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Tomcat Beginner - Have to Learn Both RIO and Pilot Roles?


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I've downloaded the F-14 during the free trial and the quality of the cockpit and the fun flight dynamics are helping to lead me towards a purchase. I'm traditionally a warbirds virtual pilot, so I'd have to study a lot in order to become proficient in this thing if I were to purchase it. I have two questions:

  • In order to become proficient enough to complete some campaigns (I'm single-player) - do you have to learn the full capabilities of both pilot and the RIO? Or can I learn the pilot role and instruments and leave the rest up to Jester? (Do I have to learn to use the radar, comms, etc)
  • After completing the trainings and reading the manual, what is a good first campaign? Does the Zone 5 have a good curve for beginners, or is one of the built-in ones better? (Also, if there are there campaigns coming out for any other maps that would be a plus - I would like to spend time on something other than Caucasus).
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Modules: Wright Flyer, Spruce Goose, Voyager 1

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You can do most of everything from the front seat with Jester’s help, but there are certain things that are better with a human such as being able to shift the ground stabilized radar screen or using NavGrid to your liking.

 

Zone V campaign is a bit advanced as far as procedures go, some of the others are a little more lenient.

 

Try cutting your teeth on some of the SP missions, or the training hops and go from there.

 

Or you can get someone to help you with questions etc or even to sit in the RIO seat who knows the plane and help you from there.


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boNes

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I suggest you to try finding the connection between both seats. When you issuing an order to Jester, Try to understand what Jester do. Try to map which order to Jester panel and switches.

 

It's a puzzel and in order to be good pilot/rio, You will have to invest learning.

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I've got about 200 hours in the Tomcat, and have no idea how to RIO. 

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Is it possible to pick a seat and stick to that seat only? Yes. It is totally possible to do so. That being said. It has also been my experience that those who only learn one seat are very, very easy to spot when flying missions since they tend to get confused about how certain systems work (especially the relationship between the pilot and RIO in regards to basic radar operation). 

 

 

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If you have no previous experience with radar equipped fighters (the Mustang and its rear warning radar doesn't count :wink:), then you might struggle a bit understanding what Jester does in the back or rather what he doesn't do, because of the limitations of the radar which can be really frustrating. That's why I would say it might be better to get familiar with radar tech in a more modern jet first, where the radar isn't as complicated and can be used by the pilot, but if you really just want the Cat, then go fo it.


Edited by QuiGon
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4 hours ago, QuiGon said:

If you have no previous experience with radar equipped fighters (the Mustang and its rear warning radar doesn't count :wink:), then you might struggle a bit understanding what Jester does in the back or rather what he doesn't do, because of the limitations of the radar which can be really frustrating. That's why I would say it might be better to get familiar with radar tech in a more modern jet first, where the radar isn't as complicated and can be used by the pilot, but if you really just want the Cat, then go fo it.

 

 

 

  Having put a lot of time in the Tomcat (both pilot and RIO seat), the Hornet, and the JF-17, I am not really sure that understanding radar operation in a modern, single seat module will really help you understand how the radar is used in the Tomcat and how the responsibility of its usage is split between the pilot and RIO. There is a lot of stuff involved in that process that you simply will not learn from other modules at all. 

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I agree with @QuiGon that it'd be better to have some first hand experience with radar operation but I see no point in starting it with another module just to get back to Tomcat later - you still have to learn the AWG-9 so you might start with it now. You definitely need to understand this particular radar operation and its limits to become mission proficient.

I don't find any Tomcat campaigns easy or beginner friendly much. They all require certain skills and proficiency in using different system: carrier traps, navigation and good SA, formation flying, dogfight and BVR skills, directing Jester on radar search, AAR is recommended. There is one though I myself started with: Red Flad training NTTR campaign by beppe_goodoldrebel.

https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/files/3304391/

I suggest to start with Instant Action missions to learn particular skills there as your best use of learning time. It may be frustrating to jump into campaign that you're not yet ready for.

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Thanks. Are there good video series tutorials that are most recommended? The Reapers one seems the most extensive from quick search on YouTube. I'm going through the Chuck's guide as well. There are only a few built in training missions it seems. I'm not yet to the armaments trainings so I'm not sure how much radar instruction is included in them.

 

I am 3 out of 3 in the Case 1 carrier landing training. I'm pleased that I'm able to land on a carrier - I was afraid that would be an obstacle (night landings are another thing I've heard). I have a ton of hours in sims, so I'm a competent pilot, just not yet in BVR combat or carrier ops. Or AAR. Though I'm in VR these days and I've read that helps.


Edited by unlikely_spider

Modules: Wright Flyer, Spruce Goose, Voyager 1

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1 hour ago, draconus said:

 

The official module manual is what I would recommend to read as well! :thumbup:

I'm not a big fan of videos, but if reading isn't so much your thing, then I would really recommend RedKites Tutorial videos
instead of the Grim Reapers. The Grim Reaper make comedy and give a lot of false information in the process.

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13 minutes ago, QuiGon said:

 

The official module manual is what I would recommend to read as well! :thumbup:

I'm not a big fan of videos, but if reading isn't so much your thing, then I would really recommend RedKites Tutorial videos
instead of the Grim Reapers. The Grim Reaper make comedy and give a lot of false information in the process.

I see. I typically do both, especially when there's so much material like in this module.

Modules: Wright Flyer, Spruce Goose, Voyager 1

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I like doing simple navigation flights with long waypoints where I practice cold start, takeoff and navigation.  Then when I'm at altitude, I'll switch to back seat and start looking for friendlies flying racetracks or waypoints with different radar modes.  Got that down pretty good now and playing with LANTIRN, too. You can do the cold star from the tutorial, etc.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I`m one of the strange ones that prefers being in the pit, but i will say if you know your way around the RIO systems, you will be extremely frustrated with jester when you go play in the front seat.

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I agree.  I love flying the Tomcat, but I LOVE making the backseat dance.  I get frustrated with the (understandable) limitations of Jester, but Iceman is just the worst.  Too bad my pilot (who bought my copy of the module so I could be his backseater) is never available so I really have to front seat in order to experience the Cat.  So often that I am better in the front seat than he is.

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Here is a compilation of the best tutorials available:

 



When watching Grim Reaper videos, I suggest to take them with a grain of salt, or at the least comparing them with other tutorials and the manual. Attention: this is not an invitation to or meant as GR bashing. The simple fact remains that they "wing" their tutorials often on the fly and thus can get stuff wrong. They do entertaining vids, but the educational value needs to be cross checked. 🙂


Happy learning!


PS: the more a RIO knows what the pilot is doing, the better RIO he will be. The more a pilot knows what the RIO is doing, the better pilot he will be.

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13 minutes ago, IronMike said:



PS: the more a RIO knows what the pilot is doing, the better RIO he will be. The more a pilot knows what the RIO is doing, the better pilot he will be.

I agree 100%.  If I'm up front, I am thinking about all the switches that Jester should be dealing with (and eventually, making sure I don't blank out the LANTIRN for him) and knowing what he can and cannot do with the radar.  When I'm in back, I am telling "Chief" where the switch he is looking for is, reminding him to mind his AoA and throttle, and letting him know what I need out of him in order to get the picture I need on the Radar/TCS/TGP.  

 

... sometimes I even let him trap without ejecting.  Granted his last pass deserved an ejection, I think it was mostly dumb luck that we missed the fantail AND the island.  LOL, in fact, he even admitted (the first time we played together) that he had never successfully trapped the Cat.  I punched us out over the fantail and the empty plane caught a 3-wire.  "Hey look!  Your first trap!"

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