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Author Topic: ADF?? HELP PLEASE!!  (Read 33538 times)
jdog4592
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« on: March 15, 2009, 09:16:05 AM »

For those of you who play FSX (Flight Simulator X) The ADF (Automatic,Direction,Finder) is an instrument i havnt quite figured out how to use or more importantly... what it does. If you can help me or show me a site that can that would be wonderful. im 16 and trying to prepare for a carrier of aviation.(probably US ARMY)
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 11:34:47 AM »

The NDB (non directional beacon) is a ground-based navigational aid akin to a simple radio tower.  In other words, the tower transmits a "non-directional" radio signal, very similar to an AM radio station broadcast.  In fact, the ADF instrument on-board, which is used to point to an NDB, can also be used to tune AM radio stations.

For an excellent explanation of NDBs and ADF instruments, see here:  http://www.navfltsm.addr.com/howitbegan.htm

It is important to note that, at least here in the US, GPS is slowly taking over for all ground-based navigation (with the exception at this time of replacing existing ILS approaches).  The first casualty in this technological paradigm shift is the NDB/ADF, with VORs soon to follow.   The FAA has been decommissioning NDBs across the US at an accelerated pace.   Many aircraft these days are not even equipped with ADF instruments.

Therefore, in my opinion if I were you I would concentrate on understanding GPS rather than ADF, since the ADF will soon be totally extinct.
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captray
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 11:53:22 AM »

I don't play FSX but I am a pilot and instructor. So here goes; The ADF needle points to the station, it can be an AM radio station too. It does not account for wind drift. It will only let you home to the station. Homing is when you keep turning the airplane to keep the needle on the nose. You will eventually arrive at the station but it will be a circuitous route.
There is another instrument that some aircraft have, it's called an RMI (Radio Magnetic Indicator) what it does is that it puts the ADF needle on top of a DG (directional gyro) this was considered way cool when it first came out.
If you don't have a RMI then mentally you must put the ADF needle over the DG to get a picture of what is happening outside.
There are many tricks to keeping on course, but I will try to keep this simple. If you are headed towards the station (needle pointed forward) and you hold a constant heading, in no wind you will be spot on.
If the wind is from the left the needle will point left as you drift off course. To correct you need to turn into the wind (left) how far depends on how strong he wind is.
A good rule is double the degrees off course. So if you are 10 degrees right of course (wind pushing from the left) turn left 20 degrees. When the needle settles at 20 degrees right of course take out 10 degrees of correction and you should stay on course. The 10 left will be your wind correction.

Belive it or not I still have to do NDB approaches in the G4 as there are some that are not in the FMS database. It was and is a cheap reliable navigational aid.

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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 12:53:11 PM »

Belive it or not I still have to do NDB approaches in the G4 as there are some that are not in the FMS database.

NDB approaches here in the US or in other countries?  It seems from your avatar that you are all over the globe with that G4.
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captray
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 01:30:23 PM »

Mostly Caribean, some in Canada and India. The FMS won't do anything that is a circle to land. Only does DME arcs and straight ins.
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jdog4592
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 10:01:47 PM »

thx guys for the help I have trouble finding this information and thias site seems to help alot. from what im getting ADF is similar to NAV unit. the one where you tune in for ILS and things right. or more like VOR.
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captray
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 06:09:48 AM »

Yes and no, more like a VOR however, unlike a VOR where you can tune in any radial. The NDB is non-directional. Hence the term Non Directional Beacon. You must decide what bearing you are on based on your DG.
Hope this helps, if not, ask away.....
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jdog4592
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 06:21:31 AM »

I dont realy know what a DG is... among millions of other things lol. but ill keep it only to the big stuff that i cant figure out.
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thedude
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2009, 11:46:21 PM »

DG = Directional Gyro

It's similar to a compass but provides greater accuracy when flying headings due to the fact that it doesn't suffer from the magnetic dip that the compass does when turning / accelerating.

The DG is not always accurate though, and needs to be set to match the compass before takeoff, and the rule of thumb that I follow in flight is to set the DG to the compass heading every 30 minutes or so in straight and level flight.

The DG is what autopilots slave to when you select heading mode.
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jdog4592
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2009, 06:34:34 AM »

alright thanks... i guess i knew what directional gyro was but didnt comprehend it as DG.
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captray
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2009, 07:54:24 AM »

Sorry about that sometimes we get caught up in all the ABC's that we forget that there are others who have no idea what we are talking about.

Also, larger aircraft have a flux gate usually located in the wing or wings, that measures the lines of flux (the magnetic poles of the earth) and sets the DG for you. You only have to verify that it agrees with thbe runway heading before takeoff.
The smallest aircraft that I have flown with the above setup was a Piper Navajo. Twin piston engines.
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thedude
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2009, 09:46:29 AM »

I wish they would put that on the beech sports / 172's / 182's I fly!

Stupid big airplanes! lol

Now that you mention it though, I do remember that on the Cheyenne II I use to be able to sneak some time into with a buddy of mine.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2009, 10:00:58 AM »

I wish they would put that on the beech sports / 172's / 182's I fly!

Those aircraft have a slaved HSI option (horizontal situation indicator, or a DG that combines a VOR-like directional indicator) that offers an HSI that automatically slaves to an onboard compass system, so no more precession and no more setting the DG.  Unfortunately, that option is/was a US $14,000 upgrade (with installation) so it is understandable that the aircraft owners opted for the standard DG.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
thedude
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2009, 10:16:30 AM »

Yeah we don't have that on any of our company airplanes.

Though the Cheyenne IA that we have here does have the slave option obviously.

The Sport and the Charger both have GNS 530 systems, and you can slave your VOR nav to the GPS, but unfortunately that's about the only thing you can slave.
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mstram
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2009, 12:06:09 PM »


Also, larger aircraft have a flux gate usually located in the wing or wings, that measures the lines of flux (the magnetic poles of the earth) and sets the DG for you. You only have to verify that it agrees with thbe runway heading before takeoff.

(In Johnny Carson voice), "I did not know that !"  Smiley

Reminds me of a dumb .. but fairly harmless error I made one night.  I was orbiting / "racetracking / sight seeing" around an area close to a controlled airport (yes I was in contact with ATC).  After about 1/2 hour I called the tower and said that I was ready to return to my home airport .. a direct path would take me across the controlled airport.  It was late at night, no traffic, so he cleared me across the airport, heading XXX.  I confirmed and rolled out on the heading.   After only less than about a minute, he called me and asked me to confirm the heading.  Yes, you guessed it, I hadn't reset the D.g. and it had drifted a good 10-20 degrees !.   I actually *had* noticed that the ground / buildings / etc, didn't quite "look right", just about exactly at the time he called.  Fairly embarrasing at the time Wink   Lesson learned though.

Mike
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jdog4592
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« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2009, 04:15:44 PM »

Man i hope i never make any mistake like that... Do any of you guys know anything about Vision wise and when and how to get Vision corrected, becausee its been my #1 fear to know i dont have 20/20 vision and that its possible i may never be a pilot.
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thedude
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« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2009, 05:08:05 PM »

As long as your vision is correctable to 20/20 your fine.

I don't have 20/20, but with glasses I have no problems getting my medical.

Unless of course your talking about flying fighter planes..then that's another story.

Best bet, is just regular appointments with your ophthalmologist.
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jdog4592
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« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2009, 09:04:27 PM »

Na no fighter planes in mind but i would love to fly a blackhawk,apache,cobra, or any other military helicopter except the choonook(excuse my spelling plz) i dont like heavy choppers except the stallion i love that helo!!  grin
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jdog4592
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2009, 09:11:30 PM »

oh and i dont know anything about my vision except the fact that i cant read a billboard sign without glasses or anything else far away... i have to check into that with my eye doc but i am hoping there correctable. Is there any place or online meber ship that any of you would recomend for a teen (16) like me too join to help me learn more about Instruments in the cockpit how to use them and the basics of ATC communication... i know some stuff but not enough. i have been using the flight simulator x to sort of get a grip but a game simulator doesnt help with everything. thanks
« Last Edit: March 17, 2009, 09:13:27 PM by jdog4592 » Logged
thedude
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« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2009, 12:02:33 AM »

Tell your parents then about you not being able to see far away objects. I have the same problem and wear glasses to correct that.

In regards to flying apache's / cobra's I can't really help you out a whole lot with that. If you can get lasik, I think there is a chance that you can still fly those, but your best bet is going to be to maybe talk to a recruiter, or a fellow helicopter pilot in the military.

I know you said you already do this, but flying FSX and doing some of the missions is actually a great way to get familiar with how things work in a cockpit. For example, I do believe in FSX they actually have the Private Pilot / IFR / Commercial ratings that allow you to get familiar with those ratings..that's a good start I think.

AOPA has some cool video's / courses that you can watch...you do have to register, but it is free.

http://www.aopa.org/asf/online_courses/

I've been going through a lot of those lately as I've become more active with my flying.

Wikipedia has a nice breakdown on some of the instruments:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_instruments

Keep this in mind though. When you first start out, you are going to strictly be a VFR private pilot. Don't get to caught up on keeping your head in the cockpit all the time, as if you do, your going to have to forget that while flying VFR.

When I was your age, I was lucky enough to fly right seat in a Baron 55, and Piper Cheyenne II for quite a while...for 3 year's, I managed about 130 flight's in the right seat of those planes, and got use to instrument flying as that is how we always flew in those planes. I got to fly them quite a bit as well later on as I was getting my student license, and got use to keeping my head in the cockpit. My instructor's had the hardest time with getting me to keep my head outside of the cockpit and constantly scan the airspace around me instead of concentrating on my attitude or heading indicators.

Just keep that in mind.
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jdog4592
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2009, 06:37:51 AM »

alright thankyou alot... ill do some research with latik surgery. i apreciate your time.  grin
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mkop
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2009, 03:25:54 PM »

Is there any place or online meber ship that any of you would recomend for a teen (16) like me too join to help me learn more about Instruments in the cockpit how to use them and the basics of ATC communication...

Join VATSIM. http://www.vatsim.net/
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jdog4592
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« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2009, 06:50:21 PM »

What is the point of gear fairings... are they just for looks or is there somthing too it?
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2009, 07:29:45 PM »

What is the point of gear fairings... are they just for looks or is there somthing too it?

Are you talking about these (circled)?



They reduce drag caused by the wheels hanging out in the wind and, in doing so, provide a couple of knots more of airspeed. 

Cirrus has mastered these to the point where the engineers didn't have to make the SR22 a retractable gear aircraft.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
jdog4592
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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2009, 08:10:56 PM »

yep that was it. i was just curious!!!
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