Things have been so busy both in real life and with all of the new patches, features, and aircraft coming to both IL-2 and DCS that it’s been a while since I did any real flying. Tonight probably only partially qualifies but it was at least reassuring that I still knew what I was doing.
Too much new stuff
It’s an “embarrassment of riches” for both IL-2 and DCS fans as new aircraft have been added to both series and new features continue to come out at a pace that I can hardly keep up with these days. There are lulls sometimes and then times like these where things are incredibly busy.
I’m just beginning to learn the new F-14 (first thoughts coming soon), I’ve got a little bit of a handle on the MiG-19 (which is fortunately fairly simple), and I’ve only just tonight had a quick chance to check myself out on many of the Hornet’s new datalink capability. These and other features I’ve watched all of the videos and written about but just not had the time to explore.
Doing some actual flying
In addition to doing a little testing I’m also trying to finish up Fortress on the Volga (review coming soon) for IL-2 and I’ve done some flying with a couple of different groups. One great flight saw myself and one other tackling a swarm of A-20s, P-39s, and I-16s in a hilly Kuban scenario. Our Bf109s were up for the task but it was a tough fight. Today I also got a little QMB time in with the La-5 and La-5FN as well – an aircraft I haven’t flown nearly enough.
Tonight I switched gears to the DCS: F/A-18C (as awesome as the Tomcat is, the Hornet is “my” aircraft) mostly to see if I could remember how to do anything it in. Fortunately, muscle memory is apparently a thing as I remember how to do most things. I even took out four targets with some Mavericks and shot down some targets on the Hoggit Training Server.
Plenty of F-14s on there tonight learning the ropes and getting a handle on the jet and in the coming days I’m going to be diving headlong into it so I can learn the F-14 and so I can do a proper first impressions on the jet -sneak preview: It’s spectacular though not perfect.
I’ve been on a multi-year upgrade path for my flight sim hardware and I’m researching my next steps.
Last year I needed to focus on core components like RAM and GPU. Now that I’ve had a chance to improve those areas of my PC, I’m looking at my interfaces again. While the VKB Gladiator has been a very good stick – it was always a bit of a stop-gap and I’m looking at something else right now. VKB’s Kosmosima looks very appealing as does Virpls’s WarBRD Grip. My venerable X-52 HOTAS also just doesn’t have the flexibility that I want and Virpil’s T-50 throttle is very high on my list.
My desk setup requires me to use a desktop setup so a twist axis and good ergonomics for desktop are pretty important. Despite my concerns, it looks like the WarBRD Grip plus Base and the Kosmosima plus Gunfighter are offering compelling options. Getting my hands on one to use (and review) may prove more difficult.
I’ve also been a holdout for head tracking and I’m researching everything from VR (too pricey for me right now) to Track IR and the various derivatives. Delanclip and a PS3Eye camera are just one set that I’m looking seriously at right now.
I’m never one to jump in. Months of research, biding my time and waiting for new stock will probably make this many more months long in process. When I do get some new hardware I will definitely be writing about it.
Busy times all around
These are busy times all around right now making it difficult to sit down for a good flight but I hope to get some more time on everything in the near future. There’s so much good stuff out there.