San Francisco in the A320... the major buildings are there and that is about it. It would compare favorably with about FS95. It looks great from about 10,000 and up... and that is precisely where they do all their flying... the "and up" part that is. Trust me... when you are surrounded with a few thousand buttons and switches and the cockpit you are in feels as if it were attached to a real airplane doing 320 knots you really don't worry about wether the trees look real or not. ;)As to my experience in PC sims and if that was helpful... check out the post I pointed Pete to. I nearly stalled the 747 in my first flight in it. My experience in FU & FS surely came in handy then. Also computer pilots have the advantage of having some basic knowledge of flight and the control of that flight. I was feeling really good with my improvement over the time I spent in the A320... my 1st plane in the big sims. And even more so after I did so well (at least in my own opinion) in the 747. I was feeling pretty cocky by the time I was all done. I'd have given just about anything to hop into another one and go back up about then. But even then I knew in the back of my mind that anyone would have to be nuts to turn me loose in a real 747. :)I'd still love to climb into another one... no... to be honest one wouldn't do it... I want to fly 'em all! :-lolSorry you can't make it to the chat. You really need to find another job. ;)

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Tom,Your comments regarding the scenery are very interesting. I wonder if the military sims are more realistic in this respect ? After all, simulating the flight of a Tornado at 200 feet wouldn't be quite the same without trees and telegraph poles to dodge :-lolChris Low.

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Hi Chris,I'm not sure what United have installed on their A320/B747 sims, but the current state of the art commercial image generators are [a href=http://www.es.com/]Evans & Sutherland[/a]'s EP series. These are an offshoot of their Harmony IG, developed for the US military.I can't recall the exact details but I believe they're using sub-metre scale satellite imagery. Check the Harmony 2 movie on their site to see what they can generate in real time...Cheers,Rich.ps. No I don't work for them :-)

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Those look a lot better than what I saw. Maybe they had it turned down due to the Justice Department's concerns over 911. We had night time SF. The A320 was a bit sharper & clearer probably due to it being a newer sim. When I get rich enough to start putting those things in my basement I'll be sure and insist on E&S. ;)But I still say the graphics aren't the point... after a little while you have to think hard to remember it is a sim... a while after that you stop worrying about it... it is real as far as your mind cares. :) I know/I tell people... that I have flown sims of the A320 & 747. But there is a place in the back of my mind where I'm convinced I've actually flown those planes. :-lolNow if I could just figure out how to go back and do it some more. :-jumpy

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I might have been a littleless nervous if Pete had told me about J Rails. :-lol Whoops! Didn't tell you about the pressure pad by the door either...I'm due for my 2 yearly sim session sometime this autumn (fall for you transatlantic types) :-eek, (thats' on top of having to sit more exams for a 'Euro' Licence,which explains why I've not been so 'active' in the forums recently.)One thing about aviation, you never stop having to do exams of one sort or another.See you all after my holidays:-wavePete

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I've just had a dig around on United's website and found out that the sims you flew had either Rediffusion SPX-500s (built in the early '90s) or Evans & Sutherland ESIG 3350s (mid to late '90s). That would explain the difference in image quality.You'll probably find that the instructors prefer to fly in dusk/night to extend the life of the projector tubes :-)

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Pete,"Whoops! Didn't tell you about the pressure pad by the door either..."Perhaps... but I specifically remember asking you how one gets in there without having to step on the consol or otherwise making a fool of ones self. :-mad (;))

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Chris,You would have loved the A320. It is fly by wire and you don't have to mess with trim. Oh it has trim wheels... and the are constantly busy... but the computer is doing all that. Being fbw you basically point the plane where you want to go and the system trims it accordingly.However if you didn't bother to trim the 747 it would kick your butt. Of couse if you are using the AP it would do it for you but otherwise you are in for a workout. Since I wasn't using it for the most part I had to do a lot of trimming. And on a new attitude until I could get it properly trimmed it took a strong push (or pull depending) to hold the yoke where I needed it. Doing that for very long would wear you out quickly.Just thought you would like to know. :)

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Take a look up in the "Postings from Denver" forum... specifically in the 2 "Flights of fancy" posts. This guy was in the same sims I was... except that he apparently was in 400-2 while I was in 400-1. 400-2 seems to have had seats in a bit better repair... otherwise should be the same. And he got much better pictures.

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