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Any thoughts on the Viggen?


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  • 2 weeks later...

After a month's ownership of the Viggen, here are some early thoughts. I only have the Hornet, A-4E-C, T-45C, Su-33, MB-339, and some vague memories of Su-27 and Falcon 4.0, so bear with me.



  1. The UI. The "office" (or the cubicle to be precise) may look dated, but they are very designed. The HUD is simple, minimalistic and you get what you need heads-up and I find most of the time you can use the HUD in the down position. The ability to move the HUD and the use of track "poles" are actually genius.  And the instrument panel, unlike the American and Russian I come across, has a great logical layout, which looks more or less like a grid. The left hand side is where you look at most of the time, and the right hand side is to look when you get into trouble. Let's not forget the "elephant in the room", the central display. It is kind of early MFD where you get the radar, important; the RWR, also crucial, and the integrated compass rose plus waypoint indicator, which of course you cannot fly without, in one neat little package. Both side of panels are also neat, easy to access, and well presented.
  2. Easy to learn: I think except for the marvelous T-45C Goosehawk, this is the easiest plane to start up and shut down, especially if you keen on skipping all the tests. What's more, landing this plane is the easiest, thanks to the actual useful auto-throttle and reverse thrust capability. I think I can land on a flattop in no time. It is not realistic, I know. The navigation system, once you get used to it, is a breeze and joy to work with. Some may find Swedish cockpit hard to understand, but I tend to memorise all the switches so language is no concern of mine. As for weapons go, setting up bombs and missiles is simpler than the A-4E-C.
  3. It is cool: reverse thrust allows you to do quite a few unique things not present in other planes and it never gets old. Also, the weapons may be dated but most of them are very cool, BK90 (I know what you feel about cluster ammunition but DCS is just a sim, okay?), real ship killers like Rb-04, Rb-15 and who can miss out the Rb-05?
  4. "I feel the need, the need of speed": one of the most important appeal to me is high-speed, low-altitude sonic flight. And the engine is even more responsive than the T-45C. It is not a crazy roller like the A-4E-C, nor it does not feel bulky like the F/A-18C.


  1. Monochrome: this plane is a mud-mover and is designed with a very specific doctrine in mind and execute it well -- hit the target designated, preferably static, as hard as possible in one go and gets out of there alive. If this does not fit your lifestyle, even though I learn I can set waypoint literally on the fly, this plane may not be for you.
  2. Not so cool weapons: AGM-65 and AIM-9, unlike the versions found in more modern planes, IMHO, is not that useful. TV-guided AGM-05 is very hard to use  against small targets like ground vehicles. The Sidewinders present are generally old and unreliable against planes even at the same age.
  3. Bad at dogfights: unlike A-4E-C and MB-339, the Viggen does not dogfight very well, or may be, it is just me.
  4. It gets stuck in the mud: do not get off the runway or anything concrete.
  5. Key binding: may not be the worst of the planes here in the DCS, but some minor switches and knobs are either not mappable, or they are spingloaded without the on and off counterpart (like the Group/Single switch for Rb-04/Rb-05/Rb-15)

Edited by VFGiPJP
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VR Flight Guy in PJ Pants -- this is how I fly. We do not fly at treetop height, we fly between trees(TM)

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On 5/6/2021 at 2:46 PM, VFGiPJP said:

The only issue I have so far is all the gauges are in metric. If you have flown too many American hardware, this is something you may have to adjust to.


On 5/6/2021 at 3:54 PM, Machalot said:

It won't take long to get used to it. It does require some extra work to coordinate your flight with other Western jets that use feet, knots, and nautical miles. 


I use Mach to match airspeed with other jets.


Some quick mental conversions I use for altitude and distance are: 

  • 300 m is about 1000 ft (exact is 304.8 m = 1000 ft)
  • 2 km is about 1 nmi (closer to 1.85 km but 2 is good enough for most situations)




When I did my pilot licence I learned:

- the same conversion as mentioned by Machalot for ft <-> meters

- nm x2 & -10% -> km     (ex.: 220nm -> 440 - 10% => 396) (407km precisely)

- km /2 & +10% -> nm   (ex.: 400km -> 200 + 10% => 220nm) (216nm precisely)
- airspeed, don't convert that, it changes with ALT and everything, MACH is better anyway and same across the airframes.

(otherwise you have IAS, DAS, CDAS, CAS,...)


It is also not slow and more precise than the times 2 or div. by 2 when really more accuracy is needed.

It's still an entire airfield of error but its stillt good.

My dad (Tornado pilot) also always told me in critical situations it is super handy (and more important) to be able to make a good enough guess quickly than to calculate the exact solution in 10 seconds more time.

That is something you have to gain experience on. Just throw a guess out, write it down or remember it and check later (after the missiion) if that was right. You will be better next time...
For me it already works that good, I look at the distance indicator of the viggen and my brain immediately sees rough nm values and if I think 2-5 seconds about it I am ready to hit the mike and give a Hornet buddy a nm distance to target, good enough for him to keep SA.

Edited by Bananabrai
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Wish list: late DCS: GR.1 (with GR.1B) Tornado, Improved Combined Arms (like OFP/ArmA), Improved Logistics

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