A SuperPak4 OCA Mission
Back To Page 1
With the planning complete we hit
the FLY button and wait for our take-off time to roll around.
I have chosen (as usual) not to do a full ramp start and am
dropped into the cockpit on the runway with my engine running
and my systems all functioning. Seconds later the tower clears
my flight for departure and I push the throttle on my X45
forward and the afterburner kicks and as we roar down the
are many types of F4 fliers. I am in the camp that allows
external views for several reasons. First, I fly F4 for fun,
and what is fun for me is watching everything else that is
going on in the F4 world. F4 stands apart in this respect
because the element of surprise is always there. Amazing things
are happening all around you and it is great entertainment
to watch events unfold by eavesdropping on other units. Second,
I write mission reports. Trying to do that and make it entertaining
while only showing views from the cockpit would be pretty
boring to say the least.
As I climb out of the traffic pattern
I bump the throttle back to about 75% to allow my wingmen
to catch up to me without them having to stay in afterburner
for very long. While I climb I take a minute to check out
the action happening around the airbase. SP4
features a more highly populated theater, with additional
buildings, factories, cities, etc... Additionally, SP4 now
allows for spawning of many aircraft onto the airfields as
the ATO progresses, allowing for populated ramps and multitudes
of taxiing aircraft, flights taking off and landing, etc...
The new buildings at the airbase look great and there is definitely
a buzz of activity happening.
After take-off I reach down to the
left side panel and click the navigation and anti-collision
lights off. Im told this should be done because there
IS some sort of visibility penalty applied for leaving them
on, allowing enemy aircraft and ground defenses to see you
important switch that I hit every flight is the HUD drift
correction switch under the Integrated Control Panel (ICP).
Flipping this switch up to the DRIFT C/O position will center
your HUD ladder instead of showing an offset for wind correction.
In my opinion having the HUD centered allows for better CCIP
bombing (this is probably debatable!).
use the rotary on my X45 throttle to adjust the radar elevation
on the left MFD and can see the first push of
sorties entering and returning over the Forward Line of Troops
(FLOT). Ive been playing F4 for a fair amount of time
now and have gotten very comfortable with the action in the
F4 campaign. While I wouldnt say it is predictable,
it does have an ebb and flow that one can grow accustomed
The one thing that is certain with
a mission in F4 is that no two will ever be exactly the same.
Getting in quickly and getting your bombs away and exited
quickly are paramount to success. The campaign engine keeps
rolling regardless of how long you stand-off, and loitering
over the target or making multiple passes is usually rewarded
with a brisk ride on the silk elevator.
Situational awareness (SA) is a learned
skill in F4. There are no walls of MiGs. There
are, however, enemy strikes that are logically constructed
to give THEM the best chance at mission success too! That
means that the enemy will have the same mutual support system
working in their favor. Enemy strike flights will sometimes
consist of pure attack aircraft such as Tu-16s or Su-25s mixed
with multi-role aircraft such as MiG-27s who are very capable
of defending themselves and lastly, presiding over the strikers
will be various pure fighters such as MiG-19s, 21s, 29, and
Su-27s. Though it looks and sounds intimidating, it CAN be
Your biggest asset in maintaining
SA is God, whom we will refer to as AWACS from here on. Using
your radio to query AWACS will keep you alive (at least a
bit longer) in the F4 campaign. They will respond to your
request for the nearest enemy with a bearing, range and altitude.
If they know the type or number, they will also provide this
information as well. Not only will AWACS help you maintain
that mental picture of the airspace around you, they will
aid you in preventing fratricide, which can be very easy to
do in F4 since you have no Identification Friend or Foe (IFF).
Keeping all that in mind, I glance
at the radar MFD and query AWACS for the picture.
Things are fairly quiet with no enemies within the selected
40 miles range of my radar at the moment.
To Page 3
to go to top of this page.