To start with, there's YouTube or Vimeo. One of the FS sites might get interested if there's sufficient traffic.
I'm just exploring the idea, as a way to get more engaged with people who share this interest. I saw stills here in the Cal Classic Photo Gallery by mrcapitalism of the London to Antwerp pioneer era flight in the Savoia-Marchetti S.73. And Erik said he had flown one also, from Croydon to Le Touquet (Le Bourget?). And I worked through the various KIZG arrivals using the L-049. So I know we're out there.
So, what do you think about a "Propliner Tutorial Video Library?" Is there such a thing, and I've just not found it? Does that sound like a fun and worthwhile project?
I actually considered doing something similar, but gave up on the idea for a couple of reasons that I'll explain here. It might still have some merit, but I thought I'd share my thoughts.
I don't know if you watch much flight simulator content on Youtube, but there are some interesting insights to be seen from how others play the game. This was made apparent shortly after the release of both the PMDG DC-6A/B and A2A Simulations L-049. Numerous videos have been released for both aircraft, ranging from general product reviews, to in depth study flights and multi segment trips. Peter Matthess has a series where he flies the BOAC Kangaroo Route in the 049, and even a couple North Atlantic crossings using a sextant!
But the concepts from FSAviator's Propliner Tutorial are (nearly?) universally missing. If I can describe a common theme for all these virtual pilots, is that they fly these aircraft like modern phase jetliners. That's fine, and they should enjoy their purchases. But every single video starts with the propliner nosed into the terminal, an engine start, and pushback using a tug with engines running. The takeoff is always like a 747 or other jetliner, with a very large AoA rotation, and a slow speed climb to a jetliner style acceleration altitude, with the engines in TOGA throughout. Less experienced broadcasters will fly the entire video in TOGA RPM. This speaks nothing of navigation, of how we use holding for departure and arrival, of classic phase approaches, classic era autopilots, fuel/altitude/headwind management, or any the many other lessons provided by you gentlemen. I've seen users attempt the propliner version of "Flex Thrust" takeoffs.. choosing randomly reduced MAP and RPM settings just below TOGA. Just like a jetliner's assumed temperature operations. There is a community manager at PMDG who insists there's no point in climbing a DC-6B to operational ceiling, denies such a concept exists. Oh well.
So I thought, maybe I could make a video. Just to demonstrate a compliant takeoff. To show how much different it is compared to an A320. That these aren't just slower..louder jetliners. They have different targets, and different procedures. But the problem is that I don't think it adds anything beyond the various text tutorials here. I can make it short and just demonstrate the procedure. But nobody would understand why the L-049 is flying that way. Why is it so low? Why are the engines being reduced? Did they fail? There's just too much context that is really explained in the tutorials, and specific targets given in the handling notes. The procedure doesn't make much sense without that knowledge, but with it the entire process pretty much falls into place.
The other option is to make a very long video. Which is basically reading the Propliner Tutorial with FSX footage in the background. And that seemed like a lot of work for very little added benefit.
Take the example of the propliner pushback. I could make a video explaining it, or (as I often do) one of John Proctor's fine photos and a couple sentences performs the same service.
There's also the problem of loss/lack of core concepts. Nearly everything in FS11 is glass cockpit, which just expands the trend of FSX and in some sense RL aviation. People don't know how to use NDB's, VOR's, basic function autopilots, visual (pioneer and modern) navigation. Outside of required VOR checks, I haven't actually used a VOR enroute in years. The airways are no longer being defined by them. These are concepts very often assumed to be understood, but that is no longer the case. I've realized over months of helping another user on another forum that he very likely started flying fully modern jetliners and never once deviated until he tried a propliner. Never mind how to perform a propliner takeoff. He doesn't know how to manually control throttles, or use elevator trim. He doesn't know how to manage pitch/power/airspeed, or how to fly a traffic pattern. He doesn't know what VOR or NDB, or ILS even is. And he's been flying ILS Autolands for probably years. It's just button he presses on the MCDU and AP panel. Then watches the show. It might be hard to determine exactly "where to start from" for a series of tutorial videos. And FS11 deleted the Learning Center, and Rod Machado's lessons too!!!!!
There's also resistance to the concepts. Many people dismiss these concepts as "old fashioned" and redundant. But for those that are motivated, I think the resources currently available are incredible.
I ponder how many hundreds of hours of Youtube content are contained within the humble file "Propliner Tutorial 2008.txt" And the forum Archive. And the Flight Simulation Control Interface Tutorial. Those posts are a gold mine for Classic, Vintage, and Pioneer phase aviation.
If somebody does want to do it, I think you have an enormous task ahead of you! Good luck! I still think of making that takeoff demo.
I made an ILS demo once, and it prompted many more questions and discussion than it actually answered. What is "running square"? Why'd you do that with the power? Why'd you turn there? How did you maintain altitude? etc etc...
During gaps in life, I've made this list of videos "inspired by FSAviator's Propliner Tutorial." The vision is that each would have a few minutes of Ground School, explaining the "why" and then just enough video to show the "what and how."
Simple but Realistic Propliner Takeoff and Departure
G21 Goose at Concord, NH (KCON)
L-049a Constellation at Washington, DC (KDCA), clearly shows TOGA, METO and Climb power
Basic Visual Height Keeping and High-Performance Pattern
G21 Goose at KCON
Basic Enroute Planning, Cruising, and Descent
Goose, KCON to SZO (IAF at Fryeburg, ME)
Connie, KDCA to SZO (IAF at Fryeburg, ME), introduces shock cooling and transonic speed limits
Basic NDB Approach with Hold, Missed Approach, and Landing
Connie, Fryeburg, ME (KIZG) RWY 32
Goose, KIZG RWY 32, shows use of less flap to manage pitch
Goose, KIZG RWY 14, shows circle-to-land
Intermediate Departures with QFG and Flight Planning
Goose or DC-3, KIZG to Burlington, VT (KBTV), warm season with thunderstorms
Goose or DC-3, KIZG to KBTV, cold season via airways
Overseas Operations using Vintage navigation
Connie, New York, NY La Guardia (KLGA) to Bermuda (MXKF)
Intermediate Fuel Planning and Enroute Captaincy
Convair CV-340, KBOS to KIZG, short haul cruising altitude determination
Connie, Salt Lake City, UT (KSLC) to Denver, CO (KDEN), high-and-hot load planning
Connie, KDEN to KSLC, severe headwinds
NDB with Procedure Turn: Goose to Greenville, ME
Range / VOR: Goose to Sanford, ME
ILS: Goose at Auburn-Lewiston, ME
Iconic Propliner Flights
SAS DC-6B Polar Route, Los Angeles, CA, USA to Copenhagen, Denmark
Looking forward to what people suggest here!
I assumed an audience most interested in classic era propliners, and in complete flights. I then aimed to stay as close to the Propliner Tutorial as possible, introducing new airports and routes only when a concept did not seem to have an associated flight.
Quite a few people don't seem to "know better" but that isn't to say they don't want to learn. Correspondence I've seen on other forums seems to indicate that many are prepared to learn. My suggestion would be to start with some fairly simple videos concerning manifold pressure, RPM, cowl flaps etc because they may otherwise feel blinded by science. The tutorials on Tom's site are quite heavy and would probably put people new to old aircraft straight off!
I agree. As far as FSAviator goes there are clearly people, and perhaps many people, who find the way he wrote acceptable and the Propliner Tutorial of immense value. I have always found it too inclined to arrogance, pomposity, a contempt for his audience and a real delight in explaining how very difficult things were and how very clever you need to be - like him. As a result I have never succeded in reading all the way through it, and gave up trying long ago. I would rather use a real world manual any day. The truth is surely that it was not that difficult, though of course more so than switching on the FMC just after you take off. It is much more rewarding than that, which is why we do it, and done properly videos may be able to convey that. Making videos is itself a skill, and perhaps the film-maker and the writer of the screenplay need not be the same person, Ken
LOL, I'm with Ken. Every time I look at it I wish there was an executive summary! I prefer to consult the real world manuals and the FAA/CAR regulations from that era. And if you want to know absolutely everything and more about how the big piston engine actually works, and in a very readable way, there's nothing better than the book "The Aircraft Engine and its Operation" published by Pratt and Whitney in 1946 with updates to 1955.
However, as John says, the community probably needs less, not more, information and indeed a series of relatively short and concise videos sounds like a good idea. And once having learned the basics some will then develop an appetite for more detail.