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I Did It! My First Flight!


Ramón Cutanda

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Ramón Cutanda

This is one of the silliest posts I've ever made, but I feel so happy and exited that I just have the need to write something about it. To share my feelings. Yes... this post is just about feelings, I'm afraid. Just feelings. You can save your time if you wish ;-)

Since I first installed FSX I've been flying every now and then, but nothing serious. Just for fun. I flew "my way" doing basically anything I just wanted. No rules. But then in August 2011, just a little more than a year ago, I discovered virtual airlines and I decided to take my flying more "seriosly" A new whole world was in front of me. I had to learn about ATC, procedures, charts, maps, settings, rules... And bought my first addons: ASE, REX, FSC, FDC, sceneries, airports... and then Airplanes. My first "real" airplane outside FSX was Flight1 ATR 72-500. I did enjoyed that plane! It was fun. A "easy" turbo-prop with and updatable FMC (Navigraph) That really helped my learning. My next step was PMDG 737NGX. What a challenge!!! It was both hard and fun to learn, but I also enjoyed it a lot. And then it happened... I went to Paris in May 2012 and had the opportunity to visit The Air and Space Museum in Le Bourget... OH-MY-GOD!!! I spent there almost one whole day out of my 3 days in Paris. Of course, I felt in love of the Concordes... YES. With "s". Plural. Both of them. In perfect shape inside a dedicated hangar. I didn't know at the time, so I was not aware how important those two Concordes were. F-WTSS, production designation 001, was the first Concorde ever to fly in March 2nd 1969. The F-BTSD, on the other hand, holds the world record for flying around the world in both directions. Westbound in 32 hours 49 minutes and 3 seconds on 12/13 October 1992 and Eastbound in 31 hours 27 minutes and 49 seconds on 15/16 August 1995. Also, F-BTSD was the Concorde painted with Pepsi colours... WOW!!!

According to heritageconcorde.com, the F-BTSD has had several systems (including part of the Green hydraulic system) powered up over the years and the reservoirs were not drained as with all the other Concordes. Her noise and visor still operate, and once a week ground power is connected to the aircraft and the flight deck comes alive. The French group Olympus 593 headed by Frédéric Pinlet under the direction of former Air France Concorde Engineer Pascal Touzeau, started carrying out engine checks on this Concorde during 2010, with a view to re-starting the engines.

I can't tell you if this is 100% accurate. But what I DO can tell you is that both Concordes are in an ABSOLUTELY PERFECT STATE. Just like brand new. Time seems to have freezed on both of them. As I said, I didn't know at that time all the story of the aircrafts I was beholding. I simply knew that I was in love. I visited the hangar with the Concorde three times that day. I simply couldn't leave...

So, as you can imagine, one of the first things I did as soon as I came home was to search for a realistic Concorde for FSX. And then I found Concorde-X. THE Concorde.

Almost inmediatly after the first install and load I knew Concorde-X was not going to be an "easy bird" to fly. I knew I was going to need help. I was still learning PMDG 737NGX by then, and I was making a World Tour for my virtual airline. So I decided to do things properly. No hurries. I would finish my World Tour and then went for the Concorde.

I first bought Flightdeck Productions training DVD, but I was very, very dissapointed. Every system is described in detail. And that's great. But just watching the videos you won't get her in the air. The video just covers systems independently, but I was expecting a kind of tutorial, not a system by system explanation. I learned a lot about the Concorde, that's true, but not how to fly her. Then I went for ITTV DVDs. Again, great stuff, but still not what I wanted. Too fast for me. Besides, English is not my mother tongue, and some of the explanations are just too hard for me to understand, specially when talking in the air with such a low quality noisy audio. Finally, I tried what I should have tried first: the PDF tutorial that was there all the time... Ever since I installed Concorde-X for the fist time.

I followed carefully the tutorial step but step, but I had the same problem described in this post:

4X Engine Fire During Transonic, No Failures Active?

Whenever I went past Mach 1.3 I heard the engines "booming", then fire, then Game Over. I DID made sure time, and time again that I was using BOTH Virtual Engineers for Fuel and Engines. But nothing worked. No matter how faithfully I tried to follow the tutorial. Everytime, after mach 1.3 and around 40,000 feet I had an Engine failure. I've been using dozens of addons since August 2011 so before asking for help in the forum I decided to give it a final try. Yesterday I installed Windows, FSX and Concorde-X from scratch and... BINGO!!! I FINALLY I MADE IT!!! I went past mach 1.3. Ok. So far so good... Next challenge. Mach 1.7. Afterburners off... Great!!! Things went on. Up and up, and faster and faster. 50.000 feet and... Mach 2.0. What a feeling... Really... I know I must sound like a 8-year-old child. But really. I'm soooo exited... After all I've read, learnt, tried... I made the descent much earlier than I had calculated, but for my maiden flight I prefered to have things slow and calmed near the ground before the approach than having to rush down. I moved from INS to VOR, then ILS and... perfect touchdown!!! On my very first time!!! WOW!!!

I soooooo happy that I just needed to share.

Concorde is BY FAR. not only the most challenging aircraft I've flown so far, but the most challenging learning experience ever since I started using FSX. And I've had to learn many things... And the best part is... this is just the beginning. I've prepared a World Tour with 41 steps that I'll be publishing in my virtual airline on November 26th, on the 9th aniversary of the last takeoff and landing ever of a Concorde. The tour visits 41 different airports which Concorde really visited during her life, and I've tried to tell all I've learnt about Concorde's history at each of the destinations in a kind of "learning by doing" So far I've already spent many, many hours reading and setting everything up, although I still have many things to polish. I'm putting all my heart in this tour and, hopefully, some of you will be interested in flying it. My virtual airline is Spanish, so all the text and instructions are written in Spanish. But I'll try to make a translation for the Flightsim Labs community. If possible, I'll try to post the tour both in English and Spanish on November the 26th. It's likelly, though, that I'll need more time for the English version.

I know most of you won't read all this "bore", but when the heart talks, it talks...

THANK YOU SO MUCH for developing such a faithful replica of the real Concorde. THANKS SO MUCH for giving us the chance of living the Concorde experience as pilots. And thak you so much for speding your valuable time reading a childish adult exited just for having done what most of you already do: fly the Concorde.

PS: In the following links you can have a look at the photos I took at Le Bourget.The second link is the official Museum Webpage. There you can find two AMAZING 360º interactive picture of the cockpit, on and off, of both Concordes. Don't miss them!!!

https://www.facebook...=1&l=313ec820a8

http://www.museeaire...-france/360-on/

http://www.museeaire...ss/cockpit-360/

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Charan Kumar

A truly heartfelt tribute to pointy and kudos to the team that made it on the sim, loved it. Concorde short film....i've lost touch how many times I have seen it...but I agree with thoe goosebumps comment...Ah how I wish I had seen her flying.

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Milton Kuser

I think it was a great post. How many of us have felt some of those very same feelings over the years - especially as the systems have improved over time.

I remember seeing "Old Pointy" for the very first time as a child when it flew into, and was the first plane to land at the brand new KDFW airport. Seeing it in person as a kid was an awesome experience. I never imagined that I would have the opportunity to fly a simulation as accurate as Concorde-X is. It allows me to enjoy and appreciate the plane even more. I only wish I could have ridden on board in real life before the tragic retirement of her.

Having been involved in flight simulation since before FS-95, things have improved to a degreed I never thought possible. Having reached a point where I fly with none of the virtual flight engineers on was another milestone. And now, I can't imagine doing it any other way.

Flying this amazing aircraft keeps you not only on your toes, but proficient in so many techniques that the strictly glass cockpit folks lose touch with. It forces a situational awareness to such a degree that going back to a great plane like the NGX makes it almost seem easy. And while I love the glass cockpit planes too, I always come back to The Lady. As your skills improve, you'll take pleasure in achieving more and more accurate flights and profiles.

The ITVV video was a great help to me in learning the systems and some techniques that only come with a "face to face" conversation. Your flight planning skills will get better as you go too, eventually reaching a point that you can fly into just about anywhere in the world that you want. In addition, the members of this forum are great sources of information when you need it.

Having this great plane modeled to the extent it is, is truly a credit to the team that created it and the former real world pilots that helped test it. I always think about that as I am thundering down the runway for another amazing flight. Thanks again!!

Enjoy your upcoming flights. She will reward you for a long time to come!

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Ramón Cutanda

Ramon,

There is a lot of good information here if you are looking to fly to a lot of different destinations in the Lady:

http://concordefpl.co.uk/

Thanks for the suggestion. I already had it in my favorite list. Some other interesting websites about the Concorde are:

http://heritageconcorde.com/

http://www.concordesst.com/

http://www.concorde-art-world.com/html/about_concorde.html

Thanks for your comments. They are most encouraging :-)

Regards,

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I completely understand how you feel!

I started my Concorde "training" 2 days ago and I can't wait to do my first flight! :-D

Thanks for sharing your story ;-)

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FSX on Intel C2D E8400 @ 3.2GHz | GeForce 9600GT 1GB | 8 GB RAM DDR2 800MHz | 30fps ;-)

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Fabrizio Pascucci

Thank you for sharing those emotion I still haven't finish my first flight, as you said there is a lot to learn, but reading your story gave me a lots of desire to compleate this task.

What I miss is a video tutorial where you can cross check with the pdf tutorial as you I had several problem so went back to NGX.

I agree the concorde is a fascinating aircraft, I my self visit many times Le bourget, just to see the concorde and also every two year the airshow.

I bought several DVD and ITTV is the best you can find.

I hope that one day it will take the sky again even if any insurance company don't want to contract such flight.

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Gustavo Mercado

I´m right there with you Ramon! I had the same problem, I initially was introduced to the concorde X through an offer to write a review about it by flightsim.com I immediately jumped in at the offer BUT I had no idea what I was getting myself into, I thought if I could fly real airplanes, and could handle the PMDG MD11 and B737 I could do this no problem..... BOY WAS I WRONG

It literally took me a little over a year to actually fly this aircraft from point A to point B, since I really wanted to write the review this product deserved I had to postpone my work MANY times while I was learning to fly this bird till the point the commission to write the review was given to someone else and my license to use the product was cancelled.

A couple of months ago I changed jobs to a consulting type engagement which gave me more time to be at home, so I decided to jump back in and dedicate myself to the concorde 100%, so I purchased the product to get my own license and reinstall and got back to that tutorial flight.

It was two weeks ago when i finally did it, heathrow to JFK full flight and landed beautiful, my very first concorde landing and it was a great landing, I actually played it over and over and over and over and over again many times. It was on a wednesday (the days I usually have poker with the buddies) and I was so proud of myself I had a couple of tequila shots at poker to celebrate and got home REALLY late, causing me to sleep in the guest room, and the wife not talking to me for a couple of days. Obviously when I tried to explain why I chose to celebrate such a milestone the next day she did not care or understand! she just remembered that was the cause of many nights staying till 12 in front of teh computer!.

So first time I ever got drunk celebrating an accomplishment in FSX! too bad I could not have the honor of reviewing this bird at the end but I guess there will be other oportunities!

Congrats to all the fslabs team truly a one of a kind product!.

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Ramón Cutanda

[...] got home REALLY late, causing me to sleep in the guest room, and the wife not talking to me for a couple of days. Obviously when I tried to explain why I chose to celebrate such a milestone the next day she did not care or understand! she just remembered that was the cause of many nights staying till 12 in front of teh computer!.

I think we all know what you are talking about :-) That reminds me something. You can be flying home alone for HOURS but, as soon as you start the descent your partner comes in. And she ALWAYS needs something from you just in the approach... and as you say, try to explain this is the final and most importat part of the flight after several hours or "easy autopilot" flying... I DO HATE TO PAUSE A FLIGHT!!!! Even if I'm not online.

Thanks for your lines :-)

I've done six flights so far, and I'm starting to get the gisp of it. At least with Virtual Engineers. I think I will take soon over the engines, and I'm wishing to get to the fuel :-)

I'm doing pretty well preparing the Concorde tour. Hopefully I will be able to share it with you by November 26th :-)

Thanks so much to all of you for your so very kind words.

Bests,

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Andrew Wilson

Great to read you guys are enjoying Concorde-X so much!

We do have an update in the works, SP2.1, which includes some fixes and some new features (that we wrote using technology developed for the A320-X), which I know you guys are going to love.

Scheduled to be released at or shortly after the release of our A320-X.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great to read you guys are enjoying Concorde-X so much!

We do have an update in the works, SP2.1, which includes some fixes and some new features (that we wrote using technology developed for the A320-X), which I know you guys are going to love.

Scheduled to be released at or shortly after the release of our A320-X.

"OUCH" - Andrew, I've just purchased ConcordeX today after years with SSTSIM as I am finally moving up to FSX.

Will the update be an additional cost, not sure I'll get that by the better-half just a few weeks after buying ConcordeX...

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