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Mark621
01-22-2012, 08:05 PM
Greetings all.

As I get further and further into IL2 I want to increase the difficulty and realism of the sim. I really want to get the most out of it.

I have slowly increased the difficulty to the point where all that is left is complex engine management. Having trouble understanding everything though. Mainly just the basics: magnetos, pitch, mixture, etc.

Sure, I understand what each part does specifically but am having difficulty understanding how they all work together and what various combinations are used for with regards to takeoff, landing, cruising, and combat. I have played with them some but don't feel like I am making much headway.

Is there a primer out there on each function with perhaps a 'test' aircraft model to try them on? I have looked around these forums and found several manuals which I have downloaded (except I don't read German :().

Is this the best and really only way to go about it?? Or is there something more basic that I can pick up and get started with?

I apologize if it is posted above in the stickies, I wandered through them and they have helped a ton, but couldn't find anything definitive on the above.

I do appreciate any help or advice!

Woke_Up_Dead
01-23-2012, 07:55 PM
Hi Mark, here are some basic observations that may help you:

Don't worry about magnetos, I think you need to use them only if you stalled your engine (Hurricane, I-16) really badly
Take off with the finest pitch (or auto-pitch on planes that have it), richest mixture (100% or 120% on most Soviet and some US and Japanese planes), and rads open wide. Pitch will give you the acceleration you need; rich mixture gives you the most power and I think some cooling; open radiator keeps your engine cool and at low takeoff speeds the extra drag is not a big factor
Land with the finest pitch, just in case you need to punch throttle and accelerate. Mixture and radiator settings are not important on landing.
When cruising outside of a combat area keep radiators wide open and your pitch and throttle as low as possible while still flying fast enough to not be an easily caught and surprised target. This varies from plane to plane, but once you bring most planes to near maximum speed with 90-100% pitch and throttle, you can reduce settings to 70%/70% and retain most of your speed. Open rads and reduced pitch/throttle will keep your engine cool for when you have to enter...:
Combat. Pitch should be at 100% or auto, this gives you the best acceleration and responsiveness. You can reduce it if in a steep, long dive. Throttle will be at or near 100% most times, though cutting it can be advantageous in specific circumstances. Radiators should be closed to minimize drag. This is less important in some planes than others, you might find that keeping them open in your plane makes almost no difference to performance while keeping your engine from overheating.

Apparently engine management has become more important and changed a bit in 4.11, though I imagine the main difficulty is still keeping the engine cool, and the best way to do that is to open rads, reduce pitch and throttle, and fly at the highest possible fuel mixture.

Mark621
01-24-2012, 12:53 AM
Thanks for the reply, that is exactly what I was looking for.

I am guessing by 'finest' pitch you mean the lowest pitch setting other than 0?

I also noticed that super charges sometimes work and sometimes don't. Guessing it is because they are automatic in some aircraft but not in others.

Gotcha on the magnetos. I was pretty sure I didn't use them but wanted to ask anyway. Oh, I don't use them on startup even?

Appreciate the info! Just those few words really go a long way!

WTE_Galway
01-24-2012, 01:52 AM
Gotcha on the magnetos. I was pretty sure I didn't use them but wanted to ask anyway. Oh, I don't use them on startup even?

Appreciate the info! Just those few words really go a long way!

The magneto switch has two purposes in a real aircraft.

1. Turn off the magnetos altogether. This in some aircraft is used to stop the engine though in most cases you stop by going full rich. More importantly it is a safety feature that prevents an aircraft accidentally starting when someone moves the prop by hand to the horizontal position for overnight parking.
2. Test the ignition on start-up for any faults. By selecting individual magnetos you can make sure both sets are functioning correctly. There is NO sane reason to switch to one magneto in flight. it is never done. Single mag operation is purely a startup check procedure.

In the game ...

1. Shut off mags - Neither of these uses are relevant in game. Just hit "I" to shutdown.
2. Switch to one mag - You can switch to one magneto at a time to simulate a magneto check on start-up but its sort of pointless as ignition failure is not modeled.

Sooo ... why do we have this feature if it serves no purpose in game ?

The feature was added for the benefit of players wanting to use historical start-up checklists before takeoff. Basically you can pretend to check the mags as part of a historical preflight checklist for immersion reasons - but they will in fact never fail - so in game, skipping the mag check makes no difference.

AndyJWest
01-24-2012, 02:34 AM
I am guessing by 'finest' pitch you mean the lowest pitch setting other than 0?

Er, no. 100% is the 'finest', confusingly.

Mark621
01-24-2012, 03:46 AM
Okay, think I got it all.

And, if not, I can always reference this thread.

That is some interesting info on the magnetos. Not to mention I am glad that I got some clarification on 'finest' pitch!

So, for the most part, complex engine management is relegated to pitch, mixture, and supercharger (and the supercharge is mostly automatic or a simple matter of knowing altitude). Off to try it out! I

Hey, thanks again for the patience with the noob.

AndyJWest
01-24-2012, 04:10 AM
You're welcome.

Actually, the changes introduced with the new 4.11 patch mean that we're all having to relearn engine management to some extent - they are now more prone to overheating, and less predictable than before.It was far too easy in the past to just charge around all day at 100% throttle in some planes, whereas now you need to be more cautious. A definite boost to realism.

Ba5tard5word
01-24-2012, 04:39 AM
There's a manual somewhere that lists what altitudes you should change the supercharger at for each plane. Generally though you can leave it at the lowest setting (some planes have automatic superchargers or none at all) if you are near ground level and as you go up in altitude and your plane suddenly feels a bit sluggish you can try pumping up the supercharger and see a rise in RPM's and speed. Also if your engine sounds weak at high altitudes you can lower the fuel mix and see if that helps.

AndyJWest
01-24-2012, 05:12 AM
Actually, there is one point regarding prop pitch we've not mentioned - the 'start at 100%' advice only applies to aircraft with constant-speed propellers. With a plane with actual direct pitch control (e.g. Bf 109s - or at least some of them, I can't remember if they are all the same), you'll wreck the engine if you try to take off with 100% (full fine) pitch and 100% throttle - it will overrev. Fortunately, the Bf 109 defaults to automatic pitch control, which prevents this - you can toggle this on and off (shift-zero by default).

There are also a few planes with war emergency power systems that should only be engaged at low revs - again this is documented somewhere (I think in the Aircraft Guide you'll find in the main IL-2 folder). Others can safely be engaged at any revs, and others either don't have it at all, or engage automatically at max throttle.

Woke_Up_Dead
01-24-2012, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the reply, that is exactly what I was looking for.

I also noticed that super charges sometimes work and sometimes don't. Guessing it is because they are automatic in some aircraft but not in others.

Appreciate the info! Just those few words really go a long way!

You're welcome, glad you found it useful.

Some planes don't have superchargers, some change stages automatically, and most of the ones with manual superchargers should be changed from stage 1 to 2 somewhere between 2000-3000m altitude.

mortoma
01-30-2012, 01:52 AM
This in some aircraft is used to stop the engine though in most cases you stop by going full rich.Nope, you stop the engine in most aircraft by going full lean, thereby starving the engine if fuel. Full lean gives the mixture mostly air and that can't burn in the cylinders. This is also good because going lean for a second or two burns out excess carbon deposits.

Mark621
02-03-2012, 02:13 AM
Okay. Dug up this thread because I didn't feel the need to start another just to ask a couple of follow up questions.

Been flying with CEM on and it really isn't that hard. But in doing so I noticed a couple of things:

A) Is there any real difference between setting a key for each command or can I just set the increase/decrease on the various settings and add/subtract as needed?

B) And, is there an aircraft that has each component of radiator, supercharger, pitch, and mixture? I noticed most don't have everything but I thought I would give it a go with everything working.

C) Lastly, some planes, like the 109, have a setting for one or two pitch controls but I can't seem to adjust them with the commands above. Are they automatically set in the game and I can only adjust a plane with multiple setting? Or am I doing something wrong?

Again, thanks for any insight!

ETA: Was just reading the aircraft guide. It claims that, for instance, the P-47D-27 has manual pitch, mixture, and supercharger. But, in game, I can't get anything but pitch to work. CEM is on. I have only the increase/decreases programmed. Is this why it is not working? The supercharger is working on navy planes (Corsair/Hellcat). I am running UP3 with the latest update. Any idea what is going on?

Woke_Up_Dead
02-03-2012, 08:47 PM
A) I don't think there is a difference, I use the increase/decrease approach

B) Most of the Soviet planes will have manual controls for prop, mixture, supercharger, and radiator; try the LaGGs, La's, and Yaks. Most of the German and western ally planes have one or more of those components automated, though you can override the pitch and radiators to adjust them manually if you want (see point B).

C) On the 109 and 190 the default propeller setting is "Auto-Pitch," you have to turn it off (I think it's Shift-0 by default), and then you can set the pitch manually. Careful with the 109, unlike most planes it will over-rev and you will damage the engine in level flight if you set the pitch to a high percentage at high airspeed.

I can't change the supercharger or mixture in the P47 either, must be automatic. Unlike prop pitch and radiators, you can't turn the automated superchargers or mixture adjustments off in this game.

Mark621
02-03-2012, 10:12 PM
Well, I'm glad to find out I am not going nuts. I guessed there were a couple of planes that don't match the aircraft guide or whatnot.

I also now know what an earlier poster meant when he was talking about Shift-0 and 'Auto Pitch'.

Will have to try the Soviet planes. Haven't flown them much in IL2 but now seems like the perfect time. I want to make it about as hard as I can. Actually got kind of boring zipping around worrying about the throttle and trim only.

Hopefully this will give me more of an edge in combat. I have to fly against an opponent in a machine around two years older than mine just to make it 'even'. Otherwise, they level out, throttle forward and outrun me. Which I know is incorrect in some planes.

I really do appreciate the time you took to reply. Can't wait to get home.