Salut all,
I'm happy to report I flew my first campaign mission last night after a marathon session with my dad trying to figure out how the various cfs3 commands work and how to "put them together" to be able to fly with some semblance of the skill set I learned in Red Baron 3d.

It took quite a while to figure out that I could use the tab key and then tilde key to padlock a bogie and snap from the padlock to guns view (and back). That's how I do it in RB, where numpad slash momentarily helps me orient without breaking padlock, which I find essential to keeping track of a bogie. That CFS3 targeting cone stinks - it's like a bird dog pointing where the bogie is without knowing what the bogie is up to so you can anticipate his next move.

I'm sure trackIR will be great but I'm upgrading a PC (GPU, RAM & CPU) and buying USB CH gear, so cash flow is an issue for a while. Happily I got my gameport CH pedals to work via a USB converter, saving myself about $70 bucks.

Has anyone written a primer on how to use the commands in OFF (or CFS3, I suppose)? I haven't figured out how to find wingmen the way <tab> finds bogies and I don't want to use invisible cockpit. Formation flying is a real challenge without some way to keep them in view. I can deal with sight obstruction caused by my own plane - in fact it helps me stay oriented some. The problem is the lack of a way to readily find what I'm looking for and (again) padlock it if needed. Snap view is fine for routine flying and landing, but scroll view is awkward without TrackIR.

FWIW, I have found what may be the bare minimum system requirements:
Celeron D 2.53
2 Mb RAM
GeForce 9400 GT PCI video card

Frame rates are low even with sliders at 1 or 2, but it's still prettier than Red Baron. I have a Northwood Pentium 4 3.2 on the the way, which I hope will improve things considerably with both a clock speed increase and an 800 fsb instead of the Celeron's 533 fsb. I realize it would easier and maybe even cheaper to just buy a new PC but that's not really an option and it has been fun learning to rebuild my PC. Much easier than I thought.


Au revoir en l'air...S!