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Is is just me or is this aircraft....


Spirit X
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....a complete bitch to get trimmed out!?!!?

 

Honestly, I've never had so much trouble just trying to fly straight and level. I've actually taken to flying around in landing mode half the time just so I can easily see the VSI on my HUD.

 

Any tips for general trim/ flight would be great and also, a few more little questions that I'd really appreciate some advice on:

 

1. Couldn't find an explanation regarding why we sweep our wings fully back approaching initial to the landing pattern. I do it, cos I know I'm supposed to, but I'm not sure why.

 

2. Kind of similar to the trimming issue: as I come round for my downwind and set wings to auto, gear down, flaps down (correct order?) it plays such havoc with the lift that I end up pretty much fully stick forward and madly trying to trim down (and inevitably overdoing it). Again, any tips for smooth pattern flying? I find hitting the correct altitudes during the pattern incredibly hard.

 

3. I've never seen any tutorials or docs mention common use of the 'trim hud' function wheel but I don't like the way it seems to be offset downward by default. I usually trim the HUD so the horizon line is pretty much on the horizon when I'm flying straight and level. Is this common practice/ correct use in the Tomcat?

 

Thanks for any help.

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F-14 flies like a real plane without Fly by wire. You never stop trimming. That's just part of flying. For cruse use the Auto Pilot.

 

On the break, anticipate the trim change and get started on it early. You will still re trim after you level out on downwind. Wings go back because they scrub speed better on the break.

 

Like the elevator trim, hud and Attitude indicator trim is yet another thing you trim every time you change anything. You're flying old school. Adjusting the Attitude indicators and hud trim is part of a complete pre-takeoff checklist. The F-14 is using just barely better than Apollo level computer systems. It still needs a lot of user input to do its thing.

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1. Couldn't find an explanation regarding why we sweep our wings fully back approaching initial to the landing pattern. I do it, cos I know I'm supposed to, but I'm not sure why.

 

 

a) It looks better.

b) It also helps with the trim: At 380 with wings swept back you already need a lot of trim up for level flight, which gets you closer to the trim you need for at speed AoA with everything out.

 

 

 

2. Kind of similar to the trimming issue: as I come round for my downwind and set wings to auto, gear down, flaps down (correct order?) it plays such havoc with the lift that I end up pretty much fully stick forward and madly trying to trim down (and inevitably overdoing it). Again, any tips for smooth pattern flying? I find hitting the correct altitudes during the pattern incredibly hard.

 

 

You're probably doing stuff too early or are not bleeding off speed enough, you do activate DLC and speed brakes right?

 

 

I'm far from perfect but I usually do: Idle, speed brakes, break, wings to auto, gear@250 (usually around 90) , flaps below 200 (close to downwind), DLC, reapply thrust, at that point I always have to trim up, never down.

 

 

Also breaking late (2nm) gives you more time to stabilize your downwind leg.

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If you need negative trim downwind you need to lose more speed on the break. Once I'm downwind I always need to start adding positive trim to stay level.

 

Idle, speed brakes, break (3-4g), wings to auto (~280), gear down (250), flaps & DLC out (220), then you can start bringing the throttles back up and trimming like crazy.

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....a complete bitch to get trimmed out!?!!?

 

Honestly, I've never had so much trouble just trying to fly straight and level. I've actually taken to flying around in landing mode half the time just so I can easily see the VSI on my HUD.

 

Any tips for general trim/ flight would be great and also, a few more little questions that I'd really appreciate some advice on:

 

1. Couldn't find an explanation regarding why we sweep our wings fully back approaching initial to the landing pattern. I do it, cos I know I'm supposed to, but I'm not sure why.

 

2. Kind of similar to the trimming issue: as I come round for my downwind and set wings to auto, gear down, flaps down (correct order?) it plays such havoc with the lift that I end up pretty much fully stick forward and madly trying to trim down (and inevitably overdoing it). Again, any tips for smooth pattern flying? I find hitting the correct altitudes during the pattern incredibly hard.

 

3. I've never seen any tutorials or docs mention common use of the 'trim hud' function wheel but I don't like the way it seems to be offset downward by default. I usually trim the HUD so the horizon line is pretty much on the horizon when I'm flying straight and level. Is this common practice/ correct use in the Tomcat?

 

Thanks for any help.

 

1. The wings sweep back in bomb mode increases the drag and therefore enhances the braking effect when in the break. It also looks much cooler when viewed from the flight deck.

 

2. Gear and flaps operate in opposite senses. Gear at 220, flaps at 200 will almost cancel each other out. The Tomcat is fly by cable, so you have to trim, trim, trim

 

3. The HUD trim and VDI trim let you set the pitch line of the HUD or VDI. Same as adjusting the pitch indicator on the Artificial horizon. Normally, you won't need to touch them - only if they get upset do I move them pitch line. You may want to set it to your current attitude when in a sustained cruise - confirmed by zero climb/descent rate on the VSI. But normally, I leave it alone and use VSI and altitude to figure out if I am straight and level, the pitch line is most useful when flying in IMC.

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To be precise on 1), with the wings swept back you need higher AoA to generate the same amount of lift when you do your break

 

 

Regarding 2, I don't trim if the jet is going nose down when coming out of the break. I just push stick forward while I wait for the jet to slow down, and then I trim. I don't know whether this is correct or not (probably not), but it works well enough for me.

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One thing I didnt see is having your Speed Break fully deployed at the break. In fact I have mine deployed at the initial, while maintaining 350 kts, so it gives me time to get trim set exactly so I'm not adjusting one more thing in the crosswind turn. Once you roll out on downwind there should be little trim work do.

 

 

 

As for timing I didn't explicitly see it stated. As you break you will set Idle, Sweep Auto, (wait for 250 kts. Pull more Gs to slow her so you get to 250 by the top of the turn) Gear, Flaps and DLC in the turn. Don't wait till downwind.

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Is it just me, or the Tomcat feels easier to trim after the update ?

 

Spotted this line in the changelog : "Adjusted default starting pitch trim"


Edited by Panther 976
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I'm not sure I've noticed that but I have noticed that sometimes the trim has no effect. What I mean by that is that I usually have the controls indicator on screen, so I can see the effect of trim on the little diamond and when I hit trim up or down on my hotas, sometimes it just won't move. Then I have to hit it a few times for it to have an effect.

 

Could be my joystick of course but I haven't seen this happen in any other aircraft and I'm not sure if this is since the update or if was present before.

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No adjustments to the trim itself were made, just changed the default starting position of the pitch trim to be more nose down. More or less a QoL adjustment so it's already trimmed for a cat shot.

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I would actually argue that the Tomcat has one of the precisest trims in DCS. We spend really a lot, I mean A LOT of time fine tuning it and getting it right. I think I personally drew fat creason (and our SMEs) crazy, lol, because I am so often infuriated by how laggy, or too large or too small trim can sometimes be in sims, while it is such an important part of flying non-FBW aircraft and aircraft without auto-trim. It really is the bread and butter of a stable, precise flight. You just never stop trimming. This is also why autopilots exist, in parts, because sometimes you do not want to focus on trim. However I suggest to use it restrictively, as it will interfere with your learning curve of course. The more you trim the more second nature it becomes. Not 100% of the time, but most of the time I would say that I trim automatically by now, without thinking much about it. Once you are really fine trimmed very small stick deflections will do, too, however, with the occasional trim in between. It is simply a matter of getting used to.

 

Please note: the Tomcat is known to "untrim" itself constantly in cruise speed. That is simply a flight characteristic of the bird. You can compare that easily: fly slow around 200 to 250 kts and you will notice that you need a lot less constant trimming than flying around 300 to 400 kts.


Edited by IronMike

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I'm not sure I've noticed that but I have noticed that sometimes the trim has no effect. What I mean by that is that I usually have the controls indicator on screen, so I can see the effect of trim on the little diamond and when I hit trim up or down on my hotas, sometimes it just won't move. Then I have to hit it a few times for it to have an effect.

 

Could be my joystick of course but I haven't seen this happen in any other aircraft and I'm not sure if this is since the update or if was present before.

 

 

It is possible that on a short press your input is just "too short" to be registered. This sometimes happens on my saitek, while it doesnt on my virpil, vkb and WH.

Heatblur Simulations

 

Please feel free to contact me anytime, either via PM here, on the forums, or via email through the contact form on our homepage.

 

http://www.heatblur.com/

 

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I do not use trim very often in the tomcat tbh.

 

You can get around it most of the time with the autopilot. Just switching on the AP will get you a rudimentary attitude hold AP. I basically use this from right after takeoff until i either make my landing break or until i have to manouver hard (or precisely).

In cruise i also switch on altitude hold and heading hold.

 

If i want to get trimmed out behind a tanker, i keep it in attitude hold and try to get it steady behind the tanker. Once i am firmly established in the observation position, i turn AP off and it hands me a perfectly trimmed out plane that i can stick it in with. Giggity. And it is the same for getting trimmed out at 800/350 for my recovery initial. Use attitude hold to steer you on course, turn on all APs once you are at 800' on course and disable it when passing the ship.

 

That way, i basically only have to use trim on downwind in the landing phase and as i am getting heavier during AAR, as well as in dogfights & surface attack.


Edited by Shaemus O'Donnelly
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The NATOPS Flight Characteristics section mentions trim all over the place. The "significant" trim changes associated with flaps/slats movement, the trim rate in pitch being slow, having to run trim nearly continuously when accelerating in full afterburner, and it being "very difficult" to achieve hands-off trim with the wings moving are the highlights to me.

 

Yeah, the F-14 was a bitch to trim in real life, and the sim reflects that.

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My main problem is, before I touch down the deck, my plane is so slow at aoa speed while auto throttle is engaged. So while I make corrections to left or right, plane tends to roll more than I want. I easily loose runway alignment

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My main problem is, before I touch down the deck, my plane is so slow at aoa speed while auto throttle is engaged. So while I make corrections to left or right, plane tends to roll more than I want. I easily loose runway alignment

Have you tried using rudder instead of rolling for allignement?

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Turn on the autopilot engage (none of the other three modes) and it levels out nice.

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