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Antonov AN124

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

I installed this download some time ago and have never managed to get it off the ground satisfactorily. I have tried all settings of take-off flap and don't try to life off under 170 kias without success. There is no accompanying data to use so I am not sure what is to be expected. Yesterday I flew it off LHR 27L and it finally came off at over 200 kias somewhere in Berkshire. Help!

Pro Member First Officer
Westernstyle First Officer

Have you checked the payload? Sometimes aircraft start VERY heavy.

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

No, I haven't done that as I didn't realise it could be an issue so will have a look and see what it is doing. Thanks for your reply.

Pro Member Captain
Chris Morris (morris91) Captain

Best thing to do is do what West said and mess around with your payload & download/print off a Checklist for that aircraft and do step by step checklist.

Every aircarft is diffrent in real-life & in Flightsim, so diffrent birds need diffrents speed. drag may be a issue. anyway. check a checklist and see how you go.

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

I reduced the payload to zero and the fuel by 50 percent but the aircraft still would not take off in a reasonable space.

I haven't yet come across any form of flight instruction giving details of flap, rotate speeds etc and wonder where it can be found. I have tried 1, 5 and 10% flap together with holding on the brakes till I have full power running before trying a roll. No effect at all. I guessed that any more flap would be counter-helpful.

I would be glad of any suggestions as I would like to get this one working properly.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

As for getting it to work properly I think we're out of luck Aldeeb. The flight dynamics don't seem realistic at all and I suspect that the development of the aircraft was stopped prematurely. One of these large Antonovs is supposed to have STOL capabilities, maybe that's what you're trying to achieve... well, it won't happen.
I've had limited success albeit with 'unlimited fuel' as the fuel tanks have to be emptied completely. Let's try it then:

Fuel: empty

Payload: empty

Yes, make it all empty. You will notice that according to the diagram the centre of gravity doesn't change at all, but let's just ignore that.
Now when you're on the runway, set flaps 2 increments (you have 4 all together) - or 5% on the 747 panel which this aircraft is aliased to. Spool up your engines well and keep the brakes on until the "Your brakes are on..." prompt appears. Release the brakes and advance the throttles full. If you pull back on the stick at 140, the nose won't lift. Wait till about 150 - 155 and pull back gently but all the way. The aircraft should now be taking off in a somewhat realistic manner and you should be able to correct the angle as well. Watch your speed -- by the time all wheels have left the tarmac, you'll be accelerating very rapidly.

I've tested this at Seattle/Tacoma, long runway yes, but at least I didn't run out. 😛

Good luck

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

I wondered if there was something wrong with the sim and your findings confirm my suspicion. Thanks for taking the trouble to test fly and I will do exactly what you suggest, giving it a fair chance on a reasonably long runway till I get the feel of it - the one one somewhere in the middle of the USA comes to mind, but I guess Heathrow will work well enough.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Sure, Heathrow is fine, it has a long runway and is pretty close to sea level 🍻

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Well, are you trimming the plane before you take off, I know this is highly unrealistic and is never done in real life, but if you try trimming it ALL the way up , try taking off then, if you over rotate and tail strike, well who cares, just experiment until you get the perfect trim amount, I'm not sure but before (2004 or something) I had this plane and using trim made it lift off like a beauty 😉

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

Hi Cheeks, thanks for your email but don't see how I can alter the trim as the trim control does not seem to appear on the 747-400 panel which I am using.

I have experimented with loading to the extent that there is no payload, which is hardly realistic for a heavy lift aircraft, and I have tried several fuel combinations:

1. no fuel at all in the tanks - not unreasonably the engines are reluctant to start.

2. 1000 galls in port/starboard tanks and none at all in the auxiliaries - it runs out of fuel on the runway and if you don't immediately hit Control-X the engines spool down. If you do give it a drink it won't take off until the plane is running through rural Berkshire, or crashing into buildings.

3. 1500 galls in port/starboard tanks and none at all in the auxiliaries - it will eventually take off but before getting much altitude invites me to go to the nearest gas station. If I don't do so the engines cut out with inevitable consequences. If I do fill up it climbs away and accelerates very rapidly.

4. 2000 galls in port/starboard tanks and none at all in the auxiliaries - it uses all the runway, part of Berkshire and might, if it misses the buildings take off.

In 1 - 4 I use the same 5 degrees of flap.

All in all, not an impressive performance for an aircraft that is supposed to have the capability of short field operation. Something is plainly wrong in the Aircraft file but I have no idea how to change anything there and wonder what it might be.

Happy New Year to all.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Whoops, sorry aldeeb, I have a Saitek X52 and have configured it to make buttons assigned to the trim. Try using another panel, maybe try dling a AN-124 panel, or for the time being, use a 777 panel which has trim. See how that works,

Regards,
Cheeks

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

I switched to the 777 panel and found that I couldn't do anything with the trim - perhaps I am using the wrong technique to activate it.

The sim took off from Manchester (the English one) at around 190 kias and didn't use anywhere near the whole runway but nowhere near what I would have expected a "small field" aircraft to take. It then went up like a rocket and I had to be careful not to overspeed.

So, perhaps this is as far as I can go, but I would love to know how to work the trim and what setting is considered likely. I had earlier problems with the Vickers Viking taildragger which needed + 1.5 degrees of trim before it would consider flying - this is an aircraft which has to have passengers seated at the aft end of the cabin before the captain and first dare walk onto the flight deck - it is prone to tipping up, or rather it was as I doubt any still are flying.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Tailhook wrote:

... is supposed to have STOL capabilities, maybe that's what you're trying to achieve... well, it won't happen.
I've had limited success albeit with 'unlimited fuel'

Maybe I should have stressed that you have to change your settings to "Unlimited Fuel" which will allow you to take off and fly forever without any fuel at all.

STOL = Short take off and landing 😉

Pro Member First Officer
Aldeeb First Officer

thanks, I'll try "unlimited fuel". Last time I got it off I hadn't altered the fuel loading and certainlly not trying for a STOL take off as glad to see it get off at all. Hard to reconcile the rocket like ascent after liftoff with its reluctance to leave terra firma!

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