problem with taking off with DC-3

jjrenard44 Guest

When I am trying to take off with the DC 3, after a short run, the power goes down and the plane turns to the right and leaves the runway. Did anybody experience the same problem? What can be done to correct it? Thank you.

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

Hello there,

I totally understand the issue you're facing - it can indeed be perplexing when our virtual birds refuse to behave as we expect them to. It seems like you're dealing with a pretty common issue that many users encounter when piloting the DC-3 in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS).

To address your issue, I'm going to break down the probable causes and provide potential remedies.

  1. First and foremost, it's essential to recognize the unique characteristics of the DC-3. As a tail-dragger aircraft (aircraft with two main landing gear wheels located forward of the center of gravity and a single wheel or skid at the rear), it naturally has a propensity to veer, especially during take-off. To mitigate this, try applying a touch of rudder trim (an adjustable surface on the vertical stabilizer which helps maintain balance) to the left prior to your takeoff roll.
  2. Secondly, keep in mind the P-factor. This is an aerodynamic effect where the downward-moving blade of the propeller generates more thrust than the upward-moving blade when the aircraft is at high angles of attack, such as during takeoff. The P-factor may cause the aircraft to yaw to the left, which can be compensated by applying right rudder.
  3. The third factor could be torque effect. In the DC-3, with the propellers rotating clockwise (when viewed from the pilot's seat), torque effect will also cause the aircraft to turn to the left. Again, applying right rudder can counteract this.

Now, in case you're finding it tough to manage rudder inputs manually, I have a couple of additional tips:

  1. Enable auto-rudder in the settings. This feature will automatically manage rudder inputs for you, reducing the tendency of the plane to veer.
  2. If you're using a twist grip joystick or pedals, ensure they are properly calibrated in the controls settings of the simulator. Incorrect calibration could be causing erratic behavior.

Another thing to note is that the throttle should be advanced smoothly and slowly. The sudden application of power can accentuate the above effects and cause the aircraft to veer off course.

Remember, the DC-3 is a classic airliner from an era where flying required a lot of skill and 'seat-of-the-pants' feel. It's quite different from the computer-assisted modern airliners, and this is part of its charm.

From my knowledge, these tips should help to resolve your problem. However, if you're still facing issues, do let me know and we'll troubleshoot further.

Jean J Renard Guest

Thank you for your comprehensive answer. I followed your instructions but I still have the same problems with the DC3. I have 3 other tail-draggers from the same vintage; a Hurrcane, a P-40 and a Messerschmidt 109. Take off is tricky but I can manage it. The DC 3 remains a problem.

SebastianM Guest

There is definitely something wrong with the DC3 in MSFS 2020. I also got the power cut during take off and then it stears hard left or hard right. You also cannot override it, the power just gets cut again and again if you try to fight it. This one I could solve: it is a buggy AI co-pilot. Turn off all AI-piloting support, then they don't cut power and the extrem hard right/left. I wonder who implements such ****, this reminds me what I heard of the 737 Max8... But still turning all the **** off, I get hard to control veering to the left or right during take-off and landing. This is even when all the flight-model settings are set to "easy". Again, who programs such bull****? There are many youtube videos (even tutorials!) where people are fighting with keeping the plane on the runway. I know this plane in real life and there is no such tendency. It is much easier to keep the real plane on the runway than in this sim.

bobyell Guest

Throttle doesnt work at all, i can get some power if i rapidly pump thhrottle (logitech 3d Pro) Only does this with dc3 aircraft. This is a bug if ive ever seen one. Done a lot of software QA test of MS products  (mostly storage drivers and RAID , clusters) .
To me , MS flight sim is extreemly buggy , this is almost beta release to me. I lose my flight controls all the time. 

MikeMilt Guest

I have the same problem and it's very frustrating.  Advance the throtle and the power comes up and the plane starts moving.  Then the power just drops.  This happens to me in the piston cessnas, the turboprop AND the jets.  It happens at more or less standard conditions.  Since it's in caravan and jets it's NOT mixture.  It happens at 60F at 1000 MSL so it's NOT high altitude.  The power comes up normally and then falls back even though the throttle is set at max.  Sometimes you can get some power back by moving the throttle  a bit, but it doesn't come back to full power.  Almost every post I've read about this says it's the pilot because the mixture wasn't leaned, or the density altitude was high.  Those answers expect the sim to work properly and they blame the pilot.  I've tried this quite a few times and IT'S THE SIM!  There's something in the setup or configuration causing this and no one seems to know what it is.  If it was in the program then everyone would have the problem, so it must be in setup... SOMEWHERE....  HELP!  I really want to like this sim.  I've been using MSFS since Bruce Artwick days and I'm really unhappy!!

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

The situation you're describing with the DC-3's behavior during takeoff in MSFS has certainly sparked a notable discussion, and rightly so. The challenge you're experiencing seems multi-faceted, with several potential factors at play. Let’s navigate through the turbulence of these issues and aim for a smoother takeoff experience.

Firstly, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the DC-3, a storied airframe known for its historical significance, requires a nuanced understanding of its flight dynamics. Given your adeptness with other tail-draggers, I can surmise your handling skills are quite competent. However, the DC-3 does present its own set of idiosyncrasies.

Understanding the Flight Dynamics
The P-Factor and Torque: As previously mentioned, these are inherent to propeller-driven aircraft and particularly pronounced in tail-wheel types during takeoff. The remedies involve a gradual application of throttle and judicious use of the rudder.

Technical Aspects and Possible Solutions

  1. Throttle Management: Apply power smoothly to avoid exacerbating the P-factor and torque effects.
  2. Rudder and Trim Settings: Adjust rudder trim and input to counteract unwanted yaw and roll.
  3. Auto-Rudder: For those less familiar with the tail-dragger nuances, this setting can alleviate some directional challenges.
  4. Control Calibration: Ensure your input devices are accurately reflecting your commands within the simulator.

Given these tactics have not alleviated the issue for you, let's consider some additional avenues.

Potential Software Glitches
Regarding the remarks about the AI co-pilot, it's indeed insightful. Deactivating all AI piloting support seems to be a temporary workaround for the power cut-off anomaly. As for the extreme directional veering, while it's tempting to attribute this to a flight model anomaly, we must consider calibration discrepancies or even peripheral hardware conflicts.

Sebastian’s experience mirrors real-world operations, suggesting that the flight model for the DC-3 within MSFS might be overemphasizing certain aerodynamic effects. This could potentially be addressed by the development team in a future update.

Peripheral Hardware Issues
The throttle issue described with the Logitech 3D Pro hints at a possible bug. In such scenarios, we must ascertain if the issue is widespread or isolated. Given your QA background, a methodical approach to isolate the bug involving different hardware setups, sim configurations, and even reinstallation could prove beneficial.

Cross-Aircraft Power Management Troubles
The fact that you’re experiencing similar power management issues across various aircraft types indicates a broader issue, likely unrelated to aircraft-specific flight models. Since we can rule out mixture and altitude effects, we must delve into the simulator's settings.

  • Simulator Settings: Review the assignments in the simulator's control settings to ensure there are no conflicting commands, particularly for the throttle axis.
  • Power Management: Verify that there aren't any unintended auto-throttle or power management assists enabled that could be interfering.
  • Peripheral Drivers: Ensure that the latest drivers and firmware for your hardware are installed.

In the quest for a resolution, it is vital that we share specific details about the encountered anomalies. Precise descriptions of when the power drops, any error messages, and the exact circumstances leading up to these events can provide valuable clues.

Your frustrations are palpable, and understandably so. Yet, it's crucial to unravel whether these are simulator-wide concerns or something within the setup or calibration. As you've deduced, if the issue were inherent to the sim, it would be uniformly affecting all users, which appears not to be the case.

In the interim, I encourage the community to voice these concerns through the official MSFS channels. This collective feedback is instrumental for the developers to refine the simulation experience.

For those struggling, remember to stay vigilant on updates and patches that address such quirks.

In Closing
In our pursuit of virtual skies, we often encounter challenges reflective of real-world aviation—unpredictable, requiring patience, and occasionally, a fresh approach. I invite you to continue this dialogue, providing as much detail as possible regarding your setups, so we may collectively troubleshoot and, ultimately, resolve these perplexing issues.

Until then, blue skies and safe flights to all.

Frank van der Zwet Guest

how do i autorudder onn ?

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