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Hornet or Tomcat


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Tomcat for me (although I have not flown the Hornet in DCS). I like its non-FBW hands on flightmodel very much. It is difficult to fly properly but mastering it is very rewarding. It is also way faster than the hornet and has more fuel.

Jester may not be perfect but he gets the job done if you know how to handle him. A real RIO who knows what he is doing is a lot better of course, which another big plus over the hornet: you can fly with a buddy.

For VR flying, its the perfect plane IMO. No hard-to-read MFDs/HUD, all analouge gauges + the huge VDI that I can easily read in the oculus CV1.

It's less capable then the hornet without a doubt and you don't have all the nice DL/SA gimmicks but then again, fewer stuff to learn/handle.

And you also get to carry AMRAAMs on steroids (i.e. the Phoenix) instead of the normal AMRAAMs which does give you an edge in a2a combat, although its by no means an uber-missile some people believe it to be.

Buttom line, if you are more into modern weapons and systems and like to do a bit of everything (a2a, a2g, SEAD etc.) the hornet is probably your plane. If you are more into flying than clicking buttons (no offense to Hornet drivers), go with the Tomcat.

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Like all of these “this or that” questions; it depends on what you want. If you want a bit of everything and anything, definitely the F-18. If I’m in the mood for CAP, interception, Fleet defense or even just doing a low level dumb bomb drop, I really prefer the F-14. It’s more of a challenge to fly and fight it as well as being more complete. Plus....it’s a tomcat

 

I play SP only and I think Jester is just fine. If there is something specific I want to do and he isn’t doing it, I’ll hop in the back. Other than that, he’s not bad

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Tomcat. She's beautiful, fast, agile, sexy, an icon.

 

The (super) Hornet is ugly, slow, useless, and shouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Cheney and his crooked BS.

 

There's a reason the Viper was chosen over it by the Air Force.

 

Let's hope one day the Navy revisits the Super Tomcat program and brings her back. A carrier full of F-35C and F(ST)-21 would be a sight to behold.

 

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in dcs

Tomcat: sexy, hot, iconic..tomcat

Hornet: ugly but handy, easy to use, much more weapons

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The Tomcat is a great aircraft and a great module, but it really makes me appreciate being able to control everything myself. While it was made a two seater to make it easier for the crew, I really feel like single seat is better for a fighter. That's even taking into account that Jester has some disadvantages compared to a human RIO.

 

 

I guess it just edges out the F-18 for me because the airframe is more fun.

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I have hard time considering the Hornet to be "ugly".

 

 

 

The F/A-18 is the ultimate multitasker in DCS although its true bread and butter is still in the precision strike mission. Something that will be further expanded upon when A-G radar and systems like the SLAM/SLAM-ER get implemented.

 

 

The F-14 provides a more immersive experience from my limited time flying it but is also more complex and difficult to get the most out of if you have to rely solely on Jester.

 

 

The Hornet is also a modern 4th generation aircraft while the F-14A/B that Heatblur is modeling uses early 4th generation technology.

 

 

I already own the Hornet and am considering adding the Tomcat to my inventory.

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Hornet

 

I haven't tried Tomcat, but the fact you have to manage Jester or second crew member is too much for me :)

 

Also I struggle in handling analogue needles everywhere so ... Hornet is it!

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I'll echo the others and tell you to get the one that fits your play style and your desired mission profiles. I fly realistic missions and try to act like a pilot would and care about the things that a pilot would care about when I go into combat. I own both and I'll choose the Hornet over the Tomcat any day, based on capability.

The FBW offers a very easy flying experience for when you need it and allows you to pull various maneuvers without the danger of getting into flat spins, unrecoverable situations and over-stressinng the airframe. You need your plane to be stable for when you are dealing with all the weapons programming, target selection and designation, navigation setup etc. Add the Link 16 datalink, its functions, MSI (target sharing between sensors), the Moving map, GPS navigation and you have unparalleled situational awareness. Plus the fact that the Hornet can complete almost any mission, while the Tomcat is limited to A2A, dumb bombs or a worse targeting pod and LGBs.

Sure, the Tomcat is more fun to fly sometimes and it is objectively, a superbly well made module and its level of quality, both graphical and system-wise, should be applauded (kudos to HB). I very much like flying it. But I care more about what I can do with it. I myself view it more like a long range missile platform, the pilot is just driving it around, but the RIO controls the things that the F-14 is feared for: its radar and by extension its Phoenix missiles. It's a deadly adversary, but it was developed with a specific primary role in mind. The pilot-RIO setup can work well if both people work well together, but it adds another layer of complication, management and communication to the entire thing.

And if we're getting into the subject of dogfighting, both are very capable, but the Hornet has the JHMCS and the AIM-9X. Guns-only dogfights, while fun for practice, are not how things usually happen and if I run into an F-14, instead of getting into a dogfight, I'll just lob an AIM-9X at him and be done with it. If I've run out (because for some reason I'm alone and I haven't realized that I can RTB when I run out of missiles), I can go toe to toe and have a decent chance of winning, because I know how to fly my Hornet and use its excellent high alpha control.

The vCVW-17 is looking for Hornet and Tomcat pilots and RIOs. Join the vCVW-17 Discord.

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Personally I love them both, but I do find myself flying the Hornet more. Purely and simply because the Hornet is more forgiving with my rubbish piloting skills, and the fact that currently she is more versatile when it comes to weapons carried.

 

Don’t get me wrong the Tomcat wins hands down in the beauty aspect of the competition and the work that has gone into the Jester AI is mindblowing. But she really is a pilots machine, and the workload is significantly higher I find than the Hornet. That said, if you can master the Tomcat on the battlefield, then any other aircraft in DCS should be a synch to fly.

 

 

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I think a big difference maker for the F-14 will be when Jester can actually use the LANTIRN pod, allowing solo pilots to do more A2G activity. My one final thought on the Hornet is that it's biggest drawback is still its relatively short legs. Adding two tanks is pretty common and will decrease your weapons payload.

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