Not having found anything useful in the Performance notes, I tried the
ISDG Forum. First hare is that it's supposed to Autoland, provided
you're established on the ILS, with APR and Autothrust engaged, and that
you have both APs selected. I tried it and mine doesn't!
No ide how to cope with its occasional tantrums but think I've sorted the Autothrust cancellation problem. I've run into this when I've disconnected Autothrust, then IAS Hold, from the Autopilot panel. One of the sophisticated bits of the panel is that manually closing the throttles produces a very nice click, as it disengages Autothrust and Speed Hold, without touching the buttons. I've tried leaving Autothrottle set until it has stabilised the set speed, on the glideslope. I noted the throttle opening, then pulled the throttles shut, then returned them to the required position. This disengages the two speed buttons and the throttles behave perfectly, in manual mode.
The downside of this idea is that it cropped up as dawn cracked. I had no alternative but to lurch out of bed and try it out. All the door hinges in our house are perfectly lubricated, so that I can try out ideas and go undetected; so far.
The problem with fiddling in the aircraft.cfg file for these complex aircraft is that you may kill some interdependencies that stop the aircraft operating. It's no secret that PMDG and several others use non standard calls in FS to bypass the limitations of the avionics in the sim - which means the aircraft, panel and gauges are all interwoven and untweakable.
It reminds me of the China Airlines Airbus crash several years ago. The aircraft had to go around from an approach and the crew hit the TOGA button. The Airbus will automatically go into a max Alpha climb from this but the crew got alarmed by the high nose angle and thought the aircraft was going to stall. They pushed the stick forward to reduce climb angle but the computer recognised the input and corrected for this by increasing nose up trim. In the end the aircraft hit trim limit and did indeed stall at about 1500ft right over the runway.
If FS designers are trying to build this sort of avionics intelligence into FS then only those familiar with these systems are going to be able to fly the aircraft. Many real world pilots never made the transition from conventional to glass cockpit systems and I am sure the same will apply in FS too. The only way to understand these aircraft fully is to forget everything you know about conventional aircraft and study the flight manual. Having said that I am sure many people could fly these aircraft quite well for most of the time but, like the real world, it is when you get into an unusual situation that you hit problems. In this case basic instinct has to be forgotten and you have to know correct system recovery methods.
I've been quite impressed how FS has developed over the years but it is now verging on serious system emulation. This isn't a bad thing but it means the user can no longer hop into the aircraft for a quick jolly. To fly such aircraft properly means a lot of time dedicated to system operation and LOTS of practise. In effect you have to become a one aircraft pilot just as in the real world. Many FS users don't do this and learn enough about the aircraft to just about get from A to B. If anything odd happens during the flight then they instantly jump into unknown territory and things rapidly start unravelling.. <vbg> At least we have the ability to hit the pause button whilst we reach for the manual!
-----Original Message----- From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill Sent: 04 July 2006 19:30 To: JHB AIRLINES Subject: [jhb_airlines] ISDG A320 Problem
Last week I mentioned the problem of the A320's Autothrottle still keeping hold, with both A/T and Autopilot long since disengaged. Last night, half way through a 4 hour flight, it climbed to 48,000' even though the AP's altitude setting was at 32,000', where the a/c had previously been flogging along quite steadilly. Disengaging Autopilot didn't allow me to recover to stable flight and a flameout followed, during one of the descent phases. All engines refused to re start. Methinks the designers have managed to design in some of the real aircraft's determination to save the pilot from his own actions, with disastrous results. Anyone any ideas on how to make it less sophisticated? Perhaps using the B737's Aircraft.cfg might be a start?
Meanwhile, looking for something with a similar cruise speed, and just having read a review of the real aircraft, I downloaded a Dreamwings EMB170. Looks good but a bit aeleron sensitive at normal speeds but becoming very insensitive at ILS speeds. Another meddling job in the offing.