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In my suggestion it´s not so much about easier AAoption. It will still be a challange and realistic time and procedure wise. I consider it more as an helper to actually get it more realistic in the big picture. 🙂 

The majority of users have probably not even seen that poll and even if they have the havn´t bother to sign up and comment. They suffers in silence (like my self before) and tries to avoid AA refueling.

The gamechanger for me was the Raven One campaign and the reading of the book(as encouraged in the campaign docs).

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So tired of all this reluctance to change and improvments stating realism as factor for not doing it. What realism?? It´s a simulator and it is already unrelistic in many ways and in particular t

There is absolutely room for a helper interface for AAR. How do I align the probe with the basket in the Harrier? Well, I can just keep trying until I find the right sight picture myself, I can switch

That's one perfect example of whataboutism.   This ongoing debate about what is a must in a study level sim is going to drive me mad. Where does this study level start and where does it end?

1 hour ago, SharpeXB said:

Looks like most people don’t want this option

 

 

Looks like at least a 3rd do......

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It’s been discussed to death. In the time it would take to read all the posts you could learn to AAR 😏

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Not trying to stir the pot exactly...  I can AAR just fine myself...  but there are many people with disabilities of whatever type (not saying this is the case for the OP...) that could make this difficult.  Even just concentration deficits.

 

My point is just that I don't feel we should be exclusive as a community...  and especially we shouldn't try to be a bunch of stuck up little B*****s because we can do something someone else can't.

 

Try being nice folks.  It makes for a better world.

 

 

Regarding implementation...  Yeah I'd do it for the least amount of time investment possible.  I'd make it an option you can enable where if you make contact you immediately have full tanks.

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Im all in for options, and as long as it does not change the way those who can AAR, should do AAR i dont care if they add the option to "easy AAR" or whatever you want to call it.

But remember DCS is not just a game, its a study sim, that can require months and months or even years or "studying" and try and fails.

It took me five years on how to learn to AAR in the A-10, FIVE YEARS!
Ive spent countless hours musclecramping, yelling and screaming, rage quitting and time spent for ordering new keyboard and mouse (flying with HOTAS), because something had to pay for my lack of AAR skills.
I kid you not when i say that tears ran down my face, when i heard "Transfer complete" for the first time, the achivement, the patience, the years of not being able to finish campaigns because i couldn AAR, it all payed off.
My right warm was hurting the entire day and through the night, but i did it, it took me five years, but i did it.

If you cant AAR at the moment, dont blame the sim, the plane, the joystick, the weather or the world, keep trying, watch youtube videos, change settings, it will be worth it in the end, just keep trying.
If you refuse to learn to AAR or any other skill in DCS, then DCS is not for you, period.

If you cant AAR due to disabilities or a like, then i embrace any help ED can give you to be able to AAR.

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4 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

Looks like most people don’t want this option

 

 

I disagree. It seems that of those who voted more people want ED to put their development resources elsewhere. That's not the same thing as "not wanting this option." If ED thinks that a poll on the forum is a good way of analyzing user wants and needs then they need to sign up for a remedial class in how to do a marketing survey. People who happen to read that thread are not a representative sample of users and the poll is of questionable value.

 

Personally, my inability to do AAR after more than 100 hours of trying with not one single successful hookup is a major factor keeping me from enjoying DCS more. And yes, I've watched all of the videos and have HOTAS that works just fine for everything else.

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Im all in for options, and as long as it does not change the way those who can AAR, should do AAR i dont care if they add the option to "easy AAR" or whatever you want to call it.

But remember DCS is not just a game, its a study sim, that can require months and months or even years or "studying" and try and fails.
It took me five years on how to learn to AAR in the A-10, FIVE YEARS!
Ive spent countless hours musclecramping, yelling and screaming, rage quitting and time spent for ordering new keyboard and mouse (flying with HOTAS), because something had to pay for my lack of AAR skills.
I kid you not when i say that tears ran down my face, when i heard "Transfer complete" for the first time, the achivement, the patience, the years of not being able to finish campaigns because i couldn AAR, it all payed off.
My right warm was hurting the entire day and through the night, but i did it, it took me five years, but i did it.

If you cant AAR at the moment, dont blame the sim, the plane, the joystick, the weather or the world, keep trying, watch youtube videos, change settings, it will be worth it in the end, just keep trying.
If you refuse to learn to AAR or any other skill in DCS, then DCS is not for you, period.

If you cant AAR due to disabilities or a like, then i embrace any help ED can give you to be able to AAR.


Well, maybe some people can't invest that sort of time, i.e. 5 years, to learn a very particular skill. Those people might still enjoy most other aspects of DCS. I don't think it's wise to exclude them.

I know lots of people struggle with AAR, but they might otherwise be pretty proficient in their aircraft. I'd still enjoy flying missions with them if they "cheated" at the tanker. Maybe they are really committed to learning AAR, but are only 3 years into their 5 year learning period.

Let them have it says I.

You know, one could make the argument that if it takes you 5 years to learn how to refuel an aircraft, then DCS isn't for you. And if you want realistic ATC, then DCS isn't for you. Or if this and that, then DCS isn't for you. In the end DCS wouldn't be for anyone.

I, on the other hand, would like DCS to be for everyone.
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How about a landing autopilot as well?
Some autopilot to help you aim in CCIP or any other unguided mode?
Maybe merge simulation and game mode, because not everybody has the time to learn all the systems?

If you want quick and easy results, flight sims are the wrong place for that.

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Here’s an idea. Select Unlimited Fuel. Then while flying your mission just pretend you’re low and need to AAR. Go fly over by the tanker and even try to connect or not. Then pretend you’ve refused and go on with your flight. Immersion is all in the imagination. ED doesn’t need to do any extra work then either. 

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DCS is a study-sim and hence naturally not "for everyone".

It's for those who desire to dive deep into an aircraft and put in a decent amount of learning time and dedication.

 

"For everyone" is equal to "diluted to a point where it is suitable for the mainstream-Joe, which got no deeper intellectual desire besides pure blunt entertainment without annoying disturbance". There's literally dozens of these lowbrow videogames out there making you feel like a fighter pilot for virtually no effort. Please stop trying to stupid down the currently only serious studly-level (modern) combat sim out there.

 

Oh, and i don't feel superior because i can AAR... because i can't. Yet.

 

Do i think people who can AAR (manually start-up, perform a proper overhead break landing or 30DB2, ...) are entitled to feel superior? Yes, definitely. The same way someone is who learned to play some classical music on a violin. Or someone who just completed his first marathon. Or someone who learned a new language to "fluent" level. They put in a lot of life-time mastering something others didn't. Why shouldn't they feel superior? Just to make everyone else feel happy of their silly participation gold medal?

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Perhaps turning on unlimited fuel and/or possibly refueling using scripts would be an acceptable solution? Even if you're not a good scripter yourself, you could ask your campaign creators of choice to include it in their missions.

 

My experience with assists in DCS, such as those available in warbirds and helicopters, is that they create a lot of issues for many people and I've yet to hear that they actually helped someone. I think additional UI elements, similar to the external cargo indicator for helicopters or the ball indicator in the Supercarrier, might be a better training aid. Aligning yourself with the basket or finding the right spot under the boom can be just as tricky as staying in formation and - in my experience - once that becomes second nature, you automatically become a lot less tense and a lot more successful at staying connected. Simply because reconnecting won't mean another 10 minutes of frustration.

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You guys could just request campaign builders to not include AAR if you don't want to be bothered doing it. And not buy the ones that mandate it.

Devs will get the hint by the difference in sales and cut it from the campaign... or make it optional. There could even be warnings in the product description. "This campaign requires air refueling."


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How about a landing autopilot as well?
Some autopilot to help you aim in CCIP or any other unguided mode?
Maybe merge simulation and game mode, because not everybody has the time to learn all the systems?

If you want quick and easy results, flight sims are the wrong place for that.
The F-14 has a landing autopilot. For the carrier, no less.

As you have noticed bombing autopilot is a thing too, it's called a GBU.

Anyway, I can't see any harm in it. I wouldn't use it, as I can refuel all my modules, but if someone wants it I can't see why not.
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4 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

Here’s an idea. Select Unlimited Fuel. Then while flying your mission just pretend you’re low and need to AAR. Go fly over by the tanker and even try to connect or not. Then pretend you’ve refused and go on with your flight. Immersion is all in the imagination. ED doesn’t need to do any extra work then either. 

Unlimited fuel totally changes the experience since you then carry it around for the entire mission. It's not a close substitute. Plus not an option for missions you can't edit.

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2 hours ago, randomTOTEN said:

You guys could just request campaign builders to not include AAR if you don't want to be bothered doing it. And not buy the ones that mandate it.

Devs will get the hint by the difference in sales and cut it from the campaign... or make it optional. There could even be warnings in the product description. "This campaign requires air refueling."

 

One of the DLC campaigns (Serpents Head 2) has an “easy refuel” option. I don’t know exactly what that does. The problem, at least in the F-18 is that it’s about mandatory to AAR if you have any longer flight or get into combat. So no AAR greatly limits what you can do. 
There’s already a solution for this. Select unlimited fuel. I don’t know why this is such an issue for people. 

1 hour ago, sthompson said:

Unlimited fuel totally changes the experience since you then carry it around for the entire mission. It's not a close substitute. Plus not an option for missions you can't edit.

You can set the amount of “unlimited” fuel you carry in the Mission Planner. So you’re not flying with the full weight all the time. 

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2 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

You can set the amount of “unlimited” fuel you carry in the Mission Planner.

if that's true, that just about completely invalidates any criticism for unlimited fuel. I never use it so I don't know... but now I'm going to test it.


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1 hour ago, randomTOTEN said:

if that's true, that just about completely invalidates any criticism for unlimited fuel. I never use it so I don't know... but now I'm going to test it.

 

So you think that flying a long mission with a fixed load of 10% or 50% or 100% fuel is the same experience (apart from the actual AAR) as doing AAR (with assistance or not) and then having to worry about your weight and fuel consumption? Obviously not. Unlimited fuel totally changes the mission. Furthermore, it would have to be permitted in the mission design. That pretty much rules out most MP play as well as any mission where you do not want to peek at the mission details in the editor before flying.

 

As for being inconsistent with the "study sim" mentality, I get that. But consider that right now mission designers can already choose to allow or not allow game modes, radio assists, tooltips, crash recovery, easy comms, padlock, unlimited fuel, unlimited weapons, immortality, unrestricted sat nav, labels, choice of avionics language, external views, various unrealistic F10 views, no wake turbulence, no birds, perfect weather, and no random failures. So there are already lots of options for permitting or not various levels of realism depending on who you are trying to please in your mission design. Adding AAR assist to that list is unlikely to change the overall experience in any big way and just might reduce frustration for some of us.

 

I personally have been flying ED products since the Flanker 1.0 days, have purchased all of the modules (except the JF-17), almost all of the DLC campaigns, and all of the maps. So I'm pretty much the ideal ED customer from a revenue standpoint. I fly for many hours each week, and try to work in some serious AAR practice (i.e. 3-4 hours) every few weeks. I've studied all the manuals, watched all of the AAR videos, and try to fly as realistically as I can. I have decent CH HOTAS that works fine for everything I do except AAR. But I have never caught the basket even once. It's a major source of frustration.  My failures are not due to insufficient "study." Perhaps my HOTAS or computer isn't good enough or perhaps I'm not good enough despite practice. I'm not going to invest additional $1,000s in hardware to find out. 

 

BTW, good luck getting developers to start putting warnings on their campaigns that say "this is very hard and you might fail." That's not going to happen even if it should.

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9 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

One of the DLC campaigns (Serpents Head 2) has an “easy refuel” option. I don’t know exactly what that does. The problem, at least in the F-18 is that it’s about mandatory to AAR if you have any longer flight or get into combat. So no AAR greatly limits what you can do. 
There’s already a solution for this. Select unlimited fuel. I don’t know why this is such an issue for people. 

Actually, 2 DLC campaigns: Serpent's Head 2 has this option (it is a second campaign basically, and for the longer missions you have a kind of very slow burn rate for the fuel). I know, I finished it like this because at the time I wasn't keen on AAR.

Then Raven One has this option as well, but instead it just saves behind the tanker and the next mission starts behind it with full fuel. I wasn't keen on doing that, especially since a couple of missions are actually designed around the fact that you are super low on fuel and need to AAR to save yourself, so instead I tried to AAR. As it turns out, it wasn't as difficult (VR + a nice smooth joystick helped a lot). I can even do it when the bloody tanker decides to turn now.

 

Unlimited fuel is not the same, and based on different things tried by campaign creators, easy AAR is needed. How would you feel as a campaign creator if you were creating a realistic, immersive campaign, but maybe 20-30% of potential buyers didn't buy your campaign just because you need to AAR? There's a lot more to DCS than AAR. Again, I do it just fine, but I understand (especially for those playing on a flat screen with no depth perception of the basket) that it is difficult and not everyone has to want to learn it.

 

No need to be so elitist about DCS, we are flying modules with FBW, autoland feature, ILS, autopilot, guided weapons that find targets on their own, etc. Aeronautical development has been especially focused on making the planes easier to fly for the past 50 years, so I find it quite funny when people say it should be very hard or not be done at all. Even real-life pilots say AAR is one of the hardest things to do, and they have al their senses to perform it. Don't expect everyone to manage it on a flat monitor with a cheap HOTAS (or everyone to buy thousands worth of equipment to play DCS either).


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21 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

Looks like most people don’t want this option

 

Good thing that their opinion is not relevant and doesn't make any difference, then.

 

  

9 hours ago, SharpeXB said:

You can set the amount of “unlimited” fuel you carry in the Mission Planner. So you’re not flying with the full weight all the time. 

…and that massively changes how missions are set up and balanced, and also doesn't work in a number of situations, so that's not a useful option.

 

Also, that argument completely defeats any and all reasons not to include auto-AAR functionality. So presumably, you are fully in favour of implementing this option since you can just go into the mission planner and turn it off. Right? Otherwise, you're just being a hypocrite and are arguing against improvements to the game for no cogent or intelligent reason.


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16 hours ago, fudabidu said:

How about a landing autopilot as well?
Some autopilot to help you aim in CCIP or any other unguided mode?
Maybe merge simulation and game mode, because not everybody has the time to learn all the systems?

If you want quick and easy results, flight sims are the wrong place for that.

That's one perfect example of whataboutism.

 

This ongoing debate about what is a must in a study level sim is going to drive me mad. Where does this study level start and where does it end? Those kind of elitists that demand get AAR done by yourself or play something else should simply accept that as high level DCS is it remains a flight simulation game.

 

Else you could also demand that one that's allowed to 'play' DCS should have first the physical condition to fly a real fighter jet. Then you have to work the whole learning and test syllabus to get there. Not only buying a module like the F/A-18C gets you into it - no,no, you have to start from the scratch: get your medical and physical examination, then start with flying basics and after years of training and learning and learning and training you may be chosen to drive such a high fidelity fighter jet ... maybe ... If not some higher ranked elitists decide that you have to fly Chop-Suy cans in a piston driven transport plane for the rest of your virtual fighter pilot career because you are not proven to be good enough for fighter jets... /s

 

To have an option like OP asked for can help lots of us arm chair fighter pilots have more fun with it and everyone else that only has fun doing it on his own can switch off such an option. 

Where's the problem?

The only thing I can think off why ED hasn't done such an option is that it isn't that simple to implement and that there are tons of other problems within DCS that have a much higher priority getting fixed.

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2 minutes ago, schmiefel said:

This ongoing debate about what is a must in a study level sim is going to drive me mad. Where does this study level start and where does it end? Those kind of elitists that demand get AAR done by yourself or play something else should simply accept that as high level DCS is it remains a flight simulation game.

That's the doubly funny thing too: an actual study-level sim would almost by necessity have to include such a feature to allow for scenarios where the thing you study today hinges on AAR being a factor but not on the AAR itself being the main issue to learn or problem to be solved.

 

DCS' lack of options in this area actually reduces its capabilities as a study sim, but good luck making the elitists understand such an obvious and simple point. :laugh:

 

Quote

To have an option like OP asked for can help lots of us arm chair fighter pilots have more fun with it and everyone else that only has fun doing it on his own can switch off such an option. 

Where's the problem?

The problem is that some people absolutely refuse to accept that games can be played in other ways than exactly The One True Way™ that they play it. All other uses are heretical and must be purged, even if — hell, especially if — the developers have made it clear that they want to appeal to a bigger audience. And doubly so when it turns out (and it always does) that their own One True Way™ of playing the game relies on even more shortcuts and simplifications and wholly unrealistic implementations and options than the one they rage against. But getting rid of those in favour of more realism would obviously also be heretical to The One True Way™, even though doing so would be fully in line with their stated intent…

 

Quote

The only thing I can think off why ED hasn't done such an option is that it isn't that simple to implement and that there are tons of other problems within DCS that have a much higher priority getting fixed.

This is indeed the only argument against, and it's still a pretty weak one when talking about game-wide QoL features, but you're going to have to push the elitists very hard and very aggressively before their lack of actual argumentation crumbles and they're forced to fall back on it. Even then, it will be used in an even more weakened form, as an illustration of how this game improvement hurts them, specifically… somehow.

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@Sthomsom, spot on. We have a similair "history". I also fly and study a lot. Also I own most of the modules. I have a good PC, Occulus Rift, TM joystick both A10 and F-18, pedals, gaming chair etc etc.

Also I actually have succeded to do AAR to some extent. But in total things just are not as accurat as needed (especial with wake trubulance on) that AAR can be done releible enough to use it with joy in a fantastic campaign as Raven One. The time it takes to do a perfect AAR is not waste of time, but failing the campaign because of trying to (until fuel is gone) really is.(Raven one fortunally has an option to start again behind tanker an Serpent head 2 has an option of slow fuel burn(as mentioned above). Neither solution  is perfect but at least you can progress in the campaign you bought)

I really hope that ED can see the big picture from a commercial picture in this and make it possible for even more realistic campaigns where focus are on all other details i DCS rather then AAR inhibiting the proper progress and immersion.

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7 hours ago, sthompson said:

 I have decent CH HOTAS that works fine for everything I do except AAR. But I have never caught the basket even once. It's a major source of frustration.  My failures are not due to insufficient "study." Perhaps my HOTAS or computer isn't good enough or perhaps I'm not good enough despite practice. I'm not going to invest additional $1,000s in hardware to find out. 

I have a CH HOTAS and it works just fine for AAR. Certainly your PC itself has nothing to with this task. 

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3 hours ago, Qiou87 said:

Don't expect everyone to manage it on a flat monitor with a cheap HOTAS (or everyone to buy thousands worth of equipment to play DCS either).

Expensive hardware isn’t needed. Practice is needed. Unless your joystick is broken or you’re playing this with a laptop and joystick balanced on your knees or something. 

3 hours ago, Qiou87 said:

we are flying modules with FBW, autoland feature, ILS, autopilot, guided weapons that find targets on their own, etc.

 

These are all realistic features. AAR “autopilot” is not. 

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I'm not a fan of automatic refueling not for any elitist reason but because I can see how badly the "control helpers" work in other modules. The only time I hear about them is when they cause people problems, not solve them. Also, automatic refueling won't help you learn anything and thus is only useful for people who gave up on AAR entirely but still wants to fly missions that require it - which is a very specific use case and I imagine not a lot of people would use it. Then there's the question of developing it. You essentially want an autopilot mode that will perform a complex task and work across many modules from many developers (at the moment at least 4 different devs have AC with AAR capabilities). That's a huge task!

 

On the other hand a UI element telling you how well lined up you are with the basket, perhaps the speed of the tanker, your speed, acceleration etc. will work across modules, will be a useful training aid and won't be difficult to develop. In addition to that a simple script/feature that'll allow people who've given up entirely to refuel by remaining within X meters away from the tanker for Y minutes and we're golden.

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