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777DadandJr
Topic Author
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:37 am

Long FS Flights.......Tips

Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:31 am

Hi All,
I have a question for all you simmers out there.
My son and I enjoy very much flying FS. We generally fly short hops from our home airport, MDT, to New York or DC. They usually take less than an hour. The longest flight I have done was MDT-ORD flying FedEx MD11.

I would like to try a longer flight, but to be honest, I don't have the time to spare and it can get quite boring.

Let's say you wanted to fly CO Peter Max from EWR-HKG. Now I don't know about you, but I don't have 15 hours to sit in front on my computer and watch the world go by. Is there a way to set up an IFR flight where the auto pilot would make all the course changes and respond automatically to ATC?

The t/o and landing are the exciting part, but all that dead air in between would put me to sleep.

Suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Russ
My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
 
airfly
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2005 5:43 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Tue Nov 08, 2005 5:38 am

Well,

To be honest I hop from city to city sometimes, generally with my Beech baron 58 or Learjet 45.
But anyway, The best thing to do is to increase your rate time...Which I never do, Therefore i never fly 15hours!!!
having FS Passenger takes a little bit of the boredom of flying. But not alot
Hope this helps

Cheers
Lucca M.
L - I - B - E - R - A - L
 
klm672
Posts: 2563
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 6:09 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Tue Nov 08, 2005 6:35 am

Well for the right turns and stuff you can set a flight plan and put autopilot on NAV setting.
 
JAM747
Posts: 524
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 12:17 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:21 am

I fly the 747 an 777 and I do very long haul especially with the 747. As KLM672 described you can use the NAV setting on the autopilot and it will fly the course making the necessary turns. If it gets to the airport and you are not at the computer it will circle till you land it or it runs out of fuel. Before I knew this little gem I used to fly on the HDG setting and would have to set my alarm clock to wake up and go keep the plane in line with the course set in the flight plan. On long flights I would be at or above 30,000 ft. When I am about 100 miles away from destination using the GPS I begin to set the approach and the vectors for finals then switch from the NAV to the HDG setting on the autopilot which I adjust so I can line up the plane for the chosen runway. About this time I would have lowered the speed setting on the autopilot and lowered the altitude setting to descend to about 10,000 ft above the altitude of the destination airport. At about 20 miles from destination I manually fly the plane to landing. The Approach setting also can help to line up the arcraft to the runway. On long flights I usually take off before work and land when when I get home or before going to bed. I check from time to time on my fuel burn to make sure I have enough fuel to make the trip. I have done some long non stop flights in the 747 which I do not think anyone does in real life like , LHR to SYD, SYD to JFK, JFK to Singapore, JFK to South Africa, NRT to Guyana. I usually cruise at .83 mach instead of .85 on these ultra long flights and it seems to give better range. Some of these flights have been from 13 to 18 hours.
 
ACDC8
Posts: 7909
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:46 am

Very simple trick really. As far as the autopilot goes, all you have to do is set up your flightplan as you normally would on a shorter flight, take-off as normal and use the autopilot as normal. (Make sure the NAV/GPS select switch is on GPS even if you're using VOR's).

As far as ATC goes, I usually wait until I've reached my cruising altitude and then next time ATC contacts me to switch over to another frequency all you have to do is acknowledge the transmission, switch frequencies but DO NOT contact the new center. Just leave it and wait until you're about 150 NM out before you use ATC again where you will receive normal instructions again as if you sat there for the full flight.

If you have anymore questions about this, just let me know.
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
SWISSER
Posts: 1568
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:31 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:35 am

Hi Russel!

Well,
I do more long hauls then short hauls in FSIM that take usually more then 10 hours to complete.
I often take off at 11PM and land the following morning at 11AM for 12 hour flights, you can adjust the time is FS easely.
considering the ATC, the guys have already given great tips, no need to reconfiger that!

I have some general tips when doing "redeye sim flights"(sleep in between!).

*set the real weather function to static weather.
*if you use a joystick, press ctrl+k to deactivate all input from your devices, they could give problems when using USB and could crash your plane, I've seen it before...
*if you use an ATI card, deactivate overdrive, it can be that the card could hang sometimes due to the overdrive and that shuts off FSIM immidiatly, very annoying, I had it last week actually due to forgetting to switch it off.
You can however minimize your FSIM window too when you go to sleep to overcome it.
*if you can climb to the higher FL's, they have better performance.
*check the weather underway before you go to sleep, NOAA is excellent for it!
*when you go to sleep, leave the PC running (not standby), switch off the surround system (if applicable) and turn off the screen and check your displayed ARR time in the FMC or GPS, it could be that jetstreams reconfigure that so check them at NOAA and wake up at least 1 hour before top of descent!

I have completed around 100 "redeye sim" flights without problems in A340's and A330's that way!
What time is top of descent?
 
keta
Posts: 405
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:14 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:14 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 4):
As far as ATC goes, I usually wait until I've reached my cruising altitude and then next time ATC contacts me to switch over to another frequency all you have to do is acknowledge the transmission, switch frequencies but DO NOT contact the new center. Just leave it and wait until you're about 150 NM out before you use ATC again where you will receive normal instructions again as if you sat there for the full flight.

Yup that's a good idea for ATC.

Whenever I do long flights, of course I use the autopilot, and during the flight I expend the time doing other things, I don't concentrate in FS. If somehow ATC goes wrong you can always open the flightplan and they will give you instructions again. And one important thing: use the Autosave plug-in, which automatically saves your flight every certain amount of time (you set it, I have it every 30 secs). You don't want FS to crash when you have flown for 7 hours! It has saved me some flights.  Smile
Where there's a will, there's a way
 
crjflyer35
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 1:23 am

I understand peoples time restraints, but in my opinion, aren't we as simmers looking for a sense of realism? I personally wouldn't feel all that secure if my pilot and co-pilot came out of the flightdeck to chat with the passengers or to catch some Z's on a long haul trans-pac. flight. I've been with Virtual Airlines and on long haul flights in my flight sim community for 2 and a half years now, and the controllers (i am also a controller online) will check to make sure the pilots are at least near the computer, able to make course changes if the need arises. We as virtual controllers understand if you need to use the lav. or get a Pepsi, heck, even go eat dinner, and usually don't have a problem with it if you are cruising and there is no traffic, but tell me, is this realsitic for 15 hours?
Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
 
747luvr
Posts: 331
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:39 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 2:04 am

I flew for 20 hours....744 taking it from Aukland, NZ westbound to Lisbon, Portugal. FL460 and every 1000 miles I evaluated FF,fuel left, mileage and tonnage burnt in the last 1000 miles. I would lower the FF rate every 1000 miles by about 2-3 hundred lb/engine/hour. take off was with the 386,000 lb tops and I landed after 2 sunsets and 371,000 lbs of fuel burnt. Was glad to land!
 
chrisjake
Posts: 1031
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:19 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:10 am

i use FSNavigator to plan my routes: www.fsnavigator.com

i use a neat little program called FSpause that can be found at AVSIM.com.

FSNavigator will plot our your entire course using navaids. it will also show your exact BOD (beginning of decent) point. so.... i look at my NEXT waypoint AFTER my BOD and look at how many miles it is away from the BOD and add approx 25 miles to it.

using FSpause, i tell it to look for that waypoint and it pauses my FS about 25 miles from my BOD so i can take it in from there.

example would be: the next waypoint after my BOD is a VOR called XYZ. i check and XYZ is 22 miles after my BOD. so i add another 25 miles and tell my FSpause program to pause FS 47 miles from XYZ. when i get back to my pc, i turn off the FSnavigator autopilot and fly it in myself from there using ATC.

hope this helps
chris
 
A3204eva
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:25 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 3:37 am

If i'm flying longhaul (always on vatsim), then I stick the route in the FMC and off we go. I tend to fly the long hauls at night (no I don't fall asleep), so there's nothing much to do except watch TV, listen to music and monitor the flight. The usual long haul I fly is KJFK-EGCC (or other way) BAW 767. I depart about 2300ish (zulu) and depending which NAT tracks are currently in use, I usually land about 0500  Smile

Scott
"They have lady pilots......... they're not that good, but they have 'em"
 
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EA CO AS
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Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:20 am

I guess I'm the most low-tech guy out there. I take off, reach cruise, set my cruise speed, and sort of aim the plane at my destination based on the map position.

Then the monitor and sound are off, and I go about my day - or go to sleep - and recheck 8-12 hours later to see precisely where the heck I am.

Works like a charm, although I've overshot my destination by an hour or so on occasion.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:11 am

Quoting Crjflyer35 (Reply 7):
I understand peoples time restraints, but in my opinion, aren't we as simmers looking for a sense of realism? I personally wouldn't feel all that secure if my pilot and co-pilot came out of the flightdeck to chat with the passengers or to catch some Z's on a long haul trans-pac. flight. I've been with Virtual Airlines and on long haul flights in my flight sim community for 2 and a half years now, and the controllers (i am also a controller online) will check to make sure the pilots are at least near the computer, able to make course changes if the need arises. We as virtual controllers understand if you need to use the lav. or get a Pepsi, heck, even go eat dinner, and usually don't have a problem with it if you are cruising and there is no traffic, but tell me, is this realsitic for 15 hours?

Is a single-pilot flight for such a long time realistic? In addition to the copilot, any flight over 8 hours has to have three pilots so that can rotate positions inflight and take a break of a few hours each. Longer flights have even more pilots. I completely understand your point, and try to stay awake for a whole flight, but even real pilots are allowed to take a nap on a long-haul flight.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
phatfarmlines
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 12:06 pm

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:32 am

Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 4):
As far as ATC goes, I usually wait until I've reached my cruising altitude and then next time ATC contacts me to switch over to another frequency all you have to do is acknowledge the transmission, switch frequencies but DO NOT contact the new center. Just leave it and wait until you're about 150 NM out before you use ATC again where you will receive normal instructions again as if you sat there for the full flight.

This is the best trick in the book for real-time ultra-longhaul flights. You definitely want to do this before you go to sleep. I use that trick even when I speed up flights. When you have the sim speed set at 16x, your reaction time to respond to ATC becomes difficult and thereby risk getting your IFR cancelled.
 
jumpseatflyer
Posts: 155
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 12:13 pm

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:58 am

I don't even touch the big planes. Between classes, homework, meals, and two restaraunt jobs... not a chance. Even if I had the time, I don't think I'd do that. I've only done JFK-LHR a few times while I've been doing other work or studying, but I usually need the PC for schoolwork. I did numbers for JFK-Johannessburg [sp?] two summers ago. The numbers themselves took almost two hours. I never flew it.

The pre-FS2002 days we're really good as far as taking off, setting the fuel to unlimited, getting to FL360, and turning off the monitor. Two days later and you've circled the world and you can land where you started.

As far as realism is concerned, I think the bigger the plane, the less real the game becomes. MS does a terrific job, but I don't think the emotions of a 474 or 777 take off/landing can ever be SIMULATED with ANY accuracy.
 
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drerx7
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RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Wed Nov 09, 2005 11:00 pm

You really may want to consider purchasing FSNavigator. Its by far the most useful addition to FS for me, especially if you like to fly airliners. You set up the flightplan and the autopilot interacts with the FSNavigator and will fly the flight plan--lift off to touchdown. It can control speed, decent rate, among everything else. It was the most worthwhile money spent on an addition to Flight Simulator. I've flown the EWR-HKG route you mentioned--set FSNav. and I go on about my day--hell I've even gone to work and come home to land after dinner.
HOUSTON, TEXAS
 
crjflyer35
Posts: 510
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:24 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
Is a single-pilot flight for such a long time realistic? In addition to the copilot, any flight over 8 hours has to have three pilots so that can rotate positions inflight and take a break of a few hours each. Longer flights have even more pilots. I completely understand your point, and try to stay awake for a whole flight, but even real pilots are allowed to take a nap on a long-haul flight.

Excellent point.
Ok, wait for the RJ to pass, cleared to push tail south Mike, and you're cleared to spin #2 in the push.
 
trekster
Posts: 4319
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 2:47 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:05 am

I flew LGW SIN in a 742 of a not to be named airline (sorry sam lol)

Set it goin, kept a eye onit for 3 hours, then went to bed. Woke at 3am and checked, then woke at 8am. Landed about 10 i think. Have done a few of these before.
Where does the time go???
 
SWISSER
Posts: 1568
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:31 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:54 am

Quoting Trekster (Reply 17):
Set it goin, kept a eye onit for 3 hours, then went to bed. Woke at 3am and checked, then woke at 8am. Landed about 10 i think. Have done a few of these before.

That's a very good way to do it!

I heard that a tool is on the market that allows 2 virtual pilots command the same aircraft in FSIM online!
That would be a nice thing to do!

Then we could easely mix an American continenter and a European continentar virtual pilot as we sleep at different hours!

Or you take off, and I land, just switch on the PC!
What time is top of descent?
 
777DadandJr
Topic Author
Posts: 1484
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 7:37 am

RE: Long FS Flights.......Tips

Fri Nov 11, 2005 11:11 pm

Thanks for all the tips guys! Very helpful.
I think Jr and I will attempt this EWR-HKG flight, flying CO Peter Max 777, as CO99 this weekend.
I'll give you a report when completed. (Maybe a screenshot or two, to boot!)

Thanks again for the tips!

Russ & Jr
My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.

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