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This computer based training course DEMO is intended as an introduction and refresher course for pilot and co-pilot aircrew members in the operation of the Airbus A320 Aircraft
This CBT application is a self driven interactive virtual training course providing the student with a visual representation of all of the avionics equipment in the cockpit. Interaction to the avionics systems are accomplished via any touch sensitive panel or screen such as an Android, I Pad or other touch sensitive screen. Students receive detailed messages as to the functionality of every switch dial or button in the cockpit.
This document describes the company's DoD contracts and past performance history along with Cage Code, and NACIS codes as which are registered with various federal procurement agencies.
Since 2002 RealSims has been providing cost effective innovative designs and consulting services for flight training systems, interactive training services and solutions to the US DoD, Prime Government Contractor and Commercial Aviation Industry.,
Click on the link below to access our Federal Capabilities Brochure:
This training manual is published by Research as part of the X Plane v11 flight simulator software.
RealSims integrates Laminar's X_Plane v11.xx PRO software with our line of FasTrac ProSeries flight simulators.
please refer and read and comply with Laminar Research Disclaimers related to the use of this manual.
Click the LINK below to open the X Plane G430 Users Manual:
The addition of motion adds realism to the training in that the operator is subjected to movement vibrations and other sensual cues as witnessed in the actual equipment.
Depending on the movement physics associated with the real aircraft, vehicle cab, ship or boat, a motion system can be added to the simulation system to replicate the motion of the real equipment.
There are several types of motion platforms to meet your simulation system requirements. Depending on the budget systems can range from a few thousand dollars to several hundred thousand dollars.
Platforms range from 2 to 6 and more degrees of freedom (DOF) supporting payloads of 250 to 30,000 lbs using Electric or Hydraulic actuators.
Smaller light weight platforms are a cost effective addition in the mid level flight simulator and entertainment industry while larger payloads are used in motion picture industry amusement, commercial and military aviation areas.
The RealSims ProSeries Line of full motion flight simulators are a cost effective alternative to the mid range motion simulator market. We deliver all the motion queuing used in more expensive motion systems generally used in level C and D flight simulators at a fraction of the cost.
Our six degree of freedom (6 DOF motion platforms support payload weight capacities from 500 LBS to 30,000 Lbs on MOOG and other brands of electric or hydraulic systems.
We design the simulator and appropriate mounting platforms needed to meet the end user requirements in house. These mounting structures include mounting points to secure the crew cabins and display systems to meet the customers needs.
Below is a video demonstrating the build process of our mid level six degree of freedom motion based Bell 206 helicopter.
RealSIms Bell 206 Pro Series Full Motion Simulator
1- From the main page located at www.FixMySim.com/helpdesk click on the NEW TICKET BUTTON
2 - Enter your email address of usr ID in the top box. If you do not have an account you must use the REGISTER link
3- Once logged in select the CATAGORY that represents the type of request you have
4 - Complete the FORM to describe the issue or request you have, You can add descriptive text, photos or video to a ticket
5- New tickets will be routed to tha appropriate department for disposition and reply
What is VR?Virtual reality (VR) is a brand new user interface unlike the conventional one, immersing a person in digital 3D environment, instead of watching on a display. Computer-generated imagery and content aim at simulating a real presence through senses (sight, hearing, touch).
Virtual reality simulation requires two main components: a source of content and a user device. Software and hardware, in other words. Currently such systems include headsets, all-directions treadmills, special gloves, goggles. VR tools should be providing realistic, natural, high-quality images and interaction possibilities. For this, devices rely on measurements like:
- image resolution,
- field of view,
- refresh rate,
- motion delay,
- pixel persistence,
- audio/video synchronization.
Yet, the VR visionaries are confident of overcoming such issues sooner or later, campaigning for the concept and collecting investments in millions. The virtual experience like 360-degree videos and pictures, VR apps and games, are already available. There’s a good enough choice of headsets as well
How does virtual reality work?As mentioned, VR requires several devices such as a headset, a computer/smartphone or another machine to create a digital environment, and a motion tracking device in some cases. Typically, a headset displays content before a user’s eyes, while a cable (HDMI) transfers images to the screen from a PC. The alternative option is headsets working with smartphones, like Google Cardboard and GearVR – a phone acts both as a display and a source of VR content.
Some vendors apply lenses to change flat images into three-dimensional. Usually, a 100/110-degree field of sight is achieved with VR devices. The next key feature is the frame rate per second, which should be 60 fps at a minimum to make virtual simulations look realistically enough.
For user interaction there are several options:
- Head tracking
- Eye tracking
- Motion tracking
VR/AR/MR: what’s the difference?Knowing what is VR is not the full picture of tech world today. Virtual and Augmented Realities are very similar and often the line between them is very thin. AR appends the real environment with a simulated one, overlaid on top. Augmented Reality applies algorithms and sensors to detecting the position of camera, and then superimposes 3D graphics/objects into user’s view via smartphones/glasses/projections.
One of the ways to describe the difference between VR and AR is to compare scuba diving and visiting the aquarium.Virtual Reality would be like swimming in the sea along with fish, while in Augmented Reality you’d see a fish popping out of a pocket or a hand. On the other hand, unlike VR, AR offers users more freedom of action and doesn’t require a head-mounted display.
The term “mixed reality” is often mistaken for augmented reality. But actually, MR (or hybrid reality) is a more sophisticated kind of technology, where AR is a subcategory of it. It includes non-commercial applications like military simulation-based learning programs, virtualization environments for manufacturing, healthcare, aviation, etc.
Major VR market playersThe number one is, of course, Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. It is a small, well-crafted device, requiring a connection to a computer. A user can either sit or stand while playing a game, though is somewhat limited in movements. With dozens of thousands of units being sold each year, Oculus stays at the forefront of VR hardware niche.
- Microsoft HoloLens, in contrast to Oculus Rift, uses holographic technology, therefore often marketed as Augmented Reality rather than VR. It gives the user an opportunity to interact with holograms around him.
- HTC Vive – also famous for developing the Steam platform for gaming, Vive by HTC is the first headset for SteamVR products.
- Samsung GearVR – using Oculus head-tracking technology in combination with Android smartphones (e.g. Galaxy Note 4) to power mobile VR experiences. Its lenses basically transform a phone’s screen into a stereoscopic screen.
- Google Cardboard – the simplest and the most affordable VR headset. A device for Android smartphones for something like $15, with the variety of games and mobile applications available from the Play Store.
- Google Daydream – the advanced version of VR headset by Google, working with smartphones, and a standalone version with controllers coming soon.
For more information create a VR REQUEST TICKET ..
This web portal was designed to provide users of simulators and training organizations offering advanced training services for military and commercial pilots, ground based operations and UAV/UAS system operators and other areas where interactive simulators are used for the administration of training.
Troubleshooting X-PlaneThis chapter is designed as a reference for when you encounter common problems in X‑Plane. Each of the following sections describes a common problem and its solution. As a general rule of thumb, however, the first thing you should do after encountering any problems is update to the latest version per the section “Updating X-Plane.” If you are running the latest version and still have problems, you can check for problem files by manually downloading and running the latest installer found on the X-Plane website. Select “Update X-Plane,” pick which copy you’d like to update, and click the “continue” button. The installer will scan your installation to see if any of the default files are missing or altered, and allow you to restore them.
Water World, or “Help, there’s water everywhere!”When scenery is not installed for a given location, all that will be visible are airports and water. This is referred to as “water world,” and is a common problem, especially when using older installers.
To avoid water world, either install the scenery for the location in which you’re flying, or choose to fly somewhere else. To install scenery, run the installer and pick Add or Remove Scenery. You will need to have DVD disc 1 inserted, or possibly enter your digital download product key for authorization.
If scenery for the location is in fact installed, be sure that the copy of X‑Plane for which it is installed is the one being used—for instance, if you have two copies of X‑Plane installed (say, one running a demo version and one running 11.00), the two versions may have different amounts of scenery installed.
The X‑Plane Installer Fails to Extract a FileIf the X‑Plane installer gives an error about a failed file extraction, or input/output error, it is almost always because your DVD drive cannot read the disc. Take note of the file reported in the error message and try to copy it from the DVD (using the Finder in Mac OS or Windows Explorer on Windows). If possible, try copying the file into a different folder. If multiple DVDs cannot be read, it is likely that your DVD drive is to blame. If, however, only a single DVD is causing problems, it is more likely the DVD is defective. Defective discs can be replaced for a small charge. Email our tech support at email@example.com for more information.
X-Plane Gives Errors about Missing DLLs, or There Are Strange Graphical AnomaliesMost graphics- and DLL-related issues in X‑Plane are due to a lack of video drivers. Make sure your graphics drivers are up to date by following the instructions in the X‑Plane Knowledge Base article entitled Updating the Computer’s Graphics Drivers in Windows.
X-Plane CrashedA hard crash in X‑Plane can be caused by a multitude of factors, so isolating a fix for every specific crash is outside the scope of this manual. If the automatic crash reporter comes up, be sure to send the report so Laminar Research has the data on your crash.
In general, a good place to start for almost any problem with X‑Plane is running the installer to update the program. Even if you are running the latest version of the simulator, the Installer/Updater can find missing or accidentally modified files and replace them with the correct default files. See the section “Updating X-Plane” for step by step instructions on how to check for and update to the latest version of X-Plane.
If you are running the latest version of the simulator and still have problems, another good place to look is at the preferences. Move the preferences folder (found in the Output folder) to the desktop, then restart X‑Plane and default preferences will be restored. If the default preferences do not fix your problem, you can simply replace them with the folder you moved to the desktop and restore your personalized settings.
The final common culprit is third party add ons, such as scenery and plugins. Try moving the Custom Scenery folder and plugins folder (found in the Resources folder) to the desktop, then restart X-Plane.
Starting in Safe ModeIf X‑Plane detects that it crashed the last time it was run, then on the next start, you have an option to reset the rendering settings. If you reset the settings, you might avoid a crash on startup if the rendering settings were the cause of the initial crash. You may bring up the option to enter safe mode only if you start the sim with the shift key pressed down.
My Joystick or Yoke Isn’t WorkingIf the joystick and other flight controls appear to be configured correctly according to the steps outlined in the the section Configuring Flight Controls of the chapter Configuring and Tuning Your X‑Plane Installation but are not giving the desired response in the simulator, it’s time to troubleshoot. Thankfully, X‑Plane makes it easy to find out how the software is perceiving the flight controls’ input.
In the following example we’ll assume that the plane’s pitch, yaw, and roll are not matching the way the joystick is being moved. A similar procedure may be used for other malfunctioning controls.
- Move your mouse to the top of the screen and open the Settings.
- Click Data Output.
- Select the first box on line 8 joystick aileron/elvator/rudder. This box will cause X‑Plane to display the input it is receiving while running the simulation.
- Close the window.
- A box in the upper left should be displaying the elev, ailrn, and ruddr commands (elevator, aileron, rudder, respectively) being received from the joystick.
- Now, center the stick and pedals. Each axis should indicate 0.0, or close to it.
- Move the stick full left. The ailrn should indicate –1.0 or near –1.0.
- Move the stick full right. The ailrn should indicate 1.0 or near 1.0.
- Move the stick full aft. The elev should indicate 1.0 or near 1.0.
- Move the stick full forward. The elev should indicate –1.0 or near –1.0.
- Move the rudder full left. The ruddr should indicate –1.0 or near –1.0.
- Move the rudder full right. The ruddr should indicate 1.0 or near 1.0.
If the correct values (according to the tests above) are not being received in X-Plane, and you have calibrated the controls in X‑Plane per the section “Calibrating the Hardware” of the chapter Configuring and Tuning Your X‑Plane Installation, then the next step is to look at the first level of control response tuning.
Go to the Settings and click Joystick. In that dialog box, select the Axis tab. Click the button labeled Calibrate. Follow the directions to calibrate the controls. Go back to the cockpit and check to see if the data output (which should still be on the screen from the pre-test in the above instructions) is around 0.000 when the controls are centered. If it is, then the hardware works fine and the center point was set successfully.
The last step to solving the issue is checking the hardware’s calibration in your operating system, not X‑Plane. Finally, if you have done all of the above steps and still have problems, then the hardware itself is malfunctioning.
Note: If your frame rate is below 20 frames per second (which you can confirm by checking the box labeled frame rate in the Data Input & Output window, just like you did with the joystick ail/elv/rud box), X‑Plane may behave erratically regardless of your joystick settings. See the section “Increasing the Frame Rate” of the chapter Configuring and Tuning Your X‑Plane Installation for help improving your frame rate.
My Frame Rate is LowIf your frame rate is low, or the simulator seems to “stutter” or move in slow motion, most likely your rendering settings are set too high for your system. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements to run X‑Plane 11, then review the section “Configuring the Rendering Options” for a step by step guide to adjusting the rendering options.
Many of the most common problems people encounter with X‑Plane is due to low frame rate and rendering settings which are set to high for the system.
Airplanes Flutter and Crash in the SimulatorThe tendency for some aircraft to flutter and crash is a known limitation. Just as a car can only go a certain speed with a given horsepower, the X‑Plane simulator can only accurately model flight at a certain speed with a given frame rate.
If the frame rate gets too low for the flight model to handle, then the plane is likely to start oscillating quickly back and forth (referred to as “simulator flutter,” often occurring with autopilot on) as the flight model tries unsuccessfully to predict what the plane will do next. At this point, the computer is running too slowly to take small enough steps in the flight model to see what the plane will really do at each moment. Smaller and more maneuverable planes will accelerate more quickly, and greater accelerations require a higher frame rate to simulate.
This occurs due to the way that X‑Plane moves aircraft within the simulation. X‑Plane calculates the acceleration of the craft for each frame, then adds up the acceleration between frames to move the plane. This works fine if the frame rate is reasonably high and the accelerations are reasonable low. In fact, for any reasonably normal aircraft that has reasonably normal accelerations, a frame rate of 20 fps or more is fine.
Problems occur, though, when you have very light aircraft with very large wings going very fast, or sitting on the ground with landing gear spread very far out from the center of gravity. All of these things add up to the same result—high acceleration.
X-Plane, of course, can handle these high accelerations, but it needs a high frame rate to do it. For the flight model to work, there can only be a certain amount of velocity change per frame of the simulation. If the accelerations are high, then the frame rate better be high so that there is a reasonable velocity change (i.e., acceleration) per frame.
To determine how high a frame rate is enough to handle a given acceleration, just find the frame rate at which there is no flutter.
For example, imagine a Boeing 747 at approach speed. It slowly lumbers along, hardly accelerating at all. One frame per second could track that flight accurately. Now imagine holding a paper airplane out the window of a car at 80 miles per hour and letting go. The plane doesn’t smoothly, gradually, accelerate up to speed, it disintegrates in a thousandth of a second! To simulate that may require a simulator to run at one thousand frames per second!
So, while a simple 20 frames per second works fine for most any aircraft, when small, light, big-winged craft with widely spaced landing gear designs start flying fast, the accelerations come up enough that in extreme cases, 100 fps might be needed to model accurately.
This is more of a problem with planes that:
- are small because they maneuver much more quickly than big planes,
- are light because they have less inertia and react faster,
- have long wings because they have more leverage on the center of gravity, thus reacting faster,
- have big wings because they get more lift, thus reacting faster, or
- have widely spaced landing gear because the gear has more leverage on the craft, causing it to torque the plane faster.
The Simulator’s Measurement of Time is SlowIf the simulator’s measurement of time is incorrect (e.g., the “elapsed time” field has a value less than it should), check your frame rate. If your computer cannot maintain 20 frames per second, simulator time will not match real time; when X‑Plane runs slower than 20 fps, it slows down its simulation of real-time so that the simulator is “effectively” running at 20 fps. For instance, if the simulator is running at 10 fps due to extreme rendering settings, X‑Plane will run the flight model at half speed. The result is that the physics are integrating in slow-motion in order to avoid destabilizing from the low framerate. Thus, if you need real-time simulation, you must run the simulator at 20 fps or faster.
My PC Freezes after Running X‑Plane a WhileWhen a computer freezes after running X‑Plane for a while, the problem is almost always heat related. When the system is running X-Plane, the video card and processor get very hot because they are running at 100% utilization. This causes the temperature to rise inside the case. To eliminate heat as an issue, remove the computer’s cover and aim a fan into the case. Run X‑Plane for a while and see if the problem goes away. If it does, then you need to add some additional cooling.
Note that this assumes that the system has enough RAM. Running out of RAM will cause crashes as well. (See the current X‑Plane 11 system requirements here.) This also assumes that the computer is not overclocked.
Problems with Digital DownloadThe X‑Plane Digital Download product key is a long, unique series of numbers and letters that identifies your copy of X‑Plane 11, allows you to download X‑Plane directly to your computer over the internet, and allows you to run X‑Plane without a DVD.
When you buy a digital copy of X‑Plane from Laminar Research or another company, you receive a 24-digit code (your digital download product key). The code consists of numbers and capital letters; the letters i and o and the numbers 0 and 1 are never used, to avoid confusion.
A Digital Download Product Key Is Like a Credit Card NumberYour purchase of the digital download version of X‑Plane provides you with one product key that is like a credit card number. Product keys do not have passwords associated with them; like a credit card number, if someone else has your digital download product key, that user has access to your copy of X‑Plane. Just like credit cards, you should not share your digital download product key with anyone else.
If you have to contact Laminar Research customer support, we will only require the last eight digits of your digital download product key; you do not need to send your full digital download product key to anyone, including Laminar Research.
If someone manages to steal your digital download product key, piracy is prevented by fraud detection; our servers will see your digital download product key being used in a pattern that looks like multiple people (e.g. your product key used from two continents at the same time) and it will be locked. You can contact X‑Plane customer support to receive a new, unlocked digital download product key, and your old one will be discarded.
The Digital Download Version of X‑Plane Requires an Internet Connection to RunIn order for X‑Plane to work outside of demo mode with a digital download product key, the computer running X‑Plane must have an internet connection to contact our servers. X‑Plane does not require an internet connection to re-validate on every single application launch, but it does require authentication frequently. If your internet service is unreliable or extremely slow, you may prefer to purchase and use the X‑Plane DVDs.
Note that when you authorize X‑Plane using a product key, Laminar Research collects your computer’s IP address. We use this information only to verify your product key has not been stolen. We do not sell or share this information with anyone else.
A Digital Copy of X‑Plane Is Not A BackupThe digital version of X‑Plane is available online at any time for download, but it is not a replacement for a good backup of your computers! Only a true backup can save your preferences, third party aircraft you’ve downloaded, your log book, etc.
The only version of X‑Plane that is available digitally is the latest non-beta version of X‑Plane. If you do not want to update to the latest version, you need to make your own backup of X-Plane; re-installing the product will get the latest version.
For additional information, see the Knowledge Base article “X-Plane Digital Download.”
Getting Help with Other ProblemsIf your issues do not match those above, first search for a solution on the X-Plane Q & A site. You can also ask your question there if it has not been covered already. Questions are answered by Laminar Research team members and knowledgeable community members. The site also features commenting, voting, notifications, points and rankings.
There is one more option you should try before contacting tech support: resetting the preferences. Open the X‑Plane folder, double click on the “Output” folder and locate the preferences folder within. Move the entire preferences folder to the desktop. When you restart X‑Plane it will restore the default preferences and settings. If this does not fix your problem, you can simply replace this new folder with the one you moved to the desktop and restore your personalized settings.
Tech SupportBefore calling or emailing, save both yourself and customer service time by checking this manual, the X-Plane Knowledge Base, or the X-Plane Q & A site for answers. Be sure you have the latest version of the software you’re using before calling. (You can check this by following the instructions found in the section “Updating X-Plane” of the chapter Configuring and Tuning Your X‑Plane Installation.)
To contact customer service, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your problem involves a system crash, please include the following in your email:
- The “log.txt” file after encountering your error (also found in your X‑Plane directory).
- The Apple crash log (if you are using a Mac).
How to File a Bug ReportWhen sending a bug report, please include as much information as possible—anything that the X‑Plane development crew might need to know in order to reproduce the malfunction. This includes (but is not limited to) the following information:
- The software in question (X-Plane, Plane Maker, etc.)
- The operating system being used
- The version of X‑Plane in question
- The hardware in use (if the issue only occurs when using certain hardware)
- A copy of the scenery or aircraft with the issue
- A copy of the log.txt
- A copy of the Apple Crash Report (Mac users can find this in (your Home directory)/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/)
- The exact steps (as specific and step-by-step as possible) required to reproduce the problem
- Be sure you are using the latest version of X‑Plane (this includes making sure you aren’t using an outdated shortcut).
- Delete (or move) your preferences file in order to rule that out.
- Disable any plug-ins or third-party add-ons. (Please report bugs in third-party add ons to the add on developer, not the X‑Plane team.)
- Be sure you understand the feature you are reporting a bug on.
- Ask on the X-Plane Q & A site if you are not sure whether you have a bug or a tech support problem.
Please note that, if the report was filed correctly, most likely you will not receive any feedback on it. The report will be saved and looked into, and, depending on its priority, fixed in a future update.
Very often, people will report a bug like, “My speed indicator does not work.” Well, I might crash my Corvette into a tree, pick up my cell phone as the airbag deflates in my lap, call General Motors, and say, “My speed thing indicates zero!”
In a case like that, how good a job can GM do in deciphering that report?
Filing a report with X‑Plane saying “My speed indicator does not work” can be that incomplete for two reasons. The first is that with about 20 or 30 instruments available in the X‑Plane world (accessible via Plane Maker) that indicate speed, saying “speed Indicator” does not really isolate what instrument is being discussed. The second reason is that you have not really given a checklist of steps that you took to find yourself with the apparent bug. For example, it may take certain conditions for the airspeed indicator to not work, conditions you may cause without thinking about based on your airplane selection, weather, etc.
In the Corvette analogy above, the proper report to GM would be:
- I got in my car.
- I hit the starter button, the engine started, and I put the transmission in first gear.
- I hit the gas and turned the wheel and drove until I hit a tree, which stopped me.
- The speedometer in the instrument panel indicated zero.
- I included a picture I took on my digital camera here, showing both the speedometer indicating zero and the car actually stopped.
- I renamed my preferences file so I did not have any odd settings that may cause this that we might not know about.
- I fired up X‑Plane on my computer running [some operating system].
- I went to the File menu and opened the “Austin’s Personal Transport” aircraft.
- I noticed the EFIS airspeed indicator stayed at zero, no matter how fast I flew.
- I included a screenshot of X‑Plane showing the panel here, with the actual speed of the plane shown using the Data Output screen to show my real speed.
To summarize, be sure to give a complete checklist to duplicate the issue, starting with deleting the preferences and choosing an airplane that comes with X‑Plane so that we can go through the same steps as you. Err on the side of sending too much information, rather than too little! We must be able to mirror your actions, step by step, to duplicate the bug on our computers, as this is the first step to solving the problem.
Another common mistake, though, is to say something like, “I flip a switch and hit a button and an indicator goes to 56%.” The problem with this is that it doesn’t tell us what the issue actually is. What do you think the indicator should go to? And, above all, prove it.
In almost all filed bug reports, the report lacks any sort of proof that the value being cited as wrong is actually wrong. Since we sometimes get reports from people that think a Cessna cannot roll, an airliner cannot take off without flaps, or a helicopter cannot turn without pulling collective (all incorrect assumptions on the part of the “bug” reporter). We need proof that a characteristic that is claimed to be wrong actually is. Segments of pilot’s operating handbooks are typically just fine.
So, be sure to include proof that a characteristic of the simulator is wrong if you believe it to be so.
Another very common error is for people to install plug-ins that modify data in the simulator, third-party scenery packages that don’t quite follow the standards, or third-party airplanes that may have problems, and then report it as a “bug” when something does not work correctly.
We won’t be able to duplicate the problem if it is due to third-party modifications. So, be sure that starting from a freshly installed copy of X‑Plane with the preferences (and any plug-ins) removed is the first item in your step-by-step walkthrough for recreating the problem. Build up from there as needed, including each step in the checklist so that we can go through it and see the same thing you see. Use only scenery and planes that come with X‑Plane if possible, so that we can duplicate the bug.
Once again, be sure to:
- Use a checklist to explain what you are doing, starting with renaming the preferences and removing add ons.
- Include every step in the checklist that you send in your bug report.
- Use proper terminology. If you do not know the name of an instrument, then go into Plane Maker and click on it with the mouse. The X‑Plane instrument name will be displayed at right. Alternatively, you can get the real name of the instrument by turning on the instrument instructions option (by going to the Settings screen, clicking General, and checking the Show instrument instructions in the cockpit box).
- Explain why you think the result you are seeing is wrong. Provide proof if you think the simulator is not doing what the real plane would do.
A good report would say, “On a Mac running OS X Lion, I renamed the preferences and opened [an aircraft included with X-Plane] via the File menu, then I set the controls as follows, then I observed the manifold pressure gauge to indicate manifold pressure of zero as I advanced the power, though in the real plane I would get 25” of manifold pressure in this plane, as I know from the following excerpt from the plane’s pilot’s operating handbook."
That report indicates what type of computer you are using, what you do to get the problem (in a way that lets us perfectly mirror it), what you think the problem is, and it gives proof that what you believe about the plane is in fact true. That is enough info for us to work with!
Also, be sure to send the ‘log.txt’ file! This lists what type of computer you have. Hardly anyone even thinks to mention whether they are on Mac, Windows, or Linux!
X-Plane 11 ProfessionalThis version of X‑Plane is for commercial use and FAA-approved simulators. It requires one X‑Plane Professional USB key or Pro-Use Digital Download product key in addition to each copy of X‑Plane on the network. This version is very similar to the home use version of the X‑Plane 11 simulator but enables commercial uses, FAA certification checks, and ability to use a real GPS. This version is designed to replace Microsoft ESP.
The Pro USB key or digital download product key needs to be used for commercial purposes and FAA-approved simulators for flight training. It gives a Commercial Use message as X‑Plane starts up, causing X‑Plane to check for flight controls and self-test the frame rate, as required for FAA certification. Furthermore, the pro key allows you to interface with Garmin Real Simulator Units.
Finally, this key enables cylindrical and spherical projections (see “Projector Setup for X‑Plane Professional” for more information).
The Professional USB Key or Digital Download can be purchased from X-Plane.com’s Ordering page. USB key drivers for both Mac OS and Windows can be downloaded from the X-Plane.com site. Be sure to run those installers to make X‑Plane recognize the USB keys.
Configuring and Tuning Your X‑Plane InstallationHaving installed X‑Plane as described in the previous chapter, you can configure the simulator in a number of ways. These include downloading the latest free update (giving you the latest set of features available), setting up flight controls, and tuning the performance of the simulator both in terms of graphics quality and frame rate.
General Use of the X‑Plane InterfaceX-Plane has been written to operate on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems. For consistency’s sake, the layout and appearance of X‑Plane is the same across all three operating systems.
Here are a few pointers to aid in the learning process:
X-Plane’s menu is hidden. To access the menu bar, move the mouse pointer to the top of the screen. When the mouse is within a centimeter or so of the top edge of the screen, the menu bar will appear. By default the Esc key will also display the menu. You’ll find the majority of X‑Plane 11’s options in the drop down menus in the left of this menu bar.
Some of the key functions of the simulator are accessed through small icons on the right side of the menu bar however. From left to right, clicking the icons will: pause the simulator, open Flight Configuration, show the ATC window, show the map, open Settings, and open a help webpage. Keep in mind you can use keyboard shortcuts to access many of these features as well.
Figure 4.1: The menu icons
Keyboard shortcuts can be found by opening the settings screen and going to the Keyboard tab. These keyboard assignments can also be changed using this screen (per the section “Configuring Keyboard Shortcuts”) to anything you like. Also note that many of the keyboard shortcuts are shown in the X‑Plane menus. For example, opening the View menu will display the list of available views on the left side of the drop down menu, with the list of corresponding keyboard shortcuts on the right.
You can adjust almost all aspects of how the simulator runs by going to the Settings screen. Here you’ll find tabs to adjust the settings associated with the sound, graphics, networking configurations, data input and output, joysticks and flight hardware, and the keyboard shortcut assignments. Many other helpful options, such as the language and warnings, can be found in the General section. The Notification Settings button in this screen allows you to turn off or on various warnings as well.
Like most programs, the simplest way to navigate around X‑Plane is using the mouse, though there are many keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate quickly through the options after you become familiar with the program. These shortcuts are particularly important when using the mouse to fly. In that case, it is much easier to use the ‘2’ key to drop a notch of flaps than it is to let go of the controls, reach down with the mouse to adjust the flaps, and then reach back up and grab the controls again.
Also note that most instruments and controls inside the cockpit are interactive, meaning that the mouse can be used to alter switches, set frequencies, manipulate the throttle(s), change the trim, etc.
Configuring Flight ControlsWith your flight controls plugged in and X‑Plane running, you can configure how the simulator responds to input from each axis and button. Throughout this section we will refer to any input device as a joystick; the instructions apply to yokes, throttle quadrants, and rudders also. Configuring should be done upon initial set up of X‑Plane and any time new equipment is plugged in, but it is not necessary to configure hardware upon every use.
The first time a joystick or yoke is plugged in, the program can automatically take you to the joystick settings screen to configure the device.
If you selected No in the Joystick Quick-Config box, move the mouse to the top of the screen and click the settings icon, then Joystick, and continue with the steps below.
Setting Up the Control AxesClick on the Calibrate or Calibrate Now button. This will open the dialog box allowing you to configure and calibrate the flight controls.
Figure 4.2: The calibration window of the Joystick settings screen, with the device partially calibrated
To begin, move the joystick’s controls around to see how the axes are mapped in X‑Plane. As this is done, one of the red bars will move vigorously for each input that is actuated. (Note that if you are using a trim wheel, you may have to roll the wheel continuously to see which axis it is mapped to.) Thus, when the stick is rolled left and right only one bar will move a substantial amount; when it is pushed back and forth it will be a different bar.
Move your joystick through the full range of motion for each axes, and each slider through its entire range as well. Move your joystick or yoke forward and back for pitch. Move your joystick/yoke left and right for roll, and twist your joystick (if applicable) for yaw. (If you do not have or assign a yaw axis, X‑Plane will attempt to stabilize it for you.) Once all the red bars have changed to blue, click on the Next button.
Note that if you’re unable to move the controls through their full range of motion you may simply click the Accept Axis or Ignore Axis button for each axis that X‑Plane believes to be uncalibrated, but which you have confirmed has actually gone through its full range of motion.
Let go of the controls and press the Next button to begin centering the controls and setting the nullzone. When the timer’s up, press the Finish button to go back to the joystick screen and complete joystick set up.
Figure 4.3: The Joystick settings screen, after calibration is completed
If any axes were not recognized automatically, or were incorrectly categorized, in the first calibration screen, you can set them in the right column of the joystick settings screen. Simply use the drop down menu to select the appropriate axis type. In addition, you will need to do this for any device that does not have a default configuration file, as all the buttons and axes will be assigned to “none” (see Figure 4.4 below).
Figure 4.4: When an unknown device is used, all axes and buttons are set to “none” until manually changed
To manually configure flight control axes:
- Move your joystick or yoke forward and back, or spin your trim wheel continuously. One of the bars should move as you do so. Click the drop-down menu next to it and set it to pitch.
- Move your joystick/yoke left and right. The bar that moves should be set to roll.
- Twist your joystick (if applicable). The bar that moves should be set to yaw. If you do not assign a yaw axis, X‑Plane will attempt to stabilize yaw movement for you.If you are using rudder pedals, slide them forward and backward and set the bar that moves then to yaw. Additionally, only when using rudder pedals, press the left pedal down with your toes. The bar that moves should be set to left toe brake. Do the same for the right pedal, and set that bar to right toe brake.
- Move your throttle forward and back (on a yoke, this is typically the leftmost lever). Set this bar to throttle.
Assigning Functions to ButtonsEach of the buttons and switches on the joystick can be assigned a function within X‑Plane (for example, toggling the brakes or landing gear) in the right column of the Joystick settings screen.
Figure 4.5: Clicking button 5 in the image highlights the button in the list on the right
You can tell which button you’re assigning by the mapping in the image on the left. Click on a number to highlight the line in the list on the right side of the screen. You can also press the button on the joystick and seeing which number in the list lights up.
Assign a function to a hat switch by picking from the drop down menu. Assign a function to a button or a two-direction switch by clicking the Edit button and scrolling through the list of commands, or by typing a key term in the search bar, as in Figure 4.6 below.
Figure 4.6: Searching commands for the term “brakes”
Repeat this process for as many buttons and switches as need functions assigned. If buttons appear to be missing from the list in this screen, check under the “Views” drop down for additional images of the device that may have additional buttons mapped. Close the Joystick window and the settings will be saved to preferences.
Controlling Joystick Sensitivity and Aircraft StabilityTo modify the joystick’s sensitivity, press the Control Sensitivity button at the bottom of the Joystick settings screen. The three sliders in this window control the response curves for the pitch, roll, and yaw axes of the joystick.
If these sliders are set all the way to the left, the aircraft’s response to that axis’ input will be completely linear. This means that a 50% deflection of the joystick will deflect the airplane’s flight controls 50% of their travel. As these sliders are moved to the right the response becomes curved. In this case, a deflection of the joystick from center to its halfway point may only deflect the aircraft’s controls by 10%. This will dampen any aircraft movements and desensitize the user’s controls. Keep in mind, however, that in this case, the remaining 90% of the control surface deflection must take place in the last 50% of joystick movement. Thus, the controls will be dampened for the first half or so of their travel and then become hyper-sensitive for the remainder of their throw. This gives the user plenty of fine-tune control near the center of the flight control envelope to hold altitude and roll precisely, but still allows for full control authority at the extremes.
Try flying with the sliders in various different positions to see what setting works best.
To modify the stability of the aircraft, press the Stability Augmentation button. These sliders control X-Plane’s stability augmentation by damping the predicted forces acting on the aircraft’s flight control surfaces. If these sliders are all the way to the left, then there is no stability augmentation of the aircraft. As the sliders are moved to the right, X‑Plane will automatically add some stability augmentation to the aircraft, adding some elevator input to level the nose, some aileron input to minimize the roll rate, and some rudder input to counter any aircraft yaw rates. In other words, the simulator will try to make the plane easier to fly by adding control inputs for the user. The downside, of course, is that as X‑Plane adds stability, the aircraft becomes less responsive (and less realistic).
In X‑Plane 11.30, each axis can also have a custom response curve which will override the global control response curve. This allows you to do things like manually configure a null zone, or create complex curves with many control points and your choice of interpolation. Depending on the type of axis, there will be additional options to configure ranges for certain axis-specific behaviors such as beta & reverse ranges for throttles, feather range for prop controls, or cutoff range for mixture controls.
Figure 4.7: Example of custom response curves for a throttle axis
Adding Special EquipmentClick the PFC Hardware button to set up special equipment for use in X‑Plane. This tab is generally used on multi-computer X‑Plane configurations in professional, FAA-certified simulators or to tie in various GPS navigators (such as a real Garmin 96/296/396 or a 430 GPS radio). After being connected to the computer, this equipment should be set up per the manufacturer’s recommendations, then checked off on the Equipment screen to tell X‑Plane that it is connected.