In a prior thread about aircraft gross weight ("Should the aircraft fly with its gross weight always?"), Mark C wrote "Also .... after sufficient fuel burn-off following departure one can "progressively" climb to much higher cruising altitudes where fuel burn will further progressively reduce also .... and thereby promoting further range improvement."
This is quite interesting! How does someone determine the right times (gross weight) to climb to higher cruise altitudes on, for example, the 747-200?
Post by aerofoto - HJG Admin on May 24, 2023 19:41:15 GMT
The B727 panels we offer have an "FE's REPORT" feature, which actually states/updates the constantly changing GW of these simulations throughout any virtual flight and as fuel is spent .... as well as also stating the best/maximum cruising altitude in accordance with such weight reduction. One can eyeball this feature .... then act accordingly if one desires to.
B727 PANELS FE REPORT DATA SUB PANEL/S
This's the only panel we currently offer that has "such a feature" though .... and which we inherited with the B727 panels we use. This particular feature's not represented among any of the other panels we offer.
How does someone determine the right times (gross weight) to climb to higher cruise altitudes
That can sometimes be the hard part
Working this out comes down to a combination of experience .... and/or .... making manual calculations which are a probably a little too complex for most people to want to bother with despite otherwise being "a perfectly workable prospect" in FS
An indication of any simulations GW is provided within the FS FUEL & PAYLOAD adjustment facility. Unless one records/notes this data before any departure, and makes constant manual calculations afterward in conjunction with both time and fuel consumption, then one would need to constantly pause one's flight to review this FS data in order to justify climbing to higher cruising altitudes. Most people don't like doing this though simply because pausing FS disrupts the continuity of their virtual flights and which can become "a pain-in-the-arse".
Most (but not all) panels also feature a Total Fuel gauge (reading fuel as weight), so, if one's pre-departure weights have already been noted .... then .... without pausing one's flight to access the FS FUEL & PAYLOAD data, one can instead add whatever this gauge indicates (it will reduce in conjunction with time and fuel consumption) to the originally recorded "empty and payload weights" (which don't change) in order to realize the simulations "approximate GW weight" during any stage of virtual flight .... and justify whether or not to climb further accordingly.
If one's panel doesn't feature a Total Fuel gauge .... then .... one can still make such estimates based upon engine Fuel Flow indications alone (subtracting the weight of fuel consumed over time from the originally recorded weights) and in order to arrive at similar GW related conclusions.
All of this works fine .... "as manual calculations" .... but again .... it does also impose "a wee bit of fluffing-around" which most people probably can't-be-arsed doing.
In any case one would have to be undertaking "a pretty long flight" in FS, and be "pretty meticulous" too, to justify this sort of effort.
I'm "pretty meticulous" .... BUT ... not (normally) to this extreme .... unless I get bored
The longest flights I've ever done in FS are trans-Tasman .... around 3 hours (or so) duration .... and even these are "a rarity" (for me) now.
Therefore my planning's essentially restricted to just routing and manually working out the fuel load I need in order to get from Point-A to Point-B .... without becoming a glider en-route between either Point.
There are FS utilities and programs that "supposedly" do all this sort of calculation for one, but, I don't use them. Instead I prefer basing my (fuel) calculations upon the data I've recorded during pre-release testing (stated within each of the forum based manuals) .... since this information very accurately reflects everything the way it actually "IS" and for each of our simulations.
The routes I prefer flying and the way I "BASIC PLAN" mostly sees me well below MGW anyway, so, I can generally acquire a pretty good high altitude cruise level from the earliest stages of my virtual flights. I generally start at around 31,000 FT and which is a good "initial cruising altitude" .... in FS .... and provided any simulation "feels" like it wants to go there/that high with relative ease. Otherwise .... it becomes a step-climb to initial cruising altitude .... and beyond.
If I want to go higher later .... I will .... but .... seldom ever do considering the majority of my virtual flights now (outside the realms of FS testing and development) are of relatively short duration.
Post by Nathan Ford - HJG on May 24, 2023 22:36:07 GMT
Hi Kurt, If you are planning longer flights, try using the SimBrief website. It will give you cruise climb information dependant on aircraft type, weight and direction, including in metres over China etc.
Another idea is to search for Matt Zagoren on AVSIM. Matt has put together operational charts for a lot of aircraft and they often include cruise altitude vs speed vs weight to give you the max and recommended cruise altitudes.
Post by aerofoto - HJG Admin on May 25, 2023 6:44:38 GMT
search for Matt Zagoren on AVSIM. Matt has put together operational charts for a lot of aircraft and they often include cruise altitude vs speed vs weight to give you the max and recommended cruise altitudes.
Matts data is generally "good" .... BUT .... his panel (only) references "for the HJG DC-8's specifically" are likely out of date given he compiled this data well before we began updating these simulations during 2007-ish.
Post by Nathan Ford - HJG on May 25, 2023 7:01:03 GMT
Totally agree about his panel guides as Mark has pointed out these are very outdated, his performance charts on the other hand, are taken from real world POH’s and can be a great “guide” for computing enroute climb performance on aircraft that don’t have that info included with them.
Thank you for the replies and explanations! I did not realize the 727 FE information included the optimum cruise altitude, though I've used some of the other numbers such as VR, Landing Speeds, and Best Rate of Climb. Most of my flights are less than 3 hours so I wouldn't really use the step climb too often, but I've done some Pacific flights in the 747 and that one would lend itself to progressive climbing. I like flying the DC-8 on long flights, too, so will look up the performance charts by Matt Zagoren.
A bank of 4 sub panel selection icons are arranged horizontally and immediately above the ASI gauge. When individually selected these icons display information tables in regard to a number of flight and performance related parameters. From left to right and in order of appearance these icons display each of the following auto-generated information ....
- The first icon ("DIAGONAL UP RIGHT ARROW") presents a "T/O V-REFERENCE TABLE" .... displaying auto-calculated T/O Speeds in conjunction with the simulations weight and FLAP 5/15/20/and 25 detents. This information auto-updates during flight.
- The second icon (displaying a 2-digit number) presents a "CLIMB/CRUISE/DESCENT TABLE" .... displaying auto-calculated best ROC, Long Range Cruise, Standard Cruise, High Speed Cruise, and Descent Airspeed data .... in conjunction with actual acquired airspeed and optimum cruising altitude computations .... all of which are based on the simulations current weight. The 2-digit number displayed by this particular icon also serves as a quick reference indication as to the best/optimum cruising altitude calculated by the simulation at its current weight. This information auto-updates during flight.
- The third icon ("DIAGONAL DOWN RIGHT ARROW") presents a "V-REF LANDING TABLE" .... displaying auto-calculated Flap Extension/Maneuvering airspeed data in conjunction with FLAP 2/5/and 15 detents .... along with auto-calculated Flap Extension/Maneuvering airspeed data for approach to landing use and in conjunction with FLAP 5/15/and 30 detents (maximum FLAP 25 detent only in the case of each B727-200 ADV LEAPS/QW2 panel versions) .... as well as confirmation of the simulations current weight status. This information auto-updates during flight.
- The fourth icon (labelled "FE") presents a "FLIGHT ENGINEERS (aircraft performance) REPORT" .... displaying auto-calculated Total Aircraft Weight, Fuel Weight, Fuel Quantity, Fuel Flow, Range, Time To Empty, Static Air Temperature, Wind Direction, and Wind Speed data. This information auto-updates during flight.
The referenced sub panel selection Icons (for the FE's report etc) are clustered together (there's 4 of them) just above the ASI guage on each of the B727 Main Panels as should be visible within the following image ....
.... but not reflected in the B727 Landing Panel for reason of it simply not being required (for FS purposes at least) during the approach to landing phase of any flight.
Other than that, and as hopefully successfully presented above, it's a very useful piece of panel kit .... for those whom like a wee bit more reality in order to kill any potential boredom
I do need to "RE-WRITE/RECOMPILE" this manual though
I knew of the buttons on the panel and have used them (though obviously not looked at every line, by my earlier remarks!) but have not read that part of the manual. I've skimmed through to get the basics of flying the aircraft, such as starting the engines, and now I see I need to go back and read in more detail for better understanding. That's no doubt true of all the HJG aircraft!
Post by aerofoto - HJG Admin on May 26, 2023 3:06:20 GMT
That's no doubt true of all the HJG aircraft!
There is "a learning curve" associated with most of the simulations we offer in that each one (the panels for these primarily) support varying features .... most of which all work differently.
Once mastered/understood though most/the grand majority people whom use what we offer never look back .... as it all ultimately adds to their greater enjoyment of what we "TRY" to do/offer here
Since 2000 .... HJG's always done things this way in order to make what it offers not only better (we feel), but, a little more accurate too (even if it means introducing a we bit more complexity) .... AND ALSO .... "different" from (sometimes the very same) offerings by other parties/groups otherwise everything offered by everyone would be the same and that'd be "a bloody boring prospect" really
I'm seeing that after the initial learning curve, it would be good to go back through the manual again to further refine techniques and knowledge. There is always more to learn. On the 727, which I've been using for quite some time, about 2 weeks ago I discovered, accidentally, that the altitude alerter can be adjusted by 1000 feet by right-clicking on the knob; much faster than left-clicking and going by 100's.
You do put out the best aircraft and panels and sounds. That's why I was so looking forward to a 737-200.
Post by aerofoto - HJG Admin on May 27, 2023 5:00:16 GMT
I'm just sort of watching hopefully for the 737-200, though not holding my breath (or I'd have passed out long ago!).
Well .... we certainly don't want anyone in the HJG community passing out from, or potentially dying of, "cerebral hypoxia/oxygen deprivation" as a consequence of possibly holding their breath too long, in eager hope and anticipation, of the release of our projects
One of many reasons why we never hurry things (and in saying this I'm not promising a B731 or B732 or even both) is because when projects are released we don't want them to have "a hurried look/feel" about them.
HJG's attitude (again since 2000) has generally been .... "do it right .... do it well" .... and which when correctly translated essentially means .... "accumulate all the necessary RW tech reference/s in advance of starting any project, sort out what we can and can't do, then, produce what we can to the utmost of our ability, in order to try'n best represent whatever aircraft type/s we're trying to simulate as thoroughly as we possibly can" .... even if that does ultimately mean the projects we offer do end up featuring "a little more complexity".
It's all for the better (in regard to both the finished project/s as well as End User enjoyment of them) in the long run.
The only other influencing factors are .... "whatever we do has to be accommodated among whatever else we might be undertaking or contemplating (including the day-to-day administration work necessary in order to try'n keep this show humming along as relatively smoothly as possible) .... in as much as everything we do's also has to progress at the convenience of each of our development team in respect of their private lives as well".
There's "a hell of a lot more" that goes into any project released here (at HJG) than most folk could ever possibly imagine. This's why some projects ultimately take "so long to develop".
For E.G: George, Mike, Benoit, and myself took some 3 years to develop our current DC-10 simulations .... in regard to perfecting their FDE's, panels/gauges, and sounds before we were ever sufficiently satisfied to release these as our current project. In the case of this particular project we also had "a lot" of outside encouragement, help, and support from a group of retired ex AIR NEW ZEALAND DC-10 FE's too .... this's type of experience/resource is something one never apply a specific value too. Without all of this combined knowledge .... as well as the "dedication" of our very small development team too .... the HJG DC-10 project could never have become what it currently "IS". And similar also applies to almost every other HJG released simulation as well.
"NOT" saying/implying we're the best.
Instead I'm merely suggesting we're "among the best" at doing what we try to do .... "for the FS platforms we represent" .... and that's through our harbouring "a greater knowledge than most" of the aircraft types we represent/try to simulate".
ALSO .... we generally "NEVER" (seldom ever I mean) publicly announce what we're doing (in terms of "NEW" projects at least) in order to avoid disappointment/s should circumstances conspire to ultimately prevent our advancing whatever we intend to undertake.
The development of any HJG project is akin to that of producing a good wine or cheese. Both take time to mature unto perfection. And both only get "better with age"
You folks have given me many hours of enjoyment through FS2004, and I'm grateful that you enjoy the hobby of creating aircraft for flight sim, and especially grateful that you share your work with the community. You truly are "among the best" at this!