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Found 181 results

  1. Normally, cylinder head temperatures, spark plug fouling, torque, carburetor icing, vapor lock, superchargers and supertanker sized oil comsumption at speeds that send you right to sleep isn't much to get me excited. But sometimes, you just need a change of pace after reading an airline biography that mostly seems to deal with the formative and exciting years when aeronautical progress moved at the speed of every new exciting flying prop-driven contraption devised, financed and introduced into service. (Yes, books still work as a source for inspiration. Who'd have thought?) Anyway, why not take the evolutionary peak of those aeronautical dinosaurs for a spin and throw some economy into the mix while one's at it? Well, enter the DC-6A. Unlike the swan song airliners of its era with its engines that exhibit equally swan-like touchiness (do not mess with these avians, ever!), you can probably take a sledgehammer to the airframe and its R2800s and still fly around the world - if you take enough oil along, that is. Anyway, the DC-6A/B works in FSX with the usual model-related drawbacks (prop disks vs clouds) and after some more modifications (new, experimental autopilot; automixture gauge; textures converted to .dds files; MI Tool installation), "Douglas Freight"'s DC-6A in vintage American Airlines Cargo colors is ready at Burbank and waiting for its first assignment. The mobile phone buzzes. "Please get 13112 lbs of unspecified cargo to Grand Junction and do not mess up. It's already ready for loading. Bye." Burbank - Grand Junction. Out of the busy L.A. metropolitan area and over a whole lot of mountains. 570 nm. 2+ hours at economy cruise. Well, alright. Actually, the plan was to channel the 50s and go to Tulsa just like AA did back in the day, but apparently dispatch couldn't find suitable airway maps from back then. So GJT it is. No need for a GPS today, since the navigator's seat is occupied by LittleNavMap, a capable android that doesn't talk, won't pull pranks and doesn't consume any beverages, leaving more for me and myself. The right seat is occupied by Otto's brother Otto (name spelled backwards; terribly creative family). Inflatable, flexible, used to be in the weather observation business in the armed forces before hitting it big with his cargo driver job here. A bit shy, but never judges and never complains. Nice wife, too. Flight engineering has to be done by yours truly since I have an engineering degree and the boss is scottish. Since this is a modern company, a loadmaster is not on the payroll. Outsourced. Tough times indeed. Still, the cargo sheet books 600 lbs for the crew, regardless of occupancy. No, I'm not that large. Most of it is oil for the engines and other...things (ssssh!). Anyway, while the ground service personnel loads the cargo and contrab-...other things without violating any center of gravity regulations, I plot the route. Owing to the limited avionics aboard, routing is old fashioned - navaid to navaid. No waypoints or standard approach/departure routes. To stay clear of other airspace, the first fix is the NDB in El Monte that serves as a beacon to Pomona VORTAC (POM) while keeping me away from the San Gabriel mountains, which is not the most unpopular location for involuntary disassembly of man and flying machine. After that, it's a turn northeast toward Daggett VORTAC (DAG), trying my luck to leave as much of the terrain above and below me (this would become a very short-lived career otherwise). Should the plan not work, my contingency is following State Route 210 and then taking a left turn onto Interstate 15 through the valley before slumbering on - just need to make sure not to stop at red lights or for traffic (lack of airspeed is apparently not popular with wings). Singing overrated, stereotypical songs, the next fix is LAS VORTAC. No technical stops. ("Had to inspected the roulette gear and blackjack lines. No more money for fuel. Kidneys already sold. Send help!") After that, it's straight onward toward an apparently well-smelling or tasting VORTAC (MMM) not too far from Lake Mead. Cutting right through Bob Marley Nationa-...erm, Iron, Lion, Zion National Park, is the (air)way to Bryce Willis Canyon VORTAC (BCE). While already pretty well covered by tough terrain, on the leg toward Hanksville VORTAC (HVE), the peaks of the Aquarius Plateu constitute a welcome invitation to turn an engine out situation into a spontaneous invitation to camping and mountaineering trip (provided the apt pilot finds a place to park). Finally, skimming the northern tip of the Canyonlands National Park and roughly keeping alongside the Grand Valley, the last fix is Grand Junction VORTAC (JNC), before it's a quite literal dive into the valley to land at the destination, Grand Junction, Walker (Texas Ranger) airport. Overall, it's a picturesque route over some breathtaking landscapes and with a rich history. Too bad it's already 7:30 p.m. And pitch dark outside. But hey, at least the weatheris supposed to be good all the way! Meanwhile, the outsourced ground handlers have finished loading, the fuel planning is done (8000 something lbs of oil for the engines, 200 gallons of wait, the other way around), the route is ready to be cleared by ATC and I've studied the checklists and reference documents. I may be crazy to practically solo a 100000 lbs aircraft, but I'm not dumb. At least not *that* dumb. The smart notepad app shows that gross weight is well within limits, that take off speeds are reasonable, that CHT and oil temperatures are dangerously low and that the pilot is the best there is (I know!). After a bit of unprepared switch-searching ont he endless panels, I manage to gracefully start the engines - in the wrong order (3-4-1-2? 4-3-2-1? 1-1-4-23?). Doesn't matter, they now produce an average coastal breeze each and convert oil and fuel to flames and blue smoke. ATC assigns runway 08 for departure, which is practical, because it points me right toward El Monte. Has FSX ATC finally done something right? Tune in at five to find out more! Since BUR is a busy airport (Seriously, where do all the aircraft come from?! And where do they go? Does the universe know about them?), mandated interruptions in taxi operations are used for my favourite part of piston aircraft flying - run-up checks. Prop full forward, prop full aft, left magneto, right magneto, no magneto and a 0.0001 drop in RPM...zzzZzzz. ATC wakes me from my well deserved nap. Checks are completed (talk about doing them in your sleep) and awaiting takeoff clearance from the tower. Put the airplane into "Christmas Tree" mode, line up, set take off power, check flaps, CHT and release brakes. 5700 feet to go. In a jet, I'd be a bit worried, but the four R2800s and the rather low weight really make this thing go. Lift off occurs with several hundred feet to spare and besides, there's that drop at the end of the runway that might provide a gentle bump when push comes to shove. Gear goes up, nose goes down for acceleration (at least that's what the book says) and at one point, power is reduced to METO. Or at least what I perceive as METO. It turns out that the end of green arc on the MAP gauge does NOT constitute METO, but at that moment, I don't care. CHT is within limits and I need this thing to climb, climb and climb some more. Flaps go up to 1 to decrease drag and by now, El Monte ADF is picked up and that's where I'll go. Below, the lights of the Los Angeles megalopolis stretch out to infinity and back and I don't want to think about what would happen if I lost a substantial amount of power and...nope, not going to happen. Not on my watch. This is not an Ernie Gann novel. Just look at this...lights EVERYWHERE. I'm still climbing and waiting to intercept the 081 radial to Pomona. The pistons are still giving everything they've got because I really want to make that climb! So much that I forgot about the flaps, which are still at 1. After passing Pomona, I turn onto the 037 radial to Daggett. This will be the moment of truth. All or nothing. Aviator or something with "a". Moment of glory or PILS (problem in left seat). Still hammering the engines, still climbing. A glance to my ten o' clock shows Mount San Antonio's peak staring right back into the cockpit. (Uh, hi.) But on the other hand, I can clearly see the glimmering lights of the settlements in the Mojave ahead, so I figure I am going to be fine. Phew! As I triumphantly soar across the Cucamonga Wilderness and its ~8500 ft peaks, I go into mental overload between wondering why the Mojave is that illuminated, flying the aircraft and finally setting up proper climb power. Crossing 13 or 14000 ft, I put the superchargers into high gear as the checklist tells me to, but since I'm still hand flying, the process throws me off the radial and my flight path starts to resemble a snake after an evening in a liquor container. Deciding I've had enough, I switch on the autopilot and let it do its thing. This frees me up to talk ATC out of clearing me all the way up to FL280, which my flightplan is still filed for. It's best for both sides to decrease it to something more sensible, like 190 or so. Fortunately, ATC doesn't need impassioned pleas or other Oscar-nominee acting skills to approve my request. Arriving at cruising altitude, I show some mercy on the engines and pull back to economy cruise. I've got a tailwind anyway and what is time, after all. Flying at night might be boring, but a clear desert sky offers some interesting vistas, for example in the form of the Great Las vegas Blotch of Light(TM; you heard it here first!) appearing on the horizon and slowly drifting by beneath me. The urge for a technical stop is nonexistant because Vegas could not look better than from up here. The Sperry A12 does its thing, Otto is still silent as a rock and my faithful navigator LittleNavMap tells me the frequency and radial of the next VORTAC to tune in. If I was a stereotypical propliner pilot, I'd go for some coffee, a whistle of "The High and The Mighty" and stories from great piloting adventures from "ye goode olde time" by now, but I'll settle for tea, Guns 'N' Roses and Wikipedia instead. Welcome to the jungle! The only thing that worries me is that MI Tool shows that the cost of this flight starts to outrun its revenue. And it's not the fuel use or crew salary that's the biggest factor, but "other costs". Premium insurance, I guess. Note to self: Fire financial officer (or retweak the settings). Past Vegas, the route across National Park Country is composed of darkness below and the stars above, interspersed by the lights of the odd settlement. I'm comfortably at FL210 by now to improve cruise economy, but considering that airlines used to fly this route at no more than 10000 ft at night at half the speed in any weather... Speaking of weather, somewhere between Mormon Mesa, Bryce Willis and Hanksville, things get mildly cloudy. This could get bumpy, but despite skimming the tops of the taller towers, the ride stays smooth. Not that the cargo would complain, but I just don't know what exactly is stowed back there. Otto handled the paperwork. On the eastern fringes of Zion National Park, I spot snow on the mountain tops. Totally mesmerizing when I saw it, mildly interesting by the time I'm typing this. Worth a mention anyway? You betcha! Around this time, ATC kicked me out of IFR because I was away and failed to respond to a frequency change command. Downgrading to flight following was my only option. Suit yourself, airway-gestapo. I am a mature and self-reliant pilot who don't need no vectors to final! Speaking of vectors, time to descend. Because what goes up, must come down. (Tom Petty was a wise man.) Using the infinite knowledge of the checklists, I bring RPM back up and reduce MAP step by step while starting down, as usual closely monitoring CHT. The road back from the heavens is not rocky, but agonizingly long. No way I can make it down to 7000 ft (~2000 ft AGL) required for an ILS approach. Weather would permit coming in exclusively visual, but as the world's greatest pilot, I'm playing it safe! There's a catch though. LittleNavMap-igator has me coming in from the west, across Grand Junction VORTAC, which sits comfortably on terrain at ~7000 ft. Since the suggested minimum descent altitude is 8500 ft, I do the smart thing and heed that warning, descend to 9000 ft and then try to cover the remaining ~4000 ft during the approach and final phase. After all, controlled flight into terrain and the resulting wreckage only results in interesting paragraphs in Wikipedia articles and hobby archeologist's hiking guides. Fortunately enough, speed management isn't much of an issue in such a giant from times long past (amazingly enough, a 737-600 is just as large as a DC-6). Grand Junction Tower invites me to land on runway 11, which is a bit of a relief since I won't have to fly the offset ILS approach for runway 29. Still, I am way too high to make the descent into the valley on the first shot, so I do a lazy descending circle around JNC. I could have played this way more in style and simply follow Grand Valley while descending, but nah, I'm not feeling particularly cool today. Upon attaining my MDA, I head off into the valley and see if my judgement holds up with my amazing piloting skills. Having crossed the localizer, a turn to the left brings me onto the back course for the approach. By now, I am also well on my way toward my final approach altitude. Near Mack Mesa airfield, I begin a turn onto an westward heading to get a bit of clearance between me and the terrain to the east for the upcoming turn onto final. Throwing the big bird around to the right and onto the localizer, I begin preparations for final. Flaps, cowl flaps, girlie flaps, flapjacks...the usual. Crossing the glideslope, more flaps are applied to the headwind and the gear comes down. Final checks and it's showtime! Expecting a bitter fight of man vs machine to keep the ILS needles where they belong on the instrument (middle, but I'm absolutely not sure about that), I am disappointed to experience that the DC-6 is as tame as a toothless tiger. Too low? Add instantly available power and lift. Too high? Do the opposite. Even the speed is in the ballpark. Come on, there's got to be a challenge! Ask and ye shall receive. After a smooth, but decisive touchdown, I find that challenge in the prop reverse function. A person known for mercilessly appling the "RTFM!"-whip to innocent forum members should have read the readme more thoroughly. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes (Thanks, Captain Kirk!). Anyway, a bit of "What does that button do?" and application of throttle does provide some overdue prop-based braking - not that it would have been particularly necessary, considering a 10500 ft runway underneath the wheels. Some taxiing, blah-blahing to the ground controller and lots more checklist items later, I'm parked safe and sound at my destination. While the local, outsourced freight handler is being shushed away with a "Yes, yes, do that.", I attend things that really matter - flight performance and virtual MONEY. MI Tool grades my performance with a straight A, giving the company's reputation a nice and much needed boost to obtain better contract or tons more leeway to absorb the contract renegotiation penalty. On the financial side, however, this trip was a clear flop, since "other costs" ate up what little revenue there was. But the plane is still in good condition, the company is only getting started and big contracts with big bucks will soon be no more wishful, drunk fantasy anymore! So there's no reason not to accept these flight results and await the next adventure. Or at least daylight. And some sleep. Because that grog I had before descent is making me ti-...*ZzzzZZ* The end. Fin. Ende. (Maybe) Until next time! (Author's note: I hope the entertainment value was a bit higher than propliner cruise speed.) P.S: I think I'll upgrade to a DC-7 because (air)screw engine reliability! And screw swans! (Please don't.) P.P.S: The approach to Grand Junction.
  2. Stuck Ailerons

    Hello. I have been away from FSX:SE for a while. Yesterday when I fired up the C172 I found the ailerons frozen in the left bank position. Neither the keyboard commands or my joystick assignment changed them to the neutral position. Next, I opened the Baron. Same problem. Any suggestions?
  3. The mighty flying sea panda takes to the skies!! My rig does have some shortcomings - beautiful UK2000 scenery, plus UK Power project (numerous power stations & 46000 electricity pylons), plus loads of other airfields in the vicinity of London means the FPS was about 11 or so
  4. Hello A couple of days ago, I received a Thrustmaster Flight Stick X joystick for my birthday. As I'm also intending to really get into flying onto the IVAO network, I want to set a PTT button on my joystick via TeamSpeak 2. The problem is that TeamSpeak doesn't recognise inputs of my joystick so I can't set a PTT button on my joystick. I'd be grateful for some help on this. Kind regards Pim
  5. Hello all Since i got interested lately in smaller passenger jets and turboprops and default planes are just not enough. I have aerosoft twin otter extended wich is my only commercial addon for now. It is good, but i am not too happy with it due to very sensitive engines...kinda alot of micromanagement. So i was thinking to go a bit bigger like crj 700 or embraers.. Important things to me are price, quality and features. I never flew pmdg or alike aircraft so am asking you guys. I am opened to suggestions. Tommy
  6. I never realised... until now.. That the title line in the cfg file can have a bearing on what gauges might be displayed. To elaborate: My recent Orca repaint had me re-visiting the Project Airbus A380 Qantas I'd had in my virtual hangar for some time. The primary eicas display in the centre of the panel (virtual cockpit) didn't work - just blank white, almost like an untextured part. I downloaded an Emirates version which did have a working centre display. Cool! However, when it came to using the Orca repaint - no display! Yet both textures pull from the same common fallback folder, same panel folder etc. The difference? The title... The Emirates entry in the cfg file had this: Project Airbus A380-841 Emirates VC PAgauges HUDL HUDR The VC PAgauges HUDL HUDR meant that the centre display worked. In addition the movable frames for the HUDs showed up too. I learned about FSX from that!
  7. I always reckoned the A380 would look better done up as an Orca. This is how I spent the majority of my Sunday evening, embroiled in DXTBmp and To make matters worse (initially) the paintkit files were photoshop ones. They have to be flipped before being saved as (in my case .dds files DXT5 format). I've learned a little bit more about repainting which is good! Anyhow here she is, the flagship of Orcasaurus Airlines, G-BIFT: "To Cover the World, You Need Big Units!" Dang, she's definitely a big unit Credits for the mascot go to Jonathan Picking AKA Weebl, and the animator Kreid. Here's a catchy tune of his which is quite fitting for G-BIFT
  8. I believe the Campaign Against Aviation allows us to fly as low as we like over water as long as we're not within 500' of persons or structures? Blackpool Tower (not the airfield tower, THE Tower ) (Banter aside, the C.A.A. do have a nightmare of a job just trying to keep everyone safe IMHO on this tiny little, crowded, septic isle.)
  9. Didn't scare the passengers too much!
  10. Taxiing out to RWY09R at EGLL, bound for Prestwick.
  11. Found a lovely Skymaster down in Nice, France. Bought her and then flew her back to the UK This is an excellent repaint in the AVSIM library by Richard Luycx back in 2011 That's Brigitte Bardot painted on the wing; the original registration is F-BRDO, but seeing as I'm in England... Also the plane originally had "Spirit of St. Tropez" on the front fuselage. Now it's more like "Spirit of St. Helens" as I landed at Liverpool John Lennon. IMHO a beautiful paint job Richard!
  12. Climbing away from Southend, bound for Rotterdam. Didn't make the baby cry: No passengers!
  13. Well.. almost.. both at Liverpool... and 50 odd years apart. 8000 kg of ciggies, (actually 11000 kg !) over from Belfast during the dock strikes of 66. Wonder if they were Chesterfields? Eh, Mr. Godfrey....?
  14. I selected the cargo ramp at Southend airport (UK2000 demo) with an appropriately liveried plane which used to fly from there. Was this or is this the cargo ramp? A current chart doesn't seem to indicate this. Also note that this is the demo scenery from UK2000 so some structures may well be missing, but still, the old Connie looks rather cool IMHO.
  15. Do the fuel gauges work? I've not tried going on a 500nm jaunt yet , but I would have thought that a recent flight where I used 10% of the fuel would have shown on the gauges. What I failed to do was rotate the fuel switches to the yellow, straight & level positions. Could that be an issue? Thanks.
  16. OK, which one of you wiseguys fed the blue Smarties and Red Bull to my PC when I was AFK?? Interesting! Shut down FSX then went back in , all perfectly fine
  17. I recently bought Active Sky Next and everything was working just fine when flying the PMDG 777 out of OMAA when FSX crashes. Nothing showed up in the Event Viewer or on AppCrashView. I decided to try that again with ASN off and everything worked just fine. Best Regards, AbdulRahman
  18. I recently bought Active Sky Next and everything was working just fine when flying the PMDG 777 out of OMAA when FSX crashes. Nothing showed up on the Event Viewer or on AppCrashView. I decided to try that again with ASN off and everything worked just fine. Best Regards, AbdulRahman
  19. PMDG 777 weather radar

    Hi, I recently bought the PMDG777 and when I finally got it to work, I took the airplane out for a flight in terrible rainy weather going from OMDB's RWY30L. I pressed the WXR button on the MCP. and then on the pedestal, I pressed AUTO, the L/R button (or whatever it is called), the WX+T button and then I turned the gain knob all the way to the right and starting turning the range knob right and left only to find out that nothing has changed on my display. It was still black. I read some things about the FSUIPC.ini file and just like people suggested, I moved it to a temporary folder to see if that would work but nothing changed. Best Regards, AbdulRahman.
  20. Who would have thought an airway intersection would have been so named so close to a VOR. My inner child found it amusing
  21. Just a thank you to Warbirds for his Connie repaints. I've placed the VC from the blue Connie (his shiny retro scheme) into the BOAC one. I used the alternative yoke colours (black yoke), but unfortunately I hadn't realised that the modified yoke comes with the green cockpit insulation. No matter, perhaps it'll catch on. Disregarding my mismatching of colours - nice job, Paul!
  22. Must be the Navy version with beefed up undercarriage for carrier landings... I noticed it mentioned in the UK2000 EGLL documentation about the mirror system at a couple of the gates, so tried it out with a tiny plane LOL. A nice touch! Not an actual mirror of what's on the ground but still useful. Well done, Gary!
  23. Completed a flight from Chabua to Kunming (the new Kunming airport, Changshui, not Wujiaba)
  24. Loaded into the sim and took it for a circuit. Seems to behave like a layman such as myself would expect. Happy with the sale price I got it for. Lovely eye candy. However, are there any glaring issues and/or fixes still needed? Or would such "fixes" be desirable or even only noticeable to actual 337 pilots? Thanks.