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F-14B with Sparrowhawk HUD


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This article reads of several B equipped squadrons from Oceana with Sparrowhawk HUD's. Since we're getting 3 different versions of the A model, I hope you will at least consider giving us a second B version with this HUD.

 

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Here's a link to the article

https://www.aviationtoday.com/2003/11/01/new-hud-for-the-tomcat/

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VF-11, VF-32, VF-101, VF-102, VF-103, and some others all got the B Upgrades. 1998-2004 area is where you can find F-14B footage with the sparrowhawk and PTID. We won’t be seeing a B Upgrade unless Heatblur got the -1A from 2004 and had permission to use the info from it, and/or other docs containing B upgrade info


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2 hours ago, Victory205 said:

So only ~8% of Tomcats built ever received the new HUD? Typical Navy...

 

What is your difficulty? Flying the aircraft or do you desire different weapons displays? 

 

I'd certainly count myself in the group that would like to see a Sparrowhawk option for the B. I know its a small number of the total, but keeping to that line of argument only something like 12% of Tomcats built were B models to begin with, so agreed its pretty niche.

 

For me its definitely about weapon symbology - coupled to a fair bit of flying with Jester. Once you've gone into A/A mode its just nice to have more info right in front of you regarding the WEZ and simple stuff like speed / heading / height. I know all of that is on the VDIG right underneath and you can glance at it, but I also like to have that set for the TCS repeater. 

 

There's probably just an age boundary where we start from thinking of all the HUD toys as standard, and not having them feeling pared back, rather than being brought up with steam gauges always being the primary instruments.

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Learn to use analog gauges. The HUD symbology takes longer to read tiny numbers and process what they mean, and can only be seen when your head is aligned. You can glance at the ASI and see your energy state while your head is planted against the canopy under G.

 

Digital doesn’t mean better, and staring through a HUD on a combat intercept is a mistake.

 

While weapons information would be welcome, much of what people complain about is superficial and not well thought out by the engineers who don’t understand how a pilot actually interfaces with displays. There is also an artificiality due to a lack of human RIO’s communicating modes and picture. It was easy to know that you were in VSL HI because the RIO told you he had hit the switch, and you could hear and feel the antenna banging in a vertical pattern. VSL is just 1 Bar search turned on its side. It was obvious.

 

A digital HUD is not holding anyone back, your attitude is.

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I’m not sure what we’re debating yet. I’m not complaining about the module itself or our existing HUD and I don’t feel held back.

 

In the majority of cases I agree, gauges are good for giving both a number at a glance  ( once you’ve got a picture for dial is over there....225) and rate of change. For administrative stages of flying or landing tanking etc I’m in the crowd that turn off the hud to concentrate on what’s happening out of the window. 
 

So there’s certainly nothing wrong with the interface to the aircraft as built in my opinion.

 

I'm curious though why the apparent disdain for what I can only describe as more “modern” symbology? 
 

Every fighter I’m aware of from F-14 onward has some variation of a more detailed HUD that have all more or less evolved towards a fairly standard layout.

 

Are you saying that it’s just a widespread anti-pattern?

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It's not disdain, it's that people keep bringing it up as if they are handicapped with the OG HUD and cannot live without a digital one. Second, HB already has addressed the issue ad nauseum! It's just getting old or I should say, ancient! I would love an F-14D or F-14B Upgrade but it's not happening. Not for the foreseeable future anyway!

There is comedy in all this though, so there's that! 

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DO it or Don't, but don't cry about it. Real men don't cry!

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6 hours ago, Victory205 said:

Learn to use analog gauges. The HUD symbology takes longer to read tiny numbers and process what they mean, and can only be seen when your head is aligned. You can glance at the ASI and see your energy state while your head is planted against the canopy under G.

 

Digital doesn’t mean better, and staring through a HUD on a combat intercept is a mistake.

 

While weapons information would be welcome, much of what people complain about is superficial and not well thought out by the engineers who don’t understand how a pilot actually interfaces with displays. There is also an artificiality due to a lack of human RIO’s communicating modes and picture. It was easy to know that you were in VSL HI because the RIO told you he had hit the switch, and you could hear and feel the antenna banging in a vertical pattern. VSL is just 1 Bar search turned on its side. It was obvious.

 

A digital HUD is not holding anyone back, your attitude is.

the rio controlled vsl hi? i thought they were pilot modes?
id love speed on the hud but i can get by without it, it would DEFFINATELY make tanking a little easier (for me at least) because we cant feel the speed variations ingame  the hornet is an absolute BREEZE to aar by comparison for a bunch of reasons
did you use a sparrowhawk hud? what extra symbology is in it?

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6 hours ago, Jackjack171 said:

It's not disdain, it's that people keep bringing it up as if they are handicapped with the OG HUD and cannot live without a digital one. Second, HB already has addressed the issue ad nauseum! It's just getting old or I should say, ancient! I would love an F-14D or F-14B Upgrade but it's not happening. Not for the foreseeable future anyway!

There is comedy in all this though, so there's that! 

 

Thats a fair point - but I dont think it will stop coming up. In any other situation I'd say if in an unconnected organic way many people kept saying the same thing about your product....well i'd take notice of that, its customer feedback.

 

But with HB/DCS we've also got to contend with available information / declassified documentation - at the end of the day even if the entire community polled 100% for having the D model / Sparrowhawk / name your upgrade here, it doesn't matter.

 

What I would suggest though is if there is any interest in this from HBs side to add to the FAQ the reasons this wont happen, along with possibly a list of documentation that could make it possible in the longer term - its surprising what folks can turn up. Sometimes as with the A/B NATOPS they have been declassified....they just aren't widely available.

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Another thing to consider is that implementing a sparrowhawk (or any other upgrade really) to an existing module, even if they have all the information and it is declasified is a costly endeavor. Why would they do it? They are already commited to supporting two variants of the F14 (which you get for the price of one). It's just more manhours spent on something that can't actually bring them a return on their investement, like working on a new module. 


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Depends how you look at it - as you've said they are already giving you more for your buck than most modules, and depending how you count sub variants I think we're at something like 5 F-14 variants + an A6 + a carrier, but nobody was debating value for money or putting words in their mouths RE paying for the upgrade or not.

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5 hours ago, eatthis said:

the rio controlled vsl hi? i thought they were pilot modes?
id love speed on the hud but i can get by without it, it would DEFFINATELY make tanking a little easier (for me at least) because we cant feel the speed variations ingame  the hornet is an absolute BREEZE to aar by comparison for a bunch of reasons
did you use a sparrowhawk hud? what extra symbology is in it?

 

If you look at the actual switch for the pilot, it's on the left side wall. I've never sat in that cockpit, but just visually judging it'd be very awkward to hit that switch when you're about to merge, ie. take your hand of the throttle. And what's worse, you may want to switch between hi and lo depending on the merge and what your gameplan is. I can totally see the RIO doing this for you being a thing. PLM is on the throttle, so that gives the pilot a mode he can activate himself. It overrides the other ACM modes and is pretty good to snipe a target in close (ie. when two targets are close together and you can't rely on the other modes getting the bad guy instead of the buddy you're trying to save).


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2 hours ago, Slant said:

 

If you look at the actual switch for the pilot, it's on the left side wall. I've never sat in that cockpit, but just visually judging it'd be very awkward to hit that switch when you're about to merge, ie. take your hand of the throttle. And what's worse, you may want to switch between hi and lo depending on the merge and what your gameplan is. I can totally see the RIO doing this for you being a thing. PLM is on the throttle, so that gives the pilot a mode he can activate himself. It overrides the other ACM modes and is pretty good to snipe a target in close (ie. when two targets are close together and you can't rely on the other modes getting the bad guy instead of the buddy you're trying to save).

 

so the pal modes arnt on the hotas? OUCH. dont think ive ever used plm in a fight lol mostly pal or vsl high 

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VSL was on a thumb switch in the rear cockpit mounted on the RIO's "Hassle Handle". The pilot called for it, the RIO's usually had a hand on the handling during ACM, so it was easy to actuate the switch.

 

There is an inordinate amount of complaining and calling for things to be changed in a misplaced notion that things will be made easier. If you simply spend some time practicing basic instrument turns, climbs, descents and level offs in various configurations, you'll find that your scan develops just as a typical pilot is trained. This is the way the aircraft was. Thousands of pilots flew it safely, the upgrades were for a paltry number of aircraft for a very short period when it was employed as a bomber. Every Naval Aviator learned to bomb with a fixed mil setting pipper. How in the world is that possible? It was a friggin' blast, and way more interesting than simply putting a death dot on the ground somewhere and pressing a button (as long as no one was shooting at you).

 

Want to learn basic ACM? Get off the online servers for awhile, quit worrying about "winning" meaningless missile exchanges, and go fly 1v1's in the F86 or Mig15. Then try 2v2's. When you understand energy management and how to fly smooth maneuvers and coordinate stick and rudder, then graduate to the 4th gen aircraft.

 

It is apparent that flying poorly modeled FBW modules has created a tranche of simmers who have bad habits, and have misconceptions about how aircraft maneuver. A ton of examples of that from the Youtube heroes who have pretty sites and polished presentations, but don't know what they are doing.

 

The F14 module flies beautifully. Go make friends with it. 

 

 

 

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VSL was on a thumb switch in the rear cockpit mounted on the RIO's "Hassle Handle". The pilot called for it, the RIO's usually had a hand on the handling during ACM, so it was easy to actuate the switch.
 
There is an inordinate amount of complaining and calling for things to be changed in a misplaced notion that things will be made easier. If you simply spend some time practicing basic instrument turns, climbs, descents and level offs in various configurations, you'll find that your scan develops just as a typical pilot is trained. This is the way the aircraft was. Thousands of pilots flew it safely, the upgrades were for a paltry number of aircraft for a very short period when it was employed as a bomber. Every Naval Aviator learned to bomb with a fixed mil setting pipper. How in the world is that possible? It was a friggin' blast, and way more interesting than simply putting a death dot on the ground somewhere and pressing a button (as long as no one was shooting at you).
 
Want to learn basic ACM? Get off the online servers for awhile, quit worrying about "winning" meaningless missile exchanges, and go fly 1v1's in the F86 or Mig15. Then try 2v2's. When you understand energy management and how to fly smooth maneuvers and coordinate stick and rudder, then graduate to the 4th gen aircraft.
 
It is apparent that flying poorly modeled FBW modules has created a tranche of simmers who have bad habits, and have misconceptions about how aircraft maneuver. A ton of examples of that from the Youtube heroes who have pretty sites and polished presentations, but don't know what they are doing.
 
The F14 module flies beautifully. Go make friends with it. 
 
 
 

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I suggest everyone to hear was victory has to say us.
He is an invaluable “tool” to us simmers and I love that a Tomcat pilot spend his own time teaching us.
In fact in what he says, and what I experience from the Tomcat flying (especially in VR) are habits and notions which I recall from my flight training in the sf260

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If Heatblur was able to get us a Sparrowhawk, then yes, I'd get on board. Even if it was something I had to pay for. They've proven themselves to me in terms of quality, and I have no problem supporting them.

 

However, I don't feel that there's anything "missing" with their F-14. Analogue gauges, a less sophisticated HUD, a constant balance of stick and rudder inputs...all of these things are part of the module's charm and make the experience more rewarding.

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2 hours ago, Nexus-6 said:

If Heatblur was able to get us a Sparrowhawk, then yes, I'd get on board. Even if it was something I had to pay for. They've proven themselves to me in terms of quality, and I have no problem supporting them.

 

However, I don't feel that there's anything "missing" with their F-14. Analogue gauges, a less sophisticated HUD, a constant balance of stick and rudder inputs...all of these things are part of the module's charm and make the experience more rewarding.

I think the F-14A Upgrade, F-14B Upgrade, and F-14D would be their own complete module. DFCS, EGI, MFDs, PTID, CDU, all that fancy stuff is on a whole 'nother level of tomcat. The F-14D would be such an unstoppable force in DCS. Maybe the F-14A and B Upgrade could be an actual module upgrade like the A-10C II, but the F-14D is on a different tier. I like the aesthetic that the pre-DFCS-PTID tomcat, it makes it feel much more responsive and cold war era based.

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1 hour ago, BreaKKer said:

I think the F-14A Upgrade, F-14B Upgrade, and F-14D would be their own complete module. DFCS, EGI, MFDs, PTID, CDU, all that fancy stuff is on a whole 'nother level of tomcat. The F-14D would be such an unstoppable force in DCS. Maybe the F-14A and B Upgrade could be an actual module upgrade like the A-10C II, but the F-14D is on a different tier. I like the aesthetic that the pre-DFCS-PTID tomcat, it makes it feel much more responsive and cold war era based.

You're right.  It most probably would be.  However, the point is a moot one.  Heatblur has stated multiple times that an F-14D and/or an F-14B with a Sparrowhawk is not coming anytime soon.  Assuming it ever comes at all.  Either would be great, but it's just not in the cards.

 

But you know what?  That's ok.  They've done an incredible job with what we ARE getting, and it's considerably more than what you'll get if you bought another airframe.  There are even those among us that view the A model as the definitive Tomcat since it was the most common variant in service.  ;)  Even me, who originally thought that I wouldn't have any use for it at all since I was getting a virtually identical F-14 with those beautiful GE engines, have warmed to it quite a bit. 

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On 1/8/2021 at 8:13 AM, Victory205 said:

A digital HUD is not holding anyone back, your attitude is.

 

Yes and no. The sim environment causes limitations that don't exist in real life. In real life you can see the analogue gauges while your face is planted against the canopy because you can move your eyes independently of your head, with wide FOV and no pixelation. On a computer screen you can't. Your view is tied to your head, the FOV is narrow, increasing FOV causes pixelation resulting in illegible gauges. In real life you can feel the plane moving around. In the sim you cannot. When the difference between level flight and a -2000fpm descent is a three pixel horizonal shift, it's impossible to fly level on feel/horizon alone and a HUD or gauge must be constantly referenced. So we have two choices: Keep our eyes outside the canopy and flail all over the place, or keep our eyes inside the cockpit and get shot down. The HUD mitigates that somewhat because you're referencing data with your eyes still outside the forward quadrant of the canopy. TrackIR systems also get funky when looking down at angles, and with rapid head movement, so that issue gets mitigated too.

 

I couldn't tame the Tomcat--or the F86 and WW2 props--until I got VR and a 20cm stick extension, and even then I have to swivel my head and zoom in to check gauges a lot more than a real pilot would. 


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6 hours ago, VirusAM said:

He is an invaluable “tool” to us simmers and I love that a Tomcat pilot spend his own time teaching us.

 

Everyone should be very appreciative of the presence of @Victory205 here, we are lucky to have him. He has spent of hundreds hours flying the DCS Tomcat to not only make our jobs easier (thank you!), but to make sure the DCS Cat flies as close to the real thing as possible in a consumer simulation.


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@Nealius In a sim, you aren’t subjected to G forces, so it’s easy to look using TrackIR or VR. I have no trouble flying instruments holding plus or minus twenty feet with minimal attention. I am not sure what you mean about pixel fidelity, it’s simply adjusting pitch, looking at the entire world out of the window. Analog altimeters and ASI’s allow a pilot to immediately judge energy and rates by general need position and movement, while a digital readout on a HUD, which also requires a sim pilot to look forward, to read all three digits and cogitate as to what they mean.

 

An astute pilot can see the orientation of a needle in peripheral vision, and know what the energy state is. With altitude on a hud, it is very difficult to ascertain rate of change, even for newer models with trend vectors.

 

What happens over and over, throughout the sim community from airplanes to race cars, is that when something is moderately difficult, the player wants it changed. Never mind that the player has never driven a race car and doesn’t have even a private pilot’s license. Few want to put the time in doing mundane maneuvers. Based on comments, most jump in, flail about, and declare everything “broken”. There is a video here, where a player who varies altitude by 800 feet, and airspeed plus or minus 20 knots, who declares the turn rates ‘broken’. It may well be, but you can’t tell based on that test.

 

How many of you go out and practice your turns at various speeds to ascertain buffet and pitch attitudes? Do you know what the min velocity is in different configurations to complete a loop? The ability to gain weapons separation using a loop in the F14, or a rudder reversal in the F4 is critical to effect an AIM9 shot. Do you know the min speed off of the top of your head? Have you practice it?

 

My point is that your approach should be this is the aircraft and how it behaves, what are it’s strengths and weaknesses, and how do I employ it effectively? Instead, we get endless whining about flaps and HUDS and this missile or that, all so you can be a hero in some meaningless online fight. If that’s all you want to do, then pool your resources, and get someone to develop an F22 module. You’ll be unbeatable...and bored out of your mind. 

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Would love the modern HUD for convenience and because it looks cool.   Quite a bit of utility in there, of course, which is why it was developed in the first place. 

PTID really isn't as interesting to me though can definitely appreciate the convenience it would offer RIOs with the all the context buttons along the edges.  Full F-14B upgrade would be the tits, but definitely seems out of scope.  Would happily pay for an upgrade, but realistically it would be a subset of a subset and probably not worth HB's effort, even if they could get access to documentation.  

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