Stirring it Up
The whole key is to keep everyone moving forward by asking for clarifications, NOT by challenging their claims.
Let’s say I claim that the sim is wrong in modeling the Spitfire, as a guy in a Bf-109 turned inside me in a DF room.
Bad start to an FM debate, as there are too many variables that could indicate an FM modeling problem, from joystick settings to energy levels at the start of the engagement to trim, throttle settings, and plain old skill level. But that’s how they usually start.
The novice may immediately slam down the gauntlet with a “Got Chart” statement, but that’s overkill. The proper flow of discussion is:
- Ask for clarification on model/sub variant of participants.
- Ask about general conditions – altitude, speed, etc.
- Ask who was flying the 109 – there are some really sharp cookies out there that can make particular models sing!
- Wait for someone to cite a fact. A fact involves two of the following factors – altitude, speed, time, manifold pressure, mixture setting, or super charger setting.
Example: “Well, below 3,000 feet, the turn radius was 12.3 seconds for…”
- Now you can ask for a chart.
- Ask for another source for a chart showing the same thing.
Example: “Yes, that looks like NACA; but the TAPiCH test agency did tests on the Yak-3 that were different, IIRC. Anybody have those? I lent my copy of Chkalov Tashkent Industrial Aircraft Association, A History (volume four) to the University last month.”
- Google the aircraft in question to see other debates, flight tests, and pilot accounts. Heck, I just googled the TAPiCH organization – didn’t have a clue they existed or even did flight testing in WWII – looking for the proper way TsAGI (one of two main Soviet flight testing organizations) was abbreviated.
- Bring in pilot accounts as a question. “But I read that Flight Sergeant Fishenchips turned inside of not one, but two 109’s in an account written in 1941…” Be ready to provide a link to the pilot account, by-the-way.
- Ask for more information and explanation. Even if the answer is well written and easy to understand, someone else will take issue with it or try to explain it better…leading to a tangential debate over the importance of manifold pressure, gravity fed carburetors, etc.
There is one final warning: Don’t be the one to type “IBTL” in an FM thread. The mods hate that. Chances are we’ll just edit the one bad post out (in order to save an otherwise great thread) and then you’ll look silly.
And yes, it’s that easy! Don’t put on airs, rely on those with too much research behind them to do the heavy lifting, and read a little bit on the side to (perhaps) bring something meaningful into the discussion/debate. Be courteous, as always, and try to learn something along the way.
So have fun setting at the Grown Up Table of the flight sim forum, the FM debate, even if you have no idea what the “adults” are talking about. I’ve been doing it for years and until now few ever figured it out…
As anyone that has read my articles knows, it’s a fan.
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