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Ken Stallings

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About Ken Stallings

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    Flight Student - Airwork
  1. I could not get my throttle controller (CH Pro Throttle Quadrant) to perform the prop feather until I used FSUIPC to calibrate the prop axis levers to have a feather zone. Then, they worked as you would expect them to. Kind of unfortunate if you do not wish to purchase FSUIPC, but to be honest I am glad that I did. When I first purchased FSUIPC it was simply to respond to the suggestions I was getting in other threads dealing with this feather problem. Yes, without FSUIPC calibration you cannot get the props to feather merely by the accepted practice of pulling throttle to idle, prop lever to feather, and mixture to idle cutoff like should happen. However, in addition to finding that FSUIPC calibration solved this problem it also solved a vexing problem flying the Captain Sim C-130E. Prior to that I had to manually reset the axis for four engines. However with FSUIPC I was able instead to setup a throttle configuration just for the C-130. So now when I select the C-130 I have four of the six axis on the throttle designated for throttle control. The remaining two are setup to control prop axis on two engines apiece. Not perfect. Would be better still if I had 8 levers, but since you don't really use the prop condition levers that much just being able to fly other single and twin engine aircraft using my Pro Throttle and also with no additional changes flying the C-130 with four throttle levers is a very nice bonus. Purchase FSUIPC and give it a try. I think you may find it solves your lingering prop feather issues on the Twin Otter. Cheers, Ken
  2. The mixtures are not truly mixture levers. Instead they are a two-stage system as shown in the aircraft's manual -- on and off. However, you are right about the switches, they are programmed in a poor manner that causes them to react unpredictably to mouse commands. This is a known problem that was never fixed in the patches Digital Aviation offered. I consider the switch issue and the very poorly lit VC panel in daylight to be the two remaining issues with this aircraft but having discussed this on their forums I strongly get the impression Digital Aviation is finished with this aircraft and these issues are not going to be fixed. Ken
  3. I'm sorry, could you elaborate? What do you mean by "default turbine props?" Cheers, Ken
  4. True story, oft told ... An F-4 unit is crossing the ocean for a training exercise in Europe. They have a KC-135 tanker to drag them across the pond. One of the pilots of the F-4 is a hot dog who is drilling the tanker pilot about all the things his airplane can do that the KC-135 cannot do. Finally, the tanker pilot comes on the radio and says, "All right hot shot, watch and see what I can do that you cannot." Several uneventful moments go by with the tanker doing absolutely nothing it wasn't doing before and no words from the tanker pilot. Finally, the tanker pilot comes back on the radio and says, "How'd you like that, Hoss?" The F-4 pilot replies, "You did nothing!" The tanker pilot replies, "Sure I did! I got out of my seat, stretched my legs, went to the ######er and took a leak and got a cup of coffee and sat back down. Now enjoy the remainder of your five hour flight, Hoss!" The F-4 pilot said not another word! Ken
  5. And just to clarify, it is 80% of the combined two engine thrust that you lose. So if each engine produces 300hp for a combined 600hp. If you lose the critical engine (the one that forces the engine with the greater degree of asymetrical yaw to do the remaining work) then you are down to around 120hp. This is why it is so critical to perform the required EP steps to split the ball and bank about 5 degrees toward the good engine. This control response creates the least overall drag. It is also why it is vital to feather that prop immediately because a windmilling prop causes significant additional parasitic drag. Likewise for a sngle engine go-around (the most demanding maneuver) you must retract the gear and retract the flaps from the full down setting that is designed to create drag for final approach. One of the reasons why bizjets tend to do better is not only due to the wonderful thrust each turbojet produces, but also because since they don't require prop clearance room, the engines are mounted very tightly against the fuselage in most cases. Therefore, there is vastly less asymetic thrust created when one engine is lost. In fact, the situation is so dramatically different that the FAA chose to create a sub-category of multi-engine pilot certification -- a centerline thrust restriction. This is why unless they obtained additional FAA or Air Force training, fighter pilots out of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps normally cannot legally operate a Beech Baron. The fighter and trainer jets the military uses are nearly all centerline thrust aircraft. Ken
  6. Steve is right. You lose about 80% of total two engine thrust when you shut down one engine. Primarily this is because to counter the asymetric yaw you have to fly the aircraft in a way that causes excessive drag. The drag is what robs you of the thrust. So it's really not that you are losing thrust. The engine still produces what it is supposed to. It is that when you factor in the additional parasitic and induced drag caused by countering the asymetrical yaw, you effectively lose 80% of your thrust. Ken
  7. Yes, but unfortunately this happens during air restarts where I've already been flying the airplane for a long time and the throttle has already moved several times. Also, once it happens, no amount of throttle movement will unbreak the 100% thrust surge. Cheers, Ken
  8. I have a couple of aircraft suggestions. A Diamond Twin Star. A Piper Aerostar 601P Both very nice piston twin engine aircraft -- right up Aerosoft's alley I think. Ken
  9. It seems similar to the problem I've reported with doing air restarts. For some very strange reason, sometimes the engine will surge to 100% torque and ITT and stay there regardless of where the throttle is. On initial start, the engines will always spool up to 100% torque and ITT but after several seconds will settle down to where the throttle is set. The difference is that this is happening to him on initial startup and with me it only happens after air restarts or re-starts on the ground also. Ken
  10. I'm thinking that in the aggregate I'm satisfied with what the situation is right now. I mean the plane flies great! The engine responds great. And now I can feather by proper procedure 100% of the time. To be honest, you really don't shut down these engines for training. Even in pistons it abuses the engines, which is why twin engine trainers rarely meet the TBO limits and why most folks don't desire to purchase twins that were used as trainers their whole career. Cheers, Ken
  11. I'm not sure that it solved the problem entirely. I managed a half dozen air restarts without issue. But then I did a two engine out approach and landing and attempted a restart on the runway. The right engine started great. But the left engine then started up and surged to max torque and ITT without response to throttle. So go figure! But the other thing I noticed was slower engine response overall to throttle commands, and that's undesirable since Aerosoft worked closely with Steve to nail the response of the PT-6 engines. Thanks for the effort, however. That is sincerely appreciated. Cheers, Ken
  12. OK, I think the vexing feather issue is finally solved. It did involve using FSUIPC, but not in the way I think many here thought it might. I simply used FSUIPC to calibrate the two throttle levers, prop levers, and mixture levers. Inherent in the FSUIPC menu was the ability to set min, max, and feather values for the prop levers, and also set min, max, and reverse settings for the throttle levers. Surprisingly, it seems the most critical of these setting were the throttles! Here is what I discovered... The props will not feather if the throttles are put into reverse. Eureka! Even if the prop lever is pulled to feather, and the mixture control is pulled to idle cutoff, if the throttle is in the reverse setting then the prop windmills. But soon as I move the throttle into the min (idle) range, the prop feathers immediately. I don't even have to toggle the fuel shutoff switch, which is realistic since the mixture at idle cutoff should do the trick. I went up and practiced a half dozen times with each engine and every single time provided I put the throttle precisely into ground idle, the prop condition lever in feather, and the mixture condition lever to idle cutoff, the prop feathered and stood tall within a few seconds. Restarts were an interesting discovery. Twice I was able to successfully go through a air restart on the left and right engine. However, despite using the same procedures, the third effort on the left engine resulted in an out of control engine, meaning the torque and ITT went to max values even though the throttle was set to ground idle. Once this happened, every subsequent shutdown and restart effort for the left engine produced the same result, even on the ground. For the fun of it I once shut down and feathered both engines. Got rather quiet! LOL!!! Found that the Twin Otter glided very nicely with both engines shut off, achieving with flaps up about a 500 FPM rate of descent at blue line 80 KIAS. That's very respectable. Nearly on par with a Cessna Skyhawk and a very safe speed to plan a forced landing. I wonder if those numbers are accurate as Steve may relate for us. Hope this feedback helps to plan future releases. For me personally, it restores a lot of the joy of flying virtual multi-engine aircraft. However, in a quest to forever nitpick I wonder why the air restarts are causing the out of control torque and ITT? Cheers, Ken
  13. Thanks, Steve! I wasn't really sure what was the critical power indicator for the PT-6 -- torque or ITT. I knew in the C-130's that over torquing the engines was a huge no-no. We monitored the ITT (that's what we called it) but the torque was how we rated power output for the Allison engines on the Herc. As always I add your information to my growing list of stuff about operation of P&W PT-6 engines. Cheers, Ken
  14. Mathjis, I don't think Steve is trying to say that it's improper to apply full RPM for the descent to land. It does increase low power drag slightly, so it can help. In fact, in some aircraft the checklist directs the pilot to apply full RPM as part of the before landing checklist. What Steve is saying is that the pilot can elect to avoid doing this since with the reduced drag he is saving some fuel. And fuel is money! Cheers, Ken
  15. What Steve writes is very true, and not only in a turboprop! In any aircraft it is a very bad combination to be fast and high trying to plan an approach to land. And the best way to slow down is to pull the power and remain level and wait for the speed to bleed down to the target speed you want. Then, you configure with gear and flaps for the approach and let the nose down to maintain your desired approach airspeed. Ken
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