California Classic Tutorials

FSAviator's Propliner Flying Tutorial

(ZIP file)

This tutorial is required reading for anyone with no real world aircrew experience who wants to fly propliners realistically during flight simulation. Most flight sim users have only a vague concept of how aircraft are flown, and why. Often that concept is wrong, based on terrestial vehicles. Last updated on 4/11/08.

It includes the following sections:

Part 1 - Flight Simulation Basics
Part 2A - En Route Phase (simulating historic infrastructure constraints)
Part 2B – En Route Phase (Radio Ranges – navigation gauge development)
Part 2C - En Route Phase (Procedures, Mach, ETA v ATA, Winds, 4D navigation)
Part 3 - Arrival Phase (including holding procedures)
Part 4 - Approach Phase
Part 5 - Departure Phase
Part 6 - Flight Planning in detail
Part 7 - Near runway operations
Part 8 - Managing thrust in propliners

Online Links for Free Approach and Sectional Charts

Quick Reference Guide for FSAviator's Tutorial (useful only after reading the tutorial!) (ZIP file)

FSAviator's Simulation Control Interface Tutorial

(Online) (Replaces the CV and VC Integration Tutorials)

This tutorial needs to be read and understood by every pilot using FS! FSAviator explains why the concept of "panel designer" is incorrect - they are really creating simulation control interfaces, which control what we see in the outside window. Too often this interface is incorrectly designed, resulting in a random view outside that destroys realism and the very concept of "flight simulation". This tutorial will also help you repair broken interfaces (if possible). Last updated on 4/11/08.

Tom Gibson's FSX Simulation Control Interface Mini-tutorial


This mini-tutorial describes the repairs to the view system that must be made to FSX (and FSX aircraft) to allow the use of the simulation control interface tutorial above. Last updated on 8/9/12.

Using Google Sketchup to Create Buildings for Flight Sim


This tutorial describes how to use the new Google Sketchup program (an easy-to-use replacement for GMAX) to create custom buildings you can add to your flight sim world. Last updated on 10/9/12.

Repainting Aircraft


This tutorial is designed to be used with Paint Shop Pro 7 and DXTBmp to create textures for all of the flyable propliners. It describes how to use PSP 7 to create the actual BMP textures and alpha channels, and DXTBmp to create the final DXT3 day and night textures. Last updated on 8/7/12.

Changing One Color Palette into Another


This minitutorial demonstrates how to use PSP 7 to change a gray plane into a blue one or a gray panel into a green one (for example), with all relevant colors (shadows, etc.) also changing properly. This does not work in every situation, but it is a great start for those as well. Last updated on 10/9/12.

Controllable Prop Pitch Developer's Tutorial

(ZIP file)

PLEASE NOTE that this tutorial by FSAviator is ONLY for experienced Flight Dynamics developers who already know how to author both 'realistic'fixed pitch propulsion code and 'realistic' constant speed propulsion code to match real piston engine and airscrew output as advance ratio (J) varies versus screw efficiency (eta). Any further use of the included gauges by Tom Gibson is dependent on the development of true controllable pitch flight dynamics - they cannot be used with existing constant speed FD.

A method has been found which allows FS2004 (and presumably FSX, although this is untested) to simulate aircraft which feature a controllable prop pitch system (as opposed to fixed pitch or constant speed RPM control). This can include a 2 position prop pitch lever (fine and coarse), prop pitch adjustable only on the ground, fully adjustable prop pitch, and dual systems allowing the pilot to select either constant speed or controllable pitch. This tutorial is designed to assist flight dynamics developers in the creation of the required flight dynamics for this new method. These flight dynamics are then used in combination with gauges that hold the prop pitch to its commanded value. Example gauges of each type are included, but will normally require adaptation to your aircraft.

Controllable Prop Demonstrator

As a demonstration of this method, we have created a Lockheed Hudson I package that uses 2 position prop pitch levers. The plane itself is downloaded separately, and the new flight dynamics and panel gauges are added to it.

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