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Hovercraft 412 - Anyone using????

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Hello fellow simmers,
FINALLY, as my previous post, I'm getting into helicopters, and boy, what a challenge......................but, do-able............

I found a site, www.hovercontrol.com and downloaded their Hovercraft package - BOY, it is beautiful, along with the very best VC I've ever seen in a chopper...................................

It comes with a checklist, and you MUST go through the setup before this bird will even start............OK, I can get started fine, I can take off fine, BUT within 2 minutes of flight, smoke is "rolling" out of the engines.............and I cannot figure out "what" I'm doing wrong............

Any of you folks using this chopper ??? and if so, please help this ol' fellow here............................

Thanks so much in advance and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

cthiggin

7 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Hi cthiggin,
I think your topic title Hovercraft 412 is a bit misleading. Looking at it I thought what do I know about Hovercraft and almost skipped it.

I assume you've downloaded one of the HC412 packages, original design by Jordan Moore.
I don't know which one you have, they've been around for fs9 for some time but there have been recent additions such as:

HC412_AB412
HC412_unofficial_FIRE1
Hovercontrol_412_JCG2

I got myself the latter the other day and haven't had any problems. Having said that, I'm still retaining my Hovercontrol_412_PE_v1 which I've had from the beginning.
With that particular model I have had problems in the past, namely engine fires. That happened some time ago and I thought that it was caused by the acrobatics I'd been attempting - flying low between city buildings and the like. However, exiting the flight and starting a new one solved the problem. I should mention though, that it was not necessary to go through a start up procedure - the engine was running after the a/c had been loaded.

If you can reveal the exact file name we can see if anyone else has the same and dig a bit deeper.

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Hello Tailhook -
BOY - sure glad someone answered....................
Here's the fsx version: Hovercontrol_412_PE_v1_FSX

I installed (has an installer) - the ONLY aircraft that I have loaded other than add-ons / payware such as GEX, UTX, GraphicX -
It installed flawlessly..........................
I am getting fires like crazy AFTER flying for about 2 - 5 minutes..........went to the hovercraft forum while ago, and they said to load a flight using a C172 FIRST, then change the aircraft to one of the hovercraft 412's................and it would solve the problem................WELL, it did partially........................I flew for about 7 minutes, then the ol'smoke came back........................I did NOT overspeed, just flying around at about 200 ft..........................

ALSO, the instructions stated to open up a new flight, tell it "OTHER", then load one of the "base" hovercraft flights, save it and restart, then ALL would be well with the "engine" problem...................well, I have an OTHER folder under flights, but it does not show up in FSX..............

Lastly, I also downloaded one FSX Mission at the site, but when loading it says aircraft failed to initialize.......................

IF you have the time, you could visit the site and try the mission download.....BUT, please my friend.....................HELP ME with the smoking guns/engines..................

LOVE the VC on the hovercraft.............just beautiful............

Thanks again for your reply and letting me know that I AM NOT ALONE.......Happy New Year............

cthiggin

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Ok let's do some surgery. I've downloaded Hovercontrol_412_PE_v1_FSX
and extracted its contents into a temporary folder. This enabled me to compare it with Hovercontrol_412_PE_v1, the FS9 predecessor to the FSX version.

Obviously they had to make changes to the installer as in the old version the path was Flight Simulator 9 / Aircraft -- and now in the FSX version the path is SimObjects / Rotorcraft.

I looked at the 'docs' folder which in both versions contains the same single word.doc: Hovercontrol_412_Checklist.doc. I began to compare the contents of both .docs but gave up after a while because they appear to be identical.

Then I compared the gauges. Hovercontrol like some other freeware developers use .CAB files for their gauges and leave them inside the panel folder. AFAIK these .CAB files are usually compatible with FSX.
One little difference here which shouldn't trouble us but which might be worth mentioning:
The FS9 version contains one .CAB file in the panel folder: HC412.CAB
The FSX version contains TWO .CAB files in the panel folder: HC412.CAB and Cessna208B_XML.cab.

So now I had to check whether the texture files had been changed from .bmp to .dds, reason being, the old .bmp files that were used for FS9 textures are compatible with FSX -- but not the other way around. If the .dds files which are now used in FSX are loaded into FS9 you'll most likely get a CTD.

Now I better tell you why I actually went through this procedure: If I could safely install the FSX version of the helicopter into my FS9, I could fly it and see if it would start smoking like yours 🙂
Well, it didn't - I flew for about ten minutes, exited the sim and did the same thing again... no smoke, no fire, no problems.

When the Hovercontrol people told you to load the default C172 first and THEN change to the helicopter that was sound advice; this procedure can solve the problem of not being able to load complex aircraft. But why the smoke reappeared regardless is a mystery.

I'll have to digress a little and hope that I'll find my train of thought again.
Strangely, the FS9 version of the helicopter contains 10 flights... the FSX version does NOT include any flights. 'Maybe' because they are not compatible due to different scenery and have been substituted with the 'Missions' in FSX.

ALSO, the instructions stated to open up a new flight, tell it "OTHER", then load one of the "base" hovercraft flights, save it and restart, then ALL would be well with the "engine" problem...................well, I have an OTHER folder under flights, but it does not show up in FSX..............

Regarding this I can only relate to my experience with this helicopter in FS9.
If I create a flight ie. start the sim, load the default C172 and then switch to the helicopter, the engines will be running and remain running.
On the other hand if I select one of the Hovercontrol flights, it'll take me to the location etc. and the engines will be running but be in the process of powering down. Even if I jam the throttle, the engine will finally turn off. NOW... in order to power up the engine again, I HAVE to go through the start up procedure. If my concentration has been overstretched but I want to fly now, I need to actually shut the sim down and start it up again, and create a flight. I'll find myself in the aircraft with the engines running.

As will be obvious by now there is no use for me to download a Mission as I'm running FS9.
Regarding the fire and smoke issue I very much doubt the problem is caused by the helicopter or its installer. They are very reliable and straight forward.
I'm calculating that the problem is a remnant of a previous flight or add-on - even if that's not the case, files can and will become corrupted, therefore I'd suggest you delete your FSX.cfg file. The sim will create a new one free of mistakes the next time you start up the sim.
Also, in your My Documents folder resides a sub folder called Flight Simulator X Files or similar which contains the flights YOU have created. Often the gremlin hides in that folder so it's a good idea to delete that as well. The sim will create a new, gremlin free folder the next time you start it up.

I really can't think of anything else ATM but if it's any consolation I doubt that the issue is a major one that couldn't be solved with minor tweaking.

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Hello Tailhook -
WOW - I feel guilty now for asking you to look at it..............boy, did you really "look" at it.........................

First - I do show "flights" in a folder that was installed, but again, they don't show up in "free flight" - no big deal that they do not work.........

I will delete the fsx.cfg file as instructed, as well as the saved flights folder in "my-documents" folder, and try again.........................WILL post back late tonight with results..............

Question: Have YOU found any other chopper that is as detailed as the HC???? The FSX defaults look good, exterior, but the VC is so small and hard to read that it's tough trying to see instruments...................

I want to thank you so much for your involvement and helping me to understand the "real-deal".......................I highly appreciate you and the time you spent on this problem....................

Have a great day,

cthiggin

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Hello Tailhook,
WELL, to give you an update:

I let FSX build a new .cfg and I removed the FS folder in My Documents.
Started a new flight with the C172, changed to the Hovercraft..................
I stayed inside the whole time with VC...........AND watched the speed......
ALL went well, no flame-outs, engine sputters, or smoke......................
SO, I said, WHAT-IF I have been giving too much throttle/collective and getting the speed over-maxed - this "may" cause overheating in "this" craft..........................
SO, I went back to my "minimally altered" fsx.cfg and moved the folder back into My Documents......................all the same conditions that I was having the problems with.....................
Did the same flight, "WATCHED the Speed", kept at about 110 knots maximum, and NOT once had the problem........................
SO, IMO, my particular problem was getting the speed maxed out and causing engine failure.........................
Make sense to you??????????
Please give me your thoughts and blessing IF this reasoning of mine makes sense.
Thanks so much and I'll be watching.
cthiggin

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

cthiggin wrote:

SO, IMO, my particular problem was getting the speed maxed out and causing engine failure.........................
Make sense to you??????????

Great news cthiggin. What you are saying DOES make sense to me but it is merely an opinion. If we're right, then we've both learned something.
It's possible of course that small changes have been made to the .air file or the aircraft.cfg from one version to the next... or the different platforms, FSX and FS9 respectively produce different results regarding effects display.
I'm pondering on this because when I flew YOUR aircraft in FS9, I really went berserk, over revved and only paid attention to not falling out of the sky. No smoke, no fire, no problem.

Regarding the flights that come with some add-on aircraft, you should be able to access all of those flights from inside the 2D panel view for example by pressing 'Alt' and then the letter 'F' twice in a row.
First you look in the 'Choose a category' section for 'Hovercontrol'. After having clicked on 'Hovercontrol' all available HC flights will appear in the 'Choose a flight' section.

Question: Have YOU found any other chopper that is as detailed as the HC???? The FSX defaults look good, exterior, but the VC is so small and hard to read that it's tough trying to see instruments...................

That's a tricky one as I've uninstalled FSX and therefore am groping in the dark a bit. I've got a hangar full of choppers for FS9 - good ones and bad ones. I agree that most choppers have panels which are too hard to read. If I compare all of the choppers I have, both freeware and payware, the Hovercontrol products are up there with the best, I go as far as to say they are better than some of the payware products.

Looking for FSX helicopters in the various file libraries is a bit like a minefield still. Many claim to have been updated from a previous version to FSX standards but those claims have to be taken with a pinch of salt.
This is not to say that some haven't REALLY been updated but to find out the truth is often only possible by downloading the file and scrutinizing it.
Then there is the common scenario where "...GREAT, it flies in FSX!!!" -- well, many things fly in FSX, the question is HOW does it fly.

I recently downloaded Huey package for FSX from HERE. It is an audacity that someone should upload such a mess and claim it is for FSX. I've vented my displeasure over this package in another thread, let's just say that now I avoid any file by that 'Uploader' like the plague.
I just had a look at Simviation's FSX Helicopter page and saw that it too is infested with his duds. If in the file description you find: Composed..., Presented... or Assembled... by - stay away from it.

However, there are some interesting looking choppers on this page which I wouldn't mind trying in FSX:

http://www.simviation.com/fsxhelicopters3.htm

The FSX Piasecki H-21C Package on top of the page would be one, plus anything on this page released by UKMIL and a few others. Often you get a pretty good indication of what you'll get after having read the file description.

If you happen to find a gem, share it with us 😀

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Hello Tailhook,

Well, must be something to it - I flew several "free-flights", ALL was well - I loaded a couple of FSX Missions, started the default aircraft engines, replaced with the Hovercraft and ALL was well with these. I just made sure I didn't approach an overspeed situation.

I tried to access the "default" Hovercraft flights, and FSX does NOT show them. I again went to the FSX tree and looked in the folder, Flights, and I have two sub-folders there with flights in them. They just don't show up.

I also tried to load the CGA Mission that we spoke about, again I got the "failure to initialize" message, but it did open up with a Beechcraft Twin. I started the engines and then tried to replace with the Hovercraft. Well, it was grayed out and wouldn't let me.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks again for your diligence and help.

cthiggin

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