Flight Plan

My flight plan....to encourage, mentor, guide those pining for the sky. I'm also here to virtually open the flight deck door for those who want to take a peek at the many aspects of aviation.....enjoy!

...and welcome aboard!...


The latest "Readbacks"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Talented Readership

There is a lot of talent amongst this blog's readership. Here's one "follower's" gift. He is a musician by trade and I wish I could attach one of his pieces he sent me but "blogger" doesn't have the technology to post it. Or more like, I don't know how to post it. :)

Hey Captain Doug,

Hope you're having or have had a good trip to Orlando! Since you commented on differences up front in the older and newer A320s, I've been wondering about variations in aircraft performance within the fleet. I know you've talked a bit about the difference in flying the A319, A320 and A321, but I'm wondering more specifically, do you ever notice a difference from one fin number to another? For example, do you get to the gate and cringe or get excited when you see a specific A319 sitting there, or do all fin numbers within a fleet type handle alike? I imagine a lot of the performance is based on the load factor, weather etc., but is there anything besides the outside variables that would make one plane handle any different from its sister ship under similar conditions?

Several years ago when I was living in ........., I had the fortune of operating several different GO trains in and out of Toronto. I noticed that certain locomotives would accelerate a lot quicker than others while hauling a 10-car train full of commuters, depending on how the timing was set. I remember crews disliking certain units due to various reasons like chronically defunct heaters or worn-out seats, through to issues with braking and acceleration. I know some weren't excited when they showed up for work and noticed a certain unit assigned to their train that day. Do you experience anything of the like as a pilot?

Just for fun, I've attached a few screenshots of some AC Airbus planes I painted for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, ..... I also do side work as a graphic designer- for me painting the equipment is usually more fun than playing the games when I have free time, it's kind of therapeutic:)

As far as differences amongst the fleet, I can't tell one A319 from another. Sure some are newer but overall they all handle the same.
Some of our old A320s are very loud as far as duct work and air conditioning. The seats are hard and don't adjust well. The newer A320s have better seats (electric), are quieter and they have tray tables just like the A319 and A321. Air Canada has about 85 "small buses" and they are all very generic amongst the types.

I guess that's what "fly by wire" technology does - it gives the same feel no matter what. :)

When I flew for other airlines, one could certainly notice the difference in the fleet - Dash 8, Navajos and Merlins.

Hey Captain Doug,

Thanks for the answers! From a passenger's perspective, it's kind of reassuring to know that there is such consistency among similar aircraft, and that the hard equipment is predictable and reliable when it comes to performance. While the need for safety and predictability is important on the ground, I think it's somewhat magnified when you're blasting through the air at 30 000+ feet in a pressurized tube:)

Glad you like the shots- they are specifically painted for MS Flight Simulator. Not sure how familiar you are with simulation games, but here's the basics of how an aircraft, locomotive, or whatever vehicle is represented in the sim works; a designer creates a shape file, which needs textures "wrapped" around it- this textured shape file is then placed into into the sim by the program and with some additional code-physics is treated as a flyable or drivable object. It also has a cockpit or cabview, interior view or whatever else the designers choose to include. The shots I sent you are of airline textures I hand-drew using Adobe Photoshop, placed on a freeware shape file available at flightsim.com (I did not create the shape file- that's a whole other story!). I've attached a few more of my repaints for you, you'll see the United model has IAE engines rather than the CFMs found on the AC and US east fleet. I've also attached a couple of the base textures which the sim wraps around the shape file so you can see how it looks in the graphic program or "painter's easel". You can certainly post any of the pics if you like- fine by me.


Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Hey Captain Doug,
Those were some interesting facts!!
I also have FSX(Flight Simulator X)but i have not yet found AC's A319, A320 and A321! I am happy about finding AC's A340-300, A330 and the E190!
Happy Flying!
The Winnipeger,

Scote1992 said...

Hey Adam, check out Wilco Publishing Airbus Series 1. It simulates the Airbus series from beginner all the way up to advanced. I loved them, and they come with AC liveries.

Daniel said...

Wilco is good , however not the best. I currently fly that but with Airsimmer coming out (Probably another 3 years) it will be better. Even simulates engine/tire/hydraulic etc. wear and tare. 90 $ sounds a lot ,lol, but worth it.

Adam aka "The Winnipeger" said...

Scote 1992 & Daniel,
I am thinking about buying the Wilco Airbus Series 1. Right now I am using Simviation, Flight Sim and Avsim! Thanks for telling me where to buy the AC "small bus", I really appreciate it!
Thanks again,
The Winnipeger,