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#2093723 - 12/14/06 08:50 AM LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Lifer
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I think its about time. Time to blow the dust off the LOMAC and LOMAC:FC manuals and checklists, setup the rudder pedals, build my own custom Saitek X52 profile, and get down to business. For the past couple weeks Ive been gearing up for this: I ordered the spiral bound manual for FC from GoGamer and it arrived a few days ago. Ive spent the past week rummaging through forums and files at places like LockOnFiles.com and the LockOn.ru forums. Ive downloaded, installed, tweaked and cajoled (not without a lot of frustration might I add) and am now ready to take to the skies. Previously, Ive only barely dabbled in LOMAC, mostly due to the fact that I had other projects going, but now Im putting aside some time to enjoy this sim.

I plan on focusing (initially) on the Su-25T since it represents the pinnacle of the Lock On series development to date. I know almost nothing about it. In fact, I know almost nothing about LOMAC other than a few flights in the past where I zoomed around and captured some video. So this will be a big, and sometimes painful learning experience for me I think. I plan on using a combination of stock training missions, community missions, and my own custom made missions. When I first set out to do training missions for Falcon 4 a few years ago, I found that getting into the mission designer (Tactical Engagements) was a process where you just had to roll up your sleeves and dive in. Im planning on doing the same with the LO:FC mission editor. The results will likely not be spectacular, because I know it takes time and talent to develop incredible scripted missions, but for training purposes I think simple is better.

This first mission will simply be a familiarization flight in the Su-25T; a chance to shake loose the cobwebs and slowly build up my HOTAS profile and start learning keystrokes. No weapons for this run around the circuit, just me and some fuel.



Im starting out my training in Khersones, in the south of the Ukraine, on an early winter morning.



A note on the custom skin: thanks a million to Eric Flanker562 Johnson for taking the time and effort to put together this awesome training scheme for me. Over the course of a few days Eric was kind enough to trade e-mails with me with suggestions and modifications to give my training aircraft a unique look. The scheme was intended to loosely mirror the VT-7 training squadron skin flown on the US Navy T-45 Goshawk and is similar to the skin that Prophet was kind enough to make for me back when I did Janes F-18 training missions. Eric did a spectacular job on this skin and I want to extend my thanks to him once again.





With my keycards in front of me I sit in my cold and dark Su-25T. After searching around a bit, I find the engine start command (RH Win + Home) and nothing happens. After 20 seconds or so I do hear the engines running, but my gauges are all dead. I look around (Track IR is perfect for this sim) thinking another aircraft has started up near me, but a check of the external view shows that indeed my engines are running. A few minutes paging through the keycard and I realize there is a command for turning on aircraft electrics (Shift-L). That sets all of the gauges, needles and dials into motion and my HUD starts coming alive. Do they make a 2-seat version of the T? I might need a good instructor I think. I look down at the map on my kneeboard and visualize the geography a bit. Im on a little peninsula surrounded by water, which is probably a good idea to keep the residents inland a bit safer with me flying around.



The fire trucks scattered around the airport seem to be anxiously awaiting my first flight; they can smell new blood in the water I suspect.




Cont



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#2093724 - 12/14/06 08:50 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Lifer
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With the engines up and running I run out the flaps to the take-off setting. Though Ive mapped flaps up and full flaps to the T3 and T4 toggle switch at the base of my X52, I havent figured out a way to make the toggle switch command increments (up, mid, down); Im open to suggestions. The flap position selected is mirrored on the configuration indicator. This instrument also displays positions for other mechanical devices such as the gear and speedbrakes.





Once again I hunt down the proper command on the keycard to lower the canopy (CTRL-C) and the engines become a quiet whine in the background.



Looking at my fuel gauges I see my internal tanks are full although I had planned to only fill them halfway while in the mission editor. I will have to learn a bit more about the fuel management in the T since I have no idea how you read external fuel tank amounts or if transferring external fuel is done automatically. Ill also have to learn (and map to my HOTAS) the external fuel tank jettison switch. For now, however, my wings are clear of all ordnance and fuel tanks.



I find the communications command and request permission to taxi from the tower controller. Sitting in their glass palace they dont seem as on-edge as the crash-fire-rescue personnel.





Taxiing out Im gentle on the controls and fall in love with the fidelity of the Ts handling characteristics. The fuselage sways slightly as the weight shifts on the wheels and with my CH pedals I really feel an authenticity to the ground handling. I havent found a way to map the brakes to the toe-brakes of my pedals however (suggestions?). Holding short of the runway I glance over at the truck standing near the side of the runway and wonder if he knows how much danger he is about to be in.



Panning around the external model I notice for the first time that you can actually see the engine turbine blades spinning: very cool.



Cont



#2093725 - 12/14/06 08:50 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Holding short of the runway I ask the tower for permission to take-off several times, but they dont answer. Finally, I pull out onto the runway and ask for permission and they give me a take-off clearance.



I take a deep breath, ease the throttles forward smoothly and we start bumping down the runway. In the mission editor I put in a 3 m/s slight quartering headwind in so I have to dance a little bit on the rudders to keep the nose aligned with the centerline. I need to find a conversion chart for m/s because I have no idea what the means in mph or knots; the metric thing is one large hurdle that will take a while to come to grips with. As the plane hurdles down the runway I pick an arbitrary speed to start rotating (240 kph) and soon the nose is lifting skyward.



Whoa! Sensitive little beastie isnt she?! I take a glance over toward the control tower and flash a toothy grin at them and the slight inattention is all that is necessary to let the nose drop and we start sinking toward the ground. This is no rail-riding F-16; that much is abundantly evident. Ive mapped the nose up and down trim and aileron left and right trim to my 4-way hat switch so I thumb in a little nose up trim and she responds nice and smoothly to the input and we start climbing away.



I briefly take my hand off the throttle to reach across to the base of my stick to slap the T1/T2 switch to the gear up position which retracts the landing gear. I love the modeling of the rumbling and cockpit shake when the gear is extended and speed builds up; very nicely done. The Citation I fly has a gear extension speed of 250 knots and if you are dumb enough to extend it at that speed the noise and rumble through the fuselage is significant!



Again Im a bit shaky on the specifics for pattern work and dont really have any target airspeeds or altitudes. I figure somewhere around 400 meters is probably a good pattern altitude since we fly 1500 pattern altitudes in the U.S. (turbines/jets). I find myself wallowing around +/- 100 meters though as I search for the proper trim and never really do find it. Turning downwind Im suitably impressed by the view into the early morning sun.



I get way too fast on the downwind and by the time I complete my base and final turns Im fast, high, and miserably out of position. Despite having throttles to idle & speedbrakes deployed the approach is unsalvageable and Im forced to go around and try again.





The second pattern is a bit cleaner looking than the first as I sort of my trim, but speed continues to be an enemy as I turn final flying much to fast. Coming over the airport boundary Im still doing nearly 390 kph which I later calculate to be 213 knots. Scott Crossfield would be proud. Despite the fast speed I settle down onto the runway at about midfield, touch the tires to the pavement and then jam the throttle in to do a touch and go.



Cont



#2093726 - 12/14/06 08:50 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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I widen out my pattern a bit more on the 3rd attempt but I find that keeping the airport in sight against the relatively bland winter background is difficult (much like real life actually!). I realize that I need to get much, much more proficient at flying while using the mini-HUD during off-axis viewing. Doing so will allow me to keep an eye on a spot on the ground while still maintaining my altitude, bank angle, and airspeed. I have to admit to feeling a bit like a real student by now though and get that old familiar feeling of being way behind the aircraft.



This time I settle into the groove at about 340 kph, which I suspect might still be a bit fast even for my relatively heavy weight (with full fuel). I suppose I need to develop (or find) a gross landing weight ref-speed chart to I can calculate the proper Vref speed down final.



Things happen extremely quickly this time though and the T takes no mercy on me. I dont even have time to snap any screenshots as I cross the fence and squeak down to an excellent landing. Unfortunately, Im still too fast and despite hitting the P key, I see no drag chute deploy (?) and my brakes arent nearly adequate to stop me. Im past the point of no return and cant take-off again as the end of the runway rushes up to greet me. I careen off the end of the runway still doing around 160 kph, launch over a berm and the aircraft starts tumbling, shedding parts all across the field. The cockpit section lands upright in flames, but since it is intact, I choose to believe Im still alive (Im here typing this arent I?).



Wow! What a screw-up for my first flight! Things couldnt possibly have gone any worse I dont suppose. Well, I guess I could have landed upside down in the cockpit, but that would only be marginally worse.

In conclusion, it is obvious that I have a lot of learning to do. The Su-25T flight model is a dream though; something every simmer should experience just for the sake of feeling a very fluid and lifelike flight experience. I wont say realistic because that is such a subjective term, particularly for those of us that havent flown a Su-25T right? Im looking forward to improving (can there be anything but improvement from this point??!), learning from the community and sharing my triumphs and failures. Its my intention to fly several of these missions a week, schedule permitting, so I hope to work though systems, weapons, tactics, and a bunch of other things specific to the T. Eventually I may tackle other airframes in LOMAC, but I can see I already have a lot of work cut out for me in the Grach.

Edit-1: On further review, it looks like I picked a pretty poor candidate field for flight training. According to this map compiled by data gleaned by Jeroen-79, Khersones Airfield is only 1800 meters long (5900')...which might be a bit tight for a rookie -T pilot..



Edit-2: One other observation. I understand that LOMAC has a track recorder, so I'm thinking I can just fly my missions straight through in realtime and then go back and take screens without having to interrupt my flight right? Research required on that one...

** Note: I'm adding a link to download the mission template for all the reports I do. Way back when I did these for Falcon 4 and posted the reports I got tons of requests for the associated TE's that I had built to fly them..unfortunately I didn't save each individual TE and instead just kept building on the same one, so it was a big disappointment to not be able to share them. Even though the training missions I build will be ridiculously simple, and probably not even technically correct, I'll post them up in case anyone wants to take a stab at them under the same conditions I'm flying.

Link to first mission: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq01a.zip

BeachAV8R

- P4 3.4
- 2 GB RAM
- NVidia 6800GT PCI-E (256MB)
- Saitek X52
- CH Pro Pedals
- TrackIR4

Thanks again to Eric J for the custom skin, and thanks to Thomas D Weiss for the awesome site where I downloaded most of the add-ons for my install ( http://www.lockonfiles.com ). Once I get together the list of all my add-ons, Ill be sure to post them and give credit to those that have made Lock On look and play so good!



#2093727 - 12/14/06 10:47 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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RSoro01 Offline
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Hi Beach,

Fun read.

The flight recorder (track recorder) does help a lot. But you have to start the mission with it going. The easiest way is to press CTRL-R instead of the FLY button to start the mission.

If you're interested, there are a few Su-25T specific tutorials at Flankertraining.com that you might find helpful. You'll find then on the Flight Basics page.

Rich

#2093728 - 12/14/06 12:12 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Lifer

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Yep..FlankerTraining.com is one of the sites I'll be visiting and pulling from. I'll be sure to post up links to the goodies I use...I need all the help I can get.

CTRL-R...good one. Yeah..I saw those options listed in one of the drop down menus..but didn't experiment with it...

Thanks Rich!

BeachAV8R



#2093729 - 12/14/06 12:38 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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EricJ Offline
Me, just me.
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I'll have to agree with Rich, most of the screenshots I do on the Lockon.ru site are from recorded flights. Therefore you can concentrate on the flight rather than taking pictures.

Great topic though man ;\)


|My Books | Home Page | http://562.combatace.com/ |
- 'Nearly everyone felt the need to express their views on all wars to me, starting with mine. I found myself thinking, I ate the crap sandwich, you didnt, so please dont tell me how it tastes.' - CPT Cole, US Army
- "...parade ground soldiers always felt that way (contempt) about killers in uniform." -Counting The Cost, Hammer's Slammers
#2093730 - 12/14/06 01:19 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Groove Offline
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Hey Beach,

usually your touchdown speed should be around 280 kmh. Dont use the chute over ~ 250 kmh as it will be snapped away.

During takeoff i usually rotate at 300 kmh and flaps going in at 350 and 400 kmh.

Important: After bringing your electronics to life ( Shift -L ) you should wait until the HSI stops spinning aka its aligned. If you start moving your jet before this you could get false HSI reading.

Feel free to ask anything, we will help you. Im glad you like the flight model. But wait for the hostile enviroment missions. Workload will become a new dimension for you \:D

#2093731 - 12/14/06 02:36 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Cool stuff!! I'm just getting re-spoolled up in LOMAC/FC as well. Just installed FC, and have only flown x-wind landings.... Skin looks GREAT!! I'd love to have a skin like that call sign "Kevo" Chritmas is right around the corner, hint hint.....

#2093732 - 12/14/06 05:16 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Excellent read. I've just started learning this aircraft myself.

#2093733 - 12/14/06 05:30 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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One thing you'll learn about the T model is that those tiny little airbrakes don't do squat. When landing, but especially when going down the chute to attack something, you have to plan way ahead by starting out slower than you'd like (well slower than I like..hehe)


It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, or how smart you are, If it doesn't agree with experiment it is WRONG. ~Richard Feynman
#2093734 - 12/14/06 05:36 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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EricJ Offline
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Another thing to is maybe let the autopilot set you up, so you get an idea on approaches and hoiw to orient your aircraft, as well as speeds. After that you can do VFR landings, which require more. Thing with the autopilot though, it disengages a short distance from the airfield, so you have to be careful of that as well, but then again you can coast in and land as best as possible. When I first learned landing (funny I could do SEAD like a mother in Flanker 2.51, but landing would be my shortfall) I started off landing on roads. It requires more precision than some people think, and I moved on to runways. And now I'm starting to trap on the Kuznetsov, so I consider most landings alot better than a carrier trap anyday ;\)


|My Books | Home Page | http://562.combatace.com/ |
- 'Nearly everyone felt the need to express their views on all wars to me, starting with mine. I found myself thinking, I ate the crap sandwich, you didnt, so please dont tell me how it tastes.' - CPT Cole, US Army
- "...parade ground soldiers always felt that way (contempt) about killers in uniform." -Counting The Cost, Hammer's Slammers
#2093735 - 12/14/06 05:38 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Nice to see ya' Eric...I messed up your excellent paint job already by balling it up at the end of the runway... :p

Groove - Ah...250 before deploying the chute..that solves that mystery. I'm going to have to spend some quality time with the manual.

Quote:
Important: After bringing your electronics to life ( Shift -L ) you should wait until the HSI stops spinning aka its aligned. If you start moving your jet before this you could get false HSI reading.
That's a good one! We do the same thing in real life..we don't move until the ADI is spun up and the instrument flags go away. As much as I'm hunting around for stuff I'm sure I was well past the HSI spin-up time.. \:D Although I will definitely keep that in mind in the future.

I also did find this awesome 10-page checklist made by Olivier 'Red Dog' Beaumont for the Su-25T over on ThomasDW's site:





You can find it at: http://www.lockonfiles.com ...go to the downloads section - manuals & docs section. If you haven't registered and browsed around Thomas' site and forums give it a go..tons of great information there!



BeachAV8R



#2093736 - 12/14/06 05:47 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Lifer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Colt40Five:
One thing you'll learn about the T model is that those tiny little airbrakes don't do squat. When landing, but especially when going down the chute to attack something, you have to plan way ahead by starting out slower than you'd like (well slower than I like..hehe)
Hehe..no kidding...(he says as he goes whizzing off the end of the runway...) \:D The one thing that probably is pretty effective is aerodynamic braking..I'm going to test out side-slips and forward slipping in the next mission to see how fuselage drag might be able to help dissipate energy (as well as putting some 'G' on..)..

Quote:
Another thing to is maybe let the autopilot set you up, so you get an idea on approaches and hoiw to orient your aircraft, as well as speeds. After that you can do VFR landings, which require more.
Good idea Eric..I'm planning on doing a whole mission report on the use of the autopilot since the Su-25T has so many different modes offering many different capabilities. Thanks for the suggestion..!

One other thing..I went back and edited the end of my report up there and am adding a link to download the mission template for all the reports I do. Way back when I did these for Falcon 4 and posted the reports I got tons of requests for the associated TE's that I had built to fly them..unfortunately I didn't save each individual TE and instead just kept building on the same one, so it was a big disappointment to not be able to share them. Even though the training missions I build will be ridiculously simple, and probably not even technically correct, I'll post them up in case anyone wants to take a stab at them under the same conditions I'm flying.

Link to first mission: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq01.mis

BeachAV8R



#2093737 - 12/14/06 05:51 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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BTW - Can someone fire up LOMAC sometime today and give a shot at landing the Su-25T at Khersones with full fuel? I just want to verify it is possible on that short of a runway...perhaps a test of skill for me later on down the line.. :p For now I think I'll be moving my training operations over to Saki (duel 3500m runways) or Simferopol (one runway at 3900m); that should give me a bit more breathing room for 'mistakes'.. ;\)

BeachAV8R



#2093738 - 12/14/06 06:42 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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No probs man, though I've landed Su-33s (various loads) and it requires some braking as soon as you get below about 150km/h or more, usually 200 or so you can do it without messing up the aircraft. I got a short track of what not to do in an Su-33 though. I was going to make a much better one (though the carrier landings are still needed work) but I'm about to go to work and running out of time:

http://562.50megs.com/LOMAC/Tracks/landings.rar

Usually it takes a flight through the mountains to get my reflexes settled down, but this is what it is... \:D


|My Books | Home Page | http://562.combatace.com/ |
- 'Nearly everyone felt the need to express their views on all wars to me, starting with mine. I found myself thinking, I ate the crap sandwich, you didnt, so please dont tell me how it tastes.' - CPT Cole, US Army
- "...parade ground soldiers always felt that way (contempt) about killers in uniform." -Counting The Cost, Hammer's Slammers
#2093739 - 12/14/06 06:44 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Colt40Five Offline
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More than enough runway for full fuel and weapons at Khersones Beach... true, I landed right on the very end of the runway, but I let it roll a second or two before I hit the brakes... \:\)









It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, or how smart you are, If it doesn't agree with experiment it is WRONG. ~Richard Feynman
#2093740 - 12/14/06 07:29 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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RSoro01 Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BeachAV8R:
BTW - Can someone fire up LOMAC sometime today and give a shot at landing the Su-25T at Khersones with full fuel?
Khersones should be fine. You can land on the short runway at Sochi-Adler and make the first turnoff without a problem...as long as your chute deploys.

Rich

#2093741 - 12/14/06 08:10 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Is there a guide as to vid card settings?

#2093742 - 12/14/06 08:16 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #01  
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Whammo Offline
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Nice to have you back Beach! Good read, I'll be watching out for more. BTW, how are you doing with the copy protection. I couldn't get my Gogamer Flaming Cliffs to run at all.

Gus

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