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Assorted questions by F16 noob

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    Assorted questions by F16 noob

    As someone who is quite disappointed by the human-machine-interface of the F18 I pulled the trigger at the current sale and got the F16. After I spend the better part of this day trying it out it also left some mixed emotions. A few questions came up:
    1. The handling of the jet feel sluggish, indirect. Like the FLCS has a super strong low-pass filter. I find myself constantly over-correcting. First it does not want to go, then it gets going and I cannot stop movement in time and overshoot in basically every direction. The F18 feels more stable and direct and the A10 even more. Is it supposed to be like this or did I miss a magic button somewhere during start-up?

    2. Landing that thing is horrible! It is super shaky and the sluggishness mentioned above seems even worse during approach. It also seems easy to overdo AoA, vector looks nicely placed in the middle of the bracket just to yell at me and stalling a bit later. But the worst part: Even when I touchdown in a nicely controlled, straight manner it then wants to run off the runway and just barely manage to keep it in track. The A10 is much easier to land and the F18 as well, once you set it into position you can basically take your hand off the stick. Is there a flaps switch that I am missing? It feels so unstable... .

    Any advice because of the sluggish feel and sensitivity? It feels so bad I even have trouble keeping the drop line on the velocity vector and hence frequently miss my CCRP releases. Something that only very rarely happens to me in other aircraft

    3. The laser code for GBUs can only be changed on the ground, cold and dark. This IMO is a major drawback because in many multiplayer servers you do not know what code you will have to use until you are assigned a JTAC. Will it stay like this? A10 and F18 can change the bombs' code in the air, so it seems possible from a technical perspective.

    4. In all the tutorials I watched so far one had a steerpoint to initially slew the TGP to and search for targets from there. But what if I do not have a steerpoint close to the targets? In the F18 I at least can VVSLV and then designate a point via the HUD, is there something similar in the F16?

    5. Fuel consumption. The F18 was always described to me as very thirsty so I expected the F16 to do better, but just from my gut feeling I'd say they are not too far away from each other. What is your opinion? I mean to me the F16 does not feel nice to fly so having to AAR this thing at some point gives me nightmares. It is nice and direct on the throttle, though.

    6. Will there be a moving map? It has color displays and any kind of map would be better than the illegible abomination of HSI they did in the F18.

    7. Takeoff: first it needs horrible amounts of rudder to stay on the runway (don't ask what the wind was, whatever they were running at the Hoggit trainings server), then I take off with what I would describe "regular" vertical velocity, raise gear when the FLCS suddenly decides to remove flaps and I basically descend again, forcing me to to full AB and pull to not crash into the ground. Is that usual? Do I not have control over flaps?

    Thank you for reading thru this until this point.

    #2
    1. I'll leave to someone with specific knowledge of FLCS programming. It does feel quite sluggish but I'm also using a spring joystick and not a force transducer kind.

    2. Landing gains I do know, it should hold pitch hands off with neutral pitch trim up to 10 degrees AOA and past that blends with more AOA. It is possible to trim to the normal 11 or 13 AOA approach but that's some trim more nose up than neutral. With an 11 approach you don't have to add much throttle if you do a medium roundout. You can't flare it though. With a 13 approach you pretty much have to goose the throttle to transition before touchdown or do a ridiculously gentle roundout. Flaps are tied to LG handle so they're down. Use speed brakes to improve throttle response. Tire physics on rollout do seem a little harsh. The rudder should keep you in the two point attitude up to quite strong crosswind.

    3. Such is life. It's really A-10 and F-18 which aren't good simulations in this regard. Also it is JTAC which should change to your code. F-16 is doing it right.

    4. There are a lot of F-16 features and functionality which make this kind of getting sensors on target far from preplanned steerpoint practical. They just aren't in or working correctly yet. Snowplow, DTOS and EO VIS, mark point improvements will make this better.

    5. One could spot check in places but it's not too far off. F-16 will burn a lot of fuel if used aggressively. Efficient fuel use is a lot technique.

    6. Older F-16 do not have a map layer to the HSD. Newer F-16 do. I don't know if this variant has it. The HSD, even without a chart display layer, has a lot of features which are not currently present in DCS.

    7. Rudder should be sufficient for all approved crosswinds. I normally disconnect NWS when airspeed tape comes alive and use up to full rudder only in the worst conditions. You might be pulling up too soon and too far. Normal liftoff is in the 8-12 pitch range. Cross check your particular takeoff with a calculated speed. Heavy it's not uncommon to have a liftoff speed of 165-170 KIAS. LG handle controls flaps and if you do everything by the book it should be an undramatic affair. Come back with a particular scenario and it can be examined in detail.

    Comment


      #3
      I’ll just add to 3 as the rest is good gen. LGB are hard set on the ground by a screwdriver and as such, can’t be changed. You are the one in RL that checks in with a JTAC/FAC(A) and tells them as part of your checkin, what codes you have set.
      sigpic

      Comment


        #4
        1. Are you flying with fuel tanks and bombs? The Viper is a pretty small and light plane, it's quite nimble clean, but you feel the effects of heavy stores a lot more than in the heavier Hornet. Also check if you're in Cat I or Cat III FCS mode (switch on the left knee panel). Cat III limits available roll rate and makes the plane more sluggish, but is required with heavy stores on the wings.

        2. I can't say I've had much trouble with this. Are you landing speed breaks out? Full boards is standard for approach in the F-16 and helps give you better engine response by keeping RPM a bit higher.

        3. I expect that in the future both the Hornet and Hog will work more like the Viper than the other way around. Probably, hopefully, when we get some kind of DTC functionality and multiplayer mission planning. In real life, laser codes for Paveway II bombs are set using a series of rotating switches under an access panel in the bomb seeker head. The process for setting the laser codes in the air in the Hornet and Hog are a DCS invention that don't exist in real life.

        4. The TGP in the Viper is not as well baked as in the Hornet yet. Snowplow mode can be selected with the "SP" button on the TGP page and will behave somewhat like VVSLV in the Hornet. Eventually DTOS will give you a slewable target box in the HUD that can be used to set a target point and aim the TGP, and I believe it will be able to be pointed with the HMCS.

        5. Sadly the Viper too has a reputation for having a short range. There's a reason the USAF pretty much mounts fuel tanks to the inboard wing pylons as standard. With the two external tanks though it gets pretty decent range, especially at altitude.

        6. Nope, the F-16CM Block 50 does not have that function.

        7. Yah, yaw on the ground during takeoff and landing roll is pretty funky right now. It's better than it used to be, but it's still a bit crazy. You do not have control of the flaps at all, they're entirely controlled by the DFCS. Under normal circumstances you should be in burner for takeoff until you have positive rate of climb and gear up.
        Bunny's Form-Fillable Controller Layout PDFs

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Donglr View Post
          1. The handling of the jet feel sluggish, indirect. Like the FLCS has a super strong low-pass filter. I find myself constantly over-correcting. First it does not want to go, then it gets going and I cannot stop movement in time and overshoot in basically every direction. The F18 feels more stable and direct and the A10 even more. Is it supposed to be like this or did I miss a magic button somewhere during start-up?
          I've been flying this jet for a year (my first fast moving jet), and seems you figured out in a day what took me that entire time of fiddling to realize. The FLCS is unfortunately clumsy, laggy, and seems to be hampering the flight model performance. The best analogue in DCS is the FFB setting in the Gazelle which makes the stick act like a binary step-wise function if FFB is toggled on in the misc settings. Unfortunately there is no toggle for the F-16's force sensing inputs in DCS, nor for the laggy control surfaces of the FLCS. So the result is a jet that handles like a fish out of water. And yes, AAR with the FLCS is a nightmare. Adjusting the curves makes matters worse.

          EDIT: never one to give up. I tried giving the curves a -5 curve for the pitch and roll. It helps a little without causing escalating lag induced PIOs in AAR. The control surfaces still feel unstable & wobbly and like they're adding resistance to my inputs and excess drag from oscillating even with slight movements. The wobble in the stabilators can be seen in the F2 camera view.

          Comment


            #6
            1. I've been experimenting with tweaking the X saturation for roll and pitch. Currently have it set to 75 but I think I preferred 55. It makes the jet feel way more responsive, and counter intuitively, makes AAR easier as you can make smaller and more precise movements. Did you add any curves? I find it flies better with 0 curves.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by uri View Post
              1. I've been experimenting with tweaking the X saturation for roll and pitch. Currently have it set to 75 but I think I preferred 55. It makes the jet feel way more responsive, and counter intuitively, makes AAR easier as you can make smaller and more precise movements. Did you add any curves? I find it flies better with 0 curves.
              This suggestion to gimp the F-16 flight model even further gave me an idea. Instead of putting the jet into permanent semi CAT III mode, why not just go into CAT III mode during AAR?

              Hey guess what? Going into CAT III kinda works. It's a big improvement anyways in terms of tamping down PIOs. I'd bet you could add more significant negative curves for dogfighting, and then put it into CAT III for AAR and flatten the curves back to something more baseline, without having to go into the settings.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks guy, some of your advice really made a difference. I guess one has to realize first that the F16 is the first "ordinary" jet in my collection of A10, F16 and F18. By that I mean that the A10 has wings as wide as the horizon using a regular shape so you get tons of lift and it has no fly-by-wire. So it is a very straight affair, very forgiving. The F18, although a proper jet, is built like a tank in terms of landing gear and provides high lift (leading to stability) during approach, also giving lower approach speeds than the F16, something probably needed for carrier landing. The F16 then needs all the finesse of a regular land based jet. Also everything needs a bit more speed compared to A10 and F18. And it is small. I was hoping for some kind of sports car feeling, like I get in the Gazelle. And it is a bit like that when it is lightly loaded. But it indeed suffers from weight. I am a STRIKE person, not CAP, so CAT III is my default, because I usually run heavy loadouts.
                Some of my issues were easily remedied: always going full AB at take off until I have good speed and altitude, doing approach with significant air brakes on, paying close attention to the 2.5deg line lets you land with nearly zero pitch trim for AoA. Still rudder input is something I am still struggling with.

                On the laser code front I actually hope it will be the opposite of what Bunny Clark said: if all the others already have fake PRF setting capability I hope the F16 gets that as well. Why treat it differently? And taking it away from other aircraft will cause a rebellion.

                I guess I will try some formation flying today, see how it fares. And then maybe some radar stuff. I basically only picked it up because the user interface of the F18 is so crap. I wonder what the announced "improved HOTAS" functions will contain, though?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I can help you with 1 and 5

                  1. Check axis sensitivity, I believe they are set by default at 15. When I set them to zero it toatally changed and I can even air to air refuel

                  5. Always stay as high as possible. Cruising at 30k vastly improves your range although you always want ext fuel tanks
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                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Syndrome View Post

                    This suggestion to gimp the F-16 flight model even further gave me an idea. Instead of putting the jet into permanent semi CAT III mode, why not just go into CAT III mode during AAR?

                    Hey guess what? Going into CAT III kinda works. It's a big improvement anyways in terms of tamping down PIOs. I'd bet you could add more significant negative curves for dogfighting, and then put it into CAT III for AAR and flatten the curves back to something more baseline, without having to go into the settings.
                    I don't think you understand what lowering the X saturation does. It makes it so that smaller stick moves cause more input so CAT III almost feels like CAT I and CAT I is very snappy. Also I could be wrong but when you go into AAR it ignores CAT I or CAT III and has another mode that is the same for landing and takeoffs.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Bersagliere81 View Post
                      5. Always stay as high as possible. Cruising at 30k vastly improves your range although you always want ext fuel tanks
                      So much this. I was in a scary position of being 250+nm from base at 3,000ft with 1900lb of fuel remaining. Mil climb at .9M to about 40,000ft and I held that (at less than Mil power) until the base was at around -11 degrees on the pitch ladder. Pitched down and reduced throttle to hold a 0.9M decent until I got to about 20,000 when I started to slow down to 250. I landed with a bit over 700lb remaining.

                      I often seem to find myself in these situations. I have trapped a Tomcat with 700lb in the tanks (it will flameout at 300lb) and my favorite was trapping a Hornet with 10lb. Engines died before I could even raise the tailhook.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by uri View Post

                        I don't think you understand what lowering the X saturation does. It makes it so that smaller stick moves cause more input so CAT III almost feels like CAT I and CAT I is very snappy. Also I could be wrong but when you go into AAR it ignores CAT I or CAT III and has another mode that is the same for landing and takeoffs.
                        Ahh, I see. When you suggested to desaturate the "X axis" I had assumed you meant the "Roll axis" of the stick, since otherwise it would mean that you were putting a big deadzone at the end the stick travel.

                        The thing is that the unmodified "curves" of the F-16 already act like an inverse sine function (eg a positive 10 to 15 curve in DCS). So adding a negative curve flattens out the native curve for spring stick users (eg non force sensing sticks). A negative 10 curve btw gives about the same center correction as a 75% desaturated X axis, with the added bonus of not creating a big dead zone at the end of the stick so you have better control at the end of the travel for things like rate fighting.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Syndrome View Post
                          A negative 10 curve btw gives about the same center correction as a 75% desaturated X axis, with the added bonus of not creating a big dead zone at the end of the stick so you have better control at the end of the travel for things like rate fighting.
                          Oh awesome, I will definitely try that, thanks for pointing it out.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I have got new questions:

                            1. does nose pitch not affect radar "slice" bottom/ceiling? On the FCR the numbers next to the cursor give floor and ceiling of what you could potentially see with the current settings. I would expect these numbers to change if I pitch nose up/down, but nohting changes. Either it's a bug, the FCR does not give hoot or the plane even counteracts my pitch with its antenna to keep looking the same way. Which one is it?

                            2. What do I have to do to get ILS working? I was going for Kutaisi, freq 109.75, should have ILS for runway 8 according to F10. On the DED page freq was set correctly, it said "ILS on", ILS knob on left side panel was all the way up, on the NAV instrument I was in PLS+NAV mode and I tried three different settings in the DED for heading, 80, 70, and 68 degrees, because F10 says it's runway 08, kneeboard charts call it 07 and real heading according to kneeboard charts is 68. I was going right at it, I could see the runway as if I was doing a VFR approach so optimal conditions to pick up the signal but I did not receive an ILS signal, no indication on the DED, no moving bars on the HUD.

                            3. Can I jettison A-A missiles? How? On the S-J page I was only able to select my AGM65s but no missiles.
                            Last edited 10-28-2020, 09:43 PM. Reason: added 3rd question

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Donglr View Post
                              I have got new questions:

                              1. does nose pitch not affect radar "slice" bottom/ceiling? On the FCR the numbers next to the cursor give floor and ceiling of what you could potentially see with the current settings. I would expect these numbers to change if I pitch nose up/down, but nohting changes. Either it's a bug, the FCR does not give hoot or the plane even counteracts my pitch with its antenna to keep looking the same way. Which one is it?

                              2. What do I have to do to get ILS working? I was going for Kutaisi, freq 109.75, should have ILS for runway 8 according to F10. On the DED page freq was set correctly, it said "ILS on", ILS knob on left side panel was all the way up, on the NAV instrument I was in PLS+NAV mode and I tried three different settings in the DED for heading, 80, 70, and 68 degrees, because F10 says it's runway 08, kneeboard charts call it 07 and real heading according to kneeboard charts is 68. I was going right at it, I could see the runway as if I was doing a VFR approach so optimal conditions to pick up the signal but I did not receive an ILS signal, no indication on the DED, no moving bars on the HUD.

                              3. Can I jettison A-A missiles? How? On the S-J page I was only able to select my AGM65s but no missiles.
                              1. I'm guessing the 120 deg solid angle AN/APG-68 slews with the horizon to correct for attitude, otherwise regaining lock after dodging initial missile volleys would be much harder than it needed to be.

                              2. Make sure you're in the localizer and glideslope antennae beam patterns for the ILS signal. You can see the beam pattern in mission editor for the Caucasus map heading off to the west from Kutasi. Make sure you're not too high up, or too far away. If you are, use the TACAN to get you in range of the ILS.

                              3. Yes... well, sort of, by firing them. Otherwise, no.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                1. Yes, the radar is pitch and roll stabilized to the horizon, so long as you stay within the radar's vertical gimbal limit.

                                2. It sounds like you had everything setup right. I'm pretty sure HDG doesn't even need to be set correctly to see the ILS needles on the HUD. You should see CMD STRG highlighted on the T-ILS DED page when you're receiving ILS signal regardless of mode. Are you sure you were within range for the ILS signal?
                                Last edited 10-29-2020, 01:23 AM. Reason: Spelling
                                Bunny's Form-Fillable Controller Layout PDFs

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Thank you for you answers.
                                  Regardsing the ILS I tried it again, just in a quick and dirty air-start mission and it worked ok. Obviously I did not start the aircraft, because it was in-air-start mission but in terms of in-air opertions I did the same thing I did back then when it failed. So unless there is something crucial you have to do during startup I have no idea why it did not work back then.

                                  The info on the FCR is nice to know that it actually compensates for pitch.

                                  But no post without a new question :

                                  Is it intended that when I refuel my external tank does not get refuelled? I rearm with a center line tank, do my sortie, come back and ask for rearm/refuel, slider set to 100% fuel, but they do not refuel the center line tank. I have to remove it and add it back again to get a full tank.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    There isn't much to screw up from cold start. The only tricky thing with ILS is the volume knob needs to be above "OFF" but it starts turned on when you jump in a cold and dark jet, so that's not even a thing you need to consider. Plus, if it's set to off, you'll see "ILS OFF" on the DED T-ILS page.

                                    The centerline tank seems bugged right now, sometimes it gets filled, sometimes it doesn't, even when you spawn into a new jet.
                                    Bunny's Form-Fillable Controller Layout PDFs

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      1. The radar attempts to scan a certain vertical elevation angle with respect to the horizon in the modes that do that (CRM, ACM-SLEW). Obviously if the nose is too high or low then it can only do so much. The antenna can pivot +-60 degrees and a 4-bar scan is only 4-5 degrees below the horizon for the bottom bar when the whole pattern is level so you have to pitch up >55 degrees for it to matter. And I think the FCR elevation readouts are the desired altitude not the actual so they won't go crazy if you do a loop.

                                      2. Not all ILSs are on at all times. You might be doing everything correctly but the facility is off.

                                      3. Don't know of any forward firing S-J for AA missiles. AIM-9 you can simply shoot making sure there's nothing ahead to track and AIM-120s cost more than my house so don't unless you want to make someone really mad. (Yes you can maddog them).

                                      Spurts, those are not the best economy numbers for a minimum fuel recovery. Typical is a ~330KCAS mil climb to a cruise then a ~250 KCAS cruise and a ~210 KCAS idle descent of about 6 degrees FPA. When ED adds the CRUS HOME DED page I hope you give it a try and fly the full profile. It's surprising just how far an F-16 will fly on not much fuel if you follow its guidance. You won't want to make it a habit though, takes forever and is really boring but it will get you home when it really counts.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        AFAIK the CAT 1 and CAT 3 is not yet operational in the viper.
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