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Everything posted by Dudikoff

  1. I've read some article recently where a former Czechoslovak MiG-23 pilot said how he asked for a transfer to a MiG-21 or an L-39 unit or something because they were flying only about 30 hours max a year on the 23 at the time (due to a much higher operating cost, presumably).
  2. I highly doubt MiG-29's were flying the same number of hours as the F-15's, though. I got the impression that WP fighter pilots seemed to have had gotten a rather small number of yearly flight hours. Plus, the P&W F100 was highly problematic early on IIRC, enough to force USAF to introduce an alternate engine later on for the F-16s (GE F110).
  3. Maybe Heatblur? Hopefully. It would certainly make sense, unless there's some new unannounced developer..
  4. I don't know, I think the variable geometry is what makes it an efficient and compact design; for example, it helps it to both land more comfortably than the MiG-21 and also to have less drag at high speeds which allows it to outperform and outrange the MiG-21 by a large margin. And I'm not sure the system increased its weight by THAT much. Keep in mind you're comparing its weight with a MiG-29 which was designed more than a decade later and thus used more advanced materials like e.g. composites. Though, I do think they should have made the wing angle primarily controlled by a computer like on e.g. the F-14, at least on the later variants when electronics were more advanced. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if variable wing sweep mechanism was one of the major contributing factors to the types somewhat short service life, but that's not really an argument against the concept itself IMHO - they could have made it sturdier and longer lasting if that was more important to them than keeping its price relatively reasonable.
  5. I agree with the other points and, yeah, the MiG-23 has a bad rep in general, but I'm wondering how justified that really is. I'm sure the earliest variants were a nightmare, but once those kinks were ironed out (from M and beyond), I would wager it was a very good interceptor, with a combination of a decent radar, weapons, speed and a very good range for its size. A lot of the bad rep seems to be coming from the Constant Peg analysis flying the initial export MS variant provided by Egypt (and UB perhaps?). Regarding the ex-pact countries, most decided to keep MiG-21s temporarily as they were cheaper to overhaul, I presume, and the only mission they required was controlling the airspace, like intercepting and identifying some civilian airplanes. Also, I also kind of remember the type had a relatively short service life (in hours and years) so when that ran out, they were just withdrawn from service (e.g. Bulgaria kept theirs till 2004. apparently). For example, the service life of the MiG-23UB is supposedly only 1500 hours or 17 years. Also, reading about some offers to the Indian Air Force (which operated both the fighter MiG-23s and attack MiG-27s), one limiting factor was the engines as they were not manufactured anymore, being turbojets. If India went ahead with the overhaul, they would have to have been reengined with another type. I can't find any hard data on its operational and maintenance cost and stuff, but I saw on YouTube that a few are still flying in the states and their owners seem to find them reliable and relatively easy to maintain.
  6. Could be, though the key word is "required". Like the MiG-29 was required to have a bigger combat radius than it ended up having.
  7. The R-27R missile was required to outrange the AIM-7F so the MiG-29 could intercept an F-15 as well if required.
  8. I'm kind of dumbfounded by some contradictions between the plane and its intended role. For one, it was designed to be a cheaper counterpart to LFI (Su-27), but with twin engines, it didn't really end up that much cheaper (IIRC, around 75% of the Su-27 price). Two engines also took a toll on the range as it didn't have enough fuel for them (coupled with those auxiliary intakes to be able to operate from unprepared runways and non-composite riveted wings which limited the amount of fuel which could fit them). Two, it was designed to be very maneuverable, but at the same time, it was intended to be a replacement for MiGs 21 and 23 and used in the same way - intercept a GCI assigned target and return home). Maneuverability and high off-boresight SRMs perhaps allowed it to gain a favorable position for a second attack in the merge, but I think an updated MiG-23MLD with same weapons wouldn't have fared that much worse for less money (e.g. modified canopy, automatic wing sweep control system, outer wing pylons made moveable and SRM capable, etc.). The 23 having a single engine, had a much longer combat radius and a smaller frontal RCS, not to mention a smaller silhouette in general. I would wager it was also cheaper to make and maintain. MiG-29M (9.15) would have fixed a lot of the issues with the initial variant, but it would require a doctrinal change to make use of its potential.
  9. Cool, had this happen several times this week.
  10. It also keeps the cost down (which I guess is important if your economy is much weaker) as you don't need sophisticated (and thus expensive) radar sets and very well trained pilots if they just need to follow the assigned intercept course and attack assigned targets. Su-27s on the other hand were supposed to have a more capable radar set, but its development failed at the time so it was replaced with an enlarged set from the 29 with more Ts-100 computers added. Plus, it was a system where those at the top are somewhat paranoid and distrustful of the lower echelons so they like to keep all decision making powers to themselves which then trickles out to all spheres, including the armed forces.
  11. I guess you should have researched my post better then as it didn't reference you in any way.
  12. Speaking of not researching, Razbam A-7E? Kind of doubt it will happen since someone else is having a crack at it.
  13. One more point worth considering is that rumors are the next generation of Nvidia cards should be in production next May. Now, that's certainly not a given in the current silicone shortage environment, but since you've said it runs DCS well enough, you might as well wait for next gen to splurge that amount as the performance gains will be much bigger.
  14. I guess that depends on the price you can get them at. MSRP wise, the 3080Ti is of course not worth it (as it brings only a 5-10% increase in performance, depending on the title), but with the inflated 3080 prices, it could be relatively speaking if the price difference is small enough.
  15. Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree that the decision to rely on Super Hornet exclusively was quite short-sighted, but slashing military budgets was the order of the day after the collapse of the USSR. In that context, having basically one type of a combat airplane (because Hornet and Super Hornet were oh so similar or that's how the story went) which can do a bit of everything is quite appealing. The point I'm trying to make is that Grumman should have sensed the changing winds, get off their high horse and develop an AST-21 prototype or whatever (with modern sub-systems, wiring, etc. to improve on operating costs) that could realistically compete with the Super Hornet's appeal. The signs were there for them. E.g. https://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1985/BRE.htm
  16. I don't think there was any hope for all three types budget-wise, especially in the light of the primary threat disappearing and the money sunk into the A-12. One gets the impression that Grumman was kind of caught napping expecting both F-14D and A-6F programs to continue as planned instead of seriously working on an attack 'Super' Tomcat alternative to both the Super Hornet and the A-6F as a backup.
  17. They announced it last year already. https://news.usni.org/2020/02/10/navy-cuts-super-hornet-production-to-develop-next-generation-fighter It's about time though (as that platform was the wrong choice IMHO), but good luck pushing that through the Congress.
  18. I wouldn't expect that the potential for modelling a Su-27SM influenced ED's decision on the Hornet's variant. I'd presume they'd simply chosen the latest they could get the docs for as they seem to be catering for the crowd which wants to recreate the current conflicts rather than fight some Cold War hypotheticals as presumably the former are more numerous (unfortunately). To be fair, the later Hornet variants are certainly much more capable in both A2A and A2G, but my heart would always go for the times of less multi-role where numerous airframes optimized for certain missions were the standard of the day.
  19. I have to say it's hard to imagine it won't impact the roadmap at all (read: the timelines of the other HB modules) - if TrueGrit could have developed it alone, they would have; thus, some experienced HB personnel will have to work with them on the EF module which means they won't be able to work on other modules, etc. But, OK, hope those other two modules will be announced (and thus get closer to being released) in relatively near future, but given the slipping dates with Viggen and F-14 being feature complete and now EF, I guess it won't happen in near future. Though, that's assuming at least one of them is indeed something from 70s/80s/early 90s matching the F-14 and Viggen modules. I do hope I'm absolutely wrong on most if not all accounts, of course
  20. I'm kind of disappointed by the news as this will seriously backtrack potential other HB modules they said were in development, while the EF, being one of the modern top dogs, won't advance DCS in the direction I'd like.
  21. I hope the end plan for the F-14 is to have key bindings for all of the cockpit controls made available in the Controls page.
  22. The base is meant for helicopter grips (thus, no switches), but in any case the handles you mention are for the Super Taurus and won't fit the Orion/Gemini throttle.
  23. I'm finally getting around this, but I can only bind the buttons to "Virtual buttons" with IDs from 1 to 100 and whatever. How do I bind them to a combination of key presses? Is there another place where these Virtual Buttons can be mapped to key presses or something? It's also idiotic that you can download someone's profile, but can't customize it. How do you 'create these profiles from game files'?
  24. Hmm, I see. I presume you're mapping it in DCS directly? One solution would be to use a middle man software (e.g. WinWing, Gremlin, etc.) which allows you to set more precisely press and release timings (e.g. for each click on the encoder, press this key combination for that long) which you could then experiment with until the switch on the bottom of the UFC is held long enough to move the CRS or HDG values by a single degree.
  25. Oh, that would be cool. Please report back if you notice any differences with the new grip.
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