NACA Cowling

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R1986
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NACA Cowling

Post by R1986 » 18 Jun 2018, 03:12

Hi, after spending the day flying & fiddling with the Vega (and reading up about it) I thought I'd pop on here to say hello, and to let you know that I think it's simply amazing so far. Considering that it's not finished (!), I'm very excited to follow its development and see how it progresses. You have my support from this day forth :D

After looking closely at all the fine details you've provided, I can see (with chaseplane) that you've taken the time to model behind the engine, but it can't be seen unless the NACA Cowling is removed, are we able to remove it? or are you planning to add it later on as a feature?
Neil Richardson

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Vitus
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by Vitus » 18 Jun 2018, 09:03

Hi Neil,

Thank you so much for your support, it is much appreciated! I am glad you like our Vega.

Yes, most parts of the engine are modeled and I coded and implemented animations to remove the cowlings. It is coming, but please give it some time ;)
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R1986
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by R1986 » 18 Jun 2018, 12:09

Excellent, I'll look forward to it. It'll be fun watching you implement changes, and I can see it'll provide me an opportunity to learn a bit along the way as well.

Another thing that I was wondering, will you be adding a way to hand turn the engine a few times before starting?
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by Vitus » 18 Jun 2018, 18:29

Funny you ask that. It is something I am pondering for a long time and for some (seeeeecreeeet) reason popped up on top of the pile just yesterday. There are a couple of head-scratchers involved in this that I haven't quite figured out yet. For example:
1. Pulling the prop by means of drag & drop the 3d model is pretty much not possible (at least for fsx, prepar3d.... maaaaaybe), so a button on a 2d panel would have to do, which breaks immersion a bit.
2. I am unsure about the original procedure. Generally speaking, it is actually better to use the starter motor to crank the propeller. If you're worried about residue oil in the cylinders, which can cause major damage if it stays undetected, the better way to find out would be using the electric starter motor. The clutch of the motor protects the engine as soon as you hit that "bump" and thus prevents any damage. On the other hand it appears as if most of the time a mechanic would crank the prop manually (as seen in historical footage).

So, it's on my mind, and I'll do something about this, but I don't have anything concrete yet. If you have an idea how to implement it, please let me know :)
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R1986
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by R1986 » 19 Jun 2018, 02:40

Well I've been thinking about this today :D Hydrostatic lock, or Hydrolock for short. The bottom cylinders, as they're upside down, when the engine is cold the oil finds its way slowly past the piston rings and valve guides into the chamber. If oil is found, the plugs need to be removed and the oil drained.

I didn't realise that there was a clutch protecting the electric motor - perhaps it was just down to choice as to whether they'd crank the propeller or use the motor to turn it over, maybe to save the battery or to save a bit of wear and tear. Or maybe it was to prevent a possible mistake by the person using the starter motor, if the engine fired up and Hydrolock occurred, it would bend a connecting rod or just destroy the engine completely.

I think you could implement it something like this -

1) Have the mechanic crank the propeller as one of the checks in the maintenance manual. During that delay that you've created when he checks something, you could animate the propeller turning as if he's turning it. Maybe it could turn a set number of times to complete successfully, or stop early if he encounters oil. He'd then let you know what is wrong in the report.

2) You could decide to check it yourself with the electric starter, and use the starter to turn the engine over. Perhaps the engine will suddenly stop turning, or struggle to turn. You check your fuses, and find that they're all ok. It means you have oil in one of the chambers and you'll need the mechanic to check it and remove it.

I think this would only need to be done on the first flight of the day. As you are using a persistency file - it would be great to find this problem after leaving the plane parked up for a little while, maybe a couple of days or a week.

While I was writing this there was something else that came to mind - for example, when you start your car and your lights are on, or maybe your interior light is on, when you turn the engine over, the starter is taking such a big amount of current that the lights tend to go dim or flicker - it would be neat if you were trying to start the Vega at night with the cockpit light on and this happened... I'm not sure if that's even possible or if anyone else has done it before? but it would be quite interesting to see. Just like your compass that you've spent such a big amount of time on, little touches like that make it feel like a living machine and not just a computer simulation :D

Anyway I think that's a few things for you to think about at least if nothing more! ;)
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Tailspin45
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by Tailspin45 » 24 Jun 2018, 00:17

Hey Neil! Great ideas!

My two cents: pulling the prop through by hand is preferred to relying on the clutch. The starter and clutch can produce enough torque to ever so slightly bend a connecting rod. It won't fail right then, but over time.... So idea #1 sounds good, but idea #2 is a definite no-no in real life, although your idea of it suddenly stopping would be a great solution if pulling through is too hard to model.

The other reason to do it by hand is to make sure you don't have a cylinder with a stuck valve.

Yet another reason is you can listen to what's going on in there. I discovered a broken rear bearing that way and it undoubtedly saved some unnecessary excitement.

All that said, if there was some way to pull the virtual prop through with the mouse, that would be cool. Even cooler would be for the engine to fail after a random period of time if you didn't pull it through. (Of course a, "Cut the crap, I just want to go fly" mode that turns all the 'actions have consequences' stuff off temporarily would be desirable for those that, well, just want to go fly.
Blue skies and tailwinds - Tailspin Tommy (aka Tom)

R1986
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by R1986 » 24 Jun 2018, 02:42

Hi Tom, thanks! Well at least I had one good idea, that's something :D

I guessed that must be why, no chance of possibly causing any long term damage by hand turning it - rather than cranking it with the motor and then coming abruptly to a stop. It makes sense. I'm sure there would have been some excitement if you hadn't spotted that!

I've been reading through your other posts, so much information! It's fun reading what you and other knowledgeable people have to say and think. Obviously I'm not a pilot in real life, but I do love engines in general, something mechanical and vintage will always grab my attention. I did go flying 2 years ago in a piper tomahawk, we did circuits for the entire hour (I think I had the controls for around 40 minutes). I went for the sole purpose of getting the feel of a small GA aircraft, and I wanted to know which sim I was using replicated that feeling I had... I took everything the instructor told me and applied it to my circuits at home. In my eyes an A2A aircraft plus P3D is the only choice. I add some natural head movements with chaseplane and I feel like its perfect. But now we have wing42, the vega has that same feeling of quality and that natural feeling like its really working, and I'm excited to see how it develops over the coming months (and learning a thing or two.. from the vega, the developer, yourself and everyone else with information to share).

I think your ideas are exactly right, I think it would be cool to be able to hand turn it with the mouse. I'm not sure but I think the problem he has is that the aircraft exterior model (while your in the cockpit) isn't complete, as with most fsx/p3d models for better performance. But from one of the outside cameras and the complete exterior model, I'm not sure that it's possible to click and drag or interact with the model from there? We'll have to wait and see what tricks he has up his sleeve. The piper cub from A2A has a way of grabbing the prop, but to start it instead, from the cockpit.

I think a 'cut the crap I just want to fly' option would be a great idea, as I've already decided to do that... but after taking off I suddenly realised I had no idea what speed I was doing :oops: :lol:
Neil Richardson

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Tailspin45
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by Tailspin45 » 24 Jun 2018, 15:57

I love the A2A aircraft, too, Neil. A2A's J3 allows external interaction, you have to prop it to start it (there is no starter in a Cub, after all).

And their AT-6 flies and sounds just right. In fact, a magician created a repaint (7055k) for it from pictures of the one we operated.

There's a short movie I made with the help of TV8 chopper at http://justplaneprints.com/wp-content/SNJiMovie.m4v if you're interested.

When I fly the A2A bird I get this spooky sense of really being back in the cockpit. The only thing missing is the smell of avgas and hot oil. Not sure where the repaint files live today, but they are online somewhere. The engine behavior and sounds are extraordinary. It backfires on start if you have the throttle open too wide, it barks if you advance the throttle too quickly, etc. I even flooded it once with too much prime and the standard "mixture idle/cutoff, throttle wide open, crank, then reverse the engine controls when it starts" procedure worked, to my astonishment!

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Speaking of 'feel', although I've never flown one, the CaptainSim C-130 feels very good too. When it's loaded it really feels heavy. And it sounds fantastic.

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And when I talk about my favorites I can't possibly leave out Manfred Jahn and Jan Visser's wonderful C-47 V3. There a few things that need to be fixed whenever the next release comes out, but it really flies, feels, and sounds right too. I'm a little prejudiced, though. The copilot's voice is mine, the pilot's is my pal's and our former mechanic, and the saucy stewardess is my wife's voice.

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Blue skies and tailwinds - Tailspin Tommy (aka Tom)

R1986
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by R1986 » 27 Jun 2018, 20:38

You know I totally forgot about that C-47, I've only been using P3D over the last few months, and as you kindly reminded me about it, I went hunting to see if I could get it to work in v4 - and I could! It's really beautiful, it's definitely up there with the best addons available, far better than a lot of content that you pay good money for. I love the amount of control and information that you have from the panels, and that new checklist is lovely. I do think they should have a website set up for it, maybe a way to follow development and even make a donation. Unless there is one and I'm missing something!

So I'm actually talking to one of the guys involved with it, providing me with a co-pilot voice.. amazing! That will make my flights much more interesting knowing that I've actually spoken to you :D

The C130 I've never tried. I really would like a C-130 to play with. Where I live in the UK, they always fly along the valley at low level, and they happen to pass over my garden quite often so I happen to know exactly what they sound like! They'd always used to fly over in threes, one after the other - but recently I've only been seeing one at a time, and less frequently.

It seems that v4.3 of P3D has just been released, and weirdly it includes that C-130 so I'm definitely going to take a good look at it.

Thanks for sharing that video of yours to me, it's very good! You've actually flown an AT-6 yourself? There must be quite a big difference between that and my little Piper Tomahawk :lol:
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Tailspin45
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Re: NACA Cowling

Post by Tailspin45 » 28 Jun 2018, 01:09

My involvement with the C-47 was minimal.

I'd followed, at sim-outhouse.com, the astounding work that Jan Visser was doing on the vintage cockpit for months and months, but when C-47 V3 Beta was first released the checklist used a robot-sounding computer-generated voice. That was exactly the wrong sound, I thought, so I volunteered to replace the sound files with identically named files that I recorded and 'tweaked' by adding a narrow bandpass and some static to make it sound like an intercom. My wife, who is also a pilot, heard what I was doing and started acting silly, making NSFW comments and I thought they were perfect! So we toned them down a bit so tender ears wouldn't be offended. (You have to fly a long time to hear some of them; they're set with a low probability of occurrence for good reasons.) All that led me to draft my pal who was our mechanic and a former army helo test pilot into creating the pilot's response side of the challenge/response checklist procedure.

I also thought the manual would benefit from a more vintage look so I dove into that process and plagiarized a WW2 manual for the purpose.

And all that led me to the idea of the "cutie gauge" which Manfred created and I, of course, used to add an picture of my sweetie so I could take her along on those long flights.

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I'm sure I also added a certain amount of noise to the channel, as I am here with the Vega, so the signal/noise ratio probably suffered. But in the end, that Gooney Bird turned out pretty darn good and I still love flying it. Only problem is it will soon be neglected as the Vega matures.

And you know, you're right, their C-47 really should have a site of its own. I created a promo movie for it and maybe should, with their permission, create a website with some C-47/DC-3 history and screenshots. That might encourage them to go on to V4 and fix the few niggly things that remain such as the way the sounds react to MP and RPM change. They aren't obvious, but like the cabinet maker who always varnished the back of drawers nobody ever saw, we know they're there and need to be polished.

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Entirely off topic, you might enjoy this silly movie I made with an iPhone through a small telescope off the end of runway 24 at KCRQ

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As for the AT-6: yes, I have about 1000 hours in 7055K and another that we leased. It is big and loud and has a reputation for being a brute. But for a number of years, it was the first airplane you'd climb into if you went to Pensacola for Navy flight training so it couldn't be too hard to fly. BTW, Budd Davisson's great pilot report, AT-6: School Marm With an Attitude, is worth your time to read. I love the way he writes, but I do think he overstated her ground handling characteristics, although perhaps that was because I was used to flying 1920's biplanes when I started flying the Texan.

By the way, the Traumahawk was not an easy aircraft to fly. You should be proud of the time you spent flying it! I guarantee your flight sim experience helped you do a good job that an abinitio pilot would not have enjoyed.
Last edited by Tailspin45 on 28 Jun 2018, 19:12, edited 1 time in total.
Blue skies and tailwinds - Tailspin Tommy (aka Tom)

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