- Set the following Simulation Options every time you start FMS.
Under SIMULATION from the top menu bar:
- Check AUTO-INITIALIZATION AFTER CRASH
- THERMAL OPTIONS set both Updraft and Bubbles sliders to the far left.
Note the Thermal settings return back to the start-up settings each time FMS is launched.
The mappings and calibration settings remain unchanged from you last settings.
- Click OK
- Close FMS (We recommend this after each change to the CONTROL settings.
- Confirm the JoyStick Operation and adjust the rudder and elevator trims if needed.
- Plug in the USB Joystick Controller if not already.
Set the throttle off (Left stick full back-toward you).
This is a good habit to develop for the real thing as well.
- Launch FMS
- Confirm FMS and the Joystick is working properly.
- If the throttle stick is full down there should not be any sound, and you should be looking at a still T-Hawk centered on an airstrip waiting for your take-off command.
- Hit the C key on the keyboard to toggle between Chase View and Ground Pilot View.
The chase view follows the aircraft from behind and is helpful initially for better visibility of how the model responds to your controller inputs.
We recommend the using the Chase View to check and adjust rudder and elevator trims.
- Set the throttle stick full forward while keeping hands off the right stick.
The T-Hawk should accelerate straight down the runway and begin to climb shortly after over-running the end of the strip continuing on a straight flight path.
Cut the throttle off and hit the I key to initialize from the starting point, make an adjustment, and take-off again and again.
Experiment with adjusting the right stick rudder and elevator trims to their full extreme positions and note the effect from their center positions.
Return the trims to their center positions indicated by the white marks.
- Setup Chase Viewing at some distance behind.
Now that FMS and the Joystick controller is properly working and trimmed, you are ready to start some practice runs.
We recommend setting the Chase View some distance behind the T-Hawk to allow a wider field of view.
- Hit the C key to toggle to Chase View if not already
- From VIEW on the top menu, click on ZOOM OUT four or five times.
- Also under VIEW check SPEED & ALTITUDE
- Try these exercises for starters.
- Like before, set the throttle stick to full forward while keeping the hands off the right stick.
When the T-Hawk climbs into the blue sky, cut the throttle off and observe the short glide down.
Hit the I key and try this again, except after cutting the throttle, pull back on the elevator (right stick) enough to keep the glide level until it lands softly in the grass.
- Now try pulling back softly on the elevator stick as the T-Hawk accelerates down the runway and make it your goal to climb before out-running the strip, but climb steadily like a real aircraft.
- Next add a soft rudder movement to the left once airborne. Move the rudder (right stick) gently to the left once airborne and observe a loss of altitude.
The sharper the turn, the faster the T-Hawk descends. Next time, instead of moving the stick purely to the left, move it back toward you as well.
The stick in the lower-left corner mixes both left rudder and up elevator simultaneously which can be balanced to keep the T-Hawk flying level even in mild turns. Use the altitude display for precise monitoring.
- Next practice flying in wide circles, both clockwise and counter-clockwise while maintaining a steady altitude. Then try smaller and smaller circular flight paths
- Landing practice is next. The trick is to start your approach a good distance away so you have plenty of time to line up your flight path with the landing strip.
Gradually reduce the throttle and/or apply small down elevator (right stick forward) to descend gradually only to cut the throttle at touch down.
Its also good to practice landings without motor power so you will be prepared for an unexpected loss of motor power.
- From this point forward toggle out of the Chase View ( C key) and stay in the Ground Pilot View mode which is most like your real flying experience.
You won't have the luxury to see the T-Hawk up close from behind and it becomes important to keep it within your visual range.
Most importantly, you need to visualize yourself in the cockpit of the model with the right stick of your controller like the control stick used in early aircraft.
Imagine leaning with the stick as you move it and the plane will follow.
Pushing the stick forward will direct your line of sight down, and the aircraft follows.
Pulling back on the stick will direct your line of sight up, and the aircraft will be directed up as well.
Left and Right stick movements are intuitive when using the Chase View mode, because you are always facing forward with the plane.
This is not the case when you are viewing the aircraft approaching you on the ground!
From your remote ground perspective, a left stick movement will turn the plane to your right!
This is the important DIRECTION REVERSAL you must overcome by visualization of yourself in the aircraft your are piloting.
With practice this will become second nature and this simulator is very helpful for this.
- Find a comfortable resolution setting in full screen mode to maximize your ability to see the T-Hawk clearly in the Ground Pilot View mode.
ZOOM OUT several times just as recommended in Chase View to expand your field of view.
Experiment with the resolution settings in full screen modes from the top menu RESOLUTION.
Note performance will depend on your graphics card and computer system.
Use the ESC key to take you out of full screen mode.
- Limitations of FMS. This simulator is very helpful to introduce only the most basic RC flying skill and provides experience in perfectly calm weather.
For this reason, it is still imperative to insist on calm conditions your first few times flying the real thing. Ideally less than 3mph winds/gusts.
Also its important to have the sun at your back. Dawn is often ideal on both accounts. Take your time to select a proper flying site with the right timing.
We hope you find these instructions and beginner tips for the T-Hawk simulator helpful. Please let us know how we can improve them!
We look forward to provide FMS models and instructions for our popular SkySeeker GT, Predator and ThunderBat soon!