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I have had the Steam version of DCS World for some time. The base game is free and comes with an SU25 and a TF51 Mustang (training). The SU25 is a "low fidelity" plane, which essentially means you cannot interact with the switches in the cockpit it is all done with keybinds. The SU25 "Frogfoot" is a slow ground attack plane. You can customise its payload and fly a variety of missions.


To the base game you can add modules.


The first module I bought is Flaming Cliffs 3, this adds the F15, A10, Su27, Su33 and Mig 29. These are also "low fidelity". For the longest time all I did with these planes was cold and dark starts, take off and landings. 


I then bought the F18 modules in a steam sale. I bought this module, because the F18 is a multi role combat aircraft and comes with an aircraft carrier as well.


Then I bought the F16. It's still in early access, so not all the systems are fully implemented, Still it can carry smart and dumb bombs, and a variety of anti air missiles. Not sure what air to ground missiles it has yet.


Until a couple of weeks ago all I did was take off and land. Finally I mastered the mission editor sufficiently to add waypoints to distant airfields. At this point I was able to  take off, navigate a series of waypoints and land in a good proportion of the planes.


Yesterday I created a mission for the F18 to attack a tanker at sea using the AGM 84D Harpoon antiship missile. Each missile needs to be programmed individually. Basically instructing it on its flight profile, heading, when it activates and when it self destructs. It is jet powered so it has a long range and will attack anything within its radar cone. I flew to a target, correctly programmed the Harpoon, launched from around 25 miles and sunk the tanker.


I am not a quick study, I watch with envy as young people jump into these planes, heavily laden with munitions and fuel fly in formation and fight, It has taken me 18 months to start the plane, arm it, fly to an unarmed target and shoot it. At this rate I should be competent before I am 70.








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Another new milestone today.


I managed to destroy a BTR with an AGM 65F Maverick in conjunction with a Litening Pod. Setting up and interacting with the MFDs has taken me a couple of days, but I finally managed to lock onto the target using the Litening FLIR pod.


Here is the F18 configured with the Litening pod located in the centre, four mavericks on the wings and four air to air missiles.



The left MFD shows the view from the Maverick seeker head and the right show the view from the FLIR pod. At this point the target is locked and in range and the missile has just been released.




Here is the missile on its way to the BTR




And here is the impact




I finally feel like I am making progress in this simulator, but I can barely comprehend how a pilot can fly a plane and configure it on the go for aerial and ground engagements.

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Thanks guys, I am enjoying it but it is truly at the limits of my abilities to comprehend this stuff. 


I thought I understood the process for targeting and releasing the Maverick but it only works 3 out of 5 times in a scenario of my making. I watch videos to learn, but this is a world of Dobbers, TCS, SCS and TDC. Each of which can play a roll. Still I try every day so I reckon my usual process for learning will work eventually.


As for the F86, I am sure it is sweet but it is a gunfighter and I am absolutely useless at that!!

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DCS World is free to play with 2 aircraft (SU25T and a TF-51 Mustang). The SU25T is a ground attack plane and although it does not have a clickable cockpit, it is still a capable and challenging plane to fly.


DCS will be having a sale on steam in a couple of days, so I thought I would help you get get started in the SU25. Here is a generic startup procedure for a "low fidelity" plane in DCS World and Flaming Cliffs 3.


Battery on RSHIFT L

Start left Engine RALT HOME

Cockpit Lights L

Nav Lights RCTRL L

Landing Lights RALT L

Nosewheel Steering (not applicable to SU25) LALT Q

Canopy Toggle LCTRL C


Make sure you map flaps and trim, these are mapped to my joystick


I have built a simple mission where we can:


Start the plane

Get to the runway

Take off

Navigate a set of waypoints

Jettison payload

Land the plane at another base


Once we are able to master these we can practice bombing some tanks. It should be noted I have not bombed with this plane, but I am sure it can do CCIP (Continously calculted Impact  Point) dumb bombing, Fi we get that far we can try to figure it out together.



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I should add that when the sale begins there will be one week where all modules are free to play. So before you buy you can fly everything and know for sure you are getting what you want.


I recommend F/A F18C, since it is land and carrier based, come with a carrier, can attack ground, sea and air targets.


Although the F16 is a modern(?) favourite of mine and I have purchased it, it is still in early access. Because of this some of the systems are not fully implemented. I think its air to air is ready, although I have not tested this yet. It has a FLIR pod so can drop laser guided and dumb bombs, however there are no air to ground missiles so no Iron Eagle antics.


There is also an F14 for those who want to be Top Gun as well as the Northrop F5, which, when painted black became the Mig 28 in the film Top Gun. Actually the F5s were used as the aggressor aircraft at the the real Top Gun school 


There are a bunch of modules planned for release including a version of the Eurofighter Typhoon and the F15 E strike eagle.


I enjoyed our session yesterday, it was good to be the controller, it felt like I was in an AWACS. Sorry I didn't set a good flying example.


I have made some changes to the mission.


-Firstly I have changed the time of day to 1500 hours, so we will have hours of daylight.

-Secondly I have eliminated the haze, you should be able to spot the runway at 12 km.

-Thirdly I have changed the payload to 6 FAB250 bombs on the 3 inner pylons, I am not sure if it's lighter but having the weight more inboard should improve stability on take off as well as ground manoeuvring.






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Messing around in the editor building a carrier group. The Carrier has 4 F18s which launch immediately and should patrol for 2 hours. The an E2 AWACs and an S3 Tanker spool up their engines, move to the catapults and take off, each with its own patrol route. I have yet to master carrier take off and landing, but at least I have the mission to do it.





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I can now consistently manoeuvre onto the catapult shoe, connect onto it and launch successfully. Sadly the only consistency  for the landing phase results in intimate knowledge of the rear end of the carrier.


On another note, Cent and I were practising using the Flaming Cliffs 3 module for DCS, which among other things includes the F15C. Sadly the F15C as modelled here is very fragile on take off and landing. On take off you should not exceed 150 knots before bringing the nose up, not taking off, just lightening the load on the tires. Also the angle of attack must not exceed 10 degrees to avoid tail strike. The plane will lift off when its ready. The airframe and tires are sensitive to the rate of descent. Remember to jettison all external ordinance and fuel tanks before landing.  Internet recommended landing method.


Given half tank of fuel or less:

1. Final approach (of lets say 2 miles) at around 150-170 knots. Gears should be lowered by now.

2. Velocity vector about -3 degrees centered on the runway numbers. AOA around 19-20 units.

Adjust speed altitude as needed. Don't be afraid to temporarily make large throttle inputs.

3. At about 20 feet, go idle and GENTLY flare. Keep the aircraft just above the runway with the velocity vector almost at zero. (you should be around 140-150 knots by now). Try hold the nose pointing up around 12-13 degrees.

4. Gently touch down at about 130 knots. 5. Deploy air brake, and keep nose at 12-13 degrees while slowing down. 6. At around 100 knots, bring the nose wheel down and start the tapping the brakes.

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No, if you just want to try it out DCS world (free) comes with an SU25T with which we can have a bit of fun. But if you're confident the F18 is the best plane to get as it can attack all targets (ground, sea and air) plus it can lase its own targets and is both carrier and land based. Plus the game comes with a carrier. 


My first Air to Air kill


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Nice flying yesterday J. You did better than me on my first outings. 


I look at my DCS "training" as a project with steps, each step building on the previous. If I dont train in a structured manner even the simplest planes would appear daunting. My training is still in the early stages. 


This is roughly how I see my training progress, although it will vary with each plane.



1 Turn on plane basic systems sufficient to take off, trim, fly and land, visually. x

2 Navigation, communication. Fly pre determined waypoints, communicate with ATC. Learn auto pilot capabilities. x

3 Basic combat

a - bombing unguided. x 

b - rockets.

c - bombing laser guided.

d - air to ground missiles.

e - guns


Each plane is different, furthermore high fidelity planes, like the F18, need more practice just to start the plane.


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I think I got all the bombs and the TV figured out.


The ones we have in the training mission, as far as I can tell, can't really use the help of the TV. If you're coordinated enough to steer the plane and aim the TV's designator at the same time while in a dive run, it might help you aim, but won't guide the bombs in any way.


In the training mission for TV guided, it has you use the KAB-500kr and Kh-29T, which do work well, but they're both very large and can only be mounted on the inner most pylon (limit 2 per plane).


I didn't test all the munition types, but I did have pretty good success with the Kh-25ML (Missile type), which can go on the 2nd and 3rd inner most pylons of each wing for a max of 4 per plane.


I'll pick up the F-18 tomorrow, but I'll need to get a new joystick. I'm finding dead spots in mine that are nearly catastrophic at low speed... almost certain to be deadly with afterburners. Any recommendations?

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Thanks for the info on the bombs, I will reconfigure the SU25s accordingly, I am in the process of modifying the scramble mission adding more targets and increased the number of SU25s to 4.


I have assumed the following criteria

a HOTAS and Joystick.

b Twist grip on Joystick for Rudder


Low price Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS  $80



Medium Price Thrustmaster T.16000M FCS HOTAS $140



Higher Price Logitech X56 HOTAS and Joystick $400



I have had the T.Flight HOTAS for years and highly recommend it for beginners, its not to bulky, uses 1 usb port and has a reasonable number of buttons. Its main drawback is that it doesnt have enough buttons for DCS. If you hunt around, you can get it cheaper still. 


I have read a lot of good things about the T.1600.


I am trying to get the X56, but cannot get it here at all at the moment, $400 is exorbitant, it should be $250-270.



I have added a mission briefing to help those who havent tried it before. 


Welcome to the Sparta ealry training mission. There are tasks for 4 SU25Ts and 4 FA 18s. 

SU25s, practice take off and landing. Best appoach is from the sea due to PAPI lights.

SU25s (Callsign Springfield) Fly designated waypoints. 

a 4 Russian tankers to sink between waypoint 1 and 2
b 4 Russian fuel truck groups around waypoint 3
c 4 armed MBTs 2.7NM east of waypoint 3, look for road and rail bridges north bank


FA 18s (Callsign Dodge) to splash the Backfires, you have AWACS (Callsign Overlord) support on 251. Upon completion return rearm and take out any remaining Springfield targets

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ok done.


SU25 CAS 1 has been stripped for take off and landing practice, no weapons and 20% internal fuel, she is at 64% max weight.


SU25 CAS 2,3 and 4 are armed with 2 x Kh-29T and 4 x Kh-25ML, they are at 95% of their maximum weight. 


I am sure you know this but just to note it, these are the  target designator movement controls


Left , comma

Down . period

Right /

Up ; Semi colon

Center Rctrl I


Display zoom in  =

Display zoom out -


I will try to have a practice with these before we do some more training.

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Cent and I had a lot of fun in the f18s, we were successful in our air to air role, hitting the Backfires before their attack and another time after to see if we could chase them down from the ramp (parking lot). Chasing them on full after burner was troublesome as we nearly ran out during the pursuit, but we succeeded anyway and landed afterwards.


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The warehouses were cooking off for ages we must have been storing ammo there.


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A successful day of sorties.


We splashed the Backfires even as they tried to run away.


All fuel trucks, MBTs and even some bridges were eliminated


However when I returned to my parked plane after a stint of AWACS Duty I found it in this state. Obviously a bad neighbourhood.


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Sorry you had problem keeping the plane level, The only thing I noticed was that you switched from Norm to Nav too quickly on the INS. A lot of the systems are dependent on the INS. Nothing looked wrong other than that. Its great to be able to watch it again. There were some frustrations given that the blind were leading the blind. I am very confident with the Harpoon, but need a lot more practice with the Mavericks.


I almost bought the F14 Tomcat, my idea was that someone could fly in the WSO seat, but I found out that both players have to buy the module, so Thats a non starter.

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I watched the harpoon excersize and have the follwoing helpful tip.



Term Skim




click Srch button, if no friendly ships click 0 then hit Ent

click destr button, type 50 the hit Ent

click BRG button, type heading to ship from plane then hit Ent.


In the mission you were typing the number then hit BRG as an example.

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I think its really cool to be able to multi crew aircraft and I will definitely get the module, but only when its on sale. Things didnt go to well for goose as I recall, in any case I am no Maverick!


Interestingly when I was practising in the SU27 I pulled back on the stick too harshly and I lost control of the plane, I think I stalled the compressors and crashed into the sea. At first I thought I had the same problem as Maverick but I think he had a flame out in one engine. Apparently the plane is unstable on one engine due to the distance from the centre line and can get into a flat spin.

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