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How do I aerial refuel?


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I just have to vent......

 

 

 

I have had the Hornet since day one from release and I find it to be the most difficult aircraft to try and master air to air refueling. I have zero problems with the F-14 or the F-16 connecting with the tanker but the hornet is completely unstable for me. The slightest increase or decrease in power caucuses my aircraft to pitch up or down at a minimum + or - 50 feet. and it constantly wants to pull to the right . I have no idea how many hours I have spent trying to connect to a tanker and have yet to be able to once. I have tried all the tricks and used the same techniques that I used to master the Tomcat refueling but to no avail....

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Winwing throttle ftw

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I just have to vent......

 

 

 

I have had the Hornet since day one from release and I find it to be the most difficult aircraft to try and master air to air refueling. I have zero problems with the F-14 or the F-16 connecting with the tanker but the hornet is completely unstable for me. The slightest increase or decrease in power caucuses my aircraft to pitch up or down at a minimum + or - 50 feet. and it constantly wants to pull to the right . I have no idea how many hours I have spent trying to connect to a tanker and have yet to be able to once. I have tried all the tricks and used the same techniques that I used to master the Tomcat refueling but to no avail....

 

Do you have your flaps on ? The FCS behaves completely different with flaps deployed.

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You also need to watch out for the tanker's slipstream. But that usually pulls you hard into a severe right roll.

The Hornet is best at killing things on the ground. Now, if we could just get a GAU-8 in the nose next to the AN/APG-65, a titanium tub around the pilot, and a couple of J-58 engines in the tail...

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I just have to vent......

 

 

 

I have had the Hornet since day one from release and I find it to be the most difficult aircraft to try and master air to air refueling. I have zero problems with the F-14 or the F-16 connecting with the tanker but the hornet is completely unstable for me. The slightest increase or decrease in power caucuses my aircraft to pitch up or down at a minimum + or - 50 feet. and it constantly wants to pull to the right . I have no idea how many hours I have spent trying to connect to a tanker and have yet to be able to once. I have tried all the tricks and used the same techniques that I used to master the Tomcat refueling but to no avail....

 

What tanker are you using? The S-3 is a B*tch! I could not refuel on it at first. Try the C-130 and the KC-135 with the drogue until you get comfortable and then try the S-3. The C-130 was fairly easy once I got the hang of it.

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Ha! Most ppl have a harder time with the F-16 for sure! I cant refuel with it period. F-18 is much easier to refuel just because you have a visual of the probe. If you open up the probe the FCS will automatically limit your movement I'm pretty sure. So, on your way into the tanker go ahead and open up the probe.

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Ha! Most ppl have a harder time with the F-16 for sure! I cant refuel with it period. F-18 is much easier to refuel just because you have a visual of the probe. If you open up the probe the FCS will automatically limit your movement I'm pretty sure. So, on your way into the tanker go ahead and open up the probe.

 

I thought the FCS limiting was only on the F-16. I hadn't heard the Hornet does that.

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At risk of stating the obvious or something too simple, I have found in my experience with AAR that the altitude of the tanker and it's speed can have a huge effect on the experience and difficulty or ease of the task at hand. Ensure you are not pushing an envelop that would make it challenging no matter ones skill set to give yourself the best chance of success. Good luck and happy flying!

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power always affects altitude, anticipate it

if you're talking about the drag from the probe rolling you then just trim it out

hahaha hey look at me i surely know more about aviation and coding than actual industry professionals hired for their competency because i have read jalopnik and wikipedia i bet theyve never even heard of google LOL

 

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Start with C130, it is the easiest one to stay connected after plugging. For plugging, fly in formation so the probe is right behind the basket but don’t go forward until you are completely stabilized. This might just be personal preference, but I find that reducing joystick deadzone helped me, I use 1% on my WarBRD (with heavy curve 20) and 2% on FSSB R3 (curve 5).


Edited by Supmua

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In my case, I was also unable to connect when flying the hornet... until I decided to try something that has always worked for me with other planes: Set Y and X stick curves to 40+ and reduce deadzone.

 

After doing this, I was able to make the fine adjustments required to connect (and stay connected) to the basket.

 

As for speed, I use the hornet's Auto Throttle Control.

It's not as good as the Su-33's, since it can't be tweaked, but it's better than nothing :D

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As for speed, I use the hornet's Auto Throttle Control.

ATC is not used when you do AAR IRL as far as I know. In fact you want to make fine adjustments with your throttle.

Все написанное выше является моим оценочным суждением

Everything written above reflects my personal opinion

 

Занимаюсь "активной пропагандой Американцев на данном форуме" © Flanker

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In the hornet, if you activate autopilot then move the stick slightly, the FCS adds a pretty extensive dampening to your stick movements. The autopilot will show as being off, but you know FCS still has dampening because if you move the stick too far the aircraft jumps quickly when FCS releases control fully back.

 

So, on approach to the tanker, turn AP on to BALT or something, then move the stick a bit to get into dampened mode. Now it will be much harder to get into PIO.

 

For me the throttle is really hard to learn. Just remember to constantly rock the throttle. You can't just set it in one spot and forget it. If I focus too much on lining up the basket, I end up forgetting to rock the throttle, and then I over correct on the throttle, and then I have to just reset and start all over.

 

Rocking the throttle with the left hand should be muscle memory. Practice it until you don't even have to think about it. It's the same motion you're looking for to stay on-speed for landing. Check out how much this hornet pilot is rocking the throttle for landing:

 

And here's a link regarding use of AP for dampening control inputs:

 

I'm not elite or anything. I'm still not very good at AAR. But these are the motions I plan to go through to practice it until it's muscle memory for me. YMMV of course.

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I have the Flaps set to Auto...

 

I haven’t done it in F18 in a while but on any AC you do not wanna AAR with auto flaps, so it does not change while you are constantly adjusting thrust. In my case I would sometime struggle to AAR in F14 only to find out after that I had my auto pilot on.

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I haven’t done it in F18 in a while but on any AC you do not wanna AAR with auto flaps, so it does not change while you are constantly adjusting thrust. In my case I would sometime struggle to AAR in F14 only to find out after that I had my auto pilot on.

 

Don't do this in hornet. AUTO flaps is what you want to be using

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It really comes down to practice, & lots of it.

 

Small movements of give and take on both the stick & the throttle.

 

Let us know how your progress goes, & good luck!

 

 

I just started this past weekend giving the Hornet another go after stepping back from it for a long while because I had got so frustrated with it. I can manage every other aspect of the aircraft except that. As I stated I was able to get refueling down with no problems with the F-14 and F-16. I am going to spend some time tonight with it and try with a new mindset and maybe adjust my Axis settings some . Maybe something is off with them . I will see how it goes and post my results....

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I have the Flaps set to Auto...

 

I figured. After i asked, it occurred to me , as long as you are above 250kcas it wouldn't matter if you weren't in auto. If the amber flap light is on (above 250knots) your FCS wouldn't be in approach mode anyway.

That's all I can come up , sorry. Good luck.

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What is the best IAS for refueling? I did very well at 315kts which is what’s in the standard quick mission.

I’m having trouble at higher altitudes and I think the AI tanker might be set wrong since it uses GS in the editor. At FL 260 what do you think the tanker should use? Perhaps my flaps are deploying, I’ll have to check.

The tanker was set at 411kts at 26,000’ and I had all kinds of trouble.

 

Edit: Oh yeah I had the tanker set in my practice mission to 330 kts GS at FL260 which meant I was at 220 IAS in the Hornet, too slow! 315IAS works out to 470GS at that FL


Edited by SharpeXB

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In the hornet, if you activate autopilot then move the stick slightly, the FCS adds a pretty extensive dampening to your stick movements. The autopilot will show as being off, but you know FCS still has dampening because if you move the stick too far the aircraft jumps quickly when FCS releases control fully back.

 

So, on approach to the tanker, turn AP on to BALT or something, then move the stick a bit to get into dampened mode. Now it will be much harder to get into PIO.

 

For me the throttle is really hard to learn. Just remember to constantly rock the throttle. You can't just set it in one spot and forget it. If I focus too much on lining up the basket, I end up forgetting to rock the throttle, and then I over correct on the throttle, and then I have to just reset and start all over.

 

Rocking the throttle with the left hand should be muscle memory. Practice it until you don't even have to think about it. It's the same motion you're looking for to stay on-speed for landing. Check out how much this hornet pilot is rocking the throttle for landing:

 

And here's a link regarding use of AP for dampening control inputs:

 

I'm not elite or anything. I'm still not very good at AAR. But these are the motions I plan to go through to practice it until it's muscle memory for me. YMMV of course.

 

Sorry, but if you're using the AP to refuel - you're not doing it correctly.

System HW: i9-9900K @5ghz, MSI 11GB RTX-2080-Ti Trio, G-Skill 32GB RAM, Reverb HMD, Steam VR, TM Warthog Hotas Stick & Throttle, TM F/A-18 Stick grip add-on, TM TFRP pedals. SW: 2.5.6 OB

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One thing I would say to all the guys who are struggling to refuel on any jet whether it is the Hornet, Viper or A-10...... how much Formation practice are you doing outside of trying to get on the hose or the boom? I'm betting almost zero if you were really honest with yourselves.

 

AAR is nothing more than close formation flying. Every single skill learned in flying close Form with another a/c will directly transfer to becoming good at AAR. In fact, it's a prerequisite that a young pilot learns and demonstrates solid formation flying LONG before he/she is ever allowed anywhere near a tanker.

 

My recommendation is to start with a similar aircraft as yours. Set a wingman or other AI up in a race track orbit somewhere and then rejoin on its wing and fly spread formation and then when you get comfortable, move in closer until you can comfortably fly fingertip position and concentrate on keeping in the same relative fore-aft and up-down position on the AI wing. That will teach you everything you need to know about how to refuel. It will instill the muscle memory for both the throttle and the stick and how much of each you need to make small corrections. If you can do that (fly fingertip formation) every time and it becomes 2nd nature - then honestly AAR is easy.

 

Edit to add: One thing I do is if I haven't done AAR in a while is to rejoin to the tankers wing and just sit there and fly some close formation for a few minutes to warm up my hands and get a feel for speed, throttle movements etc required to stay in position. I find my first time success rate is huge compared to just trying to jump right onto the hose/boom cold if I haven't practiced it in a while.


Edited by Notso

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Check your CURVES AND DEADZONE, even for the Throttle and TDC Slew!

 

 

JUICE

"There are only two types of aircraft, Fighters and Targets." Doyle "Wahoo" Nicholson

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Sorry, but if you're using the AP to refuel - you're not doing it correctly.

 

I think this is unnecessarily harsh and elitist.

 

I find it very difficult to independently manage both the throttle and the stick in a way that avoids PIO without deadening the stick inputs. I have a saitek X52 pro and it could also be that the stick does not have very good control at small input values, due to the tension on the spring. It's easy to overcorrect simply due to the amount of force that's required to set the spring in motion.

 

With all that said, I view this merely as a stepping stone until I have muscle memory on the throttle hand and can smoothly manage my speed without having to think too much about that hand. Once I have that hand down, I will transition the stick to normal input. I was offering this as a learning path to lessen the pain, not a long-term solution.

 

I fully understand that it will take many (10's to 100's of) hours of practice to get better at this. To me it's acceptable to make one aspect just a little easier by using a real function of the aircraft. Try not to discourage people by telling them that their method of practicing and learning is "wrong".

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I think this is unnecessarily harsh and elitist.

 

I find it very difficult to independently manage both the throttle and the stick in a way that avoids PIO without deadening the stick inputs. I have a saitek X52 pro and it could also be that the stick does not have very good control at small input values, due to the tension on the spring. It's easy to overcorrect simply due to the amount of force that's required to set the spring in motion.

 

With all that said, I view this merely as a stepping stone until I have muscle memory on the throttle hand and can smoothly manage my speed without having to think too much about that hand. Once I have that hand down, I will transition the stick to normal input. I was offering this as a learning path to lessen the pain, not a long-term solution.

 

I fully understand that it will take many (10's to 100's of) hours of practice to get better at this. To me it's acceptable to make one aspect just a little easier by using a real function of the aircraft. Try not to discourage people by telling them that their method of practicing and learning is "wrong".

 

I'm honestly not trying to be elitist. But IMHO it's a crutch and could potentially create worse habits. But if it helps, more power to you. It's supposed to be fun and not work, so whatever gets you there I suppose.

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