We are very pleased that you have had such a good experience with our products. Scott and I and the whole team have tried to present flight sim aircraft that are interesting, accurate, and most of all, fun. To the extent that our customers agree that we have succeeded in this, we are grateful.
Thank you for your kind comments about “P-47 Flying Tips”. Dudley and I have tried to extend our personal experience with big, heavy, radial-engine aircraft to everyone who may benefit from it.
The P-47 was, in its time, the largest and heaviest single-engine, single-seat fighter-bomber in the world. The P-47 was Republic Aviation’s improvement of its P-43 Lancer, which was one of the first American aircraft of its type to be designed from the drawing board with an effective turbo/supercharger. The P-47 variants we present had not yet been fitted with automatic operation of the oil cooler doors, intercooler doors or the turbo/supercharger. All of this was left to the pilot, whose attention was necessary to keep the Pratt & Whitney
We at A2A believe that there are many flight-sim pilots who relish the historical realism, and find great satisfaction in operating the Accusim P-47 correctly. It’s a tough bird, but it’s not indestructible by a careless pilot. Therein lays the essence and challenge of flying the Accusim P-47 (and all of our Accusim aircraft). This is one of the differences between Accusim aircraft and so many other flight-sim aircraft which permit all kinds of mayhem and carelessness to be perpetrated upon them with nary a whimper.
What this means to you and to all who fly it is that the Accusim P-47 must be flown according to the manual and according to proper flight techniques and procedures, just like the real one was. The flight manual that comes with our Accusim P-47 states all that a pilot needs to know to correctly and safely fly the Accusim P-47, and our thread “P-47 Flying Tips” adds what we hope is additional useful information.
Reference to both the Manual and the “Flying Tips” thread ought to get you up, around and down without adverse incident, providing, of course, that you already have some experience flying complex and heavy aircraft. Therein is the rub. It may be that you need to practice on less-complex and less-demanding airplanes to gain the experience that you need which will make flying the Accusim P-47 easier and more satisfying.
I’m glad to hear that you are flying the A2A Spitfire. In it, we have tried to present a very accurate and authentic aircraft; but flying the real Spit was not as complex or demanding on the pilot as was the P-47; so accordingly, neither is A2A’s Spitfire. Taking your time to learn how to properly fly the Spitfire, or any of the other non-Accusim A2A WWII fighters will go a long way towards getting you ready and up to speed for the Accusim P-47.
I suggest that you try the A2A Accusim Piper “Cub”. It’s a real blast to fly, ultra-realistic, and not so easy or forgiving to fly as other general aviation airplanes that you may have flown and have become bored with. It will teach you a lot about flying which will hold you in good stead when you go on to more complex and faster airplanes; and you’ll have a lot of low altitude and low speed fun with it, too. Many pilots who went on to fly fighters, etc, in WWII learned to fly the Cub first. In any event, I strongly suggest that you at least read the manual for the A2A “Cub”. It contains a lot of useful information for anyone who wants to know more about flying airplanes. I had the pleasure to have written it; but I think that you should read it anyway.
Now, to get to your questions:
Yes, looking after the engine is most critical in any aircraft. You won’t get far without it. Actual WWII aircraft on all sides were often lost and destroyed because of abusive, poor and/or negligent engine management. The revolutionary, huge and complicated piston engines of those days were on the cutting edge of technology, and in many cases were not entirely perfected. Operating these powerful engines initially required a lot of attention. To reduce the number and frequency of further catastrophic pilot and aircraft losses due to engine failure, both the Allied and the Axis air services began to install more and more automatic devices to set the proper positions for the propeller, mixture, turbo, cowl flaps, oil cooler, etc.
The Focke-Wulf Fw-190 was the first to experiment with and ultimately use an automated engine control system called Kommandogerät (“brain box”). This consisted of an early kind of mechanical computer which set the engine’s mixture, propeller pitch, boost, and magneto timing. The pilot only had to operate one control, the throttle and all else would be taken care of automatically. This reduced the pilots' work load regarding the operation of the engine to the throttle control only; but was not the perfect solution as it introduced other control problems. After this system was discovered in a captured Fw-190, the Allies began to try to lessen the workload of Allied pilots with various automated and mechanical devices of their own. As I mentioned before, the Accusim P-47 variants which we present were built and flown before this attempt at systems automation was fully instituted. Accordingly, it is up to you, the pilot, to manually manage each system and engine-related function in the airplane.
How complicated is the Accusim P-47 to fly? That’s not an easy one to answer as one answer does not fit all. For some, it’s a breeze, for others a challenge. As in the real world, it mostly depends upon the pilot’s experience and knowledge. If you refer to and heed the information in the manual and in the “Flying Tips” thread, and practice diligently, you should not find flying this airplane to be difficult. In fact, we think that you will become a better all-around pilot, and have far more realistic and more satisfying flights in all flight-sim aircraft when you have mastered and are aware of how to properly manage the engine and the aircraft’s systems.
Flying below 4,000 feet is no problem in the P-47. After all, it is considered by many to have been the best ground-attack aircraft of WWII. As to airspeed, there you may have a problem. Of course, throttled way back, you can fly the P-47 at 160K or less; that is the landing pattern airspeed, the stall occurring at around 100K clean and a bit less with gear down and full flaps. However, flying the P-47 exclusively at 160K or less all the time would not, I think, be a lot of fun; nor would it take advantage of the excellent performance which was built into the ‘47. This is not the most efficient airspeed range of this airplane. It was designed to go fast, more than 300k down low, more than 400K (TAS) in level flight at high altitudes, and far faster than that in a dive. At less than 160K it will be difficult to do anything interesting with it except to fly it in the landing pattern. For instance, you could not perform any aerobatics in a P-47 at this low airspeed. In any event, give it a chance; you may discover the joys of flying higher and faster with our ’47.
You can twist through canyons to your hearts content in the P-47; but if you fly it at 160K or less, it will be less responsive and maneuverable. That kind of close contact flying is very demanding on your video card, and may be why you have had such refresh problems in the past. Of course, at higher altitudes your computer will not have to refresh as quickly as the scenery will not roll by so fast. Perhaps you need to reduce your scenery settings a bit. If you want to fly the latest and the best flight-sim aircraft, which are always increasing in their demands upon our machines, particularly down low with the scenery settings up high, you may just have to upgrade some of your computer components, particularly your video card.
I find that doing takeoffs, circuits and landings to be the most fun in this or any flight-sim airplane. Good approaches and landings in the P-47 can be challenging to the beginner, but they can be quickly mastered and are very satisfying when done well. I, too, do not use autopilots very much. I like to fly my airplanes by hand as it helps to keep my skills sharp. It seems absurd to me to sit in my office and just watch my computer fly the airplane for very long. Except for very few and very short intervals when I have to look after the navigation or the engine, I just don’t see the point.
You won’t break the engine at low altitudes and low airspeeds, as long as you have set the engine and propeller properly and the various systems and door are opened as necessary to keep the engine and fluid temperatures within operational limits.
Yes, do not fail to purchase the Accusim add-on for more reasons than I can say here.
I hope I’ve answered you questions to your satisfaction. If you have any more questions, please ask them here, and, if I can, I’ll answer them as soon as possible.