Jeev

TruTrak Autopilot Pre Order's / Status Update

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Just one cautionary note on flying a "track" for a heading assignment-

If assigned a heading to fly after takeoff, "heading" allows all airplanes on a heading to "track" with the wind drift (its in the book!) If you go out with track selected you won't drift as the others do or what is expected. 

 

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Agreed that this is what the book says, but a plane at 100knots is going to drift a lot more than a plane at 200knots, so track would still be a better way to do it, even though the book says to use heading.

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The book I'm referring to is the AIM for IFR departures   They want to see you drift especially if they are using parallel runways. 

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12 minutes ago, cliffy said:

The book I'm referring to is the AIM for IFR departures   They want to see you drift especially if they are using parallel runways. 

Exactly, if they assign 2 of you with similar speeds the same heading they're going to expect you to drift together. Otherwise you're going to get "Mooney 12345 Confirm Heading XYZ" You don't want to try and outsmart ATC.

Edited by Steve W
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1 hour ago, cliffy said:

Just one cautionary note on flying a "track" for a heading assignment-

If assigned a heading to fly after takeoff, "heading" allows all airplanes on a heading to "track" with the wind drift (its in the book!) If you go out with track selected you won't drift as the others do or what is expected. 

 

Agreed. The best a TT user could do would be to set a track, wait until established, note the heading, and adjust the track to get the desired heading.

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Ummm…. no...

Disconnect all GPS signals to the TT. It reverts to it's internal AHRS, which works very well.  I have tried it, it held the heading + - two degrees for 20 minutes...

It now becomes a "Heading holder" and works as well or better than an autopilot coupled to a DG. (no precession.)   I have 2 GPSs. I shut off the steering output from one, switch to it, the TT reverts to gyro mode, reset the DG to the Compass for accuracy (precession again) , squeeze the CWS, turn to the desired heading, release , and happily drift wherever with the other aircraft in the same airmass with all vertical AP functions working just fine.

Hopefully all aircraft in your airmass are travelling the same speed.. or even that doesn't work very well, but... whatever..

FWIW!  :)

Nav

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1 hour ago, Jesse Saint said:

Agreed that this is what the book says, but a plane at 100knots is going to drift a lot more than a plane at 200knots, so track would still be a better way to do it, even though the book says to use heading.

Some times drifting is not good when you are attempting to hold the rny heading (or reciprocal) . I used the track mode 3 weeks ago in the circuit. Was given an extended down wind  in a good crosswind ("DQT, will call your base" )

 Lined up parallel  to rny , laid the GPS track / course extension parallel to the rny and pushed the knob.  Tracked parallel nicely.  I was right seat in a similar situation last fall when my friend got caught drifting into the path if the incoming in a stiff crosswind when his downwind was extended...

Nav

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On 3/26/2020 at 9:50 AM, Navi said:

OK... So I know you guys are not waiting for a TruTrak "Software" upgrade..   but, I thought I would copy my post here from the Piper Group..

Some useful info, maybe not..  Part of this refers to an in depth forum discussion on how to use the TT to "assist" in a ILS approach, (non coupled)  legally to  the 700 ft. alt limitation..

So FWIW!  :)

Nav

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OK..... an update!

First flight with the TruTrak Version 4 updated software yesterday!

Slightly bumpy, nice VFR day.. (It was not a smoooooth day)

- The manual directed turn rate increase is nice, plane rolled into about a rate 1 + turn nicely and rolled out smoothly in the target heading.

- All operations of the AP checked out. (LOVE how this thing flies the plane!)

- Seemed like it is now asking for fewer trim adjustments (?)

- A manually directed 180 Deg turn it lost about 50 ft. alt while in alt hold, and recovered quickly. I have the Static lag set at the NEW suggested value of 1, (previously 0 ) I may increase this to a value of 2, but may do a calm air test first. (ANDREW.. am I on the right track here? )

- I set the VS default to 300 FPM. I flew at my PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL airport, so I had the ILS all to my self. (!) (CYFC normally does 110,000 operations a year, but yesterday I was the ONLY entertainment for ATC for over an hour.. ) So... in the bumps, it was hit or miss to squeeze and release at the desired VS for the approach. (VSI, lagging of course, was bouncing +- 300 FPM) So I had to "squeeze, aim, release and then adjust the knob to the desired VS. I did it again (making sure this time the track showed EXACTLY the rny heading, adjusted the VS to stay on the slope and it took me to the center of the rny… I had forgotten to extend my predicted track on the GPS (grrr) . Second approach was better. It worked really well and the AP locked it on the LOC track hard, while I made the occasional tweak to the VS. With a Target Alt set to 700 ft. it would stop the decent there and fly the missed track while you reset the Tar Alt to the missed fix and reconfigured. The AP would do the heavy work keeping the plane upright and pointed. That would be a LOT of "Assist" from the AP in this situation...

Remember we discussed this as an emergency approach. So …… fly to the LOC, squeeze , center and turn on the rny heading, laying the extended track on the rny, adjust VS, power and flaps to stay on the GS and hope for a break out... Gona try it again using the "approach route " I now have in the GPS, which is a route that will start at a WP to the left of the inbound, fly to the first approach fix, turn to and hold the LOC track, to the threshold, then to the missed fix and to the "Start again" fix. (in my case for this rny, the YFC NDB)

Also... the whole exercise, communication, shipping, directions etc. with BK and Mid Continent was responsive and professional. From this I would suggest the we (TT owners) are in good hands .. I think they have been servicing TT autopilots for some time. They seemed very familiar with the certified version and the earlier models as well..

Ready for the Aspen. Soon as they get the Alt flag in the data stream...

FWIW... :)

The static lag setting of 1 will result in slightly less precise altitude hold, but it's worth it for the better ride.  you are on the right track, and I would agree that waiting for a smooth day is the best idea for doing further adjusting. 

What  you are proposing in your "AP assist" is certainly a great way to let the AP be a pilot aid in a difficult / high workload time.  It is a tool in your pouch, we use different tools at different times and in different ways.  While it can't fly the coupled to analog signals, because it is a track based system, once established, you can let it help and tweak as needed to keep the needles centered.  This is exactly how I have been advising pilots to fly VORs for years!

Thanks!

~Andrew

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Reminder...

BarkerBK is the new BK TruTrak guy...

Helps for when I’m looking for ~Andrew

:)

Best regards,

-a-

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On 3/20/2020 at 4:04 PM, Dbrown said:

Agreed, 

I decided to pull the trigger on a new interior and panel upgrade from ye old shotgun a couple weeks ago.
my hopes are not very high for this and the Garmin 500 isn’t an option for people like me who do their own work. 

Don’t worry.  After spending your funds on your interior you will have LOTS of time to save money for the TruTrak before it is released, that is if it is ever released.

I just turned 71.  Even though I am in great health and may still be passing a medical for another 20 years, I expect to lose my medical before ever having the opportunity to install a Trutrak in my Mooney.

It’s been almost two years since the Trutrak guy sat at his table at a trade show telling me it would be available next month.

 

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