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DC-10-30 Range?

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Flying Kiwi View Drop Down
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Joined: 13 Mar 2017
Location: Wellington, NZ
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    Posted: 22 Mar 2017 at 5:12am
According to both Wikipedia and the Air Hauler 2 database, the DC-10-30 should be capable of a range of about 6,000 nm. But in the aircraft config file for the CLS DC-10-30, it says the range is 2,350 nm! That might be about right for the DC-10-10, but surely it's too small for the DC-10-30.

So are long-haul flights possible in the CLS DC-10-30, or do you really have to limit your flights to about 2,300 nm?

Another odd thing I noticed was that the service ceiling in the aircraft config file is stated as 32,700 feet. Yet the real DC-10-30 was able to climb as high as 42,000 feet. So that's rather odd as well. However, my main concern right now is with the range, as I was thinking of flying a CLS DC-10-30 from Auckland to Bangkok in AH 2 (about 5,300 nm), but now I'm worried I'll run out of fuel halfway through (which is all the more problematic as the latest build of AH 2 has disabled automatic refuelling).
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Flying Kiwi View Drop Down
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Joined: 13 Mar 2017
Location: Wellington, NZ
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flying Kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2017 at 1:27pm
Well, I have managed to do the flight, though not without some drama. It's the longest flight I've ever done to date! Took two attempts though. The first time, I set the climb speed to 2000 FPM (which it said to do in the manual, albeit for the tutorial flight over a much shorter distance). This resulted in a stall, even though my flaps and landing gear were up, and the autothrottle and autopilot were on. The AT was set to 210 or 230 I think. Somehow the plane got into an attitude that was way too nose-up and slowed to stalling speed (which is quite high when the thing is chocka full of fuel). I was 100 feet from smashing into Manukau Harbour (or possibly a beach or seaside suburb) when I managed to exit P3D.

Starting over, I set my initial climb speed to 1200 FPM this time. This seemed to work much better. I eventually increased it to 1500 FPM once stabilised in a climb on and course, and this appeared to be quite a comfortable climb rate. My chosen cruising altitude was 30,000 feet.

The FMC on this aircraft has a very handy fuel predictor, which ominously showed me negative numbers at Bangkok (in other words, I would be well and truly out of fuel by then). So although the manual and aircraft config file recommend a standard cruising speed of .82 Mach, I slowed to .75 Mach for much of the flight, although once the fuel prediction figures were well into the black, I gradually increased back up to .82M. (I really wanted to complete the flight before my bed time!) The landing was a bit dodgy as I somehow ended up sinking like a stone to 500 feet AGL way too soon! (This was despite using the FMC to calculate the approach speeds, putting the autopilot in APPR mode etc.) But I increased the autothrottle quickly and also disengaged the autopilot, thereby climbing back up a bit. The runway was dead ahead, so I descended back to it, disengaged the autothrottle, threw out some flaps, idled the engines and somehow pulled off a "Greaser" landing on Runway 21L at VTBD. It was a bit long, but with the autobrakes and spoilers, plus immediate application of reverse thrust on touchdown, I slowed very rapidly and still had some runway left when I reached taxiing speed. When I pulled up at my assigned gate and shut down the engines, the amount of fuel left was 603 pounds. So I cut it pretty fine, but I made it!

Incidentally, when I armed the spoilers on finals, they did actually arm and not deploy, so I guess that's another question answered (for the DC-10, at least - still not too sure about the Lockheed L-1011).
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Mike Hart View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Hart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2018 at 8:49am
Flying Kiwi, the fuel tank quantities for all the models are incorrect, the DC-30 had different and larger tanks to the DC-10 10. There also appears to be some issue with the flight dynamics and or tables used to calculate thrust by the FSX ESP engine, in other words they are wrong which is why you cannot get it to climb correctly at high weights. Basically it runs out of thrust above F230 and will not accelerate so either the drag data is incorrect, the thrust data is incorrect or the power data is incorrect OR it could be all 3. 

I have adjusted in the relevant files all the critical data for inlet size, power, N2 rpm, fuel loads, weight etc, but this has not fixed the issue of the model not performing at high altitudes. From my real world experience the symptoms are the same as one of two things, either a large accumulation of ice or the thrust output parameters being completely out of whack. There is also some data in the basic aerofoil data (area, angles etc) which is also not right. 

These aeroplanes were fitted with High bypass turbofans which gave them a lot of thrust compared to the same size turbine unit for a non bypass engine. For example it should be capable of at least 3000 FPM climb until about F150, then 2000 FPM until about F200, then about 1500 FPM until about F300 then about  1000 FPM until F350 then an aeroplane like this would normally have the climb performance drop off to about between 800 and 500 FPM for the last climb segment. You should also see Fuel Flows decreasing with altitude, which I do not and they are excessive like it is stuck at sea level. 

There are a number of people who really like this model who are looking at it and seeing if it can be fixed, including myself. The fix will not be easy if possible at all without all the model data and in depth knowledge of gauge coding etc.  It looks like a rush job to get it in the shop not to ensure it worked properly. Given the amount of work they did to rebuild the interior model it is a real disappointment that this basic stuff is so terrible. No idea what sort of conditions loads etc they used or if they even tried. 



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