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Autopilot/GPS in the modern model


Jack Vogel
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I've only just purchased the Catalina, after reading over a 100 pages of manual I still

could not figure out the basics (talk about TMI). Someone then informed me that there

IS no autopilot interface and you just have to use the FSX defined keys???

Is this true? Why? Is there a VC modification somewhere to remedy this?

Thank you,

Jack

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The reason that the Aerosoft Catalina with the modern cockpit has no autopilot is because that no reallife Catalina ever has been certified to use a more modern autopilot.

But the autopilot can still be used by using the FSX autopilot shortcut keys.

It is not possible to add a modern autopilot to the VC, cause that would require some re-modelling of it.

Finn

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The reason that the Aerosoft Catalina with the modern cockpit has no autopilot is because that no reallife Catalina ever has been certified to use a more modern autopilot.

But the autopilot can still be used by using the FSX autopilot shortcut keys.

It is not possible to add a modern autopilot to the VC, cause that would require some re-modelling of it.

Finn

That's an unacceptable excuse, you put the GPS and radios in the unit. That's like going to buy some modern update to

an old car that puts a new transmission in it, but then when asked where the gearshift is you get told that you have to

go open the front hood and find some magic buttons to switch gears!!!

All you have to do is put the equivalent of a 'KingAir' autopiliot panel in the thing, there is even room on the panel on

top of the GPS unit itself.

I do not understand why this was not done.

Regards,

Jack

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That's an unacceptable excuse, you put the GPS and radios in the unit.

How is recreating the real thing an unacceptable excuse? There are real Catalinas that have this GPS and radios (to keep track of the position and to maintain contact with modern ATC). Bu there are no real Catalinas that have a modern autopilot. If there are no real Catalinas that have a modern autopilot it would just be inappropriate to include one in the digital represenation. After all, it's called Flight Simulator and not Flight Science-Fictionator. The Catalina is an aircraft that you are supposed to fly yourself and not bus around with the computer.

That's like going to buy some modern update to

an old car that puts a new transmission in it, but then when asked where the gearshift is you get told that you have to

go open the front hood and find some magic buttons to switch gears!!!

Bad analogy. First of all, the GPS is just for navigation. What you are asking for is like asking why the Navigational Computer in your car doesn't have cruise control. Why should it? It's just there to tell you where you are and where you need to go, not to drive your car. And second of all, that you can still use the autopilot keyboard shortcuts is a feature of FSX. I don't think that can be deactivated. But it should, if it was possible.

I do not understand why this was not done.

Because it wouldn't be realistic. Aerosoft is all about realism, recreating the real thing. Not about making stuff up.

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During developement we decided to make the catalina panels look as realistic as possible, but altered to be easier to use in the sim.

The only deroute from reality is that we also moved the flight engineer instruments and controls from the "Tower" to the cockpit on the vintage version.

The vintage panel is an almost exact copy of a Danish Catalina now at display in the Danish technical museum.

The modern version has a layout like the Dutch Catalina still flying (based at Lelystad).

We could actually disable all AP functions for the Cat if we liked to, but we decided that keeping keyboard shortcuts available would benefit those who want to let the "invisible" AP take over.

A 2D Autopilot can always be added if You like.

BTW: Why not use the Vintage model with it´s Sperry autopilot ;)

Finn

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We could actually disable all AP functions for the Cat if we liked to, but we decided that keeping keyboard shortcuts available would benefit those who want to let the "invisible" AP take over.

Ah, okay. That makes sense. It's like letting the Co-Pilot hold course and altitude for a while.

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Personally I find that setting an aircraft to fly itself via the autopilot - controled by the GPS is cheating.

It´s nice for very long flights, but otherwise I see no point doing so.

Flightsimming is about flying an aircraft or at least navigating it (Ded reckoning or VOR-VOR).

But thats only my humble opinion.

Finn

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, you have a point, it was an unfair analogy. But there are always concessions to the fact that

it IS a sim, not a real plane.

Being rude make you feel better? Didn't win a happy customer for Aerosoft though, did it.

Guess those concessions don't apply equally to the customer keeping a civil tongue in their head and not speaking out-of-turn through lack of knowledge? Although it did give some of us a good laugh, I must admit. It's always mirthful when the sophistication of the product exceeds the sophistication of the user.;)

The limitations of the simulator were explained - politely - to you in the original reply. You just didn't `get` it. And that surely ain't the developers fault...

To incorporate a modern A/P would require concessions to the construction of the model file - that would be the SIM model file - and if you want the flight model fidelity which this product offers, then you have to accept that no modern autopilot has ever been certified for the real bird for EXACTLY the same reasons that one isn't modelled for your purchase - it wouldn't work, thanks to the strange flying characteristics of a 1930's vintage aircraft with most peculiar inharmonious controls, a comparative absence of longitudinal stability, an excess of lateral stability, and a high-mounted parasol wing of extremely low aspect ratio.

By contrast the implementation of a GPS need NOT be an integrated part of the .mdl, as it can indicate where to go for any model in the sim, land, sea or air, prop, jet or rotary.

Now go away and research precisely HOW the autopilot in the sim works and you will discover how daft your demands are - and don't believe the next person who tells you there is no such thing as a dumb question...

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Hi All, just got this superb sim today. Congratulations to Aerosoft.

On this topic, since I can not use the default FSX autopilot keys "Z" etc they don't appear to be enabled. Finn states, "We could actually disable all AP functions for the Cat if we liked to, but we decided that keeping keyboard shortcuts available would benefit those who want to let the "invisible" AP take over". Have they been disabled in the V1.10 ??? (this is the newest version in the box)

I would not wish for any watering down of this truly superb masterpiece but for those of us used to a little less realism, the default FSX autopilot would be nice to have. (keeping them invisible wouldn't hurt the realistic aspect, in my view.)

Happy flying.

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Nothing should, have changed on the AP between 1.00 and 1.10.

If You haven´t change the default key assignments for the FSX AP the following should work:

Ctrl+Z.........Altitude hold

Ctrl+H.........Heading hold

Ctrl+Shift+H...Heading bug select --> then use + or - to increase / decrease desired heading

Ctrl+V.........Wing leveler

Z..............Autopilot On/Off

Finn

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Hi Finn,

Thank you, this works very well!! I have noticed one doesn't need to move the big hydraulic Master Lever to use the (cheat, excuse me) FSX autopilot functions, just the Z key.

I have only had the aircraft 24 hours so the learning curve is still a little steep!

Now when I master the kln 90 the curve will level out. The functions are a little complex to call up via the rotary knobs.

This is a wonderful sim!!!! Thank yousmile.gif

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Just one small addendum, I dont seem to be able to tune the ADF radios in the older CATs? I can tune the superb music on 1300biggrin.gif , however other channels are not tuning in.

Is there a tip?

The digital tuning on the Bendix King KR 87 ADF tunes fine.

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NDB are normally short ranged.

Don´t expect to be able to pick them up at distances beyond 40nm

Use the tooltip readout to asure that You have tuned the right frequency and then watch the "Tunemeter" if the signal is recieved.

Finn

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BTW, just jumping in here but I'm one of those people who buy an addon to fly it. Had a Commercial ASMEL Instrument and years ago medical problems put an end to real world flying, so the sim is as close as I can get. I do not understand people who buy an a/c model start it up, turn on the AP and then go have dinner.

I don't often compliment a developer on a product, I'm usually too busy enjoying it but in this case I appreciate the realism and the effort put into the Cat. It is a joy to get into.

Vic

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  • 7 months later...

If I understand what has been said, then the modern GPS is more of a moving map guide to follow as you fly. Would that be right? I don't mind flying the cat as long as I can get her started before the bat goes dead. Have not tried the sperry. Does it function as it should when engaged with the gyro lever?

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If I understand what has been said, then the modern GPS is more of a moving map guide to follow as you fly. Would that be right? I don't mind flying the cat as long as I can get her started before the bat goes dead. Have not tried the sperry. Does it function as it should when engaged with the gyro lever?

Yes.

and yes.

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  • 5 months later...

Well...I love the Catalina and love to fly it by hand. But an autopilot would still be a nice feature. I know, no Cat ever has had an autopilot and I understand the motivation in keeping it like that in the virtual Cat. But has somebody ever tried to travel from Gera, Germany to Stockholm, Sweden without autopilot? :-D

5 hours of flight stupidly looking into the screen is not what I want to spend my leisure time with^^ That has one simple reason. It IS a simulation and I am NOT a real pilot. So I see no justification in thwarting myself into hours of "ultra high realistic real time I am the big balled hardcore pilot" boredom if I do not have the possibility to enjoy the REAL plane and atmosphere around me. So I chose the FSX-shortcuts for keeping heading and altitude and now my black Cat makes her way over Germany to Scandinavia while I enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee :-) ...... of course I still have an eye on the gauges. Because my goal is to land it safely and not to autocrash it^^

I hope one does understand why I sometimes don't want to keep the flight experience on a 100 percent level. It's just: I AM no pilot, so I DO NOT have to act like I was one. Though I would enjoy every single second "steering manually" if I could fly that baby in reality.

Well.....enough said. I get me my next coffee....flying a Cat is soooo much stress :-D

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OK, you have a point, it was an unfair analogy. But there are always concessions to the fact that

it IS a sim, not a real plane.

Being rude make you feel better? Didn't win a happy customer for Aerosoft though, did it.

Neither does re-hashing a topic that has already been done to death by someone who clearly isn't proficient in the use of the `search` function.

How happy does it make US to see repetition of material covered in this forum in a less educated fashion than it was before..?

Not very.

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