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ZachariasX

Some impressions about flying a real Spitfire (TR-9)

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TL;DR: Just go and fly one as long as we have those planes in flying condition!! If you feel you are tight on budget, this is literally the reason you pawn your spouse and kids for!

The Spitfires FM in a nutshell: It flies like on rails. Totally. The “wobble” is the antithesis of that aircraft. You have wobble in any way, you don’t have a Spitfire. You cannot even wobble if you like to.
Important maybe or @AnPetrovich the Spitfire requires an immediate 2 cm pull back on the stick after popping the flaps at ~110 mph. It is especially noticeable, as you will not require similar stick inputs for regular flight. There is no requirement to hold the aircraft with pitch input in a bank until about 20 degrees bank! Up to 60 degrees, there is only a tiny amount of pull necessary to keep it level.

 

 

Now, about how it felt to fly it. First off, again, it is an amazing experience and you really should take the opportunity as well. I did it at Biggin Hill. Bring your logbook. It makes you look smart to log some Spitfire time, even though your spouse will probably not think so. That said, now about the actual highly subjective experience.

 

The aircraft. The TR-9 is an Mk.IXe with another cockpit in the back. The original cockpit is shifted (IIRC) 14 inches to the front to compensate for CG. Wing fuels tanks are added due to the main tank being smaller, as the front cockpit takes some of its space. To further preserve the airframe, they limit maneuvering loads to +2,5 g. No loops for passengers. Bummer. But you can roll her all day long as long as you maintain at least +1 g. Less than 1 g for more than 1 second is explicitly forbidden. You can see the oil pressure dropping right away when you push down the nose. The passenger’s seat had brake lever, both mag switches and the landing gear lever removed, “because these are things that really can ruin our day”.

The engine, a Merlin 66, has the red arc on the boost gauge between +12 and +16 lbs. boost. They do not use more than +8 lbs. boost, as it improves service life of the engine considerably. This means the engine has a TBO of 500 hours after which it receives a rebuild. This sets you back £137’000 they told me. Also, at this point you will need to check your prop blades. It almost equals getting new blades and it sets you back another £8’000. Per blade.

Should you think this is like a short service interval, well, think again. The undisputed king of the Hangar is the tiny Bf-109 Emil – one of two flyable in the world – reaches a fraction of that service time with his DB. As an upside, it makes a fantastic noise. We were in for a rare treat, witnessing a test run on the apron just next to the Spitfires. It is at least twice as loud as the Merlin. Horrendous. At high power output, people on the apron protect their ears. The Spitfire does not even impress the children noise wise. Unbelievable how much noise that engine makes from burning the same fuel. Like a VW Beetle gone mad. After that, the Merlin really sounds like a Rolls Royce with his soft purr compared to that mad beetle lacking a muffler. The only upside reagarding maintenance the Emil has over the Spitfire is you only need to buy three instead of four propeller blades from Hartzell.

Takeoff. She really is a bitch on the ground and she is out to hurt you and herself as long as you are not constantly watching out while she’s not absolutely standing still. Her drum brakes are dimensioned as if they were meant for a moped. They might work as parking brakes, but for the rest, they – as many other features of her – are clearly not what would be acceptable the standards of today. The brakes are good enough to make her nose over, but that does not really require much. While taxiing, they use rather little brakes. I of course did none of the taxing myself, but there is this nice pressure dial down to the left in the darkness that shows you brake pressure applied. While leaving the apron there is some casual use to turn her on the taxiway, but hardly more than 50% of what you could have. What is used is rudder. All the time, to the point fluttering her tail makes her go forward. The big prop gives a lot of wind, making the rudder surprisingly effective. Her tail comes around easily. The shopping trolley in the back does not keep her straight at all.
Take off run is done at +8 boost, 3000 rpm (prop pitch lever full forward). NO BRAKES during the takeoff run. As soon as you increase power, there is enough wind and with 30% to 50% ruder deflection, you can hold her going straight while she jumps forward at slightly higher pace than a lightly loaded airliner. As she unsticks at less than half that speed, she flies off very quickly and you can pull her up almost at an angle almost like an airliner. You raise gears and climb at roughly 140 mph and in what feels like a heartbeat, you are 1’000 ft. above the field. You reduce power to +4 lbs, and trim her for flight. +4 at 2’000 rpm. This is all you need when nobody shooting at you.

Flight. Once you trimmed her for flight, she does not need re-trimming at all up to almost 300 mph, neither pitch nor yaw. She is neutral on both pitch and roll and positively stable on yaw. She just goes where you point her. Increasing speed leads to no nose up, slowing her down also has little effect unless you go below around 150 mph, when you will start to hold her on the elevator. At +4 lbs. boost and 2’000 rpm, she quickly accelerates to about 180 mph after the climb and then takes a gentle time (almost a minute) and settles at 240 mph indicated at 2’800 ft. (You can’t go much higher over Kent unless you want to enter controlled airspace.)
The instruments are rather useless for precise flight. You gauge her attitude by looking outside and all will be fine. Occasionally you crosscheck the altimeter. Just a light tap on the column and she either sink or climbs with over 1’000 ft. per minute. Downward she picks up some more speed. Upwards, she seems greatly unimpressed and just climbs at the same speed.

Controls. The stick is somewhat weird, as you have to grip it on the top (the only way you can reach the gun switch with your right thumb), giving a feeling of horseback riding. It was a bumpy day and the vibrations (I think mostly due to prop wash, the engine runs very smooth at that rating) and it felt like on a horse. No wonder they always talked about her as a Thoroughbred! You really feel like sitting there holding her reins rather than a stick. The controls being neutral like they are require you to constantly guiding her like a horse, keeping her pointed to where you want to go. But boy she goes! For having comfortable ride, you can let your hand rest on your legs and just hold the stick with two fingers. She requires such little input to steer her the way you want to it is enough and it helps you not over controlling the aircraft. You are not visibly moving the stick to make her roll or pitch enough for guiding her in general flight.
Stick forces are considerable however. While two fingers are enough for pulling back the stick at 250 mph (you can pull easily 2, 3 g like that), the ailerons are a different animal with far less stick travel. You really need a good grip with one hand and some strength at 250 mph to make a larger aileron deflection and the stick forces progressively increase with speed.
She does not really require rudder in turns. You can assist the bank if you use coarse aileron inputs, but the rudder forces required are rather strong. It feels like pressing the foot against the bulkhead instead of a pedal, but a tiny amount of rudder is enough to keep the needle straight.

Maneuvering. Over the Channel, you can go higher for wingovers, rolls and dives. Increasing boost to +6 lbs. makes her go about 260 mph and in a gentle dive, she picks up speed rapidly to over 320 mph. At this point, you just dived form ~5’000 ft. to ~1’000 ft. Then pulling up she just keeps going, at ~6000 ft., she settles at about 140 mph where you can just drive her around back down, picking up speed rapidly past 300 mph. Truly impressive how she goes. That gives you enough speed budget for slow and fast rolls. At that speed, stick forces are considerable and require two hands and all the strength you have for quick full aileron deflection. At 400 mph, that really must become a strain and preclude fast stick movements on the ailerons.

Landing. You make an overhead at (IIRC) about 2’000 ft. while reducing throttle and upping rpm to 2’400. She slows down readily once you cut the throttle and once you are slower than 120 mph, you can lower gears (that have almost no effect on the controls) and pop the flaps. As soon as the flaps are lowered, the airplane pitches down significantly, requiring you to immediately pull back the stick about 2 cm. That would give you (I estimate) 1.5 g in regular flight. It is the coarsest input besides keeping her straight in the takeoff run and during aerobatics.
From the overhead, you enter the surprisingly short downwind leg. No further than about twice the distance of the runway lights at the end of runway 21, they bring her down in one gentle turn, enabling view of the runway through the side window. The turn is finished right before touchdown. The Spit glides like a piano, giving you have a very, very steep approach. Like a sailplane with spoilers fully deployed. She stays surprisingly agile though, you can put her in a very small field if required. Like you expect it in a Piper Cub. For takeoff, she is an airliner, for landing she is a Cub. You  pull the stick all the way back to flair her out and settle her on one wheel (we had considerable crosswind) and let her roll exclusively holding her straight with the rudder. NO BRAKES! They have a mile space until you can leave the runway at the very end. They almost only use brakes when the aircraft is very slow to assist a tight turn or for the final stop. As soon as she rolls upping throttle a tad they hold her with the rudder.

Overall, I cannot think of an aircraft more willing and eager to follow he pilots wishes precisely! I also must commend the devs (thumbs up @AnPetrovich and @Jason_Williams) for giving us an extremely convincing Spitfire in this sim!
Her main quirks, the (relatively) overly easy pitch and the (for today’s standards) unacceptable ground handling are just what you would be fighting in the real aircraft. You use the same way to keep her straight in the sim, increased engine power and lots of rudder. There should be even less “wobble”. The little that we have is still far excessive. That aircraft has her nose and wings welded to the stick. Be it. The only thing that is clearly not as it should be are flaps behavior. You deploy them, she pitches down significantly, requiring a pronounced (2 cm) pull back on the stick. About the stalling maneuvers that are so popular in the sim, I will only say it is not the best idea to do that in the real Spitfire.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

That aircraft has her nose and wings welded to the stick.

Interesting read! I see you mention the same, pronounced pitch down moment that is described in the pilot manual and that is missing in-game. I had pointed that out in my video, too.

 

If you had the chance to fire it's guns you would have noticed another effect that is missing in-game: a pronounced pitch-down due to the combination of gun recoil and neutral pitch stability. Not the kind of stuff spitfire fans wanna hear, I know...

 

Atup to 8 lbs of boost and up to 2.5 g it better be docile.  Read Rick Volker's report if you wanna know how she handles during aerobatics. It's a completely different beast, requiring A LOT of footwork.

 

https://www.google.com/url?q=http://rickvolker.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/SPITFIRE-ARTICLE.pdf&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwjbpcDM3L7iAhWOPFAKHSBsApcQFjAHegQIAhAB&usg=AOvVaw10mdjPpdLJcdbsN5w4ZGjD

Edited by JG27_PapaFly
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Pitch down question caused by flaps was discussed numerous times in the past, including feedback from the devs. If I recall correctly the reason it works in BoX the way it works is because, with majority of folks using non-FFB joysticks, the only way to simulate stick forces vs hinge moments vs pitch response is to either have more realistic relative stick displacement (but unrealistic plane response), or more realistic plane response (but unrealistic relative stick displacement) - never both.

 

So in the end, for the developers it's alway a question of which half-right-half-wrong implementation to choose from. Petrovich chose one of them, while Yo-Yo of DCS chose the other. Neither being inherently better. I wouldn't expect anything to change in BoX then, as it would be just replacing one half-baked solution with the other.

 

Well, OK, I personally would actually prefer DCS-one, and consider it slightly better, because with exactly the same simulation problem affecting trim tabs, we would at least get coherent and equally half-wrong modelling of flaps and trims response in BoX, unlike now, where trim response follows one implementation logic, while flap response follows the other...

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Posted (edited)

Thank you ZachariasX for sharing your WONDERFUL experience with us  !  and for giving us yet another argument towards how good the simulation really is in this SUPERB IL-2 GB flightsim!

 

Edited by jcomm-il2
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@ZachariasX Thanks for sharing your experience, i'm a bit jealous :good: . Well written too and fun to read. Nice to hear that the spitty ingame is convincing. 

If you have more of these stories, please write them up here too :biggrin:.

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18 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Just go and fly one as long as we have those planes in flying condition!!

Brilliant read that! I'm never at all likely to get anywhere near that sort of experience but I DO have the proud claim to have had a Grandad who was Grondcrew (airframe and electrics) on both the Spitfire and the Hurricane in WW2. He's unfortunately not with us any more but I know for a fact that he would have had a lot to say on offerings such as this brilliant package. I only wish I'd been old enough to have talked to him properly about his stuff (which is a statement in itself as I'm no longer any kind of 'spring chicken'!!). Thanks Zacharias, thanks a lot. :salute:

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Thanks guys! It really was fantastic and not easy to put in words.

 

Going through your comments,

 

I can maybe add this:

 

16 hours ago, JG27_PapaFly said:

If you had the chance to fire it's guns you would have noticed another effect that is missing in-game: a pronounced pitch-down due to the combination of gun recoil and neutral pitch stability. Not the kind of stuff spitfire fans wanna hear, I know... 

Oh, I wish. They have some Hispano and .303 rounds around in the hangar. But that's as close to firing as you possibly get.

 

16 hours ago, JG27_PapaFly said:

Atup to 8 lbs of boost and up to 2.5 g it better be docile.  Read Rick Volker's report if you wanna know how she handles during aerobatics. It's a completely different beast, requiring A LOT of footwork.

She is. One thing to keep in mind is that these reports were written with a competition in mind that are rather lame crates. There are probably as few exceptions for aircraft that still today would be considered fine aircraft and the rest are just sad sacks of plywood and wire. Same with cars of the 30's, if they were considered "fine rides" back then and that is the expectation you have when just hopping in them and fighting traffic, you're in for something like a near-death experience. The Piper Cub or the Bücker Jungmann/Jungmeister, they are remarkable exceptions and I consider them to this day some of the most wonderful aircraft, despite some of their quirks.

 

What is truly remarkable is how effortless the Spit handles, even though she's all power. She's also a bad example for using FFB Joysticks, as tightening springs (a lot!) does already everything. The stick center does not shift over a large speed range. She's almost like an Airbus control whise as long as you fly her like an Airbus. But she's a Thoroughbred that is constantly telling her jockey "You know, I can be faster than you!". Like this one:

Spoiler

Weidenpesch250411.jpg

 

I cannot comment on how she handles at high power settings, with this flight I just barely scratched the surface of what she is capable of. Same as the Bücker Jungmann that also needs just one finger at the stick making invisible inputs to make him cruise where you want it, as soon as you throw him through the sky, you use a LOT of footwork and sometimes considerable force on the stick. I assume the Spit being the same.

 

But I can say that within reasonable speed ranges, what we have in the simulator resembles what you experience in flight. I have no idea what happens at (or beyond) the boundaries of the enveloppe, but I know that only having 2'000 ft. of air between you and an embarassing sitation is not a place to try any of that. So you treat her nicely and she'll be the world to you.

 

15 hours ago, Art-J said:

Pitch down question caused by flaps was discussed numerous times in the past, including feedback from the devs.

I remember them showing a video of a Yak-53 showing a nose up after deploying the flaps when you held the sick firm in place. It's not at all what happens in the Spit.

 

13 hours ago, Psyrion said:

If you have more of these stories, please write them up here too :biggrin:. 

Can do. Alas, less flight impressions. But some other goodies from their hangar. The Heritage Hangar is a good place to go after a flight. There, you can discretely try to get rid of that stupid grin stuck on everyones faces after a flight. A you see and learn a lot of interesting things.

 

First of all, the Emil.

Spoiler

bigginhill2.jpg

 

You can start it up like any other plane, but as soon as you give it higher power ratings everyone wears protective gear for the ears. I am convinced Galland himself never saw a more pristine 109 than this one. It is, inside out, just perfect. Perfect enough for a place at the Tate Modern. This Emil is made jaw droppingly perfect.

 

About landing the Spit, here is an impression of the approach as I described it above:

bigginhill3.jpg

 

At this point we've just crossed the beginning of the runway lights of runway 21. The aircraft has finished the turn and is straightened out just immediately before the flair. When I say straightened out, I mean directionally. We had some crosswind, so the right wing is kept low and you settle her on the right wheel. You bring the stick all the way back in your lap and she sits. As there were wind gusts, it made the plane go up again and settle from somewhat higher, then doing a nice whoopsie-a-daisy and rolling out all along the runway top the end.

 

As said, adding some power makes the rudder somewhat effective. I doubt you had any brakes left if you used them to drive her that kilometer down the runway.

 

You then back go and spend some time at the hangar to set your system back to normal.

bigginhill1.jpg

 

The Spitfire behind that Hurricane (No bulkhead between pilot and the fuel tank in the Hurricane. I mean, seriously, what were they thinking? The were already building an aircraft that looks twice the size of the 109.) is a rebuild. It was used in the '50s to train firefighters. For this they set her on fire! After several repetitions of this most immoral act, they dug out a hole on the airfield an put the carcass in there and filling it up. Everyone at the hangar is still irritated that nobody got shot for doing all that, but some ten years later, they thought of that again and dug out what was still left. What they did then was rivetting a whole new Spirfire to that charred piece of metal. If you wonder what that pice of metal is, it is the starboard weapons bay of the D-wing along with the cannon fairing. The rest, they had to... make. The Spitfite on the far right is for sale. £2.7 million. It has some more original parts to it. The Emil is a keeper.

 

In case you're wondering how you bolt on a Spitfire on a charred piece of aluminum, here's how they do it:

bigginhill4.jpg

 

Now they have the jigs for making them; here the wings. It takes the guy 18 months to make one wing. It looks like made from Sterling silver and everyone is thinking how it might look if one left it like that and just polished it. A chrome-Spit. If you look at it closely, you can see that manufacturing quality is far, far better than back then. There is love in that aluminum!

 

 

 

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On 5/28/2019 at 4:02 PM, ZachariasX said:

Stick forces are considerable however. While two fingers are enough for pulling back the stick at 250 mph (you can pull easily 2, 3 g like that), the ailerons are a different animal with far less stick travel. You really need a good grip with one hand and some strength at 250 mph to make a larger aileron deflection and the stick forces progressively increase with speed.

Do you believe that implementing pilot fatigue as a realism option would be a good idea? I think it would make us all fly closer to how they flew back then.

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3 minutes ago, JG27_PapaFly said:

Do you believe that implementing pilot fatigue as a realism option would be a good idea? I think it would make us all fly closer to how they flew back then.

If done well, yes, that could add a lot. :good:

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14 minutes ago, JG27_PapaFly said:

Do you believe that implementing pilot fatigue as a realism option would be a good idea? I think it would make us all fly closer to how they flew back then.

I think so. Even though the intricate knife-fights you see in game are fun, historically they must have been the exception rather than the rule, in part owing to physical limitations of endurance and the practicalities of maintaining situational awareness like we do in game with track IR etc.

It'd be very hard to simulate it without being 'gamey' though

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, JG27_PapaFly said:

Do you believe that implementing pilot fatigue as a realism option would be a good idea? I think it would make us all fly closer to how they flew back then.

Not sure. Who wants to be the sissy? I think it is handled very well right now, where stick deflections are reduced at higher speeds. Dog fights are not really a prolonged affair and you should have the strenght to last through, especially when you are pure adrenaline.

 

I do however think that (some/many) pilots wear out over time (same as we had in the engine discussion) and are restricted in their possibilities. Rene Muchotte for instance lost a lot of weight during his service. At the time of Biggin Hills 1000th victory, the poor lad looks severely underweight and I doubt that he could do at high speeds what he did a year before. Jochen Marseille did the right thing with regular and thorough physical exercise. You do need a lot of strenght and stamina to take those crates to the edge. I'm convinced Clostermann benefited a lot from his extensive swimming when it came to wind himself out out of a delicate situation.

 

What is also of note, the controls are not as fine and precise as you have them today. Even though the Spit is rather unique in being that delicate, there was lots to be learned in how to design and hook up control surfaces. It makes for instance the Pilatus PC-7 much more precise in control, as you can move the stick a bit at the center with very little force and it gradually increses the control forces with deflection. The Spit has the stick just stuck there in front of you. You can push at it like it was mouted fixed and that gives you enough to to drive around countryside. To maneuver, you reall have to take her reins and then you use the force from torso down to your hands. In these planes, you have more physical exercise than in comparable modern planes with direct controls.

Edited by ZachariasX
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Very interesting and congratulation !!! 

 

But are you 100% sure about the taxiing only with rudder...? :huh: Did the pilot clearly said "there is enough propeller blast on rudder to taxi without brakes"? 

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26 minutes ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

But are you 100% sure about the taxiing only with rudder...? 

Positively. I can see him using the brake on the pressure gauge. It tells you exactly how much he‘s braking on both left and right wheels. I also specifically commented to him  on my finding him taxiing with almost not using brakes, as I was like

28 minutes ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

:huh:

And he just said, „oh yeah, we don‘t do that“.

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1 hour ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

Very interesting and congratulation !!! 

 

But are you 100% sure about the taxiing only with rudder...? :huh: Did the pilot clearly said "there is enough propeller blast on rudder to taxi without brakes"? 

 

Which means "the other sim" isn't that realistic after all in Spitfire ground handling...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

Very interesting and congratulation !!! 

 

But are you 100% sure about the taxiing only with rudder...? :huh: Did the pilot clearly said "there is enough propeller blast on rudder to taxi without brakes"? 

Hey, didn´t we talk about this before? Man, really feels like we go in circles hahaha. See that´s what I thought taxiing tail draggers was like but I´m no pilot so idk. Have you seen the Hangar 10 video where they taxi their 109s out? They seem to use mainly rudder aswell for it.

Cheers.

Edited by Psyrion
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54 minutes ago, jcomm-il2 said:

 

Which means "the other sim" isn't that realistic after all in Spitfire ground handling...

I think in general in the OTHER sim the ground physics is just lacking in that regard.  Back OT thanks for this sharing of experience.  Must of been a blast to actually fly around in that beast.

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8 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

Positively. I can see him using the brake on the pressure gauge. It tells you exactly how much he‘s braking on both left and right wheels. I also specifically commented to him  on my finding him taxiing with almost not using brakes, as I was like

And he just said, „oh yeah, we don‘t do that“.

 

Ha! Vindicated. :)

 

Thanks for taking the time to write this up so thoroughly. You lucky fellow....

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Posted (edited)

Post 1: It's really informative to hear the opinion of someone who is so into Il-2 (like the rest of us!) compare the sim to the IRL experience. My chief takeaway from this is that it adds to the evidence of my long held belief that more wobbly is not more accurate and that as long as you have a decent flow of air over the tail you should be able to have sufficient directional control while taxiing.

 

In addition to your testimony I think we have ample video evidence for the more of the type "on rails" like FM. A good example is the cockpit view from this Yak which looks to be rock solid without a trace of wobbliness.

 

Anyway, I join the long line of envious simmers and congratulations Zacharias and thanks for sharing the experience! :good:

 

On 5/28/2019 at 9:33 PM, Art-J said:

Pitch down question caused by flaps was discussed numerous times in the past, including feedback from the devs. If I recall correctly the reason it works in BoX the way it works is because, with majority of folks using non-FFB joysticks, the only way to simulate stick forces vs hinge moments vs pitch response is to either have more realistic relative stick displacement (but unrealistic plane response), or more realistic plane response (but unrealistic relative stick displacement) - never both.

 

So in the end, for the developers it's alway a question of which half-right-half-wrong implementation to choose from. Petrovich chose one of them, while Yo-Yo of DCS chose the other. Neither being inherently better. I wouldn't expect anything to change in BoX then, as it would be just replacing one half-baked solution with the other.

 

Well, OK, I personally would actually prefer DCS-one, and consider it slightly better, because with exactly the same simulation problem affecting trim tabs, we would at least get coherent and equally half-wrong modelling of flaps and trims response in BoX, unlike now, where trim response follows one implementation logic, while flap response follows the other...

 

Post 2: +1: Many of us have the same opinion and I think and the trim tab analogy is dead on.

 

Post 3: WTF! Why are my posts being auto-merged! I'm posting on two different subjects!!! :wacko:

Edited by Holtzauge

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On 5/28/2019 at 10:02 AM, ZachariasX said:

TL;DR: Just go and fly one as long as we have those planes in flying condition!! If you feel you are tight on budget, this is literally the reason you pawn your spouse and kids for!

 

The Spitfires FM in a nutshell: It flies like on rails. Totally. The “wobble” is the antithesis of that aircraft. You have wobble in any way, you don’t have a Spitfire. You cannot even wobble if you like to.
Important maybe or @AnPetrovich the Spitfire requires an immediate 2 cm pull back on the stick after popping the flaps at ~110 mph. It is especially noticeable, as you will not require similar stick inputs for regular flight. There is no requirement to hold the aircraft with pitch input in a bank until about 20 degrees bank! Up to 60 degrees, there is only a tiny amount of pull necessary to keep it level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Thanks so much for pointing out the rails thing. Ive been trying for ages to tell people that the rails feeling is closer to reality than the wobble we see in newer sims. This is much appreciated. 

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Anyway, the Spitfires in IL-2 at least don't appear to "suffer" from that wobble thing ( ? )...

 

 

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On 5/29/2019 at 11:27 PM, Psyrion said:

Hey, didn´t we talk about this before? Man, really feels like we go in circles hahaha. See that´s what I thought taxiing tail draggers was like but I´m no pilot so idk. Have you seen the Hangar 10 video where they taxi their 109s out? They seem to use mainly rudder aswell for it.

Cheers.

 

I forgot: biggin hill, so it was only grass airfield right? 

 

Can you show me the video you're talking about?

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I honestly think reality is somewhere between the overdone tail surfaces efficiency of IL-2 and the weak effectivity of the same surfaces in DCS.

 

The rudder waving in Spitfire videos is also the way tire pressure is distributed between the wheels, so I believe that even if slight, depending on surface type and radius of turn, the pilots are still using the grip in the stick.

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17 hours ago, jcomm-il2 said:

Anyway, the Spitfires in IL-2 at least don't appear to "suffer" from that wobble thing ( ? )...

 

 

every plane in the game suffers from the wobble, particularly in pitch. The planes in il2 handle like they are suspended from invisible bungee cords.  They were even worse before the 2.00 patch (remember when planes could not yaw hardly at all and instead just rolled?)

 

As Zacharias says in this write up, stick movement = nose movement. This is the same thing I have heard from every pilot I have asked about this specific behaviour.  Every single person has agreed that real planes fly alot closer to the "rails" feeling many people in the flight sim community find boring. 

 

The general il2 aircraft stability is just cartoonish, but one of the notable issues is the pitch jerking. Specifically, if you are pitching and then neutralize the stick, the aeroplane jerks in the direction of stick travel and then rebounds backwards like its on a rubber band.

 

Yes I realize this is not a spitfire or even the same 109:

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/29/2019 at 9:58 PM, ZachariasX said:

Positively. I can see him using the brake on the pressure gauge. It tells you exactly how much he‘s braking on both left and right wheels. I also specifically commented to him  on my finding him taxiing with almost not using brakes, as I was like

And he just said, „oh yeah, we don‘t do that“.

 

Got it, I believe you (and him), of course, no debate there. As I said few posts over, I forgot biggin hill is a grass airfield. 

And taxiing on grass is of course not the same as concrete. 

Concrete: need very few rpm (may be almost idle, depending on the aircraft), so almost no propeller blast, so rudder is unefficient. 

Grass: need quite more rpm, so more propeller blast on rudder. 

Edited by F/JG300_Faucon

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

 

I forgot: biggin hill, so it was only grass airfield right? 

 

Can you show me the video you're talking about?

Again, no idea if I'm right or wrong here. I don't think there's a way of telling if they're braking but they're certainly using rudder and and bursts of power to turn the tail around.

(It's also just a pretty cool video lol)

Edited by Psyrion

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Psyrion said:

they're certainly using rudder and and bursts of power to turn the tail around.

 

And brakes, very probably ;)

 

I'm not speculating or gessing, it's the way it is: with idle or almost idle power, there is not sufficient propeller blast to have an effective rudder (well it is but very slightly). So brakes are often needed.

Edited by F/JG300_Faucon

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22 minutes ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

 

And brakes, very probably ;)

 

I'm not speculating or gessing, it's the way it is: with idle or almost idle power, there is not sufficient propeller blast to have an effective rudder (well it is but very slightly). So brakes are often needed.

 

Look closely at the 3.48 minute time, that ugly twin cockpit monstrosity 😜 is definitely using brakes when swinging the tail around.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

 

Got it, I believe you (and him), of course, no debate there. As I said few posts over, I forgot biggin hill is a grass airfield. 

And taxiing on grass is of course not the same as concrete. 

Concrete: need very few rpm (may be almost idle, depending on the aircraft), so almost no propeller blast, so rudder is unefficient. 

Grass: need quite more rpm, so more propeller blast on rudder. 

 

Biggin Hill used to be an all grass airfield, but it got hard taxiways and runways long ago, during WW2 I think.  As you can see in this video of the twin cockpit Spitfire, taking off - not from grass. (1.35)

 

 

Indeed from: https://www.pilotweb.aero/features/airfield-profile-london-biggin-hill-1-3320887 

 

"Our next meeting is with Biggin Hill Heritage Hangar Ltd. This is amazing−a building stuffed with Spitfires and Hurricanes and Spitfire parts. (There are also a Harvard and an L4 Cub.) Most are ready to be wheeled out and flown, while others are undergoing restoration or maintenance. (The maintenance company is The Spitfire Company Biggin Hill Ltd.) There to meet us is the manager, Joe Hirst, and Paul Campbell, a graphic designer who works for the business part-time. The business has five employees and several sub-contractors and holds open days for the public once a fortnight. Joe says, “We started here because one of the Spitfire owners lives nearby, plus the airfield is open all year round − having no grass runways − and has all the facilities we need.”

 

@ZachariasX will have to confirm the surface used for his trip, obviously.

Edited by unreasonable
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7 hours ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

I forgot: biggin hill, so it was only grass airfield right? 

There is a strip of grass along runway 21 that looks like it is used as grass runway, but the warbirds operate only from concrete. Take-off with winds from the west was on the short diagonal runway towads the wind, landing was with crosswind on runway 21.

 

6 hours ago, jcomm-il2 said:

I honestly think reality is somewhere between the overdone tail surfaces efficiency

That helicopter you have in front produces an impressive amount of wind. controls are very efficient, even when slow. I have more doubts about the ailerons at or below stall speed. Although the low wing loading makes her fly very easy, at some point I'd expect her to torque-roll.

 

6 hours ago, Fumes said:

As Zacharias says in this write up, stick movement = nose movement. This is the same thing I have heard from every pilot I have asked about this specific behaviour. 

Flying the Spit in the sim again, what you describe as "the wobble", it does remind me of overcontrolling of the pitch, although it is caused slightly different indeed as you mention.

 

In the real aircraft, when you hold her stick and try to maneuver, sighting an imaginary aircraft, it is surprisingly hard to precisely make her point in the right direction for a quick snapshot. Especially if you assume the target more angle off. You also require then strong aileron movements and twisting that stick requires enough force that you tend to mess up your pitch. It is further complicated by you holding the grip on top to reach the gun toggles (these are not really "buttons"). If you are holding the stick with both hands, then you can either hold the grip ring on both sides, requiring you to fire with your left thumb. This comes as handy to me as driving a car on her Majestys proper side of the road. It felt it easier to make her fly through coarse maneuvers like that but I had not much hope ever hitting anything like that. Alternatively, you hold the grip on  top, using the triggers with your right thumb plus using your left hand on the left side. Holding the stick on top further eases any pitch movement while it very modestly helps you in twisting the stick, further accentating overcontrol of the pitch axis.

 

What is important in terms of FM is that there should be absolutely no lag between stick deflection and nose movement. But pitch should pitch should require a fraction of the input for corresponsing similar movements. On a desktop joystick it feels like you had such a curve

1.jpg

on pitch axis, and linear for the rest.

 

6 hours ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

Concrete: need very few rpm (may be almost idle, depending on the aircraft), so almost no propeller blast, so rudder is unefficient.  

Grass: need quite more rpm, so more propeller blast on rudder. 

She's a big girl and she makes enough wind for just rolling that an Piper Cub could take off vertical with that. Most of the vibrations I suspect are caused by the propwash and she vibrates like you do riding an 125cm3 motor bike on a highway.

 

5 hours ago, F/JG300_Faucon said:

So brakes are often needed.

Yes, when they cut power to make her stop, or when they turn her from the apron into the taxiway. But no more than half what they could have. She noses over easily and you don't want that. Also, taxiing her with the brakes makes you have no more brakes at the end of the taxiway. You either turn her, then you can use little braking or you taxi her straight and then you hardly use brakes.

There are some peculiarities that are very much unlike the acceptable aeroplane standards of today. The immense power and the large propeller really set her apart from what you can buy today. The Tiger Moth not having brakes are a true headache on the ground. Then again, if you take of from some lawn, then you'd need a lot of power to get her moving, hopefully enough blast to give purpose to the rudder. Possibly you had a horse cart anyway towing you to a place from where you could take off directly into the wind. Brakes and lockable tail wheel are very welcome on the Bücker Jungmann today. They didn't have that either. The Spit just has this little free swiveling shopping cart trolley, but with her big propeller and you being super suspicious and careful, it works. But you cannot taxi at WoL speeds. Or not far.

 

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Nice report, it would be my dream to fly a Spitfire myself one day.

I did fly an AT-6 Texan for 1 hour 11 years ago, the instructor did let me fly the whole time after being airborne. It was my first time doing aerobatics myself and I loved it. I was surprised that I was even allowed to do the landing by myself. The cost was 560.- US$ back in 2008, but checking the prices to fly the Spitfire.....may I ask for how long did you fly it?

Prices are really a bummer, but it´s not a surprise to be expensive.

 

https://flyaspitfire.com/book-a-spitfire-flight

 

I hope the Spits will stay in good shape for many many more years, seeing them flying makes me happy.

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Okay, I have one slightly worn, but very attractive wife and two kids. I'll throw in the dog. Might be enough to cover this. 

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2 hours ago, spitfirejoe said:

Nice report, it would be my dream to fly a Spitfire myself one day.

I did fly an AT-6 Texan for 1 hour 11 years ago, the instructor did let me fly the whole time after being airborne. It was my first time doing aerobatics myself and I loved it. I was surprised that I was even allowed to do the landing by myself. The cost was 560.- US$ back in 2008, but checking the prices to fly the Spitfire.....may I ask for how long did you fly it?

Prices are really a bummer, but it´s not a surprise to be expensive.

 

https://flyaspitfire.com/book-a-spitfire-flight

 

I hope the Spits will stay in good shape for many many more years, seeing them flying makes me happy.

I booked the long flight. I wanted to fly the aircraft and get some stick time. They (for good reason) will not let you take off and land and they will do the aerobatics. This takes a good 15 to 20 minutes off your airtime. If you book the 55 min flight, they (if they are positive that you know what you are doing) gladly hand her over to you for that total of half an hour during which you can get some initial impression on how she‘s handling while you take a dash to the cliffs at Dover. There is no sight of of Kent and its beauty like the one as seen from a Spitfire at 250 mph and low altitude.

 

If you‘re less interested in hands on flying (just being there is awesome too, trust me on this!) then you can do the shorter flights as well. It will be a memorable experience either way.

 

It takes a bit to get used to her, it‘s not like switching between a Cessna 182 and a Piper Archer. Good to have some extra minutes then.

 

1 hour ago, Poochnboo said:

Okay, I have one slightly worn, but very attractive wife and two kids. I'll throw in the dog. Might be enough to cover this. 

Please, not the dog. But the other three will understand.

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Thanks for answering, 55 minutes is great and of course I would never expect that they would let others do take off and landing.

Doing just a normal flight and having stick time is really much already and for sure a great experience.

 

 

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51 minutes ago, spitfirejoe said:

I would never expect that they would let others do take off and landing.

They do. They offer Spitfire transition courses. There is a niner on sale in the hangar. You get that, you'd better buy the flying courses as well. ;)

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8 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

They do. They offer Spitfire transition courses. There is a niner on sale in the hangar. You get that, you'd better buy the flying courses as well. ;)

as a billionaire I would buy that Spitfire and do the transition course, unfortunately I am not. 

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You'd not need to be a billionnaire. Airworthy Spits go for about £1.4 million. Should we start a Kickstarter?

 

Apparently the parking fees are murder though...

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53 minutes ago, Diggun said:

Apparently the parking fees are murder though...

Just wait for the "oil change"...

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Diggun said:

You'd not need to be a billionnaire. Airworthy Spits go for about £1.4 million. Should we start a Kickstarter?

 

Are you sure they're that much or a bargain these days?

A P-51 will set you back 3-5 million. Even worse for a 109.

Can't imagine a Spit is that much less...

Edited by Bremspropeller
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