Alright folks, this is a summary of my experiences with the tutorial flight from Salamanca to Valencia in the CRJ-200. The tutorial flight is very easy to do IF you follow every single step of the tutorial in sequence. Skipping little things can really cause you to mess up. On my first try, I overlooked several little procedures, and this caused me to screw up that tutorial. BTW, the tutorial itself is very well done, so wee in fact that if something goes wrong it’s probably YOUR fault! The moral of the story? Make sure you pay very close attention to what the directions are telling you, and don’t skip a single step.
With that said, let’s begin!
Alright, I set my plane on the ramp at Salamanca (LESA) with the engines and all systems completely shut down. We are, in other words, going to a start from the “cold and dark” position.
In the image just above I have just turned on the master battery switch and hooked up the GPU. I have also put the AC power into use. When the AC is activated, the PFD’s and MFD’s will turn on.
I went to set my position in the FMC. Notice how it says “IRS ALIGN DO NOT TAXI.” The PFD will come up and be fully functional in about 7 minutes, so leave it and let it do its thing. Before you set the position, you have to set the IRS knobs (located on lower side side of pedestal) to NAV. If you don’t, it won’t let you initialize your position.
As you can see above, the IRS has aligned and I have put my route into the FMC. The tutorial explains exactly how to make these entries, so there’s no need for me to explain it again here.
Alright, I started the APU by pressing the PWR Fuel button and the APU start button. After the APU was available, I turned on the APU generator and disconnected the GPU.
Here’s a shot of the overhead before the engine start. All hydraulics are on, the boost pumps and the X-Flow are on, 14th Stage is on, and Ignition A is armed.
Alright, let’s kick the tires and light the fires!
Hit the starter button for the right engine. When N2 gets past 15%, advance the thrust lever to idle to allow fuel flow. When this is done, the RPS’s will rise and the engine will start up. Repeat this for the other engine. When the engines are on, turn on Generator 1 and 2. Once those are on, turn off the APU Generator and the APU. We no longer need it.
As you can see, I turned on the flight director (NOT the A/P!) and set my altitude and heading as explained in the manual. I also set my V-Speeds and my T/O trim (addressed in the manual with a detailed description).
Skipping ahead, I took off and set the A/P. (NOTE: before you engage the A/P, set the V/S. If you don’t do this, the plane will pitch down. I made that mistake my first time). I turned my heading to the right in order to capture the FMS route. As you can see, I have armed the NAV on the A/P and set my NAV mode to FMS.
Now, I have intercepted my route and the NAV mode has become active.
I initiated my climb to 24.000 ft. If you look at my PFD, you will see that I’m using my speed to climb. In simpler terms, the more thrust I have, the steeper the angle of attack I will have during my climb.
Here I initiated my descent after passing PRADO. In the tutorial, it says to do so when approaching the 2 mile mark from PRADO, but I had a brain fart and missed that. No problem though; I just set my rate of descent to be a little faster.
At CLS, I was supposed to hold. This time, I went ahead and skipped that for time’s sake, as it doesn’t do anything for you in the SIM. I would recommend following the procedure the first time you run through it however, so you’ll know how it’s done.
As stated in the manual, you have to delete the waypoints between D2340 and MULAT. When you do so, it should look like this.
I’m getting closer here to my turn towards MULAT, which will be the last waypoint (stay tuned to see).
I’m now on my way towards MULAT. I have set my heading to match the line to MULAT and my NAV source is now on NAV one. I have set the NAV 1 radio to MAN in the FMS and set it to 110.10, which is the ILS frequency we will intercept in just a few minutes.
After passing MULAT I continued the heading for 1 minute as addressed in the tutorial. I then turned right heading 297 degrees to intercept the ILS. I armed the APPR button in the A/P at this point as well.
Now we’re on the localizer. The gear is down and the flaps are all the way down.
I’m now on the glideslope as well. When I get to 100 ft AGL the A/P will automatically disengage and I then manually land the bird.
Well, there you have it!
One of the things that has made me love this plane so much is the fact that I have to monitor it. There will be no more bathroom breaks or coffee breaks while in flight! The lack of autothrottles and the simplicity of the autopilot makes this plane a real treat to fly. I think the CRJ is right at the sweet-spot where auto-flight meets manual-flight. It is neither a piece of cake nor a pain in the arse to fly (cough…cough….turboprops). On a 737 and an A320 you just don’t get the same experience, the same level of interactivity. Not to say the experience that comes with those ACF is somehow bad (it’s not), but the CRJ brings a new level of immersive interaction to the experience, one that in my opinion has simply never been available in X-Plane before. I can’t think of another ACF where you will find this experience. That is why I consider it to be the best ACF ever made for X-Plane! Well, so far!!! Oh, and not to mention the jaw-dropping visuals it packs as well!
So, there’s my experience with the CRJ’s tutorial flight. I learned a lot by reading through the material then working through the procedures step-by-step, and with this gain in knowledge–and the understanding it imparts–learning this ACF has become a lot easier than I ever expected. Thanks again to all of the team at X-Aviation who worked to make this possible–no matter how big or small your role was. You have succeeded in making the best ACF for X-Plane, and a lot of people very happy!
Here’s something I forgot to add.
This is part 1 of 3 of a tutorial flight Javier made. Combined, it’s about an hour or so total.
This is Perry signing off now, but thanks for coming along, and we’ll see you again soon!