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PhantomKira
03-27-2011, 11:32 PM
I tangled with some Bettys in the US Army campaign P-40E, and one of the rear gunners decided to put one of those nice big 20mm shells into the engine. The engine "ran away" (or is that "the prop ran away"?), overspeeding, with the the RPM indicator pegged at the stop well past redline. I managed through juggling prop pitch and throttle to keep airborne without difficulty, and well below redline, if I chose. I did get the last laugh when I (albeit while overspeeding the engine again, despite closing the throttle) shot him down in a second pass.

As I trimmed up and flew home, I took a good look at my gauges, and nothing seemed amiss. Sure the engine temp was high, as I'd been running 100% throttle for a while, but it wasn't off the charts by any means. Coolant temps were on the low end of the green arc. I did have the radiator open the whole time since takeoff. Perhaps the radiator took the round, but that should have caused spiked temps, so my thoughts are that the damage model somehow got just the prop governor, and that was it. It was quite a hit; surprised me there wasn't more damage.

So is this loss of propeller governor stuff relatively new, as in a 4.10(1) item? I can't remember it happening before, it's always been "Gee, the engine's on fire", or "Gee, the engine just up and quit". If it makes any difference, I have maximum realism on so far as engine and aircraft systems go.

Ba5tard5word
03-28-2011, 12:56 AM
So the engine took a hit and it started making a really high pitched whining noise right? That's happened to me many times but usually after a few seconds the engine starts whistling and loses power and I have to limp home, I didn't know there might be a way to use prop pitch to get it to keep some power.

In any case, P-40's in Il-2 have glass jaws and get their engines knocked out or damaged very easily compared with pretty much any other fighter.

Romanator21
03-28-2011, 02:08 AM
It's not a new feature. But, the governor hit-box varies from plane to plane. I heard that in the P-47 for instance, it's far too large.

I've probably lost the governor in a Hurricane no less than five times. I even managed to shoot someone down after having lost it. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

As soon as it runs away, you have to immediately reduce power and prop-pitch. Engine management becomes more of a challenge from that point. Normally, the governor maintains a set RPM (to a degree) but when it's destroyed, a dive will cause the engine to over-rev, and a climb will result in very low rpms and possible engine failure.

But you don't have to worry about that in game. One thing that the Il-2 engine management doesn't take into account is the importance of keeping manifold pressure under a certain limit for a given rpm. Over-boosting an engine will cause damage and possibly an explosion. Pilots always had to remember to increase rpms first, then power, or decrease power first, then rpms.

In the game, just keep the rpms below redline (usually you will hear when the engine is starting to over-rev).

PhantomKira
03-28-2011, 05:25 AM
Originally posted by Ba5tard5word:
So the engine took a hit and it started making a really high pitched whining noise right?

In any case, P-40's in Il-2 have glass jaws and get their engines knocked out or damaged very easily compared with pretty much any other fighter.

Yep, that's exactly what happened. But this time, there was no resulting massive power loss, as I've had happen many, many other times. Maybe it's just because I caught it before major damage was done and got things under control. Still, it didn't smoke or anything, which is typical to that kind of engine hit.

As to glass jaws, well, what else do you expect from a liquid cooled engine? On a combat plane! Seriously! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Yeah, it gets tough when some planes, especially the earliest models (IL-2, 109, etc) are missing critical engine parts that newer additions have. It's tough enough to shoot down an IL-2 without giving it the added advantage of a magic engine! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Over rev's kinda hard to miss. Unless you're slightly deaf. Or have no idea what that gawdawful noise might be. Or completely ignore your gauges.

Tully__
03-29-2011, 04:50 AM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
...It's tough enough to shoot down an IL-2 without giving it the added advantage of a magic engine!...
The IL2 skin was armour plate tub from the prop spinner back to just behind the pilot. Their engines are vunerable though, a few MG rounds in the oil cooler under the rear of the engine compartment will have them smoking and losing power pretty quickly.

PhantomKira
03-29-2011, 05:31 AM
Good to know. It'd be a plausible attack, assuming I could hit the broad side of a barn. (I can't, with my current setup. Twisty stick rudder and all that). I usually take the easy route, which is almost a cheat given that it relies so heavily on the AI's insistence on coordinated flight. I just shoot up one wing or the other, and they inevitably spiral in, usually with minimal damage that even the most incompetent human pilot would be able to counter. It doesn't take much when you go that route.

M_Gunz
03-29-2011, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by Romanator21:
One thing that the Il-2 engine management doesn't take into account is the importance of keeping manifold pressure under a certain limit for a given rpm. Over-boosting an engine will cause damage and possibly an explosion. Pilots always had to remember to increase rpms first, then power, or decrease power first, then rpms.

That's normal practice but if you go searching you should find that is is possible to run 'over-square' without hurting the engine. But then you stay within the 'certain limit' for that engine and you won't 'over-boost'.

One case in point was how Lindbergh got a lot of extra range out the P-38's. 1600 rpm instead of 2100, auto-lean and a slightly higher MP did not hurt the engines. He had already flown on 5 missions and came back with far more fuel than the others he flew with, his cruise wasn't slower but it used less fuel.

If I can run full WEP at the same prop speed as at 100% power, what does that say about how much boost the motor can take? What does that say about where prop rpm -really- meets maximum MP?
It is NOT % rpm matches same % power, that is what it says. For some IL-2 planes 110% power matches 100% rpm, for some others it is more 130% power matches 100% rpm. Reduce settings from there.

Treetop64
03-29-2011, 04:43 PM
Had it happen frequently in the Hurricane and P-40s. Implausible, if not impossible, you ask me. The propeller pitch cylinder hub assembly is one of the most robustly-built parts of the aircraft, and it occupies a very tiny part of the space that the entire aircraft itself occupies.

To think that a round or two can actually find their way to the critical parts of the hub to cause a complete failure, and have as high a success rate in doing so against Hurricanes and P-40s, comes across as a bit of fantasy.

M_Gunz
03-29-2011, 09:18 PM
IIRC P-40 used Curtiss Electric prop. Break one wire of at least two. Yes a small target but a bullet or fragment bouncing between solid metal parts might touch a few spots before it stops. A wire might even break without being shot.

Treetop64
03-29-2011, 09:25 PM
Good point. I was thinking of the oil/hydraulic or centrifugal weighted hubs.

Curtis had a separate market (Curtis Electric) manufacturing and selling their electric props and it would make sense they would include them on their own aircraft. Though the hardware that does the actual work of changing the propeller blade angle would still have to be very robustly built, the electrical system that delivers the juice to the hub to do its work might be be comparatively vulnerable.

M_Gunz
03-30-2011, 03:16 AM
Pretty sure the P-39 uses the CE as well. The 109 auto-prop is also electric.

redmanekadrin
03-30-2011, 06:48 AM
Just out of curiosity, has anyone had their throttle controls shot out?

It's happened to me a couple of times in different planes, usually with other damage, but I do remember one time when the only damage I took was having my throttle control shot out. Had to turn off my engine for landing, that was a fun mission.

Romanator21
03-30-2011, 02:38 PM
^ Yes it's happened to me a few times as well. Another thing you can lose is hydraulic power to lower the gear. You have to manually lower them.

gothkrieger
03-30-2011, 05:18 PM
You guys seem to know what you are talking about in this sim so I would like to ask.
I am learning to fly the 109F and when it comes to complex engine management I have been able to figure out very little. How does one manage the engine in regards to prop pitch usage and anything else that goes along with it?

thefruitbat
03-30-2011, 05:47 PM
in the 109, don't touch prop pitch. its a bit of a special case re prop pitch compared to nearly all the other planes.

only exception, is if your in fuel save mode, when i often fly 50% pitch, 50% power, as it drops the rpm's much more than just the throttle at 50%.

and make sure you drop the pitch before you take it off auto, very easy to over rev the 109 engine on manual and blow it.

other than rads which i always take off auto and do myself, everything else is automatic in the 109F.

some of the later 109's you have differing types of engine boost, just make sure you enable then below 100% power, or again your kill your engine.

M_Gunz
03-30-2011, 06:13 PM
First you have to know what system the plane you have uses, but there are few, and do you have it in automatic or not.

Most planes have some form of CSP, Constant Speed Prop which may be hydraulic or electric. With CSP in IL-2 you set your prop speed as some % of full speed and regardless of engine power it will try to keep the prop at that that speed. At low power the engine will flatten the blades to make it easy enough to turn the prop fast and even use the forward motion of the plane to drive the prop itself -- approach and land with prop at full speed and power low lets you control your speed and if you need to add power the prop won't need time to get up to speed.

Most all Russian, British and US fighters in IL-2 have CSP.

FW 190 and Bf 109 have automatic modes where all you do is move the engine power and the rest is taken care of. In manual control the FW is very much CSP while the 109 is fully manual blade angle control where you have to know your rpm (I listen to the engine sound) and either coarsen or fine the blades. 109 in manual, the faster you go the more the blades need to coarsen to match the 'incoming air'. You can wreck an engine by taking off at 100% power and 100% prop (blades flattest) somewhere over 200 kph just getting gear up before thinking about adjusting the prop. But if you keep on top of it then you can squeeze extra out of the plane. Maybe not all 109's have the manual mode.

Some planes have no prop control. TB-3 for example.

The faster you run the prop the hotter the engine will run. Running 10%-20% lower rpms will help cool the engine. Don't worry about engine power % being higher than prop speed %. Your plane can run at least 110% power at 100% rpm, more with WEP. You can run 100% power with 80% rpm... though in IL-2 you can run full WEP at 0% rpm because the damage that would result is not modeled.
Also not modeled is engine shock cooling damage in long high speed power dives, the kind players do to show that compression is not modeled well or that Plane X in IL-2 can do what someone during the war said it could not. One thing missing allows another thing to happen easier than it should. Our PCs do not and still do not have to power to model everything and still support a full air combat environment, who-da thunk it!

There's more to know of course. So many plane models, so many details.

gothkrieger
03-30-2011, 10:07 PM
Jezzz, I am dense, I read this over and over and only understand some of it. So 100% prop (blades flattest) is that Prop Pitch 10 in the sim. At Prop Pitch 10 the engine can quickly over rev and destroy itself. At the other end of the spectrum, Prop Pitch 1 in the sim must be max Prop Pitch angle. At Prop Pitch 1 with throttle open to 110, the RMPs dropped to 1100 and speed to 260 kh/h. At Prop Pitch 6 in the sim with throttle open to 110, the RPM was 2500, and speed at 390 kh/h. On Auto with throttle open to 110, the RPM about 2600, and speed at 440 kh/h which makes me guess that on auto it must be prop pitch 4 or 5, I think. This was at 2000m and as level a flight as I could get. Anyway my fooling around didn’t produce as good result as Auto. I guess what I need to know because I am not smart enough to figure it out from the science is the practice. I guess engine management in the sense of, Level flight, settings for Max speed, in climb settings for best climb performance. I know the best steady climb on a 109F is to maintain an angle that produces no less than a 280 kh/h speed, what I am wondering is if engine management will still allow a greater angle at that 280 kh/h thus climbing faster, or am I missing the point. I realise every plane is different I am trying to learn one plane now the 109F. Maybe if I can manage it for this plane first I can figure out the others……maybe.

M_Gunz
03-30-2011, 11:38 PM
There are different prop systems modeled so you can't lump everything together and get a working picture. Each way has its own rules, not exceptions because while one may be -like- another it's not one way with exceptions.

If you don't say what plane then what you write makes even less sense. Okay, you say 109F at the end.

In a 109 on manual, full rpm is about 2600 depending on which model. If you use keys to control prop then make sure you have +5% and -5% easy to use. Those are what you should work with, increase and decrease rather than by numbers that depend on other factors, power and TAS.

Sit on the runway brakes locked and crank it up to 2500 rpm then listen for a while. Get to know that sound like a music note. Hope you're not pitch-deaf! When you're flying and don't have time to watch the rev gauge, listen to the engine and if it sounds fast then lower the pitch by -5% as often as needed. If it starts to get slow then +5% until it sounds right. Every so often take a look same as you do when driving a car.

The faster the 109 goes, the more coarse (lower %) the prop needs to be at the same power to keep the same rpm.

Think of it this way. Do you ride a 10-speed (or 12 or 18) by starting out in high gear? For the same amount of leg work, the proper gear depends on how fast you are already going. Well yes, there are people who ride 10-speeds almost always in high gear, even when starting... and they ride like crap. The point being the right gear depends on your speed most of all.

On takeoff either lower power or pitch, get the plane stable even if it's climbing, and then only mess around by increments. Just be ready to lower the pitch as soon as the wheels get off the ground and be ready to do that real soon again if you're running at high power. OTOH you can take off at about 70% power and have some time to watch the changes.

Engine power for the most part turns the prop. The engine is turning against the resistance of the prop making thrust. The prop blades are wings and need to meet the air at a positive angle to make the thrust. Too much angle and they stall, too little angle and they don't make much thrust or worse, the 'oncoming air' drives the prop and engine which acts as brakes. That's the other side of engine power turning the prop!
How much power, how much angle, what speed are combinations you -get to- rather than simply set two and expect the third to fall in place.. I don't give it full power and coarse prop pitch at under 300 kph and expect good results any time soon. I might as well start riding a 10-speed in high gear. Rather I get the thing flying and then adjust from there, always keeping aware of my engine speed. 2100 rpm is a good rpm to practice at, it gives a margin for error, 2100 rpm is good for cruising.

You pick your climb speed. 109F *best climb rate* is maybe closer to 240-250 kph but the *best climb* is more like 280. The difference is pretty technical, it's about efficiency, and not worth that much to me as I don't like to climb at less than 300 kph and usually faster where I have potential to jink, turn and zoom with. Besides, slow climbs don't get as much air through the radiator.

gothkrieger
03-31-2011, 01:31 AM
Thanks bro, that was very helpful. I will definitely play with this now that I understand it much better. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Art-J
03-31-2011, 10:28 AM
Just remember, Goth, that because of an unfortunate translation, you always see "prop pitch xx%" message on your screen, even in CSP-equipped planes. It might be a bit confusing - in this particular case the info should rather say "prop RPM xx%", because THAT is what you adjust directly, not the actual prop pitch (in CSP, it is governor's job).

On a sidenote, I wonder how this screen message looks in CoD, which seems to utilize three different prop systems...

Cheers - Art

gothkrieger
03-31-2011, 10:52 AM
You know its scarry, I am starting to understand all this, slowly, but its making sence. Now I just have to see if I can use it in the sim and actually get better results than leaving it on auto, that’s left to be seen.

M_Gunz
03-31-2011, 11:31 AM
It depends on your style of fighting. If you don't base it on energy management then it will only help sometimes. If you're into swirling flat turn-fights then stick with the auto-prop.

thefruitbat
03-31-2011, 11:44 AM
I've played around a lot with prop pitch in the 109 in the past, and it makes bog all difference. 190 yes, 109 no.

which is ironic.

gothkrieger
03-31-2011, 12:28 PM
So in a way are we manually trying to create a CSP-equipped plane? Keeping the revs up in most flight situations, yes?

gothkrieger
03-31-2011, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by thefruitbat:
I've played around a lot with prop pitch in the 109 in the past, and it makes bog all difference. 190 yes, 109 no.

which is ironic.

So you don't think its worth the bother then.

M_Gunz
03-31-2011, 02:28 PM
Ever drove a stick or motorcycle?

gothkrieger
03-31-2011, 03:25 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by M_Gunz:
Ever drove a stick or motorcycle?[/QUOTE

A few of my vehicles have been stick, Yes.
And, I'm listening!

M_Gunz
03-31-2011, 05:10 PM
You ever drop a gear going into a corner or change gear anticipating a hill?

Automatics and linked controls can only do so much and react to limited inputs. A good driver or pilot should be able to beat automatics of the level even a generation after WWII. The key though is a good driver and not having a bad day.

If you want to see more detail about how you are doing with a plane then make a track (the kind you start and end inside the mission, not the kind that you "Make a track" after mission end, the first is more accurate) and learn about devicelink and a utility like UDPSpeed or UDPGraph to make a performance log during track playback. For instance you may reach the same top speed either way but how fast you get there may differ. Running manual is no _guarantee_ of matching or exceeding automatic. I just say that I like it more and think that I do better that way or at least have done better.

There are more important things like keeping the flight coordinated and keeping the nose down especially in turns. Working the radiator and engine/prop so you don't have to run with radiator flaps open wide can save you a good bit too, or blow any advantage you might get some other way. 109 automatic prop might include engine heat, in the 190 it does AFAIK.

Proper use of trim is essential in IL-2. I also find, and this is personal, that setting the stick sliders higher than default helps me very much. My elevator sliders from the far right at 100 subtract 6 for each to the left, left end is 46. At times I have run 3 less each step, sometimes 1 less (91 to 100, left to right) and for a while all at 100. I found back before IL2:FB that trim neutral the high sliders made it easier to control without mushing. The default 'dish shape' gives very fine control near stick center that gets coarse rapidly as you pull back -- the change for me at least results in over-control. I do better with something close to linear change (sliders in a line, the less steep the less change) or same proportion (all sliders, same value) all the way across. Sure it's harder to make small adjustments for shooting but that's not how I prefer to shoot!

My preference is to use a lot of Filter on stick axes. It makes all my moves smoother. There's a test box on the stick slider menu, using 40-50% Filter hardly makes any delay at all! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

No matter how you line the sliders up though, keeping trimmed always works better.

The difference between good clean flying and just muddling along... I had a friend new to IL-2 who hadn't learned as much as trim yet then. He had a hard time keeping formation at 100% power to my 70%. He improved very quickly though.

One mate taught me to practice flying holding the stick with just two fingers. You can't rest the weight of your hand or arm on the stick that way. It helps develop a light touch and good fine control. It's also a bit tiring and hard to keep up during combat, requires checking yourself from time to time but IMO it pays off. During flying practice, mouse the view down a bit to include the instruments and after a while the whole will make more and more sense. You should get a feel for keeping The Ball near center as well. If you keep track of your speed, etc, during maneuver practice then you should see improvement as well as know when you've gotten rusty and need more dedicated practice.
Just remember that plane to plane there are differences. Jumping from one to the next you will do better if you retrain your reflexes and familiarize yourself before going off to tilt the old windmills.

Good Flying!

gothkrieger
03-31-2011, 10:00 PM
Ok, you have given me a lot to digest and try out there but its good info and thanks.
You made a mention when discussing setting the stick sliders that one of the settings reduced small movement sensitivity and that affecting shooting accuracy and you said “Sure it's harder to make small adjustments for shooting but that's not how I prefer to shoot!” I this a general reference to your preference for Zoom & Boom flying or is there a particular way you like to shoot?

M_Gunz
03-31-2011, 10:32 PM
I don't like to adjust aim quickly because that usually gets the nose swinging/bobbing. I like to aim ahead of the target and let him fly towards my crosshairs. Then it's a matter of timing the shot, but with automatic weapons I have as much margin as ammo I'm willing to burn.

I like the BnZ but mostly I like deflection shots.

gothkrieger
04-01-2011, 02:54 AM
Deflection shooting, have tried some, still needs lots of work. I have a hard enough time knocking them down coming in from their 6. Although I have noticed coming in from the 4-5 or 7-8 a little more effective as the hits rake along the length of the plane. Shooting from something like the 3 or 9 position I find very difficult. I can sometimes get there but the positioning is wrong, the aircraft crosses the sights to far away and it ends up being a pursuit shot again. Also I find the canopy struts in the 109 get in the line of sight blocking the oncoming plane at critical times, to the point that I find that the plane seems to pop out from behind it, then its hell, I am a little high/low/late or whatever and I don’t even shoot. Then its trying to set up for another pass. And that’s if they play nice and stay level and don’t try to manoeuvre. Yeah, its going to take some work.

Plus I watch the AI planes take a pass and the other plane is falling out of the sky. Me, I hammer them, shoot past, line up again, hammer them, shoot past again, line up again, hammer them, OK the is going down. I have Arcade set on, some of these planes look like porcupines so I know I am hitting them, just not a kill shot.

M_Gunz
04-01-2011, 06:04 AM
You're doing fine. Shooting from 3 or 9 is never other than chancy and hard. 5 or 7 is just what you want.

If I get on a six and creep up to close range, the AI goes into spastics. They know that angle from about 250m in. If I fly to a point off to one side and back a ways, a bit below for sky silhouette then I can turn slightly inward and shoot ahead of the sucker. The AI doesn't see that coming in the time it takes to react. My goal is to smoke or kill and it depends on how 'on' I am which any more usually isn't so good.
The other alternative is shooting from behind at 300m and in while closing and hoping he doesn't jink right into me as I pass or catch me in his sights once I have. I'll take the deflection as it allows me to exit across his path and behind him. How many posts have there been here from guys who BnZ'd dead six, didn't do damage and were shot down as they were climbing near straight away after a hard, speed-bleeding pull up? Used to be multiple per day and the target was cheating every time! That was years ago and most members know better since.

If you think the AI is a pain, wait till you go online and meet someone who's not a mudhen!

Tip from Hartmann. Make your exit a primary part of your strategy, not an afterthought.

gothkrieger
04-01-2011, 11:17 AM
I'll take the deflection as it allows me to exit across his path and behind him.

What is your moves after that if you have to take another pass. I guess I don’t do the proper thing as lately as opposed to banking away and behind for a long circle to come at him again, I use my speed to pull up, I used to do a loop (very imaginative…yeah right) but now I roll to invert then, push the nose down in a dive on him (the AI) for another pass. I don’t have TrackIR so its hard to keep an eye on him the way it is so I try and not loose site of him if I can (but I do often enough)

M_Gunz
04-01-2011, 01:12 PM
That varies with the outcome of the attack and next move of my target. Usually the target will turn into the side attacked if it's not dead already but you never know, some just keep going straight. Does the target have a wingmate or is anyone lurking who might snag you?

Crossing behind and across his path, I get a chance to see what he does. No TIR here either. I either pan view or padlock though padlock can be a fixation-trap.

Hartmann's rule was to make one strike and exit regardless of result.

PhantomKira
04-01-2011, 04:46 PM
Very high angle high speed 6 shots are possible, and the AI can't/won't react until you're through them.

I've jumped Zeros in P-38s from several thousand feet almost directly above and dead six. By the time you get to shooting range, you're going like gangbusters and have to do a lead shot to get hits, but with the speed, you'll blow through the formation and be gone before they know what hit them. Only problem for online use is that now your potential energy is in the pits because you threw away your altitude advantage. An advantage (or disadvantage if you're a kill hog) to this maneuver against AI is that I find if I kill the leader of a thee plane vic, numbers 2 and 3 will panic and sometimes turn into each other, resulting in a midair. Sometimes you won't have anything to worry about if you kill the leader, as the other two take care of themselves.

Won't work well if you have a AI wingman, though. his hardcoded routine seems to be that if there's an enemy within X degrees and Y feet of his tail, he should turn and do a guns defense. Blows all his energy and sets him up on a platter for the enemy. Especially when flying an energy plane like a P-38 against turn fighters like Zeros. Drives me nuts when that happens. Stupid AI! (Coded for turn fighters, not energy fighters, it seems.)

M_Gunz
04-01-2011, 05:52 PM
+1

I've always seen the AI take a few moments to react once I got within 250m. If I dither-d1ck around creeping in or trying to get a perfect aim then they jink before I can shoot.

Also slowing down to stay behind on the 6, unless I trim fast and perfect (not gonna happen) the nose will start bobbing and I will PIO that badly. Yet when I fly normally the nose don't bob around which is why I'd rather have the target "fly into my pipper" than me horse the pipper in relation to the target.

gothkrieger
04-01-2011, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
I've jumped Zeros in P-38s from several thousand feet almost directly above and dead six. By the time you get to shooting range, you're going like gangbusters and have to do a lead shot to get hits,

When I am too high above the target I have problems keeping track of target under my nose so to see them my dive takes the form of an Arc which because I seem to insist on seeing the target ends up putting me more or less on the 6 and not a leading shot. In your dive do you loose sight of the target, or not? I have wondered about diving inverted to avoid this situation.

gothkrieger
04-01-2011, 07:43 PM
Only problem for online use is that now your potential energy is in the pits because you threw away your altitude advantage.

But will that happen eventually you may have a height advantage but if you don’t dive to use it…… so its an eventuality that has to come, unless you let the target rise to you, then the advantage is lost. Guess the real question is what do you do after the dive pass?

PhantomKira
04-01-2011, 10:17 PM
Okay, so you loose sight, and have trouble tracking him. Try coming in from the side. Come in high, but instead of driving up his tail from directly astern, come in from his 4 to 5 or 7 to 8 o'clock. That way, he'll be out your front quarter windscreen and easier to see for longer. Another option is to do quarter rolls, putting your left or right wing down regularly to check on the target's progress. Diving (and firing) inverted is a possibility, though it is not something that the majority of sim pilots are comfortable with. Additionally, some aircraft, like the P-38 and early Spitfires, had systems that were not designed for inverted flight. Try an inverted attack in a Spitfire Mk I and you'll soon find the enemy far out of range as your engine quits. It had a carburetor fed fuel system, and the float wouldn't float upside down, so the engine got no fuel under negative G loads. Anyway, the trick is to trust for short periods that the target that has been acting predictably will continue to act predictably. This is a gamble, and one you can't afford to loose. To reduce the risk, you must be checking frequently to see if the target is changing course, and catch it soon enough, and have enough distance between you and him to do something effective about it.

You're right, the attack path does have an arc, during the engagement segment, and I will loose visual briefly during the attack, just prior to my firing run. The entire attack, however, more resembles a straight line overall.

What I do is get literally feet behind the target and several thousand above. I roll over and pull, until my nose is somewhere 45 degrees-ish on it's way to 90 degrees straight down, then roll upright, and hold my attitude (45 degrees, say) and, as M_Gunz has stated, wait for the target to fly through my sights. So yes, after I roll upright, the enemy is "lost" under my nose until he flys out into the sight. This is very brief, however, since while inverted and pulling into the decent angle, you'll have the enemy in sight and will know if he's maneuvering. Remember, he's going forward as you're maneuvering above him. That's why 45 degrees is used, and not 90 (straight down). By the time you complete two half rolls and a vector change from almost zero feet astern, you'll have used a bunch of energy that your target, flying along blissfully unaware, straight and level, will not have used. The end result is that he will have moved forward relative to you, and out in front of you. End result: Despite starting directly above, your attack is now a 45 degree deflection shot from directly astern. By steadying at a given angle of decent, and allowing him to fly into your sights, you get the perfect shot: an unloaded, upright shot, where the only maneuvering you have to do is (and this is where your curve comes in) a slight curve to keep your aim point out ahead of the target, so that your bullets will go where he will be, after he moves into the position you want him. That's the key to the shot, he comes to you instead of you having to maneuver to him.

More later.

Your only curve in this dive is the small curve you do to keep your pipper ahead of him, once you've established where it is the pipper needs to be. You dive, setting the pipper where it needs to be for him to fly through it. He flys to the point below the center of the pipper, where, when you pull the trigger, your bullets go to the point in space ahead of his current position where he will be when they get there. Then, when you start landing hits, you pull gently, so as to maintain the pipper's distance in front of him, so your bullets will continue impacting, instead of falling behind him. It's a short interval, probably less than two seconds of being in range in the firing window. You then straighten out and continue your 45 degree dive past him and use your speed advantage to disengage along the same line, far below.

The Exit From the Diving Pass

He will have a hard time catching you when you are past him, and still diving. That's the exit trick, just keep right on trucking, in a relatively straight line, that 45 degree angle you established earlier. You've built up all this speed in the dive, going vertically, while he is vertically neutral, having to start from zero vertical speed. Should he turn to follow you, you'll quickly be out of range... just remember that there isn't an aircraft out there in the WWII skies that's faster than a bullet. If he can react fast enough, it will be possible for him to land hits and possibly shoot you down, regardless of the speed difference.

Problems arise with the speed, though. All that air moving over control surfaces means unresponsive controls, and you'll have to slow down again to get your aircraft to respond to your inputs. Going fast is good. Going so fast that you can no longer control your airplane is not so good. Closing the throttle prior to dive, or at least reducing throttle so as to maintain a controllable airspeed, is something to take into consideration.

So, given that you disengage below the target, this requires that you all be at a fair altitude. What do you do if he's in the weeds, negating your favorite form of attack? You have to flatten out your attack, using shallow dives, instead of steep. You can't go below him. You'll be doubly disadvantaged here, as not only will you have less energy going into the attack due to lesser angles, you'll also have to burn some energy disengaging, when you change your vector from down to up, so as to avoid the ground. This will slow you down. That proximity to the ground is another issue with low altitude attacks. It's a big target, and easy one to hit, especially unintentionally.

You have a very good point about potential energy versus kinetic energy. Sure, he could climb to your altitude, at which point, as you said, your advantage is lost. I could explain counters to that eventuality if you'd like. Best to use your advantage while you have it. This means diving to attack him. A dive means speed, and speed means several things, good and bad, including your exit, as already explained.

M_Gunz
04-02-2011, 12:22 AM
I've seen historic fighter pilots write this tactic. Dive behind and below, hit him on the way up.

As a 90 lover and 'bar hater' I used to work out different ways to keep the target over my nose. I have pulled up, banked across and even just shot from inverted position to keep the bastage over my nose!

PhantomKira
04-02-2011, 01:09 AM
Originally posted by gothkrieger:
What is your moves after that if you have to take another pass.

Actually, a half vertical loop type reversal is one of the best options. Just keep in mind that a generic loop is not considered a valid combat maneuver.

The critical energy elements are speed and altitude. Turns are energy killers, but making another attack pretty much necessitates a turn. To maintain energy, climb, and turn "over the top" in a half loop when you're relatively slow at the top of your climb. You've killed your speed, but gained altitude, so your overall energy state is pretty much constant. About the worst thing you can do is a level turn, with zero change in altitude, but lots of change in direction. This bleeds energy in spades, with no value other than being turned around.

Another trick you may find useful, along the lines of manual Me-109 prop pitch control, is that of "pre-trim". If you know you'll be going fast in the next segment of flight (diving attack, say), it may be useful to anticipate, and trim the nose down beforehand so you have a neutral stick at the higher speed. On the other hand, you may find it more useful to leave the trim alone, so you have to hold forward stick during the attack, but the plane will do an "automatic pull out" when you neutralize the stick due to being trimmed for a lower speed. That option would make your firing run a bit more difficult, though, giving you yet another thing to think about just when you've got the most other things to think about. Task overload, not good.

By the way, do you know the "Dicta Hartman" M_Guns mentioned? It worked for him. It'll work for you.

1. See. 2. Decide 3. Attack 4. Coffee Break

1. See him first, before he sees you.

2. Decide weather or not to attack. If conditions are unfavorable, bug out. If you decide to attack, decide which attack to use.

3. Attack. Once decided, do it. Don't be reckless, but do not hesitate, shoot to kill.

4. Take a break. Break off, regardless of the results of your attack, then go back to number one: See what's happening and decide to either gain a position of advantage prior to re-engaging, or disengage and go home.

Bottom line: Engage only when everything is in your favor. Make one pass, haul a$$. Don't press your luck. Don't get kill happy. If in doubt, live to fight another day.

M_Gunz
04-02-2011, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by PhantomKira:
Very high angle high speed 6 shots are possible, and the AI can't/won't react until you're through them.

I've jumped Zeros in P-38s from several thousand feet almost directly above and dead six. By the time you get to shooting range, you're going like gangbusters and have to do a lead shot to get hits, but with the speed, you'll blow through the formation and be gone before they know what hit them. Only problem for online use is that now your potential energy is in the pits because you threw away your altitude advantage. An advantage (or disadvantage if you're a kill hog) to this maneuver against AI is that I find if I kill the leader of a thee plane vic, numbers 2 and 3 will panic and sometimes turn into each other, resulting in a midair. Sometimes you won't have anything to worry about if you kill the leader, as the other two take care of themselves.

Won't work well if you have a AI wingman, though. his hardcoded routine seems to be that if there's an enemy within X degrees and Y feet of his tail, he should turn and do a guns defense. Blows all his energy and sets him up on a platter for the enemy. Especially when flying an energy plane like a P-38 against turn fighters like Zeros. Drives me nuts when that happens. Stupid AI! (Coded for turn fighters, not energy fighters, it seems.)

You changed your potential to kinetic. If you don't blow it then you can get most of it right back.

PhantomKira
04-02-2011, 08:26 PM
^^

Absolutely. Thanks. I should have made that clear.