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The Flare Path: For Horsemen Of The Apocalypse

Simulation & wargame blather

Here at Flare Path we take flight simulation extremely seriously. When a company like Eagle Dynamics goes to the trouble of releasing a free aerodyne as lifelike and lively as the 'new' DCS World Mustang, we believe it's important that machine is flown responsibly and realistically. If you know yourself to be a hellraiser, a tearaway, a speed merchant, a rowdy, a clown, a daisy botherer or a beret shredder, be sure to read the following Enjoyment Guide before clambering into the cockpit of the weaponless TF-51D.

Fun Through Familiarisation: How To Enjoy The DCS World TF-51D Without Offending Serious Simmers

After downloading and installing the free 1.2.8 beta...

DO read all 183 pages of the Mustang manual at least twice.

DO NOT launch the sim immediately, realise the TF-51D is actually pretty straightforward, and spend an exhilarating hour barnstorming every bridge in the Caucasus.

DO pin copies of the following optional cold-start procedure to walls, doors, work-surfaces, pets, and family members.

1. Check fuel gauge
2. Check flap handle is UP
3. Set carburetor ram air contol to RAM AIR position
4. Set carburetor hot air control to NORMAL position
5. Set rudder trim to 6 degrees right
6. Ensure aileron trim is centred
7. Set elevator trim set to 2 degrees nose heavy
8. Check landing gear handle is fully down
9. Set mixture control to IDLE CUT-OFF
10. Set propellor control full forward to INCREASE
11. Open throttle roughly an inch
12. Set altimeter to airfield elevation
13. Uncage the directional gyro and flight indicator
14. Unlock controls and check they operate control surfaces correctly.
15. Ensure parking brake is set
16. Set fuel selector valve to left wing tank
17. Fuel booster ON
18. Turn ignition switch to BOTH
19. Battery and generator switches ON
20. Manually operate coolant and oil radiator flap control switches several times, listening to check that relevant components are operating properly
21. Prime the engine for three to four seconds if cold, one second if hot
22. Raise the starter switch cover and hold switch at START
23. As the engine starts, move mixture control to RUN
24.Check that oil pressure reaches at least 50 PSI within 30 seconds. If it doesn't, stop the engine
25. Idle at about 1200-1300 RPM until oil temperature reaches 40 °C
26. Check suction gauge shows between 3.75 and 4.25" of vacuum
27. Check engine instruments
28. After the engine is warmed-up, idle at 1000RPM or slightly less to keep engine clean.
29. Commence taxiing

DO NOT decide to liven up the span scraping by using the powerful and friendly DCS World editor to dot bridge approaches with death-spitting Shilkas.

DO NOT attempt to fly through bridges rather than under them.

DO, after practising cold-starts for a day or two, move on to tentative taxiing.

DO NOT, on tiring of bridge limbo, deposit an aircraft carrier in the nearest bit of Black Sea, then squander an entire morning/afternoon/evening working out whether a tailhook-less TF-51D could land on a CV without bending its prop, buckling its landing gear, or sliding off the pointy end and plunging into the drink.

DO follow taxi training with at least a week of gentle circuit flying and landing practise. Consider using the editor to introduce some light crosswinds and/or precipitation towards the end of that week.

DO NOT, after writing-off a herd of Mustangs on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, get round the TF-51D's slightly annoying weapon deficiency, by sprinkling an airfield with enemy paratroops, and seeing how many you can slay with wingtip, wheel or whirling prop before buying the farm.

DO ensure you know what to do in all 100 instrument/systems failure situations.

DO NOT decide to give your fleshy skittles more of a fighting chance by assigning them waypoints, and positioning them on hard-to-reach rooftops and cranes.

DO memorise the TF-51D's stall speeds, and devote a few days to spin recovery practise.

DO NOT use the DCS World editor to create massive AI battles then fly around like a war-drunk Angel Gabriel dodging flak, tailgating missiles, and yearning for a time when the tanks below will be Tigers rather than T-80s.


Eagle Dynamism

For those who already own the Mustang in its armed payware form, last week's beta release was notable for other reasons. On Friday Flaming Cliffs 3 F-15C pilots tasted a new high-fidelity flight model for the first time, and Su-33 and Su-25T jockeys discovered that their seat straps were loose enough for 6DOF leaning. The adorable Huey acquired a WIP sling load capability, and first-person MANPADs were issued to Combined Arms COs. ED have been toiling like T-28s of late and over the next eight months, their work-rate shows no sign of slackening.

On the way this year are various refurbished Flaming Cliffs steeds, some totally new in-house warbirds like the Fw 190 and F/A-18C, plus a flock of third party flyables that includes a BAE Hawk, MiG-21Bis and F-86 Sabre. There's even talk of the sim's first 'DCS-level' armoured vehicle.

Of course, the An-225-sized blob on the horizon is DCS version 1.3.0. At some point, probably late in 2014, the sim will disappear into the locker-room, brawl homo-erotically with arch rival Falcon 4.0 (TBC), and emerge dressed in a handsome new DirectX-11-friendly flightsuit. Cloudier clouds, fierier flameouts, leafier trees, and mountain shadows that elongate and nestle, are all on the cards, but it's the talk of improved performance, higher object counts, and finer terrain mesh that truly defibrillates this digital battlefield daydreamer.

As I understand it, the sim's familiar Georgian/Russian arena won't be transformed overnight. Assuming you didn't pre-purchase the A-10C module, you'll need to buy the finally-close-to-completion Nevada Training Area map to glimpse the full implications of 1.3.0.


The Flare Path Foxer

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I need them to complete the foxer that Gusdownnup, gmcseph, skink74, phlebas, bungalowjoe, Stugle, Matchstick, Shiloh, Duke of Chutney, and dufus0057 came within a bent ear whisker of de-foxing last week.

a. Turret ring (earring)
b. Fleet Defender (ear defenders)
c. Mark IV tank (earmark)
d. “Pik As” (Ace of Spades) Geschwader (ear pick)
e. A-90 Orlyonok (earwig)
f. Ju-87 'Jericho trumpet' siren (ear trumpet)
g. USS Drum (eardrum)
h. Spark plug (earplug)

If the following foxer isn't solved within the hour, everyone has to run up Mervyn Peak (FP's version of Currahee Mountain) carrying a 40kg 'Rob Sherman' pack.

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About the Author

Tim Stone