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Problems with delicate controlling


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I have the F-14 since the release and I fly also other DCS modules (F/A-18C, A-10, Mig-21Bis etc.) so I don't think the further described problems have anything to do with my setup or "lack of muscle memory".



After almost one year of flying the F-14 more or less extensively, I am still unable to A2A refuel. I don't have any problem landing it, using weapons systems, but I have a huge problem with small inputs.



Since the release of F-14, I switched from X56 to HOTAS Warthog. First I was thinking my inability to A2A refueling was a lack of skill then the new hardware but after 6 months of playing with the new stick, I am absolutely comfortable doing all types of shenanigans in let's say Hornet or Viggen.


Description of the issue.

The main issue that I spot is the inability to do slight changes and the lag of input vs in-game stick movement + plane movement.


To address the first one. I was trying to tune the axis (roll and pitch) on the Warthog for the past few months, watched all videos on how to do this, read Chuck's guide, etc.. With no change for the F-14. With current deadzone on 4 and axis to curvature 15 (saturation both 100). No chance to refuel also with all set to zero. I also set up curvatures on other planes but it usually took me like 15 minutes to try and figure out which setting fits the best, but not with the F-14. I am still seeing no changes in aircraft movement till 1/5 way out of the center and then a sudden jump. When I am chasing the basket the movement left to right does nothing or throws me out of the way. With pitch it's even worse. When I am trying to do slight adjustments I just get nothing, nothing and then I became a space ship for half a second when all three times I deflected the joystick the same amount.


The ladder one - the lag. I noticed that there is a certain amount of time between me pulling up on the stick and seeing some results. I get it that when you change the control surfaces on a plane the change in pressure - lift isn't imminent. But when I even see noticeable lag on the change on the in-game stick compared to my input it gets super annoying and frequently deadly for my DCS pilot (leads to under compensating and straight after it overcompensating).


My final question and ask for help is:

What to do to smoothen and refresh the flying experience to make delicate flying - formation or Air refueling possible. I really don't know what's behind the lag but I would really appreciate any input on at least the joystick settings. Again all these problems are specific to F-14.


Thank you very much for your time.


P.S: Bonus question that isn't directly connected to F-14 but I don't like making many posts/threads. How do "pilots in logbooks" die? I once opened logbook and found out my pilot "died", but I have not played any campaign or nothing like that for ages. Just multiplayer and quick missions.


P.S2: Was there a checkbox to make Jester unfunny? After 2 hours of trying air refueling, I really wanted to stick a toothbrush through his eyeball and burn him alive.

PC Specs: i5-4690K (SilentiumPC Fera 2),MSI GTX-1070, MSI GAMING 5 Z97, 4x4Gb DDR3 1866Mhz CL9 Hyper X,ZALMAN 600W, 120Gb SSD, 240Gb SSD, 1Tb HDD, 1st 27´ BenQ GL2760 2nd ASUS VH222, HOTAS Warthog, Saitek rudder paddles

Most hours (from most to least) on Mig-21Bis, Ka-50, F/A-18C, Mirage 2000C, A-10C, AJS-37, F-14B, UH-1H, Mi-8MTV2 and the rest

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I can't speak to aerial refueling specifically since I so rarely ever do it (and even then, with mixed results), but I spend much of my time performing FCLPs, carrier approaches, and IFR flight which often require similar precision.


I've found that zero deadzone and zero curve are the only ways I can fly anymore, whether it's in the F-14 or otherwise. Deadzones should only be necessary with crappy potentiometer-based hardware (which you do not have) Curves are a band-aid on the wound of sloppy control.


What's your seat setup like? In actual fighters, your right forearm should rest on your kneeboard and most stick motion should come from your wrist. Sometimes just your fingertips. If you have your stick on top of the desk and have to elevate your arm and muscle it around, you're never going to get the precision you need.


You should also never be "chasing the basket." You're told in IRL aerial refueling training never to do that. It's specifically what results in over-correction and pilot-induced oscillations. Aerial refueling is simply flying formation off a tanker. Know your visual checkpoints on the wing and body of the tanker and scan them continuously, then make the corrections smooth and small.

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Edit Axis Commands for JOY_X/Y/Z/RX/RZ and select Axis Tune button near the bottom. Set Deadzone to 10 and Curvature to 50. You can adjust them as needed, amazing for gamepads, which have an even smaller range of input and loose analog sticks. You really have to flatten that curvature for the first few degrees of input.

Edited by betatrash
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So I try to practice tanking with success almost every flight (connected on the first attempt and for the whole duration of the unrep, 5 minutes or so if its post mission). I don't use any curves, the F-14 is a stick and rudder jet so you need to stay ahead of it at all times, controls will take a moment to actually move the jet, like you said, and this is very normal for the F-14s ancient AFCS, so if you are not anticipating what its going to do, you'll be all over the place. I prefer to have the most crisp, immediate, and linear, responses to my inputs in game so no curves for me. (TMWH and Track IR)


But It sounds like your reacting too it rather then flying it. Axis settings aside Don't ever assume that you can relax your control hands, it won't stay where you put it, you have to actively keep the jet in formation, and its exhausting after a while. Every throttle change must be accounted for in pitch, and your throttles should be moving the whole time. Therefore the stick is moving the whole time, one step ahead of what your eyes see.


If I might ask, are you setting wing-sweep to bomb? Also, Trim, trim, trim, cannot be emphasized enough in this jet. Every single throttle change will result in a pitch change and if you not trimmed for the right speed it'll feel like riding a bull, and you won't be able to effect small enough changes, for formation flying, you will spaceship like you said. When you join up with the tanker and go to pre-contact that's your time to get the trim PRECISELY where it needs to be before you even get near the basket. Even then you'll need to adjust it going in, once you've made contact, and when the tanker enters a turn ect. But once your close the correct trim your inputs will be tiny and it'll do exactly what you ask, no more, no less.

Edited by Wizard_03

DCS F/A-18C :sorcerer:

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@kubajs: for the lag make sure you turn off FFB both in DCS options and Axis tune for roll, pitch and rudder if any are set.

PS: you should head to the right subforum and make a thread or search the forum a bit for every one of your questions if they are not related. If you die in-game the death count goes +1. If your pilot had "invulnerable" checked you can still fly another mission. If not - it's hardcore mode where you fly missions until you die - then you have to create another pilot in order to fly. Afaik MP flights do not count in the logbook.

PS2: there's option to silent him in the Jester menu.

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