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Climb Rate Chart for ROF Planes -- 2015


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#1 SeaW0lf

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 08:15

So, here are the climb rates that I collected so far from some planes (see the attached images).
 
Not that hard to do. I just have a template mission starting from sea level and I disable auto-level at 9h mission sharp (HUD clock). With time compression, it is fairly easy to get to 3500m. Every plane will have an optimal speed climb, and they tend to "settle" in the right speed if you just let the stick loose. They do the rest. I tested this "central" speed and then 10km below and above (from 5km at a time). Some planes climb better closer to the edge of the envelope, others at their comfort zone. It might have to do with my setup (stick), but I use the elevator at standard. The Tripe Climbs better with elevator trim -- seems to be because it lost a lot of speed / torque with the new patch and it is hard to point her nose up without wobble, but the S.E.5a looks the same with or without trim. It goes on the power of the engine itself.
 
Albatros D.III and D.Va have numbers so close that I consider it a draw. The same for Hanriot and Fokker D.VIII. Then I used just one line for each pair, since it would be impossible to differentiate them. But they have separate data in the data box. Notice that the Albatroses also have the same curve for altitude performance (speed chart).
 
IAS is from the HUD gauge.
 

Comparing with the store numbers, some planes have data for certain altitudes that I don't think can be doable, especially the ones with more than 10s difference from my climbs (a couple of them, IIRC). It might be a data mistake.

 

I made two charts, a General Chart (from 0m to 3500m) and a Combat Zone Chart (from 1000m to 3000m), the latter is a patch of the sky that is most used by veterans in my opinion (I for myself like to settle around 3k). Note that the Camel data is correct, it is not a mistake.

 
 
As usual, with this amount of data and detail, wrong numbers will be found, adjustments will be made. But I don't predict much changes. I might add other planes down the road.
 
The horizontal axis is composed of seconds.
 
Enjoy!
SeaW0lf
 
Note: latest version -- march 2017.

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#2 SeaW0lf

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Posted 26 July 2015 - 08:45

It just came to my attention that I could do some climbs with auto-mixture. At altitude, the rpm is too unstable to set the mixture precisely while flying without auto-level. In some cases the auto-mixture might outperform my mixture settings. I'll give a feedback later on.


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#3 =CFC=Conky

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 20:30

Nice charts SeaW0lf, what sort of climb speeds are you using? 

 

Pip, pip,

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#4 SeaW0lf

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 21:02

Thanks Conky. The speeds (it varies from plane to plane) are indicated in the data box after the name of the plane (indicated airspeed (IAS). Example, S.E.5a - IAS 110km/h.

 

SeaW0lf.


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#5 =CFC=Conky

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 21:15

Thanks Conky. The speeds (it varies from plane to plane) are indicated in the data box after the name of the plane (indicated airspeed (IAS). Example, S.E.5a - IAS 110km/h.

 

SeaW0lf.

 

Ah shoot, I should have looked a little closer at the charts, my bad!  :P


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#6 SeaW0lf

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 21:30

:lol: !


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#7 FourSpeed

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 21:36

Hi Seawolf,

 

Thanks for your excellent work on this.

 

If I may ask a question, why did you place time on the Y axis, rather than the X axis?

 

To my eye, that reverses the charts, leading one to (mistakenly) think at first glance that the Camel is the best climber of the group rather than the worst.

 

I can't help but wonder if the picture might be a little more informative if "time" was placed on the independant axis (ie. X axis).

 

 

Regards,

4 :icon_e_salute:


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#8 SeaW0lf

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Posted 31 July 2015 - 22:05

Well observed FourSpeed  :icon_e_biggrin: I think I was too used with the speed chart. I'll switch this weekend, since I have the data of some new planes, like the Pup, Hanriot (basically the same as the D.VIII) and Halb D.II.

 

I also tested the S.E.5a again, because the store numbers have it more than a minute faster at 3000m, or something like it, but it might be a mistake, because I cannot gain not even 10s on the run. I also tested with auto-mixture to no avail.

 

:icon_e_salute:


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#9 unreasonable

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 04:13

Hi Seawolf,

 

Thanks for your excellent work on this.

 

If I may ask a question, why did you place time on the Y axis, rather than the X axis?

 

To my eye, that reverses the charts, leading one to (mistakenly) think at first glance that the Camel is the best climber of the group rather than the worst.

 

I can't help but wonder if the picture might be a little more informative if "time" was placed on the independant axis (ie. X axis).

 

 

Regards,

4 :icon_e_salute:

 

Good point: then higher altitude would also be further up! Charts are much easier to read when the scales are intuitive: which is why I think engineers and scientists sometimes like to use non-intuitive scales, it helps preserve their "secret knowledge" prestige!   ;)

 

 

Well observed FourSpeed  :icon_e_biggrin: I think I was too used with the speed chart. I'll switch this weekend, since I have the data of some new planes, like the Pup, Hanriot (basically the same as the D.VIII) and Halb D.II.

 

I also tested the S.E.5a again, because the store numbers have it more than a minute faster at 3000m, or something like it, but it might be a mistake, because I cannot gain not even 10s on the run. I also tested with auto-mixture to no avail.

 

:icon_e_salute:

 

An observation on the charts: I have not done scientific tests - or even unscientific tests - but I have done a lot of climbing in Career mode, usually to 3km which as you say is a good patrol height for RoF.  In the planes where I can recollect my preferred climb IAS, it is a fair bit higher than the numbers you show on the chart: for Albatrossen and Fokker D.VII, for example, I find anything below 130kph difficult to maintain with smooth flying. (It is also 6pm on the wing-mounted IAS instrument, so easy to check without zooming).

 

I will generally be happy with anything in the 140-130kph range for these planes; apart from anything else I find that the AI wingmen have much less difficulty climbing at this speed. At lower speeds they tend to fall behind and below, especially if you are at full power. So from a practical piloting point of view your best climb speeds may only be useful if you are alone.

 

I also wonder about your methodology - you have more or less assumed that the "settled" speed, according to your stick, is giving you the best climb speed but I wonder if that is the case? For instance my Albatross is nose heavy at the speeds you are showing, I need constant stick back to keep it in any climb unless I am flying very fast. Does your stick use a centering spring? I have disabled my centering spring on my G940 and use FFB and the hands-off position is quite different. A good check would be to take a single plane type and record the climb times at speeds 10 and 20kph faster (and slower if you can).

 

As I say, just some thoughts on understanding the charts, I am not claiming that you have got anything wrong.  It is great to see that people are still interested in enough in this wheezing old game to run tests, especially when the results are so well presented!   :icon_e_salute:


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#10 SeaW0lf

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 11:30

Fokker D.VII, for example, I find anything below 130kph difficult to maintain with smooth flying.

 

For example, I just did a run with the D.VII at 130km/h, your optimal climbing speed. Sometimes it varied from 125 to 135km/h, since it felt wobblier. The result was:

 

500m -   1min35s

1000m - 3min19s

1500m - 5min24s

2000m - 8min02s

2500m - 11min35s

3000m - 15min04s

3500m - 20min27s

 

If you compare with my run at 110-115kmh (see the data box) you are going to note that they look like completely different planes on the climb department.

 

Your speed might work for a "cruiser climb", but it felt it wobblier and difficult to maintain at 130km/h than at 110km/h. And when you spot a foe at the distance and you know that he / she saw you as well, you need to climb as fast as you can, and in this regard I would definitely put my plane hanging on his prop at 110km/h, no question about it.

 

Regarding the methodology, I didn't come up with the speed by chance or by the "feel" of my stick. I did several runs with each plane in different speeds, and I settled with the speed that climbs the best. IIRC, I must be done more than a dozen runs with the Camel, since the data was so absurd that I thought that I was doing something wrong. But of course that people might find some errors or inconsistencies. It is just a test.

 

What you might be referring to is that what I have observed is that each plane has a speed where they seem to "go by themselves". Which means, they don't wobble, they don't struggle that much. Some other planes climb better close to the edge of the envelope, but they also "run by themselves". I don't have to do much with the stick, especially after 2000m, when I think the atmospheric simulation makes them literally hang on their props. This is best felt with time constraint. 

 

One thing that I am finding interesting with the tests is to understand the physics of the planes by the developer's point of view. You start getting some feedback like a test pilot would get.

 

 

If I may ask a question, why did you place time on the Y axis, rather than the X axis?

 

 

FourSpeed, I am playing around with it but I don't seem to find a way to make the switch. I have looked for tutorials, videos, but all I can do is switch the "axis" altitude X plane names. If you check the data box, Excel reads the name of the planes and the altitudes as the axes that I can swap from X to Y. I tried to place the data in different arrangements, but Excel always read X and Y in the edit box as the name of the planes and the altitude.

 

Anyone else knows how to do it? There is a chart attached for who wants to play with it and reattach back so we can take a look and see how it was done. D.VIII and Hanriot are in the same line because the run is almost identical. But whenever I put together a chart I discriminate the data on the data box. Just the line remains the same.

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#11 SeaW0lf

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 11:42

*edit* I joined both replies on the topic above. 


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#12 unreasonable

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 13:32

*edit* I joined both replies on the topic above. 

 

I may have misunderstood what you meant about the feel of the stick. Anyway I am certainly not challenging the accuracy of your data, just trying to think through what it means for me when flying in Career mode, so a few more observations about climbing.

 

Just finished a Career mission - no enemy contact, so plenty of opportunity to experiment!  My normal climb in formation (Fokker DVII), once I have let my flight form up, is 130-140 kph at 1300rpm. Climbing at full rpm is not a good idea in Career as each plane has a slightly different engine performance so you have to leave your AI a margin to stay with you.

 

This time I climbed at (almost) full power and increased AoA to reduce the speed to 120 IAS. At this speed the AI could only just stay in formation. Even a couple of kph slower and they start to slip below and eventually get in front at which point they break formation. So I basically cannot use these maximum climb rates in formation.

 

The second observation is that at 130 kph and 1300rpm I barely have to touch the stick. At 2km and full power the plane settles at 145kph, still climbing obviously. At 120kph or less I am exerting considerable stick back force (even though I have rigged my DVII with a little back stick trim) and am having to pay considerable attention to maintaining the right AoA. That is attention I am not paying to watching my wingmen, looking around, monitoring temperature etc. I expect I could get better at flying with this AoA with practice though.

 

Lastly I wonder under what circumstances in a fight I would be most concerned about relative maximum climb rates, and I think it would be if I was above the enemy aircraft and wanted to disengage. Normally I would be more concerned about relative top speeds. Actually I suspect that prop-hanging for maximum climb is generally a bad idea, as I suspect - just a hunch - that it is very inefficient: you are trading off too much speed for your extra height, speed that you could be using to change the angles or separation to your advantage at a much more energy efficient climb rate. But I could be wrong about that, I expect you need all sorts of graphs to show the answer. 

 

Anyway, thanks again for sharing all this work, it has given me much food for thought.

 

PS I will have a look at the excel file: I used to know how to manipulate these type of charts, but it has been a few years, and I used to use Lotus....


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#13 SeaW0lf

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 13:53

Actually I suspect that prop-hanging for maximum climb is generally a bad idea, as I suspect - just a hunch - that it is very inefficient: 

 

You are discussing semantics, not climb rates. We can discuss it endlessly, but the result is the same, it will climb much worse at 130km/h. "Hanging on its prop" is only a manner of speaking, like WWI pilots say all the time "hanging on their props" while climbing.
 
So I understand that you might not be questioning my data, but what you are saying in your post as a whole seems to have little relevancy in terms of data, climb or plane behavior. You just like to climb at 130km/h, and that's fine, but you can't use it as a parameter for anything other than "it climbs much slower".
 
And they indeed fell like hanging on their props, when the engine is carrying them up. If you start to level and gain speed, you not only looses the feel of the engine but the climb rate decreases significantly, so I think it is appropriate to use the term "hanging on their props", which does not mean a vertical climb hanging to shot at someone. 

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#14 gavagai

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 14:04

The Dr.I climbs worse than the SE5a now?  :huh:


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#15 unreasonable

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 14:10

No I am really not discussing sematics (which is about meaning BTW) I am wondering what the most efficient climb rate is, not the most effective climb rate which is what you have established here. That is actually a matter of physics, and it matters in a fight because the pilot has to optimize his performance in 3 dimensions, not in 2.

 

And it is a simple fact that the AI cannot achieve the rates you are showing, at least for some aircraft, so this has to be taken into account in "operational" flying in Career. It is not a matter of "what I like" it is a matter of what is actually possible in the game and what SOPs a pilot should use.

 

But since you are getting sniffy I about it I will refrain from any further comment.

 

I have looked at your chart: it is possible to rearrange your data with time on the x axis for only one plane but to do it for more than one you would have to have measured height at set times, rather than time at set heights.


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#16 SeaW0lf

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 14:40

No I am really not discussing sematics (which is about meaning BTW) I am wondering what the most efficient climb rate is, not the most effective climb rate which is what you have established here. That is actually a matter of physics, and it matters in a fight because the pilot has to optimize his performance in 3 dimensions, not in 2.

 

And it is a simple fact that the AI cannot achieve the rates you are showing, at least for some aircraft, so this has to be taken into account in "operational" flying in Career. It is not a matter of "what I like" it is a matter of what is actually possible in the game and what SOPs a pilot should use.

 

But since you are getting sniffy I about it I will refrain from any further comment.

 

I have looked at your chart: it is possible to rearrange your data with time on the x axis for only one plane but to do it for more than one you would have to have measured height at set times, rather than time at set heights.

 

Not being sniffy, you are trying to justify a speed that makes the plane climb much worse, which does not make much sense. And the AI can't be used as a reference for anything in this game.  


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#17 SeaW0lf

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 14:50

The Dr.I climbs worse than the SE5a now?  :huh:

 

About a minute worse until 2500m. It kind of follows the D.III / D.Va climb rate until 2500m. I am going to double check it, but it won't gain more than a few seconds if that's the case. I have been double checking some planes and the data remains the same.


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#18 unreasonable

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 16:23

Not being sniffy, you are trying to justify a speed that makes the plane climb much worse, which does not make much sense. And the AI can't be used as a reference for anything in this game.  

 

OK if you are not being sniffy I will have another go at trying to get over my points, which are not about what the best climb speeds actually are, but how we can use that knowledge in the game, which I thought was the point of this kind of test.

 

1) The AI must be used as a reference point if you are trying to discover the best SOPs for leading a formation in Career mode, which is after all part of the game: actually the one the majority of people fly. What you do when on your own or in MP is another matter. Trying to fly Career missions using these best climb speeds will lead to your formations being scattered all over the map, you will have to turn back or throttle down and stop climbing or even dive to collect your minions, wasting unnecessary time and attention.    

 

2) Aside from point (1), the justification for flying at a higher speed than the best climb rate - when appropriate - is that the aircraft can have a higher total energy state when somewhat faster and lower. This is overall a good thing. Of course the best climb speed is appropriate when the priority is simply to get high ASAP, but if you want to keep your options open a slightly faster speed would be called for. Not that I know exactly what it would be.

 

These graphs may illustrate the point.

 

Attached File  Climb1.png   42.47KB   4 downloads

Attached File  Climb2.png   46.75KB   0 downloads

Attached File  Climb3.png   109.64KB   0 downloads

 

Now I really will leave you to your researches, it is your thread and I have no wish to derail it, I was simply interested in the practical consequences of your discoveries.


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#19 SeaW0lf

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 19:07

I got some expert advice in an Excel forum. Let's see if I can switch the axes on the chart.

 

Thanks for the info unreasonable.


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#20 unreasonable

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 04:57

The chart was driving me nuts so I took another look and you can indeed rechart for all with time along the bottom, at least using Open Office which I used to open your Excel file. However for some reason I cannot upload my modified file to the forum, so this is how I did it: 

 

I used the Data Ranges input area of the chart and manually enter x and y ranges separately for each line. Obviously with the times as the x axis. This works bets if you leave out the "Plan1" and $ functions and just enter as -  B21:E21 - etc other wise the whole thing tries to reset when you want to start a new line. Start with a new chart and enter the ranges one at a time and it all works.

 

I assume that the procedure would be the same in Excel. It looks like this...

 

Attached File  X-Y.png   196.32KB   1 downloads

 

 

 

 


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#21 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 08:42

Thanks Unreasonable, I think this is one of the options that was given to me at the Excel forum. The pic helps a lot. I will try later. You can upload zipped. The forum does not accept open files, I suppose.

 

The chart looks way better when the top planes reach 3500m before the others. Very straighforward.


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#22 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 09:46

Unreasonable, I tried to replicate what you did but I cannot even start. This is Greek to me. Do you think you can attach a zip file of what you did? I am pretty sure Excel opens OpenOffice files. Then I'll see if I can understand what you did or try to use what you did as a template. What a shame, Excel is a chart tool that can't switch X Y axes...


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#23 Genius

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 13:01

Hi Seawolf,

 

Goodwork.

 

You can make a rate of climb diagram like this:

 

capture_imagesia-com_1067f.JPG


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#24 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 14:33

Thanks Genious, but I think I will need to install Openoffice. My Office 2007 does not have the option to edit axes X and Y, just the legend and X. This might be the reason that I cannot edit the slots.


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#25 =HillBilly=

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 14:47

@ SeaWOlf there is nothing wrong with your chart layout,( X Y axis ) they are easy to read and understand, the Y axis could use a time marker like 720 sec.

 

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#26 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 14:56

But the one made by Unreasonable is pretty straightforward. The plane that climbs best has a curve on top, mimicking a climb, and it even arrives before the others (see the image) as it should. After seeing that I can't go back to the old chart  :icon_e_biggrin:


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#27 Genius

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 15:17

Thanks Genious, but I think I will need to install Openoffice. My Office 2007 does not have the option to edit axes X and Y, just the legend and X. This might be the reason that I cannot edit the slots.

 

Open document here

Attached Files


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#28 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 15:56

Thanks Genius, but you have the altitude axis the same as mine. The goal is to place the altitude grid on the left (vertical) and the seconds on the right (horizontal). Then the lines will be convex, going up, not concave.


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#29 unreasonable

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 16:24

Hi sorry Seawolf been a bit occupied today and now a bit drunk - probably noyt the best time to deal with this. I am not sure why the forum would not allow me to upload the modified file. I will make a new clean simple sample file in Open office and see if I can upload that tomorrow (or Tuesday if I am really wasted).

If so you can see what I did and whether you can replicate it in Excel. I would have thought that you can (not that I want to load up excel to find out) so I will try again if you want but you will have to wait until I have sobered up!

I think your old file is fine and does the job: but if you are going to play around with this sort of graph I suppose it is worth knowing how to swap axes if yopu need to.
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#30 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 16:48

Weel, since I am lost with it, maybe if I look at your file I can have an idea.

 

But you have to zip the file. The forum does not accept without zipping it. Right click and choose "send to" and zip it.


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#31 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 17:09

Got it guys! There is a box to check for the values to swap in between the axes. Right click on the Y axis / format axis / value in reverse order. This did the trick. I just need to rotate the image with Photoshop (the axes meet at the top left). I'll post here later.


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#32 Panthercules

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 18:40

Got it guys! There is a box to check for the values to swap in between the axes. Right click on the Y axis / format axis / value in reverse order. This did the trick. I just need to rotate the image with Photoshop (the axes meet at the top left). I'll post here later.

 

Wow - if that's really the way it works then that is another classic example of Microsoft weirdness, right up there with pressing "start" to turn your computer off.  No way that sequence should result in what you were trying to do, taking the wording of the command labels at face value.


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#33 SeaW0lf

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 18:53

Wow - if that's really the way it works then that is another classic example of Microsoft weirdness, right up there with pressing "start" to turn your computer off.  No way that sequence should result in what you were trying to do, taking the wording of the command labels at face value.

 

This is Microsoft through and through  :icon_e_biggrin: They don't seem to understand the meaning of "interface". It is really a pain to operate anything they do. I experienced Apple for a year and they are light years ahead, this is 2004.


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#34 unreasonable

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 05:16

It sounds as though you might have found the trick: here is my changed file in Open Office. To add planes edit the graph and find the Data Ranges tab, you can then see how each line is formatted and add new ones - provided Excel allows the same formulation.

 

If you just cannot get it to work, let me know and I will finish the graph and post it here.

 

Attached File  Climb Rates Test UNREASONABLE.zip   71.03KB   11 downloads

 

 


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#35 SeaW0lf

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 10:17

Many thanks Unreasonable! I will take a look later on. I might find a way to join the best in both.

 

Cheers,


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#36 ZachariasX

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Posted 03 August 2015 - 10:59

Wow SeaW0lf, that's a lot of work... Thank you for that! That is very interessting results!

 

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#37 SeaW0lf

SeaW0lf
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  • LocationRio de Janeiro - Brazil

Posted 03 August 2015 - 13:27

Thanks Zach! It is fun to do.

 

Guys, I just updated the charts like they should be, with the curve up. Much better this way, thanks for the suggestion FourSpeed! The attached images scale much larger. The ones in the topic has littlle use (I might delete tem later on)

 

I added the Hanriot (same line as the D.VIII), Halb D.II and Sopwith Pup.

 

I have been playing arounf with the data matching the guides or in between them. 


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#38 unreasonable

unreasonable
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  • LocationBangkok

Posted 04 August 2015 - 14:02

They do look better and easier to read in the new format, thanks for the work.

 

I suddenly realised while flying today that a large part of our apparent disagreement about what seemed the best IAS to climb the DVII was because you were measuring IAS with the HUD and I have been looking at the instrument on the wing, which "indicates" TAS!  Using the 2% per 1000ft estimate, and calculating back to IAS, what my instruments were indicating is much closer to your preferred number at even 1km height. My fault, I forgot that peculiarity of the German planes. :(  So anyone using your best climb rates for the German planes and reading the anemometer  needs to remember to make the same adjustment or they will struggle just as I did.


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#39 SeaW0lf

SeaW0lf
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  • LocationRio de Janeiro - Brazil

Posted 04 August 2015 - 14:10

Ah, right! Thanks for the feedback. But the speeds are indicated as IAS on the chart. The problem with the anemometer is that I can't see it from the cockpit unless I zoom in, and I was trying to keep my concentration on the stick. Even to set the mixture the plane tends to get off course.

 

But just as a reference. I don't use hud gauges anyway in flight.


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#40 FourSpeed

FourSpeed
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Posted 04 August 2015 - 20:24

The real wrinkle in this is to ensure you're climbing out using each plane's vY airspeed (best rate of climb).  I don't know that anyone has published what those speeds are for the various planes, but they will differ and flying at different speeds other than vY would reduce the accuracy of the results.

 

I think that's a part of what unreasonable was alluding to with his charts (differences in the various airspeed gauges and units notwithstanding). To that end, I thing using the simple gauge for that is the right approach - as it measures in the same units for each plane (even if that's a bug - imho ;) ).

 

The speeds you listed look more like vX speeds to me (best angle of climb), which could lead to lower results (longer times) to a fixed height.

 

Otoh, the flight envelopes on these planes are pretty small, so it may be (?) that the difference to height using vX rather than vY might be pretty small  (I should probably dig up some Cessna charts to get a feel for that).

 

In any case, the data is very valuable and there are some pretty interesting (perhaps even unusual) results in there. Seaw0lf, I really appreciate all the effort you've put into this testing project so far -- excellent work!

 

Have you given any thought to how you'll check the Pfalz DXII and the Fokker DVIIF with their adjustable altitude throttles?

 

 

Regards,

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