[jhb_airlines] Re: Last Night's FPI

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 16:30:23 +0100

It seemed a good session, if slightly quieter, from the little I saw too. A
pity the link with EHAM didn't produce much in the way of reciprocal traffic
- or more Dutch controllers..

I was tied up until 2100 with other essential work and by that time all the
ATC positions were manned - so I thought I'd try a little flight instead. It
was too late to dig out the EHAM SID/STAR procedures so I opted for a short
run from Norwich to Heathrow, an off airways flight that conveniently avoids
all the STAR's <g>.

Problem one was choosing an aircraft because I could not find anything I was
reasonably familiar with. I've spent so long designing aircraft, scenery and
panels for FS that I admit my actual flying skills are extremely rusty on
anything other than the Aztec or Tiger Moth. It's no fun jumping into FPI
with an aircraft you are very unfamiliar with - you don't have time to play
around with learning the panel as well as listening to ATC.

In the end, wanting something a bit faster than the Baron, I chose the
Citation on my list - a nice offering from AVSIM some time back called
veneaviones_cii_d-cysv.zip. It's a very nice visual aircraft and it flies
extremely well but it must have had a poor panel because I had replaced it.
What came up was a bit of a shock as I'd forgotten that I had replaced the
panel with one Gerry sent me from the Concept Design Private Jet v2.6 upload
by Nick Pike.

This is an odd looking aircraft but Nick has taken the Concept bit to the
limit in exploring almost every aspect of what can be done in FS design. I
can't talk much about the aircraft or sounds as I dumped these but the panel
is an eye opener - especially for budding panel designers.

Pretty it definitely is not - have a look at

http://www.homepages.mcb.net/bones/WebPix  and click on Concept1 (and the
other pictures if you are bored).

It's fairly basic in looks - but this panel can do almost everything
possible with current XML code for FS2004 and is therefore fascinating to
play with. It would take a whole web article to list everything but I'll
just point out a few more esoteric items.

Bottom right is an autotaxi button. Set a speed in the AP SPD/MACH box and
click on AutoTaxi and the aircraft will trundle along quite happily around
the airfield at the speed set.

Middle row of buttons near the bottom are ATO and AFL. For ATO you set
speed, height and HDG when sitting on the runway. Hit ATO and the aircraft
will accelerate, rotate, get gear and flaps up and climb on those preset
values. A bit like FSNav but it does the gear and flaps (and a few other
things) automatically.

PUSH is auto push back. ATRM sets your nominal AP height to x feet above
terrain level so you fly relative to terrain height rather than sea level (a
sort of TFR). Fuel that can be instantly changed to any fuel level between 0
and 100%. A very basic FMC that can fly to any navaid or Lat/Long fix. Lots
of toys - all too many too mention - and it rather distracted me from the
intended flight.

Apart from getting no ATC in the ATC list everything went smoothly. Anthony
gave 09 for departure - rather a long taxi - but I got to the hold just as
JHB180 called inbound. Take off climbing to 5000ft and a right turn to LAM,
eventually going over to HDG mode as the NAV was constantly snaking left and
right of the dialled radial. Over to London and carry on up to FL160, quick
chat with Alan and then a clearance down to FL70 at LAM.

At this point, even with 1500fpm dialled up, I could see that the aircraft
was just not going to get down fast and was likely to cross LAM around
FL100. Reducing selected speed to 250kts early didn't make any difference
because the throttles were already closed and so it was necessary to pull
out the speed brakes. These don't actually slow you down if you have
autothrottle engaged because the engines will just spool up to maintain the
selected speed - but now that the throttles are off the stops it allows you
the other option - to dial in a greater ROD. Banging this up to 2500fpm
worked a treat and the height really started to come off nicely - although
it meant I couldn't get much below 240kts. Once down to 4000ft I eased up on
the ROD and the speed nicely came back to 170kts for the ILS intercept. Gear
and flap down meant I could discard the speed brake and once established on
the ILS I dropped speed to 120kts (the Citation can actually come back to
90/100kts if you want - a real pussy cat). I had to switch to a manual
approach - again because the aircraft wouldn't tag the ILS nicely and would
wander from side to side. Must check this as I've had this with other
aircraft too.

Landing was uneventful (sorry to disappoint you Tom)..

Having changed seats and flown in FPI for a change I can see some of your
problems. The lack of an ATC list was annoying but thanks to ServInfo no
real stopper on the session. ATC was good throughout - decent coverage makes
a lot of difference. Losing both height and speed is the real problem but so
it is in real life too. It's fine if you have an aircraft with speed brakes
(don't be afraid to use them either) but even on a PA31 you can get in
trouble if you don't start down early enough.

I must do this more often..


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill
Sent: 22 September 2005 12:40
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Last Night's FPI

Yesterday evening's session was very enjoyable, despite the usual
problem of no ATC in the ATIS window. Short legs, such as the Norwich
Heathrow sector, definitely push up the workload.
 Since the quest for reallity, accelerated by VFR GM and AG, prevents me
flying in FSMeteo's current iffy UK conditions, I've moved to warmer climes.
A search of Avsim produced some decent third party small fields, plus
LC, for  New England, Florida and California. Just finished Santa
Barbara to Vandenberg AFB. Though not up to UK VFR GM standard, it's
quite pleasant. Anyone bought US Roads yet? I'm wondering about adding
that and some of the Horizon USA bits to my prezzie list.
 In passing, articles in the GA mags show the USA to be much more GA
friendly and less beuroacratically stiffling. Seems clearance through
major airfields' zones is not only commonplace but often takes light a/c
directly overhead the field. OTOH, I recently read an article on the
helicopter route that crosses Heathrow. There was a definite feeling
that the learner driver expected SAMs to be used, at any time!

Gerry Winskill

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