Takeoff ... FSX

FSX gauges at takeoff

Takeoff: 2700 RPM, 48 in. M.P. Lift off at 84 knots.

The familiarization flight is from Newport State, Rhode Island, KUUU, to Provincetown, Cape Cod, Mass., KPVC. Besides brushing up on the flying skills, it's a great opportunity to learn proper throttle and propeller-control management. The flight is VFR, brief, busy, and can be flown often without boredom. It also provides a quick introduction to ADF navigation. Submit your time for this flight on the PIREP form ... Flight No. is 1200-PVC.

Before you take the flight read through all sections.

Departure will be from Newport's Runway 4. Recall the flight plan:

Track from Newport, heading 065°, to FFF NDB, 257.0 KHz. Turn right to 085° to intercept Provincetown Runway 7 localizer, 111.1 MHz, 075° heading, landing will be on Runway 7; field elevation: 8 feet. Total distance: 58 NM., 30 min. flying time.

Cruise altitude: 5500 feet—Memory aid: "Easterners are Odd ." For VFR, headings of 0° to 179° fly at odd-numbered thousands of feet plus 500 when 3,000 feet AGL, Above Ground Level. Radios should be pre-tuned.

Vmc, V1, V2, VR—What are they all about?

Pilots must be aware of certain critical airspeeds when flying multi-engine aircraft. These are defined below, in the order that they normally occur, along with the appropriate DC-3 numbers.

The Takeoff

Start the panel timer, release the brakes and smoothly advance the throttles to 48 in. manifold pressure. Smoothly and gradually advancing the throttle is very important with high horsepower engines—1200 hp each—and tailwheel type airplanes. Always use the maximum allowable power, even though it may appear that conditions do not require it.

With a tailwheel type airplane and the elevator trim set for takeoff, the airplane will normally assume the correct takeoff pitch attitude of its own accord. That is, the tail will rise on its own. Hold the plane on the runway with slight forward pressure until reaching 84 kts and then rotate firmly, but smoothly.

NOTE: VR for the DC-3 is 84 kts. Rotate at or shortly after attaining that speed.
Abort the takeoff if you experience a malfunction before 81 Kts, V1. If you experience a malfunction after 81 Kts., continue the takeoff and treat it as an in-flight emergency.

For takeoff, the C-47 Flight Manual states: "Release brakes and advance throttles to maximum power ... Allow the aircraft to accelerate without operating the elevator control, and the tail will rise to level flight attitude between 43 and 52 knots. Continue accelerating and allow the aircraft to fly off at minimum control speed or higher."

Retract the landing gear when there is no longer enough runway underneath for a landing. On lift-off, the airplane should be flying at the correct attitude to accelerate to 105 kts, its best rate of climb airspeed.

Maximum engine power is limited to one minute duration. After one minute, reduce to the climb-power setting, 36 in. M.P. and 2350 RPM.

Crosswind Takeoffs

Control of the DC-3 during a crosswind takeoff is crucial to prevent drifting off the runway or to prevent "skipping" which produces heavy shear loads on the landing gear.

Power should be applied smoothly, leading with the windward engine in accordance with the amount of wind.

Hold the tail down firmly until positive rudder control has been attained. Do not use brakes at any time unless the ship starts to leave the runway, and all other methods of keeping the ship straight have been attempted.

Roll ailerons into the wind. Ailerons on the DC-3 aircraft are very effective and their use is highly recommended.

The tail should be carried slightly higher than for normal takeoffs to insure that the airplane will not bounce off prior to obtaining flying speed. An inadvertent return to the runway under crosswind conditions places a heavy sheer load on the landing gear.

Tail high takeoffs require speeds 5 to 10 Knots faster than normal. Be sure that flying speed is attained, then definitely pull the airplane off. In this way, there will be little chance of the airplane returning to the runway, thus avoiding sheer load on the landing gear.

As soon as the ship is airborne, center controls with the ship flying level and maintain track of the runway by "crabbing" into the wind. When the takeoff requires crossed rudder and aileron, the controls should be neutralized as soon as possible as they reduce aircraft performance.

Short Field Takeoffs

The DC-3 has excellent short-field takeoff performance, considering its size and weight. In this case, short filed means any runway 2300 ft in length or shorter.

The first difference in a short-field takeoff is that flaps are used, where a normal takeoff is without the flaps deployed. Here is the technique:

Let's try one – you'll be surprised how well you do!

Practice Short Field Take-off, Flight 1200-TO

Again, click here to download 1200.zip for the FSNavigator flight plan if necessary. You will use 1200-TO.fsn for this flight.

You should be airborne in 2000 ft. or less. To judge how well you've done, Pause the simulator as soon as a positive rate of climb is established, then switch to the FSNavigator mode and zoom in on the airport. You'll see how much runway is still in front of you. For this set of conditions, you should be airborne in under 2000 ft.

To see the tremendous gain from a small headwind, set in a wind of 10 kts from 090° (Go to the weather page, select "User-defined weather," then "Custom Weather." Now enter the windspeed and wind direction, and click OK

Now repeat the takeoff, again Pausing when a positive rate of climb has been established. With this headwind, you should rotate at 84 kts and still be airborne in under 2000 ft.

Enjoy the challenge!