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TBM 900 Release Week Day 3: Maintenance and Wear & Tear, oh my!

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Captains,

Continuing on with our release date announcement series, today we are going to discuss maintenance wear and tear here, and seen in action on today's livestream happening at 6:30pm EST (2230 Zulu).

You can watch the livestream by clicking here! (Previously Recorded)

And now, let's talk about maintenance!

While designing the TBM900 systems simulation, one our core areas of focus was on making a simulation that feels like you're caring for a real machine. And one of the things real machines require is maintenance. Now plenty of simulation vendors have implemented maintenance features. And quite often, in order to show it off, the programmers like to overdo it. I'm sure we can all share some stories of excessive plug fouling simulation. And because the effect is so pronounced, developers then need to make it an on-off option, so as not to annoy too many of their users.

While fun at first, we feel this sort of approach mostly misses the goal of simulation: teaching. When the maintenance feature is overdone, it becomes overbearing, and users disable it. And when it's not there at all, users ignore it. In short, it becomes a gimmick. Instead, we want to give you the appreciation for what makes real aircraft tick.

To that end, the TBM900's wear simulation features are NOT optional. They are always on. If you overstress the aircraft too much, it will reflect in accelerated component wear. For example, here we have a pilot who just inattentively shoved the throttle full forward on takeoff without considering the torque limit:
 

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How will this reflect on the aircraft model? Well initially not very terribly. When the aircraft was designed, it was designed with occasional mistakes in mind. The engine is equipped with a torque limiter, which will prevent catastrophic over-torquing of the engine. But over time, this will gradually build. How does this work in more detail? I'm afraid, we won't be able to avoid a graph here, but I will try to keep it informative.

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Here you can see how the aircraft roughly estimates component wear. For each component, we have a "stress factor" (which can actually be a number of inputs, such as temperature, torque, voltage, etc.). The more stress the component experiences, the faster the wear accumulates. This graph is very simple, in actual fact the system uses a much more complicated algorithm, but this should give you an idea. Treat your aircraft well, and it will carry you for a long time. But even if you mistreat it a little, it won't immediately combust.

All of this then factors into our goal of showing you how the aircraft is put together. So when you bring up the maintenance manager, you will immediately notice that the aircraft not only has big blocks like "ENGINE". We break up each individual system into sub-components. Below you can see how the engine is built up:

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And yes, there are prices assigned to each service item. So each of the parts, assuming they are worn enough, you can either try to repair, or replace outright. Repairing is cheaper, but it may not get the aircraft up to fully a functional state. Replacing a component is more costly, but it restores full maintenance. The aircraft keeps track of everything you do in a maintenance log:
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I know you are dying to know the answer. Yes you can:

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Join us tonight on the livestream at the top of this post, and again tomorrow for a brief overlook of the custom graphical effects we've implemented for flight in less than ideal conditions!

See you again soon!

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Hello, in the last session I saw the charts you built in and it is not convincing (the only point of criticism). I think that you should offer us at this very high simulation level the possibility to have an internet connection so we can also use for example online charts from Navigraph that enable us to have on this actual real charts our flight position (that Navigraph enable as you probably know).  FlightFactory offers such a connection  simulating the A320.  

The maintenance idea as an integral part of simulation is a great idea making our flight simulation as real as possible!

Thanks to T for his excellent tutorials !!!

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Edited by ilankrt

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Current charts can be downloaded directly into the G1000 from the FAA website (U.S) and from aerorouters (Europe...as long as you have an account).  And you DO need an internet connection.  They are not "built in".  

Navigraph implementation is being worked on for a future update.

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1 hour ago, Goran_M said:

Current charts can be downloaded directly into the G1000 from the FAA website (U.S) and from aerorouters (Europe...as long as you have an account).  And you DO need an internet connection.  They are not "built in".  

Navigraph implementation is being worked on for a future update.

Hi, that is exactly what I meant. G100 has already connection to the internet and all we need is the implementation of a  browser that enable us to login to Navigraph charts online....  Great to hear about  this update to come (hopefully soon) !!

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Hi, that is exactly what I meant. G100 has already connection to the internet and all we need is the implementation of a  browser that enable us to login to Navigraph charts online....  Great to hear about  this update to come (hopefully soon) !!


It takes two to tango. Navigraph has not been easy to work with or super responsive. This is the reason for lack of integration from them yet.

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