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So, what's the compatibility of RC4 with the speeds, altitudes and particularly the ATC's decent instructions with regard to the Concorde? Any problems or special settings I need to pay attention too when I finally fly this new bird?Randy Jura, KPDX

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Hi Randy,I tested RC4 using the PSS Concorde but there should be no difference between the two versions of this great aircraft as far as RC4 is concerned.During take-off and climb out you can't exceed 250kts whilst in FAA airspace so if you're lightly loaded with fuel then I would suggest manual control of the throttles (still with reheat on of course) but keep N1 to around 95. For trans-Atlantic routes then you should be okay with max thrust on take-off and just adjust your climb rate to stay at or below 250kts.Initially I tried setting my cruise altitude to FL280 - the optimum sub-sonic altitude for Concorde and then made repeated requests for higher once past the Accel point. However, this lead to some pretty frantic activity whilst trying to control the aircraft especially on shorter hops where the climb rate is very high with low fuel loads.So I now input FL570 as the cruise altitude (anything up to FL590 is okay) and adjust my climb rate so I don't achieve FL280 until the Accel point. If you get up to FL280 too quickly and you're cleared higher this may not be feasible if you're still over land. You'll get further clearances to FL290 and FL350 but after that your next clearance is to your cruise FL.I found that leaving the PSS Concorde on Max Cruise gave me some problems with RC as the autopilot tries to maintain Mach 2 and if that means descending slightly to maintain that speed then you get told off by RC4 for busting your altitude - quite right too.So once at Mach 2.0 which generally occurs around FL500 I engage Mach hold and adjust the climb rate to 100-200fpm. This is more than enough to satisfy RC4's requirement that you're actually climbing. Once at FL570 Alt Hold is automatically engaged and you can leave her to fly without further input.RC4 will start you down pretty much at the right time. Switch to Spd Hold and enter 350kts and start to descend at 3000fpm. I know in theory you should maintain altitude until 350kts is achieved but you will get told off if you don't start down immediately.You still have to achieve your crossing restriction of 40 miles / FL110 or FL120 (11,000 / 12,000ft) from the destination airport. I always include a 40 mile waypoint in my plan to assist with descent calculations as Concorde didn't have a FMC of course. But the INS has the option of showing how many minutes you are from your next waypoint so it's easy to use that to determine if you need to adjust the descent rate or not.The only problem I've found is not being able to tell RC4 I want to be at a certain waypoint at a certain altitude to guarantee I'm sub-sonic 30 miles before a populated coastline. The KJFK-EGLL route is a classic example where I'm still too fast too close to the north Devon coastline. Maybe adjusting the descent rate to 4000fpm during part of the descent would get around that problem.Once down to below 10,000ft you're treated just like any other aircraft so no faster than 230kts on the downwind leg and 210kts on base.And if you're flying a British Airways livery don't forget to select your special Speedbird Concorde call-sign. That really makes you stick out from the sub-sonic crowd.:-beerchugHope that helps!Cheers,

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Thanks Ray for your learned tutorial. This obviously is going to be rough going for a number of flights for me, but I dont mind.Randy Jura, KPDX

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Randy,It was for me so don't depair if at first you don't succeed. Hand flying Concorde is a delight once you have adjusted to its characteristics. Keep auto-reply and auto-tune on in RC to ease the workload. I also employed the services of the Virtual Flight Engineer for fuel balancing so if the SSTSIM has the option then use it. Pilots fly the aircraft - they have no need to do the FE's job too :-)Come back if you have any further questions.Cheers,

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What is the possiblity of Block Altitudes being available above a certain altitude. With SSTSIM Concorde's need to vary height to maintain M2.0 I would prefer to be able to alter my height + or - 1 or 2K ft. Otherwise RC goes crazy with admonitions regarding my altitude. ie I am at FL450 and requested FL 470 but a/c settles for while at FL460 meanwhile RC is going on about me assigned FL470.Peter

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Hi Peter,Probably not much chance of block altitudes being made available just for one aircraft type. That would involve substantial code change. JD could confirm this.You can easily keep RC happy and keep your passengers happy by engaging mach hold at M2.0 and setting a climb rate of 100fpm manually. That works for me.Cheers,

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Just tell RC you are going to be a little high or low due to turbulence. That works for me all the way to the decent.

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