Passion for aviation

AstroBeatle

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Hi, I have been a lifelong spaceflight nerd and I would like to start an interest in aviation and airplanes, but I couldn't get myself as interested in it as I am with space vehicles. However, I think whatever flies looks pretty cool. Could anyone help me become more interested in the field of aviation?
 

Urwumpe

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Hi, I have been a lifelong spaceflight nerd and I would like to start an interest in aviation and airplanes, but I couldn't get myself as interested in it as I am with space vehicles. However, I think whatever flies looks pretty cool. Could anyone help me become more interested in the field of aviation?

The big question is: What are you expecting of you?

I know that all the fancy technology and stuff is interesting, but not more. I like complex systems and see information buzz around in them. But that has no emotion, its just some kind of mental sport. I feel the same there about old main frame computers. "Fascinating" in a pure Spock sense.

On the other hand I really deeply envy those who fly with a hang glider and did build one from junk when I was a child, reached about 3 meters distance to the ground during the first and only test flight, it worked too good before the structure failed and I crashed badly (Nothing broken except my pride). I still dream of getting into a flight school learning hang gliding, but I can't really imagine, when I should find the time to do this before I die. But it was the moment I was really feeling flying. Even if it was just for a few seconds. :love:
 

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Hi, I have been a lifelong spaceflight nerd and I would like to start an interest in aviation and airplanes, but I couldn't get myself as interested in it as I am with space vehicles. However, I think whatever flies looks pretty cool. Could anyone help me become more interested in the field of aviation?

Are there any sailplane/gliding clubs in your country... may be worth searching.

As a beginner I flew sailplanes for a few years here in the UK. It really took up too much time for me to keep it up long term, but it was fascinating...
 

Andy44

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I have a pilot's license, but I haven't used it in many years because it's too expensive and time-consuming for me to keep up with in my current circumstances.

But I will say this: the very first time I flew solo, finding myself alone in that airplane leaving the runway, was an amazing thrill like no other. The feeling of freedom and escape from the 2D world beneath, is something I will never forget.

Later, after being certified, flying south along the east bank of the Delaware River near Philadelphia with my brother in the seat next to me, we climbed high enough to actually see the panhandle shape of southern New Jersey, flew down Delaware Bay and around Cape May and back up towards Sea Isle City VOR. At one point a pair of fast-moving A-10s zipped beneath our Cessna 150; we almost didn't spot their camouflaged shapes against the trees. That was just one of a handful of great flights I've made. A great way to blow a Saturday afternoon.
 

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[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-7zHlOi4T4"]?? ?? The Awesome "CAD WEST" Low Flying Jet Site In Wales "Mach Loop". - YouTube[/ame]

Might want to visit this site to spark your interest. :cool:
 

boogabooga

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Hi, I have been a lifelong spaceflight nerd and I would like to start an interest in aviation and airplanes, but I couldn't get myself as interested in it as I am with space vehicles. However, I think whatever flies looks pretty cool. Could anyone help me become more interested in the field of aviation?

Legitimate question. I did the reverse from aviation to spaceflight via Orbier. Some people like to force themselves to broaden their interests. I get it. ;)

If you use Orbiter to nurture your spaceflight interest, then use a flightsim to do the same for aviation. This one is free:
http://www.flightgear.org/

But there is also FSX, X-plane, and others.
 

Ripley

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Ok, after being a bit cinical and rude, I'll give my 2 positive cents here:

as for many others, I also had a long passion for hardcore combat flight-simming (from Falcon 3 days, DiD's EF-2000, Jane's series, to Falcon4 and its evolutions, then to IL-2 series, etc...). I even bought some expensive hardware like Thrustmaster Cougar and Simped rudders.

This passion came to a state of "saturation" around 2009/2010, where I took a break and I eventually found Orbiter.
That was what I just needed, and it gave me a fresh spark!

So to us now, do you have a joystick? Not terribly useful in space, but if you want to dedicate yourself to atmospheric flight, it's nearly a must-have.
Even if atmospheric flight isn't the best modelled aspect of Orbiter, you can have lots of fun and learn quite a few things.

At Orbit Hangar there are some "normal" airplanes, like this [ame="http://www.orbithangar.com/searchid.php?ID=7009"]Aero A-242[/ame], or you can use any other winged spaceship.
In this latter case you just have to take care of not going too fast or you'll rapidly burn your ship due to atmospheric friction.
The DGIV (maybe XR fleet too?) has some handy speed-limited autopilots that turn useful when flying around while studying navigation MFDs like the Horizontal Situation Indicator.

And what about trying some "hardcore" landings the way real F-16 pilots do, following the famous Paul Wilson's landing tutorial? (<- download from Tuttovola).
Back in the Falcon days, this tutorial was (and still is) paramount.
It easily adapts to any other flight sim, given they have an FPM (Flight Path Marker - in our case, Orbiter's Prograde indicator).

You could start with the "DG-XR1 -> On Final Approach to KSC" scenario.

:cheers:
 

Fabri91

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I have a pilot's license, but I haven't used it in many years because it's too expensive and time-consuming for me to keep up with in my current circumstances.

But I will say this: the very first time I flew solo, finding myself alone in that airplane leaving the runway, was an amazing thrill like no other. The feeling of freedom and escape from the 2D world beneath, is something I will never forget.

Later, after being certified, flying south along the east bank of the Delaware River near Philadelphia with my brother in the seat next to me, we climbed high enough to actually see the panhandle shape of southern New Jersey, flew down Delaware Bay and around Cape May and back up towards Sea Isle City VOR. At one point a pair of fast-moving A-10s zipped beneath our Cessna 150; we almost didn't spot their camouflaged shapes against the trees. That was just one of a handful of great flights I've made. A great way to blow a Saturday afternoon.

Sort of a similar point of view here w.r.t. sailplanes: made my license three years ago, but now everything is on hold due to it being too expensive and time consuming.

My first solo flight is also the one I best remember: the thought of "hey, I really am alone up here" is something I'll never forget.
 

Ravenous

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I remember, not my first solo flight, but my first flight in a single seat glider. Obviously with no instructor seat I'd never flown this model under supervision before!

A classic old Schleicher Ka-8:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schleicher_K_8

It was so tiny and light weight I went up almost vertically on the winch launch (OK it was probably only around 50-60 degrees) and almost wet myself. Combine that with the soft creaking noises it made all the way down to my eventual landing.

It was only afterwards when I found my flight was double the length of a "typical" non-soaring flight, that the low-budget single seater had me captive. It was quite difficult for the club members to get me out of it for a while after that.

(Photo's not mine by the way: from the Wikipedia page.)
800px-Schleicher_K_8b_D-5727.jpg
 

AstroBeatle

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Why force yourself into something you're not interested in?
I'm not exactly forcing myself; it is just that I would like to obtain a Bachelor's in aerospace engineering so I would have to learn about both air and space vehicles. I figured that it would be a bonus if I could get myself more interested in aircraft. For the record, right now I am slightly interested in aviation but it is not as intense as my other field of interests such as space travel.
 

jroly

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Before Orbiter I used to play Flight Simulator 2004, I always liked planes. I used to like doing crazy challenges like overload a Cessna 172 with fuel and try to fly from Sydney to Hawaii.

I've only been in a real plane about 10 times in my life. What you could do is Flight Simulator 2004 has a Private License training program built and lesson plans which is fun and challenging too. Real instructors guide you through the training program. Completing a Private Pilot course in Flight Simulator might aid you in your appreciation and interest in the field of aviation.

 

Ravenous

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...I would like to obtain a Bachelor's in aerospace engineering so I would have to learn about both air and space vehicles.

Interesting subject. As for Aeronautical engineering I read an old edition of Barnard & Philpott's introductory book "Aircraft Flight" years ago, I notice a newer one is on the net. Might be worth a look. (The book isn't very mathematical, unfortunately... for a degree I'd expect there's much more involved.)
 

Urwumpe

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Interesting subject. As for Aeronautical engineering I read an old edition of Barnard & Philpott's introductory book "Aircraft Flight" years ago, I notice a newer one is on the net. Might be worth a look. (The book isn't very mathematical, unfortunately... for a degree I'd expect there's much more involved.)

Engineering isn't exactly mathematical. You need to know some basic equations, but nobody really expects a deeper mathematical understanding of them. If you are lucky, the difference between ODE and PDE is explained well-enough for you to actually know it, but generally, you rely on specialized mathematicians to tell you which kind of solver you should use for a simulation task. Real statistics is something more important if you are in QA.

A physicist would need to know more mathematics to do his job, but an engineer usually more works "by the cooking book". Knowing a where to find the formula that you need is more important than being able to derive a new formula.

Also, I recommend the book "Flight mechanics of high-performance aircraft", if you are interested into the boundary between air and space. It is a really good read.

http://www.cambridge.org/de/academi...ormance-aircraft?format=PB&isbn=9780521478526
 

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I'm not sure what aspect the OP is really interested in. I've been wandering between both worlds on and off over the years, and am right now coding a spacecraft for a flightsim environment.

There's interesting aspects to the engineering in both space and air. For instance, think about the problem of making a stealth shape actually fly - what's hard to see on the radar unfortunately isn't what likes to fly. Think about making a supersonic (like the F-104 Starflighter or the Concorde) land - their whole design is making a slow, controlled approach hard to do (incidentially, after spending just 10 minutes with a good Starfighter simulation, I knew immediately why there were so many accidents with it...) So while Spacecraft have to have lots of engineering to survive a hostile environment, aircraft fundamentally have to be shaped to fly.

I will say that the biggest difference for me is the experience. I've always been fascinated by spaceflight, but unlike flight in air, it is fundamentally a waiting game. You wait for the launch window, you wait for the node crossing to do a correction burn, you wait for the time to do your interplanetary departure burn,...

And usually you have to plan it all ahead. A few years ago I had lots of time on my hands, so I flew the Delta Glider to Europa. I spend some hours understanding how to configure TransX, then made it compute my trajectory, then did the trajectory as pre-computed and finally landed on Europa. It all happened pretty much as precomputed. And then I started to wonder 'What now?'

Especially with small aircraft, the whole experience is very different. I've done lots of simulated flights in the French Alps with a single-prop aircraft, the DR-400. It's a challenging environment, because the engine starts to struggle at the altitude. You have to adapt and improvise, if the weather deteriorates you might have to resort to radio navigation to not get lost - or plan an alternative landing site. There's crosswinds between the peaks to reckon with - you can't simply let go of the controls, there's tiny adjustments to make every few seconds. And I've always liked to see the planet from above. There's always the challenge of the unknown.

Speaking of challenges - bringing an F-14 onto the carrier in gusty winds, rain and poor visibility is a genuine test of skill. So is putting down a rescue helicopter in rough mountain terrain or on a small helipad on a ship. So is hugging the terrain with an A-10, never going above 100 ft, and then trying to hit a practice target as small as a tank with the gun. So is flying overland with a glider from thermal to thermal - there's no MFD or AP that does it for you - you actually have to be a skilled pilot to do these things.

I do like the immersion into spaceflight, watch Earth pass below,... and I really enough coding the engineering challenges of it - coming up with an AP capable of flying Shuttle aborts is interesting math - but here I think the joy is in writing it more than in using it.

Though people are different - the simulator community has plenty of people whose joy it is to fly 8 hour services in airliners in real time where most of the time the AP just goes through the pre-determined flightplan. Some of these are even real-life airline pilots who do it in their spare time...

I guess all in all simulated aviation comes with a more diverse set of challenges than simulated spaceflight... I've always missed the 'piloting' part in spaceflight. That's my 2 cents at least.
 

Urwumpe

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So is hugging the terrain with an A-10, never going above 100 ft, and then trying to hit a practice target as small as a tank with the gun.

A small hint as big A-10 fan and almost exclusive A-10C pilot in flight simulations: In reality, you wouldn't do that. Tanks are attacked from above so you get hit them where the armor is soft (roof). Usually, with at least a 30° dive.

Attacking with the gun at low angles is done for attacking soft targets, like a convoy of trucks. You approach at gopher altitude and then make gentle use of the rudder to strafe the target with salvos.

But attacking tanks at low angles is fun at night. IF you manage to approach a tank at low angle at night, you are rewarded with a beautiful spray of tracers and ricochet from the tank armor.

A recommended book on the subject, BTW: "Flying the A-10 in the gulf war."

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/337553.Warthog


What I really would like to fly in a proper simulation one day: The Operation Black Buck strikes with the Vulcan bomber. Six aerial refuelings. A rather antique navigation system, designed only for medium range missions over Europe. All over the ocean. Eleven aircraft operating from the same runway for the same mission.

749px-Refuelling.plan.black.buck.svg.png


That was a real master piece.
 
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