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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:13 am 
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A2A Spitfire Crew Chief
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Hmmm. Interesting. I just checked and my first beta test flight in the P3D Spitfire was 14th of October 2017. I am now wondering what the hell it was I was doing for 7 months as the Spitfire was just a "simple port over to P3D."

7 months worth of testing, 7 months worth of changes and corrections to make it work in 64 bit AFTER the initial programming AND alpha testing. And all the months, by the way, with costs and wages that A2A sank into the project.

But then again, I never really have been any good with numbers.....

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:43 am 
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Killratio wrote:
Hmmm. Interesting. I just checked and my first beta test flight in the P3D Spitfire was 14th of October 2017. I am now wondering what the hell it was I was doing for 7 months as the Spitfire was just a "simple port over to P3D."


After seven months of flying on rails, you must be in some serious pain. :D I'm loving the Spit, glad to have it, looking forward to the P-51 and P-40 as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:52 am 
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patful wrote:
After seven months of flying on rails, you must be in some serious pain. :D



:) :) :)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:02 pm 
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It's easy to poke and ridicule, so I'll add a bit more info.

I hold a doctorate in engineering, have read several textbooks on the mechanics on flight and have designed/analyzed test flights as well as dug into NASA technical documentation on aerodynamics on based on 6 DoF flight data, and converted them to the MSFS-Lockheed flight engine. Mostly notably this was with the Aerosoft F-14, but I've been a part of about 20 total projects from a development perspective. I have and will continue to only compare the Spitfire to other A2A releases, because it's the only fair approach.

Rather than diving straight into nitty-gritty details, I think direct and big picture comparisons are best in this situation. As noted previously I've been an A2A customer for over a decade; more pointedly, I own every product A2A has released since FSX as well as BoB. To date, they have been one of the few developers who are an instant 'buy' when a product is released. From a personal-consumer perspective, the P3Dv4 Spitfire tarnishes that reputation. While everyone has their own opinion (and brown-holes), I'm about as rational a human being as there is, and my complaints (with the flight mechanics) are based on the laws of physics and direct experience with real aircraft. If a person with that perspective has an issue with a product, it's probably worth paying attention.

Most directly, one of the advertised characteristics of the Spitfire is 'Actions Lead to Consequences". In my experience, when asking pilot to individually give half and maximum input to each of the three primary flight control surfaces, the response to giving maximum rudder input has been somewhere between 'No-way' and 'Are you crazy'. For an aircraft such as the F-16 with a standard empennage, pure rudder deflection in straight and normal flight results in 3 degrees of roll for every one degrees of slip (with no Fly-by-Wire correction). For the OV-10 Bronco, an aircraft with an empennage designed to reduces rudder/yaw induced roll, half 'comfortable' rudder input at 160KIAS results in a sustained roll rate of 40 deg/s.

When I give full rudder input with the Spitfire at a similar speed; it slips single digit degrees, doesn’t roll, and when the input is released the nose returns to center with no oscillation. I have never flown a Spitfire, but I would give a 90% confidence interval that every one of those actions is incorrect. From a big picture perspective; If my action is to give maximum input to the most sensitive primary control surface and the reaction is essentially nothing (let alone a consequence) …that is an immersion breaker. Every other P3Dv4 by A2A shows a more plausible response than this.

None of the above touches the more subtle roll/yaw damping and control-coupling that gives an aircraft its personality.

As stated in my previous post; if this were a $10-20 upgrade…no complaints on my end. However, if A2A is asking that all-comers new and old pay the same price from the Spitfire as they do for the C-182 (one of my favorite aircraft), then it is reasonable expect a comparable feature set and quality present in the Cessna, T-6, and $50 aircraft from other vendors. While my wallet hurts more in the latter, it’s actually my preference.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:37 am 
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Hello John,

Sorry to hear you're a bit disappointed with the P3Dv4 version of the Spitfire. However, please bear in mind that the pricing doesn't represent an 'upgrade' cost for users of FSX. Instead, licences for use of products in Prepar3D are offered separately. In other words, the cost of $49.99 for the Spit (actually $39.99 for 1 month) doesn't reflect that it's been redeveloped from the ground up, but rather is consistent with A2A's general pricing structure.

However, there are a number of enhancements that have been added with the P3Dv4 version of the Spitfire, and Darryl outlines them here. When it comes to the Spit's handling, it's certainly true that the Accu-Sim flight dynamics have evolved with each product release and the Spitfire was one of the earlier ones. To this end, I'll certainly flag your comments on roll and yaw damping back to the development team in case there's anything here that can be reviewed for future updates. However, please be aware that it's a very busy time for A2A and at some point a balance has to be struck between refining existing products, and developing stuff that's new and exciting.

Speaking as a long term A2A customer myself (I'm only a very recent member of the team) I've always been confident that Accu-SIm products are never just dropped on customers and then 'forgotten'. Instead they tend to be continually improved as new functionality is worked into the core Accu-Sim engine. This is pretty unusual for flight sim add-on development, and it's one of A2A's qualities that hooked me in.

Thanks for the feedback - it is appreciated.
Nick


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:32 am 
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With respect, I have no engineering back ground and as such I have only thoroughly read all of the US tests data, every memoire and text that I know of to have been written by any reputable source and the Pilots Notes from nearly every marque of Spitfire from I to 22/24, from the perspective of a pilot with 20 years flying experience (mostly aerobatics) handling aircraft of varying capability in most conceivable regimes of flight.

It should be noted that BOTH Scott and Dudley HAVE flown the Spitfire, Dudley as PIC.

But to address a couple of your points in the detail of which I am qualified:

1. "Maximum input to the most sensitive primary flight control"
Put simply...it isn't. The elevator is by far and away the most sensitive primary flight control on the Spitfire. The elevator requires only 1 to 1 1/2 inches of sudden displacement at high cruising speed to induce high speed stall. Their rudders have nowhere near a comparable effect to that. In many aircraft the rudder is but not in the Spitfire.

But that aside, any flight model contains compromises. This is due to limitations within the software and its flight modelling. The design philosophy here is to make the aircraft fly as closely as possible to the original. Any compromise that needs to be made, needs, if possible, to be made in areas which are the least noticeable.

As the Spitfire exhibits very little to no adverse yaw in normal flight and the specific instruction to pilots is to fly "feet off" in that condition of flight, that is one area where compromise can be made. Flick rolls (prohibited) is another, related, compromise.

" In my experience, when asking pilot to individually give half and maximum input to each of the three primary flight control surfaces, the response to giving maximum rudder input has been somewhere between 'No-way' and 'Are you crazy'."
to sum up the position perfectly in your own words.

I spent some weeks with one of A2A Flight Mechanics specialists developing a separate FM for my own use that did include some of the things you are noting...and it exhibited some very nasty and very "immersion killing" side effects within normal flight parameters. Personally, I dropped even the most benign of the alternatives for my Simulator (full sized and with full sized controls moving to the exact dimensions of the original engineering drawings and assembly plans) as being outside any "cost benefit" objectives in terms of both specific handling and general "feel" .

2. As to the character of the aircraft and accuracy under normal flight conditions, I can only direct you to the fact that the Boultbee Simulator (on which I have had the great privilege to consult and test) which is to be used for pilot training and registered with the authorities and approved for such, uses essentially the same flight model (it has provision for load cell replication of control pressures) and has been tested and approved by pilots (Matt and John to name but two) with many hundreds of hours flying Spitfires.

That the A2A Spitfire I/II aircraft does not handle exactly as the original would if full rudder were applied suddenly at flying speeds is not the point. The fact that if the aircraft is used in normal situations (including the aerobatics for which it is approved) and flown the way trained military pilots were specifically instructed to fly it (eg feet off) it DOES perform exactly "to spec" is what most people are prepared to accept (including the UK flying authorities) and should the "extras" be achievable without prejudice to that great but if not, then it is entirely reasonable to maintain the integrity of the normal handling.

And if such compromise is not reasonable and you do not wish to fly aircraft that include any of it, so be it...but I can tell you after doing hundreds of spins in real life and in FSX/P3D, that you have a hard time finding any aircraft left to fly, as not a single one of the hundred or so aircraft,from every major developer, that I have flown in sim, spins absolutely properly compared to the original. On the assumption that "are you crazy" should be simulated, then a perfectly normal spin should be essential.

Am I 100% happy with the Spitfire..no, absolutely not. Is it built to the best commercial quality reasonably achievable? Absolutely yes.

best regards

Darryl

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:38 am 
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I think I understand where jcagle is coming from, and we do appreciate the post (any post that helps to improve our products for that matter). The good news here is we did put the Boultbee Spitfire 2 seater MK IX through a pretty extensive flight test, however and ironically, our deadline for getting the final tuned flight model to the Flight Academy is this Wednesday. So I am going to start reviewing these tests (that does include kicking the rudder at various speeds and measuring the oscillations) on Monday and apply them to the model they are using for their simulator. Any updates will then be adjusted for weight and balance, then given to Nick for the public P3D Spit I / II models.

So I would expect a public Spitfire flight model update out in 1-2 weeks, which should be very nice since it will be directly in sync with these actual flight tests.

Scott.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:05 am 
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Thank you gentlemen, I'll keep an eye out for the update.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:31 am 
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No offense meant, jcagle. I'm just a jokester. I've only used the rudder on taxiing, takeoffs, and landings, so can't speak for the rest. Nothing but flying circuits so far with my limited time.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:16 am 
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I notice that if I just leave my feet on the floor during a turn the slip indicator needle goes off the center mark. Should I ignore that, or should I apply rudder to keep it in the center?

The Spitfire sure is easier to loop than the T-6!

Seeya
ATB

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:08 pm 
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Beautiful pics there Lewis! I actually have yet to pick up the spitfire... this makes it mighty tempting to do some damage to the wallet soon :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:38 am 
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Scott - A2A wrote:
I think I understand where jcagle is coming from, and we do appreciate the post (any post that helps to improve our products for that matter). The good news here is we did put the Boultbee Spitfire 2 seater MK IX through a pretty extensive flight test, however and ironically, our deadline for getting the final tuned flight model to the Flight Academy is this Wednesday. So I am going to start reviewing these tests (that does include kicking the rudder at various speeds and measuring the oscillations) on Monday and apply them to the model they are using for their simulator. Any updates will then be adjusted for weight and balance, then given to Nick for the public P3D Spit I / II models.

So I would expect a public Spitfire flight model update out in 1-2 weeks, which should be very nice since it will be directly in sync with these actual flight tests.

Scott.

Crikey, I wish other developers had your "bend over backwards" attitude.

Kudos to you.

As far as this particular issue is concerned, I saw a Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster bomber, fly past my house at the weekend on the way to the Battle of Britain memorial show in Llandudno, UK.... I could almost see the pilots... and that was good enough for me !

For sim purposes, if it looks nice, sounds nice and I can take off and land, it will do.

I'm with the guy above who said he only uses the rudder for taxiing ... I'm far too lazy to get rudder pedals..... ! :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:33 pm 
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Paughco wrote:
I notice that if I just leave my feet on the floor during a turn the slip indicator needle goes off the center mark. Should I ignore that, or should I apply rudder to keep it in the center?

The Spitfire sure is easier to loop than the T-6!

Seeya
ATB


Yep..feet on floor during all normal phases of flight. The turn and slip is almost a "trend" instrument (a little more direct than a "ball") so using it to make fine corrections will make you end up "chasing the ball". It was also designed for much slower aircraft with much more adverse yaw. I've flown one in the Tiger Moth and you HAVE to watch it (but use it to anticipate, not just follow it) because with the Tiger, if you use the ailerons only to bank and turn, the aircraft will happily cock over to 30 degrees and then skid straight forward without turning. What you end up doing is to lead the turn with the rudder (also using the secondary effect of bank) and adjust the angle using the ailerons.

As the Spitfire is designed more for speed and agility than for "Rated Turns" and Instrument Flying, a degree of "wander" is quite acceptable. As I've often commented, the Compass will not even allow accurate navigation to closer than 4 or 5 degrees.


best regards

D

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:09 pm 
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Thank you for that tip! Feet flat on the floor when flying the Spit it is!

Seeya
ATB

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Listening to you people discuss ‚authenticity‘, I am reminded of the Me 109 by A2A (predecessor).
You will remember that it tended to turn on its back when the throttle was pushed in too quickly, resulting in 5% of all pilots kills of the wartime.
I want my Me 109! back. ;->

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