Real World Pilots, please state your feedback about the flight model

Hello there, if you cant tell by the name I’m currently employed as a pilot working for a domestic airline in the US. and am type rated on the A320 among three other commercial airliners.

I have spent the vast majority of MSFS2020 time flying the A320 and 747-8 so far. The flight characteristics as far as the physics engine are concerned seem OK. Some of the current issues I am aware of right now is incorrect angle of attack (AOA) for a given airspeed. This is why some of you may notice excessive nose up angles at cruise even near maximum mach numbers and during approach. The fuel flow numbers are also significantly off (I verified this in my performance manuals). This engine N1 settings in cruise are also wrong by a good margin.

The biggest issues I have is actually handling the aircraft. The plane is far more difficult to handle In flight sim then in the real world. So those of you that have managed a nice soft touchdown on the centerline and in the touch-down zone give yourself a pat on the back, because its harder than in the real thing.

The other obvious controllability issues include the autopilot non-sense many users are reporting, at least they seem to be aware of this.

IF (and that is capitalized for a reason) the devs take some of this feedback and act on it then I think we will have a pretty realistic sim in the coming months.

If I had to rate its state right now it would be a C-

Hope that helps. Just so us all a favor and don’t forget to submit those bug reports

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Have been flying Cessnas for 12 years now and here are my observations.

The G1000 version of C172 and steam gauges are different airpanes and behave differently (which is weird). The G1000 is closer to real world plane than steam.

For me the single outstanding test was to fly at downwind at 95kt and just extend flaps and see what happens. First, the nose didn’t raise much and second the speed decreased to about 87kt which is far too little reduction. In real plane if one flys at 95kts and extends flaps 10, then the plane decelerates to 80kt. The reason why in FS2020 the speed reduction was so small, is probably because they do not consider that when plane slows down, then the prop resistance will increase and engine RPM will drop which causes additional deceleration. So I had to manually decrease the throttle to reach 80kt which is not needed in real life.

About the rudder. Not much input needed to fly. I have flown different 172’s both R and S and indeed real world planes need different amount of rudder input. With R you need quite large amount of rudder during climbout whereas with S you need much less (due to higher prop RPM probably). However in FS2020 the needed rudder is even less than with real world S.

What I really liked was the flare and round out during landing. That is pretty spot on.

However the approach RPM is not consistent. On all 172-s I have flown I need about 1650RPM during base and final to maintain 75kt (flaps 20) or 65kt (flaps 30). That is regardless of being R or S. 1650 works well for both. Of course depending on the weather you might need to adjust for temperature a bit.

So while many praised the 172 as being spot on, I think Asobo should go and make couple of more patterns to iron out some performance issues. If they cannot even get C172 to handle perfectly then how on earth can they get their head around A320?

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Maybe you can participate in the following effort as a consultant:

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I will definitely take a look at it

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That’s hilarious! From what I’ve gathered in the comments, all the airliners seem to be way off in terms of handling and performance, I really hope they see the need to tune their flight models. And, while the system depth has traditionally been rather on the low end for airliners, in MSFS, they should at least fix the bugs to the point that all the basic systems such as autopilot and flight plan work accurately. Everything that goes beyond that, I’m happy to leave that to the detailed 3rd party planes.

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We’ve started Zibofying the default A320 already? Now isn’t that awesome. Really excited for the project. Wish you all the best!

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Did you hear that ASOBO? :slight_smile: Don’t just update the world, also update your aircraft! You said you’d cater to the hardcore simmers. :wink:

I’m a real life pilot and have flown the following aircraft in my career:

  • Socata TB 9/10/20
  • Cessna 303
  • Cessna 172 G1000
  • Beech 36 Bonanza
  • PA-38 Tomahawk
  • Beech 90 GTi Kingair
  • Jetstream 31/32
  • ATR 72
  • Embraer 190/195

Its hard so say anything about the flight model as this is very subjective, I think the flight model is reasonably solid, its awesome that the flight model responds to turbulence created by mountains, meteorological activity etc. I’ve never flown any aircraft on any platform which I found getting close to the real deal, its very hard to compare the flight model with the real aircraft without the real sensation of flying. Also the hardware (joystick, yoke) does probably not have the same control “resistance”, control deflection etc.

I would say the controls seem slightly too sensitive to me, especially the rudder. Also I feel like the pitch on most aircraft is too high during low speed flight, or maybe its the view point I’m not sure yet. On bigger aircraft the controls are definetely too sensitive, you don’t really notice the higher inertia as in real live I would say (again subjective).

You could safely skip the A320, that thing in the current state is garbage, I can tell you, that is not how an A320 handles in real life. There are no Fly By Wire laws written, there is no flight augmentation, it just flies like a conventional aircraft.

I think the only thing we could do to objectively assess how solid the flight model really is, is comparing the aircraft performance with published performance data.

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Real-world pilot, plus I work in aviation too (at EGCC). My first solo was 23 years ago this week coincidentally. Been using Flight Simulator since the very first subLOGIC version.

The problem with the flight model is that the ‘twitchiness’ of it, appears to be modeled by pivoting the aeroplane from a central point, in an attempt to emulate turbulent movement, which has the effect of making the nose wander all over the place as though the aeroplane has no penetration through the air.
This is not how turbulence affects an aeroplane. Turbulence acts on the whole airframe, so it doesn’t just wobble the nose around, the entire aeroplane does this as a function of riding on air which is doing that. The emulation of minor variance turbulence within that moving air mass needs at least two moments of leverage, one at either end of the fuselage; then it would be in with a shot at emulating turbulent passage movement reasonably well.

This is why the ‘landing challenges’ in the simulator are difficult; not because an aeroplane is hard to fly, but because we are battling against an incorrect emulation of turbulent movement, with the aeroplane wobbling around like one of those kids rides at a playground mounted on a big spring, which needless to say, does not reflect the movement of an aeroplane through the air mass at all.

If this got sorted, the flight model would be very good. But until it does, it’s just not a correct emulation of the behaviour of an aeroplane in flight.

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I don’t understand why you posted the part about the upset recovery training if it doesn’t apply to spins and again, if we don’t know if the CJ4 and the King Air spin IRL, how can you claim that their behavior is wrong?

The Beech Kingair has never been involved in any spin flight test so nobody knows if and how it behaves in this flight regime. I doubt you have spinned the Kingair in real life, if you have you have operated outside the aircraft certified flight envelope.

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It seems to me, after reading through this thread, that a lot of users are having trouble with their controller setups.
You may need to adjust your sensitivity curves…and remove the centering spring if your using a gaming joystick.

Real aircraft controls don’t auto center. At least none of the ones that I have flown (C152, C172, SF260, R22,R44, R66)

It also greatly helps to have a 1:1 control setup. I fly sims with a Pro Flight Trainer Puma, since…you know, helicopters.

Turn down the sensitivity, it gives you more leeway around the center point of the joystick you are using. Inputs should be small, in the helicopters I fly in real life, the anecdote is that you think about moving the controls and that is enough stick movement.

Maybe we should start a thread of IRL pilots who are experienced simmers posting their control setups.

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Of course controls on conventional aircraft autocenter. The controls center around the control surface aerodynamic center. Removing springs from joysticks will not contribute to a more realistic flight.

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I don’t fly the King Air and never have, I fly the CRJ 1000 as indicated in my original post, so yes, I am assuming that the flight model is off considering it feels like a train on tracks… As for the spins, ok valid point, the 3 aircraft models that I’ve tried so far would just happen to be correct despite the fact that the default flight models that MSFS creates have a tendency of being ridiculously over powered such as CJ4 with its 6000 fpm climb at 250 knots at MTOW while at 8000 feet, or the King Air with its torque that increases as it climbs and its controls that are insanely sensitive…

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I have been rated on the Kingair long time ago, I don’t remember how the PT-6 responds to increasing altitude. I remember the fuel control unit works quite odd on that engine, balancing bleed pressure. Is only the torque increasing? The ITT should rise at a faster rate compared to the torque and at some point become the limiting factor.

Would have liked them to put the Proline system in the Kingair instead of the Mickeymouse Garmin system :sweat_smile:

As for the CJ4 that indeed doesn’t sound very plausible :joy:

I fly Cessnas and Piper’s IRL and can only compare to those but the flight model in the GA aircraft as others have said is very good. I think it’s better than xp11, which also has a very good flight model. In FS2020 you can feel the plane riding through the air with slight undulations and variation in its ride, almost a bit of an uneasy feeling when the plane moves on its own a bit, but that’s how it really is. I only tried the A320 once and it flew fine but I have no real life experience in that to truly compare. The GA aircraft seem on point though.

Even with it’s issues, this sim is far ahead of all others.

Yep the ITT goes into the red as well. I have to reduce power while climbing to higher altitudes.

As for the CJ4, I think they reduced the size of the GE90s and slapped them on there… The thing climbs like a Falcon Heavy :rofl:

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Thanks for the comments on the honeycomb your, I know I need a new yoke & will get this one.

aerodynamic centering is not the same as mechanical centering…and also only occurs with airflow over the control surfaces. I have never tried a yoke like the Honeycomb products but I can imagine that they do not auto center. The only way to get a more realistic control feel would be to have a force feedback controller. In my experience, a T16000M stick without a centering spring feels better flying sims than a T16000M with a spring.

Anyway, helicopter controls do not auto center…and don’t have nearly the feedback you feel in fixed wing controls. Especially if the controls are hydraulically boosted.

I get that, I doubt there are any products on the market which simulate aerodynamic centering i.e. changing the null point based on trim setting and aerodynamic loads. I can’t imagine taking the centering spring out of my joystick, that will completely unrealistic, not to feel ANY control loads. I don’t know about helicopters, I’m talking fixed wing.

The good thing about mechanical centering is that you at least feel some control load when not in trim, like the real aircraft.

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