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Flight model thoughts


sdflyer
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Hello,

I'm flight sim addict who just purchased Spit and installed DCS

I've been given serious testing of Spitfire behavior (in simulator mode) and I found a lot of strange things. Disclaimer I never flown Spit in real life, and I imagine it would require some fines skills. I do have couple real life pilot certificates and ratings including license to teach.

 

 

For starters: I'm using Tm Warthog and CH rudder pedals. I carefully checked forum for different joystick settings and curve suggestion. I also check assignment to avoid any conflict in stick/rudder/throttle configuration. Here are two major problem I have

1. Extremely exaggerated elevator authority

2. Extremely exaggerated ailerons authority

 

Trial number 1: take off. Here I can relate to some aircraft I flown, dance on the rudders and compensate for torque and gyroscopic precession. To make long story short I can take off in reasonable terms

 

Trial number 1: level turns. I can clearly see adverse yaw during banking (by looking at the cowling) But here where my expectations end. 1mm pull on my stick quickly pushes Spit toward critical AoA and I get buffeting ! Really? OK I guess I can take careful approach and use gentle touch heli pilot. :music_whistling:

 

Trial number 2: slow flight. In clean configuration it seems Spit requires a solid pitch attitude at speed around 120 mph. As I mentioned before I have never flown Spit in real life so I'm not going to comment on that. In dirty configuration (full flaps) I was able to maintain Spit straight and level (kind of) around 70-80 mph. Nice! But as far as I know when airflow decreases elevator authority decreases as well. Not a chance in DCS! Another 1mm pull on the stick produces stall. That is wrong in my opinion. I can leave with excessive rudder control but not elevator.

 

Trial number 3: stall spins. I can stall, I can spin, and I can recover (reasonably enough)

 

Trial numer 4: landing. Here come in play problem with slow flight. I tried both wheely and three pointers landing neither of which brought good results. Again excessive elevator authority make it very difficult to flare and not to balloon. Even after successfully weird landing I'm not able to keep directional control (no wind condition). I don't know if Spit has tail wheel lock I couldn't find anything in setup and not familiar if it had it in real life. Perhaps that causes the problem? :joystick:

 

 

Anyway I don't know may be there is way to setup my controls to get good sense of the Spit, but so I have absolutely no problem to fly DCS P-51 and resembles T-6 that I flown in real life.

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See the thread about syncing HOTAS controls and the suggestions on axis control settings. For a long time, I thought the Spitfire was totally screwed up. Accidentally I found out about the sync thing, and others suggested better settings.

 

I still think the pitch control can stand improvement. It changes too slowly and the elevators are way too sensitive. But, I can fly the thing now.

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I read somewhere here about oleo struts not damping as they should, returning the "spring" back into the airframe making the landings squirrely.

I've suggested to many to land without flaps. Your sink rate will be under 1000 fpm and touchdowns much smoother. Do your regular approach and when you flare you'll have a couple of seconds to get everything stable before you touch down. Smooth touchdowns don't impart any bounce back into the plane. I find that the sooner you get on the brakes the better, max brakes if it's going bad.


Edited by Perfesser
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seems like very good trials here, wonder if there are going to be changes made in this regard.

 

Hopefully not, taken into account that said controller the test was done with is much shorter than a RL flight stick.

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Hopefully not, taken into account that said controller the test was done with is much shorter than a RL flight stick.

 

This. It always amazes me when RL pilots forget that we don't have the same hardware as in the real plane. The joystick being the obvious culprit here. A lot can be done to alleviate this with curves, even more with joystick extensions, but I've been flying without curves (MSFFB2) and with a little bit of practice I can fly the thing pretty much perfectly.

As for the ground handling, the trick here is to set it down in a gentle three point, pull the stick full back and then apply a little bit of brakes to prevent the wing to tip over. Again it's a lot easier in the real plane as it has a separate brake axis on the flight stick which can be dosed out as required and applies differential braking when rudder is applied. The lack of a lockable tail wheel also kind of complicates things.

 

The flight model is not to blame here.


Edited by OnlyforDCS

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As I expected real airplane controls are not that sensitive

I wonder how can I tweak TM Warthong to do that?

 

Oh come on, how can you say it with a straight face, when they show exactly the opposite, at least about the pitch response?

 

Especially the second one (excellent vid by the way) is the real eye-opener - thanks to the gun triggers housing just above the bottom of the screen we can see how much movement is needed to transit from level flight to medium-G turns, and that is - almost none.

 

Nick Grey of TFC, who's flown every mark of Spit on the Islands and helps as a Spit flight model advisor for the ED team wrote that in the real thing at VNE about 1 cm of control column deflection would yield 6 G. Mind You, that is with this peculiar three feet long column, mounted at the bottom of the fuselage. Obviously the pilot in the video wasn't flying that fast, but he didn't need much more of the elevator input for all the aerobatics, which seem to confirm the above statement.

 

Low speed, close to stall response - now that's indeed something to discuss, though I haven't read about real Spit's behaviour in these situations.

 

Aileron response - can't comment on that one, never paid much attention to it, as it doesn't seem different compared to other DCS warbirds to me. Yes, in the vid we can see more lateral movement of the column is needed, but with that exotic Spitfire and Hurricane columns design (mini-column for roll, mouted on the main colum - lateral pivot axis located way above longitudinal pivot axis), we can't really compare it to any PC joysticks (both axes intersecting in single point).

 

I think that's the biggest problem with flight simulators in general - should the programmers simulate the stick to controls-response ratio as authentic as possible, wich will inevitably result in silly behaviour on our three, four times shorter PC joysticks, or should they "nerf" the flight model so that the plane "feels" authentic on mainstream joysticks rather than following the real stick-angle-per-load graphs for chosen aircraft, and thus - making the simulation less accurate? Damned if you do, damned if you don't. But then, what about the guys who invest in joystick extensions? I've crafted a 30 cm one for my Warthog and now I find the Spit a pleasure to fly, though the stick is still roughly about twice shorter than the real thing!

 

For your standard length Warthog I could only recommend experimenting with reduced pitch saturation (in most situations you don't need 100% deflection anyway, engine ground run-ups can be done with less, and so do spin-entries or snap-rolls) plus at least 20% curvature (back before extension, I used 100% saturation and 25% curve to make the plane OK).

 

About the last question, yep, none of the Spit versions had any form of tailwheel lock or steering (ridiculous if you ask me, but hey, I didn't design the damn thing :D), which indeed makes the DCS Spit the opposite of the Mustang about the ground handling.

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As I expected real airplane controls are not that sensitive

I wonder how can I tweak TM Warthong to do that?

 

This video here from above around the 3:00 mark

 

It's not just about getting the stick length right, also the stick pressure, slow the video down to half speed in the one above. Very small movement in the stick when he starts to pitch up and much more pressure to move the stick compared to what we have.

 

Looking forward to getting the VKB-Sim Gunfighter Pro soon, should make flying the taildraggers much more realistic and immersive.

 

.


Edited by David OC

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My main findings are that the flight model is excellent. On the ground is tricky.

I take off with everything in neutral. I DO NOT wind the elevator 63 turns forward and the rudder 18 notches to the right.

Just give 'er, when the nose inches left give some hard right rudder and keep stabbing right with the stick as she'll try to tip over left. Pull the gear and level out and you can save all that panic stricken trying to get the rudder trim back near centre.

When Landing, if I had to use flaps to slow down, I hit flaps up just as the wheels touch and dance like crazy on the pedals with my toes pointed which is little brake stabs as well.

With the Spitfire, you do not get differential braking unless you are using the rudder as well as the toe brakes at the same time. I.E. One toe brake only when used without rudder will result in both wheel brakes being applied. One toe brake with rudder in that direction results in braking of that wheel and ease of turning. Pull back when taxing straighter (most of the time).

Within seconds of taking off, Gear up and pull boost back to 9 or less and rpm to 2800 or less.

Level out and get your speed up a bit. Open the rad flap and carb filters to ram air.

A 7.5 cm extension is golden in a tm wartog Spitfire combo. No curves required for me but no, you can't crank, bank and pull hard at will. If you dial all that out, you may find that at a perfect speed when you could have maybe pulled it off, you ran out of stick travel.

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"Everyone should fly a Spitfire at least once" John S. Blyth

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The lack of feel and indeed shorter sticks (in most cases) are indeed a hard combo to get right. On the another hand, we need as realistic behaviour as possible but it should also feel real, sensible and fun. real spitfire indeed seems to be pretty sensitive at controls, but it would almost certainly be more easy to fly, since the feel, and stick movement is better IRL.

 

I personally fly with T16000, that is very accurate and smooth budget stick. Add a little bit of curve and i have absolutely no issues on controlling this plane. The curves are mainly there to give me more sensation that i am actually doing something. But it's still very sensitive, and i'd prefer more clear movements. Longer stick of course would do it.

 

Currently my favourite elevator behaviour in normal flight is the one in Mig-21. It just feels "right", being sensitive but also very controllable, the ARU system probably helps.

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Oh come on, how can you say it with a straight face, when they show exactly the opposite, at least about the pitch response?

 

Especially the second one (excellent vid by the way) is the real eye-opener - thanks to the gun triggers housing just above the bottom of the screen we can see how much movement is needed to transit from level flight to medium-G turns, and that is - almost none.

 

Nick Grey of TFC, who's flown every mark of Spit on the Islands and helps as a Spit flight model advisor for the ED team wrote that in the real thing at VNE about 1 cm of control column deflection would yield 6 G. Mind You, that is with this peculiar three feet long column, mounted at the bottom of the fuselage. Obviously the pilot in the video wasn't flying that fast, but he didn't need much more of the elevator input for all the aerobatics, which seem to confirm the above statement.

 

Low speed, close to stall response - now that's indeed something to discuss, though I haven't read about real Spit's behaviour in these situations.

 

Aileron response - can't comment on that one, never paid much attention to it, as it doesn't seem different compared to other DCS warbirds to me. Yes, in the vid we can see more lateral movement of the column is needed, but with that exotic Spitfire and Hurricane columns design (mini-column for roll, mouted on the main colum - lateral pivot axis located way above longitudinal pivot axis), we can't really compare it to any PC joysticks (both axes intersecting in single point).

 

I think that's the biggest problem with flight simulators in general - should the programmers simulate the stick to controls-response ratio as authentic as possible, wich will inevitably result in silly behaviour on our three, four times shorter PC joysticks, or should they "nerf" the flight model so that the plane "feels" authentic on mainstream joysticks rather than following the real stick-angle-per-load graphs for chosen aircraft, and thus - making the simulation less accurate? Damned if you do, damned if you don't. But then, what about the guys who invest in joystick extensions? I've crafted a 30 cm one for my Warthog and now I find the Spit a pleasure to fly, though the stick is still roughly about twice shorter than the real thing!

 

For your standard length Warthog I could only recommend experimenting with reduced pitch saturation (in most situations you don't need 100% deflection anyway, engine ground run-ups can be done with less, and so do spin-entries or snap-rolls) plus at least 20% curvature (back before extension, I used 100% saturation and 25% curve to make the plane OK).

 

About the last question, yep, none of the Spit versions had any form of tailwheel lock or steering (ridiculous if you ask me, but hey, I didn't design the damn thing :D), which indeed makes the DCS Spit the opposite of the Mustang about the ground handling.

 

 

 

I flown airplane that "sit on the stick", so I understand your point. However, when at 80mph with 1mm pull on my stick get airplane in zoom climb 1000fpm. That is not right . Reduced airflow must effect control efficiency, the pitch range suppose to be wider and response weaker. I do not see this in the game but I do see this in the video

 

If there anything I can do to tweak my stick ? I don't know, I tried suggested tweaks but they didn't make significant difference.

 

 

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Hopefully not, taken into account that said controller the test was done with is much shorter than a RL flight stick.

 

 

 

Yes, but there must adequate accommodation to simulate the shorter stick. Why? Because main stream sticks are all shorter.

 

 

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Yes, but there must adequate accommodation to simulate the shorter stick.

 

 

Thats not how DCS does flight modeling. If the real plane has a long throw stick, thats whats going to be simulated. Use curves, get a stick extension, or get used to it. This is not going to change.

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Yes, but there must adequate accommodation to simulate the shorter stick. Why? Because main stream sticks are all shorter.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

There is, that's why you can adjust curves, saturation etc...

 

Besides, modelling it around the real stick is the only proper way to do it as it's the one point of truth.

 

You can't just pick a random or "average" desktop stick and model around it, each one is different, so is each person's preferences.

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I flown airplane that "sit on the stick", so I understand your point. However, when at 80mph with 1mm pull on my stick get airplane in zoom climb 1000fpm. That is not right . Reduced airflow must effect control efficiency, the pitch range suppose to be wider and response weaker. I do not see this in the game but I do see this in the video

 

If there anything I can do to tweak my stick ? I don't know, I tried suggested tweaks but they didn't make significant difference.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Eh... Now you're wildly exaggerating just for the sake of exaggerating... I remember It's never been THAT bad even on standard Warthog with curves adjusted, and shouldn't be unless something's wrong with the controller itself.

 

I do admit that low speed airflow interaction with elevators and rudder in DCS warbirds has been a controversial subject of numerous heated debates (for example, simulation of prop slipstream deflection under crosswind is still a hot topic amongst DCS players), so you might have a point here. I'm certainly not qualified to judge how acceptable or wrong it is. No second thought about ailerons from me, though, as their efficiency drops rapidly and very noticeably at very low speeds in all DCS planes.

 

That being said, how much flight time do you actually spend around stall speeds anyway? Plane behaviour when slow and around or past critical angles of attack has always been mediocre at best aspect of all PC flight simulators (A2A models in FSX/P3D included), so if we can at least flare and land properly "by the book" or practice kind of believable and non-scripted spin entry and recovery procedures, that's "good enough" for me given computing power of current PCs. As long as medium-to-high speed regimes are simulated more accurately (where we spend most of the time), I can live with low speed handling being somewhat off. "Your mileage may vary".

 

How do you find DCS Mustang? It should be less responsive than the Spit, although not all that much. I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious whether your problems are a result of some general hardware issue or you being hamfisted with the virtual planes ;).


Edited by Art-J

i7 9700K @ stock speed, single GTX1070, 32 gigs of RAM, TH Warthog, MFG Crosswind, Win10.

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On a side note, are there any guides on curves and saturation that any of you would suggest? I too have problems with consistency flying the Spitfire, and I wish to fine tune my controls to make flights smoother.

 

Check Phil Style's youtube channel. I remmember he did two vids a couple of months ago, where he was setting up curves and saturations for his Spit, though he did so strictly to avoid high speed and G wing failures. But maybe you'll find some useful tips there.

i7 9700K @ stock speed, single GTX1070, 32 gigs of RAM, TH Warthog, MFG Crosswind, Win10.

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Eh... Now you're wildly exaggerating just for the sake of exaggerating... I remember It's never been THAT bad even on standard Warthog with curves adjusted, and shouldn't be unless something's wrong with the controller itself.

 

 

 

How do you find DCS Mustang? It should be less responsive than the Spit, although not all that much. I'm asking because I'm genuinely curious whether your problems are a result of some general hardware issue or you being hamfisted with the virtual planes ;).

 

 

P-51 is much better. Reminds me a lot of T-6 I flown.

 

 

 

 

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I do not understand your mention of using "toe breaks". The Spit has no toe breaks that I am aware of?

 

Because the game controls allow you "cheat" adding "fake toe" brakes to Spit, you can add more than one axis for "Wheel brakes", so add right and left brake pedals axis.

 

What he explain is that you need move the rudder bar for same side after press right or left brake pedal to make effect only in that wheel, what is a bit awkward solution.


Edited by Sokol1_br
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Flight model thoughts

 

Check Phil Style's youtube channel. I remmember he did two vids a couple of months ago, where he was setting up curves and saturations for his Spit, though he did so strictly to avoid high speed and G wing failures. But maybe you'll find some useful tips there.

 

 

 

Thanks. I found those curves. Sounds sexy LOL. It much better now. I can land just fine finally . However, I can't figure out why at the end of landing roll I ground loop. It just doesn't make sense to me. Do Spit has tail gear lock? Could it be it?

 

 

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Edited by sdflyer
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