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Ok then, WHICH aircraft should I Concentrate on?


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Hi all, I own all the current modules in DCS, and I’ve been flying here since the days of Lock On.   However it’s fair to say I’m a bloody useless pilot.
 

Up to now I tend to jump from module to module, learning a bit of it, moving to another airframe, forgetting everything I’ve learnt, I starting again.

 

Ive decided I want to fully learn a single module and become fairly competent in it.     Now I do tend to prefer ground pounding, and the A10 is the only module I really feel competent in.

 

So at mo I’m leaning towards either the F18, or Harrier.   Just thought I would see what you guys think, or would you suggest something completely different that I’ve not thought about.

 

 

over to you. 

 

 

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I feel your pain.  Too many modules, too little skill.  I'm probably a little prejudiced (I was ships company on CV-63), but the Hornet pretty much has it all, but for me it's got a very steep learning curve

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I love the Hawg but, it's too slow (even though it has good loiter time) and gas no radar.

 

Hornet if my preferred ground pounder for speed and carrier ops, and its A2A capabilities.  Also a GMT radar mode is finally coming.  Downside to the Hornet is its very poor loiter time.

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I find the Harrier a lot more fun that either the A10 or the Hornet BUT I also find it more limited in its overall capability and many of its systems are either still bugged or very difficult to work with (or both).

 

This said, dropping iron bombs seems fine, using mavs seems ok and nothing gives you the impression of speed at low level like the harrier.  

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I'll second that about the Harrier. It has the potential to be really fun, but a few weeks ago I went back to it for the first time in over a year... and it's just too buggy for me. Which was really disappointing given the amount of time it's been.

 

So yeah, the Hornet, all the way. Especially as they aim to have it 'complete' by the end of first quarter.

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It seems like your profile is really close to mine. I do not mind a dogfight here and there, but I am a ground pounder in my heart.

 

The A10 is a great choice for you, but if you feel that it is a bit slow, give a second chance to the F16. The F16 is fast, maneuverable and an awesome ground pounder while not being a full blown server room like the F18. I do enjoy flying the F16 ...a LOT.

 

Briefly, for me, the F16 gives me everything I want from the bombing perspective, while giving me that feel of speed.

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The Hornet is a very good module to focus on IMO

1. it’s nearly complete and will be out of EA shortly. 
2. it’s multi role so you can do A2A and A2G

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Hornet will do everything very competently - I just find it boring to fly, and tedious to operate. It may be my least favorite cockpit in the game. 

 

I'm the same kind of player, too many modules, not enough skill. But I also enjoy ground pounding in planes that weren't specifically designed for it, or at least doing it without staring at a targetting pod screen the whole mission. 

 

Find a plane you like to spend time in and go from there. It's supposed to be enjoyable fun after all. 

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  I bounce around a lot, too, from WWII all the way to the Jf-17 (in free flights). It does make learning one harder ) But, they're all  a fun experience ) It just depends on what your motivation is, if you want to go online or fill a certain role, you should spend a little extra time figuring one out, but there's nothing wrong with just playing around with them a bit, too.

 

  It usually doesn't take that much to be combat capable with any one aircraft, regardless of what it is. The complexoty is in some of the more fanciest weapons or complex navigation systems. You can usually lock and load with a quick glance, though. 

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I have this issue too.  I know the A-10 best, just as a function of owning it the longest.  I want to embrace the F/A-18 for all it's multi-role carrier borne goodness, but for whatever reason it just doesn't click with me.  It is an incredibly capable and effective A/C, but just leaves me a little cold.  It's something I can't quite put my finger on, but I felt (and still do) genuine excitement about the Viper, but had to force myself to buy the Hornet.  The Harrier is another one I really need to invest the time in, as it makes a good substitute for an RAF GR5/7 and therefore the only (modern) British aircraft represented, but all the talk of bugs puts me off.  It is a big time commitment learning to effectively operate these aircraft and it can be frustrating when something doesn't work, and you aren't quite sure whether you screwed up, or the programmers did.  The Viper is another excellent multi-role A/C, but obviously still very much an EA work-in-progress module.

 

 

By ground-pounding do you mean low level interdiction, CAS, SEAD or a high altitude JDAM carrier in a permissive environment?

 

Given your OP, I would say Harrier.  The Hornet is a great A2G platform, but the Harrier will get you closer to the action, especially when hot-pitting from FARPS (wish we had a GR3!).

 

So go Harrier.

 

 

Or Hornet.

 

 

Maybe Viggen.  Or A-10 II.

 

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 I'm impatiently waiting for the Harrier to get its reported DMT and TDC bugs sorted before I think about investing time in there. Also, apparently many of the excellent training missions are now broken and there is no manual yet. Otherwise I'd be definitely learning the Harrier. I have been waiting on that for years now.

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Being an attack plane fan, I would suggest the F/A-18. It has a lot of awesome ground pounding toys and some very nice (free and payware) single player campaigns and carrier ops.

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I think if you're a ground pounder at heart but you aren't going to learn a plane in extreme depth, the F-18 is the obvious choice.  The A-10 is a great plane, and more conducive to rocket/gun attacks, but honestly you won't use rocket and gun a lot even with it.  The reason I would say F-18 for you is that the learning curve (although it seems steep) is actually a lot easier since most of what you want to press is OSB's that are actually labelled with what they do (so you don't have to remember nearly as much).  What you have for controls may influence this (I have two x 120 key programmable/labelled keyboards, so finding the right OSB isn't an issue -- if I just had it bound to a normal keyboard I might think differently).  The HOTAS is doesn't have nearly as many functions as the A-10, so it's also easier to learn (and remember if you're not flying every day/flying occasionally).  Ya, maybe it doesn't have quite the character of the A-10, but it is a more "user friendly" aircraft.

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Hornet of course, seems like a no brainer. 

Lots of A-G options, and pretty good at A-A as well. Very complete 

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Hmmm. I am also much the same. Own a lot, but just lately getting enough fly time. The most enjoyable for me at the moment is by far the F14 Tomcat. Bought it firstly out of nostalgic reasons (my first model plane)but I really enjoy flying it too. 

 

F16 is also another favourite. Though it still is a little behind the Hornet in development. As a Norwegian I have of course seen the F16 the most and it is a great bird.

 

SU 25T is more used than I thought it would be. As the free non clickable cockpit plane it really pack a good punch and flies good. Gets the job done.

 

A-10 II.... Love the plane, love flying it, not so much taking it to battle.

 

F5, Huey, BS 2 and FC3.... argh...

 

If I choose 1.... F14. Every day.

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On 1/23/2021 at 7:13 AM, Boosterdog said:

 

This said, dropping iron bombs seems fine, using mavs seems ok and nothing gives you the impression of speed at low level like the harrier.  

*Coughs in Swedish 🇸🇪  

 

 

 

...viggen...

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Thanks for all the reply’s everyone.    It seems like the Hornet is the fav by most.   So I’m gonna head for that first.  At least until the harrier gets the bugs ironed out, I mean she’s gonna be perfect for the Falklands map right. 👍

 

However with the Mossie, Hind, Apache and the Kiowa on the way as well the choice is about to get even harder.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/23/2021 at 3:11 PM, Cowboy10uk said:

Hi all, I own all the current modules in DCS, and I’ve been flying here since the days of Lock On.   However it’s fair to say I’m a bloody useless pilot.
 

Up to now I tend to jump from module to module, learning a bit of it, moving to another airframe, forgetting everything I’ve learnt, I starting again.

 

Did that a while, until realized that it is better to take new approach: 1 module = one month. So pick a module and stick to it for one month. On first week you go through the basics, learning systems and so on. On second week you learn more specific systems (like navigation systems hand-off to targeting systems) etc.

 

Example on this January I have been flying Harrier as it got some updates last year after very long period.

 

On 1/23/2021 at 3:11 PM, Cowboy10uk said:

Ive decided I want to fully learn a single module and become fairly competent in it.     Now I do tend to prefer ground pounding, and the A10 is the only module I really feel competent in.

 

So at mo I’m leaning towards either the F18, or Harrier.   Just thought I would see what you guys think, or would you suggest something completely different that I’ve not thought about

 

Harrier. I just love that aircraft (and why it feels so bad to see it in such a condition) by its capabilities. I take it over the A-10C any time really. Now when the Harrier got the Litening II 4th Generation (2009) targeting pod instead the 1st Generation (1996) pod it had, it HOTAS controls has gone somewhat simpler.

What I am missing from A-10C are the display managements like how to switch between TAD to MAV while you have other MPCD as TGP.

In Harrier you need to (AFAIK) switch to STORAGE page to get Mavericks video when uncaging seeker. But you need to be on the EHSD page to operate properly where your targets are and use your target/mark/waypoints to designate targets. 

 

But as happens, today comes the last DCS 2.5.x series patch, that might bring the Hornet GMTI and SEA modes. So you could have very good change to start with the Hornet for February (or how you please to do it) with new toys in it.

 

Between Harrier and Hornet I like to make two kind missions:

 

Hornet: Take-off from boat 200 nmi from shore, fly to the target destination with extra 50-100 nmi + 10 min loiter time. Possible have a some Air to Air action to "fight your way in and out", and after dropping bombs or so, head back to boat and land on carrier.

 

Harrier: Take-off from the boat 50-100 nmi from shore, fly to target destination for 50-100 nmi to do some ground pounding. Head on to the near by FARP (about 15-30 nmi) for rearming, refueling, and head back to front. Do this 2-4 times and then on last time head on back to boat. Between the sorties there might be a helicopter to take down or maybe some fighter to defend from, just to use Sidewinders. But typically not.

 

In a Hornet the typical mission takes 60-90 minutes. It is mainly flying and dropping ordinance and then back. The real fun is that if there is a fighter patrol on the way in or out. Usually it is "escape" or "distract so you get to drop bombs, then escape".

In Harrier it is constant action between the flight to boat. It is navigation, target searching, radio systems etc. It is something that Hornet doesn't really do as you are limited in the fuel and amount of weapons unlike Harrier that can quickly rearm and refuel for different sorties.

 

So where the Hornet is with 1 MAV and 2 GBU-12/Mk.82 with the possible AIM-120 and AIM-9, with the Harrier it is 2 MAV and 2 GBU-12/Mk-82.

You can have 2-3 FARP around the area and go some of those. There can be limited weapons available on each of them and need to check for the fuel reserves too. Need to talk over radio that do they have helicopters inbound or in service etc.

 

But the best thing is, when you are out or flying low on fuel, you are just about 15 minutes away from returning back to action with new loadout.

And that is amazing experience. You spot something, you create the target points or CAS page and you can return to it with a proper weapons loadout. Like you find that on other side of the mountain there is a SA-8 SAM site, you go to FARP and rearm with couple Sidearms and couple bombs and you go there to destroy the SAM and then bomb the bridge or something.

 

And if Razbam keeps up with their promise that when ED has completed the A-G radar modes etc, they will make the AV-8B+ variant (separately sold) that is otherwise identical to Night Attack variant except you do not get DMT (amazing thing btw, if it would work correctly) and you will have a same radar MFCD page as the Hornet does have. They are so identical that they share the same NATOPS manual even and there are just few mentions "This is not available in N/A" or "This is only in Radar version". And that AV-8B+ would get capability to carry AIM-120B and AGM-84. And if Razbam would in future update Harrier, then in 2023 it is funded to get the JHMCS, AIM-120C, Link-16, AIM-9X Blk II, Litening ATDL etc.

 

So our Harrier is from 2009 now (because LItening II 4th Gen) so it is with newer tech than F/A-18C Lot 20 Hornet from 2005 or F-16CM Blk 50 from 2007.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fri13 said:

 

Did that a while, until realized that it is better to take new approach: 1 module = one month. So pick a module and stick to it for one month. On first week you go through the basics, learning systems and so on. On second week you learn more specific systems (like navigation systems hand-off to targeting systems) etc.

 

Example on this January I have been flying Harrier as it got some updates last year after very long period.

 


I agree and do the same, tough I tend to go much longer than 1 month as I’m a slow learner 🙂

 

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8 hours ago, Rudel_chw said:

I agree and do the same, tough I tend to go much longer than 1 month as I’m a slow learner 🙂

 

Naeh.... You are just wiser and more patient to do so.

 

8 hours ago, Rudel_chw said:

Currently learning the Mi-8, in anticipation to the arrival of the Hind.

 

It is a good idea. I spent enough time already for it and decided to just wait further the Mi-24 but it has been delayed so that maybe I should take a new round with it too.

But now when the AV-8B got the APKWS II rockets, it made interesting to continue one month more with it, just to wait that Mi-24.

 

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On 1/23/2021 at 2:11 PM, Cowboy10uk said:

Up to now I tend to jump from module to module, learning a bit of it, moving to another airframe, forgetting everything I’ve learnt, I starting again.

 

Sounds familiar to me, even if not to that extend (don't own THAT many modules, so i'm okayish and above competent in handling each of the few after all the years).

 

As for providing another perspective: how are your module independent skills which can be used on all, most or several DCS modules?

 

- General aircraft handling (the very basics like "what is QNH, what QFE, what are v-speeds, how to read those complicated looking performance charts and determine v-speeds?", flight planning, stick and throttle control, controlled flight as in "keeping unaided 30° level turn", instrument flight, formation flying (put up a sightseeing mission being wingman of AI lead), air refuel, basic flight maneuvers, crabbed cross-wind landings, ...)

 

- Navigation (ADF, TACAN, reading and understanding SIDs and STARs, holding patterns, unaided day and night navigation by map-reading/landmarks and star constellations, ...)

 

- Procedures (ATC comms, knowing about airport signs and taxi/runway markings, ...)

 

- (Insert more categories here, there's plenty)

 

I had disoriented-module-hopping-syndrome for years too until i realized i lack the most important skills at all and was focusing on learning avionics instead.

Since then i'm still hopping, but because some modules are better suited to teach certain basics than others are - my point of view and focus shifted and so i now module hop based on what basics i'm concentrating at right now (A-10C atm for it's calm flight characteristics and versatile HSI for learning associated nav skills). For me the modules are more or less tools i use to learn certain skills right now.

 

Walking down this path i got, like said, okayish+ competent in those i own and, more important, as a side-effect also naturally found the module i would like to become very competent in - in my case the AJS-37 Viggen for being such a different and unique (avionics, symbology, ordinance, role), characteristic, fun to fly (actually flying instead of operating a flying computer) and "easy to learn but hard to master" plane, where a lot of the mentioned basic skills are really key to achieve the latter.

 

Hope this wall of text maybe helps you and others to think a bit out of the box and find a fun and satisfying learning-path down this rabbit hole DCS and aviation in general are.

 

Maybe the question about the module isn't that important after all right now. If it still is, i gave a recommendation above 😉

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