[jhb_airlines] Re: Lovely Weather For Ducks

  • From: Gerry Winskill <gwinsk@xxxxxxx>
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 21:43:32 +0100

However; there's no such thing as a free lunch!

The PFD, displaced to fill its own monitor, is superb. Probably the way it looks in a B747, or similar. The problem is caused by the collection of displaced windows that fill my second monitor. The combined effect is a big impact on framerates.

I can live without the Avionics, landing gear levers and throttle pedestal, since I have hardware covering those items. I'll look into modifying the PFD itself, to build in a couple more gauges, then revert to the FSC on the second monitor.

I remember a similar fps impact in FS2000, when displacing the Top Down view, to use it as a moving map. I had to abandon that one too.

Who said life was simple. anyway?

Gerry Winskill

Gerry Winskill wrote:
Batteries charged and 10/20 lense on and the two glass monitors can be seen at


Since taking the shot I've found a way of getting the window frames out of site, which looks better. The only non standard Epic gauge in the shot is my MFD to the right of the lever pedestal.

Off to try it.

Gerry Winskill

Gerry Winskill wrote:

The idea of using monitors 4 and 5 to display the PFD and MFD is dead easy to arrange. I've also got the popup Throttles and Avionics windows on the same monitor as the MFD. All i need do now is make a popup version of a couple of my must have, homegrown gauges and it's done. I'll put up a photo when the batteries have charged. Off for a walk during the rain gap.

Daughter's flight has just landed back at Auckland, so I can escape from watching their Arrivals board, too.

Gerry Winskill

Gerry Winskill wrote:
Hi Denis,

It's raining outside, so I've got back to you early.

Just to be different, I'll start with the conclusion.

Would I buy it again. No. That deserves some elaboration, so here goes.

First the appearance. I guess I've got used to more conventional aircraft and the slinky curves of the Epic LT, although a very accurate representation of the real thing, just don't look quite right, to me. On smaller aircraft, like the Cirrus, they are just fine. Somehow the effect doesn't carry over to something larger. I'm sure if I walked up to the real aircraft I'd have the same reaction. The accurate way in which the aircraft has been constructed, using the mesh for the real aircraft, plus its drag friendly smooth surfaces, have reduced its FSX attraction. Despite the paint job being fairly simple, the textures take a LONG time to load, when you take a side or spot view. The designers refer to this and suggest converting the texture format, which somewhat defeats the object of the exercise.

On the appearance front, I guess I'd be happier with something looking like the PC12, or Piper Meridian, with a few straight lines and occasional panel join to be seen.

Appearance, though isn't the main reason, That's more a question of when the novelty has worn off, and when I've stopped fiddling with the panel, when will I use it? I fly mostly VFR these days, in FSX and UK. But the Epic's Turboprop is happiest at around 20,000', so it's strictly for IFR use. Again, I'm thinking real world and don't think I'd feel particularly relaxed flying at that height in something as relatively small as this!

The only criticism I'd make about the flight model is that it's a bit sensitive in roll. That's easily cured, by tweaking the Aircraft.cfg and perhaps the real aircraft is like that, anyway. In the area that I personally look for decent performance it's definitely OK. That's the ability to set up a decently stable manual ILS approach and I'm quite happy with its performance there.

The engine is excellent, with a delay of about 5 seconds to spool up or down. So, the grey cells get a bit of exercise. The Manual gives very good coverage of potential problems handling the engine and good power management is essential, so another plus for it in that area.

When I decided to purchase it I was influenced by three things.

It's a Lionheart production and their TB21GT / TB200GT package provides two of the best payware aircraft I've come across. For VFR in FSX they are the only two aircraft I now use. The TB200GT is fine for farmstrips and the TB21GT my choice for anything longer than a farmstrip. In fact the turbocharged TB21GT can almost fill the slot at which the Epic is aimed.

Next it looked to have a decent glass panel, in an aircraft designed to be equipped that way. That's a bit less unrealistic than the retrofits I've occasionally done. Because I use the three monitor THTG, with a fourth monitor to which the instrument panel has to be displaced, I always have to do panel mods, to make this setup work. The problem with a dual gauge glass display is that, even with a full monitor to access, quite a few of the components are displayed too small to be readable. Turbine ITT and Torque are just two examples of this. To be fair, Lionheart have got round this by allowing quite a few of these subgauges to produce enlarged popups, by clicking the mouse over them. I'm not keen on this approach, since it takes me further away from realism, and I hate popups anyway. Hence my move to design digital gauges to provide some of the less readable data in readable form. I can tack these together to form an engine data readout display. However, I woke this morning to the realisation that the startlingly obvious had totally eluded me. I have a fifth monitor that is normally switched off. It's on only if I'm doing a heavy(ish) metal IFR flight, when I use it to display FSC. Since the Epic has a glass cockpit, I'd overlooked the fact that that's what I have, anyway. All I need do is use one monitor to display the PFD and the other to display the MFD, plus switches etc. That should fill the wet morning.

The third factor really over-rides the other two. At current exchange rates it was quite cheap, over here. So, it's definitely been worth the cash, for the enjoyment I've had fiddling with the panel, and learning something whilst doing it; my digital ITT gauge now works!

Sorry to have gone on but it wos you wot lit the blue touchpaper!

Gerry Winskill

Denis Ripley wrote:
How do you find that Epic Gerry? I have been looking at it myself but can't make up my mind. If you get a chance, how about a quick review?


----- Original Message ----- From: "Gerry Winskill" <gwinsk@xxxxxxx>
To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:45 PM
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Lovely Weather For Ducks

The lousy weather, with tonight's practice session called off, I tried an online from Welshpool to Ronaldsway. It was in the Epic turboprop that I bought this week.

It behaves very reallistically, with lots of spool up delay. A very enjoyable 26 ILS landing, in realistic weather. The lighting in the cloud, on finals, was wierdly realistic and dramatic.

Gerry Winskill

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