This is a question for anyone who uses FS. Im just curious so everyone respond.
When you fly any flight such as maybe select a flight, create a flight or maybe even lessons, how often do you use the AP. When do you use AP and in a lets say 2 hour flight how long do you think you would use the AP feature?
Well, my main mode of transportation in FS9 would be the 757-200, I fly for a VA. So I use the AP about a minute after takeoff to about a minute before landing flare.
I use it most of the time-- I usually fly the Lear Jet or the King Air 350, and AP makes both a lot easier to handle.
If I'm flying VFR, which is most of the time, I use the Heading and Altitude settings from shortly after takeoff until I'm at a comfortable altitude to turn to my course, when I switch over to GPS.
If I'm flying IFR, I stay on the Heading mode until they clear me to "Maintain your own navigation," then I go to GPS. When I get to the vicinity of the destination, ATC usually starts giving vectors, so I go back to Heading mode.
In either IFR or VFR, if ILS is available I'll use it.
In the Lear, I use the autothrottle during takeoff so that I don't overspeed, all through the flight and until I'm on long final, when I go back to manually controlling the throttle (I've learned my lesson from forgetting to disengage A/T on landing, and shooting off the far end of the runway ).
Ed, Do you have the throttle quadrant window in the screen when you take off? It really helps out a lot.
Also, Don't use the joystick's throttle control, in the 2 different ones i've used, they're really unprecise, and it's too big of control movements to effectively guide the airplane, especially on taxi.
I'd recommend the F1-4 keys, its what i use mainly.
Also, on the Lear throttle, you can see the markings of where to put the thrust levers, the T/O one is for takeoff *duh* MCT is Max Continuous Thrust, MCR is Max Cruise I THINK.
I use Ap as soon as i get a positive climb. I will just set the altitude to Ap and let it climb to the desired or required altitude. Much easier when when u are controlling the whole aircraft yourself.
When do you use AP and in a lets say 2 hour flight how long do you think you would use the AP feature?
For any flight of any significant distance, if the AP was not used the pilot would become fatigued quickly trying to maintain course and altitude. I always take advantage of AP whenever I can.
Lately I installed Citation X and it is my first attempt to fly a serious plane after Lear Jet. I could not fly it with out AP.
I try as much as possible to fly any aircraft without AP. My flights are generally 1 hour and mostly jet aircraft...why? Because my use of FS9 is to keep my instrument scan up to speed and using the AP would not help. Real world AP goes on anytime after 500ft! If you are flying for fun the AP is there so use it, this is what the airlines say fancy trusting an airplane more than your pilots.....OK I agree!
It totally depends on the type of flying you're doing.
When I fly my Piper Archer I very rarely use the AP at all, as the plane is light and easy to trim for level flight.
The point at which the AP is engaged in big Airliners depends on the Operational Procedures for each Airline.
I have lots of real airline Cockipit DVDs and in some cases the Pilots "put the Autopilot in" at 500 feet, while still on the Runway Heading.... but in others, (like Atlas Air, 747) the pilots hand fly through the whole Departure sequence and right upto the point where the FMC will take over the main route (for example 10,000, 30miles out from the airport). Same for landing - some let the AP fly the localizer and Glideslope down to 500 feet.... others disengage way before final approach, hand flying all the way down, using the ILS where available.
Being a heavy metal flyer most of the time I use AP after about 1000ft on take off and landing (as per most UK airlines,give or take 100ft)
When I do fly the small stuff,usally to go from a small airfield to go pick up my big iron and fly whoever home,I never use AP,or even file a flight plan
Also in response to FEM saying use the throtle quadrent Try recalibrating your stick.I use a Saitek st290 and after tweaking the settings its very responsive and smooth and can taxi at 20mph no prolem(though I did used to have a Microsoft Sidewinder and no matter what I did,the throtle was never right)
A little time spent setting up your stick can make all the difference.Try setting some of the spare buttons to perform some of the keyboard tasks,
reverse thrust(F2) diff brakes (F11 +12) anything you cant access with the mouse
Agree - The throttle on my Logitech 3D has a decent sized travel, and is as smooth as Kojak's head 10 minutes after an encounter with a Gillette Mach 3 razor in a dark alley......
I couldn't possibly use keyboard for throttle but it's all personal taste I know.