Trying to make my FS flights as real as possible

TimTim Guest

Hi everyone

Now I have a few questions

I am the type of pilot who likes to do everything in FS 2004 like it is done in real world (for example I wouldn't start an IFR flight, set the Nav/GPS switch to GPS and press NAV and let the plane fly itself, but I would use autopilot, because this is used all the time in real-world jets)

I was just wondering, flight simulator is filled with lots of extras which make things easy, but I don't want them too easy, so far as its not real

I feel guilty when I "cheat"... so that is why I avoid doing it

I have a few questions that pop to my mind...

Firstly, Spoilers set to Arm... is this realistic... do real-world jets have this feature?? If so, how does the plane know that it is on the ground?? Is it that the wheels start spinning, is it that the plane gets shaky for a second or two??

I'll post more questions as I think of them

Thanks for the help in advance

11 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
pilotwannabe Chief Captain

Modern jets definately have a feature that allows pilots to arm the spoilers so that they deploy on main gear touchdown. I'm not sure how it works but it must be something to do with the weight triggering some sort of hydraulic fluid to flow and so on... 😉

Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

A gOod start to getting closer to rality is to buy FSPassengers 😉 In harder settings you penalized from lights till flaps extension etc.

Try it and you wont loose.

Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

Yep, pressure on the main gear while down will trigger the armed spoilers. Very handy and not at all cheating Wink

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Information on spoilers and the workings of them for the mechanically minded of people...

On the 727 for example, the spoiler panels are each activated independently by two completely separate hydraulic systems. Each wing has seven spoiler panels. The outboard five panels serve both as flight and ground spoilers, while the two remaining inboard panels serve only as ground, non-modulating, spoilers activated on landing by a squat switch on the left main landing gear when auto-spoiler is armed or speed brake lever pulled to the stops, as long as the left mail gear strut is compressed.

In other words, the two inboards are either fully up at 45 degrees (on the ground), or down (during flight). The remaining five panels can be modulated to varying degrees (up to 45 degrees) by the speed brake lever while airborne or the full 45 degrees on the ground when auto-spoiler is armed or by simply pulling the speed brake lever to it's stop.

The ground spoilers, as well as the two outer-most flight spoiler panels are activated by hydraulic System A (engine driven from the numbers one and two engines), while the remaining panels are activated by hydraulic System B (electrically driven).

The outboard five panels (the outer-most two using system A and the remaining three using system B) also work to assist in roll control during turns while airborne, not to exceed 25 degrees deployment. In other words, if the pilot turns the yoke in excess of 5 degrees (I think), the flight spoiler panels on the low wing will lift to assist in the turn, but never lifting more than 25 degrees.

Now those outboard five can be deployed to the full 45 degrees by the speed brake lever during flight or after landing, or after landing when the auto-spoilers are armed. Ok, now I am starting to repeat myself. Sorry. Just want this point driven home, for what it's worth.

I'll add this. The electrically driven B system (with APU running) while on the ground requires ground personnel clearance for it's use. It does stuff like close the gear doors, etc., which could hurt or kill someone if used while someone is inspecting a wheel well, etc.

The engine driven A system, though, if you were paying close attention, is driven by the numbers one and two engines. Any wonder that while during pushback, only number three is started? The A system powers nosewheel steering. If the A system were pressurized, the nosewheel, if turned by the captain's tiller during pushback could actually flip the tug pushing it back. Ouch!

Fortunately, there are some experienced 727 people here who can add to/correct what I've provided here, but I think I've covered the main points.


TimTim Guest

I already have FSPassengers... its the best add-on I know for flight simulator 2004

I wouldn't fly a flight now without it, if I don't have it on it sometimes feels abit boring up in the sky, it feels like you are flying for no reason (it seriously does, I swear). I nearly need FSPassengers to make my flights that extra real

And the good thing about FSPassengers is that its always a challenge. I mean you know yourself, its not that easy to get everything perfect on a flight, and I don't mean small stuff like "Hated that they could not see the end of the movie", but I mean bigger stuff, some things jump up in flights such as turblence, and then there's the challenge of trying to get a smooth landing, which is hard at first, but eventually you nail it

Another question that popped into my mind!!

GPS: Is it common practice in modern jets to use GPS just after you have been vectored to the runway to get that final turn perfect into the ILS feather?? I find GPS far better to do this last turn onto final that your eye, because sometimes you can't see the runway in FS2004, but then it just pops into view (I think I need a new graphics card)

Anyway, is this done in real jets??

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

In modern real world jets, they do not use GPS vectoring or any GPS system for that matter. It is all done through the DEP/ARR page of the FMC using FMSs. GPS was only introduced in FS as a more simplistic way of navigating 😉

Pro Member Chief Captain
pilotwannabe Chief Captain

....and also in small props, GPS is usually used with the absence of the more sophisticated FMC's that are used in airliners 😉

Pro Member First Officer
amermel First Officer

And in all airliners autopilot is used from take off to landing.

TimTim Guest

I was just wondering, and this is totally off-topic to what the forum is about

But today I tried autoland for the first time in the Greg 737 panel for the Default 737-400, and thought it was complete rubbish

First go, it landed but it didn't do the landing like I'd do it

If there is one thing I am good at in a heavy metal is making a smooth landing, even all my FSpassengers flights all have "You made a very smooth landing. (+50)".

But I think autoland makes balls of it!! Setting flaps to 40 for a start (flaps shouldn't be on 40 for landing, it is usually only used in emergencies, or just not used at all). It doesn't flare at touchdown (if it does it doesn't help, because it still lands down on all gear).

And on my second time using autoland today, it was going alright, but just before the threshold of the runway, instead of flaring up, it pointed down and started a mini-nosedive into the displaced threshold, and ended up in a big ball of flames (I use the crash enchancer thingy). Terrible

Is there really such thing as autoland in real planes?? Or is there a more simplified version of it where it follows the ILS down at about -800ft/min VS and then at about 50ft AGL it flares slightly to slow down descent rate to about -100ft/min and touches down on the main landing gear??

Pro Member First Officer
Canyon (NoWorries) First Officer

Yes, there really is autoland. It was designed by Marshall's in the UK in Bedford, I think they were using an MD-80 for their tests. Before it was authorized to be installed in all airliners, they had to complete some crazy number of perfect(no defects what-so-ever) landings, it was somewhere between 100 and 1,000 landings, I can't remember how many though!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Like NoWorries said, autoland does exist, but obviously, in real world aircraft, it is a lot more accurate. The autoland in freeware aircraft is very crude and inaccurate. You can always buy a freeware aircraft - they have accuracy in most areas. Autoland in the real world is only used if absolutely necessary, i.e. near zero visibility.

You can also use the APP to follow the approach down to around 800 feet where you should take over and land the aircraft your self. It isn't an autoland, so don't leave it on below 500 feet minimum 😉

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