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About Chock

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    Her Brittanic Majesty's Kingdom of Englandshire
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  1. Chock

    Flight Replicas Handley Page Halifax

    For those who prefer an AVRO Lancaster, it looks very much like the Just Flight/Aeroplane Heaven one is imminent for release. JF have updated their 'in development' page for it and it looks pretty much good to go. Some stunning modeling both inside and out, with PBR texturing, if it's as good as their B-17F/G, it'll be a no-brainer purchase:
  2. Chock

    What do you guys think of Air Hauler 2?

    Dash 8s crossing the pond? Wow, I bet you need to seek out those tailwinds!
  3. Chock

    737 Engine Contrails

    If you mean back and below the engine outlets, that is typically where they will form in real life as they take a split second to form and are forced down somewhat by the airflow coming off the top of the wing, but if you mean offset to the side, then yup, something's not right.
  4. Chock

    Aerosoft DC-8

    Yeah, they'll probably be blowing sunshine up the a** of that one like they normally do with reviews (do they ever review anything and say it is rubbish lol?). Fortunately, in this case, they'd be right to do so, especially at its currently discounted price of about 32 quid; a real bargain for such an excellent add-on if you like flying old bangers around. Hopefully Aerosoft will make an add-on version with the high bypass CFM 56 turbofans which will give us the best of both worlds as well as being an aeroplane which is (albeit in small numbers) still operational despite those airframes being about 50 years old. On a side note about the age of those airframes and why they are still flying when contemporary Convairs and Boeing 707s have long since disappeared, the reason for that is twofold and actually pretty interesting... Boeing had famously decided to spend their own money developing a jet airliner - the Boeing 707 - because they were pretty certain that having made several military jet transports and bombers, there would be a market for a tanker and the 707 design would lend itself to that role fairly easily, which of course it subsequently did. As a result, their good relations with the military could only serve to help them succeed in the endeavour too. However, the other two US companies which eventually made similar jet airliners to the 707 - Convair and Douglas - were less convinced the airlines would be immediately interested in switching to jet airliner types and hadn't really considered the possibility of such a type lending itself to a tanker role, preferring to believe that the switch to jet commercial transport would be slow and gradual. What changed that was the arrival of the deHavilland Comet, however, as we know, the Comet suffered structural failures owing to fatigue cracking from pressurisation cyles weakening the punched rivet holes which introduced rough edges to the metal where those holes were, a situation eventually remedied by switching to drilling the holes and redesigning the windows and frames surrounding them, but alas for deHavilland, too late to garner massive sales after the damage had been done to its reputation, allowing Boeing, Douglas and Convair to capitalise (and learn) from deHavilland's misfortune. Meanwhile, the US Air Force had issued a spec for a jet tanker, much to the dismay of Convair and Douglas, both companies then having to rush to catch up with Boeing's foresight in that regard. Convair decided to go with making an airliner which promised two things; US coast to coast range, and faster speeds than anything else in the air, however, they never really managed to pull these goals off entirely successfully and although the Convair 990 is still the fastest non-supersonic commercial airliner ever to have been produced (cruise speed of .97 Mach), this came at the expense of much corrective aerodynamic redesigning and it was never really able to deliver on the range it had promised, so that was Convair out of the race. Douglas on the other hand had protested in Washington about the US Air Force's hastily issued spec for tanker prototypes, but to no avail, leaving them to have to rush the design of what would become the DC-8. But with nowhere near the level of jet transport design experience which Boeing had, and mindful of the fatigue issues which had plagued the Comet, they had to err on the side of caution in their design. Effectively this resulted in them building the DC-8 like a tank, it was very much more substantial in construction than the 707 and it was also designed with an eye on the possibility of a subsequent fuselage stretch, although some of that was more by accident than design, notably because the airlines requested that the proposed DC-8 have a wider fuselage, and that meant it had to have larger wings and tail surfaces, so it had to have a larger fuselage to accommodate those changed and as a result a taller ground clearance, which eventually also meant it could fit high bypass turbofans under the wings. the fact that the DC-8 also had less of a wing sweep than the 707 also contributed to it being suitable for a fuselage stretch too. So more able to withstand fatigue, as evidenced by a few 50 year old airframes still earning their keep, and suitable for the fitting of larger more modern CFM 56 engines, is why there are still some DC-8s flying commercially. If you like fun aeroplane facts, here's a good one about the DC-8 too: It is actually the first commercial airliner - and indeed the first ever civilian jet aeroplane - to exceed Mach 1. It did so on a test flight when researching wing design changes. And who was flying the chase plane alongside it when it did that? Yup, none other than Chuck Yeager in an F-104 Starfighter, who was of course the first person ever to exceed Mach 1.
  5. Chock

    What do you guys think of Air Hauler 2?

    Incidentally, on the subject of the Dash Eight in AH2, it's actually one of the best moneyspinners you can add to your fleet, as it is in real life and for pretty much all the same reasons as in real life. With an MTOW of 66,000, it can be flown by AI pilots which you employ in AH who have relatively low wage demands, yet it can carry 68 passengers, can operate from cheaper bases, yet it is almost as fast as a jet and has a range well suited to managing many flights per day. At just 1.8 million to lease, and 14.5 million to buy outright, And only 121,000 to insure per month, it only has to make just shy of two million per month to get well in profit, so you can set up a high density passenger route with the thing and have it earn a great deal of money from operating many flights per day back and forth.
  6. Chock

    Why Is The FSLA319 Such A Job To Fly?

    Might seem like a low V2 speed, especially to a Boeing pilot, but the Airbus A320 family is (aerodynamically speaking) a far more modern design than the 737 family which is why it can land slower and take off slower. Many V speeds are considerably lower than they are for a 737, for example, Vmca is just 109.5 knots for an A320/A319, with Vmcg being 106.5 knots. But, having said that, I do echo what most people have said here, i.e. the FSL A320 series (and indeed the new Aerosoft A320 Pro series) are very detailed and realistic simulations which do require you to do everything 'properly' in order to avoid what might on the face of it seem like weird behaviour, and that makes sense, after all, it's kind of defeating the object to buy a pretty expensive, realistic simulated aeroplane and then not be inclined read its manual thoroughly. I do nevertheless suspect that a lot of many people's issues with Airbus simulations can be laid firmly at the door of spikes from a hardware throttle, which end up making the sim think the thrust levers are not in the detents even though they look like they are locked in those detents when viewed in the VC. This is one of the aspects of the A320 where I personally think the 737, with its motorised throttles that provide better visual feedback as to thrust settings, is a superior design both in real life, and with PC-based hardware as well.
  7. Chock

    What do you guys think of Air Hauler 2?

    Yup, I can confirm that the Majestic Dash Eight (and the Virtualcol Dash Eight also for that matter) both work just fine in Air Hauler 2. I use the Majestic Dash Eight with P3D V4, but be aware that because it has a lot of fancy stuff going on, you need to use a little trick to ensure the MJ Q400 is updating its status in AH: Air Hauler (both 1 and 2) reads engine throttle settings and not condition lever settings, so you can sometimes find AH does not detect that you've cranked the engines up and started taxying, therefore if AH does not give you the 'Taxi and Take Off' message in P3D/FSX, or does not show you 'En Route', just press Control+E and AH 1/2 will 'wake up' and correctly monitor your aeroplane's position.
  8. Chock

    Avro Vulcan

    Nice pics. Probably the loudest aeroplane I've ever heard in my life. BAe used to test fly them often from an airfield near me years ago and it was always popular at UK airshows, where you could guarantee two things would happen; its thunderous noise would set off pretty much ever car alarm on the airfield and would make small children cry. Lots of nice pics of the new one from JF coming out soon for FSX and P3D here:
  9. Chock

    What do you guys think of Air Hauler 2?

    Indirectly, yes it does. For cargo operations, AH regularly generates a number of cargo jobs which have various time limits for when they need to be completed, with various sizes of cargo to be hauled to and from airports all over the world. But, all of those parameters can be fine tuned in the options, whereby you can specify the size of jobs it generates, how many it generates, the range of the jobs etc. However, since you can open bases for your cargo (and passenger) operations, it is possible to select an option to generate more base-to-base jobs, and of course you can also simply choose to only fly jobs between your bases anyway, as it will generate a lot of them if you specify that as your preference. Where passenger ops are concerned, you set up schedules between bases, and since you can open a base at any airport you like for either cargo and/or passenger ops, obviously you can choose to only open bases for which you have decent scenery. I've done all that stuff for my airline company in Air Hauler 2, so I have five bases, all of which I have good scenery for, these being Archangelsk, Liverpool, Paris Le Bourget, Almeria and Dakar, so I run a regular scheduled service with three Cessna CJ4 private jets running between Archangelsk, Le Bourget and Liverpool, plus major cargo operations between Almeria and Dakar utilising two Carvair DC-4 conversions, linking Europe to Africa. When not running these ops or flying ad hoc flights between those bases, I use a B787 and an A330 to fly ad-hoc cargo flights to wherever I fancy, which means I can get to some interesting places, although some of these I won't have fancy scenery for, but I don't worry about that too much for those flights.
  10. Chock

    who stole the plane

    Let me tell you a story which won't be giving too much away, but might surprise you with regard to security in the UK and its surveillance capabilities (and this was thirty years ago when technology was much less capable than it is now). Back in 1990, the father of a girl I went out with told me this about an incident which happened to him, and he was not given to making stuff up, so I've no reason to doubt the truth of it and the scary implications it has for just exactly who may be watching us and what sort of technology they might have to assist in that process... Between 1959 and 1963, there were, as you probably know, a series of marches to Aldermaston, protesting against the UK's development of nuclear weapons, these being centered around the fledgling CND movement, an organisation which came under the scrutiny of the security services since it was thought - not without some good reason - to be something of a left wing front with less benevolent reasons than many of CND's membership may have been aware. So back in the early 60's, this guy who was the father of my then-girlfriend, not being much in favour of nuclear weaponry, went on one of those marches, just one of them. Shortly after that, he dropped his support for CND because they had extended their remit to protesting about nuclear power stations as well, which he had no problem with, and that, so he thought was the end of the matter for him. Except that he was in Manchester city centre thirty years later, in 1990, and there happened to be a CND protest going on in Piccadilly Gardens in the centre of the City, which he was walking through, having done some shopping. A man in plain clothes stopped him when he got near to where the protesters were and said, bold as brass: 'Afternoon Mr Robinson, not marching today?'
  11. Chock

    who stole the plane

    Yes it does, but since you have to pay for it yourself, and you have to verify your ID through several systems and with personal stuff such as a bank account number, passport number, driving licence number etc, this is a very easy way for the security services to flag up anyone who is thinking of working in that environment, and you don't need to be Hercule Poirot to work out that this is an obvious way to alert the security services to an application to work airside, since the test is not exactly rocket science, which indicates it serves a less apparent purpose to anyone who thinks about that for more than a microsecond. Not everything is as it seems with security checks and related matters. For example, you might have heard the tannoy announcement on the Tube in London 'Will Inspector Sands call 100'. There is no Inspector Sands, it's a coded message which means there's a fire on the tube system somewhere; it's done that way so people don't panic all over the place. There's all kinds of stuff like that which goes on that most people are not intended to know about, you probably have some stuff like that at your company, I know we do.
  12. Chock

    who stole the plane

    Actually, that's not entirely true. Whilst it's true that on the face of it you only have to have a CRB and a work history check to get an airside pass. In fact you also have to do a GSAT exam and the airport pass office has to issue the pass after checking your submissions out. They don't make public what they do when performing that process, and the Government's security services don't make public the checks they do on anyone who submits a GSAT test, but I do know they do check things out and delve a little deeper than you are told, and this should be obvious to anyone who thinks about it for a second: The GSAT test is for the most part, common sense, there are one or two slightly tricky questions on it, but nothing you can't pass easily if you watch the training videos which precede the test, so why make it compulsory? Well, because you have to register and verify numerous personal details to do that test, and that puts you in a lot of systems where you can be checked out, for example, they can then track your banking details, which means they can check your location from where you use your bank cards, etc, etc. This can be cross referenced with other people's moves and so on.
  13. Chock

    who stole the plane

    Let's clear another thing or two up here about this incident. We've already touched on how various media outlets often report aeroplane-related incidents with wild inaccuracies, largely because of plain ignorance rather than any attempt to consciously deceive; this one appears to be garnering a few of those, notably that the guy managed to 'fly some incredible aerobatics despite having no formal training', and that he then chose to crash the aeroplane deliberately. What is making people say this? Neither of these things appear to be truly what happened. Numerous news outlets have ascribed some nonsensical 'manoeuvers' to this flight, such as 'it did an upside down loop' (whatever one of those is), and that the airliner was 'filmed' (it was recorded on video actually, but we'll skip that inaccuracy) performing a 'loop the loop' (which it clearly was not). As far as I can see from the video recording of the incident, at no point does the aeroplane ever perform a loop, what it actually does is commence a barrel roll, but when the guy realises the roll rate of the Q400 is not sufficient to complete the roll before the aeroplane will run out of altitude, he abandons the roll halfway through and switches to what aerobatic pilots would term an 'escape manoeuver', by basically performing a slightly off axis split-S to right the thing, which was probably just an intuitive decision that happened to be the right one under the circumstances. Now to some observers, that might be what they'd call a 'loop', but at best it is a half loop as a result of a badly executed attempt at a longitudinal aileron roll, which itself ended up being a barrel roll rather than what was probably an intended roll without losing so much altitude. Assuming the track we've seen of the aircraft's heading, altitude and speed is indeed an accurate one, and particularly related to its last few seconds, where the aeroplane appears to be turning on its axis in one spot several times before it impacts the ground; and given that he appears to be concerned about the fuel level from comments he transmits to ATC. All this looks very much like one of the engines may have flamed out, which is, as we know, likely to cause some massively asymmetric thrust if one doesn't do something about that PDQ. So it's my assumption that, far from it being a deliberate decision to nose the thing in selflessly avoiding the populace, it's more a case of dumb luck that the thing came down where it did, without killing anyone in the process, probably as a result of an unrecoverable spin owing to the low altitude and the guy's inability to recognise the dangerous prospect of that occurring if one engine gives up before the other one does owing to fuel starvation. Without some genuine FDR data or confirmation that the flight path data we've seen is accurate, some of the above is obviously a bit of an educated guess, but certainly some of the reporting has been ridiculously inflated in relation to the guy demonstrating a mysteriously impressive level of skill, and it's not even certain that he deliberately wished to kill himself either; he mentions wishing to apologise, which might seem like a farewell, but he also mentions jail time too and jokes about being offered a job if he lands it. Not only this, he also says he doesn't want to go near a military field for fear they might have Triple A. Do these sound like the comments of someone resigned to death?
  14. Chock

    Flight Replicas Handley Page Halifax

    Here's a video of it I made for you so you can judge for yourself a bit. Nothing fancy, but it gives you an idea of what to expect. Notice how long it takes to get airborne, it does feel very much like a heavy bomber in that respect and the engines sound like they are working hard to pull it into the air: On first appearance, it looks a bit like a 'cheap and cheerful' add-on, but that's only because texturing is, I think, not Flight Replicas' strong point, as you might know, particularly if you've got either of their other big vintage four engined props - the DC-4 or the North Star - both of which also have paint jobs which are rather flat and lifeless. In my opinion the liveries you get with Flight Replicas stuff are too clean as well. But, fortunately this is an easy fix and one which quite often requires nothing more than to download some better paint jobs if you're not inclined to have a go yourself, as I've done on occasion, for example on this, their DC-4-derived Carvair, which I painted up to make it look like it had some skin stressing and I daresay I'll have a crack at that for the Halifax too: So, the very clean liveries on the new Halifax were not much of a surprise to me given that I'm used to it on their other stuff and kind of expected that, however, as with their other aeroplane add-ons, I know that under the somewhat less than impressive paint jobs which they tend to sport, they are certainly interesting aeroplanes with, whilst not absolutely everything simulated, enough in there to make them fun to fly and operate, as well as being quite often on subject material which other developers tend to bypass. This is certainly true of the Halifax, which tends to be overshadowed by the more famous AVRO Lancaster, one of which is coming soon from Aeroplane Heaven along with a Heinkel He111-P2 and a C119 Flying Box car, so there's some other nice old props to look forward to. A nice thing to note with the flight Replicas Halifax though, is that in comparison to their other big prop add-ons, the Halifax is considerably less pricey (it cost me £16.95 from Just Flight's store, which is about half what I paid for their DC-4 and their North Star). At that price, I must admit I wasn't expecting it to be terribly well endowed with features, but I was actually pleasantly surprised on that score, i.e. it can actually drop its bomb load, has working superchargers and has a few different variants in there (including the post-war civilian BOAC passenger versions), with different virtual cockpits for those variants. The Flight Engineer's panel is there and whilst this is a bit simplified in comparison to the real thing, it does have some functionality and perhaps more importantly, the pilot's position has most switches and levers actually working too. But what impressed me perhaps more than anything, is that it sounds pretty good and flies really well too. Now obviously I've never actually piloted a Halifax, since there are only three of them left in the world and none of those are in flying condition, but having seen the AVRO Lancaster - which had virtually identical overall performance to the Halifax - more times than I've had hot dinners, since the RAF's BoBMF preserved Lancaster is a frequent visitor to the NW of England's skies and I always turn out to see it whenever it does fly around. So, I know very well how the Lancaster looks and manoeuvers in the sky and the kinds of sounds it emits, and the Flight Replicas Halifax really does manage to do a great job of evoking that performance in every part of its flight envelope, so it certainly does not fly like it only costs £16.95. The fact that it does that so well makes me easily forgive the less than stunning paint jobs, which can be easily improved DIY anyway. As far as the sounds go, some of these are custom-made, a few are from their DC-4, and some are default sim sounds, but in any case they do make it enjoyable to listen to and whilst they might not be recorded from Bristol Hercules engine, I have actually seen and heard one of those running in real life and it's not a million miles off what I recall one of those sounding like, so I'm happy enough with its audio. For 16 quid, it's well worth having in my opinion.
  15. Chock

    who stole the plane

    Your assessment may or may not be true, but it seems to have escaped your notice that you are making a sweeping generalisation about journalists when criticisising the notion that she is only interested in making a sweeping generalisation about people who play video games. Which is more than a little ironic don't you think? Now granted, I know plenty of journos and used to be one myself for a long time, and it's true that many of them are self-serving, but I can promise you that they're not all like that. I certainly wasn't, but I'll also grant you that the pressure to tow the editorial line was one of my own motivations for leaving that job, so whilst I can say they're not all like that with confidence, a lot of them certainly are. I guess we'll find out when the presses roll.