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Old 12-06-2019, 12:56 AM   #26
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Providence RI
Posts: 529

Originally Posted by msalama View Post
I, of course, know this. The thing is, if you want to actually enjoy those missions, you'll either have to A) limit yourself to hostile APCs, infantry & non-radar AAA only or B) use some common sense by preventing those Albies / F-5s / what have you from striking their target before the big boys have taken out the stuff they can't handle.

Real life however? As it comes to Syria, I've heard stories of SAF pilots actually liking their Albies, because they're quite manouverable and the loiter time is good. But strangely enough no-one mentions MANPADs - well either because the insurgents don't have them, or, I don't know, maybe because the SAF has retrofitted their entire fleet with flare throwers or something. But in either case, all publicly available documents just state that "a number of AC have been shot down" without disclosing any loss rates that I've seen at least.

Still, those guys must base their fondness for the bird on something tangible. Just wonder what that is?

PS. I realize I'm drifting kind of off topic here. My apologies

This is one of those things that might be really controversial to say but after years of reading various books and ESPECIALLY memoirs about various combat aircraft and pilots, I have found that usually pilots will develop a fondness (bias) towards a given aircraft and as such, are not quite as likely (on average) to say negative things. Likewise when it comes to specific roles/mission types where the pilots who write memoirs (or the writers who assemble the words of pilots) tend to show a clear bias towards whatever role they did the most. A good example of this is Dan Hampton's 'Viper Pilot' where he tends to downplay the roles of other aircraft/pilots in favor of his own.

To bring this back to the original topic a bit. The F-5 is actually a great example of this. Among the pilots who flew F-5's or flew against F-5's in the very controlled environment of DACT, the F-5 tends to fit well in its element and makes a good showing of itself since it can actually work inside its strengths. The pilots who flew/flew against them tend to (on average but not absolutely always) talk up the plane quite a bit without always adding the full context that would let us (the readers or audience) know that they are probably not talking about actual front-line combat. As I said, there are exceptions, Keith "Okie" Nance is quite open about how vulnerable and how limited the F-5 would be (especially the versions he dealt with) in real combat against dedicated combat aircraft (ones that are not mostly used for training nowadays).

One of the big difficulties when having this kind of discussion in the DCS context really comes down to the MASSIVE gulf between the more commonly seen missions (via youtube, the uploads section of the site, and on public servers) and the ones that tend to be focused more on realistic operations/usage. In the former, just about every aircraft that can carry weapons will probably have some time to shine. In the latter, certain aircraft are going to have a hard time unless the mission is built entirely around them and even then, (as is the case with something like the L-39) there may not be a good way to complete the mission without a very, very real risk that you will get filled full of machine gun rounds (fired by a armored vehicle or something) or MANPAD missiles. Some aircraft like the F-5 might fare a bit better because of their speed/climb but others (like the L-39) will not be quite fast enough to so easily escape ground fire during those horrifyingly vulnerable moments that you need to line up a shot properly and with as little risk as is possible.
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