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michapma
06-23-2004, 01:49 AM
Hello all,

I am currently working on ways to fly in formation as a group. Not a tight formation, but a practical one. One thing that I see helping this is improved comms use to maintain awareness of every element of the flight of where it's going. The other is to use standard turn rates.

I know that in modern aviation aircraft turn indicators are equipped with a mark showing the standard turn rate of 3 degrees/second. Most of the aircraft in IL-2 don't have such marks. Another way to make a standard turn rate would be to use a standard bank angle. If everyone uses a bank of 30 degrees or of 60 degrees, this will allow much better coordination in turns.

This is possible in some aircraft, such as the Airacobra, which has bank angle markings at 30 and 60 degrees. Then the pilots simply have to be able to hold that bank angle without altitude deviations, and voila. In aircraft that don't have degree markings I wouldn't know how to make the standard rate turn.

I just wanted to throw this topic out there since I have never seen it discussed here and wonder if anyone has used this with any success. Has anyone read about how this was practiced during the war? It certainly had to be agreed on to maintain formations.

Cheers,
Mike

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michapma
06-23-2004, 01:49 AM
Hello all,

I am currently working on ways to fly in formation as a group. Not a tight formation, but a practical one. One thing that I see helping this is improved comms use to maintain awareness of every element of the flight of where it's going. The other is to use standard turn rates.

I know that in modern aviation aircraft turn indicators are equipped with a mark showing the standard turn rate of 3 degrees/second. Most of the aircraft in IL-2 don't have such marks. Another way to make a standard turn rate would be to use a standard bank angle. If everyone uses a bank of 30 degrees or of 60 degrees, this will allow much better coordination in turns.

This is possible in some aircraft, such as the Airacobra, which has bank angle markings at 30 and 60 degrees. Then the pilots simply have to be able to hold that bank angle without altitude deviations, and voila. In aircraft that don't have degree markings I wouldn't know how to make the standard rate turn.

I just wanted to throw this topic out there since I have never seen it discussed here and wonder if anyone has used this with any success. Has anyone read about how this was practiced during the war? It certainly had to be agreed on to maintain formations.

Cheers,
Mike

http://www.baseclass.modulweb.dk/69giap/fileadmin/Image_Archive/badges/69giap_badge_chap.jpg (http://giap.webhop.info)

The ongoing IL-2 User's Guide (http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/il2guide/) | Forgotten Skies (http://www.forgottenskies.com/)
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darkhorizon11
06-23-2004, 12:08 PM
Today standard rate turns are associated mostly with IFR flight. If you don't have tick marks on your turn slip/turn coordinator you can use the DG for 3 degrees per second.

You gotta understand FB/AEP is associated mostly with combat not really standard procedures and protocol of flying. Thats why theres no runway markings, no weather advisory frequences, runway or airport markings at all, clearances, realistic RNAV, traffic patterns, etc. etc. Although it would cool if 1c included all these things no one would pay attention to them. Most WW2 simmers are really into that stuff.

This is more of a FS2004 topic sorry.

michapma
06-24-2004, 07:42 AM
Hi darkhorizon, thanks for your reply. However, I'm not talking about implementing modern navigation and procedures. It's not an FS topic at all, I'm just interested to know whether anyone has used any kind of standard for turning to help coordinate turns.

When you (you being anyone out there) fly in formation with your squadron mates, do you just turn and try to visually follow, or do you go into a certain bank angle and hold it through the turn?

You're right, obviously this is not a topic that is burning at the front of every virtual WW2 pilot's mind. I wonder how good some of the pilots who think they're good really are at precision flying. Here's a challenge: can you turn through 360 degrees in a constant bank angle without major altitude or airspeed deviations? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

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Tully__
06-24-2004, 08:16 AM
We used to do quite a bit of practice at this. In loose formations it's not just a matter of matching turn rate, you also have some throttle juggling or formation juggling to do. This article (http://www.simhq.com/_air/air_013a.html) by SimHQ's Andy Bush is a good start.

If you want to turn in formation, the wingman & second element will have to add or reduce throttle to stay in formation, depending on whether they are on the outside or inside of the leader in the turn. As far as matching turns go, a visual match of wing angle is enough.

For tighter or sustained turns, a variety of combinations of place swapping is the best approach. What variation is used will depend on what formation you're flying, which way you're turning and how much change of heading is involved.

The wider the formation, the greater the disparity in distance travelled between one side of the formation and the other in a turn. The aircraft on the inside has a considerably shorter distance to fly and will have to either reduce speed a lot or swap to the outside of the turn during the manouver if he's not to end the turn well in front of the lead. Similarly, the outside aircraft will have to considerably increase speed or swap to the inside during the manouver to avoid falling behind.

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michapma
06-24-2004, 09:07 AM
Thanks Tully, I somehow managed to forget about those articles. I need to review the one on brevity code too with the squadron. New recruits, plus it just needs reviewing. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

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darkhorizon11
06-24-2004, 12:24 PM
"You're right, obviously this is not a topic that is burning at the front of every virtual WW2 pilot's mind. I wonder how good some of the pilots who think they're good really are at precision flying. Here's a challenge: can you turn through 360 degrees in a constant bank angle without major altitude or airspeed deviations?"

Easily http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Here's one. Try flying straight and level at a set airspeed altitude and heading. Then loop the plane, if you do it right you'll be on the same alt, a/s, and heading without touching the throttle. Now thats a challenge, especially in a sim that is super sensitive. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

JG14_Josf
06-24-2004, 12:51 PM
Michapma,

This topic is my topic in JG14.

When we fly as a cohesive element we do so because we keep track of our relative possition.

This cannot be stressed enough. The team can only be a team when we know our relative possition at all times.

This understanding is the foundation of team tactics. All other considerations of tactics must be added to this fundamental building block.

Tactics evaporate at a rate directly proportional to the failure of realizing relative possition.

My experience leads me to the conclusion that the single most important discovery that glues the formation together toward mutual situational awareness is the one guy in the formation that is the weakest link and he has a name.

Tail end charlie (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=charlie&x=10&y=15) is the teams bait. Let him know he is the bait and he will either tow the line or suffer the concequences.

How does this understanding relate to turn rates?

Imagine that you are tail end charlie and that you do realize your foolishness.

Imagine you are leading the team and you see tail end charlie lagging behind.

If I am tail end charlie (not often) I say "Don't forget about me!"

If I am leading the group I say "Hold your heading tail end charlie I'll turn out and back in"

All that is needed to keep the group in formation is now done.

Imagine now that the team is lined up side by side in the best possible formation i.e. line abreast. There is no tail end charlie.

How do we turn?

If I am following and my leader turns he places me either: out of formation or back in formation based upon his direction. If he turns away from me he places me back in a vulnerable possition i.e. tail end charlie.

I say "Don't forget about me!"

If my leader turns into me, I turn as he passes my six and we do a tac turn. We line back up side by side.

If I lead and need to turn away from my wingman or wingmen I say turn now. I wait and turn after my wingmen on the new heading side by side.

If I turn into my wingmen I say "turn now" after I get behind my wingman. Tac turn. No tail end charlie.

My opinion is that it is more important to work at keeping a line abreast formation than it is to have one.

It is the proccess of maintaining a line abreast formation that has more value than the actual formation.

This is saying a lot. There is no better way to support your wingman then having him lined up on your side, however, it does no good to have your wingman lined up on your side if you do not look at his situation. The business of maintaining a formation requires that you look at your team mates situation.

If standardizing turn rates makes your team mates look at each other then that business is going to make a team out of guys that just happen to be flying near each other.

michapma
06-29-2004, 07:28 AM
As usual, Josf gets to the heart of the matter. Great insight!

We are going to be working on this in training in the coming weeks, so I will want to share what we learn.

When you've been flying together looking for the enemy for 20-40 minutes, as one of our squadron leaders puts it, the mind goes from numb to dumb in seconds. It's pretty important to avoid this. I find it amazing that you can constantly work for such a long period of time to keep these guys near you, and as soon as a bogey, or even worse an identified bandit, the group gets scattered to the wind.

There are ways to avoid this, but my best guess is that staying together once la ***** hits the ventilator requires at least the following: regular positional/maneuver updates with a clear comms channel and excellent use of brevity, good situational awareness of the maneuver geometries (especially in a full diff environment), and experience of the wingman and leader working together. This requires dedicated pilots willing to train hard, something that is almost not practical for most of us. Still, if pilots are willing to work at it, big gains can be made. We noticed a leap in improvement with just comms discipline and an emphasis on staying together. Trying is half the battle. In my opinion, the next step is preferring to stay with the wingmate over staying with a target--target fixation is the curse of good teamwork.

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Tooz_69GIAP
06-29-2004, 07:59 AM
Chap,

I worked on this with Tovarich and Riveter. This exact subject.

It was more or less what Josf described above and it worked very nicely and wasn't complicated to follow the procedures, as well as the commands being fairly simple and easy to understand. Might be an idea for you to check out the allied access forums as well, coz tovarich said there are diagrams, and explanations of the manoeuvres in there.

We can try a little tonight as well if you want (formations and keeping to them is something I really need to think about with me IL-2s).

Tooz

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michapma
06-29-2004, 08:37 AM
Good stuff, Tooz. I don't know whether I'll be able to fly tonight, but if I am I'll look for you.

Were you flying line abreast with those guys?

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