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Thread: First Impression- 2018.2.2

  1. #1
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    Default First Impression- 2018.2.2

    I downloaded version 2018.2.2 for Windows, ran the installer, then fired up FG. It LOOKS much better (at least initially) than it did when I last tried it (several years ago), but I had a tough time starting the engine on the C-172. Finally I figured out that in order to use autostart I had to first lean the mixture ----- HUH?

    So, with the engine finally started, I tried to release the brakes and go. Adding throttle definitely revved up the engine, and all the basic controls seemed to work (stick/rudder), but I couldn't get the brakes to release. I found button assignments, and was able to make it seem as if they were assigned to the b and B keys (which it said was the initial assignment as well), but the brakes never released. Thus the aircraft just sat there on the runway. So I'm rather less than impressed, since I can't even get the aircraft to move, unlike my previous experience with FG (or any other sim).

    Since I'm a real world pilot, and I've been using FS/P3D for many, many years, and I've successfully run the X-Plane demo in various versions over the years, and since I've successfully flown and configured FG in past versions, I figure there's something wrong, at least with the user interface, since the aircraft won't move. I don't plan to spend a lot of time configuring things since I can't even get that far.

    Note: I'm using the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog and CH Pro pedals if that makes any difference.

    Addendum: Forgot to mention that when I fired up FG it appeared on my secondary screen (which I often keep turned off). Once that was figured out, and I had it up, I went to full screen, which put it back on my secondary screen. That's another thing that's wrong with the user interface right out of the box.

    So, while I applaud Open Source, and many features/functions, and perhaps much else good about the sim (I can't tell, though), the commercial sims at least make sure that you can get the aircraft to move on first running without making you sift through some rather complex configuration. This is a common problem with a lot of programmers when they're not constrained by specs that address user interface.

    Hope that gets fixed some day, because the idea is good.
    Last edited by lnuss; 07-09-2018 at 03:19 PM.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  2. #2

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    Thanks Larry! That's probably exactly the reaction I would have had. I have no problem trying to simulate RW procedures. If you're going to do that, you need to post those procedures as RW aircraft do.

  3. Default

    Thanks for the candid opinion :-)

    I can't really comment on the specifics (too little information) - I suppose it's possible that due to some setting in the launcher, the C-172p was started tied down / with wheel chocks in place, in which case the brakes wouldn't have done anything. I can't remember ever having had the issue on startup, but I know way too much to give a fair opinion - I do know that the C-172p has these kinds of features.

    But as I said, I can't figure this out without extra information, being unable to reproduce it myself.

    So, while I applaud Open Source, and many features/functions, and perhaps much else good about the sim (I can't tell, though), the commercial sims at least make sure that you can get the aircraft to move on first running without making you sift through some rather complex configuration
    I guess that's the thing in a nutshell. We're not doing a commercial sim. The C-172p developers aren't getting anything from attracting a new user, he'll never become a customer which brings money. Instead it's a matter of pride for the devel team of that particular aircraft to make things realistic in great detail - like the procedures to walk around the aircraft and remove wheel chocks etc. - and being able to do that is what motivates them. There's aircraft developers who worry over getting the inertia of a moving gauge needle right - not over how to market things.

    Wearing my own maintainer's head for the Space Shuttle, I am fully aware any user will be hopelessly lost sitting in the commander's seat for the first time, because - just like the real thing - you need a long training period to operate a Shuttle, it's not intuitive at all. So I'm guessing you need to do at least 100 pages of reading and a week of familiarization before you manage to do simple things.

    It's the OpenSource nature of FG, the lack of a need to sell this to anyone, which enables me to do it to that level of detail.

    So (like other things in FG), the C-172p is a labour of love where several talented people took a lot of time to create something that counts among the most detailed FG has to offer - it's meant to likewise take some time and effort to be enjoyed - if you're after getting into the air without much effort, perhaps another aircraft is better for you - there's also those which are initialized with engine running and ready to take off.

    Or, if you don't enjoy at all doing some tinkering of your own, then you're likely better off with a commercial sim. We're not actually trying to do a second X-plane, just for free - we're trying something different.

    If you're going to do that, you need to post those procedures as RW aircraft do.
    The C-172p actually comes with a rather well-done set of in-sim tutorials / checklists for startup... Not sure whether the OP has tried them at all. at least they haven't been mentioned.
    Last edited by ThorstenRenk; 07-10-2018 at 04:27 AM.

  4. #4
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    Wearing my own maintainer's head for the Space Shuttle, I am fully aware any user will be hopelessly lost sitting in the commander's seat for the first time, because - just like the real thing - you need a long training period to operate a Shuttle, it's not intuitive at all. So I'm guessing you need to do at least 100 pages of reading and a week of familiarization before you manage to do simple things.
    The C-172 is nothing like a space shuttle, in those terms, and all I was trying to do was to get the aircraft to move I'm not even sure why you mention the shuttle when I'm talking about a C-172. I've had plenty of training for an aircraft as simple as a 172, with hundreds of hours in them in the real world (not to mention almost 60 other types), and no problems in FS or XP. Perhaps you didn't notice this statement in my original post: "Since I'm a real world pilot, and I've been using FS/P3D for many, many years, and I've successfully run the X-Plane demo in various versions over the years, and since I've successfully flown and configured FG in past versions,". So it shouldn't have been as tough as you try to indicate, since I'm not exactly untrained.

    The joystick was configured fine, right from the start, and everything was fine except that the aircraft would only wiggle momentarily with full throttle and pressing the 'b' key, and the parking brake was definitely not set.

    I finally remembered that in FSX the CH Pro Pedals have a problem with the brake parameter (I never use that in FS -- position is too awkward), and I could get the aircraft to move three or four feet by applying the brakes on the Pro Pedals, so I found the 'reverse' check selection on the brakes for the pedals and that let the aircraft move.

    So now I've had a brief flight, and while much is improved in FG, the C-172 seems a tad sensitive, with the slightest touch on the stick moving the aircraft jerkily, such that it's awkward to get a smooth flight (guaranteed that's not "realistic in great detail" in the handling), but perhaps I can find something to adjust if I spend more time with the sim.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  5. Default

    The C-172 is nothing like a space shuttle, in those terms, and all I was trying to do was to get the aircraft to move I'm not even sure why you mention the shuttle when I'm talking about a C-172.
    Because I'm trying to give you my own perspective on development goals (which I know really well) in addition to the C-172p team's only (which I know only indirectly, as I'm not part of their internal discussions) - and the theme is the same, it's not centered around user first impression at all.

    And since I'm maintaining the Shuttle rather than a GA aircraft, you see me commenting on that. Nothing more to it.

    So it shouldn't have been as tough as you try to indicate, since I'm not exactly untrained.
    You first made the point that you couldn't get the aircraft off the ground - to which I replied I can't figure out the 'why' without more information. You then made a more general point about Open Source vs. commercial software, to which I replied more generally.

    Knowing real world procedures is always good, but I wouldn't expect to be able to be able to get by with it in a sim I'm not intimately familiar with - generally there's subtle issues with *how* things are done - do you just click, hold and drag, activate a context menu,... That's not even consistent within all of FG - so I'm not questioning your training, I'm just observing that complex aircraft in FG ask for patience. I've been working with FG for a while, yet when I try a new aircraft, I might easily need half an hour to get it off the ground.


    So now I've had a brief flight, and while much is improved in FG, the C-172 seems a tad sensitive, with the slightest touch on the stick moving the aircraft jerkily, such that it's awkward to get a smooth flight
    Hm... sounds more like a hardware calibration issue than an FDM issue - I guess you could just try to reduce the gains a bit. I believe there's a tool supplied with FG to generate calibration files.

  6. #6
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    OK - thanks for the explanation. And it wasn't really the sim's fault for my initial problem -- rather it was CH's design that is backwards for all the sims I've tried. Oh well, at least I can look it over from time to time and learn about new features, perhaps even do more control configuration, once I have it figured out.

    Thanks,

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  7. Default

    Hi Larry,

    Quote Originally Posted by lnuss View Post
    I finally remembered that in FSX the CH Pro Pedals have a problem with the brake parameter (I never use that in FS -- position is too awkward), and I could get the aircraft to move three or four feet by applying the brakes on the Pro Pedals, so I found the 'reverse' check selection on the brakes for the pedals and that let the aircraft move.
    Out of interest, was that the "reverse" check selection in the FlightGear Joystick Configuration dialog?

    I'm one of the FlightGear developers, and if so, I may be able to update the Windows configuration for the CH Pro Pedals so that they are configured correctly "out of the box" for future releases.

    Regarding the C-172 FDM, one area I know the developers of that aircraft are struggling with is getting feedback from pilots with experience of the real aircraft. If you have any particular feedback, I'd be delighted to forward it to them (or put you in touch with them).

    Thanks!

    -Stuart

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Stuart. It'll be a couple of weeks before I can again get to the computer with this stuff on it, but I'll check it and provide more detail when I get a chance.

    Thanks.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  9. #9
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    I'm embarrased! Last July I said I'd be back in a couple of weeks or so, but many things came up (a niece died, we had some long trips, a friend has cancer, more...) and it totally slipped my mind about FG. In fact I'd forgotten I'd downloaded that version. Sorry!

    Out of interest, was that the "reverse" check selection in the FlightGear Joystick Configuration dialog?
    It was indeed.

    Regarding the C-172 FDM, one area I know the developers of that aircraft are struggling with is getting feedback from pilots with experience of the real aircraft. If you have any particular feedback, I'd be delighted to forward it to them (or put you in touch with them).
    Above, I wrote:
    So now I've had a brief flight, and while much is improved in FG, the C-172 seems a tad sensitive, with the slightest touch on the stick moving the aircraft jerkily, such that it's awkward to get a smooth flight (guaranteed that's not "realistic in great detail" in the handling), but perhaps I can find something to adjust if I spend more time with the sim.
    I need to fly it again, since it's been so long, and I need to explore any control sensitivity settings that may be available.

    Again, my apologies for the looooong delay.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  10. #10
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    I just did a short flight. The yaw is way too twitchy, both with rudder and with adverse yaw -- the slightest nudge of the aileron gives a relatively massive yaw response, where it should take enough aileron to actually notice the bank starting immediately before there's an appreciable yaw response that needs rudder. Pitch is a tad sensitive, too, but not to the same extent as the yaw (still, close to the Pitts in real life), and roll is, to the extent I can tell, not too bad -- yaw needs more damping before I can say more. I've not yet checked whether sensitivity for the aircraft is adjustable -- there's a lot to look through.

    TrackIR v4 isn't working with v2018.2.2 (or I can't find how to activate it), and the sim won't recognize my buttons 22 and 23 (probably others, too) from the TARGET software on my Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog (Replica USAF A-10C Stick and Throttle). I see there is a config "profile" of sorts for the Warthog, but I've not explored it yet, other than a brief glance, since it's more complex than a few minutes will allow.

    I'll try to remember to do some further checking one of these days, when time allows. I see that v2018.3.2 is available now -- guess I'll have to try it.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

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