Monday, September 19, 2016

VSKYLABS A-12 Avenger II

VSKYLABS McDonnell Douglass A-12 Avenger II

For X-Plane 10.45+


Please scroll down to read instructions
(current version: 2016-001 / X-Plane 10.45+)

General information:
(Credit - wikipedia - 'McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II'):
The McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was a proposed American attack aircraft from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics. It was to be an all-weather, carrier-based stealth bomber replacement for the Grumman A-6 Intruder in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Its Avenger II name was taken from the Grumman TBF Avenger of World War II.

The development of the A-12 was troubled by cost overruns and several delays, causing questions of the program's ability to deliver upon its objectives; these doubts led to the development program being canceled in 1991. The manner of its cancellation was contested through litigation until a settlement was reached in January 2014.

General characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 37 ft 10 in (11.5 m)
  • Wingspan:
    • Unfolded: 70 ft 3 in (21.4 m)
    • Folded: 36 ft 3 in (11.0 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 3 in (3.4 m)
  • Wing area: 1,308 ft² (122 m²)
  • Empty weight: 39,000 lb (17,700 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 80,000 lb (36,300 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F412-GE-D5F2 non-afterburning turbofans, 13,000 lbf (58 kN) each
  • Maximum fuel capacity: 21,322 pounds (9,700 kg) (internal)[11]
  • Maximum speed: 500 knots (580 mph, 930 km/h)
  • Range: 800 nmi (920 mi, 1,480 km)
  • Service ceiling: 40,000 ft (12,200 m)
  • Rate of climb: 5,000 ft/min (25 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 61 lb/ft² (300 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.325



Front Cockpit Panel - Main Switches

  1. Air to Air / Air to Ground Weapon selector.
  2. Re-arm all weapons.
  3. Fire extinguishers (left/right engines).
  4. Tactical/Navigation map (toggle push on the screen to move the head to the left side).
  5. Instruments brightens.
  6. Map zoom selector (top to bottom switches, up – see far / down – see close).
  7. HSI needle selector (right/left).
  8. Map mode selector (cyclic).
  9. Heading bug selector (right/left).
  10. Display layers selectors (VOR's, NDB's, TCAS...).
  11. Warning Annunciator panel #1
  12. Flight data and Recon camera MFD (toggle push on the screen to change field-of-view setting 65/95 degrees).
  13. HUD power on.
  14. HUD brightness ratio.
  15. Recon camera on/off switch.
  16. Recon camera tilt/field of view switches.
  17. General navigation screen (toggle push on the screen to move the head to the right side).
  18. Autopilot mode selectors (alt/heading/pitch/terrain follow/wing level).
  19. Autopilot on/off switch.
  20. Braking Chute.
  21. X-Plane's GPS (click on the screen to toggle pop-up).
  22. ECAM MFD.
  23. ECAM display selectors (engine/ fuel management and systems status).
Side Cockpit Panels - Main Switches

  1. Engines shut-off switches (left/right).
  2. Engines start-up switches (left/right).
  3. Fuel Dump switch (on/off).
  4. Fuel transfer switches (both tanks - transfer fuel to TANK NO#).
  5. Ext lights - Navigation and Strobe lights.
  6. Artificial stability: Yaw Damper / Artificial Stabilization.
  7. Landing lights switch.
  8. Oxygen meter.
  9. Parking brakes.
  10. Landing gears handle.
  11. Tail-hook handle.
  12. Annunciator panel #2.
  13. Avionics on/off switch.
  14. Annunciator test button - CLICK AND HOLD.
  15. Electricity panel: generators #1/#2, inverters, battery switches.
  16. Pressurization DUMP switch.
  17. Pitot tube heating switch.
  18. Anti icing systems switch.
  19. Bleed air switch on/off.
  20. Interior panel lights (left/right/center).
Flying instructions for X-Plane flight simulator:
  • The aircraft loads up with a 2D HUD display. To switch on the 3D HUD display, you have to turn off the 2D HUD, by using the "HUD power on" toggle switch (no.13 in the front panel map. Scroll up here to see it). This switch toggles between the 3D & 2D HUD. Brightness of the 3D HUD is controlled by the instruments brightness rheostat.
  • Enable X-Plane's "show instrument instruction in the cockpit" (by entering the 'About/Instructions' window in the simulator, and mark/un-mark the check box in the bottom of the window. After you enable it, you can point your mouse to any relevant switch/screen in the cockpit and read useful information about it.
  • For takeoff and landings click on one the MFD's screens to adjust field-of-view and head position to see the runway center line.
  • When landing on regular/long runways and on an aircraft carrier, do not extend the air-brakes on final approach. Extension of the air-brakes result in an additional 1-2 degrees to nose attitude and affects forward visibility in a 3-4 degrees final.
  • When landing on short runways (air strips in the desert), extend the air-brakes on final approach and deploy the braking chute upon touchdown.
  • Important Joystick assignments:
    • Assign the 'Pitch trim up/down' and 'Aileron trim left/right' to your joystick HAT switch.
    • Assign the 'Speed-Brakes extend full/retract full'.
    • Assign the 'Target select up/down'.
    • Assign the 'Deploy flare/chaff'.
    • You can assign the 'Weapon select up/down' or use the A/A / A/G click switches in the cockpit.
    • You can assign the 'Fire all armed selections' or use the space-bar to fire a weapon.
  • Navigation Aids:
    • Click on the lower left screen to pop up X-Plane's GPS.
    • Use the buttons around the left/right MFD's to set the needed zoom, map mode, Nav aids display modes, TCAS, heading bug and HSI needle setting.

The VSKYLABS A-12/F-19 Avenger II Autopilot reference guide.

Attached below is a quick guide for the A-12/F-19 Autopilot modes of operations.

It is a simple yet very useful Autopilot system with 5 modes of operation.
Note that when a mode is being selected, it is highlighted by a green light, and an additional a green "POWER" light is also turned on.

To turn off the Autopilot, hit the green "Power" light-button, and to reset the Autopilot - hit it again to turn in on.

ALT mode:Push it to keep a certain flight level. If you pushed it during a climb or a descent, the Autopilot will fly the aircraft so it would stop the climb/descent and get back to the specific altitude in which the ALT button was pressed on.

You will notice that when you selecting the ALT mode, both ALT and WLV modes are selected. This is because when selecting ALT mode during a turn (while climbing or descending), the Autopilot will keep the aircraft banking attitude which was during the ALT mode selection.

HDG mode:Use this mode to couple the Autopilot with the Heading Bug (the pink heading bug which is visible in both left and right MFD's, and can be changes during flight using the two buttons on the left, lower side of the displays.

You can select this mode once stabilized in a certain altitude on a ALT mode (green light). In this case, the ALT mode will remain active with a green light, while the WLV mode (which turns ON when ALT mode is being selected) will turn of. Reason is that the banking attitude is now coupled with the HDG mode.

If you select HDG mode, while no other mode is being selected, while the aircraft is climbing or descending, the ALT mode will set up in a yellow light, but will not be engaged, while the PTCH mode will be automatically selected to maintain the specific pitch attitude which was during the selection of the HDG mode.

PTCH mode:Use this mode to keep a desired nose attitude. The Autopilot will set up a fixed nose attitude (bank+pitch), which was during this mode selection.

Note that when selecting the PTCH mode, the ALT mode will turn yellow, indicating that it is armed but not engaged, and the WLV will turn green, indicating that the WLV mode is engaged, as the aircraft will maintain its pitch attitude as well as the wing level attitude.

TERR mode:This model is for low level flight in a terrain following mode, keeping the aircraft at an avarage height of 200 feet above ground level.
You can engage the TERR mode with the HDG mode, and change the aircraft course with the heading bug, or you could engage only the TERR mode, and fly the aircraft manually. If you chose to fly it manually, keep in mind that you can push the stick and force the aircraft to hit the ground, so, it is recommended to engage the TERR mode, and fly the aircraft only with throttle and roll inputs. As you will roll the aircraft to turn, the Autopilot will add the needed pitch input (using the trim automatically), and will allow very tight/high G turns.

Note that the Autopilot is using the electric trim system for pitch control, and if you stressed out the Autopilot in tight maneuvers or if you have pulled the stick for a long period of time, "fighting" with the TERR mode, you could be surprized by unwanted trim position once you disengage the TERR mode. It is also recommended to to fly over steep terrain this the TERR mode engaged, because it will stress out the Autopilot, and it could not prevent an impact with steep mountain walls ahead of the flight path. This mode is perfect for tartical flight in canyions, while going around terrain obstacles and not "up and down" through the mountains.

Note that when selecting the TERR mode, the WLV mode will turn green and will be engaged also, so the aircraft will try to keep a horizontal bank attitude, as long as there is no stick inputs.

WLV mode:Use this mode to keep a desired nose attitude. The Autopilot will set up a fixed nose attitude (bank+pitch), which was during this mode selection (similar to the PTCH mode). 

The A-12 flying and handling characteristics (X-Plane):

  • Takeoff - 50,000 - 80,000 lbs:
    • Rotation: 145-150 knots.
    • Lift off: 160 knots.
  • Suggested climb profile to service ceiling:
    • Initial climb at 400 knots to 20,000'
    • At 20,000': Climb at Mach 0.80 to service ceiling.
  • Landing:
    • Final: 170-180 knots.
    • Touch down speed: 155 knots

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