Monday, July 15, 2019

TA-4J Skyhawk for Prepar3Dv4.4+


As per my usual procedure, here is the post meant to collect the feedback from the TA-4J Beta Testing. This is (almost) constantly update with the "accepted" bugs and suggestions, color coded to reflect their status. "Accepted" means that I have understood what the testers reported, I could replicate it (or at least be sure this is not a misinterpretation or an error from the tester) and I have "accepted" it as a item to be addressed.

RED means that it the defect has been categorized as a major issue. This is typically a showstopper (operation of the aicraft is impossible or severely inhibited) and must be addressed before the product release.

YELLOW means that it is definitely an issue for the project, that should be addressed before the product release, but not as critical as a "red" issue

GREEN means that either the issue is very minor (and will not be noticed by most users), or the problem is non-existent (feature reported as bug) or that is was an red or Yellow issue that has been solved

BLUE means suggestions or ideas to improve the product

I am not sure if a flight manual will be available before the Beta is released, most probably not, but here are some peculiar things you need to know before operating the aicraft.

Starting the engine

The TA-4 required external air power to start the engine. You can make the "Huffer" appear by selecting it in the configuration menu (SHIFT+4), but it will only appear if the aircraft is not stationary and parking brakes (wheel chocks) are not applied (icon is greyed out otherwise). You can make it appear also by clicking on the external air power connection door.
To start the aircraft you will need also electrical power (see below)

Electrical System

The TA-4 had no internal batteries. This means that the aicraft had its own electrical power only if the engine was running. The TA-4 had also an emergency generator which is not simulated.
To get electrical power while the engine is not running an external electical power cart was needed. You can make it appear and connect it to the aicraft on the ground by selecting it in the aicraft configuration menu (SHIFT+4) if the aircraft is stationary with parking brake applied (wheelchocks appear) or by clicking on the external electrical power door.

Fuel System
The fuel system is simulated in some detail and requires a good understanding of the real world one to be operated.

Weapon System
In order to fire a weapon, you must:
- Select the type of weapon you intend to use
- Power the relevant pylon
- Set the Master Arm Switch to ON
- Press the TRIGGER for forward-firing weapons (guns, rockets and missiles) or the PICKLE button for bombs.

Radio and Navigation System
- Combined Radio/ADF selector: will work as COM1 if set on primary, COM2 if set on both, ADF if set to ADF
- The NAV computer is not operational, but works as a GPS display
- The BDHI pointer 1 will always show the NDB station
- The BDHI pointer 2 will display: the next WP in the flight plan if set to NAV COMPUTER or the TACAN station if set to TACAN
- Note that TACANs are implemented in the legacy FSX version, that is channels are converted in frequencies and used as NAV1 instrument.

Flight Model

As far as we can tell, the flight model is pretty close to the real deal...but I can already see some of the comments about the roll rate. The A-4 family is famous for having an exceptionally high roll rate, and you can read several Pireps or see video interviews of pilot claming that the peak roll rate is 720°/sec. However (apart from the fact that rolls of more than 360° are explicitly forbidden by the flight manual) actual data points you can find on the internet seem to indicate that the real roll rate was lower (highest value measured I could find is 410°/sec). Current flight model is set to for a a peak of about 350°/s, which seems to be a realistic figure.

FLIGHT MANUAL

Flight manual will be available shortly and will be available for download HERE.

REPAINTERS

The Beta model is NOT intended for repainting. A full paint kit will be available at the release.

TO DO LIST
Actions that have already been planned but are have not been implemented:

- Make the NAV COMPUTER selector knob functional
- Implement white flood lights
- Implement correct visibilty conditions of the approach light
- Implement pocket checklist (placeholder at shift+5, no function)

TEST TEMPLATE

If you want to, you can use THIS template as guideline/checklist for the tests

REPORTING BUGS

The preferred way to report bugs is to post a comment on this blog (so that everyone can see it). Otherwise, email messages with "TA-4J Bug Report" as subject are fine.
It is better, before posting, if you check if thebug you have spotted is already in the list below or in the comments.
Bugs or change request are evaluated ASAP and, if confirmed and accepted, added to the list below.

ACCEPTED BUGS AND CHANGE REQUEST LIST
This list was updated on 19/08/2019 1:00AM CEST
The latest Beta version is 1, released on 21/07/2019
Internal Beta (not released) version 1.09 last built 19/08/2019

Total lines (excluding suggestions) 55
Current red lines 1
Current yellow lines 6
Current green lines 48
Current blue lines 4
Progress towards release: 87%

EXTERNAL VISUAL MODEL

TA4P3DEXT01 - Horizontal Stabilizers not sitting at the same angle? STATUS: small asymmetry in elevator postion detected. FIXED
TA4P3DEXT02 - Texture N518TA, Naval Aviation Anniversary decal reversed. FIXED.
TA4P3DEXT03 - Animation of horizontal stabilizer trim is reversed. FIXED

TA4P3DEXT04 - Blue Angels logo is wrong (it is the current BA logo with Hornets). STATUS: CLOSED (reworked logo)
TA4P3DEXT05 - Need to add specific uniforms/suits (at least for BA). STATUS: CLOSED
TA4P3DEXT06 - Request to add separate textures for front and rear pilot. IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DEXT07 - Request to add animated pilots. IMPLEMENTED PILOT ANIMATIONS (arms, legs, heads).
TA4P3DEXT08 - VC-8 Aggressor livery typically had inner flap surfaces painted in red. STATUS: CLOSED (reworked texture).
TA4P3DEXT09 - Request to add chrome finish details to BA livery. STATUS: CLOSED (implemented)
TA4P3DEXT10 - Request to improve PBR materials on non-shiny liveries. STATUS: IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DEXT11 - Request to improve PBR materials for selected details. STATUS: IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DEXT12 - Approach lights should show only when tailhook is down or field bypass is on.
TA4P3DEXT13 - Revised wheelchocks condition. Wheelchocks now appear when park brakes are on. Skyhawks do not have park brakes, so setting them will activate the wheelchocks.

VIRTUAL COCKPIT MODEL

TA4P3DVC01 - Gunsight assembly is slightly too big. STATUS: CLOSED. Added space for LOCK-ON and IN RNG advisory (alternate gunsight as used by later Skyhawks).

TA4P3DVC02 - Typo "attack" mode is misspelled. STATUS: CLOSED - Fixed typo in texture master layer.
TA4P3DVC03 - Gunsight crosshair not masked during High-G maneuvres. STATUS: OPEN - Difficult to fix without creating other issues, leaning towards keeping it as is. Not completely solved but much improved. Also, calibrated gunsight size.
TA4P3DVC04 - Request to minimize the stick visibility area. STATUS CLOSED. Now to make the stick visible again you need to click very close to the jettison handle.
TA4P3DVC05 - Request to reduce size of radios and GPS. STATUS CLOSED
TA4P3DVC06 - Rear cockpit POV lower than the front. STATUS CLOSED - Harmonized POVs but not completely identical (front one has to match the gunsight)
TA4P3DVC07 - Request to make PR bug operational. IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DVC08 - Request to make airspeed bug operational. IMPLEMENTED

TA4P3DVC09 - Request to make RALT bug operational. IMPLEMENTED

TA4P3DVC10 - Request to implement AOA bug. IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DVC11 - Typo fuel dump switch marked as "dump": STATUS: TO BE CHECKED. Note that a pilot-controlled fuel pump exists in the cockpit and serves to transfer fuel to from the wing tank to the fuselage tank
TA4P3DVC12 - Check Pitot Anti-Ice Switch functionality. FIXED
TA4P3DVC13 - Check Engine Anti-Ice Switch functionality. FIXED

TA4P3DVC14 - Machmeter is currently a fixed scale (as opposed to rotating). Check if it possible to make it working against altitude.
TA4P3DVC15 - Request possibility to have more realistic lighting system (external lights). Note: at present the Aircraft implements only the default lighting system.
TA4P3DVC16 - Request possibility to have more realistic cockpit lighting system (user controlled lights than can be dimmed)
TA4P3DVC17 - Check AFCS ENGAGE button (seems reversed) - CHECKED. Switch was reversed, also note that autopilot in P3D will not activate if avionics are off, so it will not activate if radios are off in the TA-4J!
TA4P3DVC18 - Check ALT HOLD function - IMPLEMENTED, also solved a bug preventing heading hold from working
TA4P3DVC19 - Check AFCS panel functionality - FIXED. Autopilot master, yaw damper, alt hold, hdg hold now functional.

TA4P3DVC20 - Request to move GPS to other positions - Resized, moved to position 6
TA4P3DVC21 - Fuel system lights comes on when PRIMARY fuel control is selected (as oppesed to manual) - FIXED
TA4P3DVC22 - Flood light switch
TA4P3DVC23 - Movement of the backup trim switch is reversed. FIXED.
TA4P3DVC24 - Elevator Trim Indicator Needle has a reversed animation. FIXED.
TA4P3DVC25 - Some switches of the right side light/ecs panel do not work. FIXED, although those switch had no fuction.
TA4P3DVC26 - AoA indexer in instructor cockpit not working. FIXED

FLIGHT MODEL:

TA4P3DFM01 - Ground steer radii too big? STATUS: to be verified. Modified to 70 degrees - CLOSED.
TA4P3DFM02 - Request to implement proper NWS
TA4P3DFM03 - Excessive fuel burn rate (potentially a bug in the fuel system)? STATUS: WRITTEN OFF (tester error)
TA4P3DFM04 - Speed brakes do not completely rectract (possibly a bug in the speedbrakes blowback feature?) STATUS: TO BE VERIFIED
TA4P3DFM05 - Tendency to tipover during arrested landings. - FIXED with better tailhook configuration settings.

OTHER:

TA4P3DMISC01 - Bug in the airplane configuration manager (most likely in the SMS system code): if Tacpack is not loaded, missile rails fail to appear when they should (all stations). STATUS CLOSED. Wrote special case code for when Tacpack is not loaded.

TA4P3DMISC02 - Bug in the airplane configuration manager (most likely in the SMS system code): if Tacpack is not loaded, external fuel tanks are always present (regardless of user selection). Status:CLOSED. Wrote special condition code.
TA4P3DMISC03 - Bug in the airplane configuration manager (most likely in the SMS system code): if Tacpack is not loaded, it is possible to have both the MK83 and BDU33 bombs on the centerline store. STATUS CLOSED. Several other bugs squashed.

TA4P3DMISC04 - Suggestion to make the smoke effect optional - Implemented
TA4P3DMISC05 - Suggestion to make the switches and knobs with multiple positions to work in both directions (currently they are "one way" as I thought it was easier for VR)

TA4P3DMISC06 - Suggestion to add cold and dark/ready to taxi option
TA4P3DMISC07 - Tracer bullets in visual effects shoot too high. STATUS:CLOSED. Significantly lowered tracer trajectories.
TA4P3DMISC08 - Sound Cone settings are so that engine noise is very quiet from some angles. STATUS: OPEN

TA4P3DMISC09 - Cannot launch from default and Javier's carriers (works only with SWS)… FIXED: Following entry should work and fix the issue:
[launch_assistance]s
launch_bar_pivot = 5.95, 0.0, -1 
launch_bar_lug = 5.95, 0.0, -7.9  

TA4P3DMISC10 - Control+SHIFT+C "Gun ready" shortcut does not seem to work - FIXED. Now orks as intended, also added W shortcut to for weapon selector.
TA4P3DMISC11 - CONTROL+J "Selective Jettison" shortcut does not seem to work - FIXED. Works as intended in conjuction with the EMER SEL allows the release of a given pylon. Also implemented CONTROL+SHIFT+J as "Emergency Jettison" (releases all bombs).
TA4P3DMISC12 - Control+SHIFT+W "Weapons Reload" shortcut does not seem to work. Works as advertised in the program (but you must be in VC).
TA4P3DMISC13 - Suggestion to include the TACAN Frequency conversion table
TA4P3DMISC14 - Suggestion to allow the user to select either the P3D or FSX TACAN system
TA4P3DMISC15 - Manual: LoP Para 3 line 1 "and" misspelled. Fixed in manual.
TA4P3DMISC16 - Manual: LoP Para 4 line 2 "of" missing. Fixed in manual
TA4P3DMISC17 - Manual: Para 1, missing words "of the aircraft in"
TA4P3DMISC18 - Igniters and other spelling errors present (Note, most of the manual comes from NAVAIR 01-40AVD-1 "NATOPS FLIGHT MANUAL NAVY MODEL TA-4F/TA-4J through an OCR software from a not-so-great source file, so multiple misspelling errors are possible).

TA4P3DMISC19 - Potential errors in the NAV1 to TACAN conversion decoding - STATUS: SOLVED: minor bug found in VHF to TACAN conversion code. NOTE: it may also affect other aicrafts of mine where the TACAN is not set directly, but throgh VHF frequency and then converted.
TA4P3DMISC20 - Request to add support for P3D TACAN system
TA4P3DMISC21 - Request to add support for TACPACK navaids - IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DMISC22 - Request to add support for SWS navaids - IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DMISC23 - Uncommanded SW release if guns selected - STATUS: SOLVED. Major mistake in the weapons code was energizing STA 1 circuit instead of circuits 14 and 15 (guns). This also explains why hitting targets was so difficult.
TA4P3DMISC24 - Allow airstart even if power is not connected if enough air is blowing through the compressor - FIXED
TA4P3DMISC25 - Request to implement LOCK-ON advisory light
TA4P3DMISC26 - Request to implement IN RNG advisory light
TA4P3DMISC27 - Request to implement CCIP
TA4P3DMISC28 - Add Pocket Checklist - IMPLEMENTED
TA4P3DMISC29 - Add visible feedback when the Aircraft is ready for catapult connection - IMPLEMENTED new configurator menu 

PRE-RELEASE ACTIVITIES

PRODUCT MANUAL - Missing weapon usage information, needs to be updated for the addition of new features (e.g. navigation system and CEX support) - TBC

TACPACK MULTIPLAYER VALIDATION - TBC

INSTALLER - TBC

RELEASE CANDIDATE 1 RELEASE TO TESTERS - TBD

EOF


51 comments:

Eric said...

Dino, congratulations on a BEAUTIFUL bird! Have been flying it constantly since yesterday. Couple of things I would like to know...

1. I cannot turn on the radios (shift +2) nor the GPS screen (Shift+3). Are there switches for these electrics I am missing to turn on?

2. Minor bug: In the cockpit, the Attack Mode panel has misspelling it says ATTACH mode. :)

3. What is the official turn radius for nosewheel steering? I would have thought it would be somewhat tighter than it is.

Eric said...

Blue Angels blue color is not the correct one. Official color is chromakey #263A75. FS35052 is the federal standard color.

Eric said...

Stores configuration panel (shift + 4) Notes:

* Cannot remove station 4 and Station 2 300 gal external tanks for clean configuration

* selection of LAU-10 on station 4 or 2 shows both the rocket pods AND the 300 gal tank. Same with any weapon (Mk-82 example) same thing occurs.

* ACMI pod on center pylon has no MER or other connection to the aircraft. It appears floating under the plane...flying close formation!

* Bullpups and shrikes have no launch rail pconnection to the rack on stations 5 and 1.

NOTE: Dont know if this is a bug per se, but it is possible to take off and fly the airplane with no pilot in the front. Only Pilot in rear. Not sure if that actually occurs IRL? It is also possible to fly the airplane with NO pilots at all... perhaps that is realistic if there is such a think as a QTA-4? :)

Anonymous said...

@Eric

1. The radio control panel master button works as avionic master. Any position other than OFF will turn all the avionics off. That is one of the reasons why I have asked not to post feedback after reading the manual (which is not yet available)

2. Will fix the typo

3. It is reported in the flight manual... I will check, although I kept it somewhat limited to avoid "tipping over" which can occurr due to flight dynamics.

4. Will check the BA color match. However, the one I used was Dark Sea Blue FS15042, which was reported by several sites to be the historically correct color for the Blue Angels at the time (e.g. http://www.cybermodeler.com/aircraft/a-4/ta-4j_profile04.shtml )

5. Loadout.... question: are you using TACPACK or not?

Dino

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

To clarify the Tacpack statement:

The loadout manager is intended to work WITH and WITHOUT Tacpack, although only with Tacpack the aicraft performance is affected (...and you can fire weapons).
If you find a bug in the loadout it would be helpful if you could tell me wether you are using Tacpack or not in order to make it easier to search for bugs.

Dino


ScimmiaSpaziale said...

...and as for the possibility to have the Aircraft in the air without pilots, this is just because pilots visibility is completely user controlled.
Solo flights from the rear seat are NOT allowed in real life (and almost impossible due to the lack of full control duplication).

Alexander Cusden said...

Amazing aircraft dino, cannot wait for this to be released. So far i haven't noticed any bugs as i've just started out testing the flight module.

There are some changes i think could make it better.

1. Having a window to select the aircraft to start in either "Cold & Dark", or "Ready to Taxi". This would be nice as it would allow people who want to get in and fly quickly the ability to press a button and go (with some advanced systems not working), and the people who like to go through checklists in depth have the ability to do so. Conjoined with this i think it would be better for the aircraft to start in Cold & Dark naturally once the scenario is loaded.

2. The engine smoke, whilst an awesome touch, seems to have quite a significant FPS impact (On my rig, might be isolated) and it could be a good idea to add the ability to enable and disable the engine smoke for lower powered rigs.

3. The dials and switches that have more than two positions seem to advance all the way through and then to reset no matter the direction of the scroll wheel movement. Could be an idea to make it so that scroll wheel up will advance to the next position and scroll wheel down will move it back one stage.

That is all for now. I can't wait to try out TacPack and carrier ops :)

Eric said...

Guns visual effect is too high. Needs to be lowered please so that the guns bullets appear to match the gunsight visual.

https://imgur.com/kcdliIn

Tim Swindle said...

I'm not sure if the sounds are still a work in progress, but in external views, with the engine at idle, the engine is essentially silent if the camera is positioned around about the rear 1/3 of the aircraft.

From some preliminary testing (using the stock P3D carrier spawned via tacpack), the aircraft seems to have a tendency to tip over when it catches a wire. The tipping is never enough to cause P3d to register it as a crash, and it does go back onto all 3 gear once it comes to a full stop,

Tim Swindle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric said...

Hi Tim, I had the same experience with tipping over after a trap on the carrier... I attributed it to a probable crap landing by me... :) but it does seem touchy. Perhaps this is accurate. Also agree the sounds are a bit quiet.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

The sounds are WIP but essentially the same as the T-45 for the moment. They may be very quiet at certain angles if the "listener" is out of the sound cones...

Gear dynamics are not perfect, and this may contribute to the "tipping over" issue...but personally I do not dislike carrier landing behavior...

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

*******************************************
IMPORTANT - PRELIMINARY FLIGHT MANUAL ADDED

CHAPTERS 1 TO 8 (NORMAL ASHORE PROCEDURES)

See the post for the download link

********************************************

Alexander Cusden said...

A very small imperfection with the external model. The horizontal stabilisers are not sitting at the same angle. I'm not sure if this is on purpose, here's a link to show you:

https://i.imgur.com/NQTx72h.jpg

Eric said...

Hi Dino,

In high G manuevers, the gun reticle will drift off the sight glass and is still fully visible. I would (assume?) that the reticle should partially disappear when it shifts off the sight glass?

Image here.
https://i.imgur.com/wicwr9y.jpg

Im still fiddling with the TACAN but when I tried to tune 17Y to get to my tanker, I couldnt get it below 21.

Eric said...

Pls disregard comment on TACAN. I figured out how to set it. :)

However, when I try to click on the Bomb fusing and arming panel, a lot of times the joystick will pop back up to cover it. Can you make the click area to minimize the stick smaller and more toward the base?

In terms of usability, it would also be helpful if the pop up radios and default GPS screen were smaller. This isnt a big deal as I just resize them myself.

balis323 said...

Had a quick flight last night…

Tried to get the BDHI to work with several carriers (didn’t try on ground-based navaids yet)

I thought the ADI All had some sort of ILS/FD… the FD needles were fixed to on/on in the center of ADI All…

But really didn’t deep dive.. waiting to check NATOPs…

I read that APC is not implemented in this version… are all cockpits exact? In the TA-4J I flew last night I didn’t see the APC control on the upper portion of the NO.1 Panel.

Flew nice around the boat… some issues after trap if not completely on the centerline (like the default FSX ACCEL F-18 Had early on)… will test further. Easy to fly the ball AOA gauge and indexer seem correct.

Even without the DME from the BDHI 30DEG worked when eyeballing distance to abeam and then very nice approaches made for passes caught all 4 wires, made 5 traps in a row from first attempt (had to back taxi to ramp to takeoff).

NWS… is it just one setting or is there a HIGH/NORM?

No way to cat launch SHFT U and SHFT I not implemented.

Rear Cockpit POV is slower than front.

Reading the manual tonight I’ll be looking for max trap weight.

Have you seen the new carrier package by SWS… it’s incredible and it has hooks for advanced carrier ILS etc… your probably already talking to them but for carrier birds… I think it’s a game changer…. I love the P3D V4 carrier ops period but there are gaps between the RFNCG, VRS TP, AI Carriers, and the new SWS Nimitz… but the SWS is incredible…

I will post any big items I find as I test fly… otherwise, I will wrap up a more detailed report using your excel be the end of the week.

Will also try aerial refueling and weapons soon.

The cockpit is incredible… great job!

Tim Swindle said...

My initial performance testing shows the fuel burn to be way too high, which isn't reflected on the fuel flow gauge.

With a power setting indicating a 4000lb/hr burn, the airplane burned through 1000 lbs of fuel (confirmed by the onboard gauge and the P3d fuel menu) in about 90 seconds.

The EPR, airspeed, and radar altimeter bug knobs are currently inop.

The mach meter on the airspeed indicator doesn't move as the aircraft altitude changes

The pitot heat switch (along with many other switches on the right console) are inop

I also had a question about the slats behavior. The flight manual indicates that they're simply moved by airflow changes around the wing leading edge (since there's no mention of any kind drive system for them), but in the P3d model, they'll fully extend if the airspeed indicator goes to zero (as might happen flying into icing), which doesn't seem correct.

I realize that's kind of an oddball situation, and is probably a P3D limitation of some kind, but I figured it's worth a mention.

Eric said...

This is more of a nice to have thing... the Blue Angels pilots should have yellow helmets and blue flight suits. Even their guest passengers usually wear the yellow helmet given them.

I did this for myself just very quickly and saved the pilot texture from the general texture file to the BA textures to make the pilots for the blue angels unique.

Eric said...

Dino, I have noted that when the speed brakes are deployed, it takes awhile for the panel light to go out even after the brakes appear to have closed. I watched this behavior with a custom chase plane view to check it out. the speed brakes do not close all the way, hence the probable behavior of the light...

Link to the image of the issue.

https://i.imgur.com/Bxz0lug.jpg

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@All

Just to clarify one point about NAVAIDS (as per manual)
The current build (Beta 1) supports ONLY standard Navaids.
BDHI pointer 1 will point to the NDB station
BDHI pointer 2 will point to either the next WP (if NAV computer is selected) or TACAN
TACAN works by converting the Tacan chanell to NAV frequency (old FSX way, as opposed to true TACAN simulation)…


That being said:

- TACPACK Carrier and TACAN Navigation is not supported. Tacpack uses a slightly non-standard approach to navaids that needs special code. The plan is to introduce it later on.

- SWS Carriers… Fact that I posted several screenshots with them should suggest I know them ;-) ...they use non-standard NAVAIDS too.

The long term plan is to make them user selectable in some way (possibly via the Nav computer mode)

Carrier launch should work, however please note that:
As there is no launch bar, SHIFT+U has no visible effect short of stopping the NWS
SHIFT+I, if close to a cat shuttle, should bring the necessary harness in place.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

BUG LIST UPDATED

Additional notes:
- The custom pilot suits and helmets for BA were left out of the Beta. Also, there is the request to add different helmets from front and rear pilots (reflecting typical situation in flight schools)
- Slat behavior, correct...they are currently lined to the indicated airspeed (not sure if there is a better way to do this)
- Excessive fuel burn rate. This may be a bug in the fuel system, which is completely custom except the fuselage tank. As per the manual, fuselage tank feeds the engine. Custom code moves fuel from the wing tank to the fuselage tank simulating the pump, and from the drop tanks to the fuselage tank. NOTE: it is possible (like in the real thing), on some flight regimes the fuel transfer rate is lower than the engine consumption ("FUEL TRANS" indicates that, but can happen at high altitude even without the light turning on) causing flameouts.

Also, YES you can post screenshots or videos on the web, if you like... but please do make it clear it is Beta.

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Additional note.

I did a quick test on the fuel consumption (on the ground, internal tanks only

Engine set at approx 4000PPH consumption (91% RPM)

30 sec test
Fuselage tank: 654lbs (start) 620lbs (end) -> depletion 34 pounds
Wing tank: 3811lbs (start) 3807 (end) -> depletion 4 pounds
Actual test time: 33s

total consumption: 38 pounds
Fuel consumption rate: 4145 PPH (ballpark correct)

120 sec test
Fuselage tank: 620lbs (start) 5006lbs (end) -> depletion 114 pounds
Wing tank: 3807lbs (start) 3793 (end) -> depletion 14 pounds
Actual test time: 119s

total consumption: 128 pounds
Fuel consumption rate: 3872 PPH (ballpark correct)


I will do more tests, but at the moment I cannot confirm the fuel consumption problem. There may be a bug in the code that simulated the internal fuel system (pumps etc.)

Tim Swindle said...

I did some more testing, and figured out that I somehow ended up with the pickle button also assigned to toggle the fuel dump, so it was user error on my end.

In the course of figuring that out, I did notice that the "wing fuel dump" switch on the left console appears to be mislabeled as "wing fuel pump".

balis323 said...

Tested everything at night.

Flew on the SWS Nimitz tonight... no problem trapping but LSO calls were odd.. kept getting POWER calls and wave off even when fast on approach i.e. red chevron.

No problem launching on the SWS carrier. didn't have the left/right tipping tendency as on Fernandez Nimitz... however, there is a nose pitch up tendency after cable run limit.

Fernandez HD Nimitz no problem landing but couldn't launch, I tried all the CATS.

Had strange interior lighting issues, I wanted dim and it would change to bright... I couldn't just illuminate the instruments... I got all or nothing. Going to sound crazy but control or power setting seemed to affect interior lighting... it seemed like when I pulled back or loaded up the wing the lights went out and when I unloaded they would go back on but kind of flickered. Seemed like power/throttle position effected it too.

Tested BDI for both ADF and TACAN.. something seems off with the ADF (will test further) tested ILS and ADI all and FD needles function as did the Glide Slope Needle on left of ADI all ball.

Exterior position lights were odd... I wanted dim and I got a red light on the wing on the ground and after takeoff, all exterior lights went off and when bright was selected looked right RED=LEFT/GRN=RIGHT/WHT=TAIL
Anti Collision/Beacon... couldn't change to dim, couldn't change white/red and only flash worked.

Control interfaces need tweaking on some dials (I will compile a list.... referring to light controls... it's hard to distinguish what's not functional versus what is not i.e. is it broke or not implemented).

Conducted AR with KC-135 from TAC PACK selected the refuel switch near throttle and it flys like a dream near the tanker. (of course, I didn't mess with TAC PACK so there was no fuel transfer)

I'd pay you money to have an optional RADAR/HSI selectable option in the cockpit where the RADAR is. And maybe an optional T-45 HUD, and optional autopilot (a bit of creative license). This would be a great X-Plane contender with these options... that way you fly true to the type or with some other KIT as a fictional MOD. : )

I love your aircraft but this is seriously fun to fly and might be my favorite!

MTF

Anonymous said...

@Tim

Glad to hear that, will write off the issue.

@Balis323

If you are using VLSO, it is normal...it needs to be updated with aircraft specific settings.

Dimming lights is not supported at the moment.

Dino

Eric said...

I have found A2A refueling to be difficult as you cant see the probe from the cockpit at all, unless Im doing something wrong. I have created an outside chaseplane view that helps me with that though.

I also need to learn how to bomb with tacpack weapons when the airplane doesnt have a CCIP system. :)

Eric said...

AFCS - Please check the ENGAGE/OFF switch - Turning AFCS to OFF seems to engage present heading hold. pressing ENGAGE turns it off as airplane is free to maneuver by hand at that point. (this seems opposite behavior on the switch.) Nothing else on the AFCS works as yet I suppose.

Nice to have - Possible for pilot head movement in exterior view? Also possible for pilot visor to be down in day time?

Anonymous said...

Aiming weapons seems to be difficult if not impossible... Putting the gun sight directly on some ai traffic I cannot hit it with gun or sidewinder. Visually the gun trace seems to be going way high as if the bullets would be making some sort of huge parabolic arc; the sidewinder does the same it just goes way high and flies off into infinity... I can't hit the broad side of a barn or kill anything...

Eric said...

Dino, relative to my comment above on AFCS. I think ALL of the OFF/ENGAGE type switches are backwards with OFF being ON in reality. See image here. Also, the ALT switch does not hold altitude. it tends to climb. Heading switch also doesnt seem to change the heading.

https://i.imgur.com/BfFhmDu.jpg

Eric said...

Dino, relative to resizing (smaller) of the Default GPS panel, can you also move it to position=0? This puts it in the upper left corner vs on top of the radio stack popup. Other good option would be lower left (position=6 I think?).

Also, have you considered possibility of an IFLOLS gauge similar to Rob Barendrechts freeware IFLOLS? I personally tried this gauge and dont think it works in the TA-4 for some reason, just as info.

Eric said...

Hi Dino, I had previously mentioned that its hard to do A2A refueling because the probe is not visible in the TA-4J. I also fly the old Virtavia A-4 regularly and was doing so today to compare views etc. One thing I have noticed is that in the virtavia A-4 the refueling probe is visible. See image link here. Perhaps you can implement this same view point at least on the bent probe? Would make refueling MUCH easier. Right now its blind or having to use an external view. I realize that refueling is not implemented as yet in the TA-4 but that doesnt stop me from fooling around with tacpack tankers... :)

https://i.imgur.com/HDBhbHR.jpg

Also, I am finding that the TA-4J is hard to trim to level flight when hand flying. Dont know if you are still tuning this?

Anonymous said...

Bug list update 29/07 including feeback received by email

Dino

Eric said...

Hi Dino, comment for thought only...

Currently P3D ATC refers to the TA-4J as "douglas" only since the sim does not recognize this aircraft type as identified in the aircraft.cfg. While not 100 percent accurate, would it be better to change this aircraft type as "A4" so that the sim is closer to right? (unless you know how to add TA4 to P3D aircraft types? that would be cool, even if user needs to do it himself.)

Also incredibly minor detail... comments in the panel.cfg read..

// Panel Configuration file
// MB.326 Trainer
//

:)

Unknown said...

Crew helmets for the Blue Angles version should be yellow with gold tinted visors. They did not wear green g-suits. The four aircraft silhouettes on the Blue Angles shield should be A-4s, not F-18s. The Blue Angle aircraft were immaculate and highly polished so there should not be a weathering layer used on the textures. LE slats and intake were bright chrome.

I did some carrier testing using the Team SDB Enterprise and Javier's Nimitz/Eisenhower using the following adjusted [launch_assistance] values.

launch_bar_pivot = 6.95, 0.0, -6.7
launch_bar_lug = 5.45, 0.0, -7.7

Out of the box she is too light for the power of the FSX-Acceleration carrier catapult and points her nose up high all the way down the track. Using the RFN Carrier gauge she makes nice looking launches. We had similar issues with the Virtavia A-4. I'll check my notes to see what we did about it, if anything. As noted by another tester she will not launch from the default carrier.

You might make the launch bridle cables heavier and add a holdback line at the rear.

Anonymous said...

@Eric

Noted, will fix that

@Anonymous

- Yes, I know the BA uniform. I should have mentioned that the Beta does not feature livery-specific suits or helmets. That is on the to-do list

- I also know that the BA keep their planes pristine and super clean (...like most aerobatic teams). But there is no "weathering" layer. Just AO + hand "shadowing" to enhance panelization.

- Also, yes, I know the chrome details of the BA livery. Reason why I left them out (at least for now) is that I have tried to avoid livery specific metallic textures (to save memory)

CArrier compatibility needs to be definitely addressed and it is at the moment a showstopper.

Regards

Dino

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

Following launch assistance entry should make the aircraft work fine even with all carriers.

[launch_assistance]
launch_bar_pivot = 5.95, 0.0, -1
launch_bar_lug = 5.95, 0.0, -7.9

Anonymous said...

Interesting; I see in the aircraft.cfg file that it came with it is written:

//[launch_assistance]
//launch_bar_pivot = 4.5, 0.0, -6.9
//launch_bar_lug = 4.0, 0.0, -6.9

didn't realize at first but the launch assistance parameters are commented out...

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

reason why they were commented out is that there are launch bar and pivot data encoded in the .mdl
If they are encoded in the mdl, you need to comment out (or eliminate) the section in the config file, otherwise the data in the config file will overwrite the one in the mdl.
The section in the cfg and commented out was only a placeholder.

...so, why adding the data to the .mdl if editing the .cfg is arguably much easier? Reason is if the data is encoded in the .MDL and the .cfg data is absent or commented out, you can implement some additional animations in the model (e.g. launch bar animations). Otherwise they will not work.

Dino

Eric said...

Dino, I have been out of town last couple of days. In reading the updated notes tonight, I noted that "Shift + J" is supposed to be emergency jettison keyboard short cut. I have not tested it but I believe "Shift +J" is also used as configuration menu short cut for Javiers carriers? If it works for both, pulling up the carrier menu, might jettison stores on the TA-4J?

Eric said...

Hi Dino... me again...

I notice there is no "airshow" smoke effect for the Blue Angels. Dont know if the TA-4 blue angels bird had smoke system or not for airshows, but would be nice to add a smoke.6 entry with a common P3D white smoke effect. I added one I had locally from another plane and it looked great.

Eric said...

Hi Dino,

If I load Sidewinder missiles and have both hard points energized, it is possible to fire off both missiles at once. Is this correct behavior, or should they launch one at a time?

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

@Eric

No airshow smoke is provided… basically because I want to minimize livery-specific features.

As for the SW release, simultaneous release is the current implementation. Probably not realistic, as in reality there may be a sequencer, but at the moment that is what it is in the code...so "not a bug".

Dino

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

**********
IMPORTANT

Bug TA4P3DMISC22 was more severe than initially thought, meaning that firing the gun actually energized pylon 1 instead of the gun circuits. So, basically, you were not firing the guns (but the visual effect played)...this also explains why hitting targets with the gun was so difficult.

***********

FSafranek said...

The new [launch_assistance] values work great. No external add-ons needed for a smooth nose gear down catapult launch.

Eric said...

A question, not a bug report... is it possible to hook up in aerial refueling with the TA-4 as yet? I know the refueling itself doesnt work as yet in this beta, but can you actually connect to to the tanker? Try as I might, I cant do it. That may well be a reflection on my piloting skills.

I am using the IndiaFoxEcho S-3 tanker and tacpack. The tanker bounces all over and I just cant manage to get a connection even with very liberal coupling and uncoupling tolerances in TP.

Anonymous said...

@FSafranek

Thanks for checking.

@Eric

I am very lousy at aerial refueling, but in the Beta there is no refuel code at all (and settings are copy-pasted from a completely different aircraft). Correct settings (in Tacpack.ini) should be:

[IFR]
capable=1
input_offset=20.25, 2.25,-1.1 // Exact value for short probe: 18.8, 2.8, -1.1 Exact value for long probe=21.7, 1.7,-1.1

where the value set is an average between short and long probes (exact values added as remark).

Dino

Eric said...

Heres some pretty awesome reference material... :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=d5PqVeex4QU

ScimmiaSpaziale said...

All,

please try the following entry in the aicraft.cfg. This should minimize the issues during carrier landing.

[TailHook]
tailhook_length=4.285 ;(feet)
tailhook_position=-9.8, 0.0, -2.25, // longitudinal, lateral, vertical positions from datum
cable_force_adjust=1.2
cable_moment_adjust=0.2

Eric said...

Bug or No?: When using the configuration tool, if I select, then deselect a weapon, both the pylon and the weapon disappear. However, if I do the same with a drop tank or the center station, the pylon remains. Is this supposed to happen? Ordinarily I wouldnt care, but if I wanted a totally slick airplane, like a Blue Angel bird, preference would be for complete slick wing.

Anonymous said...

Eric

This was intentional (at least initially) as it was meant to highlight one difference between (most of) the TA-4J and the TA-4F (the former having only 3 hardpoints in theory, although many had 5). So, not a bug - but understand your point.

Dino