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nevervne

Impressions from a real-world High Performance Taildragger pilot.

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Hey guys. I thought I'd give my short 2 cents seeing as I fly high performance piston taildraggers on a daily basis for my job/general enjoyment. Nothing like the 1200 horsepower LaGG, but my forte is Pitts Specials, Piper Pawnees, and Extra 300's, and Super Decathlons.

 

Ground Handling: You guys hit the nail on the head with how a tailwheel reacts on the ground. Ground looping is a serious concern in any taildragger and you guys made it obvious that the airplane needs to be handled just as carefully on the ground as it does in the air. The way the airplane bounces and reacts to different types of pavement/snow is stunning and it's something I really haven't seen before in any sim. Bravo.

 

Takeoffs and Landings: Again, perfect interpretation of how a taildragger needs to be paid attention to through all phases of flight, especially the takeoff and landing. There's a certain finesse that no sim has been able to capture. Somehow, someway, you guys did it. The airplane feels heavy on the takeoff roll and it reacts just as a real taildragger should. Bounce and swerve recovery is great. Ground effect handling seems to also be present in the sim and works just the way I thought it should. Landings in a taildragger is an especially difficult process to grab at. You need to be way ahead of the airplane. I noticed in the crosswind mission you guys paid attention to how a taildragger reacts if you aren't lined up correctly when you touch down. If you touch down sideways, it's not going to be pretty. Three point landings with full flaps in a crosswind are BIG no-no's in the types of airplanes I fly, and it's apparent that the developers paid extra attention to this.

 

There's so much more to talk about, but I don't want this to drag on. 

 

This is simply an amazing sim already. You guys should be proud of what you have made so far.

 

Thanks,

Jared

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Edited by nevervne
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Jared,

 

Thanks for the supportive words. I will make sure the team sees this. It's always nice to hear from a real pilot who enjoys our work. Very cool. Thanks!

 

Jason

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Three point landings with full flaps in a crosswind are BIG no-no's in the types of airplanes I fly, and it's apparent that the developers paid extra attention to this.

 

 

 

what is your advice for landing in the crosswind mission? I've only successfully landed twice in that, for 8 or 9 crashes. How is it best done please?

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what is your advice for landing in the crosswind mission? I've only successfully landed twice in that, for 8 or 9 crashes. How is it best done please?

 

Half flaps or a little more, keep the speed up for better aileron authority, crab on final, straighten it out with the rudder just before touch down and let the airplane fly itself onto the runway. After you're on the ground, ailerons into the wind, keep the tail on the ground going straight to avoid ground looping, and apply brakes. Voila!

 

I can make a video if you'd like. It would probably explain it better!

Edited by nevervne

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Half flaps or a little more, keep the speed up for better aileron authority, crab on final, straighten it out with the rudder just before touch down and let the airplane fly itself onto the runway. After you're on the ground, ailerons into the wind, keep the tail on the ground going straight to avoid ground looping, and apply brakes. Voila!

 

I can make a video if you'd like. It would probably explain it better!

 A video would be awesome. Any advice on how to stop bouncing on landing in normal conditions? I can get the thing on the ground ok but cant seem to stop that first big bounce.

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Do you switch from crabbing to sideslipping just before touchdown when you do x-wind landings in real world taildraggers?

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 A video would be awesome. Any advice on how to stop bouncing on landing in normal conditions? I can get the thing on the ground ok but cant seem to stop that first big bounce.

 

Normal conditions? Fly the airplane all the way to the ground. Don't let it stall. My advice first is to maybe try wheel landings. Come in at a higher speed and a flatter approach and land on the mains first. If you attempt a 3 point and find you're bouncing a lot, don't push down on the stick after the bounce. Keep the nose high and keep the stick back until you settle down on the ground. I'll work on a video now.

 

Do you switch from crabbing to sideslipping just before touchdown when you do x-wind landings in real world taildraggers?

 

Yes sir, I do. When I do any kind of crosswind landing I'll always touch the upwind wheel on the ground first

Edited by nevervne

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I'll give that a try thanks and i look forward to your video.

 

Sorry, by normal condition I just meant no crosswind like in the first mission. Normal conditions was probably not the best term as I guess such conditions don't exist.

Edited by Tartan

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Half flaps or a little more, keep the speed up for better aileron authority, crab on final, straighten it out with the rudder just before touch down and let the airplane fly itself onto the runway. After you're on the ground, ailerons into the wind, keep the tail on the ground going straight to avoid ground looping, and apply brakes. Voila!

 

I can make a video if you'd like. It would probably explain it better!

 

I'd suggest learning to do two wheel landings without a cross wind to learn the technique.  Then try with a cross wind. 

 

In a Citrabria (which only has about 160 hp), two wheel landings are relatively easy.  As nevervne said, fly the airplane onto the runway.  The approach is normal but you add maybe 10% throttle just before crossing the threshold.  When you're about a foot above ground, you push the stick forward and keep the throttle at 10% and the tail up.  Then cut the thottle and allow the airspeed to bleed off.  When you've slowed down, the tail will stop flying and drop.  Do not apply brakes until the tailwheel is on the ground. 

 

I've done this in Bf 109s in CLOD and it works fine.  Haven't tried it yet in BOS. 

 

After you have that down, then do the wheel-low method described by nevervne above. 

Edited by JV44Rall

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Video is uploading. Youtube is quite slow, so it may be another half hour or so. It's really nothing special other than showing you how I do it.

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I also fly real world taildraggers (mostly biplanes) and I must also commend the developers on outstanding flight dynamics.  In my opinion, however, the ground handling is off.  It ground loops too easily.  Ground looping is a function of how shortly coupled a taildragger is (ie the distance from the main gear to the tailwheel).  In the case of the Lagg 3 the plane is not that shortly coupled and should not ground loop so easily.  Perhaps I'm incorrect and the ground looping is the result the main gear being close together, though looking at the model the main gear don't look unusually narrow to my eye.  I have flown many different taildraggers in real life, from Stampes and Citabrias to Texans and I have never flown anything that comes close to ground looping as easily as the Lagg 3!

Edited by nsedgley

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@ nevervne:

 

You mention it's like no other sim you've played. I'm curious how you feel it stacks up against the A2A offerings for MS FSX or the DCS P-51D simulations. I'm not asking to deny the claim, just curious to get a base line.

 

I had a chance to test out the BoS alpha briefly earlier and I find its ground handling and in flight physics to be a step above Cliffs of Dover and two steps above the old IL-2 game before it, but I'm not sure how to rate it against MS FSX w/ Accusim aircraft or the DCS taildragger sim since I'm not a real pilot.

 

Have you flown those? What would your comparison notes be?

 

Thanks for your impressions and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my question! One thing I DO know is that I very much like BoS so far. It's a great start!

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@ nevervne:

 

You mention it's like no other sim you've played. I'm curious how you feel it stacks up against the A2A offerings for MS FSX or the DCS P-51D simulations. I'm not asking to deny the claim, just curious to get a base line.

 

I had a chance to test out the BoS alpha briefly earlier and I find its ground handling and in flight physics to be a step above Cliffs of Dover and two steps above the old IL-2 game before it, but I'm not sure how to rate it against MS FSX w/ Accusim aircraft or the DCS taildragger sim since I'm not a real pilot.

 

Have you flown those? What would your comparison notes be?

 

Thanks for your impressions and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on my question! One thing I DO know is that I very much like BoS so far. It's a great start!

 

I've tried every sim from FSX - Xplane - DCS - Aerofly. MS FSX physics are just a joke, to say the very least. Take A2A's Cub. I've got a ton of Cub time so I was pretty happy when they were going to release that, and unfortunately I was so turned off by it, I had to uninstall it. It's not A2A's problem as a developer, but the limitation of FSX. They've done way more than I thought was possible with FSX and I very much appreciate it, but when I put an airplane into a spin and it goes inverted and somehow climbs at a rate of 3000 feet/min, I just have to leave it. 

 

DCS does a great job, but I'm not very fond of their FM especially when it comes to the Mustang. When it comes to accelerated stalls and spins in the DCS Mustang, it really doesn't feel right. P51's are notorious for having a downright scary spin characteristic, but in DCS it's quite uneventful to say the least. It's still much more believe than FSX is, though, and I'd rather fly on DCS if I had to choose between the two. Luckily I don't have to do that anymore!

Also, here is the crosswind landing video. Note the control inputs on the ground. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uH8CDjKhyT8&feature=youtu.be

Edited by nevervne
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DCS does a great job, but I'm not very fond of their FM especially when it comes to the Mustang. 

 

You should read what real actual Mustang pilots said after trying DCS virtual one  :salute:

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Thanks for the video neverdme. I used to fly aeros as a hobby but mainly in a 152 Aerobat. A mate used to have a 2 seater Pitts he would let me fly, but he wouldn't let anyone else take it off and land it. Ergo, I have no tail wheel experience.

 

However I feel the ground loop may be a trifle overdone. I have not managed a landing yet where it does not ground loop at the end of the run out at a reasonably slow speed.

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Thanks for the video neverdme. I used to fly aeros as a hobby but mainly in a 152 Aerobat. A mate used to have a 2 seater Pitts he would let me fly, but he wouldn't let anyone else take it off and land it. Ergo, I have no tail wheel experience.

 

However I feel the ground loop may be a trifle overdone. I have not managed a landing yet where it does not ground loop at the end of the run out at a reasonably slow speed.

 

Are you ground looping in the crosswind missions more than the calm mission? Remember your crosswind correction on the ground. It becomes a whole hell of a lot easier when you put the ailerons into the wind on the ground. 

 

I think another big factor is differential braking. I'm only using the twist on my joystick for yaw, but at slow speed, differential braking is what will help you not ground loop. Also, I'm not sure if the "lock tailwheel" function is working correctly, but that will make the groundloop on landing much easier to cope with, once it is.

Edited by nevervne

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I can't land to save my life so I have a few questions from the pros. What exact speed should I be at while landing? What should propeller pitch be set at? Any chance as to someone show a calm wind landing example? Here is a youtube video of what happens to me while attempting to land I always get the bouncing problem.

 

http://youtu.be/hdQ5Qm1UiDE

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I can't land to save my life so I have a few questions from the pros. What exact speed should I be at while landing? What should propeller pitch be set at? Any chance as to someone show a calm wind landing example? Here is a youtube video of what happens to me while attempting to land I always get the bouncing problem.

 

http://youtu.be/hdQ5Qm1UiDE

 

Airspeed should be around 190 or so for a normal 3 point approach. No need to be exact. Flying an airplane isn't a rigid event. Things are always changing and it's your job to cope with the changes. Prop pitch is always full when in the pattern.

 

Your approach looked fine but you seemed to be going too fast and you were in the wheel landing attitude. Your throttle needs to be at idle when you're over the threshold, and you hold the airplane above the runway and let it settle down by itself. Don't force the nose down when you bounce. Hold it at a nose high attitude. I'd be happy to make a video to show you what a normal conditions landing should look like.

Edited by nevervne

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Are you ground looping in the crosswind missions more than the calm mission? Remember your crosswind correction on the ground. It becomes a whole hell of a lot easier when you put the ailerons into the wind on the ground. 

 

I think another big factor is differential braking. I'm only using the twist on my joystick for yaw, but at slow speed, differential braking is what will help you not ground loop. Also, I'm not sure if the "lock tailwheel" function is working correctly, but that will make the groundloop on landing much easier to cope with, once it is.

Calm missions. I have (I think) a right rudder pedal toe brake that works via rudder input. The locked tail wheel is a non event as yet. I can hold it straight until it gets down to 50km/hr but anywhere between there and 20km/hr she ground loops no matter how much I play with the brake/rudder combination.

 

Hopefully when the tail wheel lock is operational it will cease to be a problem.

 

And after 10 years of the original ILS, RoF since it was released and hundreds of real life landings, this baby is the hardest I've ever struck. Good challenge though, I'll get on top of it eventually.

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There's so much more to talk about, but I don't want this to drag on. 

 

 

 

No, please do drag it on as long as you like. It's good for us virtual-only pilots to know how close we are to the real thing.  :biggrin:

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I can hold it straight until it gets down to 50km/hr but anywhere between there and 20km/hr she ground loops no matter how much I play with the brake/rudder combination.

 

I you add a little bit of throttle when your making your brake/rudder correction, that will keep her straight and stop the ground looping. 

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Excellent write up Nevervne

 

I will try out what the video suggests. I bet I still wont be able to land, LOL.

 

On a different note, DEV's you really did an amazing job! You never once lied to us about this SIM. That bodes very well for you. I can't tell you how much I enjoy flying the LaGG in this game, throttle bugs and all. The way you made the environment alive with wind direction, turbulence...amazing. I already told Zak I really felt like I was flying and that I actually really did tear up a bit. IL-2 1946 is pretty darn good but this game.....wait let me rephrase that, this SIMULATOR is nothing short of digital Picasso. I can not wait to fly my Freiderich and my Wurger. I cannot wait to see what expansion packs you guys have in store for us over the next 3-5 years. It is very apparent that the whole 1C 777 team are actual aviation lovers and not just another company looking for some quick cash. There is a term that is used by our US Navy (which I served in) it is:

 

BRAVO - ZULU = Job well done

Edited by Erg./JG54_SPEKTRE

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+1 for the OP  -  as I've stated elsewhere, this is the only sim that I'm aware of that actually allows for decent taildragger training.

 

On FSX: while I'm not that negative about the actual flying bits - I think it's very useful to practice many things, but spins might not be among them - the ground handling of any taildragger in FSX is a joke. I've got some real world Super Cub time myself, and while it's not as bad as the LaGG on the ground (the tailwheel isn't completely free-swiveling, for starters, and it's a lot lighter), in FSX any plane just rolls straight like on rails. 

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I can't land to save my life so I have a few questions from the pros. What exact speed should I be at while landing? What should propeller pitch be set at? Any chance as to someone show a calm wind landing example? Here is a youtube video of what happens to me while attempting to land I always get the bouncing problem.

 

http://youtu.be/hdQ5Qm1UiDE

 

 

THANK YOU! I finally landed!

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My pleasure, guys! If anyone needs more help just let me know. I'm happy to throw some extra videos up.

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I am finally able to land now without destroying the plane, I was coming in way to fast. I need to keep it around180 kmh on approach and pull the nose up to bleed more speed as I make touchdown like that video showed.

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First of all: your post is the best advertising ever for a sim :salute:

 

Second: it's hard to see you flying, while I have to wait...

 

Third: very interesting video, Jared, thanks (and bookmarked); since I am an usual plane-crasher (at least in ROF & co), I would suggest you to add in your videos (if you are doing it for learning purpose) some external view replay on landings and the indications of speed, throttle and so on.

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I've just managed to perform two successful landings using the 'fly it onto the runway' technique, keeping the tail up until the plane is settled. The landing FM is too bouncy in my opinion, or the bounce needs more drastic sounds to represent a heavy landing.

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I concur that the FM/tailwheel characteristics are very good. I flown and instructed in American Champion aircraft-Citabrias, Decathlons- I have noticed that the LAGG is a very good with wheel landings (slightly tail low attitude). Three pointers are good-using half flaps seem to help  in the flare and eliminate  bounces. Full flaps with excess speed it really "floats" a bit. The a/c has good elevator authority at low speeds, maybe a bit too sensative-KEEP THE STICK BACK through the landing rollout.

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S!

 

 This is the first sim giving me a challenge of flying. Feels very nice to fly around :) Not a pilot myself, but a very eager sim fan :) 

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