Friday, 27 February 2015

Eurofighter Typhoon

Having purchased the Eurofighter last week, I have now studied the handbook sufficiently to be confident enough to fly this simulated aircraft.  It is a complex machine with an immense amount of instrumentation and information available in  the cockpit.  It also comes in a good array of colour schemes.
The aircraft will move forward with the engine running and the parking brake off when the engines are on idle.  Minimum power is needed to taxi out to the runway.  The ground steering is also very sensitive and care is needed to avoid over steer.
The Head Up Display (HUD) can be used for runway alignment prior to takeoff, instruments set to operational needs.  Autopilot pre-set to engage at altitude.
Wheels up at 100 feet and climb away at 15 degrees being careful to throttle back to avoid exceeding Mach 0.9 as supersonic flight is not permitted over land for normal operations at present.
With its high pilot position and clear canopy, the view from  the Typhoon is exceptionally good.  The HUD can be adjusted to give various options for flight attitude, line of flight, weapons targeting, etc.; with little need to check the other instrument displays.  Turning is very tight due to jet attitude-thrusters which assist in the manoeuvres.
Landing needs a long approach to get a good runway alignment and to reduce speed and altitude.  Approach at 300kts and apply flaps and air brake prior to landing.  Wheels down at 250kts, brakes to auto, full flaps prior to touchdown.
Being used to flying the BAC Lightning simulation, this is a much easier aircraft to fly.  The degree of automation means that you have to think less about the technical skills of maintaining flight and attitude.  On autopilot, the job is visual observation and not trim and stability.
Fighter planes have come a long way in a short time.  This aircraft has a braking parachute for use on short runways and an arrester hook for carrier operations.  It is also quite stable at low speeds and manage 160kts in level flight.  All in all a very pleasing machine.

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