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Old 09-14-2018, 02:24 PM   #1
Avantar
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Default Heading in ME & Wind direction - magnetic or grid?

Hi guys,

I am playing with mission building for some time and since I wanted to place carrier juuust right I stumbled upon a problem:

Is the wind direction used in Mission Editor magnetic or true?

To explain: in ME to make carrier route *exactly* north I placed two waypoints with the same longitude. because of how the globe translates into flat map I ended up with route going diagonally to the left (along the grid lines), which is fine and what I expected. but, the *heading* tool from the ME shows the course 354 instead 0. If I set the wind heading 180 in the ME - will it be the same as heading shown by the map tool?

Also - if I measure heading along the flight paths with the map tool - will it be exactly what my HUD will show when flying from one Wp to the other or will it be off by couple of degrees? (6 in case of Caucas)

Thanks!
Avantar.
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Old 09-14-2018, 04:57 PM   #2
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Hi Avantar,

The ME and the F10 map ruler tool display bearings relative to true north. You are correct that on the Caucus map the difference between magnetic and true is 6 degrees (I always use 7, but I'm not going to claim I can fly a compass heading within +/- 1 degree so no big deal). So if you measure a true course of 276 in the ME, you would need to fly a 270 magnetic course to follow that line (caveat-- this is true for the A10, the F5, and the F86. I have not explored the F18 enough to know how it handles this, although traditionally American aircraft display navigation data referencing magnetic north).

It is also my understanding that wind direction is entered relating to true north. Also, I am sure you have noticed, but DCS is a little odd in that the wind direction ended in the ME is where the wind is blowing TO, rather than where the wind is blowing FROM as it is reported in the US (it seems you probably already know this since you have your carrier moving along a 360 and a 180 wind, but I thought it worth mentioning).
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:09 PM   #3
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Thanks, that confirms my understanding. And yes, I did notice longa ago that DCS handles wind ifnormation in a ridiculous way (in aviation you always say where the wind is gusting FROM, not where to). And what is more disorienting ATC will tell you the wind direction in a proper way (that is, 180* opposite what the briefind says). Also, in all my current experience wind also should be given in magnetic heading, not true. But I can live with that. thanks again.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_19d View Post
Hi Avantar,
It is also my understanding that wind direction is entered relating to true north. Also, I am sure you have noticed, but DCS is a little odd in that the wind direction ended in the ME is where the wind is blowing TO, rather than where the wind is blowing FROM as it is reported in the US (it seems you probably already know this since you have your carrier moving along a 360 and a 180 wind, but I thought it worth mentioning).

Please ED, come to a professional level in this certain area, and add the word "TO" in the ME, or start using winds FROM.

It makes me crazy since years. In US, EUROPE and RUS we have wind information FROM, and not TO!

Please 300x times and in the name of all millions of DCS mission editor's, thank you!
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:48 PM   #5
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I hope this post will be of help and not too confusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avantar View Post
To explain: in ME to make carrier route *exactly* north I placed two waypoints with the same longitude. because of how the globe translates into flat map I ended up with route going diagonally to the left (along the grid lines), which is fine and what I expected. but, the *heading* tool from the ME shows the course 354 instead 0. If I set the wind heading 180 in the ME - will it be the same as heading shown by the map tool?
The problem is in the way DCS handles the headings and norths with regard to the map. All headings in the ME are true headings, and aircraft in-game normally display magnetic heading (some have a true heading option as well). However, as of now in DCS, true headings do not correspond with latitudes and longitude. So if you fly heading 360° (true), you will see your longitude change.
You could also see it this way: "DCS true north" = RL grid north, and "DCS magnetic north" is based off of "DCS true north" / RL grid north. RL true north is only used in DCS when coordinates are concerned (I like to think of it as "DCS coordinates north").

Usually the issue doesn't matter too much, except when you have to work with coordinates, as you did. Going north along a parallel is not going true north in DCS. And if you want to make calculations on coordinates, this is where it gets bad, as you have to use an estimated correction to bring the grid north that the game gives you (calling in "true north") to real-life true north.
The issue also comes to play for exemple in the Mirage 2000C when you want to bomb an offset point using coordinates (you're supposed to tell the system the distance north and south, but you have to use "DCS true north", so you can not use coordinates difference.


Just to emphasize again, the difference from 360° in heading you get when you draw a line in the ME following a parallel is not due to magnetic variation. And from one end of the map to another it will change (differently so that the magnetic variation, which also changes) because of the map projection. In the F10 map and in the ME, 360° "DCS true north" is always straight up.

Quote:
Also - if I measure heading along the flight paths with the map tool - will it be exactly what my HUD will show when flying from one Wp to the other or will it be off by couple of degrees? (6 in case of Caucas)
I mentionned it already, but aircraft in DCS use "DCS magnetic headings" by default, so yes, they will differ by about 6° (in Caucasus) from the "DCS true heading" you will find on the map and in the ME. Although on some aircraft (F/A-18C and Mirage 2000C come to mind) you can set your HUD and HSI to use true headings (ie. "DCS true headings").


Hope I helped clarify things a little. I wish an update would come that settles all of this in the future.
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Last edited by Robin_Hood; 10-14-2018 at 11:52 PM.
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