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About Cactus521

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    Flying (of course), travel

About Me

  • About Me
    I am a Software Test Engineer, living with my family in the Phoenix Metro Area. I've had some flight instruction in Light Sport and Trikes, but my main flying experience has been as a passenger, from personal and corporate travel since 1966.

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  1. I could get very sharp Ortho4XP using level 16-18, using the default source or USA2, but USA2 quit working on me. I have since quit using Ortho scenery because I find Xplane11's default scenery so satisfying, but while I used it I enjoyed it. For Satellite, photoscenery I have MSE for P3DV4 when I am in the mood. John
  2. Cactus521


    Yes, since I posted this thread last year Xplane added the Aerolight 103 and it fits my Ultralight needs just perfectly. As a former UL Trike pilot I can say the flight model is spot on, with the stall and cruise speeds quite nice. Only problem is one can not trim it well for straight and level flight, the trim bottoms out too soon so some back pressure is required to climb well or in cruise. Having not flown the Aerolight in real life, I cannot say if that is true to the real thing. The trikes I have flown were not trimmable, one used the body and arm pressure to manage cruise speed and climb speed in them which works quite well. I have a trike I made for MSFS that works from FS2002 on up to P3DV4, although it does not appear quite right in FSX around cumulus clouds. It is available in the Avsim library with many liveries and model types (with fairing, wheel pants, wing struts and without). Being a trike pilot I can say I got the flight dynamics spot on for it, but it was made in FSDS 2 way back when with no way to port it to Xplane11--lost my source when my old computer died on me last year, right before I licensed Xplane11. John
  3. Lovely freeware Legacy, looks like it is going 180 knots even on the ground. Now all we need is a Lancair IVP for Xplane, 320KTAS in pressurized comfort! John
  4. Cactus521

    make up your own mind about the clip

    I've heard London City has a very steep glide approach. My favorite airport is Santa Ana. Because of noise abatement aircraft take off steeply from there, climb to 1000 feet AGL, then cut the throttle. You get a great feeling of weighlessness. Some pilots warn of it, others leave it for a surprise. I always warned my daughter about it but she loved it. From the cabin you always hear a collective "Ohhhhhhh" from some of the passengers. Longest moment of weightlessness I ever felt was clear air turbulence just east of the Colorado Rockies, near Pike's Peak. We were warned about a few minutes before it happened from the pilot. Some of the cabin contents were floating, cups and what not. Maybe it lasted five seconds max but seemed much longer than that. John
  5. Nice aircraft. I flew on it just once, an American airlines Fokker between Houston and Detroit, lovely ride I recall, flew on it in 1995. John
  6. Cactus521

    The baby MD-11

    Great aircraft, and screenshot themes and lighting! John
  7. Nice selection of aircraft! John
  8. Cactus521

    Aileron & Rudder

    I have a couple of add-on aircraft where I have to switch tanks manually or go into fuel and payload and do an in flight fuel adjustment. I do love the realism though and makes landings more of a challenge. Anything that makes a landing a challenge for rudder input, like variable winds especially, I love because it reminds me of flying in the Allegro 2000 and other aircraft I have landed. With a trike you come in crabbed but best not to have crosswinds lest you drop a wing and brush the ground with it. I love trikes because the feedback with the wind is in your arms at all time, much like a car with finely weighted steering, good road/sky feel. Some fixed wing aircraft I have flown, especially the Luscombe, are that way. Flew an Ercoupe once without rudder pedals and I did not like it, coming in so crabbed for the landing I made in it in North Texas. Add to that, the Ercoupe has terrible useful load, although I was 40 pounds heaver then than I am today, I could probably have no trouble flying one with an average passenger today. The CFI who went up with me in the Ercoupe was as heavy as I was, and we were over gross. Nowadays there is a 1320 pound STC for Ercoupes that comply with light sport, increasing their gross weight, but performance is very poor at that weight, low climb rate as I experienced, and sluggish handling as well. John
  9. Cactus521

    Be nice to your spouse!

    Saw his pic, looks like a mugshot from some previous incident. Can picture him now on a commercial flight "This is your captain speaking, sit DOWN and SHUT UP or I'm gonna hurt you". Charles Manson looked like a saint compared to him, OK maybe that is a stretch..... John
  10. Cactus521

    Be nice to your spouse!

    I agree, the selfishness seemed to hit full swing when the seventies ended and the baby boomers became parents to children surrounded by video games, very violent ones, listening to death metal, gansta rap and so on. They introverted into their own little me me me worlds and the scary part is many of them are in college today to become our next generation of the workforce with that mindset. My wife and I raised our daughter as best we could and we were open with her about the world ahead and we forced her into social activities. She was reticent at first but then she blossomed. We did not give her a big spiritual push, my wife and I were both raised Christian but we wanted to let my daughter see the world in her own way and come to spirituality on her own, if she needed it. We have a generation of kids raised on Harry Potter who think a spell is all they need to get ahead, some dig way too deep into it. I implore people to get out, to get outdoors, to interact with the environment and real people and not sit behind a computer or cell phone all the time. I look forward to coming home to Xplane and P3D and use them for a few hours a week combined, but I really relish getting out of my home and doing things like shopping, or just driving to a park and flying a kite to amuse all the little kids and their parents. When life hits you, you need to hit back and take a time out, outside or outside of your shell if you have built one up around you. That is 30 years of being a business system's instructors advice, for what it is worth. John
  11. Cactus521

    Aileron & Rudder

    Good replies here all with the same insight as mine. The rudder can be very touchy, the best aircraft I ever flew and almost bought was a Luscombe Taildragger, it had such well harmonized controls in the sky even with variable winds and a storm moving in I felt like I was flying on a sheet of glass and the owner commented on how comfortable I felt, he only took the aircraft for landing since there was a 50 foot stand of trees at the end of the grass runway in Penn. I found the rudder most helpful on landing, to keep the aircraft going right toward the centerline without drifting left or right, just a harmony with it, no stress, let me fly the aircraft instead of letting the aircraft fly me. Then I switched to Trikes, no more rudder to worry about, the human is the hydraulics or fly by wire whatever you want to call it. If I ever buy an aircraft it will be a single place ultralight trike. John
  12. Cactus521

    Be nice to your spouse!

    Never heard this story either. When I took a driving refresher course after a minor fender bender what stuck the most was "a car is a two ton weapon". I have driven differently ever since, with my eyes out the window, staying with the flow of traffic, not worrying if my car drifts over the limit or slightly under. An airplane makes a horrible weapon or means of self inflicted injury, because of innocents on the ground especially. John
  13. Cactus521

    Aileron & Rudder

    When I took training in an Allegro 2000 I had to counter some yaw with just light rudder, depends on the aircraft and how much rudder authority the aircraft has. In climbs some rudder is needed and in descents opposite rudder is needed, not much however, just touches of it, again depending on the aircraft and also where the horz stab is as well. I have flown both Ttail and aircraft with the stab in the standard location, slightly different rudder needs for both. In turns just a little rudder is needed to coordinate the turn, the bank angle is what really turns the airplane, as I learned early on constantly I was coached "the wings turn the aircraft". On landing touches of rudder may be used, but too much rudder is hard on the aircraft, as evidenced by the JFK crash years back where too much rudder was used to counter wake turbulence. Seat of the pants learning is great for learning rudder use so your eyes do not follow the ball in the turn coordinator, it is bad to get focussed on the instrument scan ins the aircraft "LOOK OUTSIDE" as my CFI coached this simmer trying to apply poor cockpit drill learning from my sim use. He said sim use taught me well how to handle the aircraft in flight, the basics you know, i was not sharp at landing, was not use to the yawing of the aircraft due to chop and variable winds. John
  14. Cactus521

    European Airspace Navigation

    Great post! I never knew about Little Navmap, I downloaded it and just love it for preflight and setting up a flight plan on longer routes. What a handy tool, and free at that. Makes me glad I contributed free software (Landclass Assistant) to MSFS/P3D so I could get free software in return and not feel too guilty about the hard work the developer put into it. John
  15. Cactus521

    In Memoriam

    Nice backdrop, looks like the Dolomites... John