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My dilemma......


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Hi all

 

I'm relatively new to the world of DCS, but have been sim flying on and off for many years now. Or at least I thought I had been sim flying...... Looking back it all now seems a bit "arcadey" compared to the incredible amount of detail offered by the DCS models. As a consequence I've sort of hit a bit of a brick wall as I'm gonna have to learn to fly these craft pretty much for real. I know I can dumb things down a bit in the options, but I won't. It's full real or nothing I'm afraid :P

 

Now, my problem is where to focus my limited time? I purchased BS2, A10, Mustang and the Huey (Oh, and FC3 too but that's not really relevant). I've pretty much ruled out getting anywhere with BS2 as not only do I need to learn how to fly it I've got to learn the kryllic alphabet too :helpsmilie: So, of the remaining three each have merit......

 

Mustang - The simpler of the bunch and fixed wing :)

 

Huey - I just love the flight model, but jeez it's lively

 

A-10C - I've got the Warty HOTAS - It'd be a shame to waste it :cry:

 

It's quite funny really, as when I first sought out DCS I looked at the craft for sale and thought that there was very little on offer, just 4 measly craft and and FC3. Where as in reality, there is many, many months of learning ahead just to get a basic handle on any one of them.

 

Up until now I've just been dipping in and out of the different models without really making any concerted effort to "learn" any of them. Just little sight-seeing flights and spot landings etc. Oh, and strafing runs but without the gunfire as I haven't learned how to arm any of the systems yet :lol:.

 

So, basically, where best should I focus my attention? As an all-round experience? Taking into account the fun factor, the flight model,and the enjoyability of the missions offered within each module? I did try one of the missions in the Huey last night but it seemed to be broken, so that just ended up being another sight-seer.

 

Any suggestions?

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Start with learning the flying part, and ignore the systems. Since you have the DCS: A-10C and the HOTAS, start with that. Forget start-up procedures etc, just set the thing down on a runway with all systems running and learn to fly it.

 

A lot of people seem to believe they've become 'masters' of the A-10C because they know how to operate all the systems, but operating systems isn't anything more than knowing how to stick the key into the ignition of your car and knowing how to signal and how to read your gauges. It has nothing to do with the driving part.

 

More so for aircraft. So learn the flying part first. :)

 

As for the fun factor outside of flying, learning how to arm your weapons isn't all that hard. Everything you need is in the manual.

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My vote goes towards the A-10C. It has complicated systems, but it's easy to handle. It has a lot of ordinance to drop, and also the most mission material. Plus you have the HOTAS which works beautifully with it.

 

The Huey, just like you said with the Black Shark, will take you a lot of time just to get to fly. In fact it's even harder to fly. Plus it's still in beta and you may as well wait on it.

 

The Mustang has very little in the way of missions, there is no WW2 map or WW2 units other than an AI Fw 190. But it's probably the easiest to learn, if a little challenging to fly. It could at least serve as a diversion from learning the A-10C.

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That makes two of us bibosmeggins :-)

 

Since 1989 simming, everything, mostly civil, and ended up in this great sim, just to fly around avoiding any missiles or hostile aircraft.

 

Peace & Love!!!! And a lot of circuits in the most astounding aircraft & flight dynamics!!!

 

I just bought the p51d, my entry to DCS World, the BS2, A10C and finally the Uh-1H.

Looking fwd for the Mi-8, some of the FC offers to come as separate models, etc...

 

I'm trying to start to read the BS2 manuals... Whow!!! And I thought PS1 Aerowinx or those lovely Boeings from PMDG were complex to learn...

Of course, if one lives out the arms and their sophisticated systems, it's a lot easier...

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I'd vote for the A-10C too. Although supposedly knowing how to operate all the systems only means you can start to learn actually flying it, it still makes for a rewarding experience on its own given the level of complexity. Like old school games, the harder it is the more rewarding it feels.

 

It's a delight to 'hop in' the Warthog and feel at home ready to fulfill your mission. Especially considering you have the dedicated TM HOTAS. :)

Just learn a few systems at a time, fly a mission to use it, get used to it, and repeat with another system. In no time you'll be having a blast I'm sure. Maybe fly with Labels on though, so you actually spend more time exercising rather that trying to find targets.


Edited by Vivoune

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I was going to say try BS first and get decent at controlling it before the Huey but I am a helicopter guy.. (When you DO decide to try the helicopters I still say go with the Shark first as it is much easier to control than the Huey just like real life.)

 

After a bit of thought though, I think I have to agree with the folks above and recommend the A10 as the first plane to focus on... You have the controls, so setup and integration is top-notch with little hassle and it seems to be the most "fleshed out" so to speak.. (More missions / training etc.) I think it may also be the most popular module so finding help on the forum should be easier as well..

 

ENJOY!

"Pride is a poor substitute for intelligence."

RAMBO

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I found the A10 to be very easy to fly and get to grips with just flying with its SAS systems.

 

I'm a bit like you very new to DCS, shortly after getting the A10 the P51 was released I toyed with getting it but then I found out the Huey was not to far away so I waited.

 

Since getting the Huey I have only popped in and out of the A10 now and again and have noticed from spending all my time flying the Huey my flying of the A10 has also taken a leap forward.

 

I would go for the Huey or the P51 cut it back to brass tacks meaning fly something that has no SAS systems something that is old school no electronics aiding you.

 

The Huey is real blast once you get to grips with her and tame her its so rewarding swooping into a hot LZ inserting troops and then pulling out to provide aerial cover or just go pick up some more such fun.

 

Just my opinion if you get to grips with a flight model that has no electronic aids for the most basic of functions ie flight then you will have finesse as the Huey and the P51 require you to use finesse at the controls.

 

And on a final note humans have finesse electronic aids have none.

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What I did when I was first learning the A-10C was to only learn how to start up enough of the aircraft's systems that I was able to fly it and use the gun with a fixed sight. None of the fancy navigation, targeting, etc. I didn't even turn on SAS. To be honest with you, I never did learn all of the ins and outs of the weapons systems--working automated flight computers just isn't my thing. I'm a manual pilot, so the P-51D is much more my speed. Harder to fly, but simpler to get in flying condition! By the way, salute for sticking to max realism. I pretty much quit virtual flight instruction a couple of years ago, but if you really would like some, I think I could offer a bit.


Edited by Echo38
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Maybe that's not a bad idea.... Taking off and landing the Warty isn't too much of a problem for me. It's quite stable. Maybe I should use that as a starting point and add in the navigational side of things next and just try and get around the map using the various nav systems, flying from one base to another. I can look at weapons and comms a bit later down the line. And maybe use the other modules as "dippers" for the time being. Trouble is though, the flight models on both the Mustang and the Huey are just so delicious it's kinda hard to leave 'em alone :)

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IMHO the A-10C is the very best module ED has delivered up to now. Very detailed in every aspect. Ideal for the TM Warthog. Very good training missions, 3 campaigns (albeit 2 of them are a manual download), JTAC is fun. The (not free) campaigns from maple flag missions (http://www3.sympatico.ca/tlaschuk/mapleflagmissions/index.html) give you the feeling you are trying to pass flight school. Very recommended.

 

Second best is the Huey module. Why? Because it's a Huey and it has a very good campaign delivered with it and a flight commander you'll love to hate.

 

The P-51D comes in third, as it is a very good simulation of the plane, but lacks an environment that makes it worth flying in. A boring campaign when compared to the others. I really do hope the DCS:FW-190 module will bring more WW2 content to DCS, better wingman AI and AI not seeing through clouds.

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Thanks Echo 38 for the offer of some "virtual instruction". I know that it's definitely the way to go for both cutting through the jargon, and injecting some fun into learning. I really wish I could take you up on your offer, but, at the moment, I have a lousy internet connection so any multiplayer is an absolute no-no for me. A huge pity, and something that I really have to rectify asap. Boris was also good enough to offer a similar service via pm a short while ago. Much appreciated guys :)

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IMHO the A-10C is the very best module ED has delivered up to now. Very detailed in every aspect. Ideal for the TM Warthog. Very good training missions, 3 campaigns (albeit 2 of them are a manual download), JTAC is fun. The (not free) campaigns from maple flag missions (http://www3.sympatico.ca/tlaschuk/mapleflagmissions/index.html) give you the feeling you are trying to pass flight school. Very recommended.

 

Second best is the Huey module. Why? Because it's a Huey and it has a very good campaign delivered with it and a flight commander you'll love to hate.

 

The P-51D comes in third, as it is a very good simulation of the plane, but lacks an environment that makes it worth flying in. A boring campaign when compared to the others. I really do hope the DCS:FW-190 module will bring more WW2 content to DCS, better wingman AI and AI not seeing through clouds.

 

I'll look into the maple flag missions when the time comes. Thanks :). As regards the Huey flight commander - I had the pleasure of his company last night for my broken mission. He certainly knows how to rile a fellow doesn't he :megalol:

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To be honest I think the argument for the a-10 is as good as any. If it has more missions and missions of a higher quality than the other modules then I would be a fool to turn my back on all that it has to offer.

 

I think, in my heart of hearts, that my love lies with the Mustang, but it just sits so oddly in the DCS world at the moment. Maybe things might change at some point but I doubt it. Because I think if it were to have "period" adversaries added, then the whole world would also have to be brought into line, i.e. period buildings and vehicles and ground weapons too. Which would then be incompatible with all the modern stuff, and I can't see ED operating parallel worlds. So, alas, the Mustang will always be a "dipper" for me I think.

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I would start with the A-10C. The Mustang is a beast to try in Sim mode. I can't even get the thing off the ground without crashing. Once you can fly the A-10 around (which isn't very difficult) you'll have a lot of fun doing start ups, take offs, and landings. At that point you should be able to pilot the UH-1 although if you're like me your take offs will be hideous and your landings will be bright (except when the smoke drifts between the fire and the camera).

 

I've put the Mustang WAAAAAAY on the back burner. I also don't own the Black Shark so that's easier for me to sort out.

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To be honest I think the argument for the a-10 is as good as any. If it has more missions and missions of a higher quality than the other modules then I would be a fool to turn my back on all that it has to offer.

 

I think, in my heart of hearts, that my love lies with the Mustang, but it just sits so oddly in the DCS world at the moment. Maybe things might change at some point but I doubt it. Because I think if it were to have "period" adversaries added, then the whole world would also have to be brought into line, i.e. period buildings and vehicles and ground weapons too. Which would then be incompatible with all the modern stuff, and I can't see ED operating parallel worlds. So, alas, the Mustang will always be a "dipper" for me I think.

 

I felt the same way about the Mustang. I REALLY wanted to fly it so I ignored my friend's advice about how cool the A-10 was. I tried and tried and tried and tried to fly the Mustang and it's just really difficult to do anything fun in it for me. :(

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To me it is almost like a no brainer - You already have DCS A10C, and you already have the TM Warthog. So you have about the most realistic flight sim probably ever produced for the PC, and a fantastic HOTAS in the Warthog, that goes hand in hand with A-10C right out of the box...

 

I will never forget the excitement I had, once I made it through ramp start training, and started the A-10C up from cold and dark, taxied to the runway, and took off.

 

I own A-10C, BS2, P-51, FC3, and CA.

Right now all of my sim time, albeit very limited during the summer, is going to DCS A-10C.

Don B

 

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I find the A10C to be the most rewarding to fly and the most amount of fun. Find a friend to fly with online who is familiar with the A10C and can work with you to understand the systems. I feel that A10C has the most amount of functionality and I only wish ED was still developing aircraft with this level of functionality. The training tutorials that come with the aircraft are well done and that is where I would start after you get your stick setup.

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Thanks all for the input thus far :) . Just to clarify one thing.... I don't really have a problem with flying per se. I can take off and land the Mustang quite well (ok, so the Huey is a different matter). It is the actual systems, and engine management etc where I need to do all my learning. Areas which had hitherto been glossed over in the sims I had flown prior to DCS. I cold started the mustang yesterday, following the manual, and decided to get the thing airborne. Took off without issue, text book in fact, but for one minor point....... My engine wasn't being managed. I hadn't gained 600' before my engine packed up with a bang. I'd obviously neglected the mixture or something similar. Anyhow, I had to do an about turn as the runway faced the ocean, had neither height nor speed to play with so stalled into a block of flats. Not text book, lol. All as a result of being ignorant to the systems operations. I have much to learn ;)

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For me, learning the A-10C took going through all the available tutorials, getting some practice, and then moving on to something entirely different. Each time I come back to the A-10 I'm amazed at how much I remember and all the button actions I've retained in muscle memory.

 

Now on a technical level I fully understand everything I need to know to carry out a successful JTAC driven mission, I just can't seem to do it in practice! ;) Whether it's poor assessment of the battlefield or just poor judgement, I can't seem to break through the first mission in a campaign.

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I took a very different approach from the above recommendations. This is a bit more of a long term track but if you want to get good it will take some time.....

 

I approached this like RW flying and have used this technique with my friends coming over from GA flying experience either RW or simulated

 

Jet Transition training ..SU25 if you dont own FC3 SU25t

I started here as the SU-25 has AFM and not alot of systems to learn. It also doesnt have a hud or autopilot so you have to learn what all the instruments do and how to navigate.

 

The 25 is a bit of a hog to fly and it will teach you to stay ahead of the plane.

 

I started with basic flight maneuvers TO/Landing/Pattern/X-C/Unusual Attitudes, and of course emergency procedures (e.g. single engine ops). once you are comfortable flying the 25 from point a to b and keep it nice and trimmed...move on to IFR

 

IFR Work

Since the 25 has no AP or fancy nav equipment this will teach you how to fly precisely. Once you are comfortable doing instrument departures,navigation, and landings (not just ILS but circling and such) you can pretty much handle any fixed wing jet aircraft in DCS.

 

Basic A2G weapons su25 or 25t

once again the 25 is a great learning platform for this as it doesnt have a bunch of systems to learn and you will be more focused on flying. It doesnt have SAS or anything else to "help" it along so its all about airmanship.

 

All the basics like HA/LA strafing,HA/LA rocket employment,HADB, TOSS, and such all have the same principles as more advanced aircraft but once again you have no helpers.

 

Once you are comfortable with all the above the a2g world is your oyster,you can go to the 10.

 

A-10 Transition/Contact

after learning all the basics on the 25 now you get to move into the A-10 and learn all its systems. Since you already know how to fly you can focus all your mental attention to systems management and stuff. After flying the 25 the 10 is a dream to fly.

 

Here what i would do is start with looking at the checklists and understand not just what you do things but why you do them.

 

Repeat all the same tasks that you did in the jet transition training and when you are comfortable with them you are ready to learn all more advanced stuff like PGM,etc

 

A-10 weapons employment .. here is where the fun begins

 

Now you start to use the A-10s systems for employment of weapons and start to get exposed to the TGP and A-10 specific systems for employment of weapons.

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If you were going to learn to fly for real you wouldn't do all 3 at the same time.

Pick one and learn it.

The A-10 is the easiest to actually fly but the hardest to learn because of the vast options of the avionics and weapons systems.

Best thing to do is pick one or 2 topics at a time and master them, then pick another. This includes weapons.

The learning never ends.

Good Luck

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Personally have BS2 and A10C find both immensely fun to learn and fly. As others have said the A-10 is relatively simple to learn to fly properly, the avionics and weapon systems on the other hand take a good chunk of time to get to grips with and considerably longer than that to perfect. It's a constant learning process and every time I fly I learn something new or try to perfect something I previously learned. I have no idea how long it will take to get to full proficiency with it but it's an absolute joy every step of the way.

 

The shark on the other hand is less daunting in terms of systems and weapon deployment and a lot quicker to pick up and get to grips with, however in my opinion the real challenge is learning to fly it proficiently.

 

If personally find both modules to compliment each other nicely, before picking up the A-10 I had only ever flown chopper based sims so it was my first fixed wing. Love flying and learning both and switch regularly between the two. Saying that however I probably wouldn't attempt to move on to a 3rd module until I have these two up to the level of ability I am trying to get to, it would just be information overload.

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