Friday, 19 October 2012

A2A's B377 Stratocruiser

In my ongoing quest for realism I tried out A2A's Boeing B377 Stratocruiser, with Accu-Sim.

Eventually I think I'll hit the point where the realism starts to become too much for a simulator and become tedious, at which time I will have found my level.

As a real world pilot I do want a high degree of realism. With a C172 this is fine, as running through a few short checklists is not too time consuming. Even my beloved DC-3 is do-able, but when flying something a complex as the B377, which had a four man crew, compromises must be made.

For example, I printed off 18 pages of B377 checklists, which involve all four crew members. I haven't sat down and run through every item yet, but with only an hour or two in the evening to actually fly, I don't want to be spending half this time hitting switches.

Fortunately A2A offer an add-on called Captain of the Ship, which gives you full interaction with your crew and allows you to hand off tasks to them. I haven't tried this yet, but it looks like a good option to maintain a high level of immersion and still get off the ground in a reasonable time.

The B377 is also the first four-engined aeroplane I have flown. Initially I was planning on limiting myself to single- and twin-engined types but I have changed this policy allow myself to fly pretty much any aircraft, which means also changing my switch panel designs to accommodate four engines.

I had a crack at reconfiguring my panel designs over the weekend, and it looks like I will need a second Bodnar card in order to support four of everything instead of two. I am currently trying to split it all into two sets of panels so I can do one set immediately and the second when I buy another card.

This is the revised engine start panel, which will allow me to control the mags and start up to four engines. I'll have to write a LUA script for FSUIPC to make this work.

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