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Difference in Navigation Systems


sgtmike74
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I’ve been watching several youtube videos of FSX’s larger commercial aircraft such as the PMDG 737. I’m blown away by the number of systems that is in this aircraft. My question is, besides from the obvious difference with the physical aircraft or intended purpose, are there navigational systems that civilian aircraft possess that the A10C doesn’t? Im pretty familiar with the TADs and CDU, and couldn’t think of anything else I would need to get from point A to B. But is there?

 

 

 

Would love to hear from someone with both sims or real world knowledge.

 

 

-Happy Flying

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It has been a few years since I played with the Level D 767 add-on for FSX, but the big difference compared to the A-10C is the sophistication of the autopilot and flight management system.

 

With the 767 FMS you can program in a complete flight plan, but then it will interact with the autopilot to fly it for you with almost no manual input. It will figure out where your top-of-descent needs to be for a perfect landing approach. It will figure out the most efficient speed to fly at based on a "cost index" you give it.

 

The 767 autopilot has a ton of different modes as well. Not just holding altitude, heading, and airspeed, but fancy stuff like the "flight level change" button that will make an altitude change as quickly as possible using full throttle (for climb) or idle thrust (for descent) while maintaining your selected airspeed.

 

Oddly I felt quite at home the first few times running through the startup sequency for the A-10C as it has some similarities. It was strange to realize the 767 is faster and climbs better, though!

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As stated above the instrumentation, navigation systems etc of the A-10 is, with some exceptions, quite old fashioned. Almost any Airliner will have more advanced navigation and autopilot systems installed.

 

(Cat III basically means no decision height to abort landing and 700-150 feet of visibility.)

 

Notice that they can barely see thew runway until the aircraft is less than 200 feet above the runway. :-)

 

Most military fighters do not have this capability, they have tested it on the F-16 but i do not believe it is in operational use anywhere. A lot of the carrier based american aircraft have been equipped with ACLS (Auto Carrier Landing System), I think even the F-14 used it, but i'm unsure if it was ever used during weather conditions like this. :-)

 

A snippet from wikipedia

"The Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS) is similar to the ICLS, in that it displays "needles" that indicate aircraft position in relation to glideslope and final bearing. An approach utilizing this system is said to be a "Mode II" approach. Additionally, some aircraft are capable of "coupling" their autopilots to the glideslope/azimuth signals received via data link from the ship, allowing for a "hands-off" approach. If the pilot keeps the autopilot coupled until touchdown, this is referred to as a "Mode I" approach. If the pilot maintains a couple until the visual approach point (at 3/4 mile) this is referred to as a "Mode IA" approach."

 

 

Hmm.. I think I got off course a bit there, might need to upgrade my navigation systems...


Edited by RaXha
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The A-10C is rather anachronistic compared to most military aircraft these days. I may be mistaken but I even think aircraft like the F-18 can autoland on a carrier deck.

 

A Carrier is different, even in a war if it's possible to land on the Carrier, it's likely it has it's systems functioning. It could be totally different on land, so pilots still use the most likely landingmethod for combat.

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As stated above the instrumentation, navigation systems etc of the A-10 is, with some exceptions, quite old fashioned. Almost any Airliner will have more advanced navigation and autopilot systems installed.

 

(Cat III basically means no decision height to abort landing and 700-150 feet of visibility.)

 

Notice that they can barely see thew runway until the aircraft is less than 200 feet above the runway. :-)...

 

That is freaking amazing, I wouldn't event want to drive in that soup:joystick:

 

I wonder would A10's operate in that kind of fog. They still have their ILS needles and I've done some ILS practice on Batumi in fog at night, but it wasn't exactly pretty.

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Military aircraft tend to be less sophisticated in navigation systems compared to even small private civilian aicraft. It's also a massive cost to give a military jet an avionics upgrade.

Example: the USAF still fly the F-15C yet the airframe is 42 years old and the avionics in it are ancient compared to something like an Airbus A320.

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It was strange to realize the 767 is faster and climbs better, though!

 

767's gun isn't as big. Also, LGBs are hard to push out the boarding door. And when you do get it out the door, you have to stand there with a laser pointer. Kinda sucks.

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A Carrier is different, even in a war if it's possible to land on the Carrier, it's likely it has it's systems functioning. It could be totally different on land, so pilots still use the most likely landingmethod for combat.

 

I only said it was technically possible, not the norm. Technically commercial aircraft can land in 0 visibility but nowhere on the planet has been legally cleared to autoland aircraft under such conditions.

Warning: Nothing I say is automatically correct, even if I think it is.

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767's gun isn't as big. Also, LGBs are hard to push out the boarding door. And when you do get it out the door, you have to stand there with a laser pointer. Kinda sucks.

 

So you're saying it could be done? ;)

 

 

I only said it was technically possible, not the norm. Technically commercial aircraft can land in 0 visibility but nowhere on the planet has been legally cleared to autoland aircraft under such conditions.

 

And the main reason for this doesn't really have anything to do with the landing it self, it's because taxing in zero visibility is still not possible. :-)

 

That is freaking amazing, I wouldn't event want to drive in that soup:joystick:

 

I wonder would A10's operate in that kind of fog. They still have their ILS needles and I've done some ILS practice on Batumi in fog at night, but it wasn't exactly pretty.

 

It could land since it has ILS, but I'm sure it's not common. Even civilian aircraft who can land automatically in conditions like that can't do it if the pilot isn't trained to do it manually in the same conditions, (in case of systems failures etc). :-)


Edited by RaXha
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I'd love to compare the avionics in a state of the art civilian jet to that of something like a T-50 or an F-35 and see which has the better navigation system.

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I don't think the term "better" can apply here. Equipment will be tailored for specific tasks.

Redundancy and use of all receivable nav aids will be much higher in commercial aviation. Nav equipment in the military branch might be more light weight for example.

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I don't think the term "better" can apply here. Equipment will be tailored for specific tasks.

Redundancy and use of all receivable nav aids will be much higher in commercial aviation. Nav equipment in the military branch might be more light weight for example.

 

Well yes, of course a civilian airliner with the sole purpose of getting from point A-B as economically as possible will have more sophisticated systems tailored for this. :-)

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And the main reason for this doesn't really have anything to do with the landing it self, it's because taxing in zero visibility is still not possible. :-)

 

Sometimes I feel like these threads just degenerate into an excuse for people to quote people and post the one piece of obscure knowledge that the previous poster neglected to put in his own reply.

Warning: Nothing I say is automatically correct, even if I think it is.

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Sometimes I feel like these threads just degenerate into an excuse for people to quote people and post the one piece of obscure knowledge that the previous poster neglected to put in his own reply.

That is called a "conversation". ;o)

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The a10c has many functions not modeled/modeled for many reasons. Must take in account the version of a10c model for dcs. Not just what a certain a10/ 7w/e plane can do, real world, feelings, etc.

 

Just presuming that leg work was not done by the replies.

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  • 1 year later...

I just started flying around in a civ-aviation sim, and was learning the ins and outs of navigating air routes using Skyvector as a map.

 

All of those "fix" points that are stored in the FMS and even the garmins on the smaller GA aircraft, do military aircraft use them?

 

The A10's nav is awesome in getting to where I need, when I need and dropping what I need on target, but does it also store the real life "fix" points that are used in commercial flights? If not, then do the pilots rely strictly on the radio navigation to stay within the correct corridors?

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You can enter those via the Mission Editor as IP. For a beginning try and see this from Furia; http://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/files/38356/

 

He has been adding nav point into mission. You can add a lot more. I believe the max numbers is around 2000 points. In our squadron we have around 500 nav point. Some are Furia's and some a killboxes, training ranges, preplanned IP.

 

Cheers

Hans

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Thanks for the reply HMA, but what I was really asking was whether or not current known "fix" points that are already used in civilian FMS and general aviation's GPS are already stored on military aircraft's navigation systems by default that could be called up at any time?

 

For example, a pilot flying in a small cessna with a garmin 430, could call up a fix point by name anywhere in the world (stored on the garmin) and then add it to his flight plan if he wanted to.

 

Thanks for that link, I am going to enjoy flying IFR with approach plates and those points already stored on my CDU!


Edited by sgtmike74
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All of that Garmin database stuff isn't by default in the A-10C. One very good reason is that those databases expire and have to be reloaded every 28 (approaches) or 56 days (sectional and IFR) including all the fixes. Navaids go online or are decommissioned, obstruction data changes, intersections, etc and so on. It's all very expensive, as well. If you have a 430 you have to keep up to date with a subscription. No way is the AF going to be into Garmin for all that $$$

 

 

Ahhh, did not know about how often those databases had to be updated. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

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  • 1 month later...

From my UK Mil ATC experience no britmil airfield is capable beyond CAT I approaches so restricts pilots (as they are similarly not trained and aircraft don't have the capabilities as there is no need) to having to be visual with the airfield or lighting system at 200ft QFE and the airfield has a runway visual range (RVR) of at least 550m for FW aircraft and 300m for RW aircraft.

 

The A-10C is probably not RVSM capable either

 

in the UK all military aircraft are capable of RVSM in class G airspace regardless of radar service, so if I was controlling an A-10 then I'd happily place it 500ft above/below a typhoon however as I'm not qualified to control in controlled airspace (except Class E under certain rules) I can't say for sure.

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