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#2093846 - 12/15/06 11:46 PM LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Lifer

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After my rather humiliating first training mission in the Su-25T I was anxious to get back on the horse that bucked me. Having flown flight simulations for a long, long time, I was surprised at how badly I got spanked during my first training flight. So for this second flight, I kept the goals modest and decided to just explore normal flight a bit and start introducing some additional aircraft systems in baby steps.

For this training flight I relocated to Saki airfield on the west coast of the Crimea peninsula, in order to take advantage of the dual 3400 meter runways, allowing for a bit more leeway during operations.



Diving once again into the mission editor to construct my own custom mission I decide on a very short round-robin flight in order to practice a bit of navigating as well.

Download custom mission here: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq02.zip

Toying with the mission editor is actually pretty fun although, as others have noted, it does require getting your hands dirty and learning the quirks of the system. Im certainly in the infancy of learning the mission editor and have only thus far learned how to add flights and input waypoints. There is a lot more to it, but its a learning process. I also strap on some external fuel tanks to check out how the fuel management is done.



For todays flight well depart Saki, head up to the railroad tracks east of the field, then proceed to the coast and follow it southbound down toward Belbek airfield where well do a touch and go before proceeding back to base at Saki.



Its a snowy and cold morning but the visibility and ceilings are very good.



Strapped into the T I go about the process of bringing the aircraft to life (WIN key not necessary for engine start as I had mentioned before!). Since its a bit gloomy out I go ahead and turn on the instrument lights and the soft glow illuminates the gauges; a nice effect.



I start by lighting off the left engine, followed by the right. You can see the START light illuminated and the split engine RPM gauge starting to move. I also see now that the fuel gauge is showing 2840 KT, unfortunately I cant find what KT stands for (?). The addition of external fuel tanks pushes the total fuel digital read-out past what the fuel tapes show for internal fuel, so the digital read-out accurately reflects the total quantity of fuel onboard. Unlike the Su-25, the T doesnt have a fuel rate gauge collocated with the fuel gauge, so Im not sure where you find fuel flow information. (Still lots to learn obviously!)



A nice touch is the fact that the AOA indicator bounces around while you are on the ground, apparently responding to wind gusts.



Cont



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#2093847 - 12/15/06 11:46 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Lifer

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As Im slowly working my way through setting up for flight I see another Su-25T taxi past and head for the runway. I had thought I had set the other T to be my wingman in the mission editor, but apparently that wasnt the case; so he just rocked off and did his own thing. Meanwhile, looking through the HUD I can see Im in enroute mode (ENR) and the distance to the first waypoint (8.6 km) is located in the bottom center of the HUD. Above the speed & altitude digital readouts are the assigned speed and altitude readouts, which I assume update as you fly to get you to specific waypoints at the correct time. While Im used to doing this in Falcon 4, the implementation in this Russian plane is a bit beyond my grasp at the time. I know in the mission editor that you can specify times of arrival at certain waypoints, so obviously me futzing around so long on the ground has made it impossible for me to meet the requirements I had programmed in prior to start.



Some smarty pants also painted a skull & crossbones on the side of my fuselage, obviously alluding to my first training mission mishap. Those salty crew chiefs!



With everything up and running I head out to the runway and prepare for takeoff. This time Im starting to feel a little bit more comfortable with my surroundings.



Blasting off into the snow flurries we pass by the resident helicopters and old Antanovs.



I arrive at the first waypoint in the blink of an eye and dont even notice that the waypoint indicator (bottom right 2) has changed and the distance is now showing the leg toward the coast. Im still a little sketchy on the use of the director circle that is displayed in the HUD which is supposed to show you the way to the next waypoint. I dont find the symbology intuitive at all compared to our western displays. Im used to the carat on the heading tape pointing the way. I suppose the circle may be similar to the steering carat in the F-16, but the circle seems to move around more when banking and is taking some time to adjust to.



Though Im familiar with the HSI in my day job, Im still a bit confused about the presentation of the Programmed Course needle and the Next Waypoint needle. Im assuming you have to work the Next Waypoint needle a bit like you would an RMI needle in aircraft Im familiar with. And to stay actually on the proper course (the plotted course) you would have to intercept that course by offsetting the Waypoint needle until the Course needle lines up with it before turning on course. Intuitive in theory, but while wresting with the basic control of the aircraft, it is a bit daunting. It doesnt help that Ive set my little cross-country flight with such short legs either.



I reach the coast and more by visual navigation than electronic, start my turn to the south. That is sort of why I picked the route going down the coast, coastlines dont move much and is a great reference point for VFR flying!



Heading down the coast I test out the fuel dump command (CTRL-R) and a fine spray of fuel trails from the aircraft; Im a bit too busy to note down the rate that fuel dumping occurs however.



Cont



#2093848 - 12/15/06 11:47 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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I also try out the external fuel tank jettison switch (ALT-R) and watch as they fall away. An expensive little button push to be sure (at least Im over the ocean!). Since I had only put 50% internal fuel prior to the flight the tapes drop halfway down the gauge. This doesnt occur instantly either, rather they drop down at a quick rate and stabilize, a nice touch.



While being distracted by the fuel dump and jettison process Ive already blown past waypoint 3 and have to turn back around to the north to find Belbek. The red icon up at Saki is the other Su-25T completing his training circuit.



Flying back northbound I struggle to find the airport out the window. The winter textures really do a good job of disguising the airports and they blend into the surrounding scenery quite well. Ive found that time and again I end up closer and higher than I intend when approaching the airports and this time is no exception as I fly through the final approach course and do a 270 around to final. I suppose I should just bite the bullet and enter a standard traffic pattern from now on and stop trying to abbreviate the process.





Part of my poor performance in the T has been related to the fact that I cant ever seem to get wings trimmed out properly. While my pitch trim is working fine and is easy to adjust with every power change, the roll pitch trim is driving me nuts! Each time I thumb my hat switch I get too much or not enough trim and I end up rolling from side to side. Since Im having my hands full just flying the aircraft doing secondary stuff (like learning other systems) is lagging a bit behind. Youll have to bear with me.



Even after the completion of my 270 to final Im still a bit fast so I check out the uncoordinated flight characteristics and am pleasantly surprised to see that cross-controlled flight is very well implemented. Putting a wing down and adding full opposite rudder to transition to a forward slip (probably not recommended for an aircraft such as thisthe need to even enter a forward slip is symptomatic of an unstabilized approach) results in significant fuselage drag and allows a steeper descent without a rise in airspeed. The advanced flight model is really a wonderful piece of work.



I touchdown over halfway down the runway but since Im only doing a touch-and-go I have the luxury of just rolling the tires, adding power and blasting back off; Im just happy to have not collapsed the landing gear.





Cont



#2093849 - 12/15/06 11:47 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Heading back up the coast Im still missing my steering carat on the heading tape. Im going to have to unlearn that concept in order to make progress with these eastern aircraft. I also realize Im not being a total purist by using English cockpit symbols and text, but well suspend our disbelief and imagine Im flying an export model of the T.



As usual, I have trouble spotting the field and end up blowing past it. Everything seems to happen pretty fast in the T, partly because it isnt exactly a slow aircraft; it has rather robust speed qualities to it despite a rather lumbering handling quality.



I do have the wherewithal to cycle to the landing HUD mode, although it takes me a while to figure out why the distance to the field isnt correct. Then I realize Ive hit the ~ key and have cycled to a more distant field. Im still a bit unsure on what the field numbers in the HUD mean and if those stay constant no matter what mission you are in (?). Im assuming each field has an associated number.



The control yells at me that Im high the whole way down the visual approach and I end up overcompensating and dragging it in the last hundred meters or so, stirring up some dust just before the threshold.





My landings are actually pretty good in the T so Im pretty happy about that aspect. And with the newfound knowledge that deploying the braking chute above 250 kph will cause it to break away (thanks Groove!) Im able to deploy the chute correctly this time (P) and come to a stop in the first half of the runway easily; the chute makes a huge difference in landing distance!





I think the field crash/fire/rescue must have heard about me because there are a ton of fire trucks at the airport! (They better not laugh at me, weapons training will be coming up eventually!)



Cont



#2093850 - 12/15/06 11:47 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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I join up with the other T that is taxiing in from his training flight. No doubt he hit all of his waypoints on time and at the correct altitude and airspeeds.



After the mission I got online and started doing some research, not believing how difficult a time I was having flying this aircraft. I also flipped through the book and there it was, on the bottom of Page 8 in the FC manual: When flying the Su25T in Lock On, it is suggested that you set your input controls to linear axis. This will provide the most realistic control of the aircraft.

Aha! No wonder! I had my controls set up with the traditional S-curve that I thought was proper for flying most simulator aircraft.



A quick test hop confirmed it: the aircraft flies much better using a linear setup. Problem 1 solved. My second problem was my quirky trim setup. Although my pitch trim was working just fine, my wing roll trim (aileron trim) was severely lacking and resulted in gross trim changes and I could never get the aircraft level. Then I thought about the key combination that was required to input the key through my programming software (CTRL + , or / ) and thought that maybe the combo command was causing a delay. I went into FC, changed the trim command keys, then mapped the new single keystroke (< and > for left and right trim respectively) to my X52 and bingo! That solved the problem. Now I get instantaneous trim in the roll axis and it is perfectly accurate and allows me to easily trim the roll for hands off flying.



Now were talking! With the controllability issues fast disappearing Im hoping to get down to more substantial learning in subsequent missions; my apologies for the slow start.

BeachAV8R

Once again, the mission link for this training mission if you want to follow along: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq02.zip



#2093851 - 12/16/06 12:03 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Sierra Hotel

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What can I say?



Pat Tillman (1976-2004):
4 years Arizona State University, graduated with high honors.
5 seasons National Football League player, Arizona Cardinals.
Forever United States Army Ranger.
#2093852 - 12/16/06 01:02 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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EricJ Offline
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Hey wasn't me who put that skull and crossbones on there! \:D

But great article bro, glad to see you finally making landings


|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
#2093853 - 12/16/06 01:13 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Hey..I was always making landings....crash landings..but landings nonetheless... :p

BeachAV8R

PS - I saw EricJ with a spray paint can standing next to my airplane last night...



#2093854 - 12/16/06 01:20 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Sierra Hotel

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Quote:
Originally posted by BeachAV8R:

PS - I saw EricJ with a spray paint can standing next to my airplane last night...
So, who's been painting my aircraft?

Actually, I don't get the skull & x-bones, I get Bozo the Clown.

No respect, I tell ya. :p


Pat Tillman (1976-2004):
4 years Arizona State University, graduated with high honors.
5 seasons National Football League player, Arizona Cardinals.
Forever United States Army Ranger.
#2093855 - 12/16/06 01:42 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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EricJ Offline
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Yeah.. One.... *whistles* you saw only one ;\)

Besides, I had to do three bolters this evening. I've landed 10 times before, and today... three bolters, so I wouldn't feel too bad:

http://forum.lockon.ru/showthread.php?t=18925&page=5

So stay away from my a/c okay?.... \:\)

\: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
#2093856 - 12/16/06 02:29 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Wags Offline
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Looking forward to hearing your accounts of IFR rules landings combined with heavy crosswinds \:\)

-Matt


Matt Wagner
Producer, TFC/Eagle Dynamics
#2093857 - 12/16/06 05:34 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Quote:
Originally posted by BeachAV8R:
...Im still a little sketchy on the use of the director circle that is displayed in the HUD which is supposed to show you the way to the next waypoint.
If it's any help, the director's circle is actually directing you to the course line and altitude required for the next waypoint. Once you're on the course line, of course, it'll be pointing toward the waypoint itself.

Quote:

...Im still a bit unsure on what the field numbers in the HUD mean and if those stay constant no matter what mission you are in (?). Im assuming each field has an associated number.
Yes they stay the same. Each field has it's assigned number (for instance, Saki is 2 and Belbek is 8). There are two maps included in the Su-25T Orientation Flight on my site that show the airbase locations along with their codes, altitudes, and etc.

Enjoyed reading about this 2nd flight of yours as well. \:\)

Rich

#2093858 - 12/16/06 06:07 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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20mm - Clowns huh? Creepy man..creepy...

EricJ - Man..that skin (the gray one) is sinister looking! Awesome!

RSoro - Thanks for the tips...added to the mental library..

Off to fly another mission!

BeachAV8R



#2093859 - 12/16/06 01:55 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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zaelu Offline
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BeachAV8R, nice reading. Try putting some lateral wind for your landings. That will spice up things \:\)

#2093860 - 12/16/06 02:19 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Thanks BeachAV8R ;\) , but it's an adaptation of a US Navy F-14D scheme:

http://www.naritafamily.com/howto/F14D/photo_frame.htm


|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
#2093861 - 12/16/06 04:04 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Good Reading. Very informative - keep them coming


Airframe #36
159th Guards Aviation Regiment
"Airspeed, Altitude, or Brains; you always need at least two."
#2093862 - 12/17/06 02:22 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Very good read! I'm a B-737 First Officer and ALSO find the flying challenging!! I'm flying your training missions tonight as well....

#2093863 - 12/18/06 12:39 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Manta Offline
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Nice account \:D


#2093864 - 12/18/06 08:33 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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Nice work Beach. Informative and entertaining as usual. BTW, the label on the fuel gauge is not KT but the cyrillic letters KG short for kilograms.

#2093865 - 12/18/06 09:43 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #02  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Quote:
Originally posted by Hotdog:
Nice work Beach. Informative and entertaining as usual. BTW, the label on the fuel gauge is not KT but the cyrillic letters KG short for kilograms.
:D That clears up that mystery. I was scratching my head on that one.."kilotons"...?? \:D Thanks! Now does anyone know if there is a fuel flow instrument for measuring fuel burn rates?

Thanks!
BeachAV8R



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