|Author(s)||D-EKEW, D-LEON, D-STHO|
The Extra500 is a six-seat single-engined turboprop aircraft produced by the Extra Aircraft company (based at EDLD).
- 1 Status
- 2 About the airplane
- 3 Download
- 4 Operation
- 5 IFD : Integrated Flight Display
- 5.1 General
- 5.2 Display
- 5.3 Keypad
Current stable release is 1.1.0 (22.06.2014):Download
For the stable release make sure you are on the release/1.1.0 branch!
Since March 2013 D-EKEW, D-LEON, D-STHO are working on this model. They are making use of original data from the Pilot's Operation Handbook. People who have experienced the aircraft in real life help calibrating the FDM as well as tuning the systems behavior.
About the airplane
The Extra Aircraft company designed several aerobatic aircraft based on the early experimental EA-230 and EA-260, followed by the FAR-23 certified EA-300 series (EA-300, EA-300/S, EA-300/L, EA-300/200, EA-300/LT, EA-330/LC, EA-330/SC). The company introduced the Extra EA-400 in 2001. This is a cross-country airplane with many exclusive features including carbon fiber construction, pressurized cabin, high strut-less wing, and a seating for six. The EA 400-500 was introduced as a derivative of the EA-400 replacing the piston engine with a Rolls-Royce Model 250-B17F/2 turboprop producing 450 horsepower (340 kW) and driving a MT-propeller 5 bladed propeller. Walter Extra flew the first Extra500 from Germany to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to illustrate its range and capabilities. The most recent changes to the aircraft come from Avidyne with their latest glass avionics: Avidyne Entegra R9.
|Capacity||5 PAX or 525 kg payload|
|Empty weight||1,420 kg|
|Max takeoff weight||2,130 kg|
|Engine||Rolls-Royce Model 250-B17F/2|
|Cruise speed||210 kts|
|Stall speed (MTOW, Full flaps)||61 kts|
|Max. Range||2,963 km|
|Endurance||7.9 hours at cruise speed|
|Climb rate (S.L.)||1,335 ft/min|
The Extra500 is available via Gitorious: https://www.gitorious.org/extra500/extra500
We recommend flightgear version 3.1 available via the flightgear master branch or win/mac nightly's, to benefit from the improvents in the canvas system.
Stable release :
git clone https://git.gitorious.org/extra500/extra500.git cd extra500 git checkout release/1.1.0
or use the download button on: release/1.1.0.
The current development takes place in the master branch
git clone https://git.gitorious.org/extra500/extra500.git cd extra500 git checkout master
or use the download button on: master.
For full operation instructions, see the official Extra500 POH. It can be downloaded from the manufacturers homepage: , right at the bottom.
Below is just a quick start and some selected topics.
WARNING: Below reflects the current development version (master). If you are using the stable version, some functionality will not be available!
All switches are thrown by rotating the mouse wheel in the appropriate direction. Push buttons are pressed by clicking with the LH Mouse button. Rotary knobs are turned by the mouse wheel as well. Hold ⇧ Shift for large steps.
The IFD buttons on the left, right and lower bezel are always double buttons. Meaning they always have a left and right side. The lower buttons (PFD - FMS - MAP - SYS - CHKL) navigate between the main pages. Once on the selected page the same button will let you navigate through the tabs. The side knobs do not always have a function, but if they have, they are lighted and the function is shown next to them.
There are a few special Extra500 shortcuts:
CTRL+E Connect / disconnect External power cart
CTRL+F Control pitch with pitch trim only
W Gear Warn Mute (you'll need it, alternatively press the switch on the throttle lever)
R Put the propeller in reverse (beta range)
S Condition lever fuel on/cut-off (alternatively click on the condition lever)
D Autopilot disconnect (alternatively click on the red button on the yoke)
C Engage Control Wheel Steering (CWS, see below)
The checklists going along with the manufacturers POH. The Extra500 provide a dialog to read, view and perform the necessary task for each flight phase. Checklists can performed manually and automated just let the dialog do the work.
- Show/hide the checklist.
- Show/hide the config options.
- Minimise the dialog. For automated in flight usage.
- Close the dialog and its action.
- Allow the dialog to move the view to the action.
- The dialog will show a pink circle at the action.
- Write message on screen, nice for text to speech(festival).
- Make the dialog transparent.
- Faster work through the automated checklist.
- Pick a required checklist and load it.
- Plays and stops the checklist. All actions will be done in an automated seqence.
- Moves the view to the action and schows the pink circle.
- Perfom the action.
- Subpage navigation of the checklist
- Next checklist for the next flight phase.
- Parking Brake: Set ( ⇧ Shift+B or pull out middle Bowden cable in middle console AND press B )
- Battery: Switch ON
- Fuel Pump 1 or 2: Switch ON
- Engine Start: START
- at 12-15% N1: Press s ( or click on condition lever, its the red one )
CAUTION: TOT limit for starting is max. 10sec above 810 °C and below 927 °C
If the engine does not light-off:
- Engine Motoring: ABORT and back to NORMAL
- Condition Lever: Press s Fuel off
Wait until N1 drops below 3% and TOT below 100 °C, then start again.
After engine has started:
- Standby alternator: Switch ON
- Generator: Switch ON
- Engine start: IGN OFF (only if N1 >= 65%)
- Flaps: 15 degrees ( ] or use the flap switch )
- Power lever: TRQ 111%
CAUTION: for Take-off (5 minutes) maximum TRQ limit is 111%, TOT 810degC
- Parking Brake: Release ( ⇧ Shift+B or push in middle Bowden cable in middle console )
NOTE: For strong sidewind, turn the ailerons against the wind
- At 71KIAS: Rotate
- Gear: Retract ( G or click the gear switch )
- Flaps: 0 degrees ( [ or use the flap switch )
CAUTION: Flaps need to be retracted before reaching 120KIAS, gear 140KIAS
- Power lever: TRQ 92%
CAUTION: For continuous operation the TRQ limit is 92%, TOT 752degC, watch the TOT while climbing!
Climb with MCP (maximum continuous Power, 92%TRQ or 752degC) at 110 KIAS.
Descent with 50% TRQ and 2000ft/min. Max airspeed is 207 KIAS.
Do not come in too high, too fast.
- At 140 KIAS, gear: Extend (⇧ Shift+G or click the gear switch )
- At 120 KIAS, flaps: 15 degrees ( ] or use the flap switch )
- When you are sure you will land and below 109 KIAS, flaps: 30 degrees ( ] or use the flap switch )
- Power for a 3deg descent, 80KIAS and landing configuration is ~30% TRQ
- Dont forget to brake. For reverse press R, will only toggle when power lever is in aft position!
- Parking Brake: Set ( ⇧ Shift+B or pull out middle Bowden cable in middle console AND press B )
- Fuel Pump 1 and 2: Switch OFF
- Standby alternator: Switch OFF
- Generator: Switch OFF
- Press s ( or click on condition lever )
- Battery: Switch OFF
Principle Autopilot functionality
- HDG Follows the heading bug (set HDG bug using the keypad, press to sync)
- NAV Intercepts and tracks VORs, LOCs or your Flight Plan (set course with LH lower rotary knob on IFD)
- NAV/GPSS Intercepts and tracks your Flight Plan and cuts the corners ( press NAV twice)
- HDG+NAV Intercept the course or active flightplan leg with your set heading
- NAV+REV Intercepts and tracks the LOC back course
- GS Is armed and activated automatically when captured on the LOC. You can switch it off by pressing APR, ALT mode will become active. To arm the GS again, press APR for a second time
- VS Follows the VS bug (limited to +/-1600fpm, set with AP rotary knob)
- ALT Holds the current altitude (rounded to 100ft)
- ALT+VS Brings and holds the aircraft to the selected altitude (set ALT bug using the keypad, press to sync) with the selected vertical speed.
- CWS Control Wheel Steering. Follows the turn rate and vertical speed set by controlling the aircraft.
To disconnect press: d
General remarks to autopilot operation:
A roll mode (HDG, NAV/GPSS, APR/REV) must be engaged for a pitch mode (ALT, VS, GS) can engage.
A roll mode (HDG, NAV/GPSS, APR/REV) must be engaged for the yaw trim to work
If pitch trim is switched off, autotrim is not available, but the AP will indicate where to (manually) trim to.
For CWS, a roll and pitch mode must be engaged. Press c (caution: AP servos will disengage!) and with your controls bring the aircraft at your wished turn and climb rate. Press c again and the AP will engage and keep those rates.
The AP will disengage when:
- the disconnect switch is pressed (d)
- the stall warner is on (stall warn horn and light)
- absolute g-force (disregarding 1-g gravity) exceeds 0.6g
- manual electric pitch trim is used.
The COM unit (1 or 2 ) is selected on the audiopanel. Just hit the appropriate "XMT" button. Note that FGCOM only works on COM1! If you want to hear the NAV station morse code or the marker tones, press the appropriate button on the audiopanel also. The volume can be adjusted using the inner volume knob.
The active COM standby frequency can be inputted on the keypad. The first "1" is not needed and any trailing "0" neither. Just type in the frequency and switch active/standby with the button just left of the frequencies.
Not-active-COM and NAV standby frequencies are similar, just press the NAV1 / NAV2 button first.
FMS, Nav 1 or Nav 2 may be selected on the IFD or in the NAV dialog (F12) The DME source can be set using the AUX button on the keypad. Select with the FMS knob. The DME hold switch next to the DME indicator overrides all NAV frequency switching and holds the frequency to which the DME was tuned when the HOLD button is pressed.
The FMS (Flight Management System) can be used with or without the autopilot. You can put your flightplan in the autopilot - route manager (dont forget to press activate). The autopilot will intercept the active leg.
While flying a flightplan (FMS is the Nav source and NAV is selected on the autopilot), you can do some special stuff without touching the autopilot:
- Vectors mode: Press V with arrow or "Fly Vectors" knob on IFD to follow the heading bug while still in nav mode. Deselecting will return normal FMS functionality. Handy for making a brief excursion from the flightplan for weather or ATC.
- Direct-To mode: In the route manager select the waypoint and on the keypad press the D with arrow button.
- Close to the waypoint direct-to mode will be de-selected automatically or you can do that manually by pressing the same button again.
- FMS-OBS: Rotate the LH lower knob on the IFD. Press to cancel. Very similar to VOR functionality, except it will work on all waypoints of your flightplan. Very handy for making an approach on an airport without ILS.
If your flightplan has a VOR or ILS, the FMS will automatically tune NAV1 to the respective frequency and set the radial accordingly. So there is no need to look up any NAV frequency anymore! In addition when you line up with the selected runway, The NAV source will automatically change to NAV1, thus the ILS interception will be fully automatic. You do need to be lined up to the runway pretty accurately: the Flightgear "DEFAULT" approaches are ideal for this! For this kind of approach it is recommended that you slow down, get the gear out and set the flaps to 15deg before the GS is intercepted. Depending on the aircraft weight and wind conditions set 20-30% TRQ when on the GS to match 80 KIAS.
XPDR squawk can be set on the keypad (press XPDR and squawk code) and in the NAV dialog (F12). Default is 7000 (Europe VFR). XPDR modes are selected automatically (GND or ALT), but automatic selection may be switched off Manual mode selection is then possible. The MODE button on the keypad will set the mode manually also.
The extra500 is certified to 25000ft, where the air is pretty thin. So there is pressurization system that keeps the cabin altitude below 8000ft which corresponds to a cabin differential pressure of 5.5psid at 25000ft. So if you are planning to fly above 10000ft, you need to make sure that the ENV AIR and PRESS switches (left lower corner) on the side switch panel are on. In addition, before take-off you should set the cabin controller (center console) to the airport altitude and just after take-off to your target altitude. Before descending from cruise, set the controller to your target airport altitude. You can monitor the cabin altitude, differential pressure and cabin climb rate on the instruments next to the controller.
For lighted instruments switch on the INSTR switch on the side switch panel. On the same panel you can switch the DAY/NIGHT switch to NIGHT for dimming. The 5 round turn knobs on the panel now can be used to set your dimming level. The IFD-s have their own dimming switch on the left upper side of the bezel. For taxying use the RECO lights. For landing the LDG light.
IFD : Integrated Flight Display
The system assist a single pilot to manage an IFR-operated flight. The design is clearly oriented to provide quick access to the requested information and to handle the data as quickly as possible. The goal is to relieve the pilot and reduce the pilot's workload.
The IFD System in the Extra500 constist of two Displays in the front and one Keypad in the center console.
Each display has five page-select keys at the bottom. With these keys the active page can be selected. On the active page, the current key will navigate through the associated tabs. On the left- and right hand side, there are multi- function keys, so called "Line Select Key"(LSK). Each tab can serve a function on the LSK. If it is active it's indicated with a light on the key(green at day, white at night). The display shows also a label next to the LSK-key with the intended function name. On the left and right bottom corners, there are two bezels the intended function is displayed in the left/right corners of the tab indication.
- 1. Dimming knob for the display brightness mouse left
- 2. Baro knob to adjust the altimeter wheel up for +, wheel down for - and wheel press set 1013
- L1-6 and R1-6 "Line Select Key"(LSK) is a rocker switch and can have two funtions left/right indicated in the diaplay
- LK and RK bezel usable with wheel up, wheel down and wheel press and +⇧ Shift inceases the amount
- Page Select Key is a rocker switch first mouse left select the page then mouse left navigate through the tabs left/right