I was flying on Wings of Liberty, a popular IL-2 server flying several strike missions and generally having a blast. It’s also revealed that I have a few weak points in my sim setup and that I should occasionally check on my key-bindings. I’ll explain!
The setup, flying with the 110
I decided to hop on Wings of Liberty after a short vacation from multiplayer (I’ve been playing Scripted Campaigns and Career mode a lot) and I had a great time on there. I ended up linking up with DerSheriff, who runs the fantastic Sheriff’s Sim Shack YouTube channel with plenty of gameplay and tutorials.
DerSheriff has a public Discord channel too with plenty of flight sim fans on it so if you want to check that out – tap this link.
On to the flying. First set of missions was on a winter scenario with a 1943 aircraft set involving some strikes against a repair depot and factory. Flying a Bf110 I loosely linked up with other Bf110s and other aircraft. Also part of the strike package: a couple of 109s, a 190, and I saw a lone Heinkel.
Though we lost the scenario with a few minutes on the clock for the Blue team, we still managed to have quite a lot of fun and get into some serious fights. One Red fighter pilot managed to shoot me down in two passes and with some absolutely phenomenal gunnery. Salute to that guy!
Also, this is the first time I’ve tried the SC1000 with an asymmetric loadout. Aircraft handling wasn’t dramatically affected in my estimation and the one two of these two bombs going off makes quite the dramatic effect – especially once the SC1000 goes off with a huge puff of smoke. IL-2’s effects on full display there!
Not causing that much havoc at first
I was eager to take the A-20B out on multiplayer but for some reason I had some keybind issues and problems with the aircrafts parking break.
For the first few minutes I tried to desperate disengage the parking break to no avail and the aircraft would not budge. Even at full power. One timeout kick later and I had the parking break keybind issue solved.
Next problem, my keybinds for inlet and outlet slats were messed up as was my engine RPM keybind. I don’t know what happened but I spent half of a flight trying to get the plane to take-off and another half trying to get the slats closed. For those of you who have never flown the A-20, if you don’t keep the inlet slats closed in flight, the whole plane shakes and it shakes a lot. That was not a pleasant flight.
Finally, on the last flight I managed to get everything sorted out. Control issues sorted out, I took my A-20B out on a strike mission to try and catch up with DerSheriff and some of the other players. I didn’t reach them but I did participate in a strike against an industrial target areal.
On approach it was clear that there was a lot going on so I aborted any thoughts of level bombing and went in for the fast attack. I’m sure those bomb doors would have ripped off in real life (I don’t think that is modeled in IL-2 right now) but I went for the full strike dropping all bombs simultaneously with a 0.01 delay.
Swirling nearby are enemy and friendly fighters and bombers all vying to control the airspace over this target. That was ok, I was going too fast for them to catch me and the single 109 that made a run on me missed my A-20 completely.
In the end, I hit the target and returned to base successfully.
Despite the A-20s light bomber moniker and its relatively high agility, this bomber can bring a serious weapons load to target. With four 250kg bombs on the wings and eight more 100kg bombs in the weapons bay, it can make a heck of an impression on target.
Weak spots of my setup
I’d love to get thoughts from other sim pilots on their setups for some article in the future. I have a very capable VKB Gladiator joystick which I reviewed some time ago and a 12-year old Saitek X-52 HOTAS which is good but lacks the large number of switches that some newer and fancier throttle systems offer.
Worse is my sound setup. I have a small mounted mic that came with a computer I purchased some 20-years ago. It’s not a great solution and it was hard to hear DerSheriff and others over Discord. A headset is definitely in my future (and probably a TrackIR – really need to get into the head tracking game).