• On An Older System - Just Flight Chipmunk

    On An Older System - Series Introduction

    "On An Older System" - Just Flight Chipmunk

    By Kenneth J. Kerr

    Hello there folks, this is Kenneth J. Kerr (a.k.a. "KJKSimmer" from some of the forums out there), and a warm welcome to the first "proper article" in the series "On an older system." If you haven't read the series intro, I invite you to follow the link here. But for quick review, here are the five principles that you need to remember when flight simming on an older computer.

    1. You must have realistic expectations
    2. You must find the compromise
    3. You must bring the right attitude
    4. You must pick your products wisely
    5. You must be adventurous

    In this article you will see hints of many of these principles, so keep an eye open for them. And now, get ready for take off, for we're going to look at a little beauty of an aircraft that works fine on my old rig... the De Havilland Chipmunk, from Just Flight.

    On an older system - Just Flight Chipmunk

    Telling A Story

    On an older system - Just Flight Chipmunk One of only three pictures that survive from my trips to RAF Newton in the early 1970's. The Bloodhound missile is hidden in the over-exposure just off the nose of the airplane

    The Chipmunk is my all-time favorite aircraft, in fact I've been in love with it for almost 50 years. I turned 62 a few days ago, but when I was a mere lad of 13, it was "the Chippie" that introduced me to flight. I was in the Air Cadets, a member of 422 Squadron (Corby, Northants), and we'd made a trip up to RAF Newton (near Nottingham) to gain some Air Experience. It was a magical day for me. I remember being transfixed by the solitary Bloodhound ground-to-air missile that pointed skyward near one of the hangars. I recall wandering through a large collection of myriad types of aircraft being stored at the station for technical training, but most of all I remember that first ever taste of flight.

    You didn't walk out to the Chipmunk, you waddled out to it! Like the other cadets, I'd suffered the ordeal of having the parachute strapped to me after my pre-flight safety briefing. It was so tight that I couldn't stand straight, and the straps between my legs seemed to threaten any hopes of future fatherhood! But all of that was immaterial, for my gaze had but one focus, the classical lines of Chipmunk WK591. Moments later, I clearly remember standing on the walk strip at the wing root, looking into the cockpit and wondering where the seat was! Then it dawned on me that the parachute WAS my seat, and with a little help from another cadet, I settled into the concave metal pan in the rear cockpit.

    On an older system - Just Flight Chipmunk The fresh-faced 13-year old in cadet uniform in 1971. Almost 50 years ago.

    With the engine already running, the harness was secured with the minimum of delay, and then the smelly rubber mask was fixed to my face. A brief radio check followed to make sure I could communicate with the pilot up front, then the canopy was closed, and we taxied out to the holding point of one of the grass runways. With the engine at high RPM during the run-up exercises, I distinctly recall wondering if the damn thing was going to shake itself to bits, but the noise was music to my ears, a symphony in the key of Gipsy Major. And then it was time. Position and hold for a few seconds, full power, a bit of light swinging from right to left as the rudder became effective, and we were taking to the air.

    It was a defining moment of my life. I'd been an aviation nut for years already, but had never flown. I can still see those trees slipping away beneath the wings. All these decades later the details are crystal clear. I was looking out over the right wing, not the left, and there were roads getting smaller, with cars looking like the Corgi and Dinky toys I'd collected before turning to aviation. And then after a few minutes we were experiencing light G forces as the pilot demonstrated turning, and I was amazed at how the world seemed to pivot around the wingtip. After gaining altitude, I was given the controls, and I was hooked! "You're a natural" the officer said, and somehow my 13-year old self thought I was flying a Spitfire! All-too-soon it was over, a mere 20 minutes according to my "3822" record of ATC service, but it was 20 minutes that I'll remember as long as I live.

    So, why have I shared this story in such detail with you? It's to make a very important point. When I'm flying the Just Flight Chipmunk, do you really think that the most important thing to me is achieving high frame rates, or whether my old computer will allow full detail autogen and clouds? No. Because I am emotionally connected to the Chipmunk, the nostalgia takes over and masks the limitations imposed by my old system. This is positive psychology at work. It's the brain making use of the Reticular Activating System to filter out extraneous sensory inputs. You focus on the memories, associations, and nostalgia that an add-on engenders, and enjoy the experience regardless of what your system is (or is not) capable of.

    And now, as we showcase the Just Flight Chipmunk, let's re-live that first flight using my trusty old FSX.


    13 Comments
    1. Markg55's Avatar
      Markg55 -
      Keep this series coming Nels. Great stories. Enjoy reading them.
      Merry ......er.....Happy Christmas!
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Markg55 View Post
      Keep this series coming Nels. Great stories. Enjoy reading them.
      Merry ......er.....Happy Christmas!
      Hi Mark. Glad you like the stories. They are very precious memories. I have more to come. Have a happy holiday, merry Christmas, or whatever else your tradition allows you to call this season. - Kenneth
    1. Markg55's Avatar
      Markg55 -
      Sorry I thought it was Nels......my bad Kenneth. Definitely Christmas here on Long Island New York
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Markg55 View Post
      Sorry I thought it was Nels......my bad Kenneth. Definitely Christmas here on Long Island New York
      No problem. I assumed you were requesting Nels to keep on publishing the series anyway. - Kenneth
    1. gordonbennett's Avatar
      gordonbennett -
      Thank you for this. You really bring the the whole experience alive. Pity Just Flight do not have a version for AFS2.
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by gordonbennett View Post
      Thank you for this. You really bring the the whole experience alive. Pity Just Flight do not have a version for AFS2.
      Thank you for this comment. I am a fan of AFS2 as well, and my next article is being written now (on using AFS2 on my old system!). I have also corresponded with JF about converting the Chipmunk, but they did not design it internally. It was Aeroplane Heaven who did the Chipmunk for JF, and so I corresponded with AH. And they have no plans to do anything for AFS2. Shame. I'd LOVE to fly the Chipmunk in AFS2. - Kenneth
    1. gippslandblanik1's Avatar
      gippslandblanik1 -
      Hello Kenneth, Thanks for another great article in your series that I hope will continue. This one took me down memory lane, back when I flew a DHC 1 in Australia in the 1960/70's. We used it for a gilder tug pulling our club Blanik L13 skyward and then doing a little sky dancing on the way back down after the glider unhooked. The Chipmunk has the most balanced controls of anything I've flown and had a wonderful character/feel to it. I also enjoy the JF version and relive flights I've made in the past through the magic of Flight Simulator in FSX and am impressed with the accuracy of the AH model and the level of immersion possible. Here is a link to the ORBX forum/screenshot showing a submission I made flying the JF Chipmunk https://orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/...omment-1546744 titled "Chipmunk over Bowerman" I am curious about your comment about moving filtering and anti-aliasing duties from FSX to the video card. I'm an amateur when it comes to computers and would appreciate you expanding on this topic and how to do it. Best wishes to you and your family for the Christmas season and 2020. Max
    1. pzl 104's Avatar
      pzl 104 -
      FYI, concerning unrealistic spins in FSX/the Chippie. I've designed a new FDE from scratch for Rick Piper's freeware DHC-1 a few years ago which features e.g. realistic spin entry. It's capable of upright, inverted and flat spins. You can download it at flightsim.com.

      I offered JF to use it for free with their Chippie, but they rejected it for some unknown reason.

      regards

      Bernt
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by gippslandblanik1 View Post
      Hello Kenneth, Thanks for another great article in your series that I hope will continue. This one took me down memory lane, back when I flew a DHC 1 in Australia in the 1960/70's. We used it for a gilder tug pulling our club Blanik L13 skyward and then doing a little sky dancing on the way back down after the glider unhooked. The Chipmunk has the most balanced controls of anything I've flown and had a wonderful character/feel to it. I also enjoy the JF version and relive flights I've made in the past through the magic of Flight Simulator in FSX and am impressed with the accuracy of the AH model and the level of immersion possible. Here is a link to the ORBX forum/screenshot showing a submission I made flying the JF Chipmunk https://orbxsystems.com/forum/topic/...omment-1546744 titled "Chipmunk over Bowerman" I am curious about your comment about moving filtering and anti-aliasing duties from FSX to the video card. I'm an amateur when it comes to computers and would appreciate you expanding on this topic and how to do it. Best wishes to you and your family for the Christmas season and 2020. Max
      Hi Max,

      Glad you enjoyed it. I enjoyed your memory of the Chipmunk down under, perhaps in the Bowerman shot you thought you were still flying in that part of the world?.... LOL. Good shot too!

      My video card is an AMD (not the best for flight sim I am told). I used AMD Catalyst Control Center to mess around with various settings (I believe there is something similar for Nvidia as well). Basically, I went into their gaming tab, and then 3d application settings. I set up a profile for FSX, and through a lot of trial and error just stared messing with settings, saving, reloading FSX and seeing if there was a change. Eventually (it was a few years ago), I told it to override application settings for anti-aliasing and texture filtering. Then, I tried different settings in those tabs until I seemed to get my old rig to run FSX as well as it could. Still don't know if it runs as well as it should, but in the end I got it to where I was fairly happy with it.

      All the best for 2020 to you and yours Max

      Regards
      Kenneth
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by pzl 104 View Post
      FYI, concerning unrealistic spins in FSX/the Chippie. I've designed a new FDE from scratch for Rick Piper's freeware DHC-1 a few years ago which features e.g. realistic spin entry. It's capable of upright, inverted and flat spins. You can download it at flightsim.com.

      I offered JF to use it for free with their Chippie, but they rejected it for some unknown reason.

      regards

      Bernt
      Hi Bernt

      I will search for that file and give it a try. I would imagine JF were reluctant because any modification (if it did not work as hoped for) might reflect on their supplier AH in some way, also they might feel it would be harder to support a file not coming from their own suppliers or internal team. Just a guess on my part, but it would be logical if they thought that way.

      Regards
      Kenneth

      Ps... downloaded the file, now will have to try it. AHA, your surname is familiar. Your reputation precedes you good sir.
    1. nippa's Avatar
      nippa -
      I've had the Chipmunk for some time and really like it particularly for practicing 3 point landings.

      Like the reviewer my first ever fight was in an Air Training Corps / RAF Chipmunk at age 13 from White Waltham .
      Waddling out to the aircraft as your colleague waddled back rekindles memories.

      The seats were bucket type which meant that you had to go out to the aircraft with a parachute strapped to you. The parachute was your seat.
      Prior to the flight we had been briefed on how to jump out of the aircraft by diving towards the trailing edge missing the tailplane and then counting 1001..1002...1003 before pulling the ripcord. If we didn't jump the pilot would invert the aircraft.

      I went out to that aircraft absolutely petrified and not convinced that I'd ever come back.

      As we rolled down the bumpy grass runway the transition to smooth flight was magical. That moment of becoming airborne still brings a smile to my face no matter how old I get.

      Naturally , I went on to become a RW pilot by following a career path that required Flying Skills.
      The Chippie is a special aircraft for many of us.
    1. KennethKerr's Avatar
      KennethKerr -
      Quote Originally Posted by nippa View Post
      I've had the Chipmunk for some time and really like it particularly for practicing 3 point landings.

      Like the reviewer my first ever fight was in an Air Training Corps / RAF Chipmunk at age 13 from White Waltham .
      Waddling out to the aircraft as your colleague waddled back rekindles memories.

      The seats were bucket type which meant that you had to go out to the aircraft with a parachute strapped to you. The parachute was your seat.
      Prior to the flight we had been briefed on how to jump out of the aircraft by diving towards the trailing edge missing the tailplane and then counting 1001..1002...1003 before pulling the ripcord. If we didn't jump the pilot would invert the aircraft.

      I went out to that aircraft absolutely petrified and not convinced that I'd ever come back.

      As we rolled down the bumpy grass runway the transition to smooth flight was magical. That moment of becoming airborne still brings a smile to my face no matter how old I get.

      Naturally , I went on to become a RW pilot by following a career path that required Flying Skills.
      The Chippie is a special aircraft for many of us.

      Lovely memories!!!!

      Do you still have your 3822?

      - Kenneth
    1. nippa's Avatar
      nippa -
      3822 ...... record book , I had to look that up as I cant remember that.
      I passed two written exams in the Air Training Corps that proved to be the key to unlocking a lifelong career as a State ATCO, with the UK Government paying for my Flying Training.

      Such qualifications count for little these days as it's all down to Scientific Testing of aptitude etc. that I could never have passed.
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