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Free Mods for DCS


Zeno~SPARTA~
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I have been practicing flying aircraft in DCS, I haven't relearnt how to use the weapons, but for now just flying around is enough.

 

However I like variety and even though I have a reasonable amount of modules I like to try new planes. It turns out there are a few free mods, some are based on planes in the game but some do not seem to be. I have tried 4, some seem to be buggy resulting in a game crash but hopefully this will be fixed over time.

 

1 Douglas A4 Skyhawk

 

The Skyhawk is a carrier capable light attack aircraft developed in the 50s for the US Marines, but was used by other air forces, notably the Argentinians.

A4 01.jpg

 

A4 03.jpg

 

 

2 Aeromacchi MB-339

 

The MB-339 is a jet trainer developed in the 70s for the Italian air force and was used by the Frecce Tricolore (their equivalent of the Red Arrows)

 

MB339 1.jpg

 

MB339 2.jpg

 

3 Dassault Rafale

 

The Rafale is an omnirole aircraft, it is both land and carrier based, can deliver munitions to ground and sea targets, including nuclear weapons and is an agile fighter. Good looking as well!

 

Rafale 1.jpg

 

Rafale 2.jpg

 

4 Lockheed C130Hercules

 

Everyone knows the Hercules, first flew in 1954 and still produced today, this workhorse flies for many countries including Great Britain. I first saw them when I went to RAF Odiham (then part of Transport command) when I was with the ATC around 1970. I am most excited to fly this in DCS, it is a work on progress but so far it has a working interior with a proper startup procedure, working doors and ramp. It can be configured as an AC130 as well. It will be capable of delivering vehicles and equipment as well as paratroopers. 

 

Hercules 1.jpg

 

Hercules 2.jpg

 

 

Thoughts and stability

 

My game crashed when I exited the flight in the editor with the Rafale and the Hercules. but in flight they caused no issues. The Rafale's ground attack capability requires some core files to be edited, I did not want to do this so the plane is limited to air to air combat. Also the Rafale is very quick, it reaches its max airframe speed very early in the climb on full afterburner, I haven't noticed this in other planes including the SU27 or MIG29 which the mod uses as its base.

 

The A4 is a beauty and seems to work well, plus I can imagine scenarios involving A4s and Harriers. But I am most looking forward to a fully working C130, sometimes you just want the slower pace of a transport plane!

 

 

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Custard if you want to fly choppers in Arma 3 you should check out Bohemias Take on Helicopters, it has a bunch of chopper tasks and the engine is similar (if not the same as) Arma.

 

Anyway another free mod, the AH6J Littlebird. I have to admit that my first attempt at controlled flight was questionable to say the least, unflattering of my limited ability. It is a work in progress but it is flyable and is free. Now some "Free" aircraft use a plane is Flaming Cliffs 3 as their base but this does not appear to. I6t has some interior switchable controls and a few weapons. The damage model does not work yet and the textures are a bit simple especially inside.

 

AH6 1.jpg

 

I kept oscillating horribly, it was not pleasant.

 

AH6 2.jpg

 

AH6 3.jpg

 

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The little bird is a twitchy unforgiving nightmare compared to the stuff like Blackhawks but they are something I want to learn to fly, I have done ever since in Arma one @Zathrus~SPARTA~ flew me to an AO in one at what felt like about ten feet 

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The procedures for the C130 are impressive, When the engines are on low ground idle they dont generate enough to power the systems so the APU has to be kept on until ready to take off. The ramp needs a lot of hydraulics, so the pumps have to be turned on to pressurize the system to 3000 PSI (?) before the ramp will close. Sadly it still crashes every time I play it in the editor.

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  • 2 months later...

This is the A4E mod v2.0. This is really an impressive plane especially since it's free. I have paid for planes in FSX that were less interactive and frankly good looking, inside and out. It can carry an impressive array of weapons from dumb bombs to the Shrike Anti Radiation Missile, as well as guided and air to air AIM 9s.

 

It is carrier capable using the free carrier that comes with DCS World.

 

Here I have tried to recreate a busy carrier deck preparing for a strike trying to stick with Vietnam era equipment.

 

20210217150638_1.jpg

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Here is the Queen Elizabeth Carrier mod. It's a bit low res and there is no bow wave (the ship is doing 20 knots). I have added an F35 mod as well, but few plane mods are in the same league as the A4 I showed earlier. The upcoming Grisellimod F22 is not bad and I will show it later.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another new free mod, the Embraer A29 Super Tucano. This is used as a trainer before getting into jets. But they are also being used as Light attack aircraft in uncontested airspace. The beauty of this plane is that it is easy to fly yet can carry pretty decent armament. It has 2 50 cals but can carry air to air missiles, air to ground missiles and rockets, and bombs (dumb and laser guided, although they need a buddy lase) on top of which they have a long loiter time.

 

This is a work in progress, even so it has a clickable interior, most of which is functional.

 

My only dislike is the propeller disc (not shown in the photos), which is terrible. With that said they are working on that as well.

 

There will also be a free T45 Goshawk trainer mod after DCS 2.7 comes out, which means we will be able to train using turbo props for basic ground attack and air to air and move onto the jet for carrier and high speed practice (unarmed).

 

20210313153439_1.jpg

 

20210313153511_1.jpg

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Et voila deux mod en un pour les francophile parmi vous. Comme il-y-aurais personne apart de moi qui va le lire, je m'amuse a l'ecrire en francais.

 

20210315172110_1.jpg

 

Voici Le porte avions Clemencau de la Marine Francaise. Parmis les avions qu'elle porter il-y-avais Le Super Etendard et le F8 Crusader. Biensur le missile anti navire equiper sur le Super Etendard c'etait le tristement celebre Exocet.

 

20210315172141_1.jpg

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23 hours ago, Zeno~SPARTA~ said:

Et voila deux mod en un pour les francophile parmi vous. Comme il-y-aurais personne apart de moi qui va le lire, je m'amuse a l'ecrire en francais.

 

20210315172110_1.jpg

 

Voici Le porte avions Clemencau de la Marine Francaise. Parmis les avions qu'elle porter il-y-avais Le Super Etendard et le F8 Crusader. Biensur le missile anti navire equiper sur le Super Etendard c'etait le tristement celebre Exocet.

 

20210315172141_1.jpg

 

Eh?

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Embraer A29 Super Tucano has been updated, amongst the updates is a new prop animation. The quality is getting up there and they seem dedicated to the project. National pride I guess. I really like the idea of trainers, it makes it a bit easier to learn the basic principals of weapon systems. I look forward to a Hawk or Goshawk for DCS as well.

 

20210331180752_1.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another free Mod has recently been added (only works in open beta 2.7), it is the Boeing T45 Goshawk USN trainer. The Goshawk is derived from the BAe Hawk RAF trainer modified for naval operations and different avionics.

 

20210427080243_1.jpg

 

It is free and does not require the purchase of any Flaming Cliff 3 planes, so completely standalone.

 

As a navy trainer it is carrier capable (can interact with both the free Carrier that comes with DCS World and the Supercarrier). It is a two seat trainer and the first free Multicrew aircraft, where both the front seat trainee and the rear seat trainer can operate the plane. It is a work in progress so this functionality is not without flaws at the moment.

 

As you can see it is really good looking.

 

With the addition of this plane there are now 4 completely standalone free mods DCS

 

The Douglas A4 Skyhawk, one the first standalone free mods and therefore the most developed.

 

20210217150638_1.jpg

 

The Lockheed C130 Hercules. Still early in its development but the team are constantly updating it.

 

Screen_201207_164755.png

 

And the Embraer A29, also under constant development.

 

20210313153439_1.jpg

 

The Aeromacchi MB339 was not updated to DCS 2.7, but may be in the future. It is such a high quality model that it was ported to MSFS 2020 as Payware.

 

So if you enjoy flying on a budget here are four planes you can fly for free to go along with the SU25T and TF51 Mustang.

 

BEWARE

 

These planes are like gateway drugs!  Once your hooked the budget goes out of the window!

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  • 1 month later...

Another community project, the JAS 39C Gripen mod.

 

Initially it is a simple flight model using the F15 (Air to Air) and SU25T (Air to Ground). So you can fly the Air to ground version for free, but you must own the F15C from Flaming Cliffs 3 for the Air to Air version.

 

The are actively working on the mod. They are currently developing the exterior flight model, the interior graphical quality as well as making it fully clickable. 

 

The Gripen is a fantastic plane and I look forward to the development of this mod, however I did have problems with braking and the chute. I used one of the longest runways on the planet to land on so the poor brakes were not a fatal problem.

 

And now the mandatory beauty shots!

 

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20210607174714_1.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Another mod for DCS, this requires the F15 from Flaming Cliffs 3, the YF12A. The YF12A is the original Mach 3+ interceptor that was abandoned becoming the SR71 spay plane (with some modifications).

 

 

Here it is flying Mach 3 at 85,000 feet. Using this I was able to defeat the naval SA300 SAM of the Kirov class battlecruiser. After several attempts I manage to fly over the ship without it firing by climbing as I approached the launch zone, the AI must have figured I would end up outside the kill envelope, it was wrong as my climb was unsustainable. It might have been better to start at 70,000 and climb to throw off the launch calculations. The ship did launch when I was on the other side, but, even though the initial speed of those missiles is incredible, I was moving away from the ship at nearly a kilometre a second, so they lost their energy before catching up.

 

20210831121529_1.jpg

 

Obviously the SR71 was the ultimate plane when I was young, I remember it made a record breaking transatlantic flight landing at the Farnborough air show opening, It did it in 1hour 55 minutes.

 

It's cool that it is in DCS, even if its not a very useful plane (except maybe for long range BVR combat).

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few pics of gameplay with me and Adder.

 

We started out in the YF12A, Adder got some very long range kills, but I managed to get to about 117,000 feet, not quite as much as Branson, but not bad. I also managed to land the beast.

 

20210915201840_1.jpg

 

Then we had a play with the CH53, here is Adder living up to his name!

 

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We did some multi crew, yes the CH53 can have two pilots and each can take control.

 

Here is Adder coming in for a smooth landing.

 

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20210915220730_1.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...

On October 15 a new mod will be available, the Lockheed F104 Starfighter. It will feature an external flight model and a custom interior.

 

Here is an existing mod by VSN, it's not bad looking but uses an F15 as a base for its simple flight model and its cockpit.

 

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The F104 was an interceptor for high altitude nuclear bombers. I am working on a mission where F104s are scrambled to intercept said bombers, here is the aftermath.

 

20211010214731_1.jpg

 

For now I have used the the PRC bombers that have been making a nuisance of themselves near Taiwan (ROC), but I will change them to TU 160s or TU 22s when the new mod is ready.

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This is an interesting video explaining the issues surrounding the loss of so many Luftwaffe airframes and pilots. A few standouts,

 

1 the Luftwaffe was disbanded in 1945 and only reinstated in 1956, coinciding with the arrival of the F104

2 Initially the plane only had downward firing ejection seats, many pilots died trying to crash land because they were too low to eject

3 A 4 ship display team had an incident and all of them crashed with no survivors

 

 

As it happens the mod is an update of the existing VSN Starfighter mod.

 

 

In this video you will see one of its nastiest characteristics, an unrecoverable flat spin.

 

It is because this is such a hard plane to fly that I want to fly it, plus it is one of the most beautiful airplanes ever made.

 

Finally this is a review of a museum Starfighter by Military Aviation History, His reviews are very well researched using source data,

 

 

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Here are my current DCS projects

 

1 Creating a series of training and actual mission for the Mosquito, these include the 633 Squadron Homage, a bombing range (thanks to Ian Christie "Sidekick69"), Cold start and navigation training, gestapo headquarters raid and a convoy attack.

 

2 Creating a variety of interceptor and training missions for the new F104 Starfighter mod due tomorrow.

 

3 Creating a UK Carrier strike group (UKCSG) mission, I am testing a variety of mods, Including the F35, the AW101 Merlin (AI), the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan. I cannot find a mod for a type 23 frigate, so I will try to find a US/Canadian counterpart. Here is HMS Duncan with a couple of Merlin's

 

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20211014140203_1.jpg

 

4 I am waiting on the latest A4E Skyhawk to build a Falklands scenario using the Marianas as a surrogate, I have the Dassault Super Etendard and Excocet mod plus the Harrier so I should be able to come up with something interesting.

 

5 Creating a coalition attack on a base in the straits of Hormuz involving RAF Tornados as the bomber component and USN/USAF F18s, F16s and F15s for SEAD and Cap 

 

6 The AH64 Apache will be released in December so I will try to come up with some scenarios for it by then.

 

 

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