Over the weekend I had very limited flying time but I did manage to get a hold of the DCS: JF-17 finally and I did my first flight in it. This is not even my first impression because I haven’t spent enough time with it but I did want to share some screenshots, a few opening opinions, the latest from Deka Ironwork Simulations, and even a cinematic about the JF-17. Let’s have a look!
These days what I like to do when I get a new module is take it out for a spin, not having done a ton of work learning about it, and just get a feel for the aircraft and for the work that’s been done on the module. After all, you want to have a bit of fun right off the bat!
With a JF-17 hot and ready to go, I did some keybinding work for basics (axis assignments, flaps, gear, etc.) and did a taxi and take-off in one of the default missions.
This was all about learning the basics of the JF-17 so I did loops, rolls, turns, tight turns, and generally just flew the aircraft. My full first impressions on this are coming soon so I don’t want to weigh in just yet but I will say that the aircraft is fun and it feels lively.
I also landed successfully for the first time so I felt pretty good about that.
Next up will be navigation and weapons training and then I’ll start to be able to form some initial opinions on this new module.
Already making an impact online
In my person experience I’ve only recently been on Georgia-at-War but it was clear that the JF-17 has already joined in to the mix of aircraft available there flying alongside the F-16C, F/A-18C, F-14B, AV-8B, A-10C, and other aircraft that regularly fly there.
In other places such as Blue Flag by Buddyspike, I’ve heard from community members that the JF-17 has helped to balance out the available aircraft providing a unique range of capabilities ranging from anti-ship to SEAD to air superiority.
The aircraft’s unique origin, design, and suite of capabilities and systems are definitely a unique addition to DCS World aircraft mix and I can see this being a popular module going forward.
Bug fixes are coming
Though the DCS: JF-17 launches with a considerable list of features and systems enabled, it doesn’t mean that development is over. Indeed, the JF-17 has a long list of things that still need to be done and there are plenty of bug fixes and features still in need of development.
A list of those fixes incoming in the next Open Beta has been posted to the DCS World forums by uboats, a Deka Ironwork Simulation’s contributor. Notable fixes include a taller radar scan range (it’s currently half of what it should be and noticeably less capable than the other jets in DCS World), fixes for overly bright HUD and MFD symbols, fixes for targeting pod bugs, and corrected performance values. This is only the beginning for the DCS: JF-17.
There’s lots of new community content out there that you might find interesting about the jet or find it helpful to get started with it.
YouTuber Pc2, new to the cinematic scene, has put together a JF-17 cinematic and is the first of it’s kind (beyond the official trailer).
In-case you missed it before, Chuck from Chuck’s Guides has done an initial pass at his documentation for the jet. Chuck’s Guides are essential reading for my DCS World flying and so this is already a helpful guide for learning the new jet. Check out Chuck’s work in progress guide for the JF-17 here.
Tons of community content in the form of tutorial videos are also coming out but here are three that I found useful. RedKite’s JF-17 targeting pod tutorial is invaluable for learning the WMD targeting pod’s functionality.
Cap from the Grim Reapers has done a tutorial on the SD-10 missile (similar to an AIM-120) and in particular shows off how to ripple fire the missile against multiple targets.
Spudknocker’s JF-17 radio tutorial might be one you want to watch as well seeing as the JF-17’s radios don’t work quite the same way as a typical western jet. Instead you’ve got a full list of presets (200 of them!) and that makes life a little more interesting.