Good news!

Well, regarding internet…

She’s going fine today. I hope it lasts.

Right, where do I start?

Development

Scenery
Heathrow T4 is now modelled and textured. The layout is ready to generate! All well.

Gatwick… well, progress is slow, but I get a little every day.

Aircraft
I recently developed an LGCIU (Landing Gear Control and Indication Unit) system — very basic — for the Airbus A330. The gear system is complete, except for the boring task of animating the gear door indications on the MLG, and the more interesting job of alternate gear.

I also plan to work on the transponder: Daweed and CaptB are revising the flightdeck — it’s going well and lookin’ better! Just some things which need systems associated with them.

D-ECHO and I have been busy with the Pottier 130Ul. Thanks a lot, Oliver, for the 3D model! This aircraft is already in FGMEMBERS and will be in FGADDON very shortly.

General
I have a little idea regarding a video… let me contact Foxtrot15 šŸ™‚

News

Cessna 182, 152, and 172
Heiko, the Cessna 172P development team, the ‘152’ guy whose name escapes me, and Gilberto are all doing excellent work here. The screenshots are absolutely stunning. As always, Gilberto’s textures are amazing. Grand job, mate!

FgMovie
This is in the final stages — can’t wait to see it!

757-300
Tikibar and, er, um, uh, what’s his name…. was it papa something?

Let me go check.

Yep, Jormapappa something or other… I guess ‘legoboyvdlp’ is wierd to some, but I sure wish some people would choose nicknames easier to remember!

Anyway, the two have done amazing work on the 757-300 – a new variant, which is already in FGADDON, and coming to FGMEMBERS. Lovely work!

787-9
Slipped my mind above. Can’t be bothered to go back and fix it.
Well, it’s in the early beta stages – v0.9.1 has been released at http://www.github.com/legoboyvdlp/787-9
Ludovic Brenta is helping with FGADDON stuff — thanks — and he suggests merging it into one master 787, just like the 757.

Real World

Venezuela crazy as always.

US – Cuba flights
The two governments will sign papers Tuesday, allowing commercial flights. Read more at Reuters.

Prince George loves planes!
Pleeeeeease, Curt, can we send him FlightGear 2016.2, full world scenery, and the latest aircraft?
Awwww, so cute. I like that wee lad.

Happy Sunday!

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Internet crazy…

I sincerely apologize for my lack of posting. My internet has been awful recently, and it is as much as I could do to wait three minutes for a single forum page to load, never mind even slower upload speeds. Well, anyway, I’ll be writing drafts ,and publishing them internet permitting. šŸ™‚

To be quite honest, it took thirty seconds to publish this text only post, with about fifty words. I published five hundred word posts with lots of images in ten.

Autolanding the A330-200

We all know thatĀ real pilots land their planes themselves. But in cases when the weather out the window looks like this…

0

You must use autoland!

So here’s a brief overview of the necessary procedures.

Airport

The runway should be equipped with at least a Cat II ILS system, suitably protected from ground traffic if necessary.

Aircraft

The aircraft should be equipped with the necessary software to perform an autoland. For example, an A330 can autoland, but a CRJ-700 cannot.

 

Airbus Autolanding

fgfs-screen-003.png

Here we are 25 nm out of Schipol (Skip-(p)ole) 18R — we are descending through the clouds to three thousand feet at 200 knots, with Amsterdam Approach:

‘KLM5344, contact Tower, 123.45’

We contact tower, who advises us that the weather is down to Cat IIIbĀ minimums, and to expect a late landing clearance.

At this point we have the ILS (VPB) inserted into the MCDU (RAD NAV), by inserting VPB into the MCDU — this automatically enters the frequency and course for us. Our autobrake is set to low; landing lights and signs on; spoilers are armed; flaps are set to 2. The QNH is set to a very low 990!

 

As we approach the localiser, we arm the LOC mode of the autopilot. All is going well. We have twenty miles to fly.

At this point we run through the Approach checklist:

  • Briefing: Completed
  • ECAM Status: Checked
  • Seatbelts: On
  • Baro Ref: 990 Set
  • MDA: Set, Cat IIIb
  • Eng Mode Selector: Normal

As we approach ten miles, the glideslope becomes live:

fgfs-screen-004.png

We now set gear down, speed 160, and turn BOTH autopilots on. This latter is essential for autoland — if one fails, the other can take over. We set the flaps down.

 

At six miles out, we are established on the ILS at 2000 feet, and the FMA shows us on LOC and G/S, with LAND armed. This means that the plane from now will land us without any input except for thrust idle. We now reduce speed to 138 knots — our landing speed today.

fgfs-screen-005.png

At 4 miles, we run through the landing checklist:

  • Cabin Crew: Advised
  • A/Thr: Speed
  • Ldg Memo: All Green
    • Gear
    • Flaps
    • Spoilers
    • Autobrake
    • Cabin

As we enter the clouds at 1200, all eyes are focused outside, and then on the instruments. Everyone is completely concentrated, ready to go around at any time.

fgfs-screen-006.png

Everything continues as normal. At 300 feet, the LAND mode becomes active, with FLARE armed. We are now about to land…

fgfs-screen-007.png

As we continue our descent, we emerge out of the clouds; the first runway approach lights in sight.

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Finally, at just 90 feet above theĀ ground, we see the runway.

fgfs-screen-012.png

In thisĀ Omega Airbus, autoland, probably unrealistically, sends the aircraft slightly below glideslope on final approach, for a better landing. Nevertheless, it perhaps would be be better not to, as I had a –firm– touchdown before the touchdown zone.

fgfs-screen-013.png

We can only see a short distance away, so it’s quite hard to taxi!

fgfs-screen-011.png

 

Anyway, that’s a brief overview of autolanding the Airbus. Hope you enjoy it! And even more, hope you try it out for yourself.

Development News

Just a brief overview of the projects I’m working on at the moment.

330
The Project Toulouse 330 is coming along nicely! I am still working on the ECAM; I have most of the function completed, with just the rest of the gear door indicators to code. Then I have to do some Nasal system coding on the gear system itself, as well as the alternate gear system. The team is always looking for new members, so feel free to comment offering your help!

727
I’m helping it0uchpods in a limited way on this aircraft by adapting the 707 instruments to fit the 727. It’s progressing nicely; the main panel (captain, engine, copilot) is looking very good, as well as the throttle quadrant!

787-9
I haven’t got much done. Evaair did some changes, which I may have to review. Expect a minor update soon, and then a first official release to FGADDON and FGMEMBERS.

Heathrow
Making good progress on T4! I already have the main building done. I just need to add more little details, do the rest of the building, and texture it. KOL172 is helping me in this, with reference photos; so is sanhozay. The layout in the gateway is very complete — maybe someone could generate it hint hint?

Gatwick
Work is slow. I am working my way through the cargo aprons, just adding the little details which will make it special. The left and right Sierra apron, the Uniform apron, and part of the Lima apron are complete. I am adding the ground markings amd signs at the moment. Work is very, very slow.

Maiquetia
Kind of stalled at the moment. The terminal could be slightly redone so that it fits the new layout, ‘int, ‘int.

Kansai
Not too bad. Currently texturing the cargo apron. More work needed.

Spring Cleaning
D-laser and I did some work and cleaned up FGDATA/Models vs TerraSync/Models for Torsten. Uploaded some models to TerraSync. General maintenance.

L1011
I did a little minor fix to the 1011-500, namely, fixing the captains view and adding ALS landing lights.
Good night!

Landing the Airbus A330-200 in FlightGear

Welcome to my blog, readers! Time to get some decent content in.

So, how do you land the A330-200 in FlightGear?

Well, you can always autoland, but many runways do not support this feature, and ‘real’ pilots don’t use autoland unless the weather forces them to. Then, the autoland tends to give a firmer landing, while you can have a really good manual landing.

First some facts:

Have a look at this link:

Google Images — A330 landing

So, first look at the gear. The rear mains touchdown first, followed by the forward. Then the pilotĀ flying — not just pilot, dear newspapers — flies the nose onto the runway and engages the ‘stoppers’ – reverse thrust and spoilers.

Next, look at the nose. The A330 approaches and lands at quite a high nose attitude, and has a tendancy to nose-up after spoilers engage on touchdown.

So the normal profile is approaching nose up, flaring at 40′, and touching down on the aft, then for’ard main gear.

Now we know that, there are some general tips to learn:

Don’t float. Floating not only delays the spoilers, but gives a hard eventual touchdown, and perhaps even a tailscrape. Not to mention, on short runways, you can go off the other end.

For a good landing, the approach has to be right. If by 1000 feet you are not established on the glideslope and localizer — or VOR / NDB beacon –,Ā go around. If in doubt,Ā go around. If you are too low or too high,Ā go around. Always be ready to go around.

Now the A330 stuff.

So here we are in Lisbon, on final to runway 21. We are nineĀ miles out, established on the localizer beacon, glideslope coming down, gear down, flaps down, autobrakes armed, speedbrakes armed, and autopilot on.

LPPT NOTAMsĀ report that the runway 21 PAPI is

Airbus A330, nine miles out from Lisbon
Airbus A330, nine miles out from Lisbon

in a testing mode; ie not to trust it. The only other issue of importance is that the runway has new LED lighting installed.

The ILS system is a standard Cat I ILS beacon, frequency 109.5, called ILB. For realism’s sake, we have input this into the MCDU; not the default menu.

The runway is sufficiently long that we should be able to vacate at either runway 17 for a ‘runway-taxi’, or the exit after runway 17. We’ll just use reverse idle and low autobrake, since it is a long runway

As we intercept the glideslope, we hit APPR, and then begin our descent down to the runway, which we already have in sight.

Tip One:Ā A good approach makes a good landing

Tip Two: Make sure your frame rates are good

As we approach 2000 feet, we disconnect the autopilot. We will land manually.

We disconnect the autopilot on final at Lisbon
We disconnect the autopilot on final at Lisbon

Tip Three: Only make small inputs when needed.

The fly-by-wire ensures that with the controls centered at calm winds, one will maintain the same flight path down to the runway. However, today there was a bit of crosswind, and some gusts, so I had to make some small inputs. It is a lot better to make several small inputs than one large input.

Tip Four: If there is a displaced threshold, I like to aim at halfway down it, for a smoother landing.

Tip Five: On final approach, ignore the glideslope in the cockpit. Keep the eyes outside.

A330 at 700 feet, on final Lisbon
A330 at 700 feet, on final Lisbon

At 200 feet, I reduce my descent rate slightly. At this point, I am over the displaced threshold, at VLS, at a pitch of two degrees, and low on glideslope.

I begin my final crab to track the centreline (I had planned my approach so as not to be crabbed on the approach), and at 50 feet am over the threshold. I disconnect the autothrust at 50, and begin my flare at 30 feet, thrust idle moments later. I then kick left rudder to align with the runway for a near-perfect touchdown. We touchdown nose high, at five degrees, at 120 knots.

It doesn’t end here. We need to gently fly the nose to the runway. As the aircraft settles onto all four main gears, the spoilers come up, the wheels begin to brake, and the reversers are engaged to idle. We are slightly left of centreline, slightly crabbed, but onlyĀ very slightly, so as not to stress the gear.

Welcome to Lisbon! A330 touches down at Lisbon
Welcome to Lisbon! A330 touches down at Lisbon

Nose comes down, and we are at 100 knots, losing speed.

We continue past runway 17 due to a slightly late touchdown (on the second marker after the touchdown marker), but turn off the runway at 20 knots, bringing the speedbrakes up and turning the landing lights off.

We gently coast along the apron, and come to a rest. Welcome to Lisbon!

In hindsight, not a bad landing!

Comments watching the replay:

I would have landed on the touchdown marker had I left the controls centered as I crossed the threshold. Try not to float.