Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 4, 2010 9:53:46 GMT -5
I would not advise messing with the FD files. FS works okay if you use a higher RPM like 2200 or 2250. These values are recommended in several of the DC-3 manuals. I have no trouble cruising the DC-3 at 50-55% power at 2200 rpm and seeing about 150 KTAS at moderate altitude.
The reason for the airspeed dying off mentioned above is not clear. But the problem does not seem to be in the FD files. Drag, stability and the engine performance seem to be correct. The aircraft.cfg and .air files do not need to be changed. (There could be a problem in the .air files but no one knows enough about the .air files to fix a problem like that. All .air file editors are just approximate.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Mar 29, 2010 22:59:02 GMT -5
I play a lot these days on my Wii TV game - table tennis, bowling and flying a little sport plane around a tropical island where we do all the other sports. The plane is fun to fly and there are many challenges set up in addition to merely doing aerobatics in a neat setting. But today I was shocked to see that it turns the wrong way when flying inverted. During inverted flight, the plane should be flying with lift up just as it would when flying erect. All planes do this, of course. So when you turn while flying steadily inverted, you must point the total lift vetor into the turn. You bank so the wing tip inboard to the turn is low and the wing tip outboard to the turn is high. This cause the plane to fly around a circular path (in still air). Alas, the Wii plane turns in the opposite direction.
Oh well, you can't have everything. The game also has skydiving in which you can open a parafoil parachute. But they don't let you land it. Instead you are expected to view photos of yourself doing silly things during free fall while the parafoil brings you down to a point about 500 ft above the surface.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Apr 16, 2010 20:30:37 GMT -5
I've been working on my Soundclick site, developing new songs. I have finished for a while and will take a summer break. But there are (or soon will be) a total of 14 new songs for about an hour's total listening time. They now average about 4 minutes per song. I had some recording issues that limited the size. I have fixed those.
My music is listed in the "Jazz" categorie but there is quite a variety, some 'big band", some club jazz, some soft rock and other pieces I can't catagorize. There's probaly something for most people. But you won't recognize the names of tunes (more on that below).
I just made an audio CD with all 14 new songs. Unfortunately, I don't know how to distribute them. The album is 65 minutes long. I made it for my own purposes, to play in my car and to give to family members. It may be possible to go commercial with that CD or a similar compilation so I can finally make some money from my music once again. (Worked jobs as a Union pro several decades ago.)
To visit the site, just click on the link below. All songs are free, whether you just listen or download, there are no charges, hidden or otherwise.
If you find a site that offers free downloads with recognizable names from popular music (regardless of genre), the site is illegal under international copyright law.
I have plenty of good popular music in books that I could play using my "orchestra." But I would have to be ready to pay $0.75 for each copy downloaded. So that would mean I would have to charge you something for every "listen" and for every "download". That is a lot of bookkeeping. I do music to have fun, not to be a bookkeeper. So I do several styles that will be familiar but no specific tunes will be recognized. But my original compositions and arrangements seem to be somewhat popular. My "orchestra" has evolved into brass, string and choir sections with the normal range of drums and background instruments fitting the style. I throw in vibes and flute solos using the Yamaha keyboard and live performances on the thrombone, trumpet, tenor sax and soprano sax. The latter has proven to be the most popular instrument with the people who visit Soundclick. If I say soprano was used in the description, a song gets played a lot more than if I say "trombone."
The legality of songs for general posting is determined in the following process. First I critique myself as I develop a song trying to avoid direct copies of any part of a copyrighted song. (This can be tough because my head holds a lot of songs and song fragments.) Then I pick a title for the song and run that title through the Harry Fox Agency web site to see if it has been copyrighted. Then as I post a song to Soundclick, I certify that I am the sole author of the song, the arrangement and the performance. If there is some question, the Soundclick staff will contact me and ask me to pull a song. This has happened only once when I used a title that was copyrighted rather obscurely in the 1930's. So my songs are legal and I have sole ownership.
(There is a class of songs in the Public Domain. These include Danny Boy, Poor Butterfly and Greensleeves that have been on my site. In these cases I claim copyright for only the arrangement and performance.)
The process of developing a song for Soundclick is a bit unusual but fun. I would not do it if it were not. I seldom use any music though in this batch of 14 songs, I did write out one song using a computer music notation program so I could get more consistency than usual. i start workiing with an idea for a rhythm, a style, a tempo, and try several solo voices, all on the Yamaha YPT-410 keyboard (a nice, cheap one for a wide range of users, even rank beginners). The song tends to solidify a bit after some prectice time. Then I record some tracks in the memory of the keyboard. First is the "style" with drums and rhythm background such as guitars, bass, low brass or strings pre-constructed subject to my application for the song. Then I add some solo voices, some are recorded on separate tracks in the keyboard memory. Some are my live instruments which are added at the time of recording.
Then I go to the initial recording session. I use a top-quality microphone that captures the live instrument sound very well. I play the keyboard through an amp with an equalizer and a pair of small speakers mounted about 8 inches from the mic. I blow the solos as planned. (I will often jot down a note at which measure each solo starts. The measures appear in the keyboard display.)
Then I am subjected to the terrible tyrrany of the computer. I record on my Toshiba laptop with the mic going in through a USB port with "Cakewalk Sonar5" software that came with the mic. That software shows an amplitude chart that helps in setting levels and positioning the equipent - including me. But the tyrraniical part is "dropouts" that suddenly stop the recording dead in its tracks. Part of that is caused by internal activity in the computer. But part comes in from powerline disturbances and (I believe) from ignition noise in vehicles going by on the street like the gremlins that disturb Toyota accelerators. I have fixed most of the internal computer problems by removing any junk that is not needed in the direct operation which occurs offline. It used to be that it would take me 80 or more tries before I finished a recording. That's without any mistakes or changes on my part. Now it is pretty smooth and I have done several 5-minute songs in 3 or 4 tries. problems arise most often now in mid to late afternoon when school buses and delivery trucks go by. One time I made a 5-minute recording almost perfect the first time. I decided to make one little change. It took over an hour to get a good recording. My wife had started using the electric leaf blower in the back yard. Now I check her grounds keeping schedule before starting.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Apr 27, 2010 21:01:17 GMT -5
So, getting back to the topic of Flight Simulation: Today I tried putting FS2002 on my laptop and flying it by keyboard commands. The little Toshiba flies pretty well but there is a little problem.
I may get a USB joystick if I decide to keep using FS2002 on the laptop. I had used key control while working at NASA when I was trying to find applications for the flight Simulator in my NASA work. I finally did justify it on a project to design fly-back boosters. My boss let me get a joystick and leave it connected to my office computer. Then he would bring visitors by to show how I was "flying the boosters back and landing them at the cape."
But today I had a terrible time trying to land the aircraft using the keyboard controls. Because of the Toshiba's limited keyboard, I had to define several new key assignments. I used the left and right arrows for aileron and the up and down arrows for elevator deflections. I used the "END" key to center ailerons and elevator deflections. Page up was up elevator trim and page down was down elevator trim. I managed to land the Cessna 172 okay after flying it around mainly with the autopilot. Then I messed up several landings using the Skylane RG. The first time, I used the autopilot in approach mode. It was level, at the right speed just short of the runway when I took manual control and i managed to botch it so badly I whacked the ground three times wandering aimlessly away from the riunway. Next I got down all right and spun off the runway tryng to slow down.
The sim seemed to run all right. I put in high broken clouds to have some kind of an interesting sky. I flew the glider down through the clouds. All motion was very smooth.
But it does have a very strange quirk that caused a computer crash every time I did it. That fatal act was trying to set the spot view to FIXED with fast change. I hate that slow, dynamic swing they give you as you shift from Cockpit View to Spot View. Every time I changed the motion type from dynamic to fast, the computer aborted the run.
It is a small thing and I can live with the slow view change if I have to. But I wonder what else will cause an abort?
I threw out all my FS2002 stuff a few months ago, thinking I'd never use it.That included the "cheat" that made it possible to start FS2002 without a disk in the drive. But I guess I can life without that cheat. I do miss all the aircraft and the special panels I had made.
So I will fuss with it a while and then probably dump it if I run into any more funny stuff. I was pleased to see how the Toshiba ran the sim - pretty well.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Apr 28, 2010 4:45:52 GMT -5
The 2002 sim didn't need the cheat to run w/o the disk. I was surprised the last time I tried the 2002 sim how much it looked like 2004! I'd forgotten. I guess the haunting memories of 2000 Pro were tainting my recollection...
Post by Tom Goodrick on Apr 28, 2010 9:07:56 GMT -5
That may depend on your operating system. Or maybe you have the cheat and don't know it. I just tried to boot FS2002 without the disk and had a frozen computer. It showed the photo of the 747 and froze. I could not get it to shutdown except by using the power-off key and then it did not come up right. It came up with the 747 still shown. As I hit various keys it went to a partial window and I was able to shut down the computer normally. Then I put the disk back in. The computer came up normally and then I started FS2002 normally. It did call the disk (Disk 3 of the set).
I have Vista and the professional Edition of FS2002. I used to use the Toshiba to view DVD's in my bedroom before bed (McHale's Navy and Hogan's Heroes for laughs). But now I have a DVD player up there. So I only use the disk drive twice a year when I make audio CD's of my soundclick songs. I can live with an FS disk "permanently" in the drive.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Apr 28, 2010 20:06:41 GMT -5
OK. I am going to be playing with FS2002 for a while. But I am learning a few things. I have a birthday coming up so to avoid trouble with my wife, I'll simply request a joystick for my birthday. Until then I will be using keys for control when needed but mostly I'll be using the autopilot, including for landings.
I am flying the C182, C182RG, Mooney Bravo and the Baron 58. That is quite a hanger full. I have all aircraft working correctly. (The default aircraft are, in general too slow.) The C182 cruises at 142 KTAS at 8000 ft ( a little less at normal altitudes). The C182RG cruises at 156 KTAS at 7500 ft (not the 145 KTAS shown by the default aircraft. Itneeds a drag scalar of 0.77). The Mooney Bravo does about 176 KTAS on 75% at 8000 ft. The Baron 58 does 203 KTAS at 7000 ft on 75% (not 195 as the Default does).
They all land nicely at my home airport of KHSV on the ILS for 18L. At some other airports they may land a little short or a little off to one side. The auto langins are a bit firm but they'll do until I get a stick.
I downloaded RW today for the FS2002. It has the problem I'd forgotten about of fast and continuous direction changes in the wind. The surface wind at HSV this afternoon was "light and variable". To FS that translates as 5 knots from every direction, rotating at the rate of 10 degrees per second. I went to some other airports and found steady winds. But they did not line up with the runway. Then I discovered how tough it is to use key controls for a crosswind takeoff. You have to compensate for the wind by holding aileron. Then when you lift off you roll like heck!
Maybe rudder on the twisted stick will work. Of course I could always take that old broken recliner and build a cockpit based on it with rudder pedals and a control yoke. All I need is to locate it so I can see the big screen. Then long monitor cable and I'm in business.
I like the idea of a limited selection of aircraft. With a stick I can fly the Beech 350 and the Learjet 45. Starting with the Skylane, that is one very nice selection of aircraft to build some time in.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Apr 28, 2010 21:31:40 GMT -5
That's interesting that you need to ahve the disk in. Way back when, I had Windows 2000 Pro that I ran FS2002 on, and it didn't need the disk. I now have a new version of FS2002 and it doesn't need the disk on Vista or Windows 7. But neither sim was the professional edition. Maybe that's the difference?
I still like FS2002, especially for lesser machines like laptops without a dedicated video card. It's a fine sim in that situation. That wind is crazy though. Wasn't there something wrong with the winds aloft as well? Like sudden rapid shifts or something? It's been a while since I have flown that one.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Apr 29, 2010 9:06:13 GMT -5
I remember vaguely that there was no requirement for the disk in FS2002. There was in FS2000 and, of course, in FS2004 unless you coud find the cheat. I think there is something flakey about my Toshiba/Vista installation.
But it works fine. I will, however, stay away from Real Weather even though that is the quickest way to get neat-looking clouds. (There is always neat weather somewhere in the world that is included in each download.) I'll simply concoct my own weather. Right now I am flying with broken clouds at 10,000 ft. Sunrise and sunset look good.
Today I will try importing some of my XML gauges - the Landing Speed gauge and the power gauges for the aircraft I am flying. I was disappointed to find that the Flight Analysis routine in FS2002 does not include Landing Analysis. The HELP says there should be but I can't see any way to get to it. The Flight Analysis only gives a plot of your XY path and vertical trace with no touchdown vertical speed.
I am also modifying the panels slightly by tossing the Vor2 and ADF which I never use. I have placed the autopilot on the panels and copied the Mooney fuel flow gauge to the Cessna panels.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Apr 29, 2010 20:51:04 GMT -5
Today I tried passing some of my XML gauge files to the laptop for use with the default aircraft. I wanted to use the landing Speed gauge and the power gauges. I have gotten used to using the power gauges.
But the Toshiba with FS2002 will not run my XML gauges. That is strange because I know I started working on those gauges when I was running FS2002. I checked the Boeing 747 CAB and found several XLM files so I know it is supposed to run XML gauges.
So I did some flying today. I fllew the Beech 350 to Atlanta and back with a total of three landings. They went fine using the autopilot. I had to initiate the flare manually but otherwise it went well.
i verified that the Mooney Bravo worked exactly right as it came with the program. My test was 89% cruise at 10,000 ft. It should see 188 KTAS and 10.4 gph. It did. I calculated 75% would be 17.2 gph. At that power it saw 177 KTAS at 10,000 ft. One thing that has given the Mooney Aircraft Company a lot of trouble is how they stretch the facts. They told people they could get very high cruise speeds at high altitude using over 85% power. It was true but the engines did not last long. 75% is much more reasonable. Then you have to very careful letting down not to cool the engine too fast. That maks it awkward to use high altitude and then get down for a landing in a reasonable time and distance.
I had forgotten how impractical it was to change payloads. The only way to do it is to shut down and edit the aircraft.cfg file.
Post by Tom Goodrick on May 5, 2010 9:29:26 GMT -5
This inability to use xml gauges is very perplexing. I looked through the 747 CAB for the default 747 and found that the clock is an xml gauge. That clock is pretty fancy and is used as a pop-up that you can put anyway. I used to use it on many long-range aircraft. For some reason, that xml gauge works fine in FS2002 on this Toshiba laptop. But my own xml gauges are ignored.
The main reason I like using FS2004 is all the special gauges and panels I have. In using the default panels in the Lear 45, the Boeing 737 and the Beech 350 in FS2002, I have come to appreciate all the special things I developed and took for granted with the custom panels. They show all you might possibly need to know on one 2D panel. I am tired of looking at big round dials that do not show the data clearly and accurately yet take up a lot of space. in controlling the Beech 350, for example, I like to look at fuel flow as a quick way of making power changes. The slow changes on the hard to read round dials are useless. The rapidly changing digital gauges on my panels are very helpful.
I would like to put FS2004 on a laptop someday. But only if I can get it to run xml gauges.
This implementation of FS2002 is fast but flakey. For example I generally have a lot of trouble doing a cold boot and loading FS. It generally does not come up the first time. I have to CTRL+ALT+DEL to get control to shut down FS and restart it. I usually run in full screen mode but will change to a windowed mode when I am editing things. (I have always run in windowed mode on the Dell because the screen aspect ratio handles the full window very well (with the tool line below and the program options above). The wide screen mode of the laptop (true of most laptops today) works best with the full screen mode. But often this FS2002 implementation does not know which windowed mode to go to - the one covering most of the window or with just a little square window in the center of the screen that is completely useless.
On the other hand, I am enjoying very fast and smooth scenery changes with very high detail. The scenery is very crisp and pretty. Even the clouds look great. I increased the density so that, when above an overcast, I cannot see anything on the ground. this makes an ILS in IMC a lot more realistic and interesting.
Post by Tom Goodrick on May 7, 2010 20:50:53 GMT -5
Scott gave me his CH joysticks for my birthday. He wasn't using them. They make all the difference in the world. Now I can land any airplane manually. No more autpilot autolandings that slam you into the runway 50 feet left of center. I can even fly the Extra 300 and the Jet Ranger (to an extent).
I have been busy setting up all aircraft with good landing visibility. In addition to eh [Views] VIEW_FORWARD_DIR command line we have the wing incidence angle to adjust in FS2002. That was removed as an "improvement" in FS2004. It sure makes it easy to level the plane in cruise and to set just enough nose-down view on approach sl that the VIEW command in the panel .cfg can work effectively. The first time I landed the Beech 350 manually (meaning slow and smooth) it looked like it was siting on its tail. Now it looks normal.
I have not yet tried to use Aircraft Airfile Manager though the version I have was written for FS2002. I am afraid Vista will cause the whole computer to implode.
Gettin' better and goin' farther and faster. That Learjet 45 is one sweet plane.
Post by Tom Goodrick on May 10, 2010 22:51:56 GMT -5
VISTA is the villain that has made it difficult for me to get FS2002 running smoothly on my laptop, including installing the XML gauges.
Tonight I downloaded some aircraft for FS2002 directly to the laptop. One was fred Choate's very fine Piper Aztec. I found that VISTA is classifying every new file I bring into the computer as unfit for general use. I have to go through and "unblock" these files and then change the permissions so I can use them. Fortunately this can be done with one command at the folder level.
After fooling around with this stuff for a while, I was not sure I had straightened out all the files. But I tried loading the aircraft and it came up OK in the sim, complete with its custom panel.
I decided to run the sim in XP mode. It makes me feel better. But it still has not fixed the bug that causes a crash whenever I try to change any options on the View Options page.
So now I have one more twin to fly in FS2002 - the Aztec. I might also have a Cessna 421 and a Cessn 337. I'll work through their permissions tomorrow. This sure is disgusting.
I have changed some permissions on the XML files. But evidently not enough. They still don't work.
Post by Tom Goodrick on May 11, 2010 22:56:00 GMT -5
I know you're all waiting for the latest news in my quest for full control of FS2002 on my laptop. I admit it is very peculiar to be writing about something we wrote about 7-8 years ago as if it is something new. But in a way it is new. The only problems that arise are caused by VISTA, our new operating system that was dreamed up by a horribly devious mind to thwart anybody who does anything other than to simply execute INSTALLED program files.
Well, the news is that I did succeed in downloading an aircraft from avsim directly into the laptop and was able to get it running with 98% satisfaction.
Last night after my initial download, I spent some time checking the files for "permissions." I found how to clear "blocked files" (that came from another computer as opposed to a sanctioned installation). before retiring for the night I tried loading the plane into FS2002. It loaded and looked good (Fred Choate's Piper Aztec). I looked forward to flying it today.
I started working on the Aztec early this morning like a kid with a new toy. I popped the aircraft into a starting situation - on runway 18L at KHSV, tried to set the pitch trim for takeof and tried to move the throttle forward for takeoff. Those control inputs had no effect. I was looking at a good panel and everything seemd ready to go. But it just sat there. I was not in Full Screen Mode (FSM) but the next level down - the full-sixe window with menu listings along the top and bottom (Big Window Mode or BWM). I twiddled the joystick, tried commands on the keys and on the stick for all kinds of things. Nothing worked but I did find the aircraft 150 yards left of the runway in tall grass moving extremely slowly.
So then I remembered that this machine does not like to operate in that mode so I switched to FSM and reset the startup situation and loaded the Aztec. This time everything worked. I made a normal takeoff, flew a circuit and landed. But there were a few things to check in the files so I had to go back to Big Window Mode (BWM) to edit the files and then come back, start the program and fly. I found, for example, that Fred Choate, who said he was proud to make such an accurate set of FD files that wre approved by three real Aztec pilots had given us a cruise speed that was 25 knots too slow. I corrected that and have the speed and fuel flow matching the spec at 75% (176 knots true with 13.05 gph/e). The main fix was changing the prop thrust scalar from 0.8 to 1.0. (Maybe somebody changed that after Fred posted aircraft.)
At one point I looked at the profile view and found the nose was a bit too high in level flight. It was a pleasure to be able once again to solve this little problem by adding a degree to the incidence angle. In FS2004 this problem would take at least 45 minutes to fix as you add a half deggree to each value in the lift vs angle of attack table (and repeat the process until the plane flies level).. Her, as in real life, you find the nose has to lift to get the lift equal to the weight in level flight. Just increase the wing incidence angle very slightly and it has enough lift when the fuselage is level.
So anyway, I touched up the panel and enjoyed flying the aircraft a lot of different places. It looks real nice and flies nice. One thing I noticed was that there was no landing gear drag. So I emailed to myself AAM and got that up and running on the laptop so I can change the gear drag. That's when I found that the problem was that he had built the FD on an .air file for a fixed gear aircaft like the Skylane instead of using the Baron as a base. Tomorrow, I'll stick in the .air file from the Baron and fix the gear drag. There must be some noticeable effect of lowering the gear.
Later in the day I found that I could, indeed, fly the plane in BWM instead of FSM. The panel looks foggy in FSM but is chrystal clear in BWM. Somehow VISTA had decided it could not keep me from flying that plane in BWM where I normally fly any FS for instant edit capability. (I must admit that with a wide scrren as on the laptop, the FSM fills the screen and all the round gauges are round instead of elliptical. But the instant edit capability is always nice to have. There's always something I forgot to edit on the last editing/flying session.