by Charles Gulick
|North Position: 21203||Rudder: 32767|
|East Position: 6502||Ailerons: 32767|
|Altitude: 427||Flaps: 0|
|Pitch: 0||Elevators: 32767|
|Bank: 0||Time: 5:45|
|Heading: 205||Season: 3-Summer|
|Airspeed: 0||Wind: 4 Kts, 160|
For the most realism and, ultimately, the most precise control, 1
suggest that the Overcontrol Limiter in the Piper editor be regularly
set to a figure high enough to disable it. I arbitrarily use 80, which
does the job. After a little practice, you'll develop your own internal
overcontrol limiter, and how you fly as well as how things look out
your windshield will be much smoother. Your controls will also function
more like the Cessna version, so you'll be better able to make the
transition between the versions.
Because we're going to demand more precision of ourselves in this second book of adventures, the early chapters (those with Spanaway subtitles) are going to incorporate some standards. The airplane won't fly us; we'll fly it. Fly it by some specific numbers. Sharply. Like pros. Of course, if you're already an absolute expert at piloting the simulator, you can skip the Spanaway chapters. And of course, if you skip these chapters, I'll never speak to you again.
|This is Shady Acres Airport in
Spanaway, Washington, a suburb of
Tacoma. Make sure your heading when you exit the editor is within a
degree or so of 205.
We're pulled up short of runway 16. I selected this airport because its strip is just 1800 feet long. If we can learn to do things correctly here, we can do them correctly anywhere.
Such as ready the airplane and ourselves properly for takeoff, taxi ahead, make our turn onto the active, continue our initial roll while steering smoothly to get lined up, apply back pressure at a specific airspeed to rotate, make a normal takeoff, climb out at the right airspeed and rate of climb, get to the correct altitude before we turn to our departure heading, level off with precision at our cruise altitude and speed, make minor adjustments if we weren't all that precise, and settle down like we know what we're doing.
We're going to do all that in this first adventure-all by the numbers and under precise control.
Tall order. But I believe you're up to it. So let's go.
This morning we're just going to fly locally, so there's no destination airport. We're going to practice takeoffs, learn important stuff about climbs, and discover how to make the transition to straight and level flight at cruise altitude.
You're now ready to taxi ahead, turn onto the runway, and take off. Here's the procedure.
Try to be trimmed by the time you reach approximately 1000 feet above ground level (AGL). That's not MSL (Mean Sea Level). Your altimeter always indicates your altitude above sea level, which is how airport elevations are measured, too.
Your airspeed will settle at about 105-108 KIAS (Knots Indicated Air Speed). In the Cessna, trim a notch at a time and watch your VSI. It will oscillate a bit before it settles on a new up or down indication. Try to anticipate its movement.
| When you're
climbing steady at 500 fpm, note your
pitch attitude as depicted on the artificial horizon. Take a side view
and look at your pitch in relation to the side horizon. With all these
references, you could climb at 500 fpm even if some of them failed you,
After the sightseeing, I hope you're not quite at 2000 feet altitude, for that's where we'd like to level off for this demonstration.
Your airspeed when straight and level at 2000 feet nominal will be about 105 KIAS in the Cessna and 120 KIAS in the Piper. The actual speed for the Cessna is higher than indicated by 5 to 10 knots, which you can check by entering the editor briefly. The Cessna airspeed indicator quite consistently errs on the low side. But you have to fly the instrument, not the editor.
You're now in normal cruise configuration and should be at about 2000 feet MSL. Your elevators are at what I'll call operational neutral. For the Cessna, this is 32767 in the editor, which is the power-up default parameter, and is true neutral. But for the Piper, operational neutral is 36863, not the power-up default. [From testing, it seems that operational neutral elevator on the Apple version of Flight Simulator II is 34815-Editor.] You cannot make the Piper fly straight and level with the default neutral elevator.
You can always check for operational neutral elevator, without referring to the editor, by doing this:
In the Cessna, operational neutral (and actual neutral) is when the elevator indicator is even with the center position mark, but at the lowest possible "even." In other words, if the indicator goes below absolute center with one additional notch of down elevator, then you were at operational neutral before you added that notch.
In the Piper, operational neutral (but not editor neutral) is when the elevator indicator is sitting just atop the center position mark, but at the highest possible position which will preserve that indication. In other words, if the indicator moves up from its neutral position with one additional notch of up elevator, then you were at operational neutral before you added that notch.
Operational neutral is important in our kind of precision flying, because once you're there, and know you're there, everything gets easier, as the examples in forthcoming Spanaway adventures will show.
Use this standard takeoff/departure procedure on all your flights so that it becomes a habit. If your cruise altitude is higher, you may need a higher power setting to stay straight and level when you get up there. So use a higher power setting. But don't switch from the trim settings covered above unless and until you can't achieve the desired result with power.
As you'll no doubt gather from these suggested procedures, it's entirely possible, and very useful, to empirically establish specific rpms for specific flight levels and keep a list of these rpms. Nowhere will your elevators be displaced from neutral by more than one notch.
|Now do a 180 to the left to
bring your aircraft to a heading around
340, and go back and shoot a landing at Shady Acres. You'll see three
airports pop out of the landscape as you fly. Shady Acres is the middle
one. You'll be more or less downwind for runway 16, so you'll land
opposite the direction you're flying. Make a note of how well or poorly
you do, because a little further on in this book you'll probably see a
vast improvement in your landings as well as all your other procedures.