(this is a mash-up re-post of several individual posts of mine on WW and Old Fokkers forums - click any of the thumbnail images for a full<er> screen .png version of the image)
Apparently I had money burning a hole in my pocket, so I went and picked up A2A Simulation's P-47D Razorback Jug + AccuSim. This was sort of a "back to the future" moment for me, as I had a printed copy of the P-47 pilot's manual when I was a kid. At one time I had the whole start-up sequence memorized straight from the official pilot's manual. So the Jug was the ship that got my dollars this week (and for the next several, since I spent a lot more on the Jug and the AccuSim than I really should have.)
Anyway, my first flight in the Jug was over Seattle late in the evening, using Boeing Field as home base.
Cruising over Seattle harbor, worrying about that amber light that's still on:
Enjoying the evening colors and the unique shape of the Razorback Jug:
So, landing the Jug?
LOL... Yeah, that first landing didn't go so well. The take-off and flight weren't bad at all (next paragraph for more on that.) I thought I was doing okay on my approach to Boeing Field, setting up to land on 13R (the long one!) But like Chunk mentioned (in an earlier post on WW forums
), the thing nearly came to a stop in mid-air when I dropped the gear (and noted the yaw 'wobble' as the gear down separately, as mentioned in the manual.) I managed to give enough power -slowly!- to keep her from mushing into the ground but then I lost the damn runway under the nose. I wound up setting down on the grass just to the right of the runway, and rolled out on the taxi-way. Okay, I thought, no harm no foul. I'll be able to fly again. Then I applied the brakes and promptly nosed the bird over! I hate FSX brakes, they are either fully on or fully off, there's no gentle apply (I don't have rudders with toe brakes, so I am forced to use the keyboard command.) Then, FSX being the weird thing it is, my T-bolt started bouncing around the field like it got kicked by Godzilla or something. I wound up in the middle of I-5 with cars going through me... :roll: Re-fly, shift-5 or 6 and "overhaul". ((sigh))
I did apply my limited knowledge of flying other FSX aircraft, and kept a close eye on temps and rpms so I didn't break anything. I had to resort to a look into the manual because that steady amber light for the supercharger rpm had me worried (should be moved to where the light is blinking if I read the manual correctly; throttle then boost going forward, boost then throttle going back.) The controls for the oil cooler door and supercharger waste gate are a bit touchy and weird to operate. So is the "energize" and 'start" button, I found it impossible to hold the button to the left "energize" position long enough for the thing to spool up to full speed while having TIR on. One tiny movement of your head and the button would snap to the right before the thing was fully wound up. At best I got two blades, not enough to start. What finally worked was to toggle TIR off then CAREFULLY hold the mouse to click the start button to the left long enough to fully charge. Then a quick flick of the mouse and the thing would clatter-bang-pop-fart-boom-roar into life. CTRL-E worked too.
Remember all those stories about how well the P-47 could dive? Sure, it's a heavy ship so that stands to reason. A2A has got it right with this model. The thing is an absolute BRICK when pointed downstairs. I was giddy, and scared, on my first dive in it. I didn't want to do a full nose-down dive, I just wanted to arc low as it were, to see how it handled and how much room I'd need to pull out. I was at about 8,000 feet and did a modified split-S (not inverted, about 60 degree of bank and ruddered it under and through.) In about two seconds I went from a gentle cruise at 150 mph to well over 300 mph and wondering if I would be able to pull the thing out! I went screaming over the docks of Seattle at about 200 feet hoping I wouldn't catch one of those big cranes. I immediately gained a HUGE respect for how this thing could dive. No previous P-47 simulation I'd ever flown displayed this sort of dive performance, I was well and truly impressed.
Fast forward to this morning...
I wanted a bit more time in the Jug, away from prying eyes but within ear-shot of folks who might be able to help if I got myself into a jam. So I jumped on DTP's servers and printed off a few pages out of the Jug's manual to give me things to look at more closely. I chose KCOE (Coeur D'Alene, Idaho) as my base of operations for this session on DTP's real-weather server. While I was tinkering around getting things set up and checked out, I was joined by one of the DTP citizens having issues with his TS. After about 30 minutes or so he got his stuff figured out and I had myself in the air again. I had decided to try a short hop over the mountains to Missoula, Montana as a shake-out test, and to see how the Jug handled up high, since it's supposed to be pretty good at higher altitudes.
Just about the time I got going, Griphos joined the channel and gave me some good coaching on a couple things that came up. The first came up from me not following the check-lists closely enough. Clearly indicated is the necessity of checking oxygen flow through the regulator. Of course the regulator doesn't work if there's no oxygen in the tanks... Fast forward to me being up to about 18,000 feet and trimmed nicely for some cruise while chatting with Grif. I was merrily snapping screen-shots along the way, in external view.
I was zooming in tight to get some good close-ups of the engine and skin details. A2A did a remarkable job making the Jug look 'real'.
When I returned to an internal view, I was immediately alerted by the odd sounds my virtual self's breathing made. My point of view even rose and fell a little with each labored intake of breath... Oh, oh. I interrupted Grif (who was going on about how the OV-10 has a shared cockpit and he and Zoo were having fun flying it) to ask some emergency oxygen questions. Before he could tell me, I blacked out.
I decided to try an external view, and was able to see what my plane was doing... flying along serenely, with a pilot who had nodded off at the controls!
I had no control of anything, except my little cheat: I have FSX's elevator trim mapped to one of the rotaries on my Cougar, so was able to control my flight a little bit. Enough to get me down under 12,000 feet over the Rocky Mountains where I eventually came to. Then I was able to open the loading options and give my virtual self a full bottle of oxygen to use for further high-altitude flight.
One more item which Griphos helped me with was finding the air inlet. I naively complained about how the the sky was mostly cloud free yet from inside the cockpit it was hazy. DUH. Turn on the de-foggers, says Grif. Well, no such thing in the Jug, but it does have an air vent (bottom right of the cockpit) that did the trick. Yeah, I felt like an idiot.
Grif finally had to go join Zoo and others with their planned flight stuff, so I continued merrily on my way to Missoula. I landed without incident (actually this was landing #1 that I actually did right in the Jug.) However, while taxiing in to the parking ramp at Missoula I bumped the supercharger knob with my mouse, sending it all the way forward. Clatter-bang-clunk-whheeeze ... Aww, #%&*$#. Sure enough. Airframe had less than 45 minutes on it, and the supercharger was destroyed. ((sigh)) Shift-7 - Refurbish.
Another day, another flight...
After doing a more lengthy flight with my P-47 this morning (extending my reach from Coeur D'Alene to Missoula to Bozeman to Jackson Hole for a nice two+ hour jaunt) and a few other shorter hops in various ships all over the world, I was growing a bit bored with all the high-powered iron. While walking around the Coeur D'Alene airport (virtually, of course) I was approached by this young gal with dark hair accentuated with purple-red highlights, short-shorts and plenty of cleavage. She asked if I was a pilot-type of guy and if I could give her a ride.
Well sure... but my Thunderbolt had only one seat. She seemed a bit displeased at that, and my hoped-for dangerously amorous flight fluttered away. When I mentioned I had a little two-seater she perked right up though. So I guided her over to my little Piper Cub, got her situated in the front seat after trying to explain what the Road Runner on my rudder meant, then did the pre-trip and stored the chocks and tie-downs.
Throughout the entire flight we flew with the window open and the door down, since she kept saying "Does this thing have air? I'm melting!" ... Just can't make'em happy.