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DC-3 Development Update 6: Project status update

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This time I will talk about the project status, and how we are moving forward. I will not give specific ETA! They only thing I can say is that this my daily and only focus. Goran’s job is almost finished, and the project is on my shoulders! So, ETA will be as soon as possible will be ready!

The “general status” of the aircraft at this point is that is operational, you can do flight from cold and dark, VFR and IFR flights with the use of the 2 VORs and 2 ADFs, use the simplified autopilot we talked last time. Some of the systems are done, most of them are in progress. There are no systems with zero progress.

With a late addition in the team of guy with a huge experience in DC3s, we are reviewing some of the systems, and fine tune the behavior. To give you an example, we fine adjusted the operation of the engine cowling flaps. DC3 cowls controls have 5 positions, CLOSE-OFF-TRAIL-OFF-OPEN. Close and Open positions are self-explanatory. In the OFF positions, you lock the flaps in the position there are at the moment you go to OFF position, so you can fine tune it. In the TRAIL position, the flaps are spring -loaded to open. As the aircraft accelerates, the cowls, due to the aerodynamic drag starting closing, until become fully closed at a certain speed. And the opposite, as you decelerate.

Currently I’m close to finish the major elements of the electric system, with a fully custom behavior of all components, down to all lights dimming, depending of the current feeding the Main DC bus. We have added things like the batteries loosing charge as the days are passing and you don’t fly the aircraft! So make sure, when the time will come, to take her out for a ride to recharge the batteries! Fuel is free!

A few for the initial version, though will be a dedicated development update for those as well. Beyond the core simulation, will be include a maintenance module, that you have to execute maintenance of the aircraft after specific flight hours, and a failure module. Those 2 modules in the initial release, will be “simplified”. In subsequent updates, more elaborate versions will be added, including “wear-and-tear”, depending of how you operate the aircraft.

Also from the initial release, each aircraft will be unique! Every aircraft will have her own flight and engines hours, within a certain range, representing how many hours such an aircraft would have today. We are trying to make the aircraft “alive”, to need you care, but on the other hand, not shift the focus from flying!

Another thing that we have is the option to choose to have a GPS and a more modern autopilot, so you can fly any flight plan you like, if you want to do so, but without removing the vintage feel of the aircraft!

That’s all for now guys! Take care and be safe!

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