Flight journal: DCS: F/A-18 and F-5 training

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.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Gretsch_Man says:

    The F-5 is already on my wish list, so I’m glad to hear you like that airplane.

    I just bought the Hornet a few weeks ago and I agree that there’s a LOT to learn. But as long as you have the time, it’s part of the fun, ain’t it?

    I only hope that Eagle Dynamics will add some more training missions to the Hornet to cover the latest additions like the Slam missile. By the way, laser guided weapons are also not currently covered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      The F-5 might actually be one of the best modules to own. It’s fun, it has performance, everything works (that I know of) and it’s simple enough to just get going with a little training.

      You can transition to the Hornet very easily from it too.

      It may be a while before updated training missions are done. I’ve been using Matt Wagners videos to do much of my learning.

      Like

  2. Alex says:

    Seems like your arrestor hook is down too 🙂

    I flew the F-5 for couple of weeks during the free month and it was easy and fun to fly but at the end I wanted something more complex to satisfy my curiosity, so bought the Mirage 2000 as my first high fidelity module (and the FC3 set for some variety).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      That was Requiems and that was some sort of controller issue. It refused to retract after it was deployed.

      He was still faster than me 🙂

      Like

  3. CanadaOne says:

    I bought the F5 after the P-51 and the F-86, seemed like a nice way to get all the time zones covered. Beautiful plane, really enjoy it, but it was very(!) light on my MS FFB2 and that took the fun away, but someone posted a link to a small utility that fixes the FFB2 on x64 systems, and now the F5 has weight to it and I love it. A real classic. Still want the F-104 more than any other plane.

    Still haven’t successfully dropped any PGM from the F-18, only the Harrier, but if maybe this weekend I’ll try again. That new ground radar looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JP says:

    Man the speedbrake stuff still gets me sometimes thabks to the plane spawning with it out.

    So much fun to fly

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eviscerador says:

    Speedbrakes are always deplyed when doing a cold start due to the lack of hydraulic pressure. You need to close them always before taxi. Don’t worry we have all been there.

    Concerning the hook, it is not possible to retract. It is meant to be used as an emergency and once deployed you can only retract it on the ground. It is not like the carrier planes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Good to know! I’ve definitely learned a few things including just how little gas I can use to do a powered glide back to base ☺️

      Requiem’s hook seemed to be deploying on its own. Controller assignment issue that he fixed on the next sortie.

      Like

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