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JRBarrett

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About JRBarrett

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    Member - 2,000+
  • Birthday 11/09/1955

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Elmira, NY
  • Interests
    Aviation - Computers - Sailing - Golf

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    VATSIM
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  1. In the late 1980s US Air operated Shorts 360s as a shuttle between our local airport and their (then) hub in Pittsburgh. The airplane is a turboprop with a square fuselage - it looks like a flying shoebox, and the ride under the best of circumstances was not very comfortable. One night the flight arrived from PIT and had apparently encountered continual moderate to severe turbulence enroute. Of 19 passengers on board, all but one got violently airsick. No doubt when the first few lost digestive integrity, it set the rest of them off... The FBO night watchman was an older gentleman (retired Marine) who had the contract to do the cleaning on the shuttle flights that stayed overnight. When he saw what he had to deal with, he asked for (and received) $1,500 from US Air to clean the cabin. (That’s almost $3,600 in 2021 dollars). That would have purchased quite a few hours of flight instruction for one night’s work!
  2. Indeed. Navigraph charts are exactly the same Jeppesen charts used in r/w aviation, and are just as complete and current as the ones a Jeppesen subscriber would receive in the official Jeppesen FliteDeckMobile app. The “flight simulation use only” warning is to prevent a real world aircraft operator from trying to use Navigraph charts in an actual airplane in lieu of paying thousands of dollars for a Jepp subscription. That’s not to say that someone might not try getting away with it, but if the FAA ever caught someone doing that, they could probably kiss their pilot’s certificate goodbye.
  3. That is the Honeywell Primus 2000 - (different avionics manufacturer). Though it bears an outward resemblance to the Collins Proline 4, and is of similar vintage, the operating methodology is quite different - especially the FMS.
  4. Yes, although from a distance the Global looks very much like a CRJ, the “innards” are very different. The fuselage is indeed the same (except the wing attach points).
  5. The Global flight deck is about as different from the CRJ as it is possible to be. The CRJ uses the early 1990’s design Rockwell Collins Proline 4. The newer Globals use the Collins Proline Fusion which is a 2010 design, and has absolutely no commonality with the CRJ whatsoever, even though it is also a Collins product. The Fusion uses 4 large format flat screen monitors. Older Globals use the Honeywell Primus 2000. That type of flight deck has been done on other add-ons in FSX like the Eaglesoft Citation 750 and FeelThere E145. The Global fuselage is very similar to that of the CRJ, but the wings, engines and avionics are not even remotely similar.
  6. It was an X52 (several years old) yes, the cable definitely plugged in at both the throttle and the joystick ends. The USB cable from the joystick to computer was hardwired, but not the throttle to joystick.
  7. A friend of mine had a Saitek controller that used the same interconnection for the throttle. In his case, the cable wasn’t damaged, it became lost when he moved house. We were able to find a mini-DIN/PS2 cable on Amazon for $9 that worked fine as a replacement.
  8. Live weather does inject visibility into the sim environment. I have verified this by monitoring the simconnect variable AMBIENT VISIBILITY when Live Weather is active, using the simvar watch utility from the SDK, and it definitely varies. The problem is that the only internal settable function in the sim for visibility is “aerosol density”, which does not directly correspond to visibility expressed in units of miles/km or yards/meters. Aerosol density does not go “thick enough” to produce true low visibility conditions. The sim can simulate fog, but only by putting a cloud layer on the ground. Sometimes it looks convincing but other times not...
  9. I assume because the cloud graphics system is tightly integrated with the MB model, which covers a very large horizontal and vertical area with multiple layers and weather “cells”. If the model indicates a solid overcast at 3000 feet AGL over an airport, and the current METAR says “clear” you would probably end up with a circular “hole” in the model-generated cloud deck surrounding the airport. Interpolating clouds between METAR and the model forecast is undoubtedly an extremely complex task, that could lead to some really unusual graphics, so I am not surprised they have not tackled this area yet. Using METAR for wind, temperature and pressure is easy, because those values have no visual impact (except perhaps the wind effect on vegetation or water bodies)
  10. Where winds aloft (specifically) are concerned, there is no such thing as “real world weather reports”. All winds aloft reports used in actual aviation flight planning come from predictive forecast models no different than what MeteoBlue provides in MSFS. Upper level winds (in the real world) are only directly sampled/measured every 12 hours by weather balloons and satellite observations which feed any one of several computer models. The model used for an official aviation weather briefing provided by the FAA will be the GFS - in Europe the model used will be the ECMWF. Canada also has their own government weather model, which will be the source used for a weather briefing there. If a real world airline flight plan forecast from KJFK to KLAX shows that the “expected” upper winds over an enroute waypoint (example VHP VOR) at 34000 feet will be “253 at 92”, that does not mean that when the aircraft gets to that point, that is exactly what will be encountered - both the direction and velocity might differ.... sometimes slightly, sometimes by a greater amount. All r/w airline pilots are aware that the upper winds in their flight plan documents are predictions - not actual observations. Simbrief uses the NOAA GFS forecast model for upper winds. Although there are often discrepancies between real world airport surface weather and the airport weather in MSFS because MSFS does not use the cloud and visibility parameters from METAR reports, I have found that the upper winds in MSFS are usually very close to the forecasts from other models like the GFS and ECMWF. The only time this is not the case is when the LiveWeather server gets stuck providing 3-day-old weather as happened two weeks ago. I absolutely agree that MSFS needs to have a function where you can retrieve the actual conditions set by LiveWeather for your destination airport before you arrive. You can, at least, use real world METARS to get the destination wind, and have the assurance that the destination wind will be the same because LiveWeather does indeed use real METAR reports for surface wind direction - so at least you can plan (in advance) for which runway you will be landing on. But, clouds, precipitation and visibility might be very different than what the current METAR shows. Even current accurate METAR reports don’t always tell the whole story. My local airport is located in the lowest part of a valley, and in autumn, it is very subject to developing thick ground fog. The visibility can go from 10+ miles to zero in less than 15 minutes if the temperature drops a couple of degrees more than the TAF predicted. Our company aircraft have had to divert to alternate airports on more than one occasion because the “latest weather” report when they were 30 minutes from landing showed VFR, but when they got ready to begin the approach, it had changed to below minimums LIFR.
  11. The only entity that could provide databases compatible with the RXP units would be Garmin. They already do that indirectly, because whenever they release an updated version of the Trainer, it will usually have a newer database version than the previous version had. But it is never a current database. It will always be at least a few months old when a new Trainer comes out.
  12. As others have noted, METAR reports only apply to the immediate airport vicinity. The various parameters will be accurate for the exact moment the observation was taken, but not for “real time” conditions that may change over the hour or so until the next observations are taken. (If the weather changes significantly between regularly-scheduled observations, an updated METAR will be issued). Obviously if an aircraft is approaching an airport to land, they will receive an update from ATC regarding the current wind direction and velocity, as well as the current altimeter setting, but since there are no “live human” ATC controllers in MSFS, any reports would be based on the current METAR in any case. METAR cloud information is limited. It might report a solid overcast at 3000 feet, but there is no indication of what “kind” of cloud it might be. It could be a thin stratus layer less than 1000 feet thick, or it could be the base of a cumulus congestus associated with a major storm system that is 20,000+ feet thick. Scattered or broken clouds will be reported with their actual altitudes, but there will be no information as to what might be above a solid overcast. The main thing that pilots want to know when looking at a METAR is whether the airport is VFR, IFR or low IFR. For that reason, many METARS will not report clouds above 6000 feet. There might be a solid overcast, but as long as the cloud layer is well above VFR minimums, the METAR might simply report “CLR”. Likewise for visibility. If it is 6 miles or greater, the METAR might simply indicate “P6M” or “10SM”. The visibility might be exactly 6 miles (or 10 miles) - or it might be 80 miles - there is no way to know.
  13. That will never happen. Since Jeppesen is an authorized provider of r/w navigation databases for Garmin GPS units, they obviously know how to encode the data in Garmin’s proprietary format, but that format would be considered a “trade secret” and subject to NDA. The only way Jeppesen (or Navigraph) would be able to offer a Garmin-compatible database for flight simulation would be if Garmin specifically authorized it, and there is no way they would ever do that. It’s not just that Garmin would have concerns that owners of real GNS systems in real airplanes might use the flight sim version of the database in the real GPS systems to avoid paying the standard subscription fees, it would also be of major concern to the FAA. Operating databases for real aircraft navigation systems can only be provided by vendors which hold a Type 1 LOA (letter of authorization) from the FAA, and whose databases are certified in accordance with a standard known as DO-200A which has stringent requirements for the accuracy and integrity of the databases. It would actually be illegal for any entity not holding such certification to create or distribute a database that (potentially) could be used in a real world GPS or FMS, even if the database was marked “for flight simulation only”. Garmin and Jeppesen obviously hold such authorization, but Navigraph definitely does not. Although Navigraph provides databases for dozens of different flight sim add-ons and utilities on all major platforms (FSX, P3D, XP and core nav data for MSFS), there is one flight simulator for which they do not, (and cannot) provide a database: the Aerowinx PSX 747-400 sim. The reason they cannot do so is that in addition to its use by flight sim hobbyists, PSX is also FAA-approved for use a procedural trainer for real world 747-400 flight crew training. PSX is used by Boeing, Atlas Air and others for this purpose. Navigraph’s agreement with Jeppesen prohibits them from selling databases for any product that can be used for real-world flight training.
  14. There is a Rockwell Collins STC that can give a CRJ full WAAS/LPV capability, but is is a very expensive upgrade, and AFAIK very few airline CRJ operators have opted to install it. Indeed, most “standard” CRJs require the pilot to fly the vertical profile of an RNAV approach using vertical speed mode.
  15. A WAAS LPV approach can often give minimums as just as low as a CAT I ILS, and is flown the same way, except the “glideslope” is referred to as a “glidepath”, and the guidance cue on the PFD will be magenta instead of green as when flying an ILS glideslope. WAAS/LPV (unlike standard ILS) requires no ground-based equipment, so an LPV approach can be established at airports where a full ILS would not be practical for technical or economic reasons. My local airport has four runways. Two runways have ILS, but all four runways have an LPV approach, and the LPV on the two runways that also have ILS exactly duplicates the ILS glideslope and has the same minimums.
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