The 1947 Hughes H-4 Hercules

Actually this tip does work with the Hercules !!

I simply started the aircraft at Meigs Field at the gate (added with the 40th Anniversary Update) and pressed Y to go into slew mode and it happily slewed out to the adjacent water.

Was able to ‘Cold an Dark’ though I found a lot of the checklist items already enabled eg. Fuel Pumps already ON etc.

Either way thanks again !! What an awesome addition to this magnificent sim to be able to experience what it was like to fly this behemoth …

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There actually is another option if not on Xbox: some add-on freeware ports have the correct parking space types for seaplanes in place which is “DOCK_GA”. Starting there will also being cold & dark.

Anyway most automatically generated seaplane bases in MSFS do not use this parking type so third party scenery is what one is looking for.

Yes, using Slew on Xbox is what I do too, start on regular parking place and put this giant beauty on water. I’m using this option as there are no water airports in Europe in MSFS.

@BlueMesh3192 Do you know if Asobo plan to add 4+ engine modelling to the Sim at all? Along with this aircraft I imagine it is also effecting the development of others, like the AN-225.

That’s planned.

They talked about this quite often and also said that it makes sense also for default aircraft like the Volocopter and “one of their local legends” which has “way more than four engines”.

It’s one of the senseless limitations from FSX which is still in place :wink: - however no ETA or priority for now.

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And as mentioned up the thread the Hercules as currently and modeled only has four engine control from the pilots position anyway. On 11/2/47 the current electrical throttle set up wasn’t installed, instead relying on a pneumatic control system that exhibited issues during the day of the only flight.

I usually prefer smaller aircraft, but as I like vintage planes I thought I test the Hercules.
I have to admit that I quite like it. The interior modeling is really great! And because the flight deck is that big a “walk around” mode is really missing. :slightly_smiling_face:

After performing a couple of flights here are some of my finds:

  1. Is there really no fuel gauge on this plane? Not that my flights are long enough to matter, but I find it strange anyways.
  2. I mapped the prop speed control to a rotary knob of my throttle. When I turn it I can here something squeak in the cockpit but I can´t see anything moving. As far as I understand the prop speed qould have been controlled by buttons, but these are inactive unfortunately.
  3. The dial of the clockat the engineers deck has a 24h layout but the little hand moves as if it was an 12h dial. It´s just a minor detail, but it would be great if that would be corrected some time.
  4. It´s a little sad that you can turn the APUs on via the engineers control deck, but not off. In general there are many buttons and switches that would be fun to play with. But on the other hand a lot more water runways (even more with LordFrites Water Airports - Global Packs, I think) youd be needed.
  5. An it would have been really great it the old radio would have been altered in such a way that you can at least dial COM1 frequency, just like in the 1937 JU-52.

Anyways it´s a fun plane to fly and explore the world with!


-You can in fact turn off your APU’s from the Flight Engineers Electrical Panel. With your APU’s running simply hit the start switch again and they will power down.
-As per the fuel tanks and gauges the fuel system of the prototype Hercules could be it’s own post. Tanks 5 and 6 are to be used back up. Tanks 1-4, 9&10 are not in fact installed. Tank 8 is to be held in reserve and used last. The hull tanks were pumped to wing tanks and from there out to the engines. In MSFS all hull tanks are modeled and you should see the fuel quantity on your clip board.
-I have the prop set to buttons, slight increase and decrease, and notice that the RPM’s do move when use them however that is the only indication.
-The radios are weird. The prototype has a full set post flight but I’m not sure of the type or use.
I made a checklist you can find over on based on too much reading of the War Department Flying Boat Manual and figuring out what you CAN do in MSFS with the current version of the Hercules. I find it really adds to the immersion in flying it. There is a cold and dark start as well out there.


On PC you can walk around the flight deck quite easy. On default configuration while in cockpit view press:

Alt + arrow up to move the camera forward in direction you look at
Alt + arrow down move the camera backward from direction you look at
Arrow left to translate the camera left
Arrow right to translate the camera right
Arrow up to move the camera upwards
Arrow down to move downwards

So in this case you don’t need drone camera to walk around in cockpit :wink:

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Thanks for the tip. I’ll try the APU start switch the next time. But it seems a bit odd, as the switch seems to be ment as a switch that engaged the starter I think. And if I recall it correct (currently not on the flight deck :slightly_smiling_face:), there is an on/off switch just below the starter switch.
Regarding the fuel quantity: The clipboard is just a workaround in the sim. I was more wondering how they determined (or wanted to determine if they would have performed a long flight) how much fuel is left in the tanks. I couldn’t even find an inop gauge for that.

Thanks for the tip, but I already use these functions (and was able to do the screenshots attached to my post). But moving the camera that way feels more like a mini drone to me, not like walking around. And at least on this flight deck the camera angle is tilted strangely when I turn the camera in the back of the flight deck.
And what I forgot to write is, that the ladders and hatches on flight deck made me want to explore the hole plane. :slightly_smiling_face:

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You asked for it :slight_smile: This is all from my own research and resources YMMV. Short answer is on the day the basically didn’t. The Hercules was single point fueling to the hull tanks. My guess is that they metered it outside of the aircraft when the filled it. As she sits today tanks 5-8 and 11-14 are the only hull tanks actually installed. The engineers fuel panel as modeled is not the one that exists in the airplane today. And the manual states under the fuel limitation section (5-3) “The maximum filling level for hull tanks that are to be filled is 900 gallons, as indicated on the hull fuel tank calibration chart below.” It appears the current (Not as modeled) fuel panel has a gauge that will show fuel levels for a selected tank using a tank selector switch. Under Section 1-8 (c) Flight Engineers Fuel System Control Panel #3 is Four Fuel Quantity Gauges and Warning Lights while #10 is Indicator Selection Switch. In looking at the photo the Hull Tanks can be selected to show their level and the Wing Tanks each have their own quantity level. Fuel is pumped from the hull tanks to the wing tanks in flight with the engines drawing only from the wing tanks. The APU fuel supply is drawn from the right wing fuel tank.
Note all of the following are from the Manual POST FLIGHT.
1-5 Fuel System
1-5.1 General
The fuel system is a single-point loading system with fuel storage provided by hull fuel tanks and wing operating tanks. In addition to the regular system for delivering fuel from the tanks to the engines, there is available an entirely separate fuel system.

1-5.2 Fuel Tanks
The main fuel tanks are located in the bilge of the hull. There are eight fuel tanks installed at present, with provision for installation of fourteen. Two of the eight tanks, 5 and 6, are standbys, being connected to the the regular fuel system, but to be used only in an emergency, as in the case of a leak in one of the filled tanks. By proper use of the shutoff valves, part of the fuel can be transferred by gravity from one tank to another. The normal fuel capacity of the each hull tank is 900 U.S. gallons with fuel quantities being indicated on the flight engineers fuel system panel. Two wing tanks with a normal capacity of 300 U. S Gallons are provided, one tank in the leading edge of each wing inboard of engines No. 4 and No. 5. Hull tank No. 8 contains reserve fuel and under all operating conditions should be used last as it is connected directly to the emergency fuel system.

1-5.3 Fuel Route
Normally fuel is supplied from the hull tanks to the wing tanks, which in turn, supply fuel directly to the engines. Under Normal system operation, each transfer pump delivers the fuel from the hull tank manifold to it’s wing tank. Each wing tank then supplies fuel through a manifold to four engines, two on each wing. The two manifolds have a manually operated cross-feed located on the front spar which is normally close. The rate of fuel flow is measured at each engine and is remotely indicated on the flight engineers engine panel. Under emergency conditions however, the emergency fuel system delivers fuel directly from the the hull tanks the engines. Either or both of the two emergency transfer pumps can draw fuel from the hull tank supply manifold or directly from Tank No. 8, should the manifold system become inoperative.

That’s a enough typing for now. If you’re interested you can find the Hughes Flying Boat Manual from various sources including Amazon or directly from Periscope Films LLC. It’s fascinating. So in closing the fuel system of the Hercules is very robust, redundant and was actually never finished to this day. There was a better fuel indication system put in after the flight but our aircraft is basically modeled for the November 2nd '47 flight with no real need for a true indication or system at that time. Hope that helps.


Hey everybody. Does anybody know a good virtual mechanic? I noticed that the cowl flaps on my engine No. 2 don´t close fully:

Joking aside: I just noticed on my last flight on sunday that the cowl flaps of the exterior model do work properly. It´s just a small detail but it shows that this plane model is really a work of love and not just a simply cobbled together quickshot… Thanks again!! :grinning: :+1:t2: :+1:t2:


I just stopped by to say thank you to @BlueMesh3192 for the improvements and fixes which the SU12 beta participants now can check out :slight_smile:

Nearly everything I reported is fixed as you already told but I just retested and yes, it’s now really polished. The only thing missing from my list is the draw distance of the landing lights emissive meshes (which was reported a bit too late from my end!) :wink:

I also really like the placement of the (optional) modern avionics - it quite looks like a place Hughes may have chosen for them to sit :smiley:

Keep up the great work!


Hi, and thank you for your feedback :slight_smile:
I actually tried to correct the visibility distance of the emissive texture but it seems to be hard coded unfortunately…
The next step is to fully implement all 8 engines, because now it is possible.

Have a great week all


Thanks again!

Some late night random research. P&W R-4360-4A Military Power: I saw references to 3000hp military power in various sources on the web for the installed engines. That power was obtained at 2700rpm. In looking through the manual I saw that at least post flight for taxi tests there were two different propellers installed. A 17’ 2" propeller on all engines but #4 and a 16’ 2" diameter prop on engine #4. In looking at the propeller vibration restrictions 5-2.6 the 17’ 2" propellers are vibration limited to around 2550rpm while the smaller prop is cleared to spin all the way up to 2700rpm. Engine limits throughout the publication point to 49.6MP as the maximum operating limit with the RPM limited by the vibration restrictions. Was the 4A capable of it’s full 3000hp? Absolutely but the propellers on the aircraft were the limiting factor giving us 2500hp at the 2550rpm limit. It is my guess that the 17’ 2" propellers were on the aircraft on the day of the flight. It does create an interesting question of what the production aircraft would have been like if the 4A has been replaced as more powerful versions of the engine became available and the propeller technology was improved. There are rumors the engines WERE in fact up graded during it’s time in it’s hanger but I’ve not seen absolute proof of that yet. The differences between the 47 Flight aircraft and what aircraft we have today are fascinating and continue to intrigue.

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Hey. I’ve been doing release note testing for SU12 beta.

I have one request that I’m concerned might be missed in my notes in the beta section.

Could you please set the modern avionics default to hidden?

I, respectfully, feel we should maintain the historical integrity of the aircraft and that initial experience of seeing the cockpit in its 1947 representation.

If folks want modern avionics, have them toggle it on optionally.


EDIT: corrected tag

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Thanks for the tag but I’m just a huge fan. But I’m sure @BlueMesh3192 is the one you’re after.


Apologies, you’re right!

Thanks for tagging them.