Author Topic: That Condor Moment...  (Read 17409 times)

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Offline =CfC=Father Ted

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That Condor Moment...
« on: March 14, 2011, 03:06:44 PM »
All the (relatively) recent hoo-hah about nerfed FMs got me thinking...I know that some of the chaps have plenty of RL experience, but how many of us (even in the whole IL2 community) really know how a WW2 fighter behaves?  So I found myself a program which would allow me to measure my own RL experience against a computerised version.  This is "Condor", a slightly aged gliding simulator, which allows me to fly an ASK13.  Rather disappointingly, I found that the computer gives me merely an impressionistic representation - it feels vaguely familiar, but that is all.  Of course that is because I don't actually feel anything at all and the minor/major fluctuations in G which accompany flying give us so much information.

Having said that, it is a fun game, and a nice, calm way to spend some time "in the air".  It also models weather to a certain extent, which I find quite interesting (I know, I know - I should get out more...)

Ted

Offline =CfC=BlueDog

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2011, 01:31:42 AM »
As an aside, I'm reminded of a thread someone started up on the UbiZoo forum.   He was surmising that if he were in a B747 and a Flying High incident occurred whereby the pilots became incapacitated, and the cabin crew in desperation asked if anyone aboard had any flying experience, he would put up his hand because of his gameplay in IL2.

I can see it now, the cabin crew would be awed by his many (albeit virtual) flying hours of Spits or 109s or JU88s or whatever and would usher him to the front of the jet where he would calmly take his place, look over the controls/instruments/buttons; and with the confidence borne of the true virtual pilot take control all by himself and save the day.

I got to thinking that if in the unlikely event that I was present at a PGA tournament and the even more unlikely event that Tiger Woods (for some reason or another) was a no-show; and in the even more even more unlikely event that the administrators (in total panic) asked the spectators if anyone played golf; I would put my hand up and confess that I had many hours playing Tiger Woods Pro Golf 2010 on my WII console.

I would be ushered to the tee thingy where I would be handed a golf bat thingy by Tiger's caddy and, although never having played the game for real, would trounce the competitors and win the competition.   Much cheering would be heard as I mounted the podium to receive the trophy and the green or yellow or whatever coloured jacket is awarded to the victor in this odd game.  

That night porn starlets would enter my hotel room, fawning over of this late 60ish, wrinkled and balding newly crowned superstar.

Sigh.......these are the things dreams are made of.

Only problem is, I don't have a WII console or even the Tiger Woods game.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 01:34:32 AM by =CfC=BlueDog »

Offline =CfC=Fitz

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2011, 02:30:45 AM »
Playing Devils advocate here, and not that I think that IL2 in any way prepares you for flying a 747. How do you think those chaps that spend 10k building a realistic simpit fora 747 might fare? (at least on having a good chance of being talked through a safe landing)

Having had about 30 minutes hands on time in a tri-star (no-one is allowed to be impressed as I only made one course correction and it wasn't like the other pilots had popped down back to service the WAAFs) I was very much taken with a feeling of WTF does all this shit do? Obviously the yoke pedals and throttles were pretty obvious but I don't think I could have managed to get the gear down or work out where the flaps were etc. Especially whilst have an 'airplane' style flap.
 


Offline =CfC=BlueDog

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2011, 02:52:35 AM »
There's always a remote chance, I suppose.   But then again there is such a huge difference between sitting at a PC screen wielding a USB joystick and sitting at the controls of a massive, complex, moving, noise-making piece of machinery that I think the brave chappie would be somewhat overwhelmed.

Put it this way, I wouldn't want to be placed in that situation, late 60ish, wrinkled and balding and all.

Better to have Father Ted down the back of the jet issuing last rites to the passengers.   They would then presumably have a head start learning to fly with their brand new angels wings.  ;D :D ;D

 

Offline =CfC=Bounder

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2011, 03:48:57 AM »
The only a/c I flew IRL which could replicate “some” of the issues relating to FM’s in IL-2 was the electric jet (Aircoach-disguised to protect the innocent!).

In the early days of the first “Aircoach”, the software that drives the 3 FCCs (flight control computers) was still very new and although tested to destruction, inevitably resulted in learning from “experiences”! The accident in Basel was probably one of the most publicised: it was pilot error….but induced by a lack of understanding of the software programming in the “landing” mode (below 100feet radio altitude).

I once had an “experience” which again was related to the above and as you say Ted, although the human brain will react to visual, g force etc., it has problems interpolating something created in software that may reverse what you would consider the normal behaviour of an aircraft only equipped with normal control sense and not “corrected” by software induced “corrections”.

This is a brief description of the “interesting” approach incident I had one morning at Gatwick.

- Landing at Gatwick (RW26L) with a severe crosswind from the south was always interesting anyway as the turbulence created by the large hangars on the south side was notorious

- There are as you know two ways to land with a crosswind…the “crab” method (flying level and pointing into wind followed by “kicking-off” the drift in the flare) or the “side-slip” method (wing down into wind 5deg. and displacing the rudder so that the alignment of the a/c is always down the runway heading). It is possible to use both together.

- The “Aircoach” had various levels of FM created by the software and in “Normal Law” (when above 100feet RA) it was quite different to a conventional aircraft in that the computers would input control corrections to prevent any displacement of the a/c attitude from that which the pilot had set. In other words, if you set a side-slip approach with 5deg. of wing-down, without moving the stick, the software would try and maintain that 5deg. angle by input of aileron without you doing anything! So here we are flying down towards the runway with everything fine and dandy…five degrees of slip into wind, some rudder input, and the software with its amazing FM struggling to maintain that condition in the gusts.

- At 100feet radio altitude, the “Normal Law” now changes to “Direct Law” which turns your machine into a conventional a/c with the pilot having to input all control changes and the software taking a backseat. This happens gradually over a period of a few seconds.

- You can probably imagine that the poor old brain is now very confused as up until now you have forced yourself “not” to touch the ailerons as the software has been keeping the wings where you want them.

- Well in the frantic pedalling and stick pushing that followed……I ran out of aileron with the stick hard into wind as I tried to straighten the machine with rudder. With the wing not responding I was forced to boot the rudder in the opposite direction to induce a roll.

- We landed very close to the edge!

- There were changes made to the FM not long after this as a number of reports had indicated changes being necessary. Needless to say, the “crab” method was pronounced the preferable crosswind landing technique in the years that followed.

So I guess you could say that the “Aircoach” is probably as close as you can get to the similarity that we have with flying a machine on a PC and having software and not pilot senses affecting the way you apply control corrections.

Have a look at this video of an “Aircoach” landing in severe conditions when the “operator” suffered “brain oscillations” after the machine went into “Direct Law” below 100feet RA.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z42fchrzhHY

Does this remind you of the “PIO” (pilot induced oscillations) you inflict sometimes when near the ground in IL-2?

Interesting! Well at least it does not induce a change of underwear as it did IRL!

Been there….done that….got the “T” shirt!

Bounder ;D

Offline Badgerton Smedly

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2011, 08:03:14 AM »
Crikey - I wasn't even competent in a Cessna.... :'(  Hee hee!!  I'd have a go with a 747 though - at least the pilot position is highter than 'coach', so there'd be a couple of hundred squishier things to bounce on when I rip the LG off. It's the gentry we have to look after and they're in first-class of course!  ;D

All I do know Ted is that I'd  grown used to the old Spittie FM and am having trouble with the newer 4.10(1) version.  I'm sure that it's just getting used to the new version and all that. The old one was so nice and manoeuverable and snuggly though....

I haven't even tried the Seafire!! Eeek!  :o

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Offline John Cartwright

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2011, 08:42:11 AM »
To throw this discussion into reverse, so to speak; last squad I was in had a chappie who flew for Delta in the US who was the most awful (on his own admission) virtual pilot...always landing with gear up or stalling and what have you....his reasoning was he had bells and whistles and gizmos to warn him, or a chap in the other seat to do these things for him.
However we also had some  ex-military pilots (one flew Meteors, another was ex-army) who were no better than chaps who had never flown before when staring out in sims & online.
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Offline Gizmo

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2011, 08:43:32 AM »
As an aside, I'm reminded of a thread someone started up on the UbiZoo forum.   He was surmising that if he were in a B747 and a Flying High incident occurred whereby the pilots became incapacitated, and the cabin crew in desperation asked if anyone aboard had any flying experience, he would put up his hand because of his gameplay in IL2.



To be quite frank Bluey my hand would be up quick as a flash also. I simply couldn't resist the chance of pushing all those buttons to see what they do, and then there is the excitement of the ensuing flashing lights and alarms.

Offline =CFC=Buzzsaw

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2011, 09:05:08 AM »
Atta boy Gizmo!!      :D ;D lol

Reminds me of a mister Bean movie!

Offline CFC_Conky

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2011, 05:36:57 PM »
Ah yes, the 'Aircoach'...the only difference between it and a Scud missile is landing gear.

Actually, I've never flown one but have spent a fair amount of time in the simulator and have found that low-time pilots grasp the fundamentals of flying it fairly quickly as opposed to an older type such as the 767. Still, i think a novice would have a hard time getting one on the ground, especially in IFR conditions. Wouldn't hurt to try though  :D.
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Offline =CfC=BlueDog

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2011, 09:15:00 PM »
Quote
To throw this discussion into reverse, so to speak; last squad I was in had a chappie who flew for Delta in the US who was the most awful (on his own admission) virtual pilot...always landing with gear up or stalling and what have you....his reasoning was he had bells and whistles and gizmos to warn him, or a chap in the other seat to do these things for him.
However we also had some  ex-military pilots (one flew Meteors, another was ex-army) who were no better than chaps who had never flown before when staring out in sims & online.

I think we have experienced a similar situation in CFC.   What does that tell us?

Offline =CfC=BlueDog

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2011, 09:39:32 PM »
Getting back to your original thoughts, Ted, I recall another interesting discussion on the IL-2 forums some years ago.   Some chappies had coerced  Capt Eric "Winkle" Brown to 'fly' IL-2 and give his impressions on its fidelity.   He would have been in his mid-80s at the time.   As I recall (in my Alzheimistic state) they supplied him with a Saitek X45 and let him do his thing.   He complained that aircraft response to controls was too rapid (particularly in roll I think) so he/they played around with the input sliders to find a more representative aircraft response to controls.   The end result was to wind back the values to where the max was about 20 at the furthest right slider position (again I'm going by a not-so-good memory).   At that point he reckoned the control input and response was about right.

Only problem was, it was only 'right' for that particular point in the flight envelope - which was never mentioned, but probably around cruise speed.   You could not take off because elevator authority was far too low and you couldn't compensate for power 'swing' because the rudders couldn't correct.

So, I guess the simple answer to your original question is: probably not.

I'm hoping no-one is going to bring up the thorny question about how representative joysticks are compared to those in a real aircraft.  

  
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 10:30:42 PM by =CfC=BlueDog »

Offline Badgerton Smedly

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2011, 01:12:46 AM »
I'm hoping no-one is going to bring up the thorny question about how representative joysticks are compared to those in a real aircraft.   

Bluey, I think you should go on the 1C and UBI forums and suggest it!  :D :D

Gizmo, give me a shout if you need a 747 co-pilot it sounds fun. In the meantime I'll practice getting a 747 out of a flat spin in MSFX!

Oh on a another note, Geoff Wellum is being given the freedom of the city later this month.  I'm going to see if I can pop along and see him. I'll let you know how it goes!  And now for a day in Insurance!! (Chest swells!)

Toodles!

Badger
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 01:49:22 AM by Badgerton Smedly »

Offline =CfC=Bounder

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2011, 02:29:57 AM »
Ted….you have opened a right can of worms!

Like Conky, I have spent many hours in simulators and also found that guys coming for flight experience in general have no problems flying around in visual conditions, particularly in the “Aircoach”…..with automatic trim, automatic speed control and stall protection, all you have to do is point the machine where you want it to go and release the stick….the software does the rest. Unlike the current Seafire, it is better than a marshmallow at low speeds.

If one of you guys had the benefit of nice weather and a radio link, I’m convinced that you could probably get an Aircoach on the ground by leaving the thrust levers in the “middle/auto” detent (automatic speed control), being told the position of the flap and gear lever and pointing the machine where you want it to go. With vectors to lose speed, all you have to do is flare slightly above the runway and when the auto generated voice calls “Retard….Retard”, pull the thrust levers out of auto to idle….it really is that simple!

The 747/other Boeings (don’t know about the semi/auto 777 as I have not flown it) are maybe a different proposition, as the work load would be higher when in manual flight. However, with the benefit of a comms link, the use of the autopilot could be explained in a series of selective button presses (unlike Gizmo’s idea of pressing them all together!). A full auto approach and landing could possibly be achieved with plenty of time to spend. Workload and thus reduced SA is the only reason that this way of achieving a satisfactory result would I think be best and could even be achieved in instrument flight conditions.

It would be great to try this in FSX. With TS comms, I’m convinced that it could be achieved. However, due to restrictions and variations in the PC way of making selections, it would unfortunately require the instructor to know the Flt sim quite well. I would love to try it…..but I have never used and don’t have FSX.

Maybe one day when the novelty of COD wares off, I will download FSX and we could give it a try. I’m sure someone has probably tried this already?

In the end, it is pretty clear that flying a PC is as much a learning curve for someone who has never flown as it is for someone who has flown for a lifetime IRL. On the other hand, to place an IL-2 competent pilot in a real and unfamiliar aircraft would take less time to gain the proficiency necessary for a safe landing….of that I’m convinced as familiarity with simulated flight is a huge advantage.

Bounder  ;D

Offline =CfC=BlueDog

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Re: That Condor Moment...
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2011, 02:50:23 AM »
I rather relish the thought of Gizmo putting his hand up and Badger raising a clawed paw as his sidekick.   Then, just across the aisle are a couple of FSX devotees, putting their hands up.

"I've got hours and hours on P38s" boasts Gizmo.

"Well, I've got hours and hours on 737s" counters the guy across the aisle.

Both "teams" end up in fisticuffs in the aisle, much to the astonishment and apprehension of the passengers and cabin staff.

Would make a great Monty Python skit. ;D