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Forward visibility in the F14 SUCKS!!!!!


wadman
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What was Grumman thinking when they designed the canopy/front windscreen? Clearly not close-in dog fighting as you constantly loose the enemy in the frames when in close - it is INCREDIBLY frustrating when you can't tell which way he is maneuvering.

 

It makes it so much harder (and seemingly unnecessarily so) to dogfight than the windscreen designs of contemporaries like the F15. I'm surprised they never changed that design over the 30 year service life as it would have made a huge difference - I guess the fact that they didn't reflects what they felt was the true mission? Damn shame, though...

 

Any tricks to try working around this? I'm hoping VR in the Reverb G2 might help to be able change head position to look around this mess mighty help keep sight a bit more? I've tried TrackIR but just find it very unnatural/disorienting so far - so not using it much.

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I believe they had no means to create a “bubble “ canopy when the F14 was designed. Could be wrong tho. That said, she’s a beast, just practice!

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The windscreen design is not a bad choice by Grumman, it is basically identical in almost all fighters from the 1950s and '60s designed in all nations. It's a limitation of glass manufacture, they needed to have a completely flat part in the middle to not distort for aiming, but without the extra frame you can't join that to a curved piece for aerodynamics.

 

The F-15 is not really an F-14 contemporary, it's a generation newer.

 

I don't think that style of windscreen is crippling for dogfighting. Obviusly clear is better, but Tomcat is fine in my opinion. Having said that, I fly in VR and can lean around it naturally, I don't even notice I'm doing it. If you say you have no tracking at all and are stuck with the default view on a screen... then yeah I can see it could be quite bad.

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...I've tried TrackIR but just find it very unnatural/disorienting so far - so not using it much.

 

So, you are using neither VR nor Headtracking for the last 10 years? .. for sure that sucks :noexpression:

 

You should really give trackir another go, I have no trouble with my trackir clone:

 

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So, you are using neither VR nor Headtracking for the last 10 years? .. for sure that sucks :noexpression:

 

You should really give trackir another go, I have no trouble with my trackir clone:

 

xGUWrJDOCQs

 

Not the last 10 years - I've only started playing DCS a few months ago after I built a new computer to handle it. I'll give Track IR some more time, but hoping my Reverb G2 shows up in the next month as I Think VR will be more natural feeling.

 

Was just an observation/rant after trying other aircraft with better forward visibility - it makes it FAR easier!

 

I'm still loving the F14 and practice will make better I'm sure!

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Depth perception function in your eye's removes much of the handicap in real life. Hold up your arm centered vertically in front of your eye's and focus on something in the distance, now close one eye. It works pretty slick with a VR HMD.

 

That's what I'm hoping - thanks!

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The windscreen design is not a bad choice by Grumman, it is basically identical in almost all fighters from the 1950s and '60s designed in all nations. It's a limitation of glass manufacture, they needed to have a completely flat part in the middle to not distort for aiming, but without the extra frame you can't join that to a curved piece for aerodynamics.

 

The F-15 is not really an F-14 contemporary, it's a generation newer.

 

I don't think that style of windscreen is crippling for dogfighting. Obviusly clear is better, but Tomcat is fine in my opinion. Having said that, I fly in VR and can lean around it naturally, I don't even notice I'm doing it. If you say you have no tracking at all and are stuck with the default view on a screen... then yeah I can see it could be quite bad.

I thought they were closer but, From what I see online the F14 came out of a Navy contract for an advanced fighter design in awarded to Grumman 1966 while The F15 looks like it came out of a contract in 1969.

 

I guess those 3 years and the foundations that the plane were based on made the difference - too bad as the F14 with a cleaner forward view and better HUD would have been a nice upgrade (I see the Super Tomcat 21 renderings had that)!

 

It's still a great plane and I am enjoying learning how to fly it in DCS - VERY different handling characteristics than the other aircraft. My Thrustmaster TPP pedals are definitely getting a workout with it!


Edited by wadman
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What was Grumman thinking when they designed the canopy/front windscreen? Clearly not close-in dog fighting as you constantly loose the enemy in the frames when in close - it is INCREDIBLY frustrating when you can't tell which way he is maneuvering.

 

It makes it so much harder (and seemingly unnecessarily so) to dogfight than the windscreen designs of contemporaries like the F15. I'm surprised they never changed that design over the 30 year service life as it would have made a huge difference - I guess the fact that they didn't reflects what they felt was the true mission? Damn shame, though...

 

Any tricks to try working around this? I'm hoping VR in the Reverb G2 might help to be able change head position to look around this mess mighty help keep sight a bit more? I've tried TrackIR but just find it very unnatural/disorienting so far - so not using it much.

 

The tri-piece windscreen had been the standard for a long time. The thing is, in VR, it's not nearly as big a deal. I almost never lose tally anymore since I've gone to my headset, but I will say that yes, it got in the way more noticeably and you still have to move your head around sometimes.

 

The windscreen design is not a bad choice by Grumman, it is basically identical in almost all fighters from the 1950s and '60s designed in all nations. It's a limitation of glass manufacture, they needed to have a completely flat part in the middle to not distort for aiming, but without the extra frame you can't join that to a curved piece for aerodynamics.

 

The F-15 is not really an F-14 contemporary, it's a generation newer.

 

I don't think that style of windscreen is crippling for dogfighting. Obviusly clear is better, but Tomcat is fine in my opinion. Having said that, I fly in VR and can lean around it naturally, I don't even notice I'm doing it. If you say you have no tracking at all and are stuck with the default view on a screen... then yeah I can see it could be quite bad.

 

The F-14 first flew in December 1970, the F-15 in July 1972, the F-14 entered operational service in September 1974, the F-15 in January 1976. They are very contemporary. Hell, from the 1970s to the 1990s, the F-14 was arguably the more advanced: the Tomcat had data link, the Eagle didn't. The Tomcat had a functional, useable TWS capability, the Eagle did not. The Tomcat had a Fox 3 missile, the Eagle did not. The Eagle's radar was a better fighter radar from the get-go with MPRF and fully-digital design, but all told, both the Tomcat and the Eagle are comparable and considered of the same generation.

 

Your comments on VR are exactly what I find as well. Even in TrackIR I had more difficulty keeping tally, still not debilitating, but I just notice in VR it all seems to work naturally and I don't really have problems keeping tally.

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Not the last 10 years - I've only started playing DCS a few months ago after I built a new computer to handle it...

 

Oh ... I was assuming, since your ED account is from 10 years ago :)

 

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If you're losing a target in the canopy frame in the knife fight, you're trying to put your nose on too early.

 

Depending on your zoom, the frame edge left and right is roughly 45 degrees, whereas at the top, because of the forward slope, is around 30 degrees. The edge of the HUD glass frame is about 10 degrees to the sides.

 

If you're fighting a guy close in when offensive, you consciously don't pull to the HUD until you're looking at a receding planform view of his burner can and have acquisition- and in VSL HI, the AWG-9 is looking above the top mirror. Get him aligned, get him up above the mirror and a lock acknowledgement (Jester or a glance to see a solid diamond at the top of the frame), then evaluate range and go.

 

If you're not trying to constantly pull into the frame, you don't lose him when it's time to put him there. It's when he makes the out of plane maneuver when you're pulling early that they get away from you.


Edited by lunaticfringe
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Any tricks to try working around this? I'm hoping VR in the Reverb G2 might help to be able change head position to look around this mess mighty help keep sight a bit more? I've tried TrackIR but just find it very unnatural/disorienting so far - so not using it much.

 

Do note, that using face tracking solutions of ANY kind is a skill of it's own. Not just when calibrating the curves, but also when practicing neck and face movements. Even after all these years, i still refine and adjust my tracker every now and then. The last time i did this was in fact 3 weeks ago. So be patient and keep trying until you get used it or become proficient enough.

 

As for VR, yes, it helps a lot, but introducing binocular vision and depth perception. The canopy frames are nowhere nearly as obstructive in VR, just like in RL. Alas, distorted perspectives are part of the every day life of the PC gamer-sim enthusiast. Drawing spatial phenomena on a flat screen is tricky business.

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If you're losing a target in the canopy frame in the knife fight, you're trying to put your nose on too early.

 

Depending on your zoom, the frame edge left and right is roughly 45 degrees, whereas at the top, because of the forward slope, is around 30 degrees. The edge of the HUD glass frame is about 10 degrees to the sides.

 

If you're fighting a guy close in when offensive, you consciously don't pull to the HUD until you're looking at a receding planform view of his burner can and have acquisition- and in VSL HI, the AWG-9 is looking above the top mirror. Get him aligned, get him up above the mirror and a lock acknowledgement (Jester or a glance to see a solid diamond at the top of the frame), then evaluate range and go.

 

If you're not trying to constantly pull into the frame, you don't lose him when it's time to put him there. It's when he makes the out of plane maneuver when you're pulling early that they get away from you.

Thanks - great info! I will try that out.

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Do note, that using face tracking solutions of ANY kind is a skill of it's own. Not just when calibrating the curves, but also when practicing neck and face movements. Even after all these years, i still refine and adjust my tracker every now and then. The last time i did this was in fact 3 weeks ago. So be patient and keep trying until you get used it or become proficient enough.

 

As for VR, yes, it helps a lot, but introducing binocular vision and depth perception. The canopy frames are nowhere nearly as obstructive in VR, just like in RL. Alas, distorted perspectives are part of the every day life of the PC gamer-sim enthusiast. Drawing spatial phenomena on a flat screen is tricky business.

Thanks - i will try the TrackIR again and see if I can get used to it, but really looking forward to VR when the Reverb G2 arrives. I just got an email from HP yesterday saying that the wait was almost over - so should be soon!
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What was Grumman thinking when they designed the canopy/front windscreen? Clearly not close-in dog fighting as you constantly loose the enemy in the frames when in close - it is INCREDIBLY frustrating when you can't tell which way he is maneuvering.

 

It makes it so much harder (and seemingly unnecessarily so) to dogfight than the windscreen designs of contemporaries like the F15. I'm surprised they never changed that design over the 30 year service life as it would have made a huge difference - I guess the fact that they didn't reflects what they felt was the true mission? Damn shame, though...

 

Any tricks to try working around this? I'm hoping VR in the Reverb G2 might help to be able change head position to look around this mess mighty help keep sight a bit more? I've tried TrackIR but just find it very unnatural/disorienting so far - so not using it much.

 

What they were thinking was "The navy wants us to build this with enough bullet proofing to keep the pilot from getting shot in the face and still have an un-distorted view outside along the firing area of the gun"

 

I believe the Hornet was the first Navy fighter to not have bullet proof glass at the front of the canopy. Presumably because you just didn't need to worry about that much anymore. You're either getting a missile or a big cannon round in your face so it's not going to help much .

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Hmm OK, F-14 and F-15 introduction is closer together than I thought. But some F-14 systems were developed first for F-111B, the whole design is somehwere between 3rd and 4th gen fighters even if it has a lot of raw capability. I guess the windscreen design is a bit of a relic in this case, but clearly it was not such a big issue IRL to make them consider replacing it on already in-service aircraft.

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Hmm OK, F-14 and F-15 introduction is closer together than I thought. But some F-14 systems were developed first for F-111B, the whole design is somehwere between 3rd and 4th gen fighters even if it has a lot of raw capability. I guess the windscreen design is a bit of a relic in this case, but clearly it was not such a big issue IRL to make them consider replacing it on already in-service aircraft.

 

I can see this just becoming little more than "well ackshually" hair-splitting nerd bickering, so I'm not going to say anything beyond this here. Fighter generations in general are little more than an easy way to bin roughly similar capabilities and are not uniformly defined to begin with. Technically, I could argue the F-15 is a Third Gen fighter until at least the 1990s because from an overall capabilities standpoint, it was no advance over the F-4, indeed, it lost capability (no strike) - it was a Fox 1 shooter with no advanced SA (D/L) or multi-target engagement capability. That's on par with the prior generation, not an advance. But, if you take it from the "the Fourth Generation are aircraft built with the lessons learned from Vietnam, with an emphasis on maneuverability, 360-degree visibility, dogfighting radar modes" (etc.), you've got all of the Teen-Series in it. In the 1970s, both the Tomcat and the Eagle were referred to as either service's "Next Generation" fighter, hence both are follow-ons to the F-4, and both are again of the same generation.

 

So, have your opinion on the matter, I disagree, I guess. But, this is also off-topic. Hopefully, OP finds his VR headset helps him with the windscreen.

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Good thread with good information!

 

When I first came to DCS my first (and only plane) purchase so far was between the F14 and FA18. (Looking for a carrier based frame).

 

As much as I wanted the F14 - the youtube video's and view of the F14 forced me away to the cleaner FA18 and I didn't want to be stuck looking at a 2D screen with all the frame in the way.

 

I tried the F14 when the 'free to try' period was on earlier this year and found (with no VR) that indeed the forward view was restrictive and felt that I made the right choice with the FA18.

 

I read now, that for those with VR at least - this is much less of a problem. Pity that this can't be witnessed through youtube or screenshots for others to really know first - but that's real nice to know after reading this thread.

 

Had I have known that earlier (and had I invested in VR earlier) there's a better chance I may have gone F14. I wouldn't purchase now though - at least until I've had a change to try again in VR to confirm those differences and make sure that I'm happy with it, but it's encouraging to hear good feedback from VR users! Even then - I've got my carrier bird that I've invested a lot of time learning into - so would be more likely to move onto something else. Interesting to see how things could have likely been different if I had have purchased VR first.


Edited by Adam
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If the F-14D Quickstrike and consequently the Super Tomcat 21 and AST21 took off you would end up having the updated cockpit design which you saw on the F-15.

 

It was mostly just a navy thing with rear visibility being the priority since you have the radar out the front to help with spotting there. Plus you have 2 pairs of eyes rather then 1.

 

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