AlphaTrainer 3D is a plugin for X-Plane versions 8.64 through 9.70, and is available in Windows, Macintosh, or Linux versions. By using the AlphaTrainer 3D software, plugged into the X-Plane flight simulator, a student can "fly" a 3D airplane while viewing action vectors of lift, drag, thrust, and weight. Featured in the AlphaTrainer 3D program are color-coded protractors. As a wing moves through the air, the elevator’s movements change the angle of the wing. This variable wing’s angle, called angle of attack, is traditionally depicted by the wing’s chord line relative to its flight path. Through the innovation of AlphaTrainer 3D, this angle can also be depicted by attaching the patented protractor 90 degrees to the chord line and placing it behind the lift vector, which is always perpendicular to the flight path. On these protractors, green is safe flight, yellow is edge-of-stall or warning area, and red is full-stall, where lift is degenerating rapidly.
The protractors can also measure improper rudder coordination with the ailerons by revealing dissimilar local angles of attack on each side of the wing. Seeing these different local angles of attack are vital to understanding how a wing can be “more stalled” on one side. This presentation makes straightforward stalls, accelerated stalls; complex stalls and spins visual and understandable…”From Red to Green is our Dream”.
A user-enabled data window allows numeric values of the vectors to be displayed including the value of the entire plane’s lift and angle of attack. This data window aides in training if viewed during takeoff, landing, engine out, stalls, spins, and virtually any other flight condition. Another important training device is X-Plane’s feature that permits maneuvering of the camera’s view while in the “paused” mode. This means that any maneuver can be analyzed, from any angle, while the current fight data is being displayed.
Copyrighted, Thomas Shefchunas.