Spitfire Takeoff Problems

Why does the Spitfire veer so hard to the right just before it veers hard to the left during takeoff. This is what makes me loose control. If the veer is caused by propeller torque why wouldn’t it just pull to the left without the veer to the right first.

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left wind push tail stab to the left and aircraft go right, pull joy to the end till get speed when aircraft start response ailerons then start up tail and take it center, if tail will take up too early aircraft will out of control by yaw, because of low air speed
or your controls not calibrated, or you trim it, i didn’t trim before flight(in simulator is just for fun) so don’t sure… any way most likely cause for spitfire go right on the take off is left wind(blow from right side to the left)… the more you pull back the more heavy tail the harder to push tail left or right by wind by rudder by anything, the more air speed you have the better control you got the less scary torque p factor gyro recession or whatever… so take tail heavy so long as you can, before you get full control of aircraft for take off from 3 or two points

Which Spitfire? It’s been discussed in other threads quite a bit, but there are some Flight Simulator specific issues that can further complicate an already challenging flight model. Like the way it it handles the weathervaning effect, and the transition from ground roll to flying. Most of the left turning tendencies don’t kick in until 40-50 knots or so, which isn’t realistic, and probably due to that transition.

Are the differential brakes effective at low speeds? I use them to keep the Milviz Corsair in check until the rudder is effective. But that trick doesn’t work on the FI Spitfire, and I haven’t tried the AH one. Some of the Reno Mustangs are super wacky. I just go full throttle and full aft on the stick and try to get them off the ground in a three point attitude as soon as possible to avoid the uncontrollable yawing that inevitably happens, regardless of power settings.

Otherwise you’re just going to have to experiment with different combinations until you find something that works. I’ve found that the well intentioned advice for flying a real tailwheel isn’t always applicable to flying a Flight Simulator tailwheel. They’re different beasts.

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When taking off, keep pulling the control stick until you reach 70mph.
Once the speed reaches 70mph, you can prevent severe yawing by slowly moving the Control stick to neutral.

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I agree, the Spit is broken. I haven’t flown it since I bought it. Realistic? I doubt it. Show me the videos of all the spits veering out of control on takeoff. Can’t find any? No surprise.

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Moved to #third-party-addon-discussion:aircraft

At the time of WW2 and Korea when spits were used, this actually happened often and many planes and people were harmed from it.

Because they were flown by people who had been trained to fly a high-powered taildragger perhaps…


It’s a handful for sure. My technique is to crank in about 3 degrees of right rudder, run engine up slowly to about 4 pounds of boost, and keep active on the rudders/ailerons as needed, while keeping the stick held back. Once you hear the wheels barking and the plane is trying to lift, increase boost to about 8 pounds, let the stick come forward as the plane rises from the runway, raise the gear and accelerate.


Or perhaps it’s just not possible to model enough ground friction in the sim?

I take it back. I have them both now. The AH spit was not maintaining CG as I added fuel, so I placed it at the Forward Limit. FI has theirs at the Aft Limit. I moved my FI CG to the forward limit, and much better experience for me.

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The original post was in reference to the Flying Iron Spitfire. I have tried back pressure on the stick but the plane starts to take off before speed is high enough to prevent stall. About half the time I can get a decent takeoff but the other half I am lucky to make it into the air alive. I don’t think I mentioned it but this problem is most troublesome on paved runways. On grass airstrips not so much. If it wasn’t for the initial veer to the right followed almost immediately by the veer to the left all would be good. I am going to work more with the back pressure on the stick as everyone is suggestion.

wouldn’t affect R/W videos of take-offs… :slight_smile:

In the R/W a full power take-off could ruin a set of tyres so was not used, and these aircraft were intended originally to take-off from grass fields directly into wind so cross-wind characteristics are tricky.
We know MSFS has a bug in the application of rudder accelerating through 40 MPH and I think in the transition from ground to air dynamics.

All of this adds up…

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Don’t forget to put in 2-3 degrees of right rudder trim, and to add some right aileron as well as the back pressure in the stick. Some planes (e.g, the Corsair) require both rudder trim AND aileron trim, but since the Spit doesn’t have aileron trim, you have to do it by hand. Juggling that plus rudder is tricky but it is do-able, especially if you have rudder pedals with a decent range of travel - using a twist-stick rudder is possible but tougher still due to the need to pull back, pull right, and twist at the same time, and modulate all of those actions independently.

Linking here to this Sim Outhouse post by John Terrell (aka “Bomber 12th”), who’s one of the most knowledgeable members of the community about warbirds, especially modern restorations. He’s also a very gifted developer, though no longer active (he did the excellent Warbirdsim P-51 series for FSX and P3D). His advice was a big help to me in transitioning from the Spitfire Mk I and Mk II (I put in a lot of time on the A2A versions) to the Mk IX), which is a very different beast.

A few quick highlights and additional points:

– Make sure you’ve got the latest version of the Flying Iron Spit. Takeoff behvior was toned down considerably (that is, made more realistic) in the most recent update.

– There are issues with groundhandling in the sim, especially with taildraggers, but the bigger challenge with the Spitfire is managing its power. So…

– Be slow on the throttle (slow count of 10 from idle to takeoff power).

– Bring in some power before releasing brakes.

– TAKEOFF POWER DOES NOT EQUAL FULL POWER. Full throttle will kill you instantly because of the torque and P-factor. Wartime practice was no more than +8 boost. Current practice is +6 boost.

– As others have said, keep some right aileron pressure in, and keep the stick back at the start. Be quick but light on the rudder. Don’t get the stick too far ahead of neutral. Film and videos of Spitfires taking off always show them in a tail-low position. Don’t get it level on the wheels, especially early before the rudder has authority. Let it fly itself off.

– TRIM MATTERS. And the Flying Iron manual is wrong in one important respect. A Mk IX doesn’t need one notch of nose-down trim (that was for the early marks), it needs one notch of nose-up trim. That’s because it has a bigger, heavier engine - and therefore a longer, heavier nose - than its predecessors. As John has pointed out elsewhere, the MK IX pilot’s operating handbook calls for nose up. In this contemporary video, you can clearly see at a couple of points early on that the pilot has selected one notch nose up. Flying Iron seems to have picked up the nose-down recommendation from earlier manuals. Rudder trim should be heavy - 75% to 100% to the right. The only exception is in a strong right crosswind, since the aircraft will weathervane into the wind. Full right rudder trim works in most circumstances.

– Avoid crosswind takeoffs to the extent you can. Wartime Spitfires took off from grass fields where they could point into the wind, or, later, from wartime airfields with triangular runway arrangements, so there was always one runway mostly aligned with the wind. Best to start practicing with no wind, then a pure headwind, before moving on to crosswind.

Hope this helps get you started. I’ve just been getting back into practice with it myself after a long hiatus, so all of this is top of mind. It’s a challenge - though not as much as the Corsair or P-51. And it’s a pleasure to fly once you’ve got it in the air - by a wide margin my favorite warbird.

Keep at it, and you’ll get there.


Don’t forget to set flight model to “modern” in MSFS settings.


And there’s that! :sunglasses:

I still have my problems, but I am beginning to get a feeling for the spitfire. Right rudder trim and rudder control and elevator trim nose up as well as dosed throttle do the trick… Flying Iron Spitfire EDHK - YouTube

I have been practicing. I set the rudder trim at +2.0, elevator trim at -.1, stick back about half way and slowly accelerate to 0 boost. The plane is staying straight with a little rudder work and starts to lift off at about 80 mph. At that point I neutralize the stick and give it about 6 or 8 boost and away we go. I did 10 takeoffs and landings that I would call pretty good. And this was on paved runways. Back pressure on the stick is the key. Thanks for the help.


Well done! Your method is almost identical to mine… I was about to throw the FI Spitfire out the window and join the ‘it’s broken team’. Decided instead to do a few afternoons of take off practise only. From an easy airport, paved runway with weather preset to clear skies. I kept restarting the flight as soon as airborne until I had the take off dialled in.

Rudder full right
Elevator 1 notch down
Stick full back
SLOW opening of throttle to +6
Once the airspeed is live @ app 60 I slowly move the stick to neutral
The tail lifts
From there on it is just vigilance on the rudder with SMALL adjustments

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