146 Future updates?



  • Hi @Martyn

    happy new year and hats off to you and the team for the 2020 release and updates given in a timely manner.

    I am wondering as a customer and I sure many others are too, what is the future of the 146 professional? In that I mean what is the level of realism you and the team are trying to achieve so the customer have a better idea of what to expect and anticipate.

    Some questions of my questions:

    -Will the universal FMS be an "A to B" rendition or will it be more "true to life"?
    -Can we expect improvements/refinements to the engines as feedback given by some real pilots and engineers on this forum e.g. startup?
    -Will the EFB feature improvements in the future e.g. Charts from Navigraph, weight and balance calculator, load sheets, OFP from simbrief etc
    -Failures e.g. hot starts, weather related engine startups in cold weather?
    -Will there be a planned ACARs or potential integration with PMDGs "Global Flight Operations"?
    -An easier paint kit or a tutorial on how to best use it so we can get more people to start painting?

    Anything else you would like to share in addition to the above would be great too.

    I know you guys have invested a fair amount of energy into this project and the sounds alone are amazing, as well as the future prospect of the RJs coming after.

    Again, thanks for the hard work and I hope more customers join in and support this product.

    Kind regards,
    Philip


  • JF Staff

    Hi Philip,

    Sorry for the late reply.

    In terms of complexity/systems depth, the product won't be seeing any significant changes from this point. We're happy with the functionality of the aircraft and the community seem happy with the balance we've struck between functionality and price. We'll continue to listen to any feedback and improve realism/accuracy where possible, as we've done since release, but we don't foresee any significant changes. And of course we'll continue to address any bugs that are reported.

    • Our FMC developer is continuing his work based on feedback that we've received but the focus is on fixing any issues with the existing functionality rather than adding more. That said, with all bugs fixed, the existing functionality covers many of the real Universal FMC features so isn't basic in nature.
    • There are no firm plans at the moment for upgrades to the EFB. That was added due to feedback relating to the payload/fuel management and hopefully it now offers a convenient way to manage that. The features you mention could certainly be looked to if there is sufficient demand.
    • No plans to add failures or ACARs at this stage.
    • Paint kit changes would require texture remapping so that's unfortunately not possible, but I posted some guidance from the texture artist on another thread. Although it might be a challenge in some areas, we've had several artists produce great liveries for the 146.

    We remain committed to the 146 as you've seen from the regular updates but as you'd expect, focus will need to be split with other projects too.

    Thanks
    Martyn



  • Hi @Martyn

    appreciate the response. Sorry about the unstructured reply as I was juggling between kids and work calls:

    With regards to the paint kit, I believe the reason there has been a lack of repaints made is its fairly difficult to use. But I do hope JF release some more especially active 146 operators.

    I am trying to get a good understanding of what is meant by "professional" as to me it suggests a product with the intention of at the minimum flying on the line A-B flight as it would have in the RW with behavioral characteristics commonly witnessed by the crew.

    With what you have said will there improvements/corrections done to engine start timing, apu temp / bleeds / timinig etc with regards to the feedback given by those who flown or worked on the 146? such as here: Notes from first flight

    Things I have noticed that and picked up by others as well:

    -Trim take off issue still exists
    -TMS after take off not reliable?
    -FMS Delete waypoints not working (mainly when inserting waypoints you can delete easily when you make an error)
    -FMS not able to add waypoints to flightplan after it is created. Is that correct for UNS FMS?
    -FMS holds?
    -FMS Alternate route for diversion?
    -STAR entered but does not show up on flight plan? Several times it works from the menu arrival page but does not actually insert the route to the flight plan, thus it doesn't fly the STAR. (Latest version)
    -Q300QT GSX profile still not right. Bag unloaders but no setup for main cargo door.
    -Altitude alert and some other cockpit sounds are still very faint and can barely be heard with the engine sounds.

    Comments from Avsim that I too have experienced:

    1. After successful Glideslope intercept the AP lets it often deviate up to 2 dots without doing anything. Which is quite hazardous of course. ---CHECKED it handles better now than this comment, even with ActiveSky on---- (good job)

    2. The common method to set climb power is to preselect an EGT temperature and then use Sync/TGT on the TMS. However this currently doesn't work because the EGT values are much too low. So setting climb power is a sort of guesstimate now.

    3. After takeoff the plane needs a huge amount of trim to fly out at V2+10. Again I can't judge it this corresponds to real behavior, but it is questionable.

    It would be nice to see some quirks highlighted and modelled as that's what makes flying these classics fun. I understand the 146 was underpowered and struggled to get to altitude especially in warm climates. The air con would take 40mins to cool in summers when on the ground.

    With regards to the FMS, I guess I can't comment much on the complexity of it because I don't really understand to what level you are trying to model it despite most of the menu and submenu items appearing but with regards to the future RJ addons it would be nice to see some of these:

    -EFB with Navigraph, weight and balance calculator, take off and landing calculator, load sheets.
    -Integration with future PMDG ACARS and CPDLC
    -Simbrief import of loadsheet as PDF as seen in the likes of aerosoft and maddogx
    -Battery drain modelled (not sure it is yet on the 146)
    -GND call button calls for GSX pushback
    -Aircraft state based on last flight arrival
    -GSX refueling and passenger load automation based on EFB values

    Here are also some interesting extracts I found on quirks and pilots comments on flying the 146:

    Source PPRUNE

    "3rd Dec 2019, 13:48
    Nearly 4 years flying them in Australia (300 series), comfortable flight deck with good lighting, abysmal performance in ISA+15-20, max altitude about FL230 Cairns-Brisbane, very forgiving undercarriage made every landing a greaser, workload increased by the requirement to take off with APU running to supply bleed air for AIRCON/PRESS then switching on engine bleeds when climb thrust established and a reverse procedure on approach, start APU then engine bleeds off on final above 1,500', airbrake not as effective as the F28, brake temperatures could be a problem with noisy fans used on the ground to reduce cooling time........the ice detector on the left forward fuselage was a real "Heath Robinson" apparatus, rotating serated spool which when iced up would contact a static vane and the increased resistance would trigger the ICE DETECTED message in the cockpit, I recall the rudder limiter was actioned by the "Fir Tree" fitting, employing if I recall a rod shaped like a fir tree profile which engaged via an air driven bellows arrangement into an actuating cam on the rudder pedal linkage, the faster you went the more the rod protruded into cam and thus limited rudder movement.....the outstanding memory is that of the smell problem with MOBIL JET2 ingested by both the engines and the Garret 150M APU being fed into the AIRCON system, I know of 3 crew members who suffered from fume inhalation and were forced to stop flying."
    ********

    "3rd Dec 2019, 09:00
    Must say, I liked flying it. I'd forgotten about that howl when the flaps were starting to extend or finishing their retraction. It had an official name. "Flap hoot".
    The flaps were so powerful that there was an auto trim system called FTC to keep the thing in trim. Flap trim compensation.
    Other funnies included full flap take offs and I even got to try the pitch oscillation that it could get itself into, but only with the autopilot on.
    Systems on it were quite complex and the failure modes never went as advertised. Losing a Genny for example, could lead to many unforecast failures. The QRH was of little help, you had to figure it out for yourself. I once had a TRU fail which left the a/c invisible to radar...
    I was also lucky enough to get the frozen elevator syndrome, caused by refreezing of device residues. Luckily it flew nicely on the trimmer. No point telling the pax or ATC. They couldn't help us! It felt like the stick was set in concrete.
    As another guy posted, it was woefully short of power, but boy, could it descend!
    I remember one flight where our rate of climb became zero, much to the concern of ATC, but it just had no puff left. We smashed along at full power until it got lighter, which didn't take long on the RJ100.
    The airframe was class, and you knew it was unbreakable, as the Swiss have gone on to prove..
    Well, almost unbreakable.
    Modern systems would have transformed it, but the RJ-X was killed off post 911.
    Mainly good memories of the thing on my part."

    "2nd Dec 2019, 23:35
    It was a great aircraft to fly, responsive, with pleasantly light progressive controls; generally viewed as a 'pilot's aeroplane'. It was fairly unreliable, always some fault or other, though this was seldom a problem due to the backups and redundancies in almost all the systems. This, combined with poor fuel economy, made it quite an expensive aircraft to operate. It had a very strong and forgiving undercarriage, so most landings were classed as 'good' by the passengers, even if it was rather plonked on.

    It was a busy flightdeck, with plenty of quirks and traps for the unwary. Particularly, the 146 didn't have autothrottle, just a throttle trimming system called TMS, meaning only one vertical mode could be set in the autopilot. The gotcha would be after levelling off at cleared altitude, and being given a speed, to set IAS to hold that speed, which then released the Alt Hold, and an altitude bust was very likely as only the power setting controlled altitude from that point on. You very quickly remembered not to make that mistake again! The RJ had autothrottle which made it simpler. Often the yaw damper was not working as it should, and cabin crew, especially at the back complained of a continual yawing / rolling sensation which could make them feel nauseous.

    Flaps, as stated above, were dramatic. The step from between 0 and 18 degrees, causing both a dramatic pitch on their extension and retraction, and the loud noise they made travelling between these 2 stages. But you soon got used to that, making it a non event for the flight and cabin crew alike. With full (33 degree I recall) flap and the speed brake out for landing, it was very draggy, and could be landed in a short space.

    It was very under powered - fine on T/O and initial climb, but regularly running out of puff above 20,000', especially in warmer climates. The 146 wasn't RVSM, but that wasn't a significant limitation because they seemed like they anything left when they finally struggled up to 28,000'. The joke was, why did it have 4 engines? Because there wasn't room to fit 6. Some said it just had 5 APUs. But it was flyable on 3 engines - I did a 3 engine ferry (remember the unreliability?), and it was a regular into London City Airport, which was always fun and always interesting - great views of London at close range.

    It was of course the most infamous toxic-air culprit, with regular wet sock smells on first using bleed air, especially from the APU.

    Hope this helps with your question."

    overall a great plane and fun to fly.

    cheers,
    Philip

    @Martyn said in 146 Future updates?:

    Hi Philip,

    Sorry for the late reply.

    In terms of complexity/systems depth, the product won't be seeing any significant changes from this point. We're happy with the functionality of the aircraft and the community seem happy with the balance we've struck between functionality and price. We'll continue to listen to any feedback and improve realism/accuracy where possible, as we've done since release, but we don't foresee any significant changes. And of course we'll continue to address any bugs that are reported.

    • Our FMC developer is continuing his work based on feedback that we've received but the focus is on fixing any issues with the existing functionality rather than adding more. That said, with all bugs fixed, the existing functionality covers many of the real Universal FMC features so isn't basic in nature.
    • There are no firm plans at the moment for upgrades to the EFB. That was added due to feedback relating to the payload/fuel management and hopefully it now offers a convenient way to manage that. The features you mention could certainly be looked to if there is sufficient demand.
    • No plans to add failures or ACARs at this stage.
    • Paint kit changes would require texture remapping so that's unfortunately not possible, but I posted some guidance from the texture artist on another thread. Although it might be a challenge in some areas, we've had several artists produce great liveries for the 146.

    We remain committed to the 146 as you've seen from the regular updates but as you'd expect, focus will need to be split with other projects too.

    Thanks
    Martyn



  • just in addition to the above (as I hope to cover as many thing as possible together)

    -FMS in kg?
    -Engine Start timing (rapid increase from N2 20%) compared to this video YT link

    and from another thread (here):

    • Engine Anti-ice "Intake Low Press" annunciations should extinguish as the engine starts. Once you cycle the engine anti ice off and back on the indication is correct in the sim.
      This is assuming you're starting it with the Engine Anti-Ice switches on which was standard ops on the 146 to help unload the compressor.

    • The Custom Sounds appear to only play sequentially? IE: If I quickly turn off all the engine air switches, I get the sounds slowly playing one after the other, even after the switches are all off.

    • Cabin Temp or Duct Temp indications not influenced if APU Air is on.

    • Engine TGT's are very low now throughout. It seems driving the temp down for the start simulation brought temps down all across all phases of operation. Before was frequently temp limited in the climb (which was realistic). Now I rarely see over 650*C???

    • Brake temps (saw this several times as well) are way too low, and cool off way to quick. Should be seeing 180 - 200*C plus easy after landing, and it climbs quite quickly during the taxi usually to 75-100 degrees - depending on operator. Heavy braking not unusual to see up to 300+
      Galley Power constantly increases the load on generators - eventually just climbing and peaking at red line.


  • JF Staff

    Some of the above should already be fixed in v1.06 but we will review all of them ahead of the next update.