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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 4:55 pm 
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I'm starting a virtual grand tour of the USA in my A2A Piper Cub. I'll be posting here for anyone who cares to follow my virtual adventure(s):

https://mutleyshangar.com/forum/index.p ... piper-cub/


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:35 pm 
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Looks good.

You are missing only a few states. It would be a shame to fly that route and not land in every state. :)

If you are using real world weather, be sure to check Skyvector's airmets. It may be OK to fly when it is raining but you want to avoid icing at all costs. If you decide to fly in possible icing conditions, be sure to plan a route with landing spots 10 or so minutes apart, which is about as long as you can fly in certain icing conditions. You might be able to wait on the ground for ice on the aircraft to dissipate then continue the flight. High winds and turbulence can be uncomfortable but doable and I've successfully flown the Cub in these, including 40 knot plus winds in the Aleutians. When I used Active Sky Next I didn't have a problem with thunderstorms; your mileage may vary.

I just landed the Aerosoft BeaverX in Boston after flying a continuous route from Barbados, across the southern US, up the coast to Seattle and followed highway 90 to Boston. Highway 90 was low overcast much of the time, and from about Fargo on I was flying in ice. This was where I switched from P3Dv2.5 to P3Dv4.4 and ASP4. I even had a forced landing due to ice just short of Toledo. Later at one point the ceiling dropped to ground level and I had to climb above the clouds on instruments, 12,000 feet, through minor icing. These won't be possible in the Cub. Hopefully you can avoid zero ceilings. As I was collecting ice even on the ground I had to close the sim and fly again later. My only other forced landing due to ice was the first year I had FSX and I was flying the Goose, so you might encounter it in your sim, not just in Prepar3D.

I did one long flight in the A2A Cub from New Jersey to California to duplicate the flight in the book "Flight of Passage" by Rinker Buck. At least I did this in summertime when the weather was good and it was a pleasant and fun trip.

Good luck. It will be fun. Except maybe flying across the northern states. Like the Bonneville Salt Flats, some of the roads are so long and straight that you can see the curvature of the earth in them. :D Well, maybe not in FSX. But depending on the weather you might not have a chance to get bored.

Hook


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:42 am 
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CV60 wrote:
I'm starting a virtual grand tour of the USA in my A2A Piper Cub. I'll be posting here for anyone who cares to follow my virtual adventure(s):

https://mutleyshangar.com/forum/index.p ... piper-cub/


That's one hell of a flight plan!

I wish you good luck and fair weather!

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Hook wrote:
Looks good.

You are missing only a few states. It would be a shame to fly that route and not land in every state. :)

If you are using real world weather, be sure to check Skyvector's airmets. It may be OK to fly when it is raining but you want to avoid icing at all costs. If you decide to fly in possible icing conditions, be sure to plan a route with landing spots 10 or so minutes apart, which is about as long as you can fly in certain icing conditions. You might be able to wait on the ground for ice on the aircraft to dissipate then continue the flight. High winds and turbulence can be uncomfortable but doable and I've successfully flown the Cub in these, including 40 knot plus winds in the Aleutians. When I used Active Sky Next I didn't have a problem with thunderstorms; your mileage may vary.

I just landed the Aerosoft BeaverX in Boston after flying a continuous route from Barbados, across the southern US, up the coast to Seattle and followed highway 90 to Boston. Highway 90 was low overcast much of the time, and from about Fargo on I was flying in ice. This was where I switched from P3Dv2.5 to P3Dv4.4 and ASP4. I even had a forced landing due to ice just short of Toledo. Later at one point the ceiling dropped to ground level and I had to climb above the clouds on instruments, 12,000 feet, through minor icing. These won't be possible in the Cub. Hopefully you can avoid zero ceilings. As I was collecting ice even on the ground I had to close the sim and fly again later. My only other forced landing due to ice was the first year I had FSX and I was flying the Goose, so you might encounter it in your sim, not just in Prepar3D.

I did one long flight in the A2A Cub from New Jersey to California to duplicate the flight in the book "Flight of Passage" by Rinker Buck. At least I did this in summertime when the weather was good and it was a pleasant and fun trip.

Good luck. It will be fun. Except maybe flying across the northern states. Like the Bonneville Salt Flats, some of the roads are so long and straight that you can see the curvature of the earth in them. :D Well, maybe not in FSX. But depending on the weather you might not have a chance to get bored.

Hook


I may actually do all the CONUS states. It depends on real life events. Thanks for the tip on Skyvector. I am using their charts (its what I used to ploy my route). I've been checking for icing. Especially in the Cub. Thus far, it hasn't been a factor in the flights. The winds, however, are a different story. I got virtually stuck in Winslow, AZ yesterday because of the high winds going through the area at the time. I'll get that leg of the trip posted later today. Actually, the weather is one of the reasons why I decided to do this Grand Tour now. The winter/spring weather is sufficiently varied and unpredictable, I figured it would make a good challenge for me to try to fly in. Plus, the real weather here in Wisconsin is sufficiently bad that I don't get out as much, so I have more time to fly on my computer. Once I get a few computer issues sorted out, I'll be virtually departing for New Mexico. I have to hurry, as the winds are picking up there this afternoon and is snow expected tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:30 am 
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I just did Roanoke to Knoxville via highway 81 following the same roads I used to drive between Washington DC and Dallas.

Landing at Roanoke earlier the sky had been clear all the way from DC with clouds building up in the distance to the west at Roanoke. When I got ready to fly tonight the whole route was freezing temperatures, rain, low visibility and low ceilings with ice and turbulence airmets. Normally I wouldn't have even thought about making this flight.

BUT... I'm checking out P3D4 and ASP4 to see what they give me in the way of weather. In other words, perfect weather for my purposes. I used to drive it in worse. One year the entire state of Tennessee was ice, but the truckers were driving it so I figured I would too.

Flight was successful, got some ice but not much and not for long. Occasional clouds down to the surface with less visibility than I had with ASN. Only lost the road I was following a couple of times but since I was between ridges all I needed to do was fly the right direction and I'd pick up the road again.

Something odd: I check the weather and think, "There's no way I'm gonna fly in that" but if I make the flight anyway it turns out not to be that bad. Keep that in mind. You can always turn around and go back to your departure airport. If you wait for good weather for each leg of the trip it will be mid-summer by the time you hit the northern states. Actually, this might be a good thing... :D

Rain looks pretty good in P3D4 and snow is incredible: individual snowflakes. Visibility and lighting is much improved. Autogen goes out to the horizon. No OOMs. Now all we need is a P3Dv4 version of the Cub. :)

Are you using that zoom level to fly as well as take pictures? I've been using that zoom for years and TrackIR which makes it possible.

Hook


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:26 am 
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Hook wrote:


Something odd: I check the weather and think, "There's no way I'm gonna fly in that" but if I make the flight anyway it turns out not to be that bad. Keep that in mind. You can always turn around and go back to your departure airport. If you wait for good weather for each leg of the trip it will be mid-summer by the time you hit the northern states. Actually, this might be a good thing... :D

Rain looks pretty good in P3D4 and snow is incredible: individual snowflakes. Visibility and lighting is much improved. Autogen goes out to the horizon. No OOMs. Now all we need is a P3Dv4 version of the Cub. :)

Are you using that zoom level to fly as well as take pictures? I've been using that zoom for years and TrackIR which makes it possible.

Hook


Part of the reason I'm doing the route now is for the challenge-Flying a J3 in late winter/spring weather should be interesting. However, I have to balance it with my RL. For instance flying the KINW-KAEG leg would have been more challenging on 11 Feb, but my real life interfered with that plan. I just did it yesterday, and the weather was perfect (by that way, that leg is now posted. https://mutleyshangar.com/forum/index.p ... piper-cub/ So while it wan't a particularly challenging flight, it was great for looking around.

I'm still getting the hang of taking screenshots. I've been doing some zooming in and out, but I think I can enhance my images even more. I've also switched to MegaScenary Earth for the next portion of the trip, as it looks better than the Orbx for this part of the US. Any suggestions on how I can enhance the screenshots is appreciated.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:33 am 
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Great stuff, thanks for sharing. Thats quite the journey in a cub 8) 8)

cheers,
Lewis

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:04 pm 
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The screen shots look good.

One reason I use the zoom level I do (it is 0.8 in Prepar3D) is that it not only makes the gauges look life size, it makes the scenery look life size as well... very impressive. You may notice Heidi's head looks bigger than it should at that zoom level. That is because she's closer to you than your monitor. :D Well, if you were flying the real plane and using a real camera, you could zoom the camera in and out and frame the picture any way you wanted.

Funny that this morning I did the opposite flight, KAEG-KINW in the Beaver with the sim time offset by 12 hours so I was landing at sunset, about 6 PM. I followed highway 40 and went through Gallup. Visibility with P3Dv4 and Active Sky wasn't the greatest, started out at under 15 miles but improved. The default scenery doesn't look near as good as yours but the autogen goes all the way out to the horizon.

I have to admire anyone who is willing to fly a Cub, with no autopilot, no radio nav aids, no GPS and real world weather on a long trip like that. Someone commented at Mutley's Hangar that he would have sold the cub and used the 182 or Comanche instead. But he'd be tempted to use autopilot, nav aids and GPS and not having those in the Cub is what makes the trip special. Sometimes, all you have is a whisky compass and stopwatch and a real world chart and have to guess at the wind. :)

Hook


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:42 pm 
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Hook wrote:
The screen shots look good.

One reason I use the zoom level I do (it is 0.8 in Prepar3D) is that it not only makes the gauges look life size, it makes the scenery look life size as well... very impressive. You may notice Heidi's head looks bigger than it should at that zoom level. That is because she's closer to you than your monitor. :D Well, if you were flying the real plane and using a real camera, you could zoom the camera in and out and frame the picture any way you wanted.

Funny that this morning I did the opposite flight, KAEG-KINW in the Beaver with the sim time offset by 12 hours so I was landing at sunset, about 6 PM. I followed highway 40 and went through Gallup. Visibility with P3Dv4 and Active Sky wasn't the greatest, started out at under 15 miles but improved. The default scenery doesn't look near as good as yours but the autogen goes all the way out to the horizon.

I have to admire anyone who is willing to fly a Cub, with no autopilot, no radio nav aids, no GPS and real world weather on a long trip like that. Someone commented at Mutley's Hangar that he would have sold the cub and used the 182 or Comanche instead. But he'd be tempted to use autopilot, nav aids and GPS and not having those in the Cub is what makes the trip special. Sometimes, all you have is a whisky compass and stopwatch and a real world chart and have to guess at the wind. :)

Hook


Thanks. I'm going to try to play a little with the screen shots. I picked the Cub for the same reason I used to sail boats: It is a basic flying as you can get (except possibly in a glider). Yeah, an F-16 is cool, but a Piper Cub is challenging in its own way. You can't simply fly around weather, you have to anticipate it and plan for it. You have to navigate with a chart and compass, and and E6b (I'm actually using one for this trip, but it hasn't been as necessary the first three flights, as the winds have been mostly calm.) Even getting over the mountains by Grants, NM required some planning, as I was worried the warm day would affect the Cub's performance at that altitude.

The other thing about the Cub is that it lets you enjoy the scenery. Over the course of the trip, I'm going to try to fly over scenic areas, because the Cub allows you to enjoy it. It's a little like the difference between driving a car or bicycling on a scenic road. You actually see a lot more by biking than by driving. It gives you a completely different perspective. It is, however, a lot slower. But you don't fly a Cub to get somewhere. You fly a Cub to take a journey.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:47 pm 
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If you purchase something like Chase Plane you will get more ease of versatility in angling your shots using a mouse.

Nice work on planning and checking the weather.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Please tell me you are using a mechanical E6B rather than an electronic one! I recently bought one myself, the colored version from ASA. Big enough to see easily, too big to fit in your pocket.

Now this... THIS... is serious simming. :D

Some time ago I spent a lot of time soaring with CumulusX and the Aerosoft Discus X sailplane. I was doing research into real world soaring and applying it to the sim. It is flying in its purest form. It is what broke me from following a magenta line and holding an exact altitude. I once spent too much time in a thermal and ended up in the cloud that topped it and got a quick lesson in needle-ball-and-airspeed blind flying. Knowing only the term for it, I entered the cloud in a high banked turn, figured it out on the fly (so to speak) and exited the cloud flying straight and level. No artificial horizon in a glider and a VSI is useless in thermals and a whiskey compass is no help.

I prefer doing long cross country trips following roads/rivers/railroad tracks/coastlines and only doing compass and stopwatch when necessary. This is how Stephen Coonts did it in a Stearman in his book "The Cannibal Queen" and I have duplicated his flight twice, landing in all 48 states.

I used to have some signature artwork with a pic of the A2A Stratocruiser and the caption "The journey is just as important as the destination." True for sailboats, motorcycles and the Piper Cub.

Hook


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:08 pm 
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Hook wrote:
Please tell me you are using a mechanical E6B rather than an electronic one! I recently bought one myself, the colored version from ASA. Big enough to see easily, too big to fit in your pocket.

Now this... THIS... is serious simming. :D
...

I prefer doing long cross country trips following roads/rivers/railroad tracks/coastlines and only doing compass and stopwatch when necessary. This is how Stephen Coonts did it in a Stearman in his book "The Cannibal Queen" and I have duplicated his flight twice, landing in all 48 states.

I used to have some signature artwork with a pic of the A2A Stratocruiser and the caption "The journey is just as important as the destination." True for sailboats, motorcycles and the Piper Cub.

Hook

Yep, I use a real mechanical E6B. and a real kneeboard. Part of flying is cockpit management, so I try to have everything organized approximately how I would have it in a real cockpit, as well as conduct the flight as I would in the real world. Part of that is being aware of the weather and winds, so I try to take frequent nav fixes just to make sure I'm still good on my navigation and fuel, so even if I am simply following a road, I want to double check to make sure I haven't picked up an unexpected headwind. In a Cub, a sudden 20 knot headwind can mean I'm landing on a country road or cow pasture.

Regarding the mechanical E6B. It seems to me that when you use actually plot something out or manually figure it out in your head, you gradually develop a sense for how things actually are. As a quick example: When I was in the USN, we always plotted contacts manually on a maneuvering board (a polar-type plot) and used it to calculate CPAs and courses to avoid. We did this even though we had a computerized radar system that could actually do the calculations automatically. After manually doing thousands of these, you eventually developed a "seaman's eye" and could quickly get rough estimates of CPAs and courses without the board. You could then use rough estimates to double check what the computer was telling you. Same thing with plotting positions on a paper map. The very act of plotting something manually makes you think about what you are doing and the data you are using, as opposed to simply uncritically accepting whatever the computer is telling you. The USN has gotten away from some of these skills. I would argue that the recent spate of collisions and groundings of USN ships is due, in part, the the deterioration of ship handling skills that was begun when humans began relying on the computers to tell them what to do, as opposed to using them as a decision aid. So, I fly with a mechanical E6B, so I can do the navigation and develop/maintain that "airman's eye."


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:02 am 
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Regarding the mechanical E6B. It seems to me that when you [] actually plot something out or manually figure it out in your head, you gradually develop a sense for how things actually are.

I've found since I started using the E6B that often I can do many of the calculations in my head and still get close enough to hit my destination, and I double check the E6B output by doing it in my head as well.

An advantage of using a slide rule when many of your inputs are estimates is that you quickly develop a feel for how much error in an estimation a calculation can tolerate and still be within acceptable limits. Just eyeball the same distance on the scale for your answer and an input. An electronic calculator can give you three decimal points of accuracy but that's useless when your estimate for an input is 10% off and the only accurate input is a distance measured on a map.

Books by real world airline pilots talk about the deterioration of skills due to reliance on automation. Modern airliners are flown by the numbers and the pilot's judgement is neither necessary nor desirable.

And thanks for posting about your trip. I was beginning to think I was the only person to do this kind of thing.

Hook


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:11 am 
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I see in your latest update that you landed at Los Alamos. I love that area. Did you get pics of the airport and vicinity? I'd like to see them if you have custom scenery installed there.

Someone on the FSX:SE Steam forum was asking for scenic places to fly and one of the ones I suggested was KLAM, far down the list after London and Paris and Cairo. :)

Also, could you publish links for the various sites you use for weather? I see that it has the NOAA logo.

Hook


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2019 7:44 am 
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Hook wrote:
I see in your latest update that you landed at Los Alamos. I love that area. Did you get pics of the airport and vicinity? I'd like to see them if you have custom scenery installed there.

Someone on the FSX:SE Steam forum was asking for scenic places to fly and one of the ones I suggested was KLAM, far down the list after London and Paris and Cairo. :)

Also, could you publish links for the various sites you use for weather? I see that it has the NOAA logo.

Hook


The aviation weather page at https://www.aviationweather.gov/ has all the links. Although Active Sky gives you this information, the NWS website provides it graphically which is not only easier for me to interpret, but is better for using when posting the trip, as (I believe) it is easier for the readers to understand. For my virtual flying weather, I ususally do the following:

1) Go to https://www.weather.gov/ and https://www.weather.gov/forecastmaps and get an overview of the weather/expected weather in the area.
2) Go to https://www.aviationweather.gov/ for the aviation-specific WX. In particular, the following pages are useful:
- https://www.aviationweather.gov/metar (note: if you left click on the station, you can get the encoded METAR for that station, as opposed to the graphical depiction. It is these encoded versions I insert into my trip report
- https://www.aviationweather.gov/sigmet for the SIGMETS. (note: if you left click on the graphical area depcting the SIGMET, you can get the encoded SIGMET for that area)
-https://www.aviationweather.gov/icing for icing.
-https://www.aviationweather.gov/windtemp for winds aloft and temperature forecasts. Use the sliders at the top and left to adjust the predicted altitude and valid times
-https://www.aviationweather.gov/taf for the TAFs. Use the sliders at the top to adjust the valid times.
-https://www.aviationweather.gov/gfa/plot for the Aviation forecast
-https://www.aviationweather.gov/fcstdisc for the forecast discussion

Regarding I'm using Orbx and MegaScenery Earth for my terrain, I don't have any custom scenery for the KLAM area. The Sedona portion of the trip used the Orbx Sedona airport mod. I wasn't really happy with the screenshots I took of KLAM. MegaScenery Earth works best if you are 3000 feet AGL or better, and simply because of the ceiling of the Cub and the terrain around KLAM, I was rarely at 3000 feet AGL. However, I do like MegaScenery Earth, especially for non-mountain areas. IMHO, when flying the Cub, because of the 3000 foot factor, Orbx tends to work better in the mountain areas, where you are rarely above 3000 feet. In other areas, I like MegaScenery Earth, because it is photo-realistic. Most of the next parts of the trip will be using MegaScenery Earth. I'll return to Orbx when I get to places like Montana and Colorado


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