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CombatFlite -- a flight planning tool


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RELEASED!

 

Current version available for download HERE!

 

 

See complete change log here.

 

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Hello!

 

I would like to introduce a project I have been working on. CombatFlite is a flight planning tool for easy package-oriented mission planning, rehearsal and pre-flight preparation. Among many other features, it allows you to plan routes for multiple flights of a package, generate a mission data card and a customized route map, that you can print, save or export to your kneeboard as a .png file. One of the main planned features is the ability to create a data cartridge with flight route, aircraft loadout and aircraft systems settings (for appropriate aircraft types only -- the focus is obviously on A-10C, AJS-37, AV-8B, F/A-18C, but subject to practical feasibility to implement this feature).

 

The overall goal of CombatFlite is to enhance the combat flight simulation experience by enabling realistic package-oriented flight planning.

 

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Key features:

- Creation of holding and refueling orbits, CAPs, SEAD CAPs, reference points, polygons and bullseyes

- Easy flight route creation; snapping waypoints to created reference points, nav points, orbits, CAPs, airfields etc.

- When moving a snap-to point (CAP, reference point, AAR orbit, etc.), all waypoints snapped to it automatically move with it

- Nav point and airfield database

- Automated loadout selection according to task

- Cloning of flights for fast strike package building

- Mission rehearsal (playback) via a timeline control with highlighted events (vul times, TOTs etc.)

- Ability to create and export snapshots of critical phases of the mission

- Customizable mission data card, route map and individual route leg maps with navigation info, TCN beacon fix, altitude as AMSL/QFE/AGL

- Option to export the kneeboard, save it as a PNG, or print it

- Data cartridge creation, including flight route, aircraft systems settings and configuration (subject to DCS/module support)

- Basic .miz file import/export capability

 

Extra features:

- Visibility plot (360° line-of-sight visibility determination from a given point for a given aircraft height)

- Color terrain visualization and highest peak depiction based on SRTM data

- Ability to switch between different raster maps

- Ability to add custom overlays (bitmap imagery)

- Mission overview (total distances, flight durations, average speeds and altitudes of all flights)

- Unit of measure selection to better suit your aircraft

- QFE support

- Fuel/performance calculation

- Different visual themes (including High-Vis and WWII)

 

Development status:

All the abovementioned features are in various phases of development, many of which are complete. However, it is very much a WIP.

 

Any input is highly appreciated!


Edited by Viper39
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CombatFlite v1.1.1.6 (and a quick 1.1.1.7 hotfix) is up and running!   Changes include: Improved Mission Panel UI Added BDU-45 for DCS F/A-18C Added APKWS for DCS AV-8B Added ammo

Episode 2 of CombatFlite Tutorial videos is up. It is the first video of a two-part tutorial covering basic mission planning functionality of CombatFlite.  

With the Christmas holidays around the corner, I would like to take the opportunity and thank you all for your support, invaluable feedback and growing interest in CombatFlite among the DCS community.

This looks absolutely brilliant, like the DoD's FalconView program for DCS. Managing package timing is not one of the default editor's strong points so I would use the daylights out of this.

 

Great work!

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Apologies for being a bit thick, but is this a way to create missions outside of DCS, that can then be run within DCS?

If so, how will it know what assets/aircraft the game knows?

 

In principle, sounds like an awesome idea, as I'd be able to plan out missions on say a laptop and do it anywhere, then upload for use with my flight rig.

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Apologies for being a bit thick, but is this a way to create missions outside of DCS, that can then be run within DCS?

If so, how will it know what assets/aircraft the game knows?

 

In principle, sounds like an awesome idea, as I'd be able to plan out missions on say a laptop and do it anywhere, then upload for use with my flight rig.

Although there is a basic DCS mission file import/export capability, mission building itself is not the main idea behind this -- that would be far more complex (many missions include lua scripting etc.).

 

You can though import a DCS mission file, which will bring in the flight routes of individual flights in the mission (with timings, speeds, altitudes,...). You can then draw circles, lines, polygons, orbits, add bitmap overlays, use a visibility plot tool, terrain tool, rehearse the mission via the timeline control tool, modify the routes, move waypoints around... Then you can generate a kneeboard package including a mission data card with nav data, comm settings, package composition etc. plus a route map and individual route leg snapshots (with useful nav data on the top). That can be done either as .png files to include in your DCS kneeboard, or have it printed. Plus you can (or will be able to -- this one is still very much WIP) create a datacatridge with the route and aircraft systems settings, that you can load -- this is however supported so far only for the Viggen and (partly) in the A-10C.

 

Or you can do all of the above from scratch, without importing anything.

 

There is also a basic export capability, allowing the flight routes to be exported as a .miz file, which can be then used as a basis for building a new mission in the mission editor.

 

Hope I made it a bit clearer... Of course, any idea or suggestion is welcome :)

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Gotcha, thanks for the explanation.

That does genuinely sound really useful.

Sure, it would be great to be able to build the who mission from scratch, then import, but I'm very conscious of just how complex that would be, so the scope of what you're proposing makes a LOT of sense. Bring it on, would love to give it a try.

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What airfield navbponts database are you using? This looks great can’t wait to try it out at home

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What airfield navbponts database are you using? This looks great can’t wait to try it out at home

For NTTR it is the local area navigation points (as in the Red Flag Inflight Guide) plus the tacans and airfields. But any nav point database can be created and loaded, as it is a .xml file ;)

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For NTTR it is the local area navigation points (as in the Red Flag Inflight Guide) plus the tacans and airfields. But any nav point database can be created and loaded, as it is a .xml file ;)

 

Which means we can probabl;y pull down FAA info to create the XML file?

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This looks very promising!

The 132nd Virtual Wing would highly benefit from such a tool, and we will be very supportive if you need anyone to test the tool!

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turned skyward for there you have been, and there you will always long to return"

 

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This looks very promising!

The 132nd Virtual Wing would highly benefit from such a tool, and we will be very supportive if you need anyone to test the tool!

Good to know! Thanks! :)

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While mean for ground attack focused airframes, please don’t exclude other ones.

No airframe will be left behind. However, data cartridge export capability is subject to the particular module supporting such option.

One thing that I would suggest but would more than likely cause a headache for you is fuel planning and weight planning.

Fuel/weight planning, as well as take-off performance data are planned features.

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Wow, absolutely amazing! Cant wait to try it! This would really add that extra layer to dcs to make it feel more like a fighter pilot simulator over a fighter plane simulator, not that I'm complaining :smilewink: good luck to you!

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This looks very promising indeed, and something that has been very much missing in DCS. Hopefully, you can achieve everything that's planned.

 

If the 476th can offer any kind of assistance we'll be very happy to.

 

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Brilliant! Look forward to using this in the future, thank you for your efforts in providing this to the community.

 

 

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subscribing! (cool!)

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