Bombardier Dash 8Q-400

  • Good evening everyone,


    Edit: this thread is outdated, please visit the status update: Q400 status update - More screenshots!


    Here is to all of you that are eagerly awaiting new aircraft for the Aerofly FS 2. So I thought I might share a screenshots of your work in progress on the Bombardier Dash 8Q-400 (or just Q400 as we call her). Since this is the aircraft we've been busy with the last couple of weeks I'd like to draw your attention towards a few details. Please use right-click "view image" to enlarge the screenshot or click on it, that should open the image in a larger view.


    Disclaimer: These are all screenshots taken from my home computer and because I don't have the latest code here at home there are some minor things on the screenshots that I'd like you to ignore :D (e.g. the values on the engine display) Those issues will obiously not be in the release. Not every switch in the screenshots is in the right position, too. And I don't have all scenery files copied over from my Steam installation, so also please ignore the scenery... I also don't know if all of the liveries will be included, so please point fingers to me that I promised them :)


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    Outside


    First up I'll show you a bit on the outside, here are a couple images of the Q400 in different liveries.


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    Stabilizer and gear


    And here are a few more details on the outside, the t-tail section and the left main landing gear and a bit of the inner wing from below. As always the gear physics are quite complex on this machine. The first strut from the front is the actual hinging point, the rear one that carries the weigth on the ground actually folds on retraction. And of course we had to model that physically accurate (whos idea was that? haha)



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    Flightdeck


    Entering the flightdeck we notice the control lock is set, holding the ailerons neutral on the ground. The "first officier" has called up the fuel systems page. The MFD (multi-function-display) can display all pages btw.: navigation display in arc or rose mode, pfd or ed replacement as well as electrical, engine, fuel and door systems pages. And if you look very carefully you might see a yellow outline around the vhf1 frequency on the audio and radio control display unit (ARCDU) in the center console. This is actually working, you can set the cursor by pressing the line select keys, then turn the large and small knob to set the frequency and then swap it by pressing the same line select key again.



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    Overhead


    Now looking up to the overhead panel as we move forward to our captains seat. I've gone through the entire panel and made almost every switch working. Not every switch does have a function behind it yet so maybe a few ones will be disabled on the release version. We see the APU seems to be running and for demonstration purposes I've set on the ice protection to slow. Slow and fast modes are working as well as the manual mode. Also the "Ref speeds" switch is functional, increasing the displayed stall speed on the primary flight display. All exterior light switches are working, the approach and flare lights also illuminate the engine cowlings. All interior light knobs are working and also the seat belt, no smoking and emergeny lights can be set. We need to add the *ding* yet, though :D
    With the Engine bleeds on the air conditioning panel set to on we'll see a "bleed" annunciation on the engine displays later. If you set the bleeds to min this warning will turn white as expected and if you turn the bleeds of entirely the warning disappears. You can test the cabin and duct temperature, you can set the landing elevation and move the switches on the pressurization panel.



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    PFD, MFD


    Moving forward to the front panel you can see that we are currently setting the v-speeds into the pfd, the decision height and mda can be set as well as the qnh as usual. The PFD and MFD can be swapped as with a lot of our aircraft, you can of course change almost every display mode of the PFD and MFD. And as usual the displays are drawn by our custom display rendering algorithms so that we can have sharp lines and round (non-pixelated) circles with anti-aliasing.



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    Here is a screenshot of the aircraft stalled showing the red/black stall speed dashed line and the stick pusher working. This is fully pulled up but the stick pusher adds a bit of forward pressure to exit the stall. You can turn if off, if you want with the appropriate button in the glareshield.



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    Internal lighting


    Now I switched to night to show you the internal lighting. On the first screenshot I've set all lights on the overhead to on. There are also map lights left of the pilot and right of the first officier seat.



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    Cheers,
    Jan

  • Thank you for the update Jan! She looks stunning! Can't wait to fly the Q in the Aerofly FS 2 world. Four questions:


    1) I noticed in the pics that the optional single cue FD command display is modeled. Will the user be able to select the cross bar pointer format on the PFD?


    2) Can you give any details on any planned functionality of the FMS?


    3) Any plans to add HGS at some point?


    4) Will the altimeter be selectable to In-Hg?


    Panel color looks bang on to me.


    Awesome job! :cool:

  • Great HiFi-representation of the real plane...Fantastic job done sofar...Looking forward to operate this plane and observe all the details.

    Real name: Johnny

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  • Very nice! Are the the reflections realtime rendered or an environment map?

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  • Looks interesting. The question is if the Q400 will be a real 'simulator' e.g. if it will be possible to e.g. start and shut down the engines, fuel usage, change in passenger and baggage weight and if there are a lot of additional Features, what will the framerate do?
    Also it's going to be interesting to see if the Aerfly version is just as bad to handfly like the real one.
    The 100 was really nice to handfly, the 300 a bit less but the 400 is a real crappy plane from a pilots POV.

  • A very impressive model, I can't wait to try it out. Setting the landing altitude too low in the pressurisation control will be fun. Is there a door opening function?, perhaps with a champagne cork 'pop'.:cool: The PMDG turboprop is undervalued, it has an icing feature where a white crust appears on the rubber de-icing boots. Once it is thick enough to take the ice to the rear off, the boots can be cycled and the ice will vanish. Icing management is a serious issue in this category of plane, it would be an interesting feature.


  • Also it's going to be interesting to see if the Aerfly version is just as bad to handfly like the real one.
    The 100 was really nice to handfly, the 300 a bit less but the 400 is a real crappy plane from a pilots POV.


    Interesting perspective. I would not go back to the 100/300 after flying the 400. Q400 = Massive power, FADEC, NVS, electric elevator trim, it's easier to get (the occasional) nice landing. HGS. Better seats. Cargo fire suppression. Proper O2 masks, etc. etc. Honestly, I find none of the Dash'es are really nice to hand fly.


    Based on the quality of other aircraft in Aerofly FS 2 world I am expecting good things from this one!

  • The real world Q400 that we modelled did not have a heads up guidance system and was using kg and hPa for the units and this is what we used for our aircraft. As there is no simple switch in the cockpit that I know of that just changes these units the only way to change the units will be by changing the .tmd file of the aircraft. Maybe we can add a head up systes though, would be nice to have.


    FMSes are one of the larger things on our todo list, we can't yet say when we will add this into all of our aircraft. To give a brief explaination why there are no FMSes yet: We want to implement one system that works for all of our current and possible future aircraft and is easy to feed with data from the outside, e.g. from our route planning menu page. When a user isn't famillar with the specifics of one FMS of any of the aircraft he/she should still be able to enter a route via the "navigation" user interface. At the same time advanced users should be able to create or edit the route from within the virtual cockpit. Because we are not an add-on company that can focus on just one airplane with one type of fms we will need more time to solve the issue. And then there are also the mobile versions to consider, and maybe we want to send the FMS data onto a mobile device or a browser while you fly on your desktop or something like that, who knows what the future might hold. So yeah, I'd very much love to have FMS right now, too, but this is one of the things that we will take some time, please be patient. We are aware that there have been quite a number of people that requested FMSystems.
    With the radio management units working (ARCDU in the Q400) we are one step closer to the fms. We'll get there...


    Concerning the flight behavior of our Q400: well it handles like an airplane, its not super difficult to fly currently. Its just that you need to pay more attention to the yawing of the aircraft due to torque, prop wash rotation and gyroscopic effects... When any of you have real life experience with the q400 I'd very much like to hear your feedback once the Q400 is released.


    Regards,
    Jan

  • Thanks for the update. I believe it is a maintenance function to switch the altimeter from hPa to In. I know in another simulation they handle this through a flight config menu along with option for kg or lbs, HGS on or Off etc. I understand your comments the HGS and FMS.


    Re the yaw. In the real a/c one of the more worn controls is the rudder trim knob. It seems that you are almost always trimming the rudder.

  • Interesting perspective. I would not go back to the 100/300 after flying the 400. Q400...Honestly, I find none of the Dash'es are really nice to hand fly.


    I wouldn't go back to any prop driven plane! I easily prefer the worst Jet over the best prop/turboprop. As the Dash7 was the first turboprop for me the 100 was a delight of course.
    Which one is a nice flying plane to handfly in your opinion?


    1.Concerning the flight behavior of our Q400: well it handles like any other plane...
    2.When any of you have real life experience with the q400 I'd very much like to hear your feedback once the Q400 is released.


    1.This doesn't sound too promising...
    2. Is it going to be a free add-on?

  • Great to see the Dash8 in aerofly!
    This summer I just had 2 flights across Iceland...as a passenger, not a pilot :)


    Ups, can't find the attachment management??? Done by editing the posting.
    Anyway, the Iceland Air painting is a really nice one.

  • The Dash 8 series are absolute work horses. The Q is a beast. I loved hand flying the DC-3.


    I would be happy to pay additional $ for a nicely done Aerofly Q400 for use in VR. Some developers have gone to the model of a basic aircraft, and then a "pro" version with added functionality for extra $.

  • Overloaded
    Of course everyone expects to be paid for their work. What I don't understand is that why I should pay for an add-on where I know already before buying that it doesn't fly 'like every other plane' and to provide feedback to IPACS afterwards.
    It's the job of a payed beta team to make sure that IPACS releases a plane that flies realistic, that's not the job of the paying customers.
    Hence my tounge in cheek comment about freeware.


    Wrog
    That's the first time in more than 35 years of real flying that someone prefers a prop over a jet! Is there a reason for this?
    Just to make sure, we are talking about jets of (at least) same size as turboprops, so no Phenom etc. toys.