View Full Version : 3 questions for airline savvy folks
10-08-2001, 01:11 PM
When I was flying a lot in the Navy JAG (uh, as a passenger, not like in the TV show) something happened that I've always wondered about.
(1) On a Alitalia flight into New York from Rome, emergency vehicles drove alongside the plane when it landed. Why? When I rode up on the hotel elevator with the flight crew would it have been a breech of ettiquette to have inquired? Always wondered about that, since there was no indication there was anything wrong.
Military pilots always seemed to be more accessible... I remember a couple of times them volunteering to me after a seemingly odd approach that, "Hey, I was just doing what they told me to do." (Nose-dive descent into airport in Crete, low altitude circle back over the Med before completing landing near Marseilles for instance. Also remember flying over Spain at low altitude (cool) because "too much fuel had been loaded and we need to burn it off" lol)
(2) Why don't any of the sound packages reproduce that "buzzing" sound I've noticed jet engines making, especially when climbing to cruise altitude?
(3) Understanding neither is particularly realistic, when flying a airliner in MSFS2K is it closer to what pilots do to use navaids or GPS for the AP? (In other words, is the GPS more like an FMC, or do pilots really manually set frequencies and courses for navaids one by one and fly by those?)
Thanks for satisfying my curiosity!
10-08-2001, 01:53 PM
Ill give it a shot.
"(1) On a Alitalia flight into New York from Rome, emergency vehicles drove alongside the plane when it landed. Why? When I rode up on the hotel elevator with the flight crew would it have been a breech of ettiquette to have inquired? Always wondered about that, since there was no indication there was anything wrong."
Those emergency vehicles could have been picking-up a sick passenger on your flight, or your Alitalia flight could have been carrying blood/plasma. Sometimes many airlines fly priority cargo. Thats why if you ever hear of a Lifeguard callsign preceding the airline callsign and flight # on ATC frequencies it is a give-away. Otherwise maybe the emergency vehicles were going to another emergency near your aircraft.
"(2) Why don't any of the sound packages reproduce that "buzzing" sound I've noticed jet engines making, especially when climbing to cruise altitude?"
I cant help you there, but it is just a game.
"(3) Understanding neither is particularly realistic, when flying a airliner in MSFS2K is it closer to what pilots do to use navaids or GPS for the AP? (In other words, is the GPS more like an FMC, or do pilots really manually set frequencies and courses for navaids one by one and fly by those?)"
It depends on the equipment in real life. Newer aircraft use GPS/FMS equipment that allows them to either fly direct to their destination, or direct to the next assigned waypoint. Many older aircraft have been retrofitted with GPS equipment which allows them to fly direct routes. However, most of the time they are assigned Jet Airways. They can fly those using the GPS as well as using VORs.
And as far as I know pilots flying dont rely on just their GPS to navigate. Many times they use VORs for backup reason incase the old magic box quits working. Of course if the aircraft is only equipped with VOR receivers, you know the answer.
Hope that helps
10-08-2001, 04:14 PM
2.) I haven't a clue as to why not many do. I know my heavy jet packages all do. The humming you hear is the engine fans - I suppose most sound designers tend to forget them - I don't know. But I do know that to get it right, one does need to do a bit of cfg work. Try it and you'll understand - rate parameters. All in good fun - but easy to understand once you get into the cfg, it's all very logical.
But, if you want them, I know of a few soundpackages that emulate this. Daniel Careri's 757 sound package is nearly perfect, you'll hear it. Achim Buerger's A320 sound package (Available from IADG) is another one. Hard to hear it, but Ryuji Ozawa's L-1011 sounds are about right.
And my L-1011, DC-10, and 747-200 sound packages...will be available as soon as I can find a way to upload them (I won't have internet for a while, unfortunately). I made SURE you hear the fans in those three.
By the way, another pet peeve of mine is that people will base their sounds on the 737 sounds, which is fine, but they'll disable the jet whine sounds and use the combustion sections for their jet whine sounds. THIS IS A BIG NO-NO!!!!! Try doing it without serious cfg work and it sounds like crap. Why?
You'll notice upon entering the /B737_400/sound/ folder that we have a variety of different sounds. But there is a pattern. Loosely traslated, the format they use, which is the one I long ago learned to use and apply, is as follows:
A=Engine 1 (B here means engine 2)
N2=N2. As if you didn't know.
1, 2, 3, 4 - indicate which sound is what.
So, you see BAN14, I see "Engine One N1 wav four".
But! Often times you'll download a set of new wavs and it'll say to copy etc etc and replace with:
BAN21, BAN22, BAN23, BAN24.
Bad! Evil! No! Unless these four sound like rumbles, it ain't gonna sound too great.
The reason is, the N2 sounds are linked to the COMBUSTION section of the cfg file. They work with the N2. You may have a nice idle sound and save it as BAN21, but you'll never hear it unless you modify the volume parameters. Because MS apparently didn't have the sound team work with the team that made the sound system, this sound will not be heard. Because the jet may idle at 23% N1, but it also idles at 54% N2.
What does this have to do with anything? The base 737 cfg is written as if the N2 sounds were like the N1 sounds, in which case you'd hear BAN11 at idle - 23% N1, and then it'd fade out. But the N2 idles at 54%, so it would have faded out already - in other words, it's not heard.
What I said may have been a mouthfull, but once you understand the cfg and the FS sound system it makes perfect sense. This is why I urge sound designers to learn and apply the sound.cfg file - with it, you can do anything. By leving it as it was default, you're setting yourself up for a big mess. This also ties in with the fan humming in various ways.
Actually, a wealth of sound.cfg information is available in the Aircraft Container SDK. Belive it or not, there is very useful information in there, and not just concerning the sound.cfg. It gives a better understanding of the cfg files in general.
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10-09-2001, 11:42 AM
1) The emergency vehicles may have been doing a practice run. I've noticed this sometimes going on here at Pittsburgh. They will follow a plane down the taxiway and leave it right before it gets to the gate so eagle-eyed passengers like yourself don't panic. Or like others have said, it might have been a Lifeguard flight or a passenger may have become ill. Usually for either one of those instances, they wait at the gate for the plane.
Or there might have been something wrong that they didn't tell you for the same reason, not to scare people. There might have been a stuck brake or a hot brake. Maybe a fire warning or a temperature warning went off either errantly or for real.
2) I used to miss the buzzzz sound on the 757 I have until I downloaded Daniels 757 sound package. Now it really sounds like there are RR RB211 motors strapped to the 757 as they should be. Just look around in the download section.
3) Like the other people have said, it depends on the type. A DC-9 has an FMC, but no GPS of course. Unless it has been retrofitted to a "glass" cockpit. Airbus has a GPS with moving map for navigation purposes as do many new tech designs ( 757, 777, etc.) Airbuses do not have an ADF reciever just as a sidenote.
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