I have been living and breathing inside the cockpit and the RIO’s pit of DCS F-14B for the last few weeks. So it was refreshing to come across something that has piqued my interest in the form of Radio General.
A while back I posted about Radio Commander. I didn’t know it had a rival but in a WW2 flavor. The screenshots on the website look superb and I can’t wait to approach a game like this with this original approach.
I love Air Traffic Control. There I said it. Don’t go! I have interesting things to say. OK, so now we have this readership down to just two, that’s me and you we can talk openly about ATC simulation.
Flight simulation has a very niche market but wait, we can shrink that down even further when we talk about and try Air Traffic Control. Now! We are digging into the recesses of geek.
I wanted to open my site further with a whole section about it. First I wanted to see what was new. I have a few simulations that I use every now and then but haven’t really bothered with lately.
Openscope popped up and at first I was put off by it’s browser based framework. However this is a little gem that is a great way to start with a serious level of ………….approach…………. I won’t do that again I promise. It has just about everything you need. It even has a synthesised voice feedback that has variation.
It has a huge list of airports to control and lots of options to make it interesting and give it some longevity. The interface is clean and very easy to use. It has a simple tutorial to get you started and further reading and controls for more advanced stuff.
I will be adding more on this subject and expanding the site to incorporate and inform you of the great programs you can run from your PC to get you controlling those blips on the screen.
You can insert user objects such as holding, refuelling or AWACS orbits, CAPs, SEAD CAPs, or reference points. Create flight routes by snapping way-points to airfields, nav points, reference points or orbit anchors. Move multiple overlaid objects together. Clone flights and/or organise them into packages. Navigational data are automatically calculated using an atmospheric model. Use advanced tools, such as inter-visibility plot or terrain and slope visualisation. Mark important areas by polygons, circles or labels. Export as a DCS .miz file.
One little feature that really stood out for me was the ability to set-up your countermeasures for the F/A-18C. You have to manually do this every time you fly but with CombatFlite you can do all that in the planning process which really makes a big difference in the start up process of the jet.
Intercepting a TU-22 Backfire during the cold war must have been an incredible experience to take part in. During training fighter pilots are taught the intricacies of such a manoeuvre. It’s not just a case of getting behind the aircraft as best you can with guess work as I once thought but involves good radar work, and some on the fly calculations of geometry and maths that also involves hitting benchmarks. For example if you are head to head with an aircraft you want to intercept and sneak up behind you would need to be offset to the left or right at certain distances. So at 60 miles out you need to be offset by 10 miles and then the closer you get that offset shrinks and you have to do that or you could up in a seriously bad position.
I first came across the process after watching the documentary Jet-stream. Potential Canadian F/A-18C pilots are going through fighter pilot training and air to air interceptions are a module they have to pass. It fascinated me how they did it and it looked like a challenge to say the least.
This was a reply I got from J’ello a former fighter pilot who hosts the Fighter Pilot Podcast. I was asking how the maths work since they don’t get the data from the radar.
I recall that 1 degree equals 1 nautical mile at 60 nm. In other words, if you had two contacts 60 nm away from you 1 degree apart, you would know they were 1 nm apart. As you draw nearer to each other without changing anything else, they would be 2 degrees apart at 30 nm and, later, 4 at 15.
So for a target 20 nm away, where every nm of separation is 3 degrees, you would need him 24 degrees off your nose. That make sense?
Well it sort of does to my slow brain.
Anyway so I gave it a go and setup a scenario within DCS where I drop bombs on targets and then head out in search of a TU-22 Backfire.
First I had to lighten the load a touch. A few well placed MK-84 bombs on these Russian IFV’s should do the trick.
Not a good day for these chaps.
Bombs On Target.
I have to use my radar to find that Backfire. It doesn’t take long and I lock him up.
Now using the benchmarks described above I manage to get behind it with ease and precision much to my own surprise let alone his.