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That's My Way with MS-FSX - Part Two

That's My Way with MS-FSX - Part Two

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That's My Way with MS-FSX - Part Two

135 pages
1 hour
May 10, 2019


Dedicated mainly to those who already have a minimal experience with a PC Flight Simulator, this book aims to guide the reader into the world of flights instrumentally controlled both by the autopilot and/or GPS.
This booklet opens with light aircraft of general aviation (equipped with automatic navigation systems but) with traditional analogue instrumentation to move at first to propeller-driven aircraft with digital displays and more sophisticated instrumentation and secondly to jets with particular reference to the Learjet 45 and the Boeing 737 with some complete example of flights, all accompanied by many illustrations taken from the application itself.
In closing, a Technical Appendix illustrates some types of aircraft engines based on piston and turbo principle of operation.
May 10, 2019

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That's My Way with MS-FSX - Part Two - Alberto Ramolfo



With this second book I want to continue the exposition of what has been my experience with Microsoft's Flight Simulator X version.

The intent is the same as before: to note all the steps taken to achieve a certain purpose and to give others information and suggestions, gathered in a single booklet, without having to do researches, maybe long and boring, on the Internet or go around in the computer world to search difficult-to-find manuals. The intention is always to fly with only the aid of the mouse, having fun, learning new things, spending some time and relieving stress.

I deliberately interrupted the first book at a point that could represent a good break point for the people interested in learning only the first rudiments of the simulated flight, the one in which the basic courses of flight schools stop.

But there is a completely different world, linked to the use of more sophisticated instrumentation, which in everyday practice is dealt rarely or only done when a student intends to make the flight become his profession.

In this second book we will examine these aspects through numerous examples and exercises, immediately putting into practice a just explained concept, with one or more examples. Some are taken from reality, but must be remembered that when a flight enters the News it means that everything did not go quite smoothly and that with greater foresight and knowledge of one's own means and instrumentation in the aircraft certain errors could have been avoided.

For those who didn’t have the opportunity to read my first book, I want to reiterate and repeat that I am not a pilot, I do not have a flight license, nor am I an instructor, so not having the title to teach something; this is not a flight manual, nor do I pretend that what I write replaces the concepts that are expressed in a flight school.

The title of this booklet is clear: That’s my way with FSX; be it right or wrong, it describes what I do. I would really like someone to correct me where I'm wrong, it would mean that at least these lines have been read.

This book will necessarily be more descriptive than the previous one, both because some procedures are taken for granted, and because the new concepts introduced need a few more words to be more easily explained.

We will use Little NavMap (also referred to as LNM), a free tool that can be downloaded from the Internet, which I talked about extensively in the first book. It is a cartographic program that hooks up to FSX and provides a great deal of information regarding the aeronautical world. It is tailored for 32 bit Operating Systems. On 64 bit systems sometimes goes Not Responding; if this happens try:

Right click on the icon and select Properties

Open the Compatibility tab

Check Run this program in compatibility mode for.. choosing the proper system from the drop-down list.

I tried to set up the succession of topics so as to give basic information first, then developing these with more complete and advanced concepts, so the book should preferably be read sequentially.

Chapter 1 deals with the Autopilot Panel for small planes of general aviation with the related connections to the ILS system.

Chapter 2 introduces the Garmin 500 GPS instrument, touching only a couple of its multiple modes of operation.

Chapter 3 will describe the so-called Glass Displays, completely graphic and computer controlled, preparatory to those found on the jets.

Chapter 4, to conclude the treatment on light planes, will briefly talk about the propeller as a flying means.

Chapter 5 introduces jets; first the Learjet 45 and then the Boeing 737. There is no mention of the others because, ultimately, the concepts are always the same and the differences can be reduced to a different layout in the cockpit.

At the conclusion of the book, the Appendix summarizes the relative concepts of the different types, certainly not all, of aeronautical engines of the past and present.

This is the English translation of my book Come Volo Io con Microsoft FSX – Seconda Parte, originally written in Italian and on the market since short time.

Have fun and nice flights to everyone.

Chapter 1 - Autopilot and ILS

1.1 - Generalities

As I wrote in the Introduction, I closed my first book before tackling a very important topic to which I wanted to devote a lot of space and which we will face now: autopilot navigation. We will then see how to make a flight using two tools that are now found on all types of aircraft and that are of immense help to the pilots: the Autopilot and the ILS system for the approach phase and landing.

Having neglected this topic in the previous book was dictated by the fact that I wanted to emphasize only the manual flight and the problems associated with it, in the conviction that a bit of manual dexterity and sensitivity is needed before addressing a topic that is outside the programs of all the basic flight schools and that is only faced in the specialized field by those that prepare commercial pilots.

We will do this route by setting different flights with different aircraft, not so much because this type of navigation changes from plane to plane, but because each cockpit has the controls arranged in different positions and therefore a minimum of practical acquisition is necessary, but above all a minimum explanation to know where these commands are allocated.

The basic concepts obviously do not change and the difficulty, if you want to call it so, is to find the information and messages that the various sensors scattered in the aircraft provide to the pilot and that are presented in different ways depending on the panel that is installed on board. What is shown in these pages is therefore largely the result of a series of researches carried out online, in order to summarize the diversity and peculiarities of some aircraft in a single volume. It is clear that it is not possible to examine all the aircraft of the Microsoft library, but this will be done only on some of these, where there are significant differences.

1.2 - The AP panel

Put yourself in any flight condition, you can open the radio picture with [SHIFT 2]; the Autopilot occupies the lower panel shown in Fig.1.

Fig. 1

Let's see the meaning of the buttons that can be operated with the mouse when this has the normal appearance of an arrow or alternatively with the keyboard.

AP is the on/off button on the panel; all others depend on this.

HDG allows the aircraft to turn according to the position of the bug on the gyro compass.

NAV allows you to follow a route guided by the signal set to VOR1 or by the route pre-set on the GPS depending on the position of the NAV/GPS selector (visible in Fig.3 immediately above the radio panel)

APR is the basic key for the ILS approach once you have entered the range of the related signals

REV allows an automatic approach, but only horizontally, in the case you arrive in the opposite direction pointed by the ILS locator, if the runway has it in only one direction.

ALT guarantees to have a constant altitude according to a preset value.

The value of the flight level you want to keep can be changed with the UP and DN keys or with the little hands ‘+’ and ‘-‘ that you see when scrolling with the mouse over the numeric value.

The vertical speed value can be changed only with the mouse hand shape.

We will perform a certain number of flights to cover all possible cases and obviously to see how one can behave in various situations. We will use the mouse for long time in Windows mode (white arrow) without pausing the flight; in this regard, three important things must be emphasized:

To switch from one mode

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