Changes to Turbine Engine Starts 

We've had numerous people ask us about the change to the turbine engine start sequence in FSX, especially add-on aircraft providers who take pride in the "dark cockpit" procedures they simulate to get an airplane ready to fly.  Although our work in this area was targeted at making things "more realistic," we sometimes underestimate the impact these types of changes can have on legacy add-ons.

Mike Schroeter, a Simulation Developer on the team, has provided some insight into how things have changed and how to maintain parity functionality between FS9 and FSX:

  • To start, basically you need the starter on and fuel to flow.  The difference is in how these get turned on and off in FSX.
  • The starter is no longer "spring-loaded".  It must be turned off manually.  This was a decision that applied to all of our turbine aircraft, as it made more sense overall.  Perhaps in the future we will enable the ability to customize this per aircraft, but for now it's a general solution.
  • "Master starter switch":  The master starter switch basically links the fuel valve and the actual starter together.  This was our understanding of how the A321 functioned, and we believed that the 737 was similar.  Clicking on it will toggle the fuel valve and the starter.  The confusion comes from the fact that previously FS treated the "mixture" lever as the fuel valve (Ctrl+Sh+F1 and F4 to toggle off and on, respectively).  We considered using the actual fuel valve as that made more sense, but we decided that would lead to more confusion as most people are already used to controlling fuel flow with the mixture.
  • Additionally, Ctrl+Shift+F1 will toggle off the "master starter switch" for those that are used to that key action to shut the engines down.  We don't do this with Ctrl+Shift+F4 (the mixture toggle) as that would start the engine, which we believed that would add even more to the confusion.  For most add-on aircraft, you can ignore this entire issue and use the events that worked in the past, but you need to make sure to keep the mixture and the fuel valve states in sync.