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Vista Flightmatic 204-FP

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Vista Flightmatic 204-FP

Old 23rd Nov 2021, 20:12
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Vista Flightmatic 204-FP

Recently I got hold of a Vista Flightmatic 204-FP flight simulator, or rather an IFR trainer for my mancave. Much better than a pinball or a snooker table ;-). As most pilots I was tortured on this rack for many hours as my first introduction to IFR flying.

It is an interesting piece of equipment that has a mechanically simulated environment and the flight characteristics are all analog. Two VORs and an NDB are synchros on the board, connected with nylon strings to the aircraft position to create the indications. After a lot of cleaning and lube work, most of it is working again.

So now is the time to start flying the beast and I am looking for the charts. There is a VOR in the northwestern corner on frequency 108.25. In the southeasterly corner we find a VOR on frequency 112.25. Between it on the radial 309 from one and radial 129 from the other is an NDB that is always on and an ILS on frequency 110.05. All this is mechanically represented on a panel behind a white screen.

Does anybody recognise this environment and have a clue where I could find the charts? I am looking for SIDs, STARS, approach plates, anything.

Last edited by CaptainSquelch; 27th Nov 2021 at 20:32.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 22:48
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Originally Posted by DirtyProp View Post
Any pics of said contraption? I'm rather curious myself, goggle did not show anything.
Try this?
https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...atic-133159614
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 23:48
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 23:52
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the panel


The "world" where the black knob represents the aircraft position. The block with the two small nylon wheels represents the NDB. The string to the aircraft pulls the synchro to generate the ADF indication.

the rear of the "world" with the synchro in the left lower corner for the southwest VOR and the synchro in the center again the NDB. The potmeter generates the DME reading and the ILS G/S indication.

All pretty ingenious.



Last edited by CaptainSquelch; 24th Nov 2021 at 00:02.
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 12:07
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Somewhere to the north-west of Heathrow? Garston (GAR) is shown on a 1968 plate as using 112.3 as a frequency, that is pretty close to your 112.25 VOR. There is more about this beacon on this page: https://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-490432.html. If this is a US built contraption, it is more likely to be a setting somewhere on that continent of course. It may well be a fictional combination that was cooked up to suit most training scenarios of course.
That's a nice DAF you've got there by the way!
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 15:55
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Originally Posted by CaptainSquelch View Post
Recently I got hold of a Vista Flightmatic 204-FP flight simulator, or rather an IFR trainer for my mancave. Much better than a pinball or a snooker table ;-). As most pilots I was tortured on this rack for many hours as my first introduction to IFR flying.

It is an interesting piece of equipment that has a mechanically simulated environment and the flight characteristics are all analog. Two VORs and an NDB are synchros on the board, connected with nylon strings to the aircraft position to create the indications. After a lot of cleaning and lube work, most of it is working again.

So now is the time to start flying the beast and I am looking for the charts. There is a VOR in the northwestern corner on frequency 108.25. In the southeasterly corner we find a VOR on frequency 112.25. Between it on the radial 309 from ONE and radial 129 from the other is an NDB that is always on and an ILS on frequency 110.05. All this is mechanically represented on a panel behind a white screen.

Does anybody recognise this environment and have a clue where I could find the charts? I am looking for SIDs, STARS, approach plates, anything.
I'm assuming those VORs aren't marked with designators, otherwise you would have said so. If, as suggested, the SE one is Garston, I'm struggling to think what other VOR is northwest of that, and with an NDB in between.

Presumably there's a scale on the chart - roughly how far apart are the two VORs ?
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 17:30
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If this is a US built contraption, it is more likely to be a setting somewhere on that continent of course. It may well be a fictional combination that was cooked up to suit most training scenarios of course.
Noteworthy that the NAVCOM has .05 MHz spacing for VOR/ILS, suggesting a (relatively) recent set-up. How old is this kit? The DME readout format looks ancient!

Edit: further research shows that .05 Mhz NAVCOM spacing dates back to at least the 1970s, although very few VORs and LOCs (if any) seemed to use these freqs in those days.

Last edited by Discorde; 24th Nov 2021 at 17:54.
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 23:56
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
I'm assuming those VORs aren't marked with designators, otherwise you would have said so. If, as suggested, the SE one is Garston, I'm struggling to think what other VOR is northwest of that, and with an NDB in between.

Presumably there's a scale on the chart - roughly how far apart are the two VORs ?
Unfortunately there is no scale anywhere indicated. Tomorrow I'll time the flight from overhead one of the VORs to the other and see if I can figure out the distance.

As for the frequencies, the selected frequency they work on can be changed by rotating the wheel with the numbers relative to the wheel with the contacts. There are just three working contacts on the Mhz wheel (now set at 108, 110 and 112) and two on the decimals (now at .05 and .25). So if I'd change the 108.25 VOR to 108.40 the other VOR changes with it from 112.25 to 112.40 and the ILS from 110.05 to 110.20. The same goes for the Mhz selector.

All in all I am not sure that it is a copy from the real world. It could well be a 'just for the simulator world'.

Last edited by CaptainSquelch; 25th Nov 2021 at 00:10.
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 04:08
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Check your PMs
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 09:19
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Probably too late, but have you looked into the flight sim world? I run FSX on a desktop, and get endless enjoyment/challenge from it. There are other options such as P3D or Xplane. Add peripherals as and when the budget allows. A useful start point is the magazine "PC Pilot"
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 18:10
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Originally Posted by Herod View Post
Probably too late, but have you looked into the flight sim world? I run FSX on a desktop, and get endless enjoyment/challenge from it. There are other options such as P3D or Xplane. Add peripherals as and when the budget allows. A useful start point is the magazine "PC Pilot"
Herod,

Thanks but that is not what this is about. It is the fun of getting this old piece of machinery, mechanical and analog, running again. It is better than a pinball machine or a snooker table and fits in nicely between my classic cars. Nine years into retirement from the airlines I sometimes still work as a flight instructor on a full motion 737 sim so I do get my challenges.
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 22:51
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OK Captain. Point taken. Enjoy the challenge.
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