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Air refueling with cheap and dying TWS rudders : is it possible?


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Hey everyone,

Was wondering if anyone has had experience with air refueling with cheap rudder pedals? I'm practicing air refueling with the F14, cause I really want to be able to do it (I actually want to be able to do it with most airplane, but I start with the F14).

I have a good Virpil throttle and stick, but my rudders are cheap Thrustmaster TWS. I've had them for some years now, and while they are quite cool when you begin and have nothing else, I now realize they are very cheap and kinda suck (especially after some years of usage). There is so much play in the center that I had to set a deadzone of 15 in DCS. Moreover, they are so sensitive that I have to a curvature of 40+.

Add both of those and there basically isn't any precision to these. It's like using the D-Pad on a XBOX Controller.

Now, it seems most people agree that you must use rudders for lateral movement and not rolling the aircraft, when you try air refueling. But again, my rudders have 0 precision. It's almost ON/OFF.

Anyway, I'm still practicing, cause the other thing everybody agrees on is that air refueling in DCS is difficult and requires A LOT of practice before it starts feeling "simpler". That being said, are my cheap rudders going to make it drastically more difficult? to a point where you'd suggest I don't waste time practicing AAR until I get better rudders?

 

Thanks in advance.

Windows 10-64bits, i7-8700k, GTX 1080Ti, 32 Gb RAM, MSI Monitor 32in 165Hz.

 

Mirage 2000C, F5-E, Mig21bis, A10-C, FC3, F-18, AV-8B N/A, F-14, F-16, SuperCarrier

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What? I don't touch rudders during F-14 AAR ever - you'll be fine too. I don't even have pedals - just paddles on TWCS throttle. Don't waste time with broken rudder pedals.


Edited by draconus
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🖥️ i3-10100F 3.6-4.3GHz, 16GB DDR4 2666, GTX970 4GB, SSD SATA3, 27" LCD FullHD   🕹️ T16000M HOTAS, customTiR, Rift S   ✈️ FC3, F-14A/B   🌍 NTTR, PG   🚢 Supercarrier

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I initially took the advice of others and tried to use only rudder for lateral movement, but still found out that I was comfortable using the stick (roll) axis anyway. And the F-14 is the first plane that I've become proficient in AAR in. So I think you should be good.

I'm using Crosswind pedals, btw.

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Oh well, guess it was a coincidence that everything I read and watched on AAR mentioned using yaw instead of roll...

That's good to know.

Maybe, on top of what I have already asked, would you guys say that once you "kinda" master it with one airplane, it is easier to "master" it for the other ones?

Windows 10-64bits, i7-8700k, GTX 1080Ti, 32 Gb RAM, MSI Monitor 32in 165Hz.

 

Mirage 2000C, F5-E, Mig21bis, A10-C, FC3, F-18, AV-8B N/A, F-14, F-16, SuperCarrier

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There are people whom will refuel the F-14 with mouse and keyboard, so these questions largely are always based around, what are ‘your’ abilities? 

 

But AAR is all about your formation flying, if you can fly wing you can AAR. This will apply for all aircraft. 

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"I'm just a dude, playing a dude, disguised as another dude."

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I've got some CH pedals and... I find it much easier to forget about them when refueling. Possibly if you have a really nice set its easier to use yaw instead of roll, but it is perfectly possibly to do it without.

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11 hours ago, Sylosis said:

Maybe, on top of what I have already asked, would you guys say that once you "kinda" master it with one airplane, it is easier to "master" it for the other ones?

 

I'd say that every aircraft has its quirks and requires different points of attention. It may be the position of the probes (the Harrier has the probe behind your left shoulder) but it may also be the refueling method either basket or boom. I only have basket experience. Harrier I find easy but I have given up on Mirage (it seems a deadband is hardcoded so I cannot adapt control curves to my liking). Bigger tankers are easier (KC130/135 and IL-78). At the moment I'm struggling with the F-14 and S-B3 combination, which is more difficult due to the low speed and also the small tanker dimensions which limits the cues for keeping position. 

So basically never a dull moment in AAR...


Edited by Wrcknbckr
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14 minutes ago, Wrcknbckr said:

At the moment I'm struggling with the F-14 and S-B3 combination, which is more difficult due to the low speed and also the small tanker dimensions which limits the cues for keeping position. 

 

It won't help with the S-3B being a total t*rd to tank off, but try wings to 40°.

It helped me a lot.

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Somehow I manage to make do in the Cat with the god-awful hand paddle of the T16000 HOTAS throttle as my rudder control, after the POT for the twist on the stick started going haywire a few months in (an almost guaranteed problem with this unit, it seems). Which is to say, I don't touch the rudder during AAR whatsoever and I do just fine.

It's like the doctor says: "It hurts when you do that? Then don't do that!" - In other words, do whatever works for you and the limitations of your control scheme. If the rudders make it more difficult to AAR, don't use the rudders. 😜

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6 hours ago, EnDSchultz said:

god-awful hand paddle of the T16000 HOTAS

Those will probably create input spikes too in a few months - terrible quality of potentiometers.

🖥️ i3-10100F 3.6-4.3GHz, 16GB DDR4 2666, GTX970 4GB, SSD SATA3, 27" LCD FullHD   🕹️ T16000M HOTAS, customTiR, Rift S   ✈️ FC3, F-14A/B   🌍 NTTR, PG   🚢 Supercarrier

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16 hours ago, draconus said:

Those will probably create input spikes too in a few months - terrible quality of potentiometers.


Thanks for the heads-up, but I'm traumatized enough by my purchase as it is.

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