X-Plane developer Leading Edge Simulation has published a development update on their upcoming DC-3 v2. The update shines a light on the aircraft’s systems and the custom-designed automatic pilot to feature in the aircraft.
The LES DC-3 will feature two versions of autopilot, the historically accurate Sperry Type A-3A and a simplified version with a smaller learning-curve and increased reliability. The user will be able to choose the desired option in the aircraft’s menu before each flight.
A full list of the features for the simplified automatic pilot is as follows:
Fly straight and lever and trim the aircraft to hold this attitude.
Engage the automatic pilot (knob on the left lower part of the pedestal). The aircraft will enter into pitch and roll hold modes.
Use the AIL (aileron) knob to roll the aircraft left or right. A small tick mark will move accordingly (not shown in the picture) to indicated the commanded roll.
Use the ELE (elevator) knob to pitch the aircraft up or down. Small tick mark on the right side of automatic pilot’s attitude indicator (not shown in the picture) will show the commanded pitch.
The RUD (rudder) knob, controls the aircraft heading, once you are in heading mode. On the left side of the automatic pilot panel there are 2 heading scales or cards. The lower card should be set to the aircraft heading as in magnetic compass, with the cage button/knob below. The top card is the automatic pilot heading command.
To enter the heading mode, before engage the automatic pilot, you should trim the aircraft in straight and level flight, and use the RUD knob to match both scales. Don’t have to a perfect match, a couple degrees off still will work. But more than that, the automatic pilot will enter the roll/pitch mode. Then turn the automatic pilot on to enter heading mode. From this point on, you can use the RUD knob to fly to the desired heading.
The progress of the aircraft had been slow over the summer, but the developers have “cranked the speed up towards the final stretch”.
Threshold will be sure to keep you updated on any developments with LES' DC-3.