Wednesday, 18 February 2015

D H Comet 4

This month, Just Flight offered a special offer to existing customers of 2 simulator aircraft for £12 only.  I chose a Eurofighter Typhoon which I need to study in detail before flying, and a DeHavilland Comet 4.  This was my first flight in the Comet - BOAC of course!;

The Comet was the first commercial jet liner and it has its own peculiarities.  It was able to carry 101 passengers over 2650 miles in one flight. Taxiing out to the runway requires a lot of skill in order to avoid running off of the taxiway.  The wide spaced undercarriage needs special care.
Take off is a simple operation and the aircraft is smooth and simple to handle.  It climbs away very smoothly.
The cabin has a restricted view and a lot if instruments.  Like all aircraft, the basic controls are 6 dials and a couple of navigation instruments.  the rest of the mash are engine gauges.  The autopilot is simple and easy to set.  This aircraft will cruise at 450 knots (-that's 840 km/hr on the autopilot setting).
Once at altitude, the autopilot settings need monitoring and there is a small radar screen to watch out for aircraft ahead, which also flags up airport positions.  The radar can be used to position the aircraft in line with the runway to land on.
Wheels and flaps down and keep the runway alignment on approach, reducing speed to land.
Apply the air brakes at the runway threshold and gently apply wheel brakes when the nose wheel is down on the runway.
Again, taxiing requires the nose of the aircraft to overshoot the turn markers in order to keep the main wheels on the taxiway.
Once parked and powered down there is a problem - no steps for the passengers to disembark down.  There must be something in the sim-pack.  I must read the instructions.
Being an airline pilot is all about driving a bus in the sky.  The skill is finding the destination airport and putting the aircraft safely on the ground in a set time slot, for which immense skill is required.  The rest is just bus driving.

 There are two switches on the co-pilot panel which call up chocks/covers and stairway. All becomes clear when you read the sim flight manual.

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