Coming soon: GCA for C-47V3
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Thread: Coming soon: GCA for C-47V3

  1. #1

    Coming soon: GCA for C-47V3

    Drop-in GCA (Ground Control Approach) add-on for Manfred Jahn's C-47 V3 coming soon.

    Approach Controller provides vectors to PAR intercept, GCA Final Controller talks you down to the runway threshold.

    Adaptable to other aircraft with some fiddling. Works in FSX and P3D.

    No, we don't know when it will be released, but "real soon now"... IOW, when Manfred's done. (Clips in the video were recorded live, getting close.)

    A short history of the 'blind landing' systems is available as PDF here. It will be part of the final package.

    Last edited by tailspin45; December 21st, 2018 at 15:47.

  2. #2
    That's awesome! In my old Navy days GCA stood for gonna crash anyway....

  3. #3
    very interesting.

    What is this GCA you speak of?
    Joe Cusick
    San Francisco Bay Area, California.

    I am serious, and stop calling me Shirley.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by blanston12 View Post
    very interesting.

    What is this GCA you speak of?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPtTJ9hS9IU


    cheers Ralf

  5. #5
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    For a practical demonstration of GCA look up "The Big Lift" with Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas. It's shown in action in the film. This was the device that enabled the Berlin Airlift to be pulled off in an excellent manner.

  6. #6
    SOH-CM-2024 MrZippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSI01 View Post
    For a practical demonstration of GCA look up "The Big Lift" with Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas. It's shown in action in the film. This was the device that enabled the Berlin Airlift to be pulled off in an excellent manner.
    If memory serves, wasn't Jimmy Stewart talked down in, "Strategic Air Command", on his final into Kadena, Okinawa, Japan flying the B-47? I remember very low cloud cover and raining cat and dogs. I remember left or right of center-line and above or below the glideslope.

    https://youtu.be/iV1hVLGLZ-w This clip doesn't elaborate that much about the approach in but he does thank GCA at the end.
    Charlie Awaiting the new Microsoft Flight Sim and will eventually buy a new computer. Running a Chromebook for now!

  7. #7
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    At the end of a blind approach in "The Big Lift," one of the pilots remarks that landing at Tempelhof in those days was like "landing in the Rose Bowl." Our property manager in HI was a young USAF captain and C-54 pilot at the time who made many, many blind approaches to Berlin like those shown in this film and heartily seconded the other pilot's observation. Absolute precision was required for the approach to Tempelhof, primarily because the Russians had allotted approach paths to Western aircraft and zealously guarded the perimeters of those paths. Bad weather grounded the Russian aircraft but the weather was in many ways a worse enemy. Another reason for the precision in bad weather was that operating margins were so close for Tempelhof the US had to tear down several blocks of apartment buildings off the EOR to allow the GCA approaches to be flown safely. The C-54s, C-47s, and others were literally landing between apartment blocks; it was possible to look out one of the top floor windows of the neighboring apartment blocks and see C-54s flying BELOW where you were standing, while on short final. The degree of cooperation between GCA controllers and pilots, and the flying skills of the pilots involved, were both phenomenal.

  8. #8
    Ah yes, GCA = Ground Control Approach
    Mark


  9. #9
    It looks promising!
    Nice trailer also. TY!
    Webmaster of yoyosims.pl.

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by SSI01 View Post
    Another reason for the precision in bad weather was that operating margins were so close for Tempelhof the US had to tear down several blocks of apartment buildings off the EOR to allow the GCA approaches to be flown safely. The C-54s, C-47s, and others were literally landing between apartment blocks; it was possible to look out one of the top floor windows of the neighboring apartment blocks and see C-54s flying BELOW where you were standing, while on short final.
    I need proof to believe that. The huge gap on the final of 27L is (partly at least) a former cemetery and has pretty much always been there. And the buildings alongside that clearing are only five stories high. To see a C-54 or C-47 from above, the pilot would have had to clip the perimeter fence.

    However, the GCA controllers and later the ILS did grwat work, seeing how winters in Berlin tend to be months worth of depressing weather and there only being a handful of crashes in 40 years of Corridor flying.

  11. #11
    Wow, very cool, looking forward to trying this out.
    My father flew GCA’s in T-33’s and F-84F’s in Europe in the 50’s.
    Hopefully the slower approach speed of the C-47 will give us a fighting chance!
    I7-6700K @ 4.3, ASUS Z170-P, 32GB DDR4 2133, RTX 2070 8GB, Windows 10 Pro, P3Dv5.3 HF2

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by banjoman1960 View Post
    Is there a simple description of it without having to spend 20 minutes watching a video?
    Joe Cusick
    San Francisco Bay Area, California.

    I am serious, and stop calling me Shirley.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by blanston12 View Post
    Is there a simple description of it without having to spend 20 minutes watching a video?
    also see PDF from first post here.,

  14. #14
    SOH-CM-2024 MrZippy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanston12 View Post
    Is there a simple description of it without having to spend 20 minutes watching a video?
    OK, you have ATC guys on the ground using a couple of different types of radar bringing you to a point in your apporach to the airport that they can give you acurate centerline and glideslope information as you descend and approach the runway. This isn't an automatic ILS approach.
    Charlie Awaiting the new Microsoft Flight Sim and will eventually buy a new computer. Running a Chromebook for now!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SSI01 View Post
    For a practical demonstration of GCA look up "The Big Lift" with Montgomery Clift and Paul Douglas. It's shown in action in the film. This was the device that enabled the Berlin Airlift to be pulled off in an excellent manner.

    https://archive.org/details/The_Big_Lift#


    1950 movie about Berlin Airlift. GCA is running theme. Lots of C-54s, DC-3s, and Montgomery Cliff.

    The cemetery Bjoern mentioned is in the script and the buildings are seen from the air. "Like landing in the Rose Bowl."

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by blanston12 View Post
    Is there a simple description of it without having to spend 20 minutes watching a video?
    In the original post: "Approach Controller provides vectors to PAR intercept, GCA Final Controller talks you down to the runway threshold."

  17. #17
    Here's another example - the final approach at the end of the original (1970) movie Airport. I don't know if GCA (here called PRA for "Precision Radar Approach") was still in civilian use at that time, but it's a good dramatic device - much more exciting for the audience than watching the captain stare at the ILS needles...

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  18. #18
    I have been wanting this for YEARS!!! NC

  19. #19
    From 1965 to end of my Navy flying days in 1984 (Air Boss and flew a desk after that!!), we only had PAR/GCA for precision approaches in tactical aircraft. In fact, during flight training (jet pipeline) we had no ILS equipment and were never taught anything about it. During those years most military bases had at least ASR (Airport Surveillance Radar, sort of like localizer only), but most had full PAR capability if they were jet runway capable. To land IFR at a civilian field it had to have a TACAN or at least ASR capability.

    In the mid-70's carriers introduced ACLS -Automatic Carrier Landing System - which used a needles presentation, but the actual shipboard methodology was totally different from ground-based ILS, though the results were in the end roughly the same.

    I can say that military GCA controllers were all terrific. One advantage was that you got a clearer sense / picture, sooner, of deviations from centerline or glideslope. Also a little safer in that they made it clear that you were at minimums and to land if runway in sight or wave off (with instructions as to heading and altitude).

    VFR, it was common to get a practice GCA from a "student under instruction and supervision". No problem, and usually tried to give them a complimentary debrief or humorous "OK, a little ragged but you're getting there" summary.

    A typical Navy jet cross country or practice instrument flight was a Hi-TACAN approach to a GCA final, to a T&G, then around the box with radar vectors for another practice GCA, etc till you landed, got fuel and a burger - or had enough fuel to go somewhere else.

    Hi-TACAN was our bread and butter IFR letdown rather than an enroute descent. In a true tactical scenario enroute descents don't allow much flexibility in changing the recovery scenario (delays, etc). Hi-TACAN descents were usually a teardrop from over the TACAN at idle, speed brakes out, -4000 fpm at 250 KIAS to about 5000 AGL, then decreasing ROD and KIAS to dirty up for either a continued TACAN non-precision final or GCA/ASR pickup.

    We also had UHF ADF and used the same type of letdown, but of course no DME. UHF ADF was military unique. I do not recall them being at any civil fields anywhere in the world that I flew (unless joint use).

  20. #20

  21. #21
    VFR, it was common to get a practice GCA from a "student under instruction and supervision". No problem, and usually tried to give them a complimentary debrief or humorous "OK, a little ragged but you're getting there" summary.
    When I was going through basic rotary wing training in 2004 it wasn't unheard of for the instructor pilots to slow down to the hover during a GCA to see if the student ATC noticed. If they didn't some of them would reverse back up the glideslope.

  22. #22
    Hiya,

    Would be cool feature, in the Netherlands PAR approaches were very common for the military and civil tubelines landing on military fields. Only to be replaced by ILS installation 10 year ago or so (could the 15 years).

    Example of a tubeliner doing a GCA/PAR approach:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re6ExGDOKbc

    Marcel

  23. #23
    My instrument instructor would take me down to MCAS El Toroin the early 70s to shoot GCAs as part of my training. Generally, they would accommodate us (i.e., civiliantypes), to give the military controllers some GCA practice. Flying 90 knots on approach didn’t always mixwell with F-4 traffic, but the controllers did a good job integratingeveryone. The air traffic controller wouldget you on final with simple vectors and altitude instructions and once youwere on final would hand you off to the GCA controller (I recall there was nofrequency change, but it was just you and the GCA controller—not sure how theyaccomplished that).

    Azimuth commands were “Turn Right”, “Stop Turn” followed by “Turn Left”, “Stop Turn” and so on. Altitude commands on approach were “On glide path”,“Above glide path”, “Below glide path”, etc. Add to that an occasional distance update (“mile and a quarter totouchdown”). You were expected to execute the command—there was no read back. The last transmission was something like “Oncenterline, over the numbers” which was followed by a go-around since touchdownon military asphalt was strictly forbidden. I think MCAS El Toro discontinued the practiceby the mid/late 70s (I tried to run some of my own instrument students throughthe exercise but was denied).

    I’ll be interested to see how much this ends upawakening some dusty memories.

    Tom
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  24. #24
    This is really interesting! It'll bring a whole new dimension to anyone simulating the Airlift flying. Of course, it'll fit right in for much early propliner flying all over the place, too. Any details on how it will work? I'm just curious if it will only be available for certain hardcoded runways... or can it be made to work at any airport?

    Great work... this will be cool!

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by stearmandriver View Post
    This is really interesting! It'll bring a whole new dimension to anyone simulating the Airlift flying. Of course, it'll fit right in for much early propliner flying all over the place, too. Any details on how it will work? I'm just curious if it will only be available for certain hardcoded runways... or can it be made to work at any airport?

    Great work... this will be cool!
    as a Beta-tester i can say it will work at any airport.

    cheers Ralf

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