DC-3 Development Update 5: Systems simulation part II - AutomaticPilot: The simplified version.
Hey all you! Been about 1 month and a half since the lastupdate. Due summer, family vacation, and a couple other obligations,the development speed was at minimum, but now I am cranking the speedup towards the final stretch. Also the rhythm of development updates,will return to normal, around 1 per 2 weeks. Enough of that, let'smove on, and let's talk about Auto(matic) Pilots!
The original DC-3 was equipped with the Sperry Type A-3A AutomaticPilot (see the difference in the wording?), a 1930's system. I willnot analyze the operation here, but in a next update, dedicated to theoriginal version that will be simulated as well. In short, Theautomatic pilot, based on pneumatic operation, was developed tocorrect the angular deviations from straight and level flight, so WWIIera bombers (like the B-17 Flying Fortress) become somewhat stableplatforms for weapons (bombs) delivery.
You can might imagine, that the operation was not very accurate,which led to development of the A-5 version later, during theWWII. During the development of our simulation, and after a longhunting for gathering good information since the use of the automaticpilot was mostly avoided(!), was obvious that in a flight simulationenvironment, will be extremely difficult to perform a controlledflight with ease. Overcompensation due to slow roll rates was a thingin the real aircraft, imagine in the sim! This led us to the decisionto have a simplified version of the automatic pilot as well, as anoption. Again, this does not means that the simplified version willallow to perform complex navigation tasks, but an "easier" method tocontrolled aircraftâ€™s attitude, by the same means with the originalversion.
You will be able to select the mode you want to through the menu,where you will find a short description. Make sure that you select theversion of the automatic pilot you want to fly with, either beforeflight, or with automatic pilot disengaged, to avoid any unintendedflight path changes, or loss of aircraft control.
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