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SpitfireSeafire
07-10-2005, 11:31 PM
WI am having difficulty catching and staying with my formation. I believe the mission is either Midway or Coral Sea and I am in a Wildcat. I take off the carrier second, but it seems like I have to have my throttle unusually high (in percentrage) to catch the formation. And when in the formation (thanks autopilot), I find it very hard to maintain my position. Can anyone offer tips, advice, or links to guides?

Tachyon1000
07-11-2005, 12:05 AM
Despite the fact that supposedly the human player and the AI use the same flight model, the AI seems always able to do things a human player cannot. The results of this is that the AI will fly faster and accelerate faster than you can. In missions I tend to cheat and let the autopilot catch me up to the other planes then take over flight controls when in formation.

As for flying in formation, one needs to know three things:heading, speed and altitude. Hopefully the heading of your AI compatriots will be apparent as well as the target altitude. Speed is the problem. Finding the cruising speed of the AI is a matter of trial and error.

Generally, I think most AI planes cruise at around 70% throttle. Once you find the AI planes cruise speed, usually a round number, it is a matter of monkeying with throttle to find out what amount of power maintains that speed. Then it is merely a matter of small power or prop pitch adjustments to keep in position with those in formation.

As for staying in formation, fly a little below the plane you are following and try to keep him in one section of your cockpit window. Make small control adjustments to keep your leader lined up in that area.

One thing you can do is practice formation flying exclusively. Create a mission in the FMB wherein you follow a leader plane for about a hour trip or so and after awhile you will get the hang of it. I myself have not attempted to fly in formation in 4.01. I assume it is much more difficult now with the need to keep the plane in trim or compensate for the effects of torque.

I am sure others will offer much more exact advice than I have offered. Hope this helps.

F4U_Flyer
07-11-2005, 12:14 AM
The best way ive found ( other than the fact they never seem to hold a consistant speed )i level off at a lower altitude and gain speed , then when you are under your lead just do a split s climb. It will slow you down and usually put you at there altitude , then just jockey the throttle and try to stay at there speed.

Stackhouse25th
07-11-2005, 01:47 AM
join a squad

(see link)

ZK-DABLIN
07-11-2005, 01:50 AM
I too used to find it very difficult flying formation. That's why I developed my own missions where the same type of aircraft just fly from one airbase to another.

This flight too about 47 minutes I think if I remember rightly and the aircraft (La-7) AI usually cruised at around 300-310kph.

The more side on the other aircraft become, in respect to your cockpit, the more difficult remaining in position becomes.

Through hours and hours of practice, I did get quite good at one stage, even keeping in formation within changes in bearing.

After the 4.01 patch I gave formation a brief attempt but found I was no longer as good as I used to be. The new FM provided a few more challenges to the scenario.

This is alright though, I will just try to challenge this and see what I can do.

My best advise is practice, and lots of it. You will find that regular practice is also necessary to maintain your formation flying skills. Become a formation ACE and then not doing so for months may severely hinder your ability to continue doing so.

The amazing thing though, with all the things we learn in life, learning anything the first time will always remain the most difficult thing to pick up anything (unless your a natural or pulled of a fluke). A little review of formation flying and small amount of pratice, and you will find yourself where you left off in no time.

It takes alot less time to relearn something then to do so initially.

What you must try and remember, is that formation flying has alot to do with your coordination. Coordination is a by-product of the sub-concious which takes up many of the meneal necessitys to develop a coordination.

When you learn anything for the first time, your sub-concious has no experience to fall back on, so is of no help to you. That means the full learning of coordination comes fully your concious responsibility. Which is exactly why when learning anything for the first time, requires so much mental concentration to pull off. As your experience grows, the sub-concious takes over more of the necessitys of the coordination and it becomes alot easier and almost automatic.

This is repeatedly proven in terms of learning to drive a car. Many find if quite cumbersome and require alot of their mental concentration to keep on top of. They sometimes become overwhelmed with all the necessitys which is why sometimes people manage to pull of such obvious mistakes - like pulling infront of an incoming car. Even Children know that is pretty dodgy.

In time, driving becomes so automatic many conciously forget they are even doing so, capable of placing their minds on their own thoughts and concentrations on other things which they are concerned with. Ever driven home from work, been so deep in thought and realised at some stage on the trip you cant remember the last five minutes of the drive, or going through the last town? Many have.

More or less, practice is the key. As easy as it is for the mind to learn new things, it does become quite selective and will only keep touch on what it believes is important - which is usually what you do most of time.

Good luck, and don't give up.

ZK-DABLIN

han freak solo
07-11-2005, 06:39 AM
I too am learning to fly in formation with the AI. In the past, I would let the autopilot do it for me or I would choose to be the flight leader by giving myself a fat promotion before the campaign started.

I'm in a Wildcat campaign right now and without using the autopilot I have to do the following to keep up.

1. Takeoff right when your leader rolls away. I mean IMMEDIATELY! Don't let him get a jump start that you can't catch up to!

2. The AI Wildcats in 4.01 appear to be climbing out at 90% power at 130 KIAS. Stick to that if possible.

3. Keep the ball centered with rudder and the plane trimmed. These AI are perfectionists with this and you can lose acceleration and speed if you doze off.

4. Use your waypoints on the map to gain on your leader by anticipating his turns. This will allow you to catch up if too far behind.

5. Once within 0.2Km of your leader, use massive power adjustments to stay in position. I used to use smooth, small throttle changes to stay in formation. Problem was I couldn't stay in formation.

6. If over shooting, climb up (a little) to lose airspeed and then come in behind him again.

7. Accelerate through turns. It appears that's what the AI does and they will lose you.

These are N00b suggestions. These procedures keep me within 0.4Km or less. Once in a fight, just stay with your leader the best you can. These AI can really, really accelerate!!

Bearcat99
07-11-2005, 08:58 AM
Constant use of throttle, pitch and trim...... Use the canopy for visual cues as to where you are in relation to the plane you are trying to fly wing with.

MLudner
07-13-2005, 01:24 PM
Originally posted by han freak solo:
I too am learning to fly in formation with the AI. In the past, I would let the autopilot do it for me or I would choose to be the flight leader by giving myself a fat promotion before the campaign started.

I'm in a Wildcat campaign right now and without using the autopilot I have to do the following to keep up.

1. Takeoff right when your leader rolls away. I mean IMMEDIATELY! Don't let him get a jump start that you can't catch up to!

2. The AI Wildcats in 4.01 appear to be climbing out at 90% power at 130 KIAS. Stick to that if possible.

3. Keep the ball centered with rudder and the plane trimmed. These AI are perfectionists with this and you can lose acceleration and speed if you doze off.

4. Use your waypoints on the map to gain on your leader by anticipating his turns. This will allow you to catch up if too far behind.

5. Once within 0.2Km of your leader, use massive power adjustments to stay in position. I used to use smooth, small throttle changes to stay in formation. Problem was I couldn't stay in formation.

6. If over shooting, climb up (a little) to lose airspeed and then come in behind him again.

7. Accelerate through turns. It appears that's what the AI does and they will lose you.

These are N00b suggestions. These procedures keep me within 0.4Km or less. Once in a fight, just stay with your leader the best you can. These AI can really, really accelerate!!

While I still do not have this mastered yet, I am getting better.
I would like to modify Nummer 7:
Accelerate through outside turns, or your leader will pull away.
Decelerate and dip during inside turns, or you will over-shoot or ram your leader.
An outside turn is when your leader is turning away from you.
An inside turn is when your leader is turning into you.
Unfortunately, in this game you turn in a Schwarm formation in the same manner as you turn in a Vic. In reality it was done differently by each formation and a schwarm formation would reverse during turns of more than a few degrees. Literally, if it was in a right echelon at the beginning of the turn it will be in a left echelon at the end of the turn. This was done for safety. Rowan's BoB did it correctly, but no other game does.

han freak solo
07-13-2005, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by MLudner:

I would like to modify Nummer 7:
Accelerate through outside turns, or your leader will pull away.
Decelerate and dip during inside turns, or you will over-shoot or ram your leader.
An outside turn is when your leader is turning away from you.
An inside turn is when your leader is turning into you.
Unfortunately, in this game you turn in a Schwarm formation in the same manner as you turn in a Vic. In reality it was done differently by each formation and a schwarm formation would reverse during turns of more than a few degrees. Literally, if it was in a right echelon at the beginning of the turn it will be in a left echelon at the end of the turn. This was done for safety. Rowan's BoB did it correctly, but no other game does.

Good point! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/59.gif