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Around the world with Ted

Microsoft Flight Sim

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#1 Ted_Ball

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:41 AM

Here are some posts with observations on Microsoft Flight Sim 2020.

 

I'm going to attempt to fly around the world in a small, single prop plane. 


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#2 Ted_Ball

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:44 AM

What a great sim - although I'm not simming too hard yet. 

 

Finally left Australia after 3 days flying (big country) and now crossing the Torres Strait to New Guinea - making landfall on a little grass strip in some remote village before a final leg today stopping at Mt Hagen in the highlands. Weather is beautiful.

 

I'm flying the Robin DR400/100 Cadet. I hope she can make the climb into the mountains. I sacked the Diamond DA40NG. (pos)


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#3 Ted_Ball

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:45 AM

Wow!. This game is revealing itself.

As soon as I crossed into New Guinea the bad weather started. I've been dogged by electrical storms for two days. I was going to fly to Mt Hagen in one hop but was forced down to Panakawa then Moro. There was full thick cloud cover with nicely rendered lightning and lightning flashes with authentic thunder.

I tried to get up to 8000 feet to cross the mountain range out of  Moro but was turned back twice. There's a trade off between climb rate and air speed. I didn't like having full throttle to climb but no acceleration if I got into trouble. And that's while storms are constant with only glimpses of the terrain through breaks.

So I had to go around the mountains along river valleys before climbing to Hagen where I had to land in a severe storm. I'm heading north west to get to the north coast and out of the mountains but there were still some ranges to cross through heavy cloud. You never know whether you'll fly into the side of a mountain.

I'm using a destination HUD but I'd like to start more dead reckoning - plot a course i.e. 1 hour NW, 2 hours due W, etc. taking into account wind speed. Fuel is an issue. I'd like to fly like Francis Chichester!! Interesting experience.

OK. On to the Indonesias.


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#4 Ted_Ball

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:45 AM

Strewth!  That was some flight. 

 

I decided to go straight up through the Philippines and bypass Indonesia after leaving Papua/New Guinea. I'll come through Bali etc. on the way back home. Papua and West Papua was this vast and endless sea of trees. You can understand people deciding to log areas because they would think they'll never get through it all. But, anyway...

 

I flew up through the islands in the south of the Philippines. Thousands of them. Beautiful little villages and nice beaches. We can get the Australian pension there for six months. $27 a night for a gorgeous bamboo (two storey) bungalow.  Hmmm...

 

So I landed in Manilla yesterday afternoon and took off this morning for Taggat on the far north coast of the big island - about 460 km. The weather in the Philippines is horrendous. I flew into huge storms from the start and the ATC began asking me to climb to 10,000 feet. There are mountains to cross but 10k is a bit extreme. I followed their instruction and began the long climb but it was tough.

 

I'd get to about 7,000 ft in the teeth of this storm and a wind sheer would throw me down 500 ft instantly. I was at full throttle but I'd keep losing height and the plane would threaten to stall. And every 30 seconds this bloody ATCer would be telling me to climb to 10k ft. You could tell he was pissed off. I wanted to get on the mic and tell him to come and fly the bloody thing himself but I couldn't find the mic and I had my hands full anyway - fighting this storm. My co-pilot Shirley had passed out after vomiting so she was useless but I eventually was able to turn off the radio. They could come and shoot me down if they like. I didn't care.

 

The camera movement during this rollercoaster ride was impressive - giving you the feeling of being tossed around. I have the controller vibrations on but there wasn't any jolting through that which is a bit disappointing.

 

I'm flying 500 km over the ocean to Taiwan next to see what all the fuss is about. I'm going to try some dead reckoning with the HUD turned off using direction, air speed and time. I'll see how close to my destination I can get.


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#5 Ted_Ball

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 06:50 AM

Flying out of Manilla this morning heading into dreadful weather in the distance.

 

You can see my destination - Taggat - in the HUD with the distance.  You can't get lost .  There's other indicators showing the towns and airports etc. I think I'll prefer nude flying.

 

leaving-manilla.png


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#6 Ted_Ball

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 11:09 AM

I'm sitting here this afternoon at the Taggat Lagoon Beach Resort enjoying a cerveza or two and poring over maps (without Shirley - who has the shits).
 
I've got a 450 km trip over open sea to get to Fengnin Airport in Taitung City on the eastern side of Taiwan tomorrow. I'll have no unnatural aids on. Fortunately for this test of dead reckoning my destination is almost due north from here - only about 2 or 3 longitude minutes to the east of direct north. I can keep that heading quite well if there's no terrible weather.
 
I'll keep my air speed at 185 km/hr for most of the journey. That should make the trip around 2 hrs and 25 minutes. The wind isn't much of an issue and I'll have plenty of fuel.
 
There's no landmarks during the flight but if the weather holds I'll see Taiwan from 50 kms out and it's a big target anyway. Just good practice for later flights up around Greenland etc.

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#7 Buck

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 08:40 PM

Did you buy a joystick or yoke for the game Ted?



#8 MERACE

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Posted 06 August 2021 - 09:50 PM

Ted, I’m really enjoying reading your flight around the world diary. 😎

Unfortunately, it’s making it harder and harder for me waiting to play this phenomenal flight simulator!


-MERACE

#9 Ted_Ball

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 01:27 AM

Buck, I'm sticking to the Xbox controller. I'm not going hardcore sim (although I'm slowly turning off aids) so it's adequate at this point.

 

It has been worth the wait MERACE. It looks great. The lighting and detail is wonderful. It seems it will have long term gameplay considering the number of planes available and coming later. Lot of modding going on too.

 

The default ground surface detail is fine but not that great or accurate. The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is a flat roadway (like in the Florida Keys I suppose) but you couldn't complain when you think about the incredible amount of work that's been put into rendering billions of buildings etc.



#10 Ted_Ball

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 04:13 AM

This is the instrument panel on the Robin Cadet. 

 

It's very rudimentary but shows everything I need. The only thing it doesn't have is a clock which is a nuisance.

 

robin.png

 

 

And this is the panel for a more advanced small plane.  The screens show way too much information which, for me, takes away the challenge of flying.  

 

modern.png

 

Having those screens with all that information makes it seem like your flying a computer game....Oh,  wait



#11 Ted_Ball

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Posted 07 August 2021 - 04:20 AM

The default ground surface detail is fine but not that great or accurate. 

 

Having said that, I have to say that there are plenty of free DLC of some cities and countries with much more highly detailed renders. I just downloaded one for Japan where I'm headed soon. It was about 3.5 gig.

 

There was an update this morning - I don't know what it was - but that's good to see and expected.



#12 Goran JoeMen

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 12:05 AM

Great read Ted, been thinking of getting into flying for a long while. Time for getting this sim and a decent flight controller, and adding a harddrive. I am retired now and will have plenty of time to sink into it when winter comes.


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#13 Jugador

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 02:18 AM

 Nice screenies! It's amazing how realistic the scenery and cockpit look...


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#14 Ted_Ball

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 02:21 AM

Thanks Goran. I recommend it  You can make it as complex or as simple as you like - and spend many hours or not so many.
 
 
 
OK.  The dead reckoning trial was sort of successful. Here's the story.
 
 
I flew out of Taggat Beach on the north end of he Philippines at 10.30 am (my time). I expected to reach my destination in Taiwan at 1 pm.
 
I climbed hard to 2,000 feet and then kept the plane rising slowly to 3,000 ft. I like to cruise at that altitude to give me leeway in case of bad turbulence. I kept flying into low cloud and squalls with the occasional electric storm. The storms have been with me for a week.
 
To reach my destination point without artificial guides I had to maintain my airspeed of 185 km/hr and my heading of north on the compass. Normally (over land), in calm weather, I can set and forget for long periods with the aircraft trimmed (more on that later) but I realised with the bad weather buffeting the plane and throwing me around I'd have to actually fly the thing. So I sat at the monitor for two and a half hours.
 
 
 
I had no visuals on the horizon or anything else so I had to use instruments to adjust roll and pitch which were being thrown around in the storms. Meanwhile I had to maintain airspeed. The changes in altitude didn't matter much. When I can, I reduce throttle (with a very simple push/pull rod on the panel). This gives me some acceleration when I need it but I was at full throttle for a lot of this flight. The revs are red lining which I don't like - even though I don't have authentic damage turned on.
 
 
 
So I had to concentrate for the bulk of the flight. I couldn't see a thing apart from occasional glimpses of the sea. I was getting gaming anxious as I was getting closer to Taiwan and about 40 minutes out I flew out of the low cloud and saw this on the horizon...
 
 
taiwan.png
 
 
I continued to fly directly north to see how close I was to where I should have been. I reckon I was about 5 kms to the east of where I should have been so it wasn't too bad. Having determined that, I headed over to the coast to follow it up to Taitung City but a severe storm hit me as soon as I got to the shore. I'd reduced my altitude to 1,000 feet and with mountains around and absolutely no vision, I decided to dump it on a paddock near the beach. Besides, Shirley was freaking out. From where I landed I worked out I would have reached Taitung very close to 1 pm. Dead reckoning Pass/Fail? I don't know - but we live to fly another day.
 
 
Shocking weather...
 
lightning.png
 
 
 
Grey out !!   With rain streaming off the windshield. (That's done well) That's the low fuel light blazing which added to my gaming anxiety.
 
grey-out.png
 
 
 
I hope the locals are friendly...
 
nice-spot.png


#15 Buck

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 03:04 AM

I hope the locals are friendly...

 

Just don't get Crushed


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#16 Ted_Ball

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 06:59 AM

Yeah the detail is nice Jugador. Especially with the lighting. There's even a palm print on the side window where someone (Shirley?) has tried to push the window open to escape.

 

 

OK.  Here's the left side instrument panel in close up.

 

panel.png

 

1.  Airspeed indicator.
In knots and km/hr. I cruise at 185 km/hr. The plane seems to find that speed itself at level flight.
 
2.  Horizon gauge.
I haven't used it but after those grey-out storms I'll refer to it more.
 
3.  Altitude.
In feet. This plane can fly at 14,000 ft but I haven't been above about 8k
 
4.
I'm assuming this could hold your heading but I haven't worked out how to use it.
 
5.
Do not touch this!
 
6.  Turn coordinator.
Something to do with rudder and yoke combination. I don't use the rudder much while I'm flying in the one heading for long periods.     Rudder good for sharp turns.
 
7.  Heading compass.
There's another one above the panel at the bottom of the windshield. They don't match up so I use this one.
 
8.  Vertical speed.
I refer to this a lot because it has has a bearing on speed. Up - slow, Down - fast.
 
9. Throttle.
Push in - fast. Pull out - slow. Cool.
 
10. RPM.
You have to keep your revs up in the high green afaic.
 
11.  Fuel. 
The Robin Cadet has a range of 1019 kms. I'm hoping I have to test that at some stage for some gaming excitement. 
 
 
I have no idea what the other gauges are for. 
 
You can make adjustments with the controller buttons or hover the curser over switches etc. and use the A button to open the toggles. I use the former. 
 
 
 
I'll explain my dead reckoning system and trimming the aircraft next and you can refer to this photo.                            

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#17 Jugador

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 09:51 AM

 Yes sir, that's really crazy real looking. I bet the alternator gauge needle (next to the two red switches) even moves a little during startup and flight. Great stuff...! 


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#18 Perculator

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 01:40 PM

No autopilot in that bird?


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#19 Ted_Ball

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 02:40 PM

No. But there is a VL3 mod...then it uses an on screen touch autopilot via G3X apparently. Please don't ask me what that means. 



#20 Ted_Ball

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Posted 08 August 2021 - 02:50 PM

I meant to say at the beginning of this thread that the reason I chose the Robin Cadet 400 was the wide, relatively unobstructed view from the cockpit. I would have liked the wing on top of the cabin but decided this still had the best view.

 

Other reason...

 

Range. Lot of small planes had ranges around 650 km. I didn't think that would be enough for long hops.

 

The simplicity of the instruments happened to turn out to be a bonus for my challenge. The 400 was designed in 1972.






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