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Frequently asked questions

If you've got a question that's not answered here, please don't hesitate and ask it in the forum.

▸ Is there an external view?

Not yet, but we are working on it. It will be part of one of the next updates, along with a replay option.

▸ How can I control the speedbrakes?

Like in the real orbiter, the speedbrakes are normally controlled by the autopilot. You can control them manually by switching the autopilot speedbrake channel to off in the autopilot menu (in flight, pause the game and go to the settings menu).

▸ Can I fly the entire reentry?

No. F-SIM currently only simulates the subsonic part of the descent. This is where the commander usually takes control of the orbiter and flies it manually down to the runway. In the hyper-, super- and transsonic regimes the Orbiter is controlled by its digital autopilot.

▸ Is there a map?

Yes. During a flight, tap on the screen to pause the game. In the pause menu, tap on "Map & Wind". The map shows a satellite image of the area, the orbiter's position and its ground track (target and actual).

▸ What does "impossible reentry trajectory" mean?

The shuttles always launch from the John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida and always head towards the Atlantic (i.e. east). Because once in orbit it can't do plane changes this also means that when landing it will always approach from the west. If you try to approach Edwards from the east, the "impossible reentry trajectory" info is displayed.

▸ What does "Return to launch site (RTLS) trajectory" mean?

See above. There is an abort mode where the orbiter would turn around after the solids have separated and return to the launch site, thus come in from the Atlantic, heading back to Florida.

▸ Why is the speed displayed in the HUD so low?

The speed shown in the HUD is in knots equivalent airspeed. It is the airspeed at sea level which represents the same dynamic pressure as that flying at the true airspeed at altitude. So at high altitude, due to the lower air density, euqivalent airspeed is much lower than the true airspeed. When you start at e.g. 50,000ft, the true airspeed is more than twice the equivalent airspeed, i.e. almost Mach 1.

▸ Sometimes there appears to be turbulence even when wind, gusts and turbulence are set to zero.

This has various reasons:
First, opening the speedbrake causes a positive pitching moment, simply bacause the rudder is located higher than the Orbiter's center of gravity. If speedbrake pitch correction is turned on in the autopilot menu, the autopilot tries to counteract this by trimming the elevons in the opposite direction. This works well, but is not perfect. So when then autopilot controls the speedbrake, there will always be some very small but still noticable pitching moments.
Second, the gear causes a lot of drag, so deploying it results in a negative pitching moment, which is not corrected by the autopilot.
And third, although F-SIM Space Shuttle applies some sphisticated filtering, there will always be residual noise from the accelerometer, causing unwanted (but very small) control inputs, even if you hold the device absolutely still.

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