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Thread: IL2:Forgotten Battles FAQ

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    IL2:Forgotten Battles FAQ

    This thread is to give you all the latest information on the game, to get you online and playing!

    I'm going to keep it closed so the info is clear and concise, PM me for any additions/ammendments.

    First off, you need a copy of IL2:Forgotten Battles,(FB), note that this is different from IL2:Sturmovich!

    Forgotten Battles Homepage

    Next, you'll need the 'Aces Expansion Pack'(AEP). This, as it's name implies, is an expansion pack, not a stand alone game. You must have FB and install that first, then install AEP over the top.

    AEP Link

    Finally, the latest (official) patch is version 2.04. So far, different patch version have not been compatible with each other, so you must run the same version as anyone you wish to fly against.

    AEP Patch

    You can sometimes get pre-release patches from various sites. Try them out if you like but be careful, running a more recent patch than anyone else will most likely stop you playing against others. Generally, everyone waits until the official patches come out before installing them.

    Right, so that lot gets you up to date with what software you need to play the game, but there are a few other things that you need to be able to play online easily.

    A handy little program called Hyperlobby is what everyone uses to get a game going online. It's easy to set-up so even if you're playing from behind a router with others going through it as well you'll soon have hassle free online gaming.

    Hyperlobby client

    Next up is some sort of voice comms. You'll find that it's mainly online Squadrons who use comms, the game has comms built in, but this isn't as good as a standalone program, so Teamspeak (TS) is your friend there.

    Teamspeak

    Be aware that Teamspeak did have an issue with the latest revision of virus definitions, so get the latest version. This is compatible with other versions of Teamspeak, as you connect to a server, not to other clients.

    Please note: Many squadrons run TS servers for when they fly together, do not be offended if you are not immediately invited onto the server. This is to keep the server free of people just chatting and let the more serious business of flying take priority over the bandwidth.

    Now, go check out the other stickies.... you'll find plenty of info in them that may well come in handy!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dareos View Post
    "OH OOOOHH oOOHHHHHHHOOHHHHHHH FILL ME WITH YOUR.... eeww not the stuff from the lab"

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    * Patches are also mirrored at Netwings http://www.netwings.org/library/Forgotten_Battles/

    * Read the readme files that come with the game... you will find them installed on your Hard Drive.

    * Explore the game CD.. there is useful information there too

    * To host a game, you will need to open up port 21000

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    WHAT IS IT THOUGH?

    So, what is it? What is the thing that entraps so many players? And will it capture you?

    Lets talk about “behind the scenes” first. Lets talk physics. Your PC is now capable of calculating every moving item in a 3d space. But best of all, it can do it FAST, but only if the people who write the software do it with precision. Within Forgotten Battles, everything has a mass, and energy. It also, scarily, has an efficiency to travel through air.

    Part 1:

    Engineering

    Lets take a plane sat on a runway. When this plane’s engine starts, the physical twist of the engine makes the plane twist. Each plane has a different balance and different undercarriage, and according to how stable the plane is, the effect is different for each. So too is the power that you apply. But this “game” also monitors how much air is flowing through the cooling radiators for each model. And yes, the position of the radiators is different on each plane. But so is the speed that the air s flowing through the radiators. No kidding, if you have a hot engine, and you open your radiators wide, and dive, it will cool quicker.
    Back onto the ground, though. Here we are, sat in a plane with a gentle tick over. We can use the mouse or the hat-switch on out joystick to look around, but we can also move our virtual head in the cockpit to get our eye lines up with the gun-sight. This sounds useful for aiming, but you move your “head” forward in this position and that allows you to look over your shoulder and further out of the rear of the plane.
    Each aircraft’s cockpit is modelled exactly, and after one year of playing this game I can now tell what plane is what from photos of the cockpit! When you throttle up, or drop some flaps, the levers in the cockpit move. The gauges work. Even the rudder pedals move when you move the rudder on your joystick.

    But OTHER games do that. What’s so different? Well, is essence, realism? Once rolling along a taxiway, if you wander off the concrete onto the grass, the plane pitches and twists, because the ground is uneven, and to further enhance it, the plane you are flying will have an undercarriage that is true to life…so a Hurricane has a very wide wheel base and finds bumpy grass a doddle, but a Spitfire has a very narrow wheel base and it suffers badly on rough ground.

    So we manoeuvre to the edge of the runway, and courtesy of the wind effects in the game, if we hold the brakes on, but throttle up quite hard, the wind that is blown back along our plane, hitting the rudder, can be used to spin us around, on the spot, to line up. Naturally is blows up a storm of dust too, so the pilot behind you looses all vision until is settled. This all about engine power isn’t it? Yes…and some create more than others, and some are radial engines and some V-engines, and each changes the plane. Some are BEHIND you. The prop shaft runs under your seat. And yes, each of those things makes the plane handle differently, because the programmer can set the centre of gravity precisely to mimic the real deal. Staying with engines, if you over heat it, or get it shot up, it looses oil, you end up with a blackened screen, and then you HEAR the bearings squealing as the oil runs dry. The power goes…you can FEEL and HEAR it. It is heart stopping after a 1-hour mission, where you have nursed your stead home, and nearing the coast you hear the power ebb, the speed drops and you’re falling. In some cases you loose all drive to the propeller. The engine revs to the maximum, but the plane slows. It’s all in here folks. Mixture of fuel and air, so as you climb you reduce mixture. Propeller pitch, to adjust the amount it cuts into the air. Radiator positions. Super charger stages. And before you run off to hide under your Mother’s apron, stop fretting and listen. You CAN choose to use them or not. Some of the best pilots use almost none of that. But if you enjoy engineering and squeezing the ultimate from a computer game and it’s designer, then you know where to come.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Part 2:

    Flight

    Lift is finite. The faster you travel through the air, the more lift you get from the wing, (to the planes design limit). So as you take off, and you control the plane’s natural “twist” from the engines torque, you gain speed and up you go. Simple. Well it is actually, because birds do it ok. But bird’s wings bend as they request. At low speeds we often need help in staying stable, and the majority of planes in FB have flaps, which extend down from the back of the wing, near the fuselage, to increase lift. You have control over these, but better still you can see them from outside. In fact, in the cold horror of combat, when you are turning onto your adversary, and you close to shooting range, you can SEE what he/she is doing with their plane, and you often see the flaps dropping in a tightening turn, or as someone loops over your head, because the experienced pilot you are chasing knows his/her plane. And the new pilot thinks “how will I EVER learn this all?” and the answer, as always is in fun, practice and frustration. If you pull a tight turn, smoothly and positively with consideration of the plane’s aero properties, you will astound yourself with its acrobatic skills. But most new pilots jerk the stick around and stall at speeds that most advanced pilots would be able to perform turns at AND eat a bowl of noodles, simultaneously ;-). The best plane for this in my opinion is the Hurricane. The simple fact is that advanced pilots find it amazing, and then invite new pilots to experience the Hurricane, and they hate it. It stalls, it’s slow, it climbs badly, and it sucks badly. And then, six months later they are forced to try it for some reason, and suddenly all is well, and the truth behind the Battle Of Britain dawns. It turns like a go-kart, climbs like a monkey, and never ever stalls, even at walking speeds. It has only one stage of flaps, fully extended, and although it slows the plane with drag, it does an amazing job of holding her airborne when everything else has dropped an inside wing and fallen into a stall.

    And when it comes to stalls, how the HELL do you know it’s gonna stall? You try to turn, and the wing drops and you just plummet to the floor. Why? What’s going on? Once again, it’s only after the initial panic of learning the game that you start to hear and see the plane from a more “pilot” point of view. As the plane turns tight, you can HEAR the wind rustling “wrongly”. It sounds less smooth, and that’s because it is wrong. You are forcing the flat underside of the wind through the air by steering the plane with the tail elevators. But just as important is the vapour that forms on the wing tips. Yes, you read that right; you must even look for vapour, because as the vortex at the end of the wing tip creates a pocket of vacuum, the moisture in the air shows as condensation, and you know you are on the verge of the edge. Better still, as you turn and climb, spiralling upward, trying to out climb the bad guy who is doing the same, and you are trying to gingerly turn tighter and tighter so that you end up on his rear, and not the other way round, while balancing your overheating engine against the risk of falling in front of his machine guns, you see his wings wobble, you see the vapour trail on his wing, you pray he tries too hard and suddenly….there he goes…he stalled and he’s dropping below you, and you now have over 1000 metres advantage, as he struggles not to die in a crash, and you simply back off the throttle, open the radiator wide, turn your nose down and drop on him like a hawk, and as the rapid rush of air through your wide open radiators cools your trusty war-bird, you swoop for the kill.

    Some planes have short wings, some have huge wings, and some are designed to carry massive loads of bombs. Some can “roll” so fast that if you are following you just don’t know which way he/she is about to turn. Others can be running along in front of you, and just as you are about to shoot him/her down, he/she rolls upside down, pulls back on his/her joystick, goes vertical down, like a dart, and as you follow you discover that you plane is shaking like a pneumatic drill, and yet the bad guy is not just pulling further away, but is still diving. Eventually you hear a sharp crack, and suddenly your plane is spinning in an irretrievable dive, and as you look out of the window the OTHER wing rips off at the root and you know you’re dead! Bail out though…..bail out…eject. Surely that’s in this damned game. It is. But not like this. Not in this game pilot. At this speed the canopy won’t open. Too much pressure, you see, too much speed. You, my friend, are dead. Never to see your children again. Never to enjoy a hot cuppa with your Squadron. Never to taste fresh crusty buttered bread again.

    Not until you hit Escape and Re-Fly anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Part 3:

    Shooting

    This section I am superbly qualified to talk bo11ocks in. Without a word of a lie, for someone who has flown as much as I have in this game, I am without a doubt, the worst FB marksman. Period. The funny thing is I can fully explain it. So I shall. But be aware, this is all theory. It is correct theory. But theory, none the less.

    One of my tutors, Dak, explains it best. In peacetime a plane is for travel. But in wartime, it is simply a GUN PLATFORM. Nothing more. Nothing less. The more guns you can get aimed at the bad guy, the better. The longer you can hold him in your sites, the better. Guns and ammo weigh a lot. So a balance is found. Slow and heavily armed, or light and fast. There is no right or wrong. But in any case the guns point one way. And you have to point the entire plane that way. It’s not Q3A…you can’t run left and shoot right (well you can in bombers but we’ll do that later). Your Lagg 3, or BF109 must be aimed at the bad guy. Period.

    Machine guns are high rate of fire, solid tipped bullets. They will kill or badly injure a pilot from almost any range if they make it through the armour. Every plane has different armour. In different places. Machineguns fire very fast. The more the merrier. If you hit the bad guys plane, the plane will suffer damage according to where you hit it. You might hit a control cable, running to the wings, or the rudder or the elevator, in which case that pilot is in a world of pain with less control. You might rip a lot of holes in a wing, and that wing will lose lift. If you get hit, hard, look out of your canopy either side, and you will be able to see through the holes. This game shows all the structure of the plane. Holes show. Bullet holes. Big holes. Mammoth holes. They are all modelled. If you hit a fuel tank, it will leak. You will be able to follow the white vapour trail through the sky. That plane has a problem. No fuel at all in a few minutes and home is a long way. If you hit an engine hard enough it will pour oil. It will then lose power. The canopy of the plane will be sprayed in oil. Visibility will go right down the drain.

    Canons are different. They fire slower, and they fire bigger heavier shells with explosives in them. When they hit, if they hit, they make bigger holes. They tend to do good jobs on fuel tanks (the underside of most planes) and they also do an ok job on removing wings, at the base where they join the plane. Inside each plane is a structure, like a skeleton, and the particle physics of the game takes it all into account. So it is possible to remove bits of plane, one part at a time. I understand from pilots who can shoot straight, that P39’s do a good job. They have the engine behind the pilot, and the propeller shaft running from the engine to the front is hollow and houses a big canon. It fires 37mm shells. It is good at wing removal. My personal favourite is the Yak9 K. It has a 45mm canon. The recoil is so bad that I can’t hold the plane still for more than 2 shots. My shooting is bad anyway. But on the odd occasion that it does find a target, not much is left. However I never know I have hit, because the muzzle flare, from this behemoth weapon, blinds me.

    Rocket are, well, rockets. They have their own propulsion and they go bang when they hit. They also have fuses so you can request them to go pop even without hitting. Similar to Q3A the “splash damage” in the vicinity of the explosion will hurt a plane. They are slow. They make a mess of things though. When you fly with them under the wings, you know all about it. Even at take off, you can tell you are toting six rockets. The drag is dreadful. The plane shakes. It won’t climb properly and it stalls very easily. If you are attacked by other fighter planes while carrying them, on the whole, its best to fire them all off ASAP and then play the dog fight game.

    And for all of these weapons we have to account for:
    Muzzle Speed.
    Trajectory
    Weight
    Rate of Fire

    Small lightweight rounds from machine guns on planes like Yak9’s and Lagg3’s fire very fast. But they lose speed and energy and eventually they wouldn’t even tear a hole in a fabric wing. Canon shells have a trajectory like a rainbow….but they hold energy well. But being so slow it’s hard to hit rapid moving planes. And most important is CONVERGANCE. This is the point in front of your plane where all your bullets meet. So if you have two machine guns in the nose cowling, they fly next to each other anyway, and in level flight, they meet at a point in front, at the same height as they were fired. You choose this on each plane. But the bullets don’t fly dead true…each is slightly variable. And the further away from your plane they are, the more wildly off target they go. Plus they are travelling so slowly they wouldn’t knock a bean can off a wall. So you can choose to converge close. But that means you have to get close in your plane. Because, after their convergence point, they go off again. In a Hurricane MkIIB you have not 1, not 2, not 4, not 8, but TWELVE of them. Each has different amount of ammo, so they run out at different times. If you set convergence, as the best WW2 pilots did, very close, such as 125 metres, whatever you hit falls to pieces. Totally. But when you have spent 10 minutes trying to get someone in front of you, having spun, stalled and climbed, again and again, you wonder if you will EVER get to even pull the trigger. So new pilots tend to have the convergence further out so they can take shots at further distances. This is neither right nor wrong. It is personal. But when one plane is flying up at 15 degrees, right at 30 degrees off from your path, and is still turning all the time, and you are diving right, doing 150 kph more than him, trying to see where to shoot at is a skill that I have yet to stamp my name into. In essence you must shoot ahead. The faster the bad guy is travelling the further ahead you must shoot. The further away they are, ditto. It’s all logical. Except when you are going to die.

    And how do we KNOW, for a FACT, that the game really is hosing the area with bullets. We can see tracer fire, but we are CERTAIN that some of those bullets must have hit. Why is he not dead? Why is he still unscathed but our empty machine gun and canon clips are smouldering from the rapid fire? Surely, on this godforsaken mud ball, you were ENTITLED to that kill. You KNOW you hit him. Why is he now coming round for a go at you?

    First tool: Record your tracks, then play them back with “external views” on, and see where you were really shooting. Use [ and ] to slow down or speed up tracks. Use P for pause. Configure a key for Quick record. Then watch them. Over and over.

    Second: In the config file you can activate ARCADE MODE. It shows little red and white arrows, similar to those favoured by Robin Hood and William Tell. Wherever they hit the plane they stay…both an entry wound and an exit wound. They EVEN show what they deflected off, inside the plane’s structure. Its THEN, and ONLY THEN that you see you DID hit, less times than you thought, but you did hit. However you hit fabric, fuselage, and empty space in the airframe. You missed radiators, missed pilot, missed fuel tank. Your canons missed it all.

    Third: Get someone else’s tracks, and watch THEM. See just how far they aim in front. And see the weirdest thing ever. The Snap Shot. The milli second when a good pilot just knows that a plane is going to fall in front of him/her. The trigger is pulled and there is no one there….and then there is, and then they’re dead.

    My advice, crap as my gunnery is, is as follows. Choose a convergence somewhere between 150 and 300 and stick with it. Choose different convergence for canons and machine guns, and use then wisely. And become used to it. Make the convergence “yours”

    Lastly, when hitting tanks and other ground targets, extend the canon convergence to something like 600 metres on Il-2 models that have big canons. Now that I CAN DO, with conviction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Part 4:

    Menu Screens/Control Set up

    This should be self explanatory, but it’s not. It’s hell.
    First thing. When using the Config utility that comes with the game, you should turn off the Intro movie using it. It’s a tiny box in the bottom left corner. It’s kind of inspiring for the first few days…then it does your head in.
    Next is the Music. Turn that off too. The entire game runs better without. IL-2 takes massive memory. The more you have spare, the better.
    Toggle Switches. Up is ON, down is OFF. So if you wanted to watch a track, you choose it, click on it from main menu, and then you have lots of toggles. Up is ON. So “external views” as an option, for example.

    In the Input screen, where you set up joysticks and mouse speed, the sliding scales are settings for 3 different axis. The axis is shown in the top left corner as a drop down. The sliders effect how your joystick reacts IN GAME to you moving it. The diagram with the two coloured boxes moving about in them, shows the digital commands from your joystick and the effect that it has on the game itself. So if you choose to have a mild input in the centre of the sticks movement, choose lower numbers to suit. But beware: You must end at 100% or you won’t have full movement and any sudden jumps in the “shape” of the sliders will result in jerky flight.
    Also is the choice of Smoothing and Dead zone. I choose dead zone for the rudder (ie joystick twist) because while dog fighting, I twist by accident a bit, so a small dead zone on that is good. Smoothing simply does that. If you have it too high, you wont be able to swap directions quickly but you’ll never stall

    Good pilots such as Trig leave it all as standard. He just flies it default. Your call.

    Next is the huge assortment of keystrokes. You will need to use almost every key, some twice with the aid of pushing Control as well, and some with Shift too. I kid you not there are loads. But don’t do that to begin. Fly it vanilla, plain, normal, and as you need things, assign them where YOU want them. The difference between Rias and myself is non-existent. But I taught her, and she uses my keystrokes. Then given time, she changed a few and she’s sorted. However, Tumble visited, and tried to fly on my PC. No way. We are miles apart. We have everything set differently. But some good defaults to know are
    I= Ignition to turn on the engine
    G= Gear Up
    G= Gear down aswell
    B= Brake

    Without a word of a lie, you can make do with that lot.
    But

    F= Flaps up one stage
    V=Flaps down one stage
    F1= Cockpit view
    F2=External View (use mouse to look around, click buttons to zoom in out)
    F3= Cool Fly by view
    F6=Nearest Enemy External View
    F8=External Rear chase cam (once again, use mouse)

    And F9 to change between the hat switch looking to a set position (SNAP TOO VIEW) and PAN (ie look about one bit at a time)
    It is a seriously good idea to assign a very easy to reach button to “Look Straight Ahead” so if you PAN about too much, hit it and you’ll get your bearings in a split second. Keypad 5 is default.

    Warning: If you move the mouse while flying, it moves the view. You then NEED to Look Straight Ahead.

    Next is Gun sight. If you find Toggle Gun sight (very bottom of the views section of the control set-up) you can move your head back and forward to the gun sight. The reticule is never in line with your pilot’s head unless you hit this button. It also moves your head forward so when you look back over your shoulder you can see more. Remember me saying that ages ago? Well, it’s almost like I planned this, isn’t it?

    Last for now is the FIELD OF VIEW… a high number is wide screen, and each number below zooms your view in more and more. As a certainty, the new pilot will want a Maximum zoom in view for shooting. The problem is the target then jinks about, you loose sight of him and you’re dead. You MUST be able to swap between wide-angle views and zoomed in views with NO CONCIOUS THOUGHT. The split second that he leaves your view, zoom right out. Do not loose site. You must know where he is, always

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Part 5:

    Skii’s guide to getting back on the ground safe and sound
    -------------------------------------------------------

    So Hermann, there you are, flying a 400mph thoroughbred German killing machine staring down at the vast expanse of scenery below, with one big question looming ever greater in your mind…

    ‘So how do I land this thing?’

    Well the first couple of times you attempt to land a fighterplane in IL2 no doubt everything happened a bit too quick for you , and you ended up cartwheeling to a dust covered finish a few hundred yards off the runway with wheels and debris strewn along your path of destruction, or worse…

    Actually landing your fighter is a lot easier than you think, PROVIDED you grasp the basics of aircraft flight and you PLAN your landing.

    Lets start with the basics. In order to land your aircraft you need to be configured for landing, and it is essential that you set your plane up for landing at an early enough stage so that all you need to worry about is controlling your aircraft in the descent.

    So, assuming you are flying in the immediate vicinity of a suitable airfield, lets start getting into the landing pattern. In order to be correctly aligned for landing, you need to look at how the runway is positioned relative to your flightpath, you want to be aligned so that you are flying parallel to the runway, ie flying in the same direction the runway is pointing, and a good distance away from it. Why a good distance ? because we are going to turn to fly our final approach, and that distance allows us to turn our aircraft into the landing pattern.

    So, looking out the side of our cockpit we see the runway flashing past, we are nice and fast and flying at a moderately low altitude, say 500-1000m

    Now, we want to start thinking about setting the aircraft up for landing. First thing we need to do is reduce our speed, so we cut the throttle and watch our airspeed drop.
    Keep flying straight, don’t worry about that runway, lets set the plane up.

    As the airspeed drops to 250 knots, drop the flaps to ‘landing’ (v) Flaps have the immediate effect of rapidly slowing your aircraft down, so as you see that airspeed needle drop to 200 or less, increase your throttle to compensate. We want to be around 250 knots.

    Now start a nice easy turn towards the side you saw the runway, if you get it right you will turn into a path that lines you up perfectly with the runway, and having done this, you are in position for ‘finals’

    Next – Drop that throttle again landing gear down (g) The effect of dropping the gear rapidly slows your aircraft down like your flaps did, only this time we are now descending and now you have the key element of your aircraft configured, you now just need to keep lined up with that runway and use the throttle to control your descent.

    You want to aim for around 200 kph in your descent, a common mistake is to fly the final approach TOO SLOW, resulting in you losing too much altitude and dropping short of the runway. Keep the power on and the nose down, if your airspeed drops below 200, throttle up, you will find that by keeping on the throttle with only very small up/down corrections, you can fly a nice steady descent.

    As you reach the runway threshold cut the throttle and ‘flare’ by flaring you are pulling gently back on the stick and raising the nose in the last few feet of flight before your wheels kiss the ground, this has 2 effects, 1) it slows your aircraft down more 2) it slows your rate of descent and reduces the possibility of you bouncing off the ground.

    As you feel the aircraft settle on the ground, watch that airspeed and stay on the rudder to maintain a straight line, as the airspeed drops to around 100, pull back on the stick and start to gently dab brakes - be very careful to apply just enough brakes to bleed speed without cartwheeling the plane, too much brake and you will nose over and bend your prop.

    As you slow to a stop, taxi clear of the runway and stop, hit ‘I’ to cut the engine and relax. You’re down safe and sound. Soon you’ll be doing all of this instinctively and confidently.

    Lets recap

    1) reduce throttle - bleed airspeed to 250kph
    2) Landing flaps
    3) turn to finals
    4) Landing gear down
    5) control descent with throttle – 180 - 200kph is ideal
    6) cut throttle and flare - touchdown
    7) dab the brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  8. #8
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Part 6:

    More Engineering

    OK, lets take fuel. It must be mixed with the air at the right ratio, just like in a car. As you go higher, the air gets thinner, and oxygen becomes less concentrated. You then need to lower your mixture. If you don't you lose power AND your engine starts t chuck out un-burned fuel and you leave a superb black trail across the sky. You might as well wear a flashing light, and have fireworks on your wings So you need to assign Fuel Mixture.
    Default is 100% then 80% then 60% etc.
    Every engine is a fraction different and you tend to only be able to hear the power ebbing away as you climb of you are on Full Throttle. But as you go through 3000 metres is effects most planes and by 4000 metres you are pluming fuel and have no horsepower. As SOON as you knock the mixture down you hear the improvement. From then on it’s up to you to try at different heights, but don’t forget to raise the mixture back up to a richer mix as you descend again. There is also a 120% mixture available. It’s considered good for takeoff and low-level extra power. I am not totally convinced yet. More trials before I say yes to that one. But, experiment yourself with your favourite planes. Be aware lots of German planes have fuel injection and have NO Mixture. Similarly, lots of US, and late Spitfires have no mixture adjustment. One pair of plane’s to be aware of is the I-16 and I-153. These little beasts, which turn like turny things in a turning competition, have a horrible little trick. If you push forward on the joystick and “go over the top” ie create negative G force, the float in the carburettor sticks and the engine dies. You can normally be lucky on the first one, and pull back hard to compensate, but if it dies, it dies Then you can only try on of thousands of recipes. My favourite is Nose Down….build up huge speed, Hit I, cross fingers….and repeat if necessary or until you die

    Prop Pitch: This one creates more debates than any. A propeller is a screw. It turns and pulls air through. The engine has a “sweet spot” where it creates the most power. A certain rev range. When the plane goes faster than that rev range, the propeller needs to cut into the air a bit more, to slow the engine speed a bit and yet for the air being pulled through to get faster. It’s like changing gear on a bike. As you go faster you pedal so damn fast your legs fall off So, you change gear. The problem is that 100% s the lowest prop pitch, and 95% is the next highest then 90% etc etc. ie the more it cuts into the air, the lower the number.
    When is right to change? Different on each plane, but the experienced pilots are discovering that switching to 95% once airborne is a good plan. The engine overheats if it revs too much. So keeping the revs down is good for fuel and temperature. I have spent a bit of time on this one, and I do vary it a lot. I know it helps me because I can dive really fast, dropping the percentage as I go until at 600kph I am at 80% and then pull out, and raise it back up and whoever is following me inevitably falls away on the climb before I do. So it does work, but for a new pilot it is totally forgettable. You have many many other things to do. If you are happy with your flight, then have a play. A well-flown Il-2 ground attack convoy will hold nearly 400 kph in level flight. At 80% throttle. Most fighters have real trouble with that. That is normally down to Prop Pitch…..and….

    TRIM: You must, must, must learn to trim your plane. On the back edges of the elevators are little trim tabs…they have a minute effect on the air and allow the plane to fly at any speed totally level. The pilot adjusts them with CONTROL and the Up and Down arrows. If you do 250 and trim for level flight, then throttle up…as speed builds the nose goes up with lift. If you then re trim for level flight you go faster again. If you don’t trim you wont be able to turn. If you are worried about trim, or forget it, I’d suggest trimming at about 300kph. That speed is flyable around. But when you have to keep constant minor pressure on the stick to fly level you are scrubbing speed. And SPEED IS LIFE.

    Superchargers: Some planes force air into the engine at high altitude by compressing it with a supercharger running off the engine. At low altitude it is on Stage One, and is a low drain on the engines power. As you climb to about 2500 you move to Stage 2, which although drains the engine of power, it forces more air in to compensate. Russian and UK planes often have Superchargers. I believe there are only 1st and 2nd stages on any. It is less problematic than mixture. Its effect is less if you forget it.

    So that’s Mixture (lower the percentage as you climb, 3000 metres is about right for 80%), Prop Pitch (100% revs high, 95 less so, 90 less so again) and Super Chargers (Stage one low, stage 2 above about 2500)


    And why is this all so vital? Because what we all want is to go high and fast. Why?
    I’ll leave that to Skii, who explains it best.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  9. #9
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Part 7:

    Energy fighting...by Skii

    So - the first thing your budding Baders will do at the first time you smell an opponent anywhere near you is turn to one side and yank that
    stick back as hard as you possibly can, pulling your groaning creaking fighter into the tightest possible turn, with the express intention of getting that bad guy in your gunsight.

    This is all well and good, and in certain situations is a good tactic, however the major disadvantage that it slows your aircraft down rapidly, so whilst you have managed to change direction effectively, you are now travelling at half the speed you were.

    Now despite you now being behind the bad guy, he is going twice as fast as you, and while you were busy flying in a tight speed-reducing circle, he started to climb.

    So - whilst you have lost energy, he has converted his energy into height, and in a WW2 prop-powered fighterplane, he with the height advantage now has the upper hand, a BIG upper hand.

    So, now you are struggling to climb up to him, after all, you can't accelerate in a steep climb, and your airspeed needle is dropping, you can't hold that gunsight on him any longer, you start to stall and your nose drops to gather airspeed, seeing you drop away below him, he simply rolls into a dive - and he's right behind you - the hunter has become the hunted...

    This is a simple demonstration of energy management, you used that energy to turn, he used it to climb, so you ended up slow and low, whilst he ended up high, and despite losing airspeed in the climb, he had converted it into height and is now diving back down on you.

    This exactly why aircraft throughout WW2 were given progressively more powerful engines, the most successful fighter planes became the fastest, they could fly up higher and faster than their opponents, and could swoop on their opponents in a fighting style called 'Boom n' Zoom'

    Energy = Speed = Life became the key to the successful fighter pilot, the faster plane ruled the dogfight, he could choose when to engage his opponent, and when to go home, the once deadly Mitsubishi Zero became a deathtrap as American pilots in faster planes could outrun and outclimb them, American pilots were taught not to attempt to turn with their opponents - simply dive or climb out of the way, keep that airspeed needle high and the Zero would never get near them.

    So - there is your first basic lesson in energy fighting. More to come later

    S!

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  10. #10
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Energy Fighting Part 2, by Zak33

    The space we occupy as fighter pilots is in 3 dimensions. But our position over the ground is only in 2 dimensions.

    Imagine I am flying north, and directly under my plane, on exactly the same route north/south is a road. Dead straight.

    You are flying south, over that road too. Dead straight.

    Don't fall for the the first thought that entered your head...the one I can see in your eyes Who said we were gonna collide?

    A: I might be further north going away from you, and you're flying away from me
    B: I might be at 3000 metres, you at 2920 metres.

    Ok, joking aside, lets assume for now that we ARE aiming at each other....we pass by very close to each other...and a split second later are seperating. We didn't shoot, we identified our target, waved as good friends do, and NOW want to kill each other.

    I bank to my left, by rolling my plane onto its side, and pulling back on the stick. If I want to tighten my turn I pull harder. When I do that I lose speed, because I'm not flying straight, I'm forcing the plane at an angle, and I'm losing energy. There is nothing wrong with that IF it's what I want to do. But at the high speed I was going at there is only a certain tightness I can turn. The ground below me has a grid on it....my turn takes up a whole grid square, but now I am facing south, 1 grid away from the road, going slower. I did a U turn...horizontally.

    I lost ENERGY for two reasons. 1: I turned and lost speed, and 2: to turn I had to put my wings over on their side, and they lost lift from vertical to gaining lift into the centre axis of the turn, so I either lost speed OR lost height to keep the speed up. There is nothing I can do about it...its how planes work. Some planes are VERY good at it (I-153). Others not (P47)

    However, you are now heading south, having passed me, and decide to turn VERTICALLY. You still want to turn to find me but not horizonatally.
    You ease back on the stick, and as your nose comes UP, you climb, and loose speed BUT put it back in the "bank" because you are gaining height, PLUS you are keeping your wings relatively flat...the lift is still being created, even if it is somewhat askew to gravity. It's nt until your planre is climbing vertically that your theoretical lift is now going sideways. Your propellor is tryng to immitate a helicopter. Pull her over upside down, and roll the wings flat at the top, and now , hey presto , you are facing North.

    The problem you have is LOW speed, and a very unstable plane that is aboutto plummet. But your Energy level is MASSIVE as you are very very high.To help you here with the instability, as you get to the top of the climb, drop flaps to combat, then to takeoff, and maybe even to landing, and be VERY gentle on the stick. If you are still doing 200kph+ once you are over the top, you need to consider "Did I get that right as I am still moving" or "I should have climbed higher, and literally fallen back down to this height"

    Either way, guess what? You have changed direction BUT traveled only 1/4 of a grid square on the ground...you went UP.....and can now decend to manouvering speed, raise your flaps nice and quickly, gain speed, and find that target BELOW you.

    You are also (in theory) still directly over that road...not that it's important HERE as your enemy is over that way 1 grid away, and while he's turned , he has to turn MORE and climb to take a shot. You can now climb and stay out of his way, maybe get into the sun, and then drop like a hawk.

    Back to the road though. Lets go back: me going north along the road, you coming south,..we cross...same as before.....I bank left after we pass, same as before....you climb...same as before....but as you go vertical, you look out of the top of your canopy and you watch where I'm going and you ROLL your plane N THE VERTICAL....you keep going straight up, but you lean the stick RIGHT because I am to your right.....and you get to choose the exact ngle to pull over into upiside down and then roll yourself flat.

    Guess what? Really, if you are a dedicated energy fighter, and you devote every single second to getting higher...that's how you shuld turn almost every time. Even if you want to come home for your dinner...DONT bank the plane and pull back....go vertical, roll the plane in the vertical climb, then pull over when you're going slowly, and dive mildly to regain speed quickly....

    Think of it....now. Hold your hand flat to the table...now pull your hand , finger tips first, up to vertical....cimb your hand up...up....now roll it 90 degrees(or 45 degrees orwherever you want to go on your desk), and pull it all the way over, palm up...now roll to horizontal to get your lift back.

    That is energy retention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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