This along with carrier landings are some of the most challenging tasks you can do in Flight Simulation. Not only that but to do it as close to the procedures in real life as possible.
I got AAR nailed when I was flying the F-16 in BMS. I remember the inherent frustration to begin with and then the slow persistence in practice to finally get that moment when you hook up. Then the fun begins and you have to stay on.
It’s all the same in DCS. I think the F/A-18C is the easiest to learn AAR. For a start the jet itself is so stable and doesn’t require a constant trim by the pilot and second the probe is out front and to the right where you can clearly see it.
This amazing sim continues to challenge me and I am getting immense pleasure from it.
Over the past few weeks I have been learning the basics of the early access DCS F/A-18C. This has been enhanced greatly by the exceptional and invaluable contributions from former and current fighter pilots who have flown this aircraft. I wish I was more articulate to get across how deeply this pleases me. Whenever I am learning something like this I always have that nagging question in the back of my head “would a real fighter pilot do it this way?”.
The two channels below have been a great asset for me and many others so far. I am sure if you have this simulation you will have come across these but for anyone that hasn’t please make sure you tap into this stuff if you’re interested in doing it like it it is done in real life.
A 900 plus flight manual for the F/A-18C as used by real world pilots to learn and reference everything you need to know to operate the aircraft arrived today. I always like a hard copy of these things. The best thing about this for me is that it really applies to the DCS module. This is the place they get there data and other sources of course to build this fantastic simulation.
You can get a digital copy for free from this page
Ever since this module was released in early access, I have been putting many hours into learning, training and practising carrier landings. This module is a complete game changer. Real F/A18C Hornet pilots have been flying the simulation and discussing the flight model, real life procedures and how to do Case 1 recoveries. They fly it and you can see the skill level. Fantastic!
It’s all about hitting benchmarks during the approach.
1- Enter 10nm diameter orbit over the boat at 2,000 ft at 250kts using BARO hold and ATC
2- Set TCN to the boat and set boat TCN course line to heading
3- Set up the jet: hook down, displays, heat, radalt to HUD, anti-skid off, hook bypass carrier, and radalt gauge to 370 ft
4- Break the 2,000 ft deck when abeam and behind the boat and approach the boat from the starboard side. Pass the boat at 350 kts
/ 800 ft
5- When at most 1.5 nm ahead of the boat (closer if you are more seasoned), break into the pattern
6- Gear down and flaps to full when below 250kts
7- Level off on the downwind at 1.2 to 1.3nm abeam the boat’s course line
8- Establish 8.1 on-speed AoA at 600ft. Power and trim.
9- Once the boat’s round down on the stern is visible, roll into the groove with 30 degrees of bank in gradual decent (100-200 ft/min) for the first 90 degrees of turn.
10- Roll out on groove and adjust height with power to keep IFLOS ball centered. Combat recovery 8 seconds in the groove or 12-16 seconds for standard groove time.
I can get an “OK Pass” (which is a grade the Landing Signal Officer gives for every approach) about one in twenty. The challenge is huge but if you put the hours in the rewards start to come.
If you are interested in Naval Operations and in particular carrier ops. This really is worth getting even in it’s current early access state.