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Flight Simulators

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Flight Simulators was created by Tinkicker

 Anyone else into them?

A lifelong aviation nut, and a budding ex trainee pilot whose career was cut short when a woman of uncertain ability decided to park her Mitsubishi Shogun SUV squarely on top of my then Honda CB900FA.

I found it to be most inconvenient that I happened to be sat on it at the time. 
The surgeons, after much sawing, hammering, drilling, fitting various plates, screws and a humongous pin in my leg, pronounced me fit to hobble about on crutches for 18 months.

Anyway, my budding pilot career on hold, a missus, mortgage, kids ect came along and did what the Shogun could not.  They moved my return to flying firmly out of reach permanently.

So I got into flight sims and they slowly progressed until DCS came along.

DCS is a high fidelity study sim, originally commisioned by the US department of Defence as a procedural trainer for trainee A10C Thunderbolt 2 ( warthog) pilots.  In fact it is still used ( with up to date avionics suites) today with USAF pilots at Davis Monathon Airbase using VR headsets.  It is cheaper than jet time or full motion simulators for constant practice.
( the operating manual that comes with the A10C is 800 pages long.  DCS requires a lot of committment as does real world training).

The A10 was joined by many other aircraft and is now used for pilot training by many airforces around the world.

My VR rig is set out like the A10C cockpit and I can do most common things like starting the jet by using physical switches connected to my PC.
Every switch is located exactly where I can see it in the VR cockpit.

Right rear against the wall.  Mast holding my VR Headset. 
 
Forward of that we have the A10 electrical panel. 
Top row of switches APU gen switch,  inverter switch, emerg floodlight switch.
Bottom row. Left and right engine AC generator switches and battery main switch.
It is sat on the amp for my seat shaker.

Small white box with single switch.  Canopy raise / lower.

Stick.  Exact copy of the A10C stick.  On the floor, rudder pedals with toe brakes.

Coming left, box with 7 switches.  Main armament panel.

Lever with wheels.  Landing gear selection lever.  Made from a real aircraft part it works as a real aircraft gear lever does.
Black box with single switch.  Ejection seat raise and lower switch.
White box with many switches and buttons - A10C main fuel panel.  I can control the full Hog fuel system from there.

​​​​​​Black box with throttles.  Replica of Hog throttle control panel with various systems inc flaps, autopilot, apu switch ect.
Outboard box with clear lid.  Signal and fird warning test buttons, stab aug system consent switches, 
Takeoff trim button.
Handbrake type lever at side of chair.  Collective lever for when I fly my beloved Bell UH1H Huey Helicopter.

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Of course, In VR, I do not see that rig.  I see:

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Last edit: 13 Jul 2023 10:30 by Tinkicker.
13 Jul 2023 10:14 #1

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Replied by Sneezles61 on topic Flight Simulators

Cockpit eject button is….?
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13 Jul 2023 14:01 #2

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Replied by Tinkicker on topic Flight Simulators

Eject button is on left throttle.  Press 3 times and you take a quick ride up the rails and find yourself under a silk canopy.

A depressingly common state of affairs...
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Last edit: 13 Jul 2023 15:54 by Tinkicker.
13 Jul 2023 15:33 #3

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Replied by Tinkicker on topic Flight Simulators

Have a vid of a typical mission.  The author of the vid made a mistake though.  You would not fly into contested airspace without having a dedicated interceptor escort to engage enemy fighters, and SEAD aircraft ( wild weasels to sort out enemy ground based air defences ) before you arrived on scene.

Suicide doing without those.  The author was very lucky.

In the meantime, I am learning to start my new F15E Strike Eagle.  I am having trouble aligning the Inertial Navigation System, it stalls about 3 minutes into alignment and just flashes "GC Hold" on the Head Up Display instead of counting down to zero. Something is awry with my switchology somewhere, but I cannot see it.

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Last edit: 15 Jul 2023 03:00 by Tinkicker.
15 Jul 2023 02:45 #4

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Replied by Tinkicker on topic Flight Simulators

Continuing on the theme.  A new mission which is a real mixed bag.  

I got my switchology sorted on the F15 strike eagle and am able to fly it and use the navigation suite quite nicely.
However, it is a pig to land, it is very sensitive to pitch angle on the approach, so I either have a large sink rate and trying to counter it with  a lot of power, or too low an angle and I log several landings in one as I bounce down the runway, usually coming to a stop with at least one blown tyre that I managed to roll off the wheel rim.

However, to keep current on the hog, the spitfire and the mossie, I have put the 15 on hold for now.  Trouble with owning a large hanger of expensive DCS aircraft is keeping current.  It is surprising how quickly you forget to fly and operate them.

Still current on the Hog, Spitty, Mossie and Huey.
Semi current on the Strike Eagle, FA18, P51  and Tomcat.
Completely forgotten the P47, the F86, the F5 (T38 combat version) and the russian SU25.  Never fly them anymore.


Anyway.  Hog in combat showing off its capabilities.  The terrain it is flying over is the Caucasus ( Georgia on the Black Sea). At the end he lands at Batumi.  Caucasus is a fairly low detail map compared to the paid for terrains, but still a very nice, free map that is supplied FOC along with two limited fidelity aircraft -  ( most of the cockpit switches do not work), the P51T Mustang and the Sukhoi SU25T.
Just download DCS World and both the Caucasus map, the Marianas island group map ( more detailed but requires a better PC to run), and the two aircraft are absolutely free to play.
No catches, no card details taken, no limited time offer, just FOC.
Of course they know you will want more...

Hog mission.  Best played on 720p and full screen.  The green lines that follow the pilots vision around are from the pilots Head Mounted Display.  In VR they are projected into your left eye.  I rarely bother turning the HMD on as I find them distracting when not actually using them.
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Last edit: 08 Oct 2023 08:56 by Tinkicker.
08 Oct 2023 03:10 #5

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Replied by Tinkicker on topic Flight Simulators

One showcasing the fighty boys. I have various fighter/ interceptors but they are not my go to aircraft usually. I have the FA18C featured in the vid, which I still use sometimes and have the F14 Tomcat, which is pretty cool because you have a AI weapons officer sat in the rear seat to talk to and listen to his bad jokes.

I do not get into close in dogfights using the gun as I am appalling. I am just not patient enough, I get all excited, start yanking the controls about and lose all my energy. No energy = no future.

I do engage in beyond visual range stuff with missiles though, it is still quite cat and mouse even so,

As an aside, the FA18C Hornet module was released the exact same week that the real life one was retired. I guess the one who paid for the module allowed ED to public release when the last legacy hornet landed at the boneyard.

Taking off on the Cat from the boat is pretty amazing in VR.

Fleet Defenders.
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27 Oct 2023 10:45 #6

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Replied by Sneezles61 on topic Flight Simulators

That is hi-tech gaming!
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27 Oct 2023 14:24 #7

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Replied by Tinkicker on topic Flight Simulators

Indeed. It makes the brain engage.
This afternoon I am going to reaquaint myself with the strike eagle. I bought it about three months ago, learned how to start it from cold and dark, learned the navigation system and was starting to learn the radar.
However, if I want to remain fairly competent with my more "go to" aircraft, I have to put it to one side for awhile, while I do a few missions with each to stay fresh.

The interest in the F15E is renewed because I got my older gaming PC back up and running.
The missus is an outdoorsy type and her interests revolve around the dogs, so in winter when the weather is poor, she is terribly bored.

I am no help, because with VR headset on my face and earphones in my ears, I am completely shut off from the outside world. The house could be burning down and full of firefighters and I would not know it until I smelled smoke.

So with the other PC up and running, I can put her in my other VR headset and put her in the rear seat of the strike eagle to ride along with me.
At least she has someone to talk to then. She quite likes the idea..

As far as training goes, Eagle Dynamics provide specialist training missions to get you started on the bare bones.

Here is one for starting up the strike eagle. It is remarkably easy to start, unlike the hog.
The video provider makes a complete snafu of it at the end.
While he is aligning the inertial navigation system, he bangs the flight surfaces around. This is a big no no as the ring laser gyro will detect movement and stop the alignment.

You can tell this has happened because the alignment progress info on the HUD says "GC Hold". It has cut short the alignment and needs to be started again from the beginning.
Don't ask how I know this... When the nav is aligning, I dare barely breathe.

Training mission #01. Cold start.
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28 Oct 2023 06:44 #8

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Replied by Sneezles61 on topic Flight Simulators

Alot of detail in there.. To fly one for real, there must be sooo much training… Knobs and buttons, abbreviations… oh my!
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29 Oct 2023 06:01 #9

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Replied by Tinkicker on topic Flight Simulators

Indeed.  Many airforces use DCS for procedural training.
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29 Oct 2023 07:00 #10

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