Sky-High Adventure with the Macintosh, Amiga, & Atari ST
by Charles Gulick
Can the Learjet take off from Gateway? If so, it can also land there, because landings require less distance than takeoffs.
Recall GATEWAY 17–35/C, and then open FILE and click opposite JET.
For this takeoff, be sure to use rudder during the takeoff run and to point the Learjet toward the center of the bridge. And remember, if you're flying the Mac, takeoff trim is the third mark above 0 VSI, and if you're flying Amiga/Atari, takeoff trim is three major divisions above op neutral.
Do your regular preflight and takeoff prep, and then take off and climb straight out. Continue to trim, and level off at 5000 feet. When you are straight and level at that altitude, turn left to a heading of exactly 096 degrees.
Now, you're going to become a quick-change artist. Pause the simulation, open FILE again, and click opposite PROP. Pow! You're in the Cessna at 5000 feet.
When you unpause, you'll probably start to descend. Counter by using the throttle, and if you're not yet trimmed to op neutral, get there. You want exactly 5000 feet of altitude, with a 0 reading on the VSI and a compass heading of 096 degrees. When you have that, come back to the text.
That was a quick way to get the Cessna to a higher-than-usual altitude. No doubt it took a little time to get straight and level up here, but it would have taken considerably longer to climb to this altitude.
You need a higher power setting to hold this altitude, not because 5000 feet is all that high but because the Cessna is most comfortable somewhere between 2500 and 4500 feet. The Learjet likes altitudes between 3500 and 8000 feet.
Pause the simulation, and I'll place you precisely where I want you. Open the NAV and POSITION SET windows, and put the aircraft at NORTH 17281.171 and EAST 5102.3510. You're already at the desired altitude, and you won't need to set the tower position for this situation. Close the window.
Open the VIEW window, and set the spot plane off your right wing tip at a distance of 100 feet and an altitude of 0.
Now, I want you to save this situation as SF STUNT ALT /C because, yes, you're going to learn some aerobatics. You'll use this high-altitude position in the Cessna to practice the stunts I'm going to show you and, later, to try any new wrinkles of your own at a safe altitude.
After I guide you through a stunt, feel free to practice it until you get the hang of it. Recall the situation each time before you begin.
The first two stunts I'll show you are actually maneuvers, called “stalls.” Student pilots all learn how to stall the aircraft and to recover from the stall so that if they should ever get into one inadvertently, recovery will be instinctive. By the way, it isn't the aircraft's engine that stalls, but the wing: The wing loses its lift component and becomes merely another heavy object, and the aircraft goes into a dive.
First, you'll do a power-off stall. Before you begin, read how it's done. (Every aircraft has unique stall characteristics. The stalls and recovery procedures I describe below are those I find are best suited to the simulated Cessna 182.)
Power-off Stall and Recovery
Note your present cruise power setting on the throttle indicator. When you are flying straight and level, note that the horizon divides your windshield horizontally, confirming that you're in normal cruise attitude.
Put on carb heat to prevent icing.
Reduce power to idle.
In Amiga and Atari, trim up as you would for approach neutral: Use three sets of two quick ups, but wait several seconds between each set. In the Macintosh, trim by slowly dragging the mouse backward. In both cases, the aircraft should assume a nose-high attitude, and about two-thirds of your windshield should be filled with sky.
Continue gradual back pressure to keep the horizon where it is, adding pressure whenever the nose drops. You will need increasingly more back pressure to hold your pitch attitude.
The STALL warning will appear on your windshield. Continue to apply the back pressure.
When the nose abruptly “drops through” and pitches downward, you've stalled.
Immediately apply forward pressure to pick up speed and get the air flowing smoothly over your wings.
Then, reset the throttle to approximate cruise power position.
Turn off carb heat.
The plane will level off and start to climb again. Let the nose get a little high, trim down to op neutral at a rate that matches the behavior of the horizon, and stabilize ultimately at your normal cruise attitude.
When you're trimmed to op neutral, adjust your power to fly straight and level.
Keep the operation as smooth as possible throughout.
Power-on Stall and Recovery
You perform the power-on stall in the same way as the power-off stall. However, for the power-on stall you don't need to apply carb heat or reduce the power, and the pitch of the aircraft must be higher in order for it to stall. You can easily achieve this higher pitch because your forward speed is converted to a climb as you apply back pressure.
Start from your normal cruise configuration. In Amiga and Atari apply two sets of two quick ups; in the Macintosh, drag the mouse backward. In both cases, you should see nothing but sky fill your windshield as the aircraft pitches nose high.
Use up elevator to keep a tiny line of horizon at the bottom of your windshield. Sometimes it will disappear altogether, but as the aircraft loses speed, the nose will drop again. Continue back pressure to keep only the thin line visible.
Even after the STALL warning, continue the back pressure until the nose drops through.
Then, immediately apply strong forward pressure to get the nose down and to get a smooth airflow over your wings. The stall will be arrested, and the aircraft will level itself and begin to climb.
To respond, trim down to op neutral at a rate to match the behavior of the horizon, as in the power-off stall.
Once you've trimmed to op neutral, use power adjustments to fly straight and level.
Work to perform the maneuver as smoothly as possible.
The fundamental principle of stall recovery is to get the nose down. This principle applies equally to all types of stalls—including high-speed stalls—whether you enter them purposefully or accidentally.
Instant replay is an invaluable tool to help you understand your stalls. Take the spot plane view in all cases. Watch your nose-high attitude…the drop-through pitching you downward…and the smoothness (or otherwise) of your recovery.
As you know, in the final stages of a landing you are very close to a stall; indeed, a perfect landing is one in which the stall warning appears when you hear the tires squeal (given that everything else about your landing is right). If you get a stall warning before you hear the tires squeal, respond with forward elevator pressure to arrest the stall. (Close to the ground, obviously, you can't use as much forward pressure as you would at high altitudes.)
In many aircraft, pilots are advised to use full power for a stall recovery. But in the simulated Cessna a full power recovery is extreme and over-revs the engine. Try it if you want to see what I mean.
Also, releasing all back pressure (which, in the simulator, entails returning your elevator to op neutral, rather than simply applying strong forward pressure) is overkill and results in too great a loss of altitude.
It is logical to fly any aircraft in a manner best suited to its flying characteristics. But I did want you to know how our version of stall recovery varies from the “norm” and why.
Now, to our first stunt: the loop. You can execute the loop beautifully in the Cessna. But before you try it, recall and pause STUNT ALT /C, and then set the spot plane off your right or left wing tip at a distance of 100 feet and an altitude of 0. Also, in the SET SPOT PLANE window, opposite PREFERENCE, click on LOOP. Then, exit the window and save the situation as LOOP PREF /C. Recall that situation each time you practice looping.
Apply strong down elevator.
Allow airspeed to build to 160 knots.
Smoothly, without hurrying, apply back pressure until the elevator indicator is approximately three-quarters of the way up the gauge.
When you see nothing but sky through your windshield, apply full throttle.
Take a 90-degree view to the left or right. You'll be in the first half of the loop, climbing toward the top and about to become inverted.
When you are upside down, with your wings approximately level with the horizon, switch to the out-front view. You'll see the horizon upside down.
As soon as you see no sky (in the second half of the loop, the downside), cut your power completely.
When you can see the horizon again, return your elevator to approximately op neutral to prevent another climb.
Return your throttle to its cruise setting.
Confirm op neutral, and adjust power for straight and level flight.
Next, you'll do a roll. Access LOOP PREF /C, and then set the spot plane behind you and change the PREFERENCE parameter to ROLL. Leave everything else as it is, and save the situation as ROLL PREF /C.
From straight and level flight, apply two quick notches of back pressure. (If flying the Macintosh, pull back slightly on the mouse.)
Apply full aileron in the direction you want to roll.
When the horizon is about 30 degrees from vertical on your windshield, immediately apply full down elevator and hold it while you turn over on your back.
When the horizon is again about 30 degrees from vertical on your windshield, quickly return your elevator to approximately op neutral position.
As the wings become level, neutralize your aileron.
Use additional elevator to return the horizon to normal, and then resume op neutral and straight and level flight.
When you're proficient with the basic idea of the roll, try this: Before you begin the stunt, fly toward a specific point on the horizon, and then use rudder to hold the nose precisely on that point as you roll. If the nose of the aircraft describes a straight line through the sky, you'll be rolling like the pros.
Logically, the roll leads to inverted flight, which is fun to do and greatly impresses spectators. Use your ROLL PREF /C situation.
Begin with a half roll.
As you become inverted, neutralize your ailerons.
Apply a little up elevator to bring the horizon to its normal position, dividing your windshield in half.
However, your perceptions are reversed.
To see more sky, apply a little forward pressure; to see more earth, apply a little back pressure.
When you have been inverted for a bit, your engine will quit due to fuel starvation. (Flow to the engine ceases because the fuel is stored in your wings and feeds by gravity.) The engine will restart when you turn right-side up.
To recover from inverted flight, execute the second half of a roll; either continue in the same direction or roll out in the opposite direction.
The quiet when your engine stops in inverted flight can be very pleasant—you are suspended for a few moments in time and space. Nice, particularly at dawn or at dusk. Try it now. Call up the ROLL situation, and then change the time to a minute or so after 6:00 a.m., turn on your panel lights, and roll 'em.
I want to show you one more stunt, called the Split-S. Because this aerobatic maneuver combines both the LOOP and the ROLL preference, you can use either parameter. When you replay it, experiment with various spot plane positions and preferences; each will let you view the stunt in a different light.
Before you try the Split-S, get into inverted flight, and when you are fully inverted, with your wings approximately level with the horizon, save the situation as INVERTED /C. This situation is useful for experimentation and it also completes the 12 situations possible on your second disk. Save the 12 situations to that disk, and write-protect it.
The aircraft must be at an altitude of at least 5000 feet above ground level.
First, do a half roll, and then neutralize your ailerons for inverted flight.
Whether or not your engine has quit, reduce your throttle setting to idle.
Take a 90-degree view to the left or right. (This view is critical because you must know where the horizon is in order to avoid diving into the ground.)
Apply back pressure to bring the elevator to the two-thirds up position (or, approximately approach neutral on the gauge).
The aircraft will head earthward as it does in the last half of a loop.
Apply down elevator at a rate to keep the final half of the loop circular and to establish level flight as your wings come even with the horizon. (Don't let the aircraft start another climb, which could lead to a stall.)
Switch to the out-the-windshield view when the horizon divides the screen diagonally or when you know that the dive is arrested.
Open your throttle to cruise airspeed, and gradually trim for op neutral and straight and level flight.
Now, should you ever need to, you know how to lose altitude in a hurry.