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Showing content with the highest reputation on 21/04/17 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    Well, I just finished the fifth and final leg of my first Virtual Air Rally, Mutley's Easter Bunny Air Rally (MEBAR). X-Plane was my chosen simulator and I had a new bird in the hanger, an Aerobask Pipistrel Panthera, and figured this would be a great way to gain proficiency of the aircraft performance and navigation systems. Before starting the 2017 MEBAR, I may have had about an hour's worth of familiarization in the Panthera. After landing in Santiago I had added 10.75 hours to my log book. After this time, I am most definitely more proficient at flying the Panthera and I've got a good understanding of the navigation systems. I tried to do my navigating without relying on the GPS. The first flight was pretty good in that I was able to use NAVAIDS, dead reckoning and pilotage with minimal peaks at the GPS. The weather in the second flight was pretty bad for landing in mountain valleys. For one of those landings I had to rely on the GPS and Terrain avoidance system pretty heavily. I felt I could have planned much better for that flight and didn't feel that I was navigating very well. For the remainder of the flights, my navigation planning and execution was much better. Not only am I new to the Panthera, but I've only been flying XPlane for a couple of months, so I learned a few things about XPlane as well; but I think I still have plenty to learn. I had intended to fly two airplanes in this rally. I think it was a blessing in disguise that my PC-12 had an engine fire during the Rally test flight. I just barely had time to plan and fly the one airplane let alone two! Maybe when I'm retired and my kids are both in college... I intend to go ahead and continue flying the Panthera north to get my new bird to southern California where I'll probably hanger it and fly a C172 on PilotEdge. The first flight of that journey is going to test just how long her legs are. Theoretically, it's supposed to be able to carry four passengers up to 1,000 nm. Finally, I say to the event organizers: thank you, very, very much! Also, thank you to the other pilots for sharing their experiences. I had a blast with the MEBAR and it was a terrific learning experience. I'll be back for the next one and think I will be looking for a 'round the world flight to join.
  2. 1 point
    Looks great Alan, models always look better in a diorama style setting.
  3. 1 point
    Nice set. The F-16 is in my mind the "Jet" looker of the just post modern age...the F-101 104 (I did it again) Starfighter was the quintessential Post Post classic jet age looker for me, and I just don't care for the lookers of most modern ...what did John call them...5th gen fighters sadly. Black Boxy looking, but awesome I'd have to concede...
  4. 1 point
    I thought that Skyvan paint looked familiar. And I am still fervently praying that Milviz will make a Rotodyne model for FSX/P3D...gosh that looks like a Very useful aircraft.
  5. 1 point
    I third this sentiment as well. This was my second MEBAR, the first challenged me to learn the VOR and ADF systems on my aircraft, this one re-honed those skills where the course requested or permitted them and proved to me they work sans GPS (I actually fished around a bit on the last leg getting the adf direction and VOR radials in agreement with Andrew's instructions...and down low and behold there was the confluence of two major rivers...voila...Radio Magic! This year's rally provided some challenging and stunning terrains to navigate through, and distracted me from my throttlle control often...a good thing. I flew all but the first leg blind, distrusted my "nailed it" time, and then typically rushed too fast through most legs. I randomly nearly nailed one of those, but I believe that is thanks to Random Probability more than pilot skills. I found myself enjoying external views perhaps too often. I believe I will still score a proficiency rating above 90%...I'm calling it a win win for me. Cheers, looking forward to next year. Matt.
  6. 1 point
    Another day, another flight. This time a dusk and evening flight, which I normally like to do ... at night, with the lights in my room out to add to the atmosphere. I did my normal routine in Skyvector and Plan-G and found it easy enough: no mountains, just straight line navigating, with only SCIM as a crosspoint on radials between two VOR's. Anything else? Oh yeah, no target time. OMG, it's a speed trap . Well, let's rev the Merlin up to temperature and be on our way. The waning sun did spectacular things with the light as I followed the canyon out of SCLD to the northwest. Staying low I stayed in the canyon, turning west south west at the end and riding it until I'd reacht the sea and turn towards the MON VOR, where I'd do my first T&G at SCTE. As I turned out to sea, visibility went down, fast. I was staring at a hazy grey soup with the sun just dying out below it. Weather?? Awh crap, I forgot to turn my AS2016 from real live weather to custom setting belonging to this flight. I quickly looked at the weather report in AS2016 and compared it to the settings of this flight. Winds were of the same strength but more southerly on my altitudes. That would mean I'd be faster than expected. It also gave clouds around the expected levels, but on some points there would be fog. Fun! I made my decision and kept it as is, flying the real weather from AS2016 and ASCA, even if it was slightly off from the custom level and showing morning weather on this evening flight. After that, I made sure to get a 360 radial on MOM and ride it in low and slow to SCTE. The fog was thick as soup now, but had a bit of a clearing just around 200ft above the ground. I found the runway slightly off to my right, but as I was already full in landing mode with gear down and flaps 30, I corrected to line up, dropped flaps to full 50 and put her down nicely, be it on one wheel. Now fully dark, I climbed out and set of on a straight run to VLD. It remained foggy but as I approached VLD and SCVD for my next T&G it cleared, the fog turning into more solid clouds and those clouds rising above my flightlevel. SCVD T&G was uneventful in clear but dark circumstances. Now fully dark I set off again. Most pics turn out way too dark so the following are the last: riding VOR VCD towards the small island with SCIM strip, radial 326 for 85nm, while also tuning CAR VOR. Upon touching the 015 radial on that one I was indeed over a small island and headed for CAR VOR and my final landing at SCIE. Every now and then I dove into clouds and some fogbanks, but with it now being fully dark it wasn't the white-knuckle experience it was around SCTE. With the wind on my back end I set MP and RPM at their lowest possible setting to slow to a "crawl" of 180 kts, but in all fairness I think I was too fast on this one. Nonetheless, the fog and dusk start made this a really nice atmosphered flight. All full scale pics are at http://fs-snaps.com/album/txRj
  7. 1 point
    Nice shots Alan, you guys could be twins.
  8. 1 point
    I second that, very much appreciated and hope to be able to enjoy this yearly event for many years to come.
  9. 1 point
    I agree with a lot of what you said but have to take issue with this. The Falklands war proved nothing about the Harrier's air to air prowess in a contested environment. I believe there were only three gun kills, none against fighter types, and most of what they did was interception of strike aircraft operating near the limit of their range using Sidewinder missiles. Those opponents had no desire and very little capability to engage in "air to air" combat against the Harriers while they were near bingo fuel, were hundreds of over-water miles from their bases, were very likely not carrying much in the way of A-A stores and were unescorted by fighter types equipped for A-A. The Harrier was an innovative and capable aircraft - probably able to be credibly called a "great" one. It served well in the Falklands and gave heroic service there but I think it's a stretch to characterize it as an effective ACM platform. It never was that against its contemporary ('70s, '80s) adversaries and would be toast in any kind of fight with 4th generation opponents, much less 5th generation. John
  10. 1 point
    I have to say, I've been very impressed with all four of Tobus's flight stories so far, along with the photo collages as well. Also have to say, that's a mighty sweet looking Mustang !
  11. 1 point
    I hope the F35 is proved to be an excellent fighting platform as the UK have most their eggs in this basket for the foreseeable future. Much as we can speculate in this forum the acid test is always conducted in combat: The English Electric Lightning is heralded as a great plane, but it was never properly tested in combat. I have my suspicions that if it had been it would have fallen short of what would have been needed, with its critically short endurance and its pathetically low armament. . I still love the aircraft, but for what it represents as an aircraft and not a fighting machine. On the other hand, the little Harrier which, at its entry into service was thought to be a gimmick and of no real practical value. however it was forced into combat during the Falkland's conflict and proved not only a superb air to air fighter, but also an excellent ground attack aircraft. I also love this aircraft, but for many reasons: I Love it for the aircraft it is, the typically British eccentricity of its design and for it proven battle capability. So where will the F35 fall? who knows. Its stealth capability is a good feature when remaining invisible to aggressors, it STOL and VTOL capabilities are an asset when required to land at a base with a damaged runway, its supersonic capability another useful feature. All of these attributes are untested, and the true value of the aircraft will not be fully realised until they are used in conflict. Lets hope that peace dictates that they are never called on to prove their metal in battle.
  12. 1 point
    I believe you're right, March. Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_Canada_CF-105_Arrow The UK and Canada don't have any monopoly on that kind of thing - the Northrop YB-49 and the B-70 Valkyrie come quickly to mind - not interceptors but promising aircraft whose development was halted for reasons of economy, policy or politics. The cancellation of the B-1A, later brought back as the hobbled B-1B is another example. John
  13. 1 point
    I seem to recall a Canadian Interceptor that was scrapped for the same reasons. 1959 - almost sixty years ago.
  14. 1 point
    It's hard to believe that the UK was once a major producer of GREAT aircraft. Over the last years, they have made lots of very expensive mistakes and cancellations. Alan has already mentioned the Harrier, which was retired far too early, then there is the cancellation of the TSR 2 (just don't get me started on that one!! ), the Nimrod MR4A and the failure to develop the English Electric Lightning to it's full potential 'because in the future, it would be not manned interceptors, but missiles'......how wrong they were! Martin
  15. 1 point
    Inbound for Santiago!
  16. 1 point
    Hmm... There's a lot more water than I was expecting...
  17. 1 point
    You must be the guy who asked for new pants, Dave. And yes, we are having fun!
  18. 1 point
    I hope this isn't too dark. Looks good to me though!
  19. 1 point
    A relaxing let-down out of the mountains.
  20. 1 point
  21. 1 point
    Flight #4 As I climb out of the valley into a crimson an purple sunset , I look for a pass off to the left so I can get headed for the coast as the old Bambou Bombers engines are getting anemic in all this thin air. Keep checking the map for land marks , nearby clouds for rocks , and stars for black areas as a mountain could be between you and them. getting closed to ocean and letting down to thicker air an smaller hills , signs of civilization appear House lights ,an roads not many high up in those mountains. looking at the map , I can start letting down over this bay , The air field should be just this side of the city but where? Should be landing lights , a fire at each end of the strip , two towns folk with flash lights, something! Throttel back ,Lower the gear, a notch of flaps ,slow down. time to put my Alaska bush flying to use .Turn off the panel lights to get some night vision going, sure enough there is a worn strip of grass cleared out of the forest. Drop down one more notch of flaps make a shallow left turn now down wind , watch the clock , 1 minute , another 2 minute left turn, little power ,a look now and then at the radio altimeter down to 200 Ft. . Dragging full flaps I see the dirt ahead , just cleared the trees , cut power and lift the flaps plane falls like a rock the last 10 Ft. but is sticks.. NOW to find out who turned off the lights ! ( My old FS9 has no lights at this field , the map and GPS show it , but no lights of any kind)
  22. 1 point
    Haveing fun YET!
  23. 1 point
    FS2004 -NO lights on field !