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A32X-SL , landing vs A32X exploration


Michael Petersen

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Michael Petersen

Hi,

Well just did 2 flights in the A320SL and for the technically reason i dont understand why the "SL" seems much easier to land and also "controlling" the centerline during takeoff.

I read the intro documentation about the differencies allthough i dont quite understand them ,

for-instance this "Anti-droop" i dont understand. Why and what is it ?

Thanks for a fantastic product - you guys are IT :-) 

Michael Moe

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David Norfolk

In basic terms, the anti droop is when see the aliron flip up with the spoilers on touchdown making it essentially a mini spoiler if you will. (FSL correct me if I'm wrong) if you go into a wingview on landing you'll see this happening. 

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Tim Smith

Oh I did my best A320 landing in a long time in my first Shaklet test circuit.  My second, in the A321 not so great :unsure:

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Ross McDonagh
1 hour ago, Michael Petersen said:

Hi,

Well just did 2 flights in the A320SL and for the technically reason i dont understand why the "SL" seems much easier to land and also "controlling" the centerline during takeoff.

I read the intro documentation about the differencies allthough i dont quite understand them ,

for-instance this "Anti-droop" i dont understand. Why and what is it ?

Thanks for a fantastic product - you guys are IT :-) 

Michael Moe

That’s anti droop 

2E307787-9CF1-48BD-BBFA-35CDC38433D1.jpeg

2 minutes ago, Tim Smith said:

Oh I did my best A320 landing in a long time in my first Shaklet test circuit.  My second, in the A321 not so great :unsure:

If it makes you feel better, I floated the A321 halfway to the Bahamas last night while landing 10L KPBI...

 

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Camille MOUCHEL

Am I the only one floating like a mad man with the SL variant ?


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Dan Parkin
1 hour ago, Camille MOUCHEL said:

Am I the only one floating like a mad man with the SL variant ?


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Probably not :lol:

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David Norfolk
1 hour ago, Camille MOUCHEL said:

Am I the only one floating like a mad man with the SL variant ?


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Nope, it's happening to me too. it creeps up on you on the last second lmao 

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Thierry Nguepdjo
On 5/15/2021 at 4:27 AM, Camille MOUCHEL said:

Am I the only one floating like a mad man with the SL variant ?


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I think we're all in the same boat at this point lol.

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Camille MOUCHEL

i know it creates a bit more lift but it shouldn't affect the flare that much, it feels like default grouns effect in p3D where you will float forever over the runway even with little little

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Sachin Gnath
On 5/15/2021 at 3:27 PM, Camille MOUCHEL said:

Am I the only one floating like a mad man with the SL variant ?


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Meeee toooo :D I thought it was only me lol! 

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Chris Deas

Aha yes! Glad to hear others are floating with the SL, not just me. Gonna try cutting power a little earlier than with the WTF.

Though, I guess when you think about it, Sharks are technically creatures of the sea, and designed to float :D

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Michael Hartnett

There’s definitely some nice differences between the two variants.
 

The SL model feels more sensitive to control inputs, it definitely floats more above the runway (increased ground effect? Reminds me of a 737ng which loves to float in the flare), the ailerons acting as spoilers makes the nose wheel easier to “plant” onto the runway with the added drag I find. 

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Alexander Luzajic

Not sure what I am doing "right", but this bird seems to be more easier to land and I haven't floated so far. Or my joystick sensitivity reacts differently on SL..highly unlikely though. For some reason less flare I guess....who knows.

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Stu Antonio
On 5/17/2021 at 1:37 PM, Camille MOUCHEL said:

i know it creates a bit more lift but it shouldn't affect the flare that much, it feels like default grouns effect in p3D where you will float forever over the runway even with little little

After a considerable amount of landings in the SLs and the WTFs (I kept flying both equally) I agree that the „ground effect“ is much stronger with the SLs.

While I had a pretty good technique down for all three WTFs (initiating the flare at 30 with a posolitive and progressive back pressure on the stick, cutting thrust at around 20) this exact same technique will make me float the SLs pretty bad.

I was under the assumption that there‘s no difference on landings negligible and it‘s also nowhere mentiond in any FCOM or other airbus document that you should change your landing technique when flying the SLs.

Right now, to land the SLs properly, I‘ll have to apply hardly any back-stick-input during the last bit of the landing.

Now I don‘t know of this is realistic, a too strong ground effect or something wrong with the (8-sec-nose-down) flare mode … but as others reported there is currently a big difference in the way it behaves during the flare. And maybe that‘s somehing that can be at least rechecked.

 

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Artur Araripe

Yea, I find the a320sl a lot easier to land. Cut throttles at 40, flare gradually, grease. Rinse and repeat. Consistently. It's a technique that works 95% of the time. The WTF, on the other hand, I find it easier to flare first, cut throttles after (at like 20). Sadly not as consistent. 

 

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Stu Antonio
4 hours ago, Artur Araripe said:

Yea, I find the a320sl a lot easier to land. Cut throttles at 40, flare gradually, grease. Rinse and repeat. Consistently. It's a technique that works 95% of the time. The WTF, on the other hand, I find it easier to flare first, cut throttles after (at like 20). Sadly not as consistent. 

 

The question is, is that difference realistic? I've never seen SL pilots IRL constantly cutting the throttles at 40ft or even noticeable earlier than on a WTF.

And I don't necessarily agree that it is "a lot easier to land". It's different, but not easier. All depends on what you're trained for. I personally have to flip a big switch in my head when I hop from the SL to the WFT and vice versa, which I'm not sure is Airbus' intention with the A32xx family. As Blackbox once mentioned, there are slight aerodynamic differences but the computers will account for that to make it feel the same across all of them. So imo, the behavior of the SLs could match the WTFs a bit better during landing. 

But that's basically just a thought. As I said, I could be wrong and real pilots will tell me about a similar switch in their brain which they have to flip ...

 

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Sam Barry

For what it's worth, in real life I can't say I notice anything different at all between the variants. Not to say there isn't a difference, but given that every landing is slightly different for lots of various reasons there's nothing I could definitely pin down to the sharklets. There's no obvious "float", or at least it can be more easily compensated for in the real thing.

Plenty of pilots will tell you that the 319 is easier to land though due to less control inertia.

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Tom van der Elst
21 minutes ago, Sam Barry said:

 

Plenty of pilots will tell you that the 319 is easier to land though due to less control inertia.

Which is strange as in my sim I find the A319 the hardest to land consistently.

Where the longer ones will give me a nice landing with the correct technique

I'll dump the 319 with bonerattling booms.

It is so bad simulated Norman announces "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Schiphol, please remain seated as captain Kangaroo bounces us to the gate."

while ATC mentions "Aegan 412 you landed at 18:04,18:05, 18:05:30 and at 18:06:15, which one do you want me to log? ".

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Stu Antonio
38 minutes ago, Tom van der Elst said:

hardest to land

I think that really depends on what you're getting use to. If you fly 90% 319-CFM's, practicing ladings every day, you're going to have a hard time doing the remaining 10% in a 321-IAE. :)

But anyway, as Sam pointed out above, the differences shouldn't be so big that you have to completely alter your landing technique (for instance by generally cutting thrust 20ft earlier or refrain from flaring at 30ft. etc.).

 

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Artur Araripe
5 hours ago, Stu Antonio said:

The question is, is that difference realistic? I've never seen SL pilots IRL constantly cutting the throttles at 40ft or even noticeable earlier than on a WTF.

And I don't necessarily agree that it is "a lot easier to land". It's different, but not easier. All depends on what you're trained for. I personally have to flip a big switch in my head when I hop from the SL to the WFT and vice versa, which I'm not sure is Airbus' intention with the A32xx family. As Blackbox once mentioned, there are slight aerodynamic differences but the computers will account for that to make it feel the same across all of them. So imo, the behavior of the SLs could match the WTFs a bit better during landing. 

But that's basically just a thought. As I said, I could be wrong and real pilots will tell me about a similar switch in their brain which they have to flip ...

 

 

How about cutting at 100ft? :D

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Stu Antonio
11 minutes ago, Artur Araripe said:

 

How about cutting at 100ft? :D

Yeah... not gonna happen :D

We've actually discussed this here earlier this month, but the conclusion was quite clear. Do not do this. 

 

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Artur Araripe

Anything more than 40ft for me and it's instantly a -300.

Also, I realized that the technique doesn't apply to the A320SL IAE, which i finally got to fly after months of EWG/DLH/EZY. It really doesn't enjoy floating that much. The awfully consistent technique that always meant smooth landings ain't really doing much. Trying to figure it out. Will definitely fly it more today to finally understand what do I need to do in order to achieve the same consistency. 

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Stu Antonio
21 minutes ago, Artur Araripe said:

Anything more than 40ft for me and it's instantly a -300.

Also, I realized that the technique doesn't apply for the A320SL IAE, which i finally got to fly after months of EWG/DLH/EZY. It really doesn't enjoy floating that much. The awfully consistent technique that always meant smooth landings ain't really doing much. Trying to figure it out. Will definitely fly it more today to finally understand what do I need to do in order to achieve the same consistency. 

Smooth and accurate landings are possible in all variants. Adapting the technique appropriately will get you there. I'm just second guessing if that much adaption should really be necessary. 

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Atul Mishra

I've always had Ryan Air landings with WTFs and only butter landings with SLs, especially A321SL. :D And I don't know how.. haha.

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Camille MOUCHEL
7 hours ago, Stu Antonio said:

The question is, is that difference realistic? I've never seen SL pilots IRL constantly cutting the throttles at 40ft or even noticeable earlier than on a WTF.

And I don't necessarily agree that it is "a lot easier to land". It's different, but not easier. All depends on what you're trained for. I personally have to flip a big switch in my head when I hop from the SL to the WFT and vice versa, which I'm not sure is Airbus' intention with the A32xx family. As Blackbox once mentioned, there are slight aerodynamic differences but the computers will account for that to make it feel the same across all of them. So imo, the behavior of the SLs could match the WTFs a bit better during landing. 

But that's basically just a thought. As I said, I could be wrong and real pilots will tell me about a similar switch in their brain which they have to flip ...

 

couldnt agreed more, most of the time, they retard between 20-0 ft RA.

 

Only Rodrigo David would retard between 50-100ft RA on the A319 WTF though

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Camille MOUCHEL

that's why i prefer flying the A321 SL compared to the A320SL as you need slightly more back pressure and less prone to float.

 

With the A 320SL, i need to flare between 10-20 ft RA

 

This is my best landing with the SL and it was with the A321 and I still floated a bit too much :

 

 

 

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Brandon Lin
13 hours ago, Artur Araripe said:

Yea, I find the a320sl a lot easier to land. Cut throttles at 40, flare gradually, grease. Rinse and repeat. Consistently. It's a technique that works 95% of the time. The WTF, on the other hand, I find it easier to flare first, cut throttles after (at like 20). Sadly not as consistent. 

 

exact same technique and feeling here. 

IMO, WTF drops abit too much after cutting off thrust

SL behaves just like the real plane, but I'm not expecting FSL to update WTF. In Simulator I think it's always a good practice of knowing which exact type of A320F you're flying also, tailstrike awareness too 

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Artur Araripe

Ok, after yet another HORRIBLE landing with the A320SL IAE, i came to a conclusion: only the a320sl CFM floats and benefits from cutting before flare. Doesn't work with the IAE one, at all. Three attempts, same flare technique that works wonders with the CFM and it was always rough (200-300). With my pride ruined and a lot of back pain, i'll try cutting after flare like I do with the WTFs and report back.

One more reason to dislike IAEs. CFM gang rise up

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Stu Antonio

Well, the key fact what I take away from this discussion is that the SLs are just a bit too "floaty" compared to the WTFs.

There were always differences between the variants and engine types as well (like IRL I guess), but I had the feeling they were reasonable and manageable without changing the basic flare principles. Just a few things to be aware of.

With the introduction of the SLs however, I really had to change my landing technique,  and that - as others confirmed above - maybe should not be necessary.

But don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoy flying them...! 

Maybe we'll see a revision of the flight dynamics in an update some day... :)

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Jonah Desrochers

I've always felt the WTF models did not have enough "ground effect" and the sharklets maybe a little too much. The real airbus pilots here say they don't notice a difference in the real ones between the two. So perhaps both should be closer to the middle?

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Stu Antonio
1 minute ago, Jonah Desrochers said:

I've always felt the WTF models did not have enough "ground effect" and the sharklets maybe a little too much. The real airbus pilots here say they don't notice a difference in the real ones between the two. So perhaps both should be closer to the middle?

+1

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Artur Araripe

Make them all fly like the A320SL CFM please :lol: My landing rate average would greatly benefit from it

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Artur Araripe

Also, i've just confirmed: the landing technique for the A320SL IAE is the same of the WTFs: flare first, cut after. If you do that with the A320SL CFM, you'll float your way to your altn airport. 

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Stu Antonio

I only tested this a few times, but it seems like even autoland floats the SL (until it looses so much energy that it drops to the rwy from 15ft with -400 fpm).
Let's hope the devs have time to look into the ground effect - or whatever the cause of this is - and are able to improve this a little bit.

 

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Stuart Hay

I’m definitely floating the A320-SL, The best landing I had I cut the power at 30ft. I’m also finding that I hardly need reversers on most runways.

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Stu Antonio

It's almost like it's flaring itself :)  ...My technique right now is cutting power at "30" and make a tiny flare at "10" ... It works but I'll have to remember to revert to the normal procedure when I'm in a WTF.

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Camille MOUCHEL
I only tested this a few times, but it seems like even autoland floats the SL (until it looses so much energy that it drops to the rwy from 15ft with -400 fpm).
Let's hope the devs have time to look into the ground effect - or whatever the cause of this is - and are able to improve this a little bit.
 

The devs will say that their pilot advisor confirm that it’s the correct behaviour and won’t change the ground effect xP


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Camille MOUCHEL

I only fly the 321SL, you need more back pressure and thus more manageable to flare


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Stu Antonio
38 minutes ago, Camille MOUCHEL said:


The devs will say that their pilot advisor confirm that it’s the correct behaviour and won’t change the ground effect xP
 

If so, fair enough.

But the devs refined and improved flight dynamics before and are usually quite open to suggestions and impulses from the community. Sure, they might come to the conclusion that the notable difference between the SLs and WTFs is somewhat realistic and what they intended to archive, and if so I'll give in and take their word for it. But I'm confident that repeated questions/concerns regarding a specific topic raised by their customers will at least get them to look into it. :)

 

 

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Artur Araripe

Also, did anyone notice how the take-off performance figures differ a lot from the A320SL CFM and the IAE? The CFM needs like 10-20 more knots with the same ZFW figures. I usually fly moderately loaded because of the pandemic (140 pax or less) and I get 145+ most of the time in the CFMs, while always 130 something with the IAEs. And I suspect there's something off because it struggles a little bit to lift off and the initial climb to 1500ft is painfully slow. Maybe that's how it is in real life but I don't remember it being that different between CFM and IAE with the wingtip fences. 

 

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Camille MOUCHEL

I barely fly the IAESL but will check


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Artur Araripe

Same, that's why it took me so long to notice that "issue". Strange take-off performance and it doesn't float (unlike the CFMs), which I find particularly weird because the chinese guy that cuts throttles at 100ft commented (when someone told him he was suicidal for cutting at 100ft) that he only did that because it was an IAE and it floats way too much so it was fine. Strangely enough, if you cut the throttles at 100ft, even at 50ft for that matter, you will grease your way to heaven (die). It literally doesn't float at all. Which is the exact opposite of the expected behavior (allegedly). 

 

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Darren Howie

If your having to use a "slightly" different landing technique in the SL compared to the WTF and your finding it float more then im very happy with how it turned out.

In the real word if you fly a WTF aircraft in the morning then hop into a SL and you use exactly the same technique you will find yourself sailing down the runway.

The reduction in induced drag means you need to fly it onto the ground not like the WTF where you let it more sink onto the runway.

Off the top of my head i can think of lots of distinctly different landing techniques.

WTF,SL, A321 WTF, A321SL xwind and minimum field length are all different. Then you have light weight and heavy weight landings and at least to me the aircraft was always easier to control in the flare at higher landing weights than lighter ones.

Lets call WTF a normal Airbus landing.

SL has less drag in flare so if you flare it identically to the WTF you will sail down the runway. You want to fly it onto the ground ie slight check to kill 80% of the sink then let it fly on. If you keep pulling back it will fly on and on and on and on and on.

Simmers chasing vs -10' landings is the cause of long floats professionals are looking at touchdown zone only.

A321 flare starts slightly earlier ie 5' not at 100' lol. You MUST avoid snatching in the flare to keep tail strike margins. IE if it starts to sink during the flare and you run out of energy just let it sink into the runway under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do you try to arrest the sink this is the cause of 90% of tail strikes. Remember rule 1 we are not worrie about VS in a landing we ARE worried about grounding an aircraft for several months.

A321SL has similar character to A320SL in terms of drag so you will see a floatier float if you want to. Again slight check let it fly onto the ground again no snatching if you start sinking due wind variation etc guess what its not your day thats why the gear has big shock absorbers.

Min field length in any is the same. Your single priority is a touch down target landing.

Slightly different technique using less "pull" you re aiming to fly the aircraft positively onto the runway. This technique is used for anything under 2000m ball park and any runway critical failure ie dual hydraulic etc or contaminated runway landing.

If you fly the Labs enough you can develop all those different techniques as they work in P3D as well as the real world and if you mess them up in P3D the results are the same.

Enjoy the differences.

As an aside as one of the first SL operators we originally had a different set of limitations for our SL aircraft which where subsequently changed as people got the feel for the differences. These days there are no real differences listed or discussed in manuals its something that like many Airbus'isms get shown during line training. Manuals dont discuss many things Airbus's do that endear them to the guys flying them like sloppy AP authority, inability to hold speeds accurately, poor pitch control particularly in the negative G aspect, autothrust being well lets say reactive. Manuals never tll you the good stuff!

One very good technique to use on every landing is the last chance look.

Passing 50' flick your eyes to the PFD and look for these things.

Current speed is it above or below or on target.

Spend trend vector is it heading up down or stable.

Pitch attitude is it approriate.

By looking at those things you will see into the future lol. If your speed is low and trending low you ar elow on energy keep your power slightly longer.

Hi on energy reduce power slightly earlier.

the last chance look is a great technique to asses aircrft energy coming over the threshold to allow you to adjust your flare technique for each landing individually.

No two landings are the same.

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Stu Antonio

As much as I try to come to terms with the behaviour of the A320SL on landing, especially after reading Darren‘s as always inreresting and informative explaination, I can‘t ignore the fact that it‘s starting to get a little frustrating for me.

While I developed a pretty consistant technique over the last 1000+ landings across the WTF series with the feeling that the principle always stays the same but with slight adjustments for type, weather, airfield etc, the SL just keeps surprising me every time. I just don’t have the feeling of control during landing, it‘s always hoping to find the very narrow spot between slamming it down and floating away. It doesn‘t forgive any „mistake“, if you pull a nanosecond too early or a mm to much, you will float, no way to adjust. Just out of curiosity I went and watched a dozen streamers/youtubers and they all floated their landings in the FSL sharklets. All of them I watched.   

I just think the ground effect is too extreme or the „flare mode“ is too weak…. IDK. The WTFs I can judge, predict and control, the SLs are just a gamble to me. Sure, I also had my greasers but most of the landings its float-time with no reliable outcome.  And that currently is a bit frustrating to me. 

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