F18 or F14, which is easier to fly - ED Forums
 


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Old 01-13-2018, 11:08 PM   #1
razza1974
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Default F18 or F14, which is easier to fly

Hi all,

Bought the f18, looks awesome and i support ed to further develop DCS.
I was wondering, which module will be easier to learn the f18 or f14. I am really waiting on the f14 and am a bit dissapointed that it isn't announced for EA yet, anyways the EA announcement for the hornet is great news!
Which module will be easier to get to grips with? I am not a pro by any means and tears of joy flowed when i landed the mirage the first time (yeah that's the level i am at, love the mirage)

Cheers!
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:13 PM   #2
probad
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hornets going to have fewer flight quirks than the tomcat. systems-wise the hornet will in all likelihood be easier for you to come to terms with as well.
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Old 01-14-2018, 12:01 AM   #3
Spudknocker
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The hornet should be easier to fly by a mile! the tomcat is a big heavy beast you throw around the sky while the hornet with FBW makes it a much easier aircraft to handle... there are many great articles comparing the flight characteristics of the two...

Basically they say the Tomcat has a much steeper learning curve while the hornet has a gentler learning curve but is harder to fully master every aspect of the hornet's flight envelope
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Old 01-14-2018, 03:58 AM   #4
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You need to differentiate between the FM and the avionics when you ask which module will be easier. If you are referring to the flight model, then the F18 should be easier to fly 'as you want it to' thanks to FBW. If you are referring to avionics though then I think the F18 would be a bit steeper to learn just because of its huge avionics suite.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrz View Post
I seriously doubt that the FBW F/A-18 is harder to master concerning the flight envelope.

It should be way easier to fly at the edge of the envelope than the F-14 due to the FBW protections.

Surprisingly IRL and in the sim, FBW planes mask the feel of controlling the plane and it feels more like driving a cheap computer game through the air than actual flying.

The real 'feel' is IMO only present in non-FBW planes.

SO that shouldn't be a conundrum given we are already flying in a Virtual environment
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razza1974 View Post
Hi all,

Bought the f18, looks awesome and i support ed to further develop DCS.
I was wondering, which module will be easier to learn the f18 or f14. I am really waiting on the f14 and am a bit dissapointed that it isn't announced for EA yet, anyways the EA announcement for the hornet is great news!
Which module will be easier to get to grips with? I am not a pro by any means and tears of joy flowed when i landed the mirage the first time (yeah that's the level i am at, love the mirage)

Cheers!
Great question.

In terms of stick and rudder activities, the F-14 certainly takes more time to learn than the Hornet. That said, it's certainly not an unruly beast to fly. It was stable and well mannered in normal flight with some gotchas that you need to account for at high AOA. But compared to other modern fighters in DCS (like the F-5E or F-15C, non-FBW jets) it feels pretty similar except that it is a bit less responsive in pitch and roll during normal operations. There is a sense of inertia when initiating pitch, but big inputs get the nose moving quickly (and potentially building AOA quickly so don't just pull the stick into your lap and leave it there). However, its pitch rate can match the Mirage and F-15C (and exceed the rate of both at speeds less than 350 knots), so performance is excellent.

Roll is also much more stable than the F-5E or F-15C in that it takes bigger inputs to generate significant roll rate and max roll rate is slower than either of those. Also, depending on speed, stores, and G-loads you will see either proverse or adverse yaw during roll. It is generally not something that requires compensation, you just might notice it during maneuvers.

One of the gotchas is control reversal at high AOA - once AOA reaches the 20s or so, left stick will generally result in rolling right. The key is that above 20 units AOA you use the rudders to roll and this works great. However, if you don't turn off roll SAS before starting these maneuvers and try and rudder roll, SAS will try to cross control the aircraft and a departure is fairly likely. You need to set-up the jet for ACM with a couple of system settings (like the SAS system).

Landing the F-14 is really fun though! The aircraft likes to slide around laterally on approach and roll inputs generate adverse yaw followed by the desired lateral movement. The aircraft also requires frequent adjustments to the glideslope since it likes to float (it has a ton of lift in the landing configuration). On the other hand, you can really slam it onto the deck and don't have to worry about flaring. I'm a Heatblur F-14 tester so I've spent a lot of time in the module and tried to land the F-5E recently - blew both tires.
So staying on course requires some effort/attention, but touchdowns are easy.

However, the kicker is that the module is simply so much fun to fly. I whole-heartedly agree with this statement:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrz View Post
The real 'feel' is IMO only present in non-FBW planes.
The Tomcat really feels like flight and is very rewarding to fly - more so than anything in DCS imho. The FM is simply fantastic, very dynamic depending on flight regime, stores, speeds, etc. It feels like you are piloting a machine and the challenges make it much more enjoyable in the end. It is bewitching and awesome. I think people will love flying it. I also have no doubt that the Hornet FM will be exceptional, but the piloting sensation will probably be covered up somewhat by the FCS.

Systems wise the Tomcat is certainly much simpler than the Hornet - largely because there is a division of labor between pilot and RIO. Most of the complicated systems are managed by the RIO and the pilot really focuses on flying and weapons employment. RADAR, TCS, INS, and ECM/countermeasures are all handled by Jester or your human backseater. This lessens the learning curve a lot. Jester is also coming together very well and is already very useful for both WVR and BVR (even with further improvements on the way).

So overall, both these aircraft will be exceptional modules and the experience of flying them will be very different. Its a bit like comparing shirt and pants - you really need both.

If you love flying then the Tomcat will offer more of that. If operating systems is your favorite then the Hornet is the clear choice. Even novice pilots will be able to fly the Tomcat well with some practice (especially the F-14B). It just takes some time and effort, but learning is really fun and rewarding.

Best,

Nick
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itael View Post
You need to differentiate between the FM and the avionics when you ask which module will be easier. If you are referring to the flight model, then the F18 should be easier to fly 'as you want it to' thanks to FBW. If you are referring to avionics though then I think the F18 would be a bit steeper to learn just because of its huge avionics suite.
I tihnk its subjective. Multifunction displays should actually make it easier to manage systems because instead having loads of analog Avionics Sections with Loads of Switches and KNobs. Its all compressed within multiple pages displayed In those Multi function screens. Enabling A2A weapons can all be ready within a couple clicks. The 3 Mfd's and thier Buttons may seem Intimidating at first glance, But its really not IMO. The Hornet have lots of ystem automation so the startup is fairly straightfoward with not requiring the sort of switchology the A10 has.

Actual piloting without a Shadow of a doubt far more Pilot friendly due to FBW controlling the plane

Operating A2A radar should be relatively straightforward for the basic functions. The F14A's function were needed to be separated into 2 d jobs, PIlot and WSO. IF you just intending to learn to operate from the PIlots pit then its easier to learn avionics, Because the WSO does all the headsdown workload. ( which will have to be either by assisted jester AI or a Freind) But to fully learn the Tomcat will require a Simmer to learn both PIlot and WSO functions which would arguably be more complex than learning the Hornet.



In the Hornet The Operation of MFD's is fairly logical IMO. Hornet given Its functions go beyond A2A will take longer, but the basic A2A functions shouldn't be that hard to grasp.
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Old 01-14-2018, 08:04 AM   #8
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Well, I flew both of the jets in P3D (F\A-18E and F-14B) and have mastered both of them to some degree. The Super Bug is pretty easy avionics wise. Even the complex weapons such as Harpoons, JSOWs or SLAM-ER not so hard to emplemet. They are more or less fire and forget if you don't need to mess with their program on the go. Navigation system is very pilot-friendly. And yes, I know I am talking about Super Hornet, but dont think the Hornet will be to musch different.
The Cat's procedures are very different and are taking much more time (because where is much less automated systems, in hornet you just press AUTO BIT), employing its A-to-A weapons is not harder then in F\A-18 and if you already know how to employ AIM-120 it will be easy to learn AIM-54.
But flying F-14 some times can be a pain. If you stuck in a dogfight you should be very careful about pulling the stick. No, you will not blackout, likely you will have a compressor stall, Hornet don't have such a problem. Hornet even have the Departure recovery program if you over do (home ED emplement it in some time). Well this this opinion was based on my expirience, and I hope that ED and HB will make much more accurate modules.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:16 AM   #9
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Can you disable fbw for the f 18 like the mirage ?
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbrz View Post
What do mean with disable? How do you control the Mirage without the FBW system?
you don't

Obviously extremely unstable without FBW and can snap your wings off if flying too fast without it , But the option is there.

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