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#2094036 - 12/20/06 01:28 AM LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Training hop #4 will consist of a long distance cross country flight that will take us across much of the Crimean peninsula and allow us to practice some of the basic skills weve learned to this point. More than any other flight simulator Ive flown the Su-25T in Flaming Cliffs requires a thorough understanding of the avionics and aerodynamic limitations in order to safely navigate the skies. Lack of attention for even the shortest amount of time will have you smearing yourself across the landscape in a spectacular fireball. If these first training missions seem a bit slow paced there is a good reason for it: the Su-25T simply demands a little extra time because the flight fidelity is so good that it does require skill and practice to master (and Im not so sure Ill ever reach the master level of competence!).

Today well be flying the Crimea Tour mission put together by Brit_Radar_Dude who borrowed the original concept from Shepski. Thanks to both of them for putting together this fantastic mission. Ive slightly altered the mission by changing the default aircraft from the Su-27 to the Su-25T. You can download the mission here: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq04a.zip

The mission starts at Saki airfield on the west coast and proceeds via nearly 50 waypoints across the peninsula crossing various objects of interest before landing at Kerch-Bagerovo airfield on the east coast.



For this mission well carry a full load of fuel including 4 externally mounted wing tanks and well also tote along a Mercury targeting pod to play with if we find the time enroute. With so much fuel well be at 95% of normal takeoff gross weight although I see that there is a red over-gross area that perhaps suggests that over-gross loads might be permitted for combat operations (?).



The training has been paying off as Ive become more comfortable in the cockpit of the Su-25T and it only takes a couple of minutes to bring the aircraft to life and prepare for departure. A nice touch added by the more competent mission designers are things such as fueling trucks and vehicles moving around the airport.



We start off with 6230 kg of fuel (13,700 lbs!) which just goes to show how large this airplane really is. The maximum takeoff gross weight of the King Air I fly is 12,500 lbs.! I also note down the time (0600) of engine start.



Another nice touch is the follow me truck that guides us out to the active runway, taking us through the myriad of taxiways. On the way we pass other aircraft preparing for flight.





Once we are cleared for takeoff I advance the throttles and start lumbering down the runwayand lumbering is the right word for it. At such a high gross weight the effect is dramatic as the acceleration is slow and care must be taken during rotation not to stall the aircraft. It would probably be a good idea to allow the airspeed to build up a bit more before lifting off but keeping an eye on the angle of attack (AOA) gauge will assure you that you wont stall the wing.



Cont



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#2094037 - 12/20/06 01:29 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Keeping a close eye on the AOA is critical when flying the advanced flight model of the Su-25T and I refer to it more often than in any other aircraft Ive flown. During high speed banking turns and low speed maneuvers the AOA indicator is one of your best allies against stalling.



This cross country flight is a great way to solidify several concepts that weve learned so far, including navigation and use of the autopilot modes and sub-modes as well as keeping proficient with manually flying the aircraft and high-speeds and low level. Once on course I engage the route following autopilot mode (ALT-6) and sit back to take in the sites while keeping a close eye on the autopilot performance. One of the first waypoints we come to is MiG-19 on a pole near one of the motorpools on the base.



Care must be taken when on the autopilot because it will not avoid structures, so unless you are at an altitude where you know you wont hit anything you should only rely on the autopilot as a tool to supplement your flying instead of replacing your flying.



Passing the Simferopol Train Station you can see how many great targets there might possibly be in future mission scenarios!



We zip past an observatory located high in the mountains:



A railway bridge made famous in many LOMAC movies. Unfortunately Im not quite as adept as some flyers so I elect to go over it rather than under it!



Passing by the World War II Yak-3 memorial overlooking a town:



After a bit we make it to the city of Sevastopol, which is a large, sprawling city with many landmarks. I was only able to catch a glimpse of a few of the dozen or so landmarks as I circled the city. Site seeing in such a dense area is probably more appropriately done in a helicopter (Ka-50?).



Cont



#2094038 - 12/20/06 01:29 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Nobody out playing soccer today! I was hoping to spot some of those World Cup chicks



Enroute I toy with the various autopilot modes and (thanks to Dr. Shocker) see that combinations of modes are possible beyond those I reported in my last training report. For instance, here Ive put myself into Route Following mode (ALT-6) but have overridden the flight planned altitude by manually flying up to a comfortable distance above the ground and engaging Barometric Altitude Hold mode. Now, instead of climbing and descending to follow the pre-flight planned altitudes, the autopilot will still follow the lateral course guidance but the altitude will stay locked at the barometric altitude that I had chosen.


The same technique can be used to apply Radar Altitude Hold mode (ALT-5) while still following the flight planned route. While low-level flight on the autopilot is fun and spectacular to watch, constant attention must be paid to the system because it isnt without its limitations. Inattention can have dire consequences.



Passing by Khans Palace:



Offshore we pass by another LOMAC film favorite: the Sea Arch. Once again I choose prudence after investing so much time in my mission and pass by conservatively around it instead of attempting to fly through it (not even sure its possible in the Su-25T)(theres a challenge for you guys!).



Passing over the filled in Pivnichno-Krymskyi Canal (spell that one without the reference guide in front of you!):



Soon we are nearing the end of our cross-country flight (I didnt post pictures of all of the sites so that you all can have a bit of mystery to your flight) and heading off the northeast coast toward some oil platforms. Flying over water is probably the most dangerous low-level task youll attempt. What seems deceptively simple is in fact quite difficult if you dont have some glare from the water or some texturing to see the surface. A particularly dangerous maneuver is high bank angle turns very low to the water since you can easily fall into a slight descent with your loss of the vertical component of lift in the turn and I scared myself quite a few times as I realized the water was coming up to kill me quickly! This is where western HUD concepts I feel are much more useful with their tape type altitude readouts instead of just a digital number display. A graphic is far easier and quicker to interpret than a numeral (in my opinion). Couple the digital altitude display with the fact that the radar altimeter is only accurate during straight and level flight, and you are set up for disaster if you dont closely monitor your position and sink rate while executing high bank angle maneuvers.

Approaching one of the offshore oil platforms I switched to the Ground Mode on my HUD and turned on my Mercury pod slung under the belly of the aircraft. This wont be an exhaustive look at the Mercury pod (well cover it later) but it was cool to see the image displayed on IT-23M television monitor (TVM). Using the mini-stick on my throttle I maneuvered the circular targeting (laser) cursor over the fast approaching oil rig and hit the designate button and the target became locked on the TVM.



Cont



#2094039 - 12/20/06 01:29 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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I have to admit Im itching to get to weapons training now that Im starting to get more comfortable with flying the T. Ive seen so many juicy targets in my flight training thus far that I see everything as a potential enemy now.



Changing course once again the waypoints take me past several more oil rigs, one tended by a freighter (that would make a good target too!):



Finally we arrive at the final waypoint and the HUD automatically switches to the Return to Base mode followed quickly by the Landing mode. Im getting a bit more used to the symbology and sequence of events and the approach to landing at Kerch-Bagerovo is as uneventful as it can get, which is to say that handling of the aircraft is always a tense and fun part of the flying.





After an uneventful landing I do a 180 on the runway and taxi back toward the end to pull of onto the taxiway and I must have been going a little bit too fast and I blow a tire as I round the turn! Darnit..I thought I had finally brought an airplane back without a scratch on it! Im still able to taxi on the wobbly wheel though and am soon shut down in front of the targets, err..I mean the huge fuel tanker trucks near the base of the tower.





I take a glance at the fuel gauges and see Im down to 2510 kg so I burned about 3700 kg of fuel during my low-level jaunt around the countryside. Obviously better fuel economy could be realized by cruising at higher altitudes, but the purpose of todays mission was low-level sightseeing and getting comfortable down in the weeds. The clock indicated 0710 upon landing, so the mission length was approximately 1 hour, 10 minutes.



It bears mentioning that I think low-level flight in LOMAC is very well done and the sensation of speed is terrific. The ability with TrackIR to lean forward and have the HUD practically fill the screen and observe every little detail though the HUD or lean back in my chair and get a wide-screen perspective of the landscape zipping by is immersive as heck. I have to say Im completely and totally addicted to the TrackIR now and no sim that Ive used thus far benefits so greatly from its implementation. The Su-25T is great for low level flight, but with the Advanced Flight Model you definitely have to keep ahead of the game. Just because you yank back on the stick doesnt mean the T is going to instantly lurch skyward, it has a good bit of inertia and its huge mass resists abrupt changes in direction. Im really enjoying the heavy feel that requires constant attention. I cant say Ive explored the manual completely yet (getting close!) but I havent seen any reference to night/all-weather operations. Is it correct to say that the T is a bit hampered by low visibility as far as low altitude work goes? I havent seen any reference to HUD FLIR mode or anything of that
nature.

Thanks again to Brit_Radar_Dude and Shepski for the finely crafted mission! Downloadable here: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq04a.zip

Regards..
BeachAV8R



#2094040 - 12/20/06 01:37 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Destructis Offline
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Another excellent report. I am *trying* to wait until I get my taxes back before getting a Track IR, but you guys are making it difficult.


Life is tough. Life is tougher when you are stupid. - John Wayne
#2094041 - 12/20/06 01:38 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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EricJ Offline
Me, just me.
EricJ  Offline
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Baltimore, MD
Great stuff man, though the mission download link isn't working...


|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
#2094042 - 12/20/06 04:58 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Shepski Offline
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Cool to see that mission in your report! Brit added a lot to it and did an excellent job in updating the mission.

The -25T should fit through the arch no problem... I flew the Su-27 through the arch from the coast side... quite a feat at the expense of many a wrecked airframe during the attempts. \:\)

Those oil rigs will serve another purpose in Black Shark... places to land and stretch your virtual legs.

#2094043 - 12/20/06 05:01 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
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Ah..sorry gents..fixed the mission download link..I put "sim04.zip" instead of the correct link "simhq04.zip"..duh! \:\)

Thanks for the great work on laying the foundation for that mission Shepski...BRD did a nice job putting it all together and updating it.



BeachAV8R



#2094044 - 12/20/06 05:45 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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EricJ Offline
Me, just me.
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Still man no luck...


|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
#2094045 - 12/20/06 06:11 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by EricJ:
Still man no luck...
:D I must be hypoxic.. :p I fixed the top link in the first post..but didn't fix the one at the bottom...hehe..now it's fixed..

Must sleep...

BeachAV8R



#2094046 - 12/20/06 10:49 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Dondy Offline
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Germany
You Sir, are the main reason why I started flying the Su25-T in LOMAC.
Thanks for the great reports! \:\)


In memory of the JaboG34 "Allgu" Memmingen 1959-2003
Last take-off: 17.12.2002 10:06am

Legends may sleep but they'll never die
#2094047 - 12/20/06 01:02 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Simplex Offline
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What you are doing here is most impressive Sir.

Very well written and yet most informative. I read in #3 that thomas is going to put it in parts of 5 "lessons" to his page which is awesome. I hope he is reading this as I want to add that it might be beneficial to add the mission files and maybe (if possible) your lomac key-assignments to the bundle? Just a thought for conveniance.

Anyways, great work so far! I'm off for practicing ;\)

#2094048 - 12/20/06 04:24 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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EricJ Offline
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EricJ  Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BeachAV8R:
Quote:
Originally posted by EricJ:
Still man no luck...
:D I must be hypoxic.. :p I fixed the top link in the first post..but didn't fix the one at the bottom...hehe..now it's fixed..

Must sleep...

BeachAV8R
lol no probs man, go sleep! LOMAC isn't going anywhere!

But uh.. now it's I would say Rich's mission for his recording for visual landing in the Su-25T... I double checked and yeah man, wrong mission now...


|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
#2094049 - 12/20/06 07:35 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

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Posts: 24,314
KCLT
Quote:
Originally posted by EricJ:
But uh.. now it's I would say Rich's mission for his recording for visual landing in the Su-25T... I double checked and yeah man, wrong mission now...
:D Ok..I think I'm wide awake now. I (hopefully) fixed it up now...and fixed the links up there. Should be: http://www.mudspike.com/lomac/simhq04a.zip The .mis file within is still named simhq04.mis though..but it is the correct mission...

Whew...so much for attention to detail.. :p Thanks for correcting that Eric...

BeachAV8R



#2094050 - 12/20/06 09:16 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Joe Offline
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Beach,

Are you having any problems with keeping the Su-25T at sufficient altitude? Since there's no velocity vector it is hard to tell when you're going up and when you're going down, and for whatever reason I find that in the -T I go down when it looks like I'm flying level.

I jsut can't break the bad habit, which means whenever I fly the -T manually I get dangerously close to the ground way too often. I ask no because perhap you would have seen this issue on a 70-minute flight and dealt with it.

#2094051 - 12/20/06 10:00 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Get used to using your VVI (Vertical Velocity Indicator). The 25T at high speed flies with 5 degrees of AoA, at 400kph it's closer to 10.


If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.
#2094052 - 12/20/06 10:32 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe:
Are you having any problems with keeping the Su-25T at sufficient altitude? Since there's no velocity vector it is hard to tell when you're going up and when you're going down, and for whatever reason I find that in the -T I go down when it looks like I'm flying level.

I jsut can't break the bad habit, which means whenever I fly the -T manually I get dangerously close to the ground way too often. I ask no because perhap you would have seen this issue on a 70-minute flight and dealt with it.
Oh yeah..I get the same problem as you although I'm getting better at it with each flight. Keeping an eye on the vertical speed readout is the key..just to the right of the horizontal horizon line. When trying to maintain level flight I try to keep trimming to keep it showing + or - 1 or so. Without a real velocity trend graphic display on the HUD (although the arrow indexer does move up and down..sliding up and down on the right side of the HUD) or a tape that shows you relative motion..it is taking awhile to get used to the pure digital numbers readout. Where it is most lethal is over water...there I can find myself creeping down without any clue..and the terrain warning audible usually sounds way too late to prevent a collision.

Sure is a handful...

BeachAV8R



#2094053 - 12/20/06 11:49 PM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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EricJ Offline
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EricJ  Offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Joe:
Beach,

Are you having any problems with keeping the Su-25T at sufficient altitude? Since there's no velocity vector it is hard to tell when you're going up and when you're going down, and for whatever reason I find that in the -T I go down when it looks like I'm flying level.

I jsut can't break the bad habit, which means whenever I fly the -T manually I get dangerously close to the ground way too often. I ask no because perhap you would have seen this issue on a 70-minute flight and dealt with it.
I think it's the cockpit position or just the view config, as I tend to feel the same way as well, along with the A-10. But then again, Russians don't have a "floating" VV that Western HUDs do:




Which in some cases I prefer, and sometimes don't, given past experience with games like EF2000, and the A-10 and F-15C in Lock On. With the Russian system, flying becomes more feeling than depending soleley on electronics to tell you where your plane is going, such as a tight low-level turn, where you might belly flop if you're running low on energy, forcing you to yank the stick and pray you don't belly flop into the ground, wall, etc.

And thanks BeachAV8R, the mission works now \:D , I flew it earlier and must say it's a nice mission, though my first time flying it.


|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
#2094054 - 12/21/06 12:26 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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BeachAV8R Offline
Lifer
BeachAV8R  Offline
Lifer

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 24,314
KCLT
Yeah..the other major difference between the Russian display and the western style is that the turn indicator (the thing your yellow arrow is sort of pointing at (the cross type roll indicator)) moves around inside of the HUD (rolls left and right) while the pitch ladder/horizon line stays static. In western aircraft..the whole pitch ladder moves while the reference (either a little W and/or a velocity vector) stay in the horizontal plane. It takes some time to get used to the difference..for sure!

Interesting discussion...

BeachAV8R



#2094055 - 12/21/06 08:43 AM Re: LOMAC/FC: Training Mission #04  
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Mo1974 Offline
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Thanks for doing these missions BeachAV8R - I just got LOMAC and am learning the A10, which sounds like it might be a bit more forgiving.
Anyway, keep the missions coming!

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