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Everything posted by britgliderpilot

  1. I'm fairly sure the initial jab at runway damage is also an inaccurate statement. ALL F-35s were grounded this summer, due to the investigation resulting from an engine fire. Most UK airshows happened this summer. VTOL (more accurately STOVL) had nothing to do with it. I suspect - though I'd have to check my maths - that the jet efflux velocity and exhaust from F-35's turbofan/lift fan combination is lower than Harrier ever was. The Yak-141 famously melted the Tarmac at Farnborough, but that was a rather different beastie.
  2. So nobody uses Padlock anymore? Everyone has TrackIR? (bump)
  3. Some of you are probably already aware that the US test-flew a small number of captured MiGs at Groom Lake during the 1970's; what you may not be aware of is that the USAF operated a whole squadron of Soviet aircraft in Soviet colours as a routine part of Red Flag. This squadron - 4477th TES - flew the MiG-17, MiG-21, and MiG-23 between 1980 and 1988. For their final fling before retirement, they simultaneously launched 13 MiG-21s and 4 MiG-23s to participate in Red Flag. They flew 15,264 (!) sorties in their MiGs, exposing USAF, USN, and USMC pilots directly to mock combat against Soviet-designed aircraft, and taught a total of 69 pilots to fly and fight in them, with one pilot hitting the 500 sorties milestone in the MiG-21. There is no official history for obvious reasons, but there is a book put together by interviews with the personnel who worked for the squadron and flew the aircraft in the Aggressor role. It is chock full of first hand reports of USAF pilots getting to grips with the MiG-17, MiG-21, and MiG-23, and then learning to fly those aircraft effectively against the whole range of the US arsenal, and teaching US pilots their weaknesses. It is an absolute goldmine of information if you speak English and are interested in the MiG-21. I have no connection with the author (promise!), I just think it's a completely fascinating book for those with a certain level of interest in Soviet aircraft - which if you're on this forum I automatically assume! Amazon link here: http://www.amazon.com/Red-Eagles-Americas-General-Aviation/dp/1846039703
  4. This. Means low - so low that you are hidden from enemy radar behind terrain features (terrain masking), outside typical scan patterns, or in ground clutter. If the enemy can't see you, they can't shoot you. . . . of course, if your own GCI can't see you then it can't vector you to the enemy. And if the enemy is also tooling around in ground clutter, you're both going to have an exciting time dodging ridgelines, but the odds on you finding each other to have a fight are slim . . .
  5. I think you've just summarised the operational limitations of the MiG-21 :D RL employment depended heavily on GCI for situational awareness and cueing to targets - there's only so much you can do to compensate for the limits of the sensors. Against an F-15 (or even a MiG-29 or Su-27) the deck is stacked verily heavily against you. If you want to develop effective sim tactics, best bet is probably to fly NOE as you are doing and use GCI cues.
  6. I see a lot of comments on the red padlock crosshairs being visible when people don't want it to be - I have a slightly different problem. I don't own a TrackIR and I'm not about to run out and buy one - I'd like to actually use the padlock function. The option is switched on and I get the red crosshairs on screen, but when I get to the merge and tap Cycle Padlock Targets (Numpad . or equivalent mapped joystick button), nothing happens. Padlock works for other DCS aircraft, but not for the MiG-21. Am I missing something obvious? Is padlock not implemented yet, or implemented differently for the MiG-21 somehow?
  7. Damn, just heard the news. I met Jim briefly at a show in Bristol demonstrating the Black Shark Beta - I remember thinking how accurate his credited title of "Flanker Champion and True Believer" was! A great loss - my most sincere condolences to the team and his family. I regret I haven't been able to read all the tributes yet, but I look forward to doing so and hope there'll be a fitting memorial.
  8. Ooh, this takes me back . . . The only way of changing the channel the mechanical HSI is using is by changing the predefined NDBs in a config file: IIRC, you can set up a custom ARK.lua file to be loaded with a specific mission. However, the manual also references the possibility of displaying NDB bearing on the ABRIS HSI through another source: Haven't tried the ABRIS one yet. Good luck!
  9. . . . if you mean the two little black blocks with the window on the front, either side of the base of the HUD . . . they're part of the helmet aiming system fitted to all three aircraft. If it's something else, you'll have to circle it ;)
  10. You can move your head in the cockpit without using TrackIR, yes. For example, a Saitek using the pinky trigger as a modifier on the hatswitck to move from rotation to translation. So you don't NEED a TrackIR to fly Black Shark. It's a serious advantage, though. I've still never used one. Tried to get one set up at the RC Sims show and it was confused by a ceiling light, and my current setup makes it a bit difficult.
  11. IIRC, the first 20 or so went to the ED team as a gift. Mine was in the 50s somewhere. . . . that's actually not an advantage, though, as the first series had clip-rings that were too large for the folder they were in. Is there anyone around who can provide feedback on the official ED ring-bound Flaming Cliffs manual? It was available from the shop, but I don't know anyone who bought one.
  12. 24 Vikhr would be enough. However, you only get 12 :D If you can find somewhere where you're very nearly masked but can survey the convoy with the Shkval, it should be fairly straightforward to pick out and engage any air defences. You know where the convoy is coming from and going to (it's on a road, after all), and you can lay an ambush, air defences first. You'd have to take out heavy armour as well - a tank can and will fire shells at you, and heavy-calibre turret weapons will make a big mess if they hit. Standoff range! Use of the datalink to mark targets isn't that useful in this case, since the targets are moving. Sending your wingman coordinates of the place to hide, though, will work just fine. It's after that that things actually get interesting. Say you're left with two rockets pods, the cannon, and some soft trucks. Do you make a run in to attack the trucks? If there's any chance of MANPADS in the convoy, there's considerable risk in doing that. Go quickly and spew out flares, and you'll minimise the risk . . . but the target had better be REALLY important. Better to slave the cannon to the Shkval and take it out at longer range. Be the wrong side of a hill, so that if you are fired on with MANPADS, you can pop flares and descend into cover. The really fun variant of this mission is when it's turned around and you're escorting the convoy against unknown threats . . . any suggestions for that one? ;)
  13. The timeframe answer is a bad one - the Ka50 and Su34, for example, still haven't entered service . . . . Lock On's timeframe is pretty much fictional. There's a bit of 80's, but there's also some stuff before, after, and yet to come. Information isn't freely available for a lot of these aircraft, so that's a factor. There are an awful lot of factors in choosing which aircraft to have as a flyable, though.
  14. The iPhone Mk2 has just been announced - with 3G and GPS. I can't think of anything it won't do - my name will be on the list tomorrow morning :D Anyone else?
  15. The diamond target marker is very much real - although not quite as cool and slick as Lomac makes out. If a target's position is known, then it can be input into the nav system and the HUD can point you to it. That's relatively old tech. So's the A-10 system of using an off-platform laser to designate the target, with a sensor on the aircraft that can detect that and highlight it on the HUD. However, cycling between a range of moving targets isn't realistic for these aircraft. To be able to do that, either the aircraft has to keep track of all those targets via an on-board sensor (not doable), or the the target speeds and courses have to be known in advance (not doable). The current/near future state would be a real-time datalink to a surveillance aircraft or UAV. This would allow you to cycle between moving targets. Proper God Mode stuff. The Russian MFD does show waypoints and airports. And again, that's 1980's technology. Modern GPS displays can give you much, much information more than that. Lomac doesn't model the Russian MFD quite the way it should be at the moment, but give it a few years . . . The gimbal marker is true to life, and a vital part of the F-pole technique. The references to technology in Lomac that's not being used IRL is probably a reference to some of the aircraft that are in the game, but not yet in service. Plenty of Russian aircraft (the Su34, Ka50, and Ka52 are some prime examples) exist only as prototypes or single-digit production runs, but are still in the game. Makes missions a bit more interesting, and as long as Lomac is a hypothetical time frame (which it is), then it's not too unreasonable.
  16. It was about time he got a win, he's a bloody good driver! Hamilton not seeing the red light was a bit of a schoolboy error . . . and I feel a bit sorry for Sutil having to park it again, that boy deserves some better luck. Season's shaping up well! (now wait for the thread to be moved to banter)
  17. Good summary :) Couple of points - firstly, the ME is evolving, and already allows for some fairly complex trigger systems. The limit is likely to be the designer's vision and patience - a determined mission building will be able to have an absolute field day with some of the stuff in there :) Secondly, it's important to note that while the focus of DCS is indeed on those objectives, that doesn't mean ED don't want to improve the secondary aims as well. I don't think English is gl33k's first language, so don't jump on him too strongly. I don't think he's attacking the facts for being useless . . . Every sim is open to some criticism. It's plain to see already what DCS' objectives and strengths will be, but it's just as useful to pick out the weaknesses and target them for improvement. ED's sims have never particularly lacked in accuracy, but a criticism of mission immersion is to some extent valid. The more units can be added to campaign missions, the more surprises that can be thrown in, the more alive the world can be made to feel, the more enthralling the mission will be and the more fun we can all have . . . now some of this is coming in Black Shark. And ED want to evolve the ME further from the Black Shark state. Be optimistic :)
  18. Somehow, you can tell . . . ;) The DCS Viper module will be several years into the future and AFAIK dev work hasn't started yet. That makes it pretty much a dead end as far as questions go. As a general rule, Black Shark should give you some kind of indication as to the level of modelling detail ED are aiming for with DCS. The FM is superb, and the weapon FMs for the Ka50-specific weapons are as well. All the information available to the makers of Falcon 4 should be available to ED. The aim of DCS is to model an aircraft to the absolute limit of what is possible. No balancing here. Answering the question "will it be more realistic than Falcon 4" will remain impossible until an F-16 pilot flies both the DCS F-16 module and your chosen flavour of F4. But based on my experience with Black Shark so far, I'd be pretty optimistic about it :) It won't be exactly the same as Falcon 4, for obvious reasons. And I have little voice in the back of my head telling me that for some in the Falcon 4 community, that may automatically translate as "less realistic".
  19. Pretty much sums it up :) The most critical moment for thrust in a VTOL aircraft is generally takeoff or landing - precisely the points when you can't use afterburners. VTOL aircraft have to be at a T/W of 1 at takeoff anyway (that's VTOL, not STOVL), so they're not usually short of thrust for maneuvres. The weight of the fuel to feed your afterburner is a big penalty at that point. The Russians got around this by using metal runways (and melting the runway at Farnborough), the F-35 gets around this by using the big lift-fan to generate lots of dry thrust, and the X-32 . . . actually, I don't know about the X-32. To take a wild guess, extensive use of composites to keep the weight down, and rather more advanced engine technology than was available in the 60's.
  20. Actually . . . . a prototype of the Pegasus was built with plenum chamber burning. Not quite afterburners, but pretty damn close. Practicalities of aeronautics question - why is this not a good idea? There's a cookie for the right answer ;)
  21. I bet ED can speculate, though ;) I wouldn't bet against it. Using well-thought-out triggers, you could just about figure out such a mission in BS right now . . . .
  22. . . . I think that's too much of a conspiracy theory ;) The chances of Black Shark stealing sales from HAWX are infinitesimal . . . and vice versa. HAWX could never be a realistic helicopter sim, and Black Shark could never be external-view airquake. But let me be the first to go out on a limb and say that actually, that screenshot looks awesome fun . . .
  23. I'd agree that the peripherals available for a console do rather limit it's usefulness as a true simulation rig at present - but it need not always be the case. There was one console flightsim that had a limited edition version of the Saitek X45 produced to go with it. And if clickable cockpits start to take off, then the keyboard/mouse combination could perfectly well be replaced by some other form of controller. On technology . . . . well I don't know about you, but my PC doesn't have a Blu-ray drive, an 8-core processor, gyroscopic controllers or HDMI output. In some respects consoles are well ahead of PC technology. The graphics on my PS3 for GT5 blow anything my PC can do into the weeds. So while a PC is the best choice for a simmer right now . . . it need not always be the case :)
  24. Information about HAWX is still pretty sketchy as far as I know. HAWX - console game with 50 aircraft and fictional capabilities, fighting for points and money. DCS - hyper-realistic simulation series focussing on one aircraft at a time. . . . . . I can't really think of a lot of common ground!
  25. I have in the past created a mission starting from a FARP at the peak of Mount Elbrus at 5600m :D Flying up there is a REAL challenge. I think the rotor RPM is governed, so rotor overspeed isn't a big factor . . . but there's no power and no lift. Rolling takeoffs are a must. Landing's actually a bigger challenge . . . slowing your descent in air that thin is really tricky.
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