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F-14B with Sparrowhawk HUD


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And here I am being all weird thinking that there's too much crap on the HUD of the Viper and Hornet. I barely glance at most of what's on there, most of the time. Honestly given the choice, I'd much rather have those on the Viggen (except - show me where the Mav is looking at damn it! Best feature in the Viper HUD honestly) and Tomcat.


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10 hours ago, Victory205 said:

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. 

 

My point is that the reality of sim vs. real life have to be considered. Having a HUD upgrade does not change how the aircraft behaves. It does not change its strengths and weaknesses or how to employ it effectively. It simply reduces pilot workload for untrained players who can't feel anything the plane does because we're not sitting in the real plane. It would be a useful option for those who want it. I'm just trying to convey a realistic mindset on applying authenticity to simulation here. You can't shove one into the other without changing it to fit the context of its new environment. The visual buffeting effect and unrealistically loud switch clicks we have are the perfect example of this.

 

Which of these is level flight? 

hbO6U7Ol.png

KBZsfMnl.png

 

I've been trying to fly off the horizon, as is commonly taught for VFR, for a decade and I can't because of what I demonstrated in the above two pictures. If the HUD were off, the horizon appears to be in the exact same location on the windscreen. Answer to the question "which is level:" 

Spoiler

1: +1,000fpm climb at 350KIAS

2: Level at 250KIAS

 


Edited by Nealius
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Although a real F-14 pilot says that modern HUD is pretty useless in F-14, I still would prefer it to show basic things like altitude, speed and heading. AOA can be seen easily at least in the sim, but looking at the speed gauge etc is quite handful during intense combat. 

 

I find it quite pointless to argue what do you prefer or which is better for you.


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Part of that is what they're used to, I'm sure. Alpha males tend to think their way was the best way and always go to bat for it. Basic fundamentals are always better especially fi the whiz bang tech should fail, though technology is what they call a "force multiplier."   At least one F-14D pilot had a... different opinion of the Kaiser Aerospace HUD on the F-14D versus the F-14A/B and from his perspective was a "Hornet HUD on Steroids"...   Being that the Sparrowhawk was something they found "off the shelf" and not purposely made, would sound like it was somewhere between the two, though reducing maintenance was a touted feature of the Sparrowhawk. 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Nealius said:

 

My point is that the reality of sim vs. real life have to be considered. Having a HUD upgrade does not change how the aircraft behaves. It does not change its strengths and weaknesses or how to employ it effectively. It simply reduces pilot workload for untrained players who can't feel anything the plane does because we're not sitting in the real plane. It would be a useful option for those who want it. I'm just trying to convey a realistic mindset on applying authenticity to simulation here. You can't shove one into the other without changing it to fit the context of its new environment. The visual buffeting effect and unrealistically loud switch clicks we have are the perfect example of this.

 

Which of these is level flight? 

hbO6U7Ol.png

KBZsfMnl.png

 

I've been trying to fly off the horizon, as is commonly taught for VFR, for a decade and I can't because of what I demonstrated in the above two pictures. If the HUD were off, the horizon appears to be in the exact same location on the windscreen. Answer to the question "which is level:" 

  Reveal hidden contents

1: +1,000fpm climb at 350KIAS

2: Level at 250KIAS

 

 

the pitch ladder is adjustable and does wander too although i dont know why so that isnt trust worthy at all imo, vsi is the best instrument imo but even thats a bit laggy. i THINK the double L works too but i dont really use the hud in that way i use the steam gauges. for normal flight i prefer them anyway, 
fwiw i find the f18 hud especially in a guns situation horribly cluttered, actually worse for me than the big windscreen frame in the cat because the obstructions are right in your sightline.
all id like is airspeed and thats only for when im in a very low energy state ie at the top of a loop etc, sure i can glance at and judge quickly the asi and analogue needles are great for that BUT a glance at the hud in that specific scenario is quicker for me and keeping eyes on the badguy is a major issue for me (vr) 

i also feel like i need to add the major ceveat that im a simmer, never been a pilot for real and dont think for a fraction of a second that i have anything like the knowledge of a real pilot, maybe i should put that im my sig?

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11 hours ago, Nealius said:

 

My point is that the reality of sim vs. real life have to be considered. Having a HUD upgrade does not change how the aircraft behaves. It does not change its strengths and weaknesses or how to employ it effectively. It simply reduces pilot workload for untrained players who can't feel anything the plane does because we're not sitting in the real plane. It would be a useful option for those who want it. I'm just trying to convey a realistic mindset on applying authenticity to simulation here. You can't shove one into the other without changing it to fit the context of its new environment. The visual buffeting effect and unrealistically loud switch clicks we have are the perfect example of this.

 

Which of these is level flight? 

hbO6U7Ol.png

KBZsfMnl.png

 

I've been trying to fly off the horizon, as is commonly taught for VFR, for a decade and I can't because of what I demonstrated in the above two pictures. If the HUD were off, the horizon appears to be in the exact same location on the windscreen. Answer to the question "which is level:" 

  Reveal hidden contents

1: +1,000fpm climb at 350KIAS

2: Level at 250KIAS

 

 

 

Level flight pitch attitude is determined by power setting and airspeed. So you aren’t even asking a valid question, which speaks volumes about your understanding of how to fly an airplane. And that’s the core of the issue. Many of you don’t understand basic flying, and believe that the answer to that core problem lies in a gadget. Just below this image is your instrument cluster, which will give you all the information you need to fly plus or minus 10 feet of altitude if you want to put the time in to learn. It is a problem of mindset, not technology. Understand that the display you want was in 60 of over 700 F14’s built for a timespan of three years. The vast majority of F14 pilots managed to fly hundreds of thousands of fleet hours for over three decades without an advanced HUD. You can too. In fact, you can turn off the HUD and VDI and fly around just fine on the peanut gyro. I had to do that numerous times in real life, including on a night alert launch in a down airplane. You do what you have to do.

 

You are getting into a high performance fighter without an instrument rating, and demanding that something be done to make your problems go away. It isn’t surprising. There are nine million YouTube videos from the DCS gang and maybe what, three, all from one guy on how to fly instruments?

 

At the same time, there are thousands of sim pilots, who have never flown an airplane of any kind, who can do exactly that. The first phase of the syllabus in both jet’s flown strike training was instrument flying. In fact, in advanced strike training, the students got their instrument rating in the back seat, having never flown in the front seat, in an extremely sensitive jet that rolled at 720 degrees per second without an autopilot. FAM and solo and every other phase followed the student first obtaining an instrument rating in the back seat. That’s how important instrument skills are in a jet- it’s basic physics.

 

I’m amazed that so many sim pilots do so well as they do.

 

Flying is a perishable skill, you have to put the time in. My sense is few of you really do the grunt work of flying basic turns, climbs and descents at constant speeds. If you want to get max enjoyment out of a flying sim, at some point, you need to learn to fly. That’s the magic of the fidelity of where we are today. The sims are so good, that you actually need to know how to fly a little.

 

I guess it really comes down to whether you really want a realistic sim or not. 

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20 minutes ago, Victory205 said:

 

Level flight pitch attitude is determined by power setting and airspeed. So you aren’t even asking a valid question, which speaks volumes about your understanding of how to fly an airplane. And that’s the core of the issue. Many of you don’t understand basic flying, and believe that the answer to that core problem lies in a gadget. Just below this image is your instrument cluster, which will give you all the information you need to fly plus or minus 10 feet of altitude if you want to put the time in to learn.

 

In the few real-world flight lessons I've had, I've done exactly as you say: look at the instrument cluster. Every single instructor has gotten on my ass about that and told me to keep my eyes out the windscreen. I don't know if I just had shitty instructors or what, but there's that.

 

I put a probably unhealthy amount of time into practicing flight in DCS and I don't particularly need a HUD on the Tomcat, but at least I'm open-minded enough to realize the possibility that it will help those less skilled. But all we get in response to rationality like that is stubborn repetition of "it is what it is." You cannot treat sim pilots like you treat real pilots, or a sim like reality, and that's exactly what is going on here.

 

It's obvious the voice of reason is not even being acknowledged, which is the bare minimum for healthy discourse to occur, so this is where I disengage from the discussion.

 

 


Edited by Nealius
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Well, as the OP, I just thought a version with the Sparrowhawk HUD would be cool so we could have another version of our favorite plane. Nothing to do with better or worse. Or needing it. I can do just fine with the current HUD.
Sure, 68 or so planes got the HUD, we're also getting the Iran version which had 79 units delivered. That's ok? 79 is fine, but 68 is too few? Funny that.
And it's ok to go from the superior B to the inferior A but we can't get an upgraded B?
I was just curious if Heatblur could do it, and if they could, if they'd consider it since we're getting other versions.

I'd happily pay an "upgrade fee" like we did for the A-10 tank killer.

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1 minute ago, Dannyvandelft said:

Well, as the OP, I just thought a version with the Sparrowhawk HUD would be cool so we could have another version of our favorite plane. Nothing to do with better or worse. Or needing it. I can do just fine with the current HUD.
Sure, 68 or so planes got the HUD, we're also getting the Iran version which had 79 units delivered. That's ok? 79 is fine, but 68 is too few? Funny that.
And it's ok to go from the superior B to the inferior A but we can't get an upgraded B?
I was just curious if Heatblur could do it, and if they could, if they'd consider it since we're getting other version.

I'd happily pay an "upgrade fee" like we did for the A-10 tank killer.

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They could do it, but they can’t because they don’t have enough info on how to do it. 

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8 minutes ago, Dannyvandelft said:

That's all I was asking. And then it turns into a giant "how to fly" shitshow lol.

Some people take this GAME way too seriously.



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Not sure what that means at all. 

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Not sure what that means at all. 
Well, I'm just asking Heatblur "hey, can you get us this version" and what follows are 37 comments on how many of each version of this plane were made, how to fly instruments, and so on lol.
Just wanted to know if it was possible

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18 hours ago, TLTeo said:

And here I am being all weird thinking that there's too much crap on the HUD of the Viper and Hornet. I barely glance at most of what's on there, most of the time. Honestly given the choice, I'd much rather have those on the Viggen (except - show me where the Mav is looking at damn it! Best feature in the Viper HUD honestly) and Tomcat.

 

Oh, so i'm not the only one! I find Hornet HUD expecially annoying... 🙂

 

Having a more advanced HUD would be nice in some situations, i mean, i guess it was an inprovement IRL, it should be also in the sim. However, i think this was discussed many times before and it's highly unlikely to come.

 

As for all the debate... imho the sim allows you to switch too quickly from an F-16, to an F-14 to a MiG-29 (or whatever you like). So it's easy to start wishing for improvements on the A/C, expecially if you start playing in MP, where the competitive aspect gets relevant really quick. Someone would also like weapons that were not available. Many were expecting the Tomcat to be the ultimate A/C with the ultimate weapon to get easy kills online... then they take the Tomcat and find themself unable to do what were doing on the F-15 or F-16 and gets frustrated.

 

IRL it's different, you get assigned to a unit with an A/C, you must get the better of it. Plus you're placing your life on it, so better know how to fly it properly, there's no refly button (just forgetting that you will just not get there if don't know the basis or how to fly safely).

 

To the users discharge i must say that many DCS modules just don't have the depth to encourage you to improve how you fly. However i feel that for the first time in DCS with the F-14 I have an aircraft that i just find interesting to fly around even without shooting at something (and DCS sometimes can be somewhat dull if you don't shoot at something or if you don't fly with someone else). So yes, after many years messing around with flight sims, i find myself going after the points @Victory205 is listing out.

 

Someone might think of this as taking things too seriously... well, it's an opportunity to enjoy the sim from a different perspective, maybe when one it's tired of shooting everything that moves. 😉

 

@Dannyvandelft i'm not talking directly at you, but your question raised some nice discussion! 🙂

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1 hour ago, Dannyvandelft said:

Well, as the OP, I just thought a version with the Sparrowhawk HUD would be cool so we could have another version of our favorite plane. Nothing to do with better or worse. Or needing it. I can do just fine with the current HUD.
Sure, 68 or so planes got the HUD, we're also getting the Iran version which had 79 units delivered. That's ok? 79 is fine, but 68 is too few? Funny that.
And it's ok to go from the superior B to the inferior A but we can't get an upgraded B?
I was just curious if Heatblur could do it, and if they could, if they'd consider it since we're getting other versions.

I'd happily pay an "upgrade fee" like we did for the A-10 tank killer.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk


 

The Iranian cat is a special version of the cat with very important differences from the A/B we currently have, would be a significant addition to the tomcat line-up. The only thing that would make something like the sparrowhawk a worthwhile addition is to have something meaningful in changes such as an F-14D. It’s just not worth the time or effort. 

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Oh, so i'm not the only one! I find Hornet HUD expecially annoying...
 
Having a more advanced HUD would be nice in some situations, i mean, i guess it was an inprovement IRL, it should be also in the sim. However, i think this was discussed many times before and it's highly unlikely to come.
 
As for all the debate... imho the sim allows you to switch too quickly from an F-16, to an F-14 to a MiG-29 (or whatever you like). So it's easy to start wishing for improvements on the A/C, expecially if you start playing in MP, where the competitive aspect gets relevant really quick. Someone would also like weapons that were not available. Many were expecting the Tomcat to be the ultimate A/C with the ultimate weapon to get easy kills online... then they take the Tomcat and find themself unable to do what were doing on the F-15 or F-16 and gets frustrated.
 
IRL it's different, you get assigned to a unit with an A/C, you must get the better of it. Plus you're placing your life on it, so better know how to fly it properly, there's no refly button (just forgetting that you will just not get there if don't know the basis or how to fly safely).
 
To the users discharge i must say that many DCS modules just don't have the depth to encourage you to improve how you fly. However i feel that for the first time in DCS with the F-14 I have an aircraft that i just find interesting to fly around even without shooting at something (and DCS sometimes can be somewhat dull if you don't shoot at something or if you don't fly with someone else). So yes, after many years messing around with flight sims, i find myself going after the points @Victory205 is listing out.
 
Someone might think of this as taking things too seriously... well, it's an opportunity to enjoy the sim from a different perspective, maybe when one it's tired of shooting everything that moves.
 
@Dannyvandelft i'm not talking directly at you, but your question raised some nice discussion!
Discussion is fine, no problem with that at all. And obviously we all want to get better at flying this game. But since it's something we do for fun in our spare time, we can do without the BS in my opinion.
This isn't the Navy, or the Iranian Air Force, so no need for someone to get all "you should be able to do everything with the current HUD" and "why can't you fly just instruments" just because someone asks a simple question.
I'd like to get the HUD, because it was a part of Tomcat history. And I'd love to have the opportunity to try it out. I would like the D model too.
So next we'll get yelled at because we should be able to fly without the D's improved fly by wire system I guess

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There are loads of trainers in DCS, and pre 1980s jets that are excellent for Learning the fundamentals. 

 

Frankly all tape measures aside and pants pulled up. The tomcat is hard to fly, you cant tell it what to do. You have to reason with it. Some people love that, some hate it. 

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All arguments aside, like have been mentioned many times before, we do currently lack all the data we need to do a Sparrowhawk equipped F-14.

 

The thing is that the Sparrowhawk HUD wasn't a standalone upgrade, it very much depended on the newer navigation systems present in the upgraded F-14B(U), if the aircraft didn't have those (CDNU, EGI and FMC as examples) it still wouldn't be able to present much more on the HUD as that data was drawn from the new 1553 buses present with that upgrade and without them the data would be the same as the original HUD.

 

This means that if there ever were to be a project to introduce it it would be as part of an F-14B(U) containing these systems as well as the PTID and DFCS. So even if we did get a hold of all the data on the Sparrowhawk we'd still need to fill in a lot of blanks in regards to PTID functionality.

 

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29 minutes ago, Dannyvandelft said:

Discussion is fine, no problem with that at all. And obviously we all want to get better at flying this game. But since it's something we do for fun in our spare time, we can do without the BS in my opinion.
This isn't the Navy, or the Iranian Air Force, so no need for someone to get all "you should be able to do everything with the current HUD" and "why can't you fly just instruments" just because someone asks a simple question.
I'd like to get the HUD, because it was a part of Tomcat history. And I'd love to have the opportunity to try it out. I would like the D model too.
So next we'll get yelled at because we should be able to fly without the D's improved fly by wire system I guess emoji1787.png

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Your question was legit, it should go in the FAQ. 😉

 

Anyway i can understand that par of the discussion that sparked after your question (and i had my share in other occasions) might sound a bit silly for who did fly for real and put a lot of effort in the module.

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50 minutes ago, UWBuRn said:

IRL it's different, you get assigned to a unit with an A/C, you must get the better of it. Plus you're placing your life on it, so better know how to fly it properly, there's no refly button (just forgetting that you will just not get there if don't know the basis or how to fly safely).

This is also something that I find odd in DCS - for me, it's not thaat different to this. I choose to pick up a module, then try to learn to operate it at the best I can (given my time constraints, not being an aviator, etc etc), regardless of what other modules can or can not do.

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On 1/8/2021 at 8:07 PM, Victory205 said:

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.

 

Thanks for confirming this, I kinda figured that's how it made most sense. Which is great, because it adds to the crew coordination thing in MP. 🙂

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4 hours ago, Victory205 said:

 

Level flight pitch attitude is determined by power setting and airspeed. So you aren’t even asking a valid question, which speaks volumes about your understanding of how to fly an airplane. And that’s the core of the issue. Many of you don’t understand basic flying, and believe that the answer to that core problem lies in a gadget. Just below this image is your instrument cluster, which will give you all the information you need to fly plus or minus 10 feet of altitude if you want to put the time in to learn. It is a problem of mindset, not technology. Understand that the display you want was in 60 of over 700 F14’s built for a timespan of three years. The vast majority of F14 pilots managed to fly hundreds of thousands of fleet hours for over three decades without an advanced HUD. You can too. In fact, you can turn off the HUD and VDI and fly around just fine on the peanut gyro. I had to do that numerous times in real life, including on a night alert launch in a down airplane. You do what you have to do.

 

You are getting into a high performance fighter without an instrument rating, and demanding that something be done to make your problems go away. It isn’t surprising. There are nine million YouTube videos from the DCS gang and maybe what, three, all from one guy on how to fly instruments?

 

At the same time, there are thousands of sim pilots, who have never flown an airplane of any kind, who can do exactly that. The first phase of the syllabus in both jet’s flown strike training was instrument flying. In fact, in advanced strike training, the students got their instrument rating in the back seat, having never flown in the front seat, in an extremely sensitive jet that rolled at 720 degrees per second without an autopilot. FAM and solo and every other phase followed the student first obtaining an instrument rating in the back seat. That’s how important instrument skills are in a jet- it’s basic physics.

 

I’m amazed that so many sim pilots do so well as they do.

 

Flying is a perishable skill, you have to put the time in. My sense is few of you really do the grunt work of flying basic turns, climbs and descents at constant speeds. If you want to get max enjoyment out of a flying sim, at some point, you need to learn to fly. That’s the magic of the fidelity of where we are today. The sims are so good, that you actually need to know how to fly a little.

 

I guess it really comes down to whether you really want a realistic sim or not. 

 

I may very well be that 'one weird guy' here... but I believe I would thoroughly enjoy an honest-to-goodness, by-the-book, flight instruction syllabus campaign for a modern tactical aircraft... 

Especially with the F-14...  

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5 hours ago, Nealius said:

 

In the few real-world flight lessons I've had, I've done exactly as you say: look at the instrument cluster. Every single instructor has gotten on my ass about that and told me to keep my eyes out the windscreen. I don't know if I just had shitty instructors or what, but there's that.

 

I put a probably unhealthy amount of time into practicing flight in DCS and I don't particularly need a HUD on the Tomcat, but at least I'm open-minded enough to realize the possibility that it will help those less skilled. But all we get in response to rationality like that is stubborn repetition of "it is what it is." You cannot treat sim pilots like you treat real pilots, or a sim like reality, and that's exactly what is going on here.

 

It's obvious the voice of reason is not even being acknowledged, which is the bare minimum for healthy discourse to occur, so this is where I disengage from the discussion.

 

 

 

 

The first step in earning a pilots license is VFR. Most of the maneuvers you will learn in this phase are either ground reference or horizon reference, which requires you to keep your eyes outside the cockpit most of the time you're flying. As you go, you'll learn that with this type of flying there is very little the instruments can tell you that you can't already judge by looking outside. Knowing whether you are climbing or descending, or even your turn rate, is just a matter of understanding the sight picture of the horizon in front of you. If you are circling a ground reference, it's a matter of putting your eyes on it and keeping it abeam of you in the same general area of your sight picture. Very little other information is required from the instrument panel in these cases. When I'm flying VFR, I only glance at my instruments occasionally to ensure I'm maintaining altitude and heading, checking that my DG hasn't drifted too far, and double checking my navigation instruments to be sure I'm still within margins for my course. This is a couple of seconds out of every few minutes.

 

IFR is a whole different animal, and I'm more or less glued to the IP. In terms of feelings when you're socked in clouds flying at vectors given to you by ATC, it's like being in a simulator in that you cannot trust them. Your eyes and inner ear will deceive you and if you listen to them too long you risk diving inverted out of the clouds. But there is a reason that IFR flying requires a completely different ticket than VFR. In VFR, the instrument panel is valuable, but you aren't married to it yet. It can be a crutch that will rob you of the basics of visual flying.

 

It's not about having raw talent. Skill is earned with patience and practice, listening to the right teachers and following their example. If you aren't good at something, keep practicing until you are.

 

As a side note, I won't protest one day getting Tomcats with these upgrades. More variety is good. But there is nothing two seperate numbers on a HUD can tell me that a quick glance at just one steam gauge can't.

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55 minutes ago, Swordsman422 said:

 

The first step in earning a pilots license is VFR. Most of the maneuvers you will learn in this phase are either ground reference or horizon reference, which requires you to keep your eyes outside the cockpit most of the time you're flying. As you go, you'll learn that with this type of flying there is very little the instruments can tell you that you can't already judge by looking outside. Knowing whether you are climbing or descending, or even your turn rate, is just a matter of understanding the sight picture of the horizon in front of you. If you are circling a ground reference, it's a matter of putting your eyes on it and keeping it abeam of you in the same general area of your sight picture. Very little other information is required from the instrument panel in these cases. When I'm flying VFR, I only glance at my instruments occasionally to ensure I'm maintaining altitude and heading, checking that my DG hasn't drifted too far, and double checking my navigation instruments to be sure I'm still within margins for my course. This is a couple of seconds out of every few minutes.

 

IFR is a whole different animal, and I'm more or less glued to the IP. In terms of feelings when you're socked in clouds flying at vectors given to you by ATC, it's like being in a simulator in that you cannot trust them. Your eyes and inner ear will deceive you and if you listen to them too long you risk diving inverted out of the clouds. But there is a reason that IFR flying requires a completely different ticket than VFR. In VFR, the instrument panel is valuable, but you aren't married to it yet. It can be a crutch that will rob you of the basics of visual flying.

 

It's not about having raw talent. Skill is earned with patience and practice, listening to the right teachers and following their example. If you aren't good at something, keep practicing until you are.

 

As a side note, I won't protest one day getting Tomcats with these upgrades. More variety is good. But there is nothing two seperate numbers on a HUD can tell me that a quick glance at just one steam gauge can't.

Very true. I'm also a PPL holder IRL. In VFR, your eyes should primarily be outside the cockpit, and you use your gauges as a quick reference to confirm what you suspect.

 

I've been lurking in this thread since it started, and following it, it seems that @Nealius is saying that you can't fly the in-game Tomcat the way you would in RL, while @Victory205 is referring mostly to RL flying. I could be wrong in my interpretations... Please don't flame me.

 

Assuming I'm correct, I would like to shed some clarity on this subject. It absolutely IS possible to fly the Tomcat to RW precision in DCS. It just takes significantly more practice, and the practicing of correct technique. It's the same with the F-5. There's no HUD there, but if you fly it properly, you wouldn't even notice the lack of a HUD, aside from a lack of weapons info.

 

As for the inclusion of the Sparrowhawk, my opinion mirrors alot of other's here; Because it was included on some, albeit only a few, RW Tomcats, I wouldn't mind having it, if it were possible. But since it's not, it's a moot point.

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The F5 is a great trainer. Not a bad idea to master it before moving up. I’ve already mentioned the Korean era jets as good basic ACM platforms as well.

 

Of course people approach DCS in different ways. Some are interested in goofing around and that’s fine, but that approach isn’t interesting to me nor is it worth my time. I am most certainly not here for that, and if that is your mindset, you should skip my posts and go have fun doing your thing.

 

Flying instruments in jets is a bit different. Jet’s are flown on IFR flight plans almost universally, and even under VFR rules, they require IFR precision. That’s simply a facet of vector dynamics and higher energy states. A one degree pitch error at the end of a 480 knot vectors results in a smaller vertical velocity than if it is at the end of a 120 knot velocity vector.

 

One aspect to instrument training that you may find interesting Is that Navy jet students did blind takeoffs from day one. The student was under the bag, performing the takeoff using heading and airspeed, hile the instructor in the front seat monitored and gave heading adjustment commands. The reason for that should be obvious, and it paid dividends later.

 

We also did aerobatic maneuvers under the hood. Loop, Half Cuban 8, Immelmann, Split-S, aileron and barrel rolls. The A4 had a great attitude indicator for those maneuvers.

 

Most of the TACAN penetrations included DME arcs, flown using the BDHI, very straightforward. Also, “fix to fix” navigation was accomplished on every instrument flight. We had no Rnav, no GPS, and the INS wasn’t accurate enough, especially when the fix was moving. I used to sneak into the A4 sims at night when I was in Training Command to practice those, until I could do them confidently. I’d fly the instrument approaches that were coming up in the syllabus  over and over to learn the nuances. Friday nights were a great time to get a few extra hours of sim time, while everyone else was out partying. Good for them, the Fleet needed S3 pilots too. I’d fly until the sim techs kicked me out. Never regretted putting in the extra time, but I sure wish that Heatblur was around in 1981!

 

Keeping a jet on altitude, heading and airspeed all require attitude instrument flying technique. It’s power, attitude and trim, and you need to know the power (FF) and pitch attitude for the performance that you desire. It’s exactly like the PPL pilots here learned. 

 

The good news is that the Tomcat is very stable and easy to fly. The TA-4J was a handful, which made it a great trainer for the fleet aircraft that students would fly later. I could have also have an Active Pause Button a few times in the A4, but in the Tomcat, the RIO and the autopilot was a godsend to take some of the workload off.. 😉

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