February 13, 2012
Android App for DCS: A-10C Warthog
by Chris "BeachAV8R" Frishmuth
For those of us still struggling to come to grasp with Digital Combat Simulator's A-10C Warthog, things just got a little easier. An Android app came available last year that allows those with Android OS tablets or smartphones to use this nifty little utility that will help both experienced and novice A-10C pilots alike. Created by Frédéric Faure, the tiny app is free to download and use from the Android Market. Donations are accepted, and if you feel the utility is worth the money you can show your appreciation by throwing a few dollars to the developer. Link: DCS Manager on Android Market
DCS Manager is a small utility that features checklist items for all of the normal phases of flight, combat, weapons, and sensor operations. The clean format is quick and easy to use. While I’ve traditionally been a paper checklist guy I recently started having some great experiences with iPad aviation tools and now I’m a firm believer in PDA based information displays. DCS Manager includes checklists such as Engine Starting, Taxi & Takeoff, Landing, and Shutdown. Each item is displayed on a line and a box is available to click on as you go. There are multiple categories of checklists with sub-categories within. Everything from normal flight operations to refueling, navigation, countermeasures, sensors, and weapons are included.
For a new A-10C pilot like myself the more obscure checklists such as those under the Embedded GPS INS (EGI) are great to remember the steps. Some of the sub-categories on the EGI page are: Waypoint Selection, Creating New Waypoint, Set Steerpoint, Set Anchor Point, Mark Creation & Cycling, etc. The Weapons Delivery checklists are fantastic for learning or remembering the proper way to setup the different weapons and bombing modes as well as setting up the delivery profile settings.
In addition to checklists, the app has an Airdromes information database that allows you to select airfields that exist in the theater and pull up details such as Tower, ILS, and TACAN frequencies. Clicking on an airfield entry further expands the information with Lat/Lon, field elevation, runways, and ILS frequencies. One more click takes you to a nice airfield diagram that looks very much like a NOS approach plate airfield diagram.
The app is a great addition to the virtual pilot’s inventory of tools. My only suggestion would be to make each checklist check mark permanent and then have a global command via the phone menu command to “uncheck all”. The only reason I mention that is that check marks aren’t preserved if you exit one checklist and move to another (something you might do to setup the weapons profile page while in the middle of the pre-taxi checklist for instance). Other than that, I think the app is rock solid and could probably replace your paper checklists altogether.
Reviewer's System Spec
Evaluated on an HTC EVO 4G (Android)
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