Aerges and Eagle Dynamics have released the latest version of DCS World together with a new variant of the Mirage F1. Aerges set out an impressive and ambitious goal to bring us four versions of the infamous French fighter and we now have two. The “basic” Mirage F1CE and now we have the slightly more advanced F1EE. Here are my impressions of both the new variant and the latest updates.
Over to the F-1EE
Yesterday the Mirage F-1EE arrived to DCS World open beta. I’ve spent the last few weeks really doing a deep dive into the Mirage F1 with the CE model and that has allowed me to use my knowledge of the CE variant in this new variant. Getting into the new version doesn’t require much as they are mostly the same. But there are still some key differences.
The core fundamentals are essentially the same between the CE and EE but the EE comes packing with some added features. An INS navigation system (that I haven’t yet fully explored), the refueling probe which gives the jet significantly more tactical options when a tanker is around, and an RWR that is much more modern in its function and offering a significant advantage over the basic one we see in the CE model.
There are other differences too in the cockpit layout as the RWR moves, the weapons panel gets reconfigured and the INS panel gets installed where the old weapons panel was. As it turns out, the reconfigured weapons panel to make room for the INS is actually better laid out too. Accessing the bomb armament options is much more visible to the pilot than with the row of switches in the CE model – at least when considering this from a sim pilots perspective.
The whole of the series also gets the new Super Matra 530f. This is a much more capable missile in my limited test firings than the Matra R530. It’s quite a bit faster and that means the time between firing and hitting the target in most situations is reduced over the earlier model. Some have reported some hitting larger targets such as bombers at 15 to 18 miles. Legitimately BVR at that point. I’m not sure if it also boasts enhanced tracking but it does seem to be quite effective at hitting targets both big and small as this exploding MiG-21bis can attest to!
I’ve also spent more time with the Mirage F1EE doing high drag bomb drops on targets. This is immensely fun and doesn’t require the kind of math/bomb tables that the low drag options need. I still intend to do that and I might even try some bomb tosses if I get particularly advanced but in the meantime doing some low level high drag bomb runs is quite fun if you get the right release point.
Using the correct tables with the various rocket pods available is also key. But the results are fun with a veritable barrage of rockets impacting the target zone. My accuracy with these is limited but as an area saturation weapon I’ve found them pretty good.
Instant action missions with a tanker right in front of you are also a nice addition because you can then quickly get to practising an approach. The biggest challenge here is keeping the engine in the sweet spot to match with the tanker. A bit of working the throttle up and down to keep it just right is what I had to do to stay connected. Also, it took me a moment to find the “transfert” toggle switch (its down near the throttle) or the tanker will report that your fuel tanks are full and disconnect.
Close combat radar challenges fixed
Learning the radar in more depth has taken me some time with the Mirage F1 prior to the latest patch. There are the basics like 1-bar or 4-bar scans which is easy. But getting the close combat modes with the Mirage F1 under control took a while longer.
Spotting a target in the noise of the radar was fairly straight forward. So was locking and firing an R530 missile onto that target. The challenge was when that target got in close and I needed to switch to the close combat mode.
Long story short, there’s a couple of modes including TEL (TL) and BPZ (BZ) mode. TEL worked fine while BPZ mode did not work until the most recent patch. A small bug in the previous update made going to BPZ first without a reset also caused TEL mode to be non functional. I ran across this repeatedly until I was clued in by some helpful folks.
Feeling better in mostly every way
In general, the updates here are great. The Mirage F1 is an interesting addition to DCS World particularly because Aerges have set their sights on providing four distinct models and at the same time updating the core of all of them as the early access period progresses. The F1CE already offered a good experience but now we have more with the EE version and the forthcoming two seat BE and modernized F1M.
There are some issues of course. Some are reporting some performance loss with the Mirage F1 in DCS World after this last update. I did experience a brief slowdown in a mostly empty single player mission and at this point I’m not sure if it was the Mirage or DCS in general. That minor issue aside, nearly everything else about this update is a step forward.
I was already pretty impressed with the Mirage F1 but Aerges is continuing to work on the aircraft. Quirkiness in the flight model, particularly when doing fast rolls to the left and right in rapid succession, seem to be more controlled and the jet overall feels smoother and more positive to control inputs. Aerges report that they have tweaked the flight model in a number of ways but I notice it most in the roll rate which just feels snappier while also being more controllable and also in the elevator control which always felt a little sluggish and now feels more direct.
The new features of course impress and give this module a few more options. It doesn’t fundamentally change the aircraft as both CE and EE versions are quite similar overall but the EE does pack a few extra tricks. I suspect most will want to fly the EE version when its available but the relative simplicity of the CE variant remains a valuable thing and of course different scenarios will call for different variants to be employed.
I look forward to seeing what Aerges is able to offer us next!
13 Comments Add yours
As superficial as it sounds, the main thing that has kept me from enjoying the F1 has been the overly dark cockpit. Ive just never been able to find a gamma setting that makes everything visible in the cockpit without completely blowing out the view outside the cockpit. The lighting seems to be way out of balance to me, especially compared to other planes like the F-16.
It started out really dark but the recent tweaks have made it pretty easy to read. At least on my screen.
The trouble is that it’s a dark/black cockpit scheme. I’m sure someone will do a texture replacement some day.
I hope they fix the mirror issue. The left and right mirrors freeze when using head tracker and moving / tilting your head to view mirrors.
For now I turn off the mirrors.
Oh really? I hadn’t noticed that. I will look into that too!
Yes! Thought I was going crazy, glad to hear it’s not just me.
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I skipped the this Mirage because the 2000 kind of left me cold. But you do make it look interesting. Maybe it will be included in the free trials by summer.
And of course my brain is focused on the Strike Eagle. 🙂
Looking forward to trying out the refueling this weekend! Small correction: The new missile is not the 530E, but the Matra Super 530F. The Matra R.530E is the old one 😉
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You are absolutely right! Correction to the article incoming.
I noticed my pitch and roll curves needed to be turned down quite a bit as per the flight model changes they stated. It handles quite different now, for the better I feel . Also the new missiles seem good during my dogfights . Getting the throttle right during AAR will take some practice but otherwise I find its not overly difficult to do. Overall a great addition in my opinion.
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This might be worth more investigation for a good flight sim reporter 🙂
Oh I knew weeks ago ☺️
When something comes of it then I’ll be very happy to report. And I’m sure something will come if it.
I’d be curious to know what the reborn micro prose actually is.
Its address appears to be shed in regional NSW. (Eastern Australia)
The r530f got is underpowered right now it got the wrong rocket motor it the same one as the normal 530 it goes only to like mach 3 should go to mach 4.5 probably gonna gst fixed soon should give it more range