With one exception I fly all of the aircraft in our fleet, for testing and
maintenance purposes only. I am not qualified to carry passengers so I am not
going to presume to offer flying tips to you experts, but there are a few quirks
with our planes that you might want to know about.
Our Cessna Bravo jet, the Metroliner and the 727s all have a fuel
computer. You will find one of a different design in the DH6. It's handy for
recording your fuel use and monitoring use rate in flight. However, the computer
might fail to reset (zero itself) between flight legs. Most noticeable is that
"fuel used" will be retained and added to. This is okay for those round robins
with multiple destinations, but is a pain otherwise. To force the fuel computer to
reset itself, simply reselect the aircraft within the Simulator.
A few of our planes use a quartz chronometer with an elapsed time feature, which
you can start, stop and reset in flight. It's only problem is that if you save a
flight in progress, then bring it up again later to continue, you will find that
the elapsed timer is zeroed. Sorry, there is nothing we can do about that.
Pausing is okay, pause and then resume and everything's jake.
The Bellanca - it's a joy to fly and one of my favorites. It really will spin! A
great cockpit view is to use the virtual cockpit. Switch to the VC view and try
sliding the seat back a bunch (like 40 CTRL-ENTER's), then move it up a tad with
a few SHIFT-ENTER's. The view is phenomenal, you can see and use the full panel,
and all with none of this "75% reduction fishbowl" junk seen with other VC
implementations. Gives a very realistic flight experience. If you did not read
the designer's notes, the door opens with the standard SHIFT-E, the windows with
SHIFT-E then 2, the cowl comes off with whatever key you assign to "wing fold",
and the vents open and shut with the keyboard commands used to open and close
The Metroliner is another favorite, because it is so fast. The fleet guys chose
this plane for that reason. With this one you can beat everyone else's
turboprops hands down, and you really can get into and back out of those 2500
foot strips with it (with a light load, of course). Be aware that gear and flaps
can be damaged with too much airspeed. Below 200 knots indicated is safe for
extending both, above that it's chancy. And don't overspeed. Get above the
candystripe and you're asking for it. At lower altitudes there's a little
margin, but up high, like above FL 180, going over the limit will cause an
in-flight breakup. Be aware that our Metroliner is very powerful and will easily
reach such speeds, so please pay attention.
That ASK21 Glider is a ball to fly, fully aerobatic. Lots of Shavron customers
ask for rides out of our Haines base while waiting for connections. Again, this
is in the design notes, but it uses VEP (Virtual Engine Propulsion) to get
airborne so you don't have to slew. Use CTRL-E to "start engines" on your
invisible tow plane, add full throttle, and wait. Soon you will be airborne.
When you are ready to "cut loose" shut the "engine" off (I use CTRL-SHIFT-F1,
which accomplishes the same thing), and you are on your own. Spoilers can be
applied all at once with the "/" key or you can partially deploy by dragging the
blue knob in the cockpit. There are no flaps - whatever key or stick button you
use for flaps will open the canopies. When you land, please hold the wings level
as you slow to stop. I hate those fiberglass repairs.
The Beaver is a throwback. We have not modernized the photoreal panel. Sorry, no
Beaver ILS. The flaps are very draggy and you can make what looks to be an
impossible landing hits with the thing. Again, watch for damage. Lower flaps
above 120 indicated and they're gone. Also DO NOT press the "G" key! For some
reason, this model has a retractable gear feature enabled, which does not exist
in reality. "Retract" the gear and land, you'll crash. Sorry, nothing I can do
The DH6's, both floats and wheeled, are tremendous designs. They are full
featured, need nothing. Needless to say, landing and takeoff performance varies
dramatically based on load.
The DC-3 is standard FS issue, so you know all about that one.
The 727s (freight and passenger) have similar panels but that is where the
similarity ends. They have different engine types and therefore different
capabilities. They have much the same capacities (load and fuel), but they have
many subtle differences in handling and fuel use. You'll see.
The DC-10. I don't touch it. That one is maintained, for now, by FedEX mechanics
as part of our purchase contract. The designers at SGA say it's as close to real
as you can get in Flight Simulator, so you can give yourself a truly realistic
"heavy" experience with this one. Let me know how you like it, I'll stay here
thank you. Those things are out of my league.
Enjoy the planes, and please don't break anything. I have a social life too, you
Your suggestions are very welcome.
Chief Mechanic, Shavron
P.S. If you have any questions or suggestions please submit them
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