A warning to start with. The Simulation of the TU-154-B2 is a very demanding aircraft and has a very steep learning curve, but if you are prepared to spent time and effort into learning how to flying this machine, you will find it most rewarding.
The Mighty Tu-154, Nato name “Careless”, used to be the main spar of the Russian fleet and is available for Microsoft Flight simulator X. The project is not free ware, but it is free to use.
- Excellent internal and external 3d model
- Fully functional 3d cockpit with FE panel and navigator station
- Functional electric and hydraulic and pneumatic systems
- Accurate simulation of the custom flight control system
- Navigation with soviet era equipment, the NVU and RSBN systems
- Comes with utilities like a payload and fuel loader and a navlog generator
- Functional flight data recorder
- doesn’t cost you anything! (free, but not freeware)
- Very steep learning curve
- Documentation is not up to date and based on the FS9 aircraft.
- Installation requires adjusting your FSX buttons and keys setup
Put the pro’s and con’s on the scale for your self, if you are still in doubt, go for it!
You can find it on the Project TU-154 official website.
The user manual gives a very detailed explanation of operation of the various systems, although written for the FS9 installation only.
It still took me more then a few hours to complete the puzzle and install this aircraft properly, so Ill post a guidance here to make your life easier. (Trust me, you need your efforts for flying this beast!)
Start by downloading the FSX installation files from their website. At the time of writing the files are:
- PT-154B2 FSX version 1.3 (277MB )and
- Update from version 1.3 to version 1.3.1 (65MB)
The files are self installing executables, install the 1.3 version first, then the 1.3.1 update.
Don’t be alarmed if your computer doesn’t display the Cyrillic correctly. It just means that the software doesn’t support Unicode. If you want it to show proper Russian, simply go into Control Panel\Clock, Language, and Region/Region and Language, tab Administrative and Change system location for programs that don’t support uni-code. But.. you don’t have to, you can also just press next a few times until you are done.
FSX is designed for conventional aircraft, and with that, I mean American aircraft like Boeings and Cessna’s.
The flight control system of the Tu-154 is not very conventional, and for it’s complex systems to operate realistic, the developers had to remove the flight control completely out of FSX and into their own background application. This makes installation terribly complex, but the simulator more authentic.
You might want to make a backup of your existing flight control setup for later use.
- Locate your FSX/Controls folder in:
- Make a backup of the Standard.XML file. This is where al your button and joystick assignments are stored.
Now start FSX and load a Tu-154.
- Press CRTL-K to disable your joystick. (important!)
- Open in the menu bar:
It will take you some time, but in this Gui, you can select a flight control channel in the upper box, a joystick in the box below, and a joystick axis in the box below that one. To make sure you have the right control, you can move the correct axis and watch the indicator. You can also experiment with the advanced options like centre position, filter, non-liniarity, etc. You can reverse an axis by clicking on the “Reverse” box.  means reversed. You also can select multiple channels to one lever, for example if you have only one throttle on your joystick, you can assign all 3 aircraft throttles to it.
Most importantly! Hidden next to the Green [R] button is a cap, Right click on that cap to OPEN it. inside is a STORE button. Press it after every control change, or you will have to do every thing again the next time you start FSX. (Like me…..)
The lower half of the box is for the Key’s on your Joystick(s). Assign as many keys as you like, At the very least make sure you have the Elevator trim up and down assigned, the auto-pilot disconnect, auto-throttle toggle and if you don’t have toe-brakes, a brake button.
When you are done, you can test your results in the Virtual Cockpit by moving the flight controls around. they should move now, and in the right direction.
Now go into the menu bar:
… and remove the joystick key’s for Elevator pitch control
When complete, close FSX to finalise your settings.
Load control program
The Tu-154 comes with a load program that helps you manage the complex load- and trim sheet for this aircraft. As a perk it writes into the aircraft CFG file so it automatically loads your payload in FSX. note that you must add the fuel manually according to the load sheet!.
Find the Load Master file LMTu154.exe in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\project tupolev\LMTu154 B
When you open it up for the first time you need to set the aircraft .CFG location. you can find it in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\Tu-154B-2
The first time it will attempt to load in Russian and you will see all those scary digits again. In the menu bar, select Options/Languages/English It will be in English the next time when you open it.
The НВУ calculator
The NVU Calculator, (I think NaVigation-Unit or something) will also start up in Russian the first time and needs a little push to the west side of the iron curtain.
In the folder
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\project tupolev\NCALC FSX
- Find the ncalc.ini file and
- open it in a text editor.
- Change Language=russian.lng in Language=english.lng
- Save and exit the file.
- Open the Ncalc.exe file
- It prompts you to select the FS9 folder, but select the FSX folder instead.
If it opens and it is in English you you have done well so far!
Ok I think we are pretty much set up now.
// DRAFT // Click HERE for the next blog, Flying the Туполев-154
FSUIPC The next requirement is to install Peter Dowson’s FSUIPC module. You only need the free version, although if you have the paid version installed you can skip the next step. After installation