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Real F/A-18 Pilot Tries DCS: F/A-18 - Part TWO


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It's not my throttle setup. The Hornet is the only plane that behaves this way. I'm not the only one that has the issue either.
Alright. Looks like there are still some FM corrections to be made.

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A lot of commands in video 1 & 2 are mapped on the warthog HOTAS the way you described in my setup, with that being said; sorry you couldn't experience those, b/c they are really intuitive and help out while flying (force multiplier).

 

Having trackir or vr head tracking when only gaming is really bad i agree. Maybe one day we will get something thats more natural, less laggy, not getting stuck in some sunken neck wtf after a merge, dive-turn. But thats what we got, so we adapt and overcome.

 

Enjoyed the video and hope to see more hornet videos. Will have to check out those books thats amazing.

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A lot of commands in video 1 & 2 are mapped on the warthog HOTAS the way you described in my setup, with that being said; sorry you couldn't experience those, b/c they are really intuitive and help out while flying (force multiplier).

 

Having trackir or vr head tracking when only gaming is really bad i agree. Maybe one day we will get something thats more natural, less laggy, not getting stuck in some sunken neck wtf after a merge, dive-turn. But thats what we got, so we adapt and overcome.

 

Enjoyed the video and hope to see more hornet videos. Will have to check out those books thats amazing.

 

Until you get trackir setup correctly that sunken neck can happen(Still tweaking). It would have been better to turn off all the axis except for yaw and pitch, much easier to get used to it quickly for a 1st timer with Tir having only the two axis at play and no sunken neck.

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There was a point where he says that if someone was to learn the Hornet in the sim, and then go fly the real thing, "probably not".

Topic starter: Honestly, I disagree. Some of us might not know the proper technique to hold Gs, and even more of us don't have the physique. But to just fly the Hornet, I probably could. And mostly because of how easy it is to fly, thanks to fly by wire. I scarcely rely on controller buttons, so I remember where the basic controls are. The only basic ones that might trip me up are the nose wheel steering gain and the paddle, because I do have those mapped, and I normally can't see them. I believe that if I was in a for real F/A-18C Lot 20 Hornet (for a reason that does not even begin to exist), from the ground at least, I could successfully manage to start, taxi, take off, fly, and roughly land it (not on the boat) purely off of experience in DCS. But that's it. Anything else, and I am sure to screw up, possibly fatally.

FC3, I won't even know how to start the things. Mi-8, I'll die. P-51, I will likely crash. BF-109, I will die. Spitfire, I'm definitely lawn fertilizer in that one! F-5E, I might work it out, maybe. Big maybe. Big maybe on the Ka-50 as well.

I don't have the Mirage, but if I had to fly the real counterpart of a DCS module, the Hornet would offer the best chance of survival.

 

I agree with the others saying that no, you would not be able to.

I used to think that like you before i had my first flight.

I had hundreds of hours in DCS and other sims, and i went for a duo flight on a light plane.

One goal of mine, except trying to pilot the plane, was to understand if i could manage to fly alone without the instructor.

My answer was "probably not" right on takeoff, "very likely not" while flying. By the time we were landing, i was absolutely sure that i would die i a fiery crash if i ever attempted it without a lot of training.

I was able to steer the plane around, follow a river, that kind of stuff. But it took an insane amount of concentration doing that, i was very stressed. I had to correct for wind gusts which were hitting us from the sides and below and you could feel it moving you from the seat. When banking maybe 30°, i felt like i would fall out of the sky. (i was probably doing uncoordinated turns)

Then came the landing.

We were flying maybe 70 knots on approach, and the runway looked like it was coming in SO FAST. I immediately knew i would never make it alone. For comparison, sometimes when i'm bored i approach the runway at 500 knots in DCS before braking and going left-right because going 170 knots for 2 minutes would make me fall asleep.

We tried some "aggressive maneuvering" and it was hard to sustain an unexpected 2.5G in a turn made by the instructor. I was making wierd breathing noises unvoluntarily. The pilot then warned my we would try a slight negative G and that it would be even harder. We went for negative 0.5G for maybe 3 seconds (or risk stalling the engine). Took me half an hour on the ground to recover from that.

 

So, no, SIM training would never be enough to fly a plane. Never mind a military jet. Not because of not knowing things, or how to fly, but because your body doesn't react like you think it would.


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I agree with the others saying that no, you would not be able to.

I used to think that like you before i had my first flight.

I had hundreds of hours in DCS and other sims, and i went for a duo flight on a light plane.

One goal of mine, except trying to pilot the plane, was to understand if i could manage to fly alone without the instructor.

My answer was "probably not" right on takeoff, "very likely not" while flying. By the time we were landing, i was absolutely sure that i would die i a fiery crash if i ever attempted it without a lot of training.

I was able to steer the plane around, follow a river, that kind of stuff. But it took an insane amount of concentration doing that, i was very stressed. I had to correct for wind gusts which were hitting us from the sides and below and you could feel it moving you from the seat. When banking maybe 30°, i felt like i would fall out of the sky. (i was probably doing uncoordinated turns)

Then came the landing.

We were flying maybe 70 knots on approach, and the runway looked like it was coming in SO FAST. I immediately knew i would never make it alone. For comparison, sometimes when i'm bored i approach the runway at 500 knots in DCS before braking and going left-right because going 170 knots for 2 minutes would make me fall asleep.

We tried some "aggressive maneuvering" and it was hard to sustain an unexpected 2.5G in a turn made by the instructor. I was making wierd breathing noises unvoluntarily. The pilot then warned my we would try a slight negative G and that it would be even harder. We went for negative 0.5G for maybe 3 seconds (or risk stalling the engine). Took me half an hour on the ground to recover from that.

 

So, no, SIM training would never be enough to fly a plane. Never mind a military jet. Not because of not knowing things, or how to fly, but because your body doesn't react like you think it would.

 

That’s the polar opposite of my experience. You couldn’t follow a river? Jesus wept, it’s probably you.

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I was able to steer the plane around, follow a river, that kind of stuff.

 

 

That’s the polar opposite of my experience. You couldn’t follow a river? Jesus wept, it’s probably you.

 

 

He said he could. :music_whistling:

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I agree with the others saying that no, you would not be able to.

I used to think that like you before i had my first flight.

I had hundreds of hours in DCS and other sims, and i went for a duo flight on a light plane.

One goal of mine, except trying to pilot the plane, was to understand if i could manage to fly alone without the instructor.

My answer was "probably not" right on takeoff, "very likely not" while flying. By the time we were landing, i was absolutely sure that i would die i a fiery crash if i ever attempted it without a lot of training.

I was able to steer the plane around, follow a river, that kind of stuff. But it took an insane amount of concentration doing that, i was very stressed. I had to correct for wind gusts which were hitting us from the sides and below and you could feel it moving you from the seat. When banking maybe 30°, i felt like i would fall out of the sky. (i was probably doing uncoordinated turns)

Then came the landing.

We were flying maybe 70 knots on approach, and the runway looked like it was coming in SO FAST. I immediately knew i would never make it alone. For comparison, sometimes when i'm bored i approach the runway at 500 knots in DCS before braking and going left-right because going 170 knots for 2 minutes would make me fall asleep.

We tried some "aggressive maneuvering" and it was hard to sustain an unexpected 2.5G in a turn made by the instructor. I was making wierd breathing noises unvoluntarily. The pilot then warned my we would try a slight negative G and that it would be even harder. We went for negative 0.5G for maybe 3 seconds (or risk stalling the engine). Took me half an hour on the ground to recover from that.

 

So, no, SIM training would never be enough to fly a plane. Never mind a military jet. Not because of not knowing things, or how to fly, but because your body doesn't react like you think it would.

 

 

Strange, my experience was the other way around. Instructor did the takeoff, and let me fly the rest of the flight (this is my first hour mind you). He said I was excellent at straight and level and as well as looking outside instead of at gauges. Then he let me land the plane (at an international airport), on my first flight. Plane was a 60s Piper Cherokee.

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Strange, my experience was the other way around. Instructor did the takeoff, and let me fly the rest of the flight (this is my first hour mind you). He said I was excellent at straight and level and as well as looking outside instead of at gauges. Then he let me land the plane (at an international airport), on my first flight. Plane was a 60s Piper Cherokee.

 

 

My experience was the same. I've only flown RL a handful of times in a Cessna 172. My last flight basically solo'd the whole flight. Instructor was impressed :D

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Strange, my experience was the other way around. Instructor did the takeoff, and let me fly the rest of the flight (this is my first hour mind you). He said I was excellent at straight and level and as well as looking outside instead of at gauges. Then he let me land the plane (at an international airport), on my first flight. Plane was a 60s Piper Cherokee.

 

 

An instructor pilot let you, someone who's never flown a plane, to land the plane? That seems reckless - negligently so I might add. No?

 

I'm sure it was exhilarating for you, and kudos do you for being able to do it. But it's not like there is time to recover if you goof.

 

The old adage that you need any two of speed, altitude, or skill to becoming an old pilot comes to mind.

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An instructor pilot let you, someone who's never flown a plane, to land the plane? That seems reckless - negligently so I might add. No?

 

I'm sure it was exhilarating for you, and kudos do you for being able to do it. But it's not like there is time to recover if you goof.

 

The old adage that you need any two of speed, altitude, or skill to becoming an old pilot comes to mind.

 

Oh Relax.. I'm sure he was covering the controls, and a Cherokee on a massive International Airport Runway isn't exactly a recipe for disaster... On a calm day it'll basically land itself once its nicely trimmed out.

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An instructor pilot let you, someone who's never flown a plane, to land the plane? That seems reckless - negligently so I might add. No?

 

I'm sure it was exhilarating for you, and kudos do you for being able to do it. But it's not like there is time to recover if you goof.

 

The old adage that you need any two of speed, altitude, or skill to becoming an old pilot comes to mind.

 

The instructor was still in the plane! Lots of people get to land on their first flight and if you actually fly for real you would know this.

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I'll add my experience with real flight for the first time here since we're on this topic.

 

I think it depends on the person. Back in 1996, I was given a free introductory flight by a friend, whom I set up MS Flight Sim '95 and all the controls for. He'd just bought a Piper Cherokee and wanted to use the sim to help him learn the instruments and what not. I'd been flying PC sims for about 9 years at that point.

 

So, I show up at the airport and meet my buddy's instructor. We hop in a Cessna 152 out at Lakefront Airport in New Orleans. We went through the checklist, I flipped all the switches as he called them out and turned the key. She fired right up. We briefly spoke about what the flight plan would be and he told me to taxi out to the active.

 

I taxied to the active, took off, flew the plane for 40 minutes, did a perfect touch and go, greased the hell out of it, went back around in the pattern and landed the aircraft again, although I flared about 2 feet high. Still wasn't a bad landing. I will say, my right leg was shaking uncontrollably when he made me take off. I kept asking him to take it and he refused. Said I was doing fine. He kept opening the door too, causing the plane to drift to the left. I wanted to beat his ass but I had to fly the plane. LOL!

 

The only time the instructor touched the controls was when he reached over and turned on the carb de-ice on initial base. Other than that, it was all me. After we landed, he asked me, "Are you sure you've never flown before? Ever?" My answer was "Nope! Never." He told me I should get into flying. Being colorblind, I couldn't make any real money in the long run so, I never did pursue it.

 

I would have been a good fighter pilot. My eyes kept me out of the running for it.

 

So, yes, you can in fact fly a plane with nothing more than simulator experience. In fact, I think it's easier to fly a real plane. I have no doubt I could jump into a Hornet and sail it off the end of a runway. I'b be nervous I'm sure, but I could do it. Would need a D model with an instructor in the back just in case I freaked and passed out or something. LOL!

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I agree with the others saying that no, you would not be able to.

I used to think that like you before i had my first flight.

I had hundreds of hours in DCS and other sims, and i went for a duo flight on a light plane.

One goal of mine, except trying to pilot the plane, was to understand if i could manage to fly alone without the instructor.

My answer was "probably not" right on takeoff, "very likely not" while flying. By the time we were landing, i was absolutely sure that i would die i a fiery crash if i ever attempted it without a lot of training.

I was able to steer the plane around, follow a river, that kind of stuff. But it took an insane amount of concentration doing that, i was very stressed. I had to correct for wind gusts which were hitting us from the sides and below and you could feel it moving you from the seat. When banking maybe 30°, i felt like i would fall out of the sky. (i was probably doing uncoordinated turns)

Then came the landing.

We were flying maybe 70 knots on approach, and the runway looked like it was coming in SO FAST. I immediately knew i would never make it alone. For comparison, sometimes when i'm bored i approach the runway at 500 knots in DCS before braking and going left-right because going 170 knots for 2 minutes would make me fall asleep.

We tried some "aggressive maneuvering" and it was hard to sustain an unexpected 2.5G in a turn made by the instructor. I was making wierd breathing noises unvoluntarily. The pilot then warned my we would try a slight negative G and that it would be even harder. We went for negative 0.5G for maybe 3 seconds (or risk stalling the engine). Took me half an hour on the ground to recover from that.

 

So, no, SIM training would never be enough to fly a plane. Never mind a military jet. Not because of not knowing things, or how to fly, but because your body doesn't react like you think it would.

 

Last year I had my introductory flight. My feeling was very similar to yours. I felt very strange using a left-handed stick and flying without a HUD. I kept watching the ADI and the instructor kept asking me not to. Banking more than 30 degrees freaked me out. And I felt airsick. If I flew longer I would throw up in the cockpit.

 

In the game we have subtitles on the radio conversation with AI. In real life we don't have that and my oral English can give me some trouble.

 

In the game I rarely care about the altitude change in a turn. But in real life the instructor would yell at me for it.

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My experience was the same. I've only flown RL a handful of times in a Cessna 172. My last flight basically solo'd the whole flight. Instructor was impressed :D

 

A C172 is just a powered glider, literally a canoe in the sky. Massive static stability advantage by design, it will literally fight to stay stable. MUCH different experience in a high performance aircraft with similar power/weight stats for e.g. Extra 300 et al. THEN when you get into jets, it's a compleeeeetely different ball game, LET ALONE a fighter jet

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Got to say I think it would be entirely possible for someone with experience of the DCS Hornet AND experience IRL in general aviation' date=' say just gained their pilots licence to take off, fly a circuit and maybe even land the thing.[/quote']

 

I don’t think so. Light aircraft and high performance plane aren’t flown the same way and the speed at which you need to process information and anticipate airplane reactions is very different.

 

Having experience let’s say .... 300hours in C-152/172 and some time on a light ME ... gives you the basics. But when you migrate to airplanes that have higher performances you need practice ... practice in anticipating and being ahead of the airplane. Landing and takeoff are the most dangerous phases .... and the Hornet does not land like any other airplane .... if you haven’t flown in real an airplane that is flown on AOA to land you are in for some serious surprises with a crosswind or convective turbulences.

 

But this is only my opinion, based on my own experience from flying, the sim is the sim ... I hate it with passion because it doesn’t fly like the real one .... and on top of it it’s unit price is the same as the plane if not more expensive.

 

Sweatbox I call it.

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An excerpt from

A Thesis

Presented for the

Master of Science Degree

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Eric John Mitchell

May 2004

 

 

“I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS HAPPENING….”

 

It’s 1998 and I’ve got less than 12 hours logged as hornet pilot. I’m airborne on my first local “day trainer” flight in a two-seat F/A-18D. At that time, I had amassed over 2000 total military flying hours, over 1000 of them mastering the quirky flying qualities of the departure prone F-14 Tomcat with its antiquated analog flight control computers (FCS). My previous total of four Hornet flights had all been administrative cross countries.

 

It’s my second flight after reporting to my new test squadron after Test Pilot School (TPS) and I’d like to “bend the jet around” a little and take a look at the aircraft’s famed superior flying qualities and extreme high angle-of-attack (AOA) capability. Although scheduled as a test-support flight to chase a Super Hornet during its test flight, the other jet was not ready on time, so I went out as a single aircraft, with my new Hornet Department boss in my back seat, on a good deal flight to help build my experience in the jet.

 

My backseater this day was not a pilot but instead a Marine Corps Weapons Systems Officer (WSO). He encouraged me to start right off with some rather extreme maneuvering right after climbing to altitude in the assigned Test Range. However, I was fresh out of TPS, so I elected to build up more gradually with some loops and rolls, then some level (1g) high AOA maneuvers. Boy, everyone’s right—this jet’s a dream to fly compared to the Tomcat. It seems like its on rails, almost magical in its capabilities.

 

With half of my fuel used, my backseater convinces me to “turn up the heat a little” and try something new. It was time to try an aggressive high AOA wingover-type maneuver called a pirouette maneuver—starting at 18,000 feet, 300 knots, I aggressively pull up, then start rolling left…down to 170 knots now at 22,500 feet, feeding in more left rudder pedal and left and aft stick…nose is still a hair above the horizon but should come down. I’m rolled left wing knife-edge down, but the nose has stopped as the jet decelerates through 120 knots. Hmmm? Oops, AOA is way up at 40 degrees, better add a hair of forward stick to reduce the AOA. Although I’ve got left stick and rudder inputs commanded, the jet stops responding and in fact starts a slight right roll. Darn, I’ve departed—I recite the NATOPS Procedures: CONTROLS—RELEASE, FEET OFF RUDDERS, Speed brake in, Throttles IDLE… My backseater is laughing at me.

 

I’m at 22, 800 feet, out-of-control on a beautiful CAVU summer day over the Chesapeake Bay. I’m waiting for the nose to come down, lawn-dart fashion, just like all the other jets I’ve flown. Still waiting. Finally, the nose is 40 degrees below the horizon, but there’s considerable side force (lateral g) building, pushing me forcefully to the right side of the cockpit. Time stands still. I hear the wind roaring sideways over the top of the cockpit canopy and windscreen. The yaw rate warning tone is screaming at me. Then, the nose comes back up, way up (it’s going the wrong way!). I notice the control stick deflecting laterally. At first I think somehow I must have inadvertently bumped it as I was flung sideways, but then realize that it’s actually moving in response to the same lateral g-forces pushing me around.

 

I try to re-center the stick by hand but its weight under g, as well as the awkward sideways g-forces, prevents me from holding it stationary or being sure where the neutral position really is. As I briefly attempt to hold it neutral, I instantly understand why NATOPS says to just let go and not touch the controls so I let go again—one can’t hold the lightly sprung controls stationary while subjected to these violent forces. More violent sideforces the other way, warning audio tones signaling that yaw rate is building, and disturbingly loud wind-like buffeting noise over the canopy and windshield.

 

I’m grabbing the towelbar-like handles on the metal canopy bow for leverage to avoid having my head smash into the Plexiglas canopy. The laughter that I heard from my boss earlier in the backseat has stopped. We’re falling through 17,000 feet. I think of reaching for the stick to shove it full forward per the falling leaf recovery procedure, but the NATOPS Manual warned of trying that procedure too early, and I don’t think that the steady periodic characteristic of the falling leaf mode is quite established. Additionally, I’ve already seen a moment earlier holding the stick still would be tough to do. I wish my lapbelt was tighter.

 

Finally after a couple more oscillations, the nose comes down and stays down, the sideforces subside, and I’ve happily got a face-full of mother-earth to look at. I pull out from the dive, bottoming out at 8,000 feet over the Bay. I had lost about 14,000 feet during this OCF incident. I’ve had enough fun for the day and immediately return to base and land. I look over the jet carefully after I get out and verify it’s none the worse for wear, as I contemplate the “Jeckle and Hyde” Hornet—effortless to fly 99.9% of the time, but able to truly “uncork” if grossly mishandled.

My new boss, an experienced WSO with over 2000 hours in the Hornet later tells me that although I had a good departure, he had seen and been through a worse one before.

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Assuming it was a spin (that's what I'm deciphering from that), why not counter it with opposite throttle?

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Assuming it was a spin (that's what I'm deciphering from that), why not counter it with opposite throttle?

 

Because that’s just asking for a flameout from inconsistent intake airflow. It sounds more like a falling leaf/nose slice departure which was especially an issue in the 2 seat hornets. The reason they stipulate idle is so you’re more likely to have two running engines by the time you’re finished falling backwards/sideways etc.

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Because that’s just asking for a flameout from inconsistent intake airflow. It sounds more like a falling leaf/nose slice departure which was especially an issue in the 2 seat hornets. The reason they stipulate idle is so you’re more likely to have two running engines by the time you’re finished falling backwards/sideways etc.
Ah.

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Yep... I honestly find it almost impossible to get our simulated Hornet in a similar state but maybe the new FCS software updates are so good at keeping the jet out of that part of the envelope it just doesn't happen any more? I'd kinda of like for there to be some danger zones in the FM though.


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