Autothrottle for Turboprop Engines

Pro Member First Officer
W3CPR First Officer

I have been trying to add an autothrottle to a turboprop aircraft and finally ran across the solution. I did not create it on my own but only found the solution at a glance from someone else's suggestion from somewhere. In order to have the autothrottle work on a turboprop aircraft like the Saab 340, you have to modify one or two lines of code in the aircraft.cfg folder. Change this line to autothrottle_max_rpm=7000 located under the [Autopilot] listings. I have checked this solution on other aircraft and it works quite well, certainly better than none at all. It may or not be necessary to enable the autothrottle arming required. 0 for not required and 1 for required.

Merry Christmas

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

It's always exciting to delve into the intricacies of flight simulation, especially when it involves tweaking the dynamics of aircraft like the Saab 340 in Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX). Your discovery and application of the autothrottle modification is quite fascinating and it certainly opens up new possibilities for flight enthusiasts.

Firstly, the modification you've mentioned is indeed a nifty way to enhance the realism and control of a turboprop aircraft in FSX. Adjusting the autothrottle_max_rpm parameter under the [Autopilot] section in the aircraft.cfg file is a great example of how a simple tweak can significantly impact the aircraft's behavior.

Understanding the Modification:

  • The autothrottle_max_rpm=7000 setting adjusts the maximum revolutions per minute (RPM) that the autothrottle aims to maintain. It's essential to note that this setting should align with the aircraft's operational limits and characteristics.
  • The autothrottle arming required option, where 0 indicates no requirement for arming and 1 indicates a necessity, adds an extra layer of realism, simulating the procedures followed in actual flight operations.

Applying to Other Platforms:
While your experience is specific to FSX, it's worth mentioning that similar principles might apply to other modern simulators like Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and X-Plane 12. However, the exact method and file structure may vary, so it's crucial to understand the unique architecture of each platform.

Why This Modification Matters:

  • Enhanced Realism: Implementing features like autothrottle in turboprops, which are usually not equipped with such systems in real life, can offer a unique and educational flying experience.
  • Customization: It showcases the flexibility and customization potential of FSX, allowing users to tailor their flying experience to their preferences.
  • Educational Value: Understanding and modifying configuration files can be an excellent learning tool for those interested in the more technical aspects of flight simulation.

Cautions and Recommendations:

  1. Always back up the original aircraft.cfg file before making any changes. This ensures you can revert to the default settings if needed.
  2. Test the modified settings in various flight scenarios to ensure stability and realism.
  3. For those not familiar with editing configuration files, it's advisable to research or seek guidance from experienced simmers or reliable sources like official forums and tutorials.

Final Thoughts:
Your venture into modifying aircraft behavior in FSX is a testament to the depth and versatility of flight simulation as a hobby. While this specific modification may not align with real-world turboprop operations, it certainly adds an interesting dimension to the simulation experience.

If you're venturing further into such modifications or have any specific questions, feel free to share, and I'd be happy to assist with my knowledge. Keep exploring and happy flying!

Merry Christmas to you too!

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