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Getting airborne

Controlling your aircraft, using the autopilot etc.

Getting airborne

Postby Maxim » Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:13 am

Seem to have sorted the loading and display problems, now come the control problems.

I am attempting to fly using the keyboard & mouse, the Game controller works the controls but with no graduation its either full on or off, so not much use.

How do I keep the plane lined up with the runway during take off? With no control input as soon as I throttle up it starts a ground loop to the left, (usually) when I try to control it with the mouse I end up zig zaging down the runway so much that I can't achieve take off speed.

Next silly question, when it goes pear shaped and I end up in the rough, how can you get back to your original start location? When you use "File- Reset" you only have the option to exit FG, then restart and have to wait whilst it all reloads.

I know the answer to these questions is probably in the manual somewhere but I am not having much joy in finding it.
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby V12 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:08 am

About control : - press TAB to switch mouse to flight control, press left mouse button and move mouse left - right - You will control rudder, without pressed left button You will control elevator and ailerons
Reset sim - for me, not works everytime, better choice is quit FG and restart it again
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby tdammers » Fri Nov 22, 2019 8:57 am

Controlling the aircraft: especially with light single-engine aircraft, you need to actively steer the aircraft during the takeoff run. At low airspeeds (first part of the takeoff run), you use nosewheel steering for that (or differential braking on a taildragger - this is one of the things that makes them more difficult to fly); once the airspeed picks up, the rudder becomes effective, and you use that. On many aircraft, all of these controls are combined into the rudder pedals somehow (nosewheel is often linked to the rudder pedals directly, brakes are usually controlled with the top part of the rudder pedals), but since you don't have those, you'll have to make do with what you have. The most important thing, I think, is controlling rudder and ailerons independently. I've never really done any flying without a joystick or yoke, so if at all possible, I suggest you buy one (can be a cheap one, but a stick twist axis is highly recommended if you can't afford pedals); if not, use the mouse suggestion from V12: press LMB while on the runway, then as you take off, center the rudder and release LMB to control ailerons. You probably want to turn off autocoordination during the takeoff, though this will make coordinated turns difficult once you're airborne.

Going back to start location: The cleanest way is to close and restart FG; unfortunately, this takes a while (and I have recently experienced that FG likes to coredump on shutdown sometimes, so if you're on Linux, disabling coredumps may speed up the process). Alternatively, if you haven't crashed or anything, you can also use the "position aircraft in air" function in the "Location" menu to place yourself anywhere you like, while maintaining the current aircraft configuration. Despite the name, you can also use this to position the aircraft on the ground - it takes a bit of trial-and-error to figure out the right altitude, and you need to make sure your aircraft is set up correctly for that situation (engines idle, gear extended), but other than that, it's much faster than any of the other methods. The "reset" function is also worth trying, though I have found that it sometimes leaks memory and keeps some things running, leading to decreased performance with every reset - not sure if this is still an issue though. It's also not that much faster than a full restart. You can also use the "select airport" function from the Location menu, though it takes roughly as long as a restart or reset, and I've seen it crash sometimes.
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby Maxim » Sat Nov 23, 2019 12:44 pm

v12 & tdammers, thanks for your valuable advice, I finally managed to find the section on flying and mouse control in the get started document so I tried it out, crashed and burned on the runway - probably because I was holding the RMB instead of the LMB.

Second attempt didn't fare much better, just crashed further up the runway - discovered that the mouse was much too sensitive, the slightest movement and I was off the runway and in deep strife.

I then went and reduced the mouse sensitivity to its lowest level and had another attempt, this time I managed to take off - if getting airborne whilst crossing the runway qualifies as a takeoff that is. I then wallowed around the airspace surrounding the airport for about 10 minutes, busy a a one armed paper hanger trying to keep the damn thing in the air and some semblance of level, then in a state of extreme exhaustion attempted to land, lost the plot and went in to an inverted dive from about 1000 feet - presently recovering from severe injuries, mainly to a shattered pride!

Have much more study to undertake to have some idea what I am supposed to be doing and how to do it, will have to give some consideration to acquiring a joystick I feel, I did not want to purchase one before I discovered if flying was the thing for me, will probably persevere with the mouse and keyboard for a while, just trying to remember what key I need to press to do what I need to do is the problem and I guess that will take some time and practice to achieve.

Thanks again for your replies and taking the time to answer my questions.

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Re: Getting airborne

Postby Maxim » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:01 pm

Still not having much joy getting airborne, My main problem being that as soon a the aircraft lifts off it banks to the left, it does not respond to correction, with ailerons held hard right it still banks left and crashes.
The result is the same controlling with mouse alone or with mouse and keyboard, I have noticed when controlling with the mouse, the response to the mouse seems to cease just before or on liftoff , the one time I did manage to take flight I noticed the same thing a pronounced tendency to want to bank left.
I have two versions of FG installed FG 2018.3.2 and FG 2019.1.1 and this tendency occurs in both versions.

I was considering purchasing a joystick but I am loath to spend $100+ for something decent when I can't even achieve flight using basic controls and may have the same result with a joystick.

Any body have any thoughts as to why this is happening? I have repeatedly checked all control operations before startup and find no problems, once it is in motion all hell breaks lose.

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Re: Getting airborne

Postby FlugHund » Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:33 pm

Activate the HUD (h) and see whether FG receives your input on the aileron. The triangle "Aileron" has to move left/right.
http://wiki.flightgear.org/images/b/ba/ ... erview.png
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby WoodSTokk » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:45 pm

The gyro on a aircraft point normally to magnetic north.
The compass in the HUD points to true (geographic) north.
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby FlugHund » Mon Nov 25, 2019 3:24 pm

This is totally off topic and we should apologise to Maxim for hijacking this thread.
I think the original author (probably mfranz) was referring to a real gyrocompass, which indeed points to true north. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyrocompass
Where aircraft use a directional gyro which is set manually to magnetic north. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heading_indicator
The original file of the HUD's compass, where the name for the instrument was taken from for the above linked screenshot: https://sourceforge.net/p/flightgear/fg ... ompass.xml
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby LesterBoffo » Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:24 pm

Sounds like the aircraft is initializing with the heading Auto Pilot engaged.

Press F11 and see if the Heading check box is ticked in the AP dialog box. Click it once to disable if it has an "X" on in the box.

Then turn on your HUD and see if the aileron controls are responding, you can also go to the "Helicopter view" and visually see if you're actually getting the ailerons to respond to your mouse input.

Frankly, I don't know how anyone controls an aircraft effectively without some game controller, even basic Saitek Joysticks shouldn't be much more than $40 online.
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby Johan G » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:25 pm

Maxim wrote in Mon Nov 25, 2019 1:01 pm:Still not having much joy getting airborne, My main problem being that as soon a the aircraft lifts off it banks to the left, it does not respond to correction, with ailerons held hard right it still banks left and crashes.
[...]
Any body have any thoughts as to why this is happening? I have repeatedly checked all control operations before startup and find no problems, once it is in motion all hell breaks lose.

Most single engine propeller aircraft will to some degree turn to the left, in particular in climb at high power and high angle of attack. See the video on left turning tendencies in bottom part of this post: Re: Interesting Videos

It could also of course be As LesterBoffo said:
LesterBoffo wrote in Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:24 pm:Sounds like the aircraft is initializing with the heading Auto Pilot engaged.

Press F11 and see if the Heading check box is ticked in the AP dialog box. Click it once to disable if it has an "X" on in the box.
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby Maxim » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:22 am

FlugHund,

OK switched on the HUD and all controls were responding to input.

LesterBoffo,

Checked Auto Pilot settings, none are activated, Re; Joystick have ordered a Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X Joystick, hopefully that will make some difference.

Johan G,

Great video, good explanation of the effects causing left turning tendencies.

Trial Flight, Keyboard/Mouse control HUD on, mouse controlling flight controls. Open throttle full, holding LMB to steer front wheel until lift off, 50Kn starts to drift left 60Kn lifts off and begins to bank left, ailerons moved right HUD shows responding, still banking left, ailerons full right left bank continues- crashed.

Wondered if drift left was being caused by nose wheel lifting and no rudder to counteract , instructions claim holding LMB left/right stick controls rudder.

Try again, Keyboard/Mouse control HUD on, mouse controlling flight controls. Open throttle full, holding LMB to steer front wheel until lift off, continue holding LMB to control rudder, still drifts left, gets airborne and banks left, release LMB and apply ailerons to bank right - continues to bank left and crashes.

" If you intend to use
the mouse to control the aircraft regularly, it is recommended that you enabled
auto-coordination, so the ailerons are linked to the rudder. This can be done using
--enable-auto-coordination when launching the simulator, or selecting
auto-coordination from the launcher."

Instructions from the get started manual: question how do you "enable-auto-coordination"? I have searched through all the menu items trying to find a "switch" for this action with no success.
Next silly question how do you record your flight to be able to review your actions? I have tried "replay" that showed initially checking the controls - then nothing just cockpit view standing still and the counter running. I thought if I could record a video of my actions somebody may be able to see what I am doing wrong.

Thanks for your help and suggestions, just about at my wits end, probably suffering brain damage from all the crashes! :oops:
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby wkitty42 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:19 pm

Maxim wrote in Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:22 am:Instructions from the get started manual: question how do you "enable-auto-coordination"? I have searched through all the menu items trying to find a "switch" for this action with no success.

in your launcher settings, add "--enable-auto-coordination" to your additional settings box... also be aware that some craft do not like this setting so you may have to disable it for them... you can disable it by commenting it out by adding a "#" at the front of it or you may need to change it to "--disable-auto-coordination" if the setting is automatically saved which i do not recall... i have both and comment one out while uncommenting the other...

eg:
Code: Select all
--enable-auto-coordination
#--disable-auto-coordination
OR
#--enable-auto-coordination
--disable-auto-coordination


Maxim wrote in Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:22 am:Next silly question how do you record your flight to be able to review your actions? I have tried "replay" that showed initially checking the controls - then nothing just cockpit view standing still and the counter running. I thought if I could record a video of my actions somebody may be able to see what I am doing wrong.

"F10->file->save flight tape" IIRC... can't check ATM but this also depends on the craft and if it records enough properties for a full replay... i should note that when saving the tape, you might should make sure the file name has something like ".tape" or ".fgtape" as the extension... FG doesn't automatically put extensions on the files it saves like this... tapes and flight plans fall into this category so i've been using .fgtape and .fgfp for each...
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby wlbragg » Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:45 pm

in your launcher settings, add "--enable-auto-coordination"


Or, if you using the QT launcher, it has a menu choice for that under Settings, General, click on "Show more" on the right side.
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby wkitty42 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:38 pm

it does? i hadn't noticed that... i'll have to take a look, myself, and freshen my core storage memory ;)
"You get more air close to the ground," said Angalo. "I read that in a book. You get lots of air low down, and not much when you go up."
"Why not?" said Gurder.
"Dunno. It's frightened of heights, I guess."
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Re: Getting airborne

Postby wlbragg » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:12 pm

Yeah, there are a few item somewhat hidden by the "Show more" option in a few different categories.
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