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#3980574 - 07/14/14 01:32 AM Apache Diary  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT





Our first mission in Apache Diary is a general overview of the AH-64D Apache, getting to know the layout of the aircraft, and exploring a bit of the cockpit.




We are given a brief walkaround of the Apache with an introduction of the basic parts...








After the pre-flight walkaround, we are invited into the cockpit to check it out...




Once in the cockpit, the familiarization lesson continues with yellow boxes highlighting certain features and suggesting some of the depth of modeling to the avionics...




The IHADDS works very nicely with TrackIR and the cockpit looks great...




I've set the left and right multi-purpose displays (MPDs) to cycle using the left and right DMS switch on my HOTAS. The tutorial has you cycle through different pages on each, pointing out useful information. It is a lot of information to digest at once and will require some study to get proficient at. The buttons around the perimeter of each MPD are clickable to select pages on each MPD...






After a few minutes of introduction on the basics of the MPDs, we are offered a chance to go fly...




I use the excellent ONLINE MANUAL to go through the brief startup procedure: turning on the battery, APU, starters, fuel levers, and turning off the rotor brake. The sound of the rotor spinning up gets me excited...






With only a cursory knowledge of the avionics systems, I simply set the left and right MPDs to the IHADDS repeater and the TSD...




I set up my HOTAS Warthog to work as a cyclic and collective, and my CH Pro pedals for the anti-torque rotor. Control response is pretty good. Definitely not DCS quality flight model, but not bad. A bit better and it might be close to the improved Take On Helicopters FM, but the model is very good and you can settle into it with no problems. I hover gently out to the runway, taking in the beautiful ARMA 2 environment, lighting, and small details. The dust from my rotorwash sends up a slight cloud...






I push the cyclic forward, ease in a bit more collective and accelerate up and away down the centerline of the runway. A few hundred meters to the east is the coastline and as I climb up we flash across the shore...




Turning my head to the right, the TrackIR follow the movements with the IHADDS display in the center. I maintain around 70-80 knots and about 500' of altitude in the pattern...






On the downwind I take in the scenery. It's not hard to imagine how much fun this thing is going to be in a shooting environment...




I drift a bit high as I'm looking around and up a bit high on the base to final leg so I lower the collective and get a "Rotor RPM HIGH" warning...






I ease her through the base to final turn and start pulling the nose up to bleed off some speed while keeping an eye on the descent rate. Though the flight model is good and fun, it doesn't appear to have much in the way of complex rotor physics such as ETL, settling with power, or vortex state..at least not that I've really discovered yet in my first flight with it..






I come in for a landing on the centerline. The feeling of flight over the ARMA 2 world is very, very good. By that I mean ARMA 2 is a world made for infantry, so the detailing is very good. The converse is that the worlds are not very big in terms of theater wide size. But the contours and collidable trees and feeling of speed are superb...




After landing I spot a little courtyard on the other side of the control tower and want a bit of a fine maneuvering challenge so I pick back up into a hover and fly around the tower to put the Apache down in the courtyard...










I burn about 3 or 400 pounds of fuel on the short jaunt around the traffic pattern. I turn the engines off and open the cockpit door to climb out. I'm hoping the 3rd person capabilities of ARMA 2 are taken advantage of in the missions and campaigns to come...








The mission is complete and now I'll move on to more detailed study of the avionics capabilities including navigation and weapons. I have more questions than answers right now. I still haven't figured out if it is possible to switch positions with the CP/G in flight. I know that I can get IN the CP/G station if it is empty on the ground and then order an AI pilot to fly for me, but I don't know if the cockpit positions are switchable in flight. I'll see you for the next training mission soon.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A few notes on the mod. First of all..it is fantastic! I can't believe what Nodunit & Franze have done with this thing. I mean, this is a professional grade mod that could be sold for money easily! I understand they have it working (to large degree) in ARMA 3 as well. I know there are tutorial missions, some single missions, and I think a fairly substantial campaign to fly, so I'll be working through all of those and seeing how the gameplay is. Understand that the mod works within the framework of ARMA 2 or 3, so there are certain things they can and can't do. It will be interesting to see how the whole thing shapes up, but from what I've seen so far this thing is really good.

More information can be found: HERE!

BeachAV8R



Inline advert (2nd and 3rd post)

#3980616 - 07/14/14 07:14 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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Stormtrooper Offline
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Lifer

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 20,824
I know what im downloading later lol. Thanks for the heads up.

#3980618 - 07/14/14 07:19 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Mar 2001
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csThor Offline
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csThor  Offline
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Germany
Too bad it produces so many RPT errors in Arma 3. Our unit rejected it for that reason. frown


Intel i7 960 @ 3.2 GHz - ASUS Rampage III Gene Republic of Gamers - 6GB RAM OCZ CL7 XTC Platinum PC3-12800 - ZOTAC GeForce GTX 480 - 64GB Crucial RealSSD C300 SATA II - 1TB Western Digital WD1002FAEX SATA II - Creative Soundblaster Xi-Fi Titanium - Windows 7 Professional 64bit
#3980664 - 07/14/14 12:10 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Jun 2005
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- Ice Offline
Veteran
- Ice  Offline
Veteran

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 16,082
Philippines / North East UK
I'd love it if this would work in ARMA 3, it'll give me a reason to fire up the game again. The best would be to have a human player in both seats.... Didn't ARMA 2 have that capability?


- Ice
#3980713 - 07/14/14 01:57 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT


Our next training mission will take a quick look at the navigation functions of the AH-64D. Another good tutorial walks you through the steps of clearing the Tactical Situation Display (TSD) and adding new waypoints via the map editor or directly on the TSD itself...





Here you can see I've entered (by clicking on the map) a bunch of waypoints that take me around the north end of the island...



Multiple IHADDS modes are modeled...



Once the waypoints are entered, we are cleared for free-flight to explore tracking the waypoints. The waypoints sort of float a bit on the TSD, particularly during passage, so there must be some issues in how they got it to work within the bounds of ARMA 2...





We work our way around the island enjoying the low level scenery...



Hey, there's a ship off the coast!



I head offshore a bit and make an approach to the amphibious assault ship...







Naturally, I shut down the engines and go clamber about the ship...





You have to duck to get under the radar - guess I won't be having anymore kids after the radiation dose...



I head back down, climb in the helicopter and start up the engines to head for home base...





I settle onto the ramp and another short training session is complete...





BeachAV8R



#3980764 - 07/14/14 03:22 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Jan 2001
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT




Now we move on to what the Apache was made to do - own the night! With the combined TADS/PNVS system the Apache is an excellent night fighter.



Once we get in the cockpit, we are instructed on how to turn on the cockpit night lighting and adjust it for the best results when combined with the night vision goggles. IHADDS brightness is also covered in the tutorial...





The NVGs are pretty well represented in the ARMA series, so the lighting effect is very good in the Apache cockpit...





After messing around with the lighting options we are instructed to start the engines and proceed to the practice area waypoint...



Flying with the NVGs is awesome and really gives a feeling of being ensconced in your own little world...





At one point I'm instructed to only fly by reference to the PNVS system, which I'm still a little shaky on the operation of and the reason for. I guess the PNVS view is the view only through the PNVS monocle? Whatever the case, the pure PNVS view is very green, and lacks much of the detail of the NVG view. I quickly switch back out of it and the instructor yells at me to get the PNVS back on. Yes Sir!



We fly to a couple waypoints and the instructor seems happy enough. Obviously I have a bit to learn about the sensors though because I'm a bit shaky on why exactly the PNVS view exists at all..



Taking a look at toward the assault ship off the coast...



I bring the helo around and line up on final to return to base...



At this point I'm more "renting" the dark as opposed to "owning" it...





BeachAV8R



#3980901 - 07/14/14 08:19 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Aug 2006
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gallycadet Offline
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gallycadet  Offline
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New Mexico
Great AAR, thanks Beach! You have me tempted to install ARMA2 again and set up my X-52. I love chopper sims.


All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the corps!
#3980903 - 07/14/14 08:21 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 7,325
Stratos Offline
Hotshot
Stratos  Offline
Hotshot

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Posts: 7,325
Amposta, Spain
Excellent AAR series, hope you can reach combat ops too.


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#3980936 - 07/14/14 09:43 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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ST0RM Offline
Senior Member
ST0RM  Offline
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Posts: 4,790
Altus, Ok
This also had me looking into Arma2. A good combat helo sim is so needed, this might be a good alternative.

Is this the whole package? Or the free version?

#3980947 - 07/14/14 10:06 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Jan 2001
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT
Just be aware guys - I don't *know* if this is going to be a good combat helo sim.. <g> I'm not there yet. But it is fun learning thus far.

As far as I know, you need ARMA 2 Operation Arrowhead and the free AH-64 package.

BeachAV8R



#3980999 - 07/14/14 11:52 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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Franze Offline
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The PNVS turret can be linked to TrackIR or similar head tracking device. It has a azimuth of +-90 degrees and IIRC about +-60 degrees elevation. If you don't have head tracking hardware you can use the numpad arrow keys to pan the PNVS turret.

It becomes more useful in combat for the pilot to aim the guns and rockets at small targets like infantry.

#3981030 - 07/15/14 01:48 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: Franze]  
Joined: Jan 2001
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT
Originally Posted By: Franze
The PNVS turret can be linked to TrackIR or similar head tracking device. It has a azimuth of +-90 degrees and IIRC about +-60 degrees elevation. If you don't have head tracking hardware you can use the numpad arrow keys to pan the PNVS turret.

It becomes more useful in combat for the pilot to aim the guns and rockets at small targets like infantry.

I'm using TIR - and find it is very useful. Maybe the lighting was too bright for a good PNVS image when I was flying. I'll have to explore it more!

Thanks for dropping by - this mod is brilliant!

BeachAV8R



#3981032 - 07/15/14 01:48 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT


So. It's time to blow some stuff up! This mission we are going to take a look at the capabilities of the AH-64D with a flight around our little training island with some non-threatening targets (that turns out to be a good thing)!

Please note - these AARs do not contain all of the things included in the mission. For every text box you see with my images, there are probably four or five other messages that include much more instruction and guidance. There is just so much instruction and hints and tips it isn't possible to show them all in these AARs.



As long as you are near an ammo truck - which of course there is at the base - you can rearm and refuel using an awesome configuration menu. The tutorial goes through the loading process which includes loading the racks and selecting the types and number of missiles. It isn't generic - you can mix and match number and types of missiles...





Once we've loaded the weapons with the configuration menu, we take a few minutes to check out the weapons MPD. To my great surprise, most of these settings are adjustable including acquisition modes (FCR, TADS, etc..), missile profiles (LOAL, LOBL, DIRECT) and other weapon settings. This isn't just fluff, this stuff works!



We also take a moment while on the ground to check out the Fire Control Radar (FCR)...



After poking around a bit we get instructions to head out to waypoint #2 where our live fire will start...



Upon reaching WP2 the instructor tells us to turn on the FCR to scan for air defense targets. You can cycle through target types to be displayed much like you can in EECH (SAM/AAA, vehicle, armor, etc..). After a couple sweeps two air defense targets (non-active) come up on the FCR...



We are to use a radar Hellfire on this shot and are told what target parameters need to be met (solid target box)...



Fire! (What does an Apache pilot say when they launch - "Hellfire!"?)



Boom - that's a kill! (This sim could use a flyby camera, a missile cam, and a target cam by the way..)



Though I'm supposed to stay in position and continue with the tutorial, I head in toward the burning target to check it out...



Next we are supposed to switch away from radar Hellfires and explore the other sensor systems. Let me say now that a TON of information comes at you on this mission. There are a lot of settings and MPD buttons and sensors to operate and it is quite humbling for a "light" sim to have this level of learning curve. It is very impressive. I can see where this will take some practice to get proficient and in combat is no time to be fumbling around looking for switches and buttons.



I scan the island with my TrackIR/TAD and soon find the proper targets...



Next up is rocket attacks which use the old familiar I-beam target reticle. I make some rocket passes and get a couple hits but it takes a second run to get my target burning...





Finally we are given instructions to close in on a final target to engage with the canon. Coupled with TrackIR - this is fun...



I back off to the designated waypoint again and the instructor starts walking me through the air-to-air engagement procedure (ATAS). I select the Stinger missile, find the target drone using the helmet mounted optics, lock, and fire...



To my great surprise - this isn't the end. I'm instructed to fly to waypoint #4 where we will learn about some of the more advanced AH-64D features including sharing and receiving targets and even designating targets with a laser for another aircraft to hit. Holy cow! I'll never remember all the settings and steps but I'm blown away by the fact that they have modeled this... BIS - hire these guys to make a dedicated Apache sim please (and give them the TOH crew for the helo dynamics!) I do as instructed, lase a target and "whoomph" a bomb or missile comes from some unseen source and sets of a huge explosion. Nice. I'm an Apache-FAC now!





With that the lesson is over. I'm free to fly around and engage remaining targets, go back to base to rearm and refuel, or end the mission. I fly back to the base but have to cut the rest of the session short, although I know I'll need to revisit it again without a doubt.





This is really, really cool. I'm getting super excited about the campaign possibilities... But a couple more training missions remain!

BeachAV8R



#3981043 - 07/15/14 02:30 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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Franze Offline
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Franze  Offline
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Posts: 406
Originally Posted By: BeachAV8R

I'm using TIR - and find it is very useful. Maybe the lighting was too bright for a good PNVS image when I was flying. I'll have to explore it more!

Thanks for dropping by - this mod is brilliant!

BeachAV8R


I didn't get a TIR myself until a couple months after the initial release, having to rely on testers for usage previously. The latest version has an option at the very bottom of the action menu called 'Head Tracking Toggle' that does two things: Links PNVS to TIR and allows the click action (the small 'X' at the center) to be linked to mouse movement. You can see a small demo of it in TKOH here.

/thread hijack

#3981095 - 07/15/14 07:25 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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Stratos Offline
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Amposta, Spain
Pretty interesting!!


-Sir in case of retreat, were we have to retreat??
-To the Graveyard!!

sandbagger.uk.com/stratos.html
#3981104 - 07/15/14 08:44 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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Legend Offline
Legsie is such a
Legend  Offline
Legsie is such a
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Zutphen, NL / ShangHai, China
Oh... that looks so good. Reminds me of the training of the original Jane's Longbow.


There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
#3981109 - 07/15/14 09:19 AM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer
RSColonel_131st  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,915
Vienna, 2nd rock left.
Yep, impressive flashback to the Longbow sim. Seeing how Arma2 has really detailed ground warfare this is very very cool.

#3981335 - 07/15/14 07:35 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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jenrick Offline
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IIRC real world PNVS is the only way to slave the chain gun and targeting to the helmet. I don't believe Apaches routinely fly with NVG's, as the PNVS system provides both an IR and NVG capability on helmet already.

-Jenrick

#3981390 - 07/15/14 09:57 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
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Franze Offline
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The PNVS is just a sensor system, it's not a requirement to use any weapons or designation information. It's a FLIR camera with more clarity than the FLIR on the TADS night side. Apache crews can use NVGs and do so regularly, especially the CPG. I don't know how often the pilot uses NVGs.

The reason why we allow NVGs is because the thermal views in the ArmA series are poor for piloting clarity and are only really good for picking out targets.

#3981636 - 07/16/14 12:03 PM Re: Apache Diary [Re: BeachAV8R]  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT


On this last training mission, we will take a look at the aircraft's counter-measures capabilities. As usual, after a thorough briefing, we start up and head to the practice area...



We cycle to the ASE (Aircraft Survivability Equipment) page and a couple emitters come into view. A ZSU-23 and a 2S6. We learn how to cycle the jammers on and off and a bit about how long they can be on before they overheat. I don't think this Apache carries flares, and some carry chaff...







Next we were given a few failures, including a failure of the FCR and eventually an engine fire that I could not get extinguished. Franze and Nodunit indicated that they don't really have a way of failing a single engine in ARMA2, which would be nice to be able to limit torque to 50% or something... (EDIT - I guess I could just throttle back to 60% to simulate the engine failure with an associated engine over-torquing perhaps..)



We manage to get back to the airfield with the engine still blazing and the CP/G has had enough and he hops out...



That is about it for training. The scenarios are well done, with great information and voice-overs. Next we'll try our hand at an actual mission..

BeachAV8R





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