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Lancaster Autopilot

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petesmiffy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 Sep 2018 at 3:30pm
AH make great aircraft, except for their autopilots. I love their Bulldog, no autopilot.
I have been holding an A/P heading in the Lancaster by setting the negative value of my desired course on the D/I. not a reciprocal but if I want to fly 060, I set 300.
However, I have discovered that if you go into the F10 view and hit W until the basic flight instruments appear, you can use that compass to set your heading. 
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Uncle Bucc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Uncle Bucc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Sep 2018 at 5:04pm
I agree.  However, it is not an "autopilot" in the true sense but an auto-control to hold direction and attitude.

The underlying fact that, although it is lovely aeroplane to fly and trims easily, is that the auto-control system, as you have stated, is clearly "broken" and does not hold the course which has been set. 

Your proposed solution is greatfully received but not one that should have to be used as an interim stop-gap in the hope that AH will release a SP to fix this.  But I shall give it a shot as the only time I ever use the a-c is for legs over 20 minutes and aligning for an imaginary bombing run.

Thanks for the information.
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Derek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Derek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 1:04pm
Hi gents - trying to get to the bottom of the issue with the 'autopilot' - which isn't an autopilot. In the manual it says:

"The system should be ‘primed’ by moving the control lever to SPIN position and the clutch lever to IN position. The system is now ready for operation when required. Doing this before takeoff makes things a little simpler when over the target.

When you are ready to use the system, move the Control Lever A Forward and use the Attitude Control lever C and the Steering Tiller E to adjust the aircraft's attitude and heading.

Don't forget that you will also be able to steer the aircraft to a limited extent, in the Bomb Aimer's Station using the Slave Control (6. in Bomb Aimer’s panel above)."

can you let us know which bit of this is actually broken? Like the real Lancaster, you can't use the auto controls as an autopilot, but if it isn't functioning as described we can see what needs fixing.
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petesmiffy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petesmiffy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 4:12pm
There have been enough posts about this. I submitted a ticket the day after it came out.
Quoting the instruction book doesn't help.
Auto control or auto pilot is just splittings hairs, in this case.
Engaging the auto-whatever results in the aircraft turning due North. Using the steering tiller is an incredibly hit or miss affair with unpredictable results.
I have found two work arounds; 1) Off set the Direction indicator in the opposite direction that you require thus making your desired heading 000 on the DI; 2) Use the compass in the F10 forward view to set a heading.
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Uncle Bucc View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Uncle Bucc Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 4:57pm
It's not the auto control that is "broken" it just gives that impression.

It is the Direction Indicator which needs looking at.  As stated in the manual if you prime the auto-control on the pan whilst starting up it is an easy task to do.  Take off set your course and trim accordingly.  The only time I ever want to use the a/c is when a leg is more than 20 minutes in duration, crossing the North Sea for example, and when trying to align for an imaginary bombing run.

Set the course you require and engaging the auto-control should be easy.  But upon engagement the 'plane violently veers off in either a left or right direction.  Other than that it is a joy to fly.
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petesmiffy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petesmiffy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2018 at 5:20pm
The DI is certainly implicated in this. Bypass the DI through the F10 window and its compass and there is no problem (or realism).

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Derek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Derek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 5:17am
"Auto control or auto pilot is just splittings hairs, in this case."
How so? This aeroplane doesn't have an autopilot. The developers have tried to replicate the bomb-aimer's 'left.. steady...right steady....' so you can simulate the bomb aimer's experience - ie, lying down, looking at the target while the pilot steers the aircraft.
It was never designed to 'cross the North Sea' - perhaps we should have made this clearer in the manual?

We will try and replicate this 'veers violently' bit but we've not had any success at this so far.
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Derek View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Derek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 5:20am
NB - there is a small patch due out for Lanc soon - take a look at the aircraft when that's released and see if it makes any difference.
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petesmiffy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote petesmiffy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 10:11am
Originally posted by Derek Derek wrote:

"Auto control or auto pilot is just splittings hairs, in this case."
How so? This aeroplane doesn't have an autopilot.

It is supposed to be able to hold a heading and an altitude, therefore it is a simple auto pilot by any other name. Sperry coined the term "autopilot" in 1912, the first Sperry autopilots simply held attitude and direction. In 1930 the Royal Auircraft Establishment developed a pneumatic gyro driven auto system that they termed a "pilots' assister". This is just semantics and a distraction from the fact that it fails to hold a heading, other than 000, for any length of time be that a bomb run or a North Sea crossing.

There is no problem with altitude hold.
There is a problem with the Direction Indicator and how it interfaces with the auto control; switch in the auto control and it swings to 000 and the aircraft follows it. However, use the compass in the F10 view to set the heading and there is no problem.
The problem with the steering tiller may just be with the sensitivity settings.

Incidentally, the idea of one pilot in a heavy bomber originated with AVM William MacNeece Foster. A.O.C. No. 6 (Bomber) Group in 1939. The A.O.C. of No. 5 Group, Arthur Harris, soon to become Deputy Chief of the Air Staff, opposed this idea and insisted that, if it was adopted, all bombers be fitted with some form of autopilot, or auto control, to relieve pilot fatigue.

All that apart, excellent aeroplane.
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CXA651Alan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CXA651Alan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 11:29am
Hi.
The type for want of a better name auto pilot , means before turning on , you must adjust the heading indicator , so zero is on the luber line (straight ahead), then engauge the auto pilot , the aircraft can then be moved left or right , by moveing the L/R steering adjust , or move the heading indicator L/R by the amount of degrees you wish to turn , with cross ref to the compass for the direction of course you wish to travel.
The fault with this system that i have found , more so if on joinFS , is something can interfere with it so the heading indicator can be out by as much as 60 degrees , so there is an issue in the system , just that i have been unable to find it as yet.
regards alan cottrill.Smile
Alan Cottrill
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