The DCS World free trial schedule moves on to its next aircraft: RAZBAM’s DCS: AV-8B NA Harrier jump-jet. This vertical take-off and landing jump-jet is modeled after the USMC’s strike, attack and close support aircraft and it’s free to try for today and tomorrow. Here are a few details you might like to know.
A unique experience
The Harrier is one of the very few VTOL combat aircraft ever designed and to date the one that has enjoyed a long and storied history from the early days with the Royal Navy and their use during the Falkland War to more modern adventures with upgraded versions of the Harrier.
RAZBAM’s AV-8B NA is a USMC version of the Harrier that became a specialized attack, strike and close support aircraft that some in the community have called a faster, sleeker A-10. Though it doesn’t have the endurance or the weapon capacity of the A-10, the AV-8B is definitely faster and it comes with a few of its own tricks.
In the last several months, RAZBAM has taken to upgrading their module with overhauled cockpit textures, enhanced system functionality, the addition of JDAM bombs to the arsenal and various other tweaks and bug fixes. Although the AV-8B is still technically in early access as its development continues, it is now very functional.
Those coming from the Hornet will find a cockpit and systems functionality that is similar although it does have its own set of quirks.
One of the unique weapons included in the arsenal is the AGM-122 Sidearm. This AIM-9 based weapon is intended to be used in close range SEAD operations. Think of it as a short range HARM missile. It doesn’t make the AV-8B the best SEAD platform around but it does give it limited capabilities that it might not otherwise have.
The AV-8B is my second most flown module in DCS World after the F/A-18C Hornet and I’ve had a lot of fun with the aircraft’s unique capability – VTOL and the ability to hover in place. Remember to take a more lightly loaded aircraft before you attempt this as a fully bombed-up Harrier isn’t going to hover though it will take off in a very short distance.
Tutorials to get you going
RedKite has a full list of tutorials that are excellent and should get you going in the AV-8B.
Spudknocker’s revised start-up and taxi tutorial should get you rolling quickly.
Jabber’s has done a NAVFLIR, a unique feature of the Night Attack Harrier, that you may also find interesting.
If written form is better for you, look no further than Chuck’s Guides who has a great one for the AV-8B.