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F-14B acceleration correct?


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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure you guys are understanding a lot of what I've been saying. The idea that we're tuning the FM by hand-flying maneuvers while staring at the infobar for TAS (and then busting out a calculator to figure out TMN) is amusing. Ain't nobody got time for that. The FM is not off because we forgot about the infobar or have been using some erroneous source. The FM is not off because we're using a bad value for airspeed. We know exactly how fast we're going (assuming DCS output is correct) and we have much better ways of getting that info than staring at the infobar, hence the reason it's ignored in the context of FM development.

 

However for most of you here, the infobar is the only source of "truth data" so you guys are stuck with it, and it's wrong at least for IAS until ED fixes it. I've never bothered to compare the infobar TAS to the sources available to me, but it's probably correct since it would be really hard to screw that up. Most of the charts in the F-14 manuals are against TMN and KIAS. The charts use KIAS because KIAS (and IMN, not TMN!) are available to the pilot in the cockpit. Keep in mind the charts are all estimated values from flight test

 

A majority of F-14 FM testing is done via an automated test system that doesn't even launch DCS. Secondary testing is done in DCS with scripts that perfectly fly certain maneuvers to spot check the results of the automated test system, and then we do a little bit of hand-flying to check further. Hand-flying in terms of development and testing of the FM is borderline useless, it's very time consuming and cannot give accurate or reproducible results. Unfortunately for most on this forum that's the only way to test, so take any FM performance tests coming from non-developers with a huge pinch of salt. Unless a user is posting video proof of their testing methods along with multiple results demonstrating repeatability at the same test point, be very skeptical of the result being posted.

 

All I'm saying is that the amount and type of hard data available to users is far more restricted than what's available to developers. Folks using "IAS" on the infobar have a bad source of information and shouldn't be using that to check FM parameters. You can use the airspeed indicator in the F-14 cockpit for KIAS, but that too has its own errors which we modeled to be accurate to real life and those errors are not reflected in the charts to my knowledge. If you want to look at the infobar for TAS and figure out what TMN is, go for it, but we don't do it that way because there are better ways of getting that information.


Edited by fat creason
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, fat creason said:

A majority of F-14 FM testing is done via an automated test system that doesn't even launch DCS. Secondary testing is done in DCS with scripts that perfectly fly certain maneuvers to spot check the results of the automated test system, and then we do a little bit of hand-flying to check further. Hand-flying in terms of development and testing of the FM is borderline useless, it's very time consuming and cannot give accurate or reproducible results. Unfortunately for most on this forum that's the only way to test, so take any FM performance tests coming from non-developers with a huge pinch of salt. Unless a user is posting video proof of their testing methods along with multiple results demonstrating repeatability at the same test point, be very skeptical of the result being posted.

 

Wait whaaat... I thought you said you didn't have such a script? 

 

Ofcourse a script that automatically turns the aircraft at a specific G, altitude & speed is much much better than any hand flying, hence why I didn't bother to video record my testing of the F-14 back when I flew them, because I was sure you had a scripted program which would do it much faster and more accurately than any human could, and thus could rather quickly confirm the results I got. But IIRC you specifically said you didn't have such a tool??

 

Now don't get me wrong, if what you say is true then I'm thrilled to hear it, because with the help of such a script you should be able to get performance to match the charts perfectly in the end. I just don't understand why we were given mixed messages regarding this?


Edited by Hummingbird
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Can we all like wait until the FM changes are in before we continue this discussion? This just seems like one big circlejerk at this point and people arguing about what speed is what.

Kind of disagree. HB is in the process of doing good work but it’s still good to hash out what is what. Especially when that what is what is directly relevant to how HB’s work might have been evaluated, correctly or incorrectly, and will be evaluated again when it drops.

I only see there being something to gain to clear up or discount any possible discrepancies or misunderstandings for all involved so everyone and everything is on the same page.

If everything is kosher on HB and ED’s side, and it’s just getting definitive answers on what users should and shouldn’t trust and why, then that’s already hugely helpful to reduce false reports regarding FM issues.
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On 5/30/2021 at 10:01 AM, bkthunder said:

 Please read this from my previous post and try to test it: 

 

 

Here they are mate, the F-15 is a particularly interesting, as it has two airspeed meters and both show slightly different values, looks like one displays CAS and the other IAS.

airspeeds f-15.jpg

airspeeds f-16.jpg

airspeeds f-18.jpg

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18 hours ago, fat creason said:

I'm not sure you guys are understanding a lot of what I've been saying. The idea that we're tuning the FM by hand-flying maneuvers while staring at the infobar for TAS (and then busting out a calculator to figure out TMN) is amusing. Ain't nobody got time for that. The FM is not off because we forgot about the infobar or have been using some erroneous source. The FM is not off because we're using a bad value for airspeed. We know exactly how fast we're going (assuming DCS output is correct) and we have much better ways of getting that info than staring at the infobar, hence the reason it's ignored in the context of FM development.

 

 

 

My thinking exactly. I think the info-bar reliability issue came about as a result of people dismissing its accuracy. Unfortunately some interpreted that as you guys calibrating the FM based on faulty data. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/30/2021 at 8:22 PM, Hummingbird said:

Wait whaaat... I thought you said you didn't have such a script? 

 

Huh? I'm fairly certain this is the first time I've mentioned them, but I've also never denied their existence. They're a semi-recent development. The need for them arose when performance in the automated test system didn't match what we were getting in-game. I now suspect that might have been due to stores drag mismatch in the offline system, but the scripts are a nice-to-have for verifying things in DCS itself. When I'm done making changes I'll post videos of these scripts in action along with some data over-plotted on the EM charts.

Now to further erode confidence everyone's in the infobar. IAS in the infobar should be completely disregarded for any technical uses; IAS data that comes from the API is the same as the infobar number and it's incorrect, especially when supersonic or at high altitude. The F-14 CADC's IAS output is correct and matches the chart posted here.  Even the infobar's TAS does not match TAS that comes through the API nor TAS coming from the CADC prior to error additions. The difference in TAS between the infobar number and the value coming via the API seems to be wind speed, which means that the infobar "TAS" isn't accounting for wind. TAS from the DCS API and CADC generally agree, as does Mach number. In short, all data displayed in the infobar is garbage unless you have 0 wind and only then is TAS valid. See why it would be a joke to reference the infobar for FM development or testing? Now everyone should be even more skeptical of any user supplied FM test reports here. Your most accurate way of measuring speed will be the F-14's speed indicator, good luck reading it when hand-flying a stabilized level flight turn test while buffeting at 15 AOA! 🙂

 

 

30kNoWind.JPG

30kWind.JPG

Ground.JPG

30kSubsonicWind.JPG


Edited by fat creason
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Sorry but what does this mean in comparison with the other modules? Especially the F-15C. Because the F-15C FM acording the infobar matches the charts perfectly.  

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Posted (edited)

As long as the only value being used from the infobar is TAS and you have zero wind, you're ok. I just checked and confirmed that "TAS" in the infobar is definitely not showing groundspeed, but it doesn't account for wind so it's technically not actual TAS.  In @captain_dalan post you can see the F-15C seems to be displaying EAS on all of its speed indicators. I'm not super knowledgeable on the F-15 but it's probably wrong, I've never seen an aircraft display EAS. Also brings into question the Mach indicator readout, if they're using (EAS/SpeedOfSound) that number is going to be way off compared to TMN. Keep in mind the error increases with altitude and speed. If you're low and slow, the numbers will start to converge and the error decreases. If you're on the deck at 250 knots with standard day conditions, IAS/CAS/EAS/TAS are all going to be within a few knots of each other. Mach 1.5 at 35000 ft is a totally different story.


Edited by fat creason
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55 minutes ago, fat creason said:

I just checked and confirmed that "TAS" in the infobar is definitely not showing groundspeed, but it doesn't account for wind so it's technically not actual TAS. 

Can you clarify what you mean by it not accounting for wind? As far as I understand, wind has no impact on TAS. It’s GS that is affected by it 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, uhntissbaby111 said:

Can you clarify what you mean by it not accounting for wind? As far as I understand, wind has no impact on TAS. It’s GS that is affected by it 

 

TAS is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass through which it's traveling, which obviously will include the wind's effect on the airmass relative to the aircraft. If your aircraft speed measured relative to a stationary object is 200 knots and you have a 200 knot direct tailwind, your TAS will be zero since the airmass and your aircraft are heading the same speed and direction. Read this for more explanation.

 

Groundspeed is just your speed across the ground (XY) plane. If your flight path angle is 90 deg (flying straight up), groundspeed will be zero. Obviously wind will affect groundspeed too. If you're flying perfectly level at 200 knots TAS with a 50 knot perfect tailwind, your groundspeed is going to be 250 knots (airmass speed = 50 knots, your speed relative to the airmass is 200 knots, 200 + 50 = 250 knots). That's why you always want wind over the deck or runway (headwind), it increases your airspeed to allow you to fly at a lower speed relative to the runway or carrier deck, making it easier to land and easier on the tires, etc...

 

Think of an extreme headwind case: a 150 knot direct headwind aligned with a runway. Your TAS is 150 knots but speed relative to the runway (groundspeed) is zero. If you're on the ground and pull back on the stick you're going to climb and will look like you're in a hover. If you're in the air, your landing approach will look like a VTOL aircraft.


Edited by fat creason

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, fat creason said:

 

Huh? I'm fairly certain this is the first time I've mentioned them, but I've also never denied their existence. They're a semi-recent development. The need for them arose when performance in the automated test system didn't match what we were getting in-game. I now suspect that might have been due to stores drag mismatch in the offline system, but the scripts are a nice-to-have for verifying things in DCS itself. When I'm done making changes I'll post videos of these scripts in action along with some data over-plotted on the EM charts.

Now to further erode confidence everyone's in the infobar. IAS in the infobar should be completely disregarded for any technical uses; IAS data that comes from the API is the same as the infobar number and it's incorrect, especially when supersonic or at high altitude. The F-14 CADC's IAS output is correct and matches the chart posted here.  Even the infobar's TAS does not match TAS that comes through the API nor TAS coming from the CADC prior to error additions. The difference in TAS between the infobar number and the value coming via the API seems to be wind speed, which means that the infobar "TAS" isn't accounting for wind or might be showing groundspeed. TAS from the DCS API and CADC generally agree, as does Mach number. In short, all data displayed in the infobar is garbage unless you have 0 wind and only then TAS might be valid. See why it would be a joke to reference the infobar for FM development or testing? Now everyone should be even more skeptical of any user supplied FM test reports here. Your most accurate way of measuring speed will be the F-14's speed indicator, good luck reading it when hand-flying a stabilized level flight turn test while buffeting at 15 AOA! 🙂

 

 

30kNoWind.JPG

30kWind.JPG

Ground.JPG

30kSubsonicWind.JPG

 

 

 

Well it was the impression I got here:

 

 

As for the infobar, the TAS reading might very well be showing ground speed, I would not have caught that as I always test in zero wind, and thus it wouldn't affect my testing. What I was told was that it recorded the actual true movement speed of the aircraft in the simulation, which ground speed infact also is. 

 

As for the infobar IAS reading, never used it, so never noticed anything wrong with it. When I needed IAS, i.e. outside of testing and during actual competitive flying, I would use cockpit instruments just like any other pilot 🙂  

 


Edited by Hummingbird
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1 hour ago, fat creason said:

 

TAS is the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass through which it's traveling, which obviously will include the wind's effect on the airmass relative to the aircraft. If your aircraft speed measured relative to a stationary object is 200 knots and you have a 200 knot direct tailwind, your TAS will be zero since the airmass and your aircraft are heading the same speed and direction. Read this for more explanation.

 

Groundspeed is just your speed across the ground (XY) plane. If your flight path angle is 90 deg (flying straight up), groundspeed will be zero. Obviously wind will affect groundspeed too. If you're flying perfectly level at 200 knots TAS with a 50 knot perfect tailwind, your groundspeed is going to be 250 knots (airmass speed = 50 knots, your speed relative to the airmass is 200 knots, 200 + 50 = 250 knots). That's why you always want wind over the deck or runway (headwind), it increases your airspeed to allow you to fly at a lower speed relative to the runway or carrier deck, making it easier to land and easier on the tires, etc...

 

Think of an extreme headwind case: a 150 knot direct headwind aligned with a runway. Your TAS is 150 knots but speed relative to the runway (groundspeed) is zero. If you're on the ground and pull back on the stick you're going to climb and will look like you're in a hover. If you're in the air, your landing approach will look like a VTOL aircraft.

 


Yeah I understand that. I was just referring to wind having no effect on TAS. It doesn’t matter what the wind is once in the air since you’re moving with the air mass. Headwind, tailwind, crosswind, the plane doesn’t “feel” it. If you have 2 planes, both at say, 20,000 feet and same temperate and everything. Both are flying at an IAS of 250kts. Plane A has a tailwind of 100kts and plane B has zero wind. Their TAS will both be the same, only their GS will differ 

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27 minutes ago, Hummingbird said:

 

 

Well it was the impression I got here:

 

 

As for the infobar, the TAS reading might very well be showing ground speed, I would not have caught that as I always test in zero wind, and thus it wouldn't affect my testing. What I was told was that it recorded the actual true movement speed of the aircraft in the simulation, which ground speed infact also is. 

 

As for the infobar IAS reading, never used it, so never noticed anything wrong with it. When I needed IAS, i.e. outside of testing and during actual competitive flying, I would use cockpit instruments just like any other pilot 🙂  

 

 

 

In that old post I said that ED doesn't provide any FM tools, which is true. I didn't say we lack a test system or tools. Those tools still take large amounts of time to run and set up, so the statement about test coverage gaps is still true when time is a very limited resource. The main thing the tools provide is the precision and repeatability needed to properly analyze the FM to determine what changes need to be made. You can't do that by hand-flying.

 

The infobar "TAS" shows a speed that is (TAS - winds) which I refer to as "inertial speed", so technically not TAS. If you have zero wind, it displays actual TAS since TAS = inertial speed when wind is zero. It does not show groundspeed, you can check this by flying into the vertical and seeing that the speed does not decrease.  Groundspeed is also not inertial speed, inertial speed being a term for "actual true movement speed of the aircraft in the simulation".

 

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, fat creason said:

 

In that old post I said that ED doesn't provide any FM tools, which is true. I didn't say we lack a test system or tools. Those tools still take large amounts of time to run and set up, so the statement about test coverage gaps is still true when time is a very limited resource. The main thing the tools provide is the precision and repeatability needed to properly analyze the FM to determine what changes need to be made. You can't do that by hand-flying.

 

Alright, but I hope you can see how that could be misinterpreted, something I clearly did as can be read in my follow up post 🙂

 

Quote

The infobar "TAS" shows a speed that is (TAS - winds) which I refer to as "inertial speed", so technically not TAS. If you have zero wind, it displays actual TAS since TAS = inertial speed when wind is zero. It does not show groundspeed, you can check this by flying into the vertical and seeing that the speed does not decrease.  Groundspeed is also not inertial speed, inertial speed being a term for "actual true movement speed of the aircraft in the simulation".

 

You're very correct, I misspoke on that one.

 

You got the point though, that it didn't affect my testing because I was flying in zero wind.


Edited by Hummingbird
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20 minutes ago, uhntissbaby111 said:


Yeah I understand that. I was just referring to wind having no effect on TAS. It doesn’t matter what the wind is once in the air since you’re moving with the air mass. Headwind, tailwind, crosswind, the plane doesn’t “feel” it. If you have 2 planes, both at say, 20,000 feet and same temperate and everything. Both are flying at an IAS of 250kts. Plane A has a tailwind of 100kts and plane B has zero wind. Their TAS will both be the same, only their GS will differ 

 

You're right, but the point is that the infobar is showing you a TAS speed that doesn't include winds, which is misleading since it's not showing you the airspeed the plane is actually "feeling". If I'm waiting on the runway with a 25 knot headwind, the infobar TAS currently says speed is 0 while I really have 25 knots of extra wind over the wings. That's incorrect and that's the issue. It's not reporting the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass which is the very definition of TAS.

 

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4 minutes ago, fat creason said:

 

You're right, but the point is that the infobar is showing you a TAS speed that doesn't include winds, which is misleading since it's not showing you the airspeed the plane is actually "feeling". If I'm waiting on the runway with a 25 knot headwind, the infobar TAS currently says speed is 0 while I really have 25 knots of extra wind over the wings. That's incorrect and that's the issue. It's not reporting the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass which is the very definition of TAS.

 

Yes, with wind it's a misleading figure as it's not actually True Air Speed, but rather true "inertial speed" as you pointed out, and thus is only accurate in zero wind conditions.

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19 minutes ago, fat creason said:

 

You're right, but the point is that the infobar is showing you a TAS speed that doesn't include winds, which is misleading since it's not showing you the airspeed the plane is actually "feeling". If I'm waiting on the runway with a 25 knot headwind, the infobar TAS currently says speed is 0 while I really have 25 knots of extra wind over the wings. That's incorrect and that's the issue. It's not reporting the speed of the aircraft relative to the airmass which is the very definition of TAS.

 

I see what you’re saying now! I think we were saying the same thing just in different ways haha 

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Posted (edited)

The important take aways from this are that for performance testing, which always takes place in std. atmosphere (which means zero wind), the infobar TAS reading is what to use, as it precisely displays the actual movement speed of the aircraft within the sim, which in zero wind is identical to TAS. Meanwhile the infobar's IAS reading appears to infact be EAS, and is therefore misleading, but no'one here ever tested using the IAS reading, and thus its irrelevant to this debate really.

 

In short the infobar discussion was a sidetrack and doesn't have an influence on our FM discussion as all tests were done with the TAS reading, which is as precise as it gets.


Edited by Hummingbird
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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, dekiplav said:

Sorry but what does this mean in comparison with the other modules? Especially the F-15C. Because the F-15C FM acording the infobar matches the charts perfectly.  

 

Nothing, it's just semantics really, as the F-15C FM was, like all the other aircraft, tested using the infobar "TAS" reading, which displays the actual movement speed of the aircraft within the simulation (i.e. it doesn't get more accurate than that), which in zero wind, the condition for which all the performance charts apply, is identical to actual TAS.

 

In short the discussion about the infobar changes nothing, and all performance testing should still be done using the infobar TAS reading for accurate results.

 

Thus once the performance patch hits I'll once again be test flying the F-14 using the exact same methods as always to see how closely she matches the charts. However I won't be mad or complain if the FM falls short of matching the charts in certain areas after the patch, as I understand tuning performance can be an ongoing process with several updates along the way. But I will ofcourse let the devs know about any discrepancy I find, ask them to investigate it, and if a performance issue is confirmed also expect them to solve it in the end. After all ED's F-15C FM is proof that perfectly matching the official performance charts is completely doable, and so I will ofcourse be holding HB up to the same standard which I have full confidence they can meet.

 

 


Edited by Hummingbird
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Back to my OP...I realized the error in my original testing method.  I failed to account for raising of the gear/flaps, ground roll, and ground friction and how that all could alter the results.  So, I performed another drag race test between the Tomcat and Hornet without all of those variables.

 

Testing parameters:  Clear day, no wind, 59F, 29.92.  Aircraft start airborne at the end of the runway at Nellis, 300 TAS, 500 ft AGL.  Full internal fuel, full afterburner.  TAS (as displayed in the infobar) is then recorded as the aircraft crosses the end of the runway.  I ran each test 10 times to get an average speed.  

 

F-14B Tomcat

Pylons: 539 TAS

No Pylons: 539 TAS

Double Fuel Tanks:  550 TAS

 

F/A-18C Hornet

Pylons: 539 TAS

No Pylons: 551 TAS

C/L Fuel Tank: 524 TAS

Double Fuel Tank: 511 TAS

 

 

As you can see by my results, there seem to be something seriously wrong with how drag/external tanks effect the Tomcat's speed and acceleration.  The Hornet's results appear exactly as you would expect...I of course do not know how those numbers correspond to real life and the performance charts, but the effects of drag seems to be acting appropriately on the Hornet.

 

As of right now, there is no way to answer the question in my OP because it seems drag behavior on the Tomcat is completely off.  

 

I am interested to see if anyone can verify my results.  

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On 6/1/2021 at 2:55 PM, fat creason said:

In @captain_dalan post you can see the F-15C seems to be displaying EAS on all of its speed indicators. I'm not super knowledgeable on the F-15 but it's probably wrong, I've never seen an aircraft display EAS.

 

Definitely not correct, should be CAS.

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In follow-up to my test results yesterday, I decided to run a few more tests today for verification and to add a few more loadouts.

 

Testing parameters:  Clear day, no wind, 59F, 29.92.  Aircraft start airborne at the end of the runway at Nellis, 300 TAS, 500 ft AGL.  Full internal fuel (unless otherwise noted), full afterburner.  TAS (as displayed in the infobar) is then recorded as the aircraft crosses the end of the runway.  I ran each test 10 times to get an average speed. 

 

F-14B Tomcat

Pylons: 539 TAS

Pylons w/ 50% Internal Fuel: 566 TAS

No Pylons: 539 TAS

No Pylons with 50% Internal Fuel: 566 TAS

Double Fuel Tanks: 550 TAS

Double Fuel Tanks w/ 50% Internal Fuel: 574 TAS

AIM-9x2, AIM-7x3, AIM-54x2, Double Fuel Tanks: 529 TAS

AIM-9x2, AIM-7x2, LANTIRN, GBU-12x2, Double Fuel Tanks: 534 TAS

 

My results show that there seems to be no drag/weight penalty from the pylons or a drag/weight reduction with no pylons.  Also having the fuel tanks actually increases the aircrafts acceleration/speed...

 

What I think could be happening here is that with no weapons/stores on the aircraft, drag/weight is incorrectly or not even applied.  I am just guessing here but I would think all the speeds in my test are correct except that the Pylon/No Pylons speeds should be 560-580 TAS range or so.

 

I will leave it to the more experienced, skilled, and educated on the forums and at HB to figure this out from here... 

 

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Maybe I’m a bit dense and should read the whole thread before posting, but how does losing a land drag race compare to climb rate? Or turn rate? To my simple brain OPs post seems to be asking many different questions all at once.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Relic said:

Maybe I’m a bit dense and should read the whole thread before posting, but how does losing a land drag race compare to climb rate? Or turn rate? To my simple brain OPs post seems to be asking many different questions all at once.

Huh?  My OP never mentions climb rate or turn rate.  While the answer is complex, my question seemed straightforward, "Is the F-14B engine and drag modeling correct and the acceleration seen in DCS true to life?"  Of course, the modeling of the engine thrust and drag on the Tomcat will greatly influence climb and turn rates as well, buy I was just testing basic straight and level acceleration.

 

I suggest reading all the posts... a lot was discussed.  My last two posts which contain further testing raises a question about the Tomcat's current drag modeling.


Edited by Donut

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On 6/3/2021 at 8:35 PM, Relic said:

Maybe I’m a bit dense and should read the whole thread before posting, but how does losing a land drag race compare to climb rate? Or turn rate? To my simple brain OPs post seems to be asking many different questions all at once.

I was about to try and answer that question, but i'd rather stay away from topics that involve politics of any kind 😕

Current modules:

FC3, Mirage 2000C, Harrier AV-8B NA, F-5, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14B, F-14A, Combined Arms, F/A-18C, F-16C, MiG-19P, F-86, FW-190A, Spitfire Mk IX, UH-1 Huey, Su-25, P-51PD, Caucasus map, Nevada map, Persian Gulf map, Marianas map, Syria Map......ah yes, forgot the Super Carrier! Shows you how often i fly these days....

Modules in waiting: MiG-23, F-4U, F-8, Falklands Map

Wish list: South East Asia map, F-4J/N, A-6, F-15A/C, Su-27, Sea Harrier FRS.1, Mirage III, MiG-17.

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