Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Making flight sims more realistic

 Sat on the apron at Glenforsa airstrip in the Scottish Islands.  On Microsoft Flight Simulator X, This airstrip is just a long strip of grass, so I have rebuilt it closer to the Google Earth image.
 There are hangers on my version, and a few more trees.  I chose to use a Tiger Moth as it is a simple aeroplane to fly.  However, Ground handling on such a small grass strip is tight as the tiger moth has a very wide turning circle without a wing man.
 Taxi out to the end of the runway and prepare for take off.  Full throttle and the tail lifts half way down the runway, they the aircraft lifts off from the ground.
 Glenforsa is in the shadow of some very steep hills.  Its only technical aid is a wind sock.  There are no landing lights, no control tower and no accident support other than whoever happpens to be on the ground at the time.  This is a light plain enthusiasts airstrip.
 It is also close to the sea, with the inherent hazard of seagulls flocking nearby.  The approach from the south is fairly straight, but the norther appraoch to the airstrip is a steep descent over some very tall trees on the hillside.
 The tiger moth is an easy aeroplane to land.  It has a slow flying speed and is stable at low altitudes and low speeds.  Approach at 55 knots and ease back on the throttle.
 Touchdown is acheived by flying slow over the ground and losing lift. the tail will drop at below 35 knots and the tailskid is the brake.
There are some soaring eagles programmed into this area, but they are difficult to see from  flight as they are programmed to move away from aircraft noise.  They can be seen in the distance. There are also some flying seagulls soaring just offshore.  They are visible on landing and takeoff.  Much more interesting than just a plain grass strip.

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