Flight Simulator - default


About the Autopilot

If the autopilot in Flight Simulator 2002 seems to work differently from the autopilot in previous versions, it's because it does - it now behaves more realistically. Here are some of the things to be aware of regarding the way the new autopilot works.

The Master Switch

Turning on the autopilot (by pressing the AP button, clicking the AP annunciator on some panels, or pressing the Z key) now holds the current pitch attitude and holds the wings level. When the autopilot is engaged, you cannot manually control the aircraft (using a joystick or the keyboard). This behavior is consistent with the functionality of many real-world autopilots, which are designed like this for safety. (For example, see the pilot guide for the Bendix/King KAP 140 autopilot. It's available in PDF format at the Bendix/King Web site.) For example, if a pilot makes control inputs with the autopilot turned on, the autopilot may run the trim toward nose-down or nose-up, leading to a potentially dangerous out-of-trim condition if the autopilot disengages or is turned off.

If any autopilot mode buttons (for example, Heading mode, Altitude mode, or Navigation mode) are "on" when the autopilot master switch is turned on, the autopilot immediately maneuvers the aircraft to turn to that heading, climb/descend to that altitude, or intercept that course. For this reason, it's good practice to verify that the heading bug, altitude select, and course select are properly set before engaging the autopilot.

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