DCS World’s aircraft require a lot of knowledge and practice to not only get to use aircraft in the sim but to also “stay current” on the aircraft too. Training is therefore somewhat essential just to maintain knowledge and learn a few new things. Here are a few of my recent training sorties that I wanted to share!
Blasting into the skies with the F-5
One of the most recent flights I did was with Requiem from the Air Combat Tutorial Library. We were checking out the DCS: F-5E Tiger II and both of us really like flying this aircraft. It’s simple operation, relatively straight forward controls, and overall small number of systems makes flying this jet fairly easy. That is, when you don’t make some silly mistakes.
We flew on a custom training mission to strike a relatively easy to hit target with rockets and bombs. At the target were light AAA defenses and some APC’s and tanks. Traveling about 120 nautical miles into the target area, we both rolled in hot onto target launching salvos of HE rockets during the first strike.
In the second strike we used up our remaining rockets before switching to bombs to help finish the target off. Mission success!
It was time to head home… except I had a problem. Comparing fuel gauges, mine was substantially lower than Requiem’s. It wasn’t until we were halfway back that I realized my error – my speedbrake was down. And it probably was the whole time!
Keep in mind that the F-5’s speedbrake is relatively small and located on the bottom of the aircraft. It doesn’t cause the more dramatic drag that the giant airbrake on the Hornet does nor does it slow you down that much – but it does slow you down and force you to go to a higher throttle setting.
In the end I was able to make it back to base using very conservative amounts of throttle and slowly descending from 18,000 feet on the cruise back to just 3,000 feet near the runway. Successful landing and parking job. Phew! Now check out Requiem’s superb close in formation flying skills (not pictured was the bead of sweat on my forehead).
PGM training in the Hornet
It’s been months since I dropped any sort of precision guided weapon from the Hornet so in the last couple of weeks I’ve also been doing a little training there. First, using the JDAM bombs and the Litening II pod to identify, target, and drop bombs on targets.
The JDAM, using Target of Opportunity (or TOO mode) together with the Litening pod is the easiest precision guided weapon I’ve used on the Hornet. Essentially you use the pod to find the target, hit the TDC depress, and if you have your JDAM configured it will load the coordinates from the pod into the bomb. All that’s left is to fly within range and wait for it to say ‘IN RNG’ on the HUD before releasing. Fire… and forget. You can quickly move on to another target and drop another bomb if you’re quick about it.
Next up it was precising using the laser guided GBU series and here the procedure is relatively similar although with more steps. The targeting pod and its laser need to be configured, armed, and the code for the laser input into each bomb. Only then can you release and expect the bomb to target to target. Unlike with the JDAM and its GPU guided warhead, the laser guided bombs need for the targeting laser to continue to paint the target until impact. This is made a bit more challenging if you’re using the cheek mounted targeting pod station as the aircraft and other ordinance have the chance of obscuring the pod – if you fly the wrong profile after release.
In all I was able to get 3-4 laser guided bombs on target and 4 out of 4 JDAM’s on target. Not to bad for re-familiarizing with these after a long time away and a great return to DCS World after struggling with poor frame rates and performance for the last several weeks. A good return to form here along with my recent fun with the DCS: Supercarrier.