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jimbop
12-25-2011, 07:03 AM
Is anyone successfully level bombing in the Blenheim? I take off, climb to 5k feet, adjust the bombsight for altitude and TAS, and release when the target is in the reticle and constantly land short of the target. Skip bombing is a piece of cake in comparison.

This is my first attempt at level bombing and I am perfectly willing to admit it could be my lack of experience (and lack of horizontal stabiliser) but given the other bugs in the game thought it worth checking if the gunsight could be bugged. Maybe I'm better off in a blue bomber at first.

I know there are a lot of old threads about this but I'm not sure what's been patched already. So - is anyone successfully level bombing at altitude?

Edit: Yes, I am! Read on if you are having trouble...

Flanker35M
12-25-2011, 11:30 AM
S!

If you are always at same alt and speed, then just decrease speed just a tiny notch(releases earlier) or if keeping same settings just go a bit over target before release.

ATAG_Dutch
12-25-2011, 12:49 PM
Is anyone successfully level bombing in the Blenheim? I take off, climb to 5k feet, adjust the bombsight for altitude and TAS, and release when the target is in the reticle and constantly land short of the target. Skip bombing is a piece of cake in comparison.

This is my first attempt at level bombing and I am perfectly willing to admit it could be my lack of experience (and lack of horizontal stabiliser) but given the other bugs in the game thought it worth checking if the gunsight could be bugged. Maybe I'm better off in a blue bomber at first.

I know there are a lot of old threads about this but I'm not sure what's been patched already. So - is anyone successfully level bombing at altitude?

Hi Jim, 'Knucklebutt' is doing some extensive testing and is having some good results. I'm not sure if he comes to this forum too often though.

He has mentioned that he's trying to put a video tutorial together, but if you spot him on teamspeak have a word. Also the thread I posted over at ATAG re Skip Bombing is evolving into a level bombing thread also!

I'm as interested as you are in the way to go! :grin:

Cheers!

jimbop
12-25-2011, 01:03 PM
I'll keep an eye out for him.

Your skip bombing vids were what got me into the Blenheim in the first place - very well done so thanks! Here's a link for anyone interested: http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/showthread.php?891-Flying-and-skip-bombing-the-Blenheim-on-Cockpit-Instruments-only.&p=5842

Skoshi Tiger
12-26-2011, 12:06 AM
I'll keep an eye out for him.

Your skip bombing vids were what got me into the Blenheim in the first place - very well done so thanks! Here's a link for anyone interested: http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/showthread.php?891-Flying-and-skip-bombing-the-Blenheim-on-Cockpit-Instruments-only.&p=5842

+1
Those videos are the only reason I could get the blenhiem of the ground! Thanks!

ATAG_Dutch
12-26-2011, 12:08 AM
Blimey. Thanks chaps.:oops:

ATAG_knuckles
12-26-2011, 02:24 PM
Hay Gang Knucklebutt here: Actually its "Denis" I get a kick out of all the goofy names people come up with, never really understood why it cant be Jim or Bob or Ralph: sorry I'm ranting.

Yes I am still working out high altitude bombing, holidays have slowed me down a bit. The best news was the # 2 ATAG server that actually had worthwhile stuff to blow up.

The Tanks near "Loon-Plage" have horrendous anti aircraft fire, Tried a high altitude run yesterday but mis-managed my climb and blew an engine. Will try again today and post results. Also looking for people that are interested in the Blenheim to team up at specific time to work on formation bombing.

I have never been much of a fighter pilot, love all the planning a bomber takes

Knucklebutt/Denis

Red Dragon-DK
12-26-2011, 04:12 PM
Great Videos Dutch! Thanks

ATAG_knuckles
12-26-2011, 04:16 PM
BTW:



Has anyone spotted the purported ammo dump located near Desures P-5

Flown the Blenheim around that area, not really sure what an ammo dump looks like


Knuckles/Denis

ATAG_knuckles
12-26-2011, 04:18 PM
O.K. while we are still on the subject ::

How the heck do you Bail out of a Blenheim ?????? I dont think Ctr-E will do it


Knucklebutt/ Denis

ATAG_Dutch
12-26-2011, 04:22 PM
How the heck do you Bail out of a Blenheim ?????? I dont think Ctr-E will do it

You have to open the canopy (big sliding affair over your head) then Ctrl/E as usual.

Only found out myself by accident yesterday! :rolleyes:

Sokol1
12-26-2011, 04:41 PM
Your skip bombing vids were what got me into the Blenheim in the first place - very well done so thanks! Here's a link for anyone interested: http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.co...s-only.&p=5842

This Minensuchboot side attack is almost suicide, I attack then approaching from 25/30 degrees to bow, so the gunners have more difficult in track you.

Sokol1

ATAG_Dutch
12-26-2011, 04:43 PM
This Minensuchboot side attack is almost suicide, I attack then approaching from 25/30 degrees to bow, so the gunners have more difficult in track you.

Sokol1

Good tip mate, thanks! ;)

ATAG_knuckles
12-26-2011, 06:32 PM
Thanks Sokol. I have never attempted a Minensuchboot, as i knew they were pretty leathal


Knuckles

@ Dutch; Thanks for the bail out info, I've just been riding it down with the rest of the crew

ElAurens
12-26-2011, 06:53 PM
I'm just waiting to see if "the patch" will make the Blenheim flyable in a way that doesn't require the use of chanting, prayers, and voodoo before I try any sort of bombing in it.

That aircraft is a bloody shambles.

ATAG_Dutch
12-26-2011, 07:02 PM
I'm just waiting to see if "the patch" will make the Blenheim flyable in a way that doesn't require the use of chanting, prayers, and voodoo before I try any sort of bombing in it.

That aircraft is a bloody shambles.

It's a handful for sure, but it's the only flyable bomb carrying a/c we've got. ;)

And how many flyable bomb carriers do the blue guys have? Erm.....109, 110, Ju87, Ju88, He111, BR20.

It's the main reason I was aggrieved with the 'no more flyables for CoD' decision.

Poor show old boy!

ElAurens
12-26-2011, 07:14 PM
Just my opinion, but learning to fly that thing now could be a very huge waste of time if the devs sort it out in the patch.

If they don't, then mud moving, at least for me, will just have to wait for the return to Mother Russia.

jimbop
12-26-2011, 08:06 PM
Flying the Blenheim is not too bad once you get the hang of it, and this is coming from someone who has no bomber experience. The semi-variable prop pitch fiddle (in technical terms you sort of jiggle it about near the coarse end) makes it very much easier since you can still get 1800-2000 rpm out of the engine without cooking it. I am unclear whether this is historical or not.

@Denis - so the sights work properly? I am constantly hitting short by a considerable margin but I think it could be that I am not in truly level flight. Difficult without autopilot or a stabiliser.

jimbop
12-26-2011, 08:08 PM
Just my opinion, but learning to fly that thing now could be a very huge waste of time if the devs sort it out in the patch.

If they don't, then mud moving, at least for me, will just have to wait for the return to Mother Russia.

What are the problems with the model? I haven't been interested until recently.

ATAG_knuckles
12-26-2011, 08:43 PM
Jimbop

The three runs I have mode so far have been at 11,000 and yes very accurate.
Also with auto pilot its very hard to keep a steady airspeed and altitude. Thats what I am working on now. I really need to post video or at least screenshots. I plan on trying that today. Might encourage if you can see proof

ELAurens: please dont get frustrated: its taken me weeks of constant flying to be successful at flying this pig. I do believe this will greatly help if and when other aircraft become available (I'll have a Wellington please) If you ever see me on comms let me know, we will start from the ground up.

Knuckles

ATAG_Dutch
12-26-2011, 08:55 PM
Knuckles, are you entering IAS or TAS into the sight?

It'd be strange if you were getting the results by entering IAS and might explain why Jimbop is falling short.:confused:

Sokol1
12-26-2011, 08:58 PM
I'm just waiting to see if "the patch" will make the Blenheim flyable in a way that doesn't require the use of chanting, prayers, and voodoo before I try any sort of bombing in it.

The default mission "Cross country" with Blenheim create a MITE that is very difficult fly with this craft.
For some reason is difficult to take off in this mission, but in FMB missions or online, and even in "Cross Country" edited with another base, NO!

Online I am able to start and take-of with Blenheim in < 4 minutes.
Just select tanks, power in 10%, engine 1, start, engine 2, start, adjust rudder and elevator trim and go. No need to await engines temperature raise for about "1/2 hour"...

No need "play" with misture, carb temps, prop pitch (adjust only in flying), magnetos...

If you dont use 100/110% power for long time, no temp problems.

Blenheim dont need "patch"!

Sokol1

ATAG_knuckles
12-26-2011, 09:03 PM
Dutch:

I use IAS, never thought of adjusting to TAS Hummmm we will get this sorted out huh ??? I'll certainly post at lest screenshots tonight


Knucks

jimbop
12-26-2011, 09:20 PM
The default mission "Cross country" with Blenheim create a MITE that is very difficult fly with this craft.
For some reason is difficult to take off in this mission, but in FMB missions or online, and even in "Cross Country" edited with another base, NO!

Online I am able to start and take-of with Blenheim in < 4 minutes.
Just select tanks, power in 10%, engine 1, start, engine 2, start, adjust rudder and elevator trim and go. No need to await engines temperature raise for about "1/2 hour"...

No need "play" with misture, carb temps, prop pitch (adjust only in flying), magnetos...

If you dont use 100/110% power for long time, no temp problems.

Blenheim dont need "patch"!

Sokol1

Yes, exactly right Sokol1. There is definitely something wrong with the channel map offline at least in the default spawn locations. Very difficult to handle on the ground.

I don't think the mixture works in the Blenheim at the moment. I cannot detect any changes whatsoever when I change this at any altitude.

ElAurens
12-26-2011, 11:09 PM
You guys are flying a very different Blenheim than I am then.

And do you really think it was that hard to keep the engines alive in the real thing?

Poppycock!!!

The model is broken, plain and simple.

It's even worse than the G.50 and I won't try to sugar coat it and say well yes you can fly it, sort of.

It's garbage. I sort of have the feeling that the devs never intended it to be flyable, then thought better of not letting the RAF have any bombers at all, and patched it together for release.

HR_Naglfar
12-26-2011, 11:30 PM
Blenheim dont need "patch"!


It's true that it's not impossible to fly it (and can even be very fun), but definitely the Blenheim needs to be patched. The engines behavior has nothing to do with the pilot's notes values, and the mixture doesn't work, just to mention some things.

Skoshi Tiger
12-27-2011, 12:50 AM
You guys are flying a very different Blenheim than I am then.

And do you really think it was that hard to keep the engines alive in the real thing?

Poppycock!!!

The model is broken, plain and simple.

It's even worse than the G.50 and I won't try to sugar coat it and say well yes you can fly it, sort of.

It's garbage. I sort of have the feeling that the devs never intended it to be flyable, then thought better of not letting the RAF have any bombers at all, and patched it together for release.

Hi ElAurens,

I've been fly the Blenhiem for the last week after watching ATAG_Dutch's video. and I've managed to rack up about 9 boats sunk.

It was a nightmare getting use to the thing. but once you get the hang of it it is quite predictable.

From memory here's what keeping me flying (from Dutch's video)

Pre mission - if your going to use a full bomb load reduce your fuel to less than 50%
- if skip bombing set your fuses to 11sec (I've tried 1 second and have suffered damage each time)

Pre startup
- tanks left and right to inner (wheel valve rear RHS)
- Set fuel guages to inner (switch upper LHS)
- Mixture rich
- Pitch coarse (fully to rear)
- throttle (just cracked open)

Start engine individually and idle until CHT is greater than 180C (CHT guages upper rear RHS) and oil temp greater than 40C (Takes a long time to heat up!)

Once heated open radiators fully and select full left hand trim.

- Set pitch to fine (fully forward) and promptly Taxi to runway.

On takeoff limit RPM to 2400 and apply full left rudder and occasional dabs on the brake to keep on the center line.

Post take off
- gear up
and when you've gained a hundred feet or so
- prop pitch to coarse (fully to rear) (RPM will drop)
- increase throttle to maintain 1800RPM

(big breath!) now the works over - once everythings settled down keep an eye on the temperatures I generally fly at radiators in the half way mark and adjust them up and down to maintain the same temp on both (220-240C). If they start climbing I open them more.

With a full bombload I've been keeping the ROC to about 1000fpm

On a couple of missions I've found the engines don't have a even RPM. I've taken that as a random failure (or pilot error in the startup) and have aborted and grabbed a fresh aircraft.

I've found it to be quite consistent and very enjoyable to fly! (once you can stop the oil leaks and gasket failures!!!)

Cheers, Hope you've had a good Chritmas and wishing everyone a happy new year!

JG53Frankyboy
12-27-2011, 01:04 AM
it helps to remind that the ingame Blenheim has not only two propeller positions !

between a pitch (Digital info window setting) of 5% and ~35% you will find a variable pitch...... i use those settings after the start or sometimes in a climb.
The fastest is till coarse (aka 0% )

the Blenheim needs no patch...ok, than the whole game needs no patch anymore - leave it as it is !

I hope the Blenheim will get its automatic bombdoors and the correct flapsystem (there were not only two positions ! ) too in a far future....

PolishEagle1939
12-27-2011, 01:06 AM
+1 Blenheim is not broken.
It just takes a long time to get the hang of it. I have a reprint of the Mk IV manual and take off procedure is just like it is written. You can't do 100 octane overload take offs on the outer tanks just inner tank standard takeoffs though. For me its checking the temp every half second and adjusting the cowl flaps accordingly. Don't forget temp when diving or climbing either.

JG53Frankyboy
12-27-2011, 02:52 AM
it is how it is written?
ok, than....... http://forum.1cpublishing.eu/showpost.php?p=291243&postcount=6

but anyway, if one knows what he has do look at, yes, sure, the Blenheim is flyable like all other aircraft in the sim.
I cant imagine what people are doing who are not reading these forums.

jimbop
12-27-2011, 03:39 AM
Well it was a simple explanation: I wasn't always leaning forward to the sight! Stupid... There's nothing wrong with the Blenheim sight and the distance is perfectly calibrated for TAS and altitude.

However, it is still very difficult to hit the target due to lack of a horizontal stabiliser. Even a degree or two of roll at 10k feet throws the reticle out by a long distance. I generally trim to remove side slip but this obviously requires aileron input to correct the roll. This is difficult to correctly maintain from the bomber's position since the horizon is blurred at this altitude.

Honestly, they should add a horizontal stabilizer for bombers or at least those without course correction mechanisms. If the bombardier was supposed to pilot the plane he would have the tools for it...

Anyone got tips for how to stay horizontally stable on the way in? Or do you pilot from the cockpit and then switch to bombardier at the last possible moment?

ATAG_Dutch
12-27-2011, 04:06 AM
On a couple of missions I've found the engines don't have a even RPM.

I've found it to be quite consistent and very enjoyable to fly!

Heh, heh! Welcome to the trials and tribulations of the Blenheim mate!

Flight sims should be a challenge don't you think?

Talk about a love/hate relationship!? :rolleyes::grin:

(thanks for the credits by the way, appreciated!)

ATAG_Dutch
12-27-2011, 04:43 AM
Honestly, they should add a horizontal stabilizer for bombers or at least those without course correction mechanisms. If the bombardier was supposed to pilot the plane he would have the tools for it...

Anyone got tips for how to stay horizontally stable on the way in? Or do you pilot from the cockpit and then switch to bombardier at the last possible moment?

I've got a feeling that the only way to do this properly is when you have an online multi-crew. I can fly the contraption ok, but have no idea about the bombsight, and I completely lose control of the a/c when I lean to the bombsight.

Maybe we should all get online sometime and try it out.

Left, left....r..i...g..h..t, left, left, steady, steady..... BOMBS GONE!! :grin:

jimbop
12-27-2011, 05:07 AM
I've got a feeling that the only way to do this properly is when you have an online multi-crew. I can fly the contraption ok, but have no idea about the bombsight, and I completely lose control of the a/c when I lean to the bombsight.

Maybe we should all get online sometime and try it out.

Left, left....r..i...g..h..t, left, left, steady, steady..... BOMBS GONE!! :grin:

Sounds good to me - would be a blast (literally!) I think I will get reasonably proficient at <5k feet but any higher will require either stabilizer or a good human pilot.

I'm looking forward to knucklebut's pics though; maybe my technique is failing.

jimbop
12-27-2011, 12:30 PM
Here are a few pics and notes from my training at 5k feet. I can provide my basic single player mission (5k airstart, shop targets) if required.


1. Cockpit

Note that I am trimmed to level flight and the slipball indicates that I am slightly crabbing. This is compensation for lack of aileron trim. I wouldn't recommend this for the trip out but when closing on the target I find that the reduced roll is worth the loss of airspeed.

I have found that the Blenheim altimeter is often set 200-300 feet too high. I click it left three times so am ~300 feet lower on instruments than default settings. This can be easily verified - just try to fly to 100 feet and you will find that you are a submarine! Not sure about other aircraft.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6580837849_705022f0de_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580837849/)


2. Bombardier dash

These instruments are your friends! Pay at least as much attention to them as you do to your target. Constantly update your speed and altitude settings into the sight (see below).

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7154/6580838355_7e188cc7d4_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580838355/)


3. Bombardier view

The view from the pilot's seat is rubbish so it's worth transferring here after you are roughly trimmed and closing on target. I find it useful to adjust the screen view down a bit to provide a closer horizontal reference for the horizon from the monitor edge. I wish they had put an artificial horizon in here...

I find it best to be turning slightly right into your target since visibility is much better on this side.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7158/6580838841_47596ee8cc_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580838841/)


4. Bombsight breakdown

Note that this is the view when you have 'leaned to gunsight' (or whatever the command is). This is critical (see my post above...)

#1: Altitude adjustment in 100s of feet. Strongly recommend binding keys to this.

#2: Target should run down between the strings. My target is moving left so I am compensating. I could just as easily adjusted the sight 0.5 degrees to the left.

#3: Targeting reticule.

#4: Velocity adjustment. Also highly recommended for a key binding. I use the number pad for my sight adjustments.

It is worth noting that I get best results when I do not follow protocol. First, I underestimate rather than overestimate my altidude (e.g. if at 5050 feet I will enter 5000 instead of 5100). Second, I do not adjust to TAS but rather input the IAS. Adjusting for TAS makes me land short.

Edit: I am getting best results when trimming the Blenheim for proper hands off flight (as in go and make a cup of tea and it's still fine a minute or two later) which means I am side-slipping at about +1.0 degrees. I then adjust the sight to -1.0 degrees which compensates for the motion and keeps the target lined up in the rails until release.)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6581093359_94be19c354_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6581093359/)


5. Release point

Don't forget to open the bomb bay which is another essential key bind. Continue releasing until all bombs are away. I get rid of all bombs across the target length.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7163/6580840579_5b9567d08a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580840579/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7168/6580841517_d50df0ca28_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580841517/)

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7014/6580840755_e740fdb5dd_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580840755/)


6. Target perspective at release. The distance is 2.04 km.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7012/6580841121_2cc31f19ca_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580841121/)


7. Impact. There were no direct hits but there evidently didn't need to be!

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7153/6580842303_35a9d27e16_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6580842303/)

This is not particularly easy, at least for me. After a few hours practice I have a good feel for the sight and am getting pretty close to my targets. If you are aiming for an airfield or similarly large target you should be hitting it from the start.

I also find it easier not to use freetrack for this but rather just drag the view with the middle mouse button as necessary. Stable view and slow corrections are what this is all about.

I have not addressed getting up into the air since this is covered by ATAG_Dutch videos above. My loadout is 4x250lb with a #42 pistol, 0 second trigger. I use an 11 sec trigger for skip bombing.

ATAG_Dutch
12-27-2011, 01:26 PM
Those shots are superb Jimbop. Great advice too. I've been 'leaning to' using gunsight view also, which is maybe why I lose control.:rolleyes:

Couple of questions though.

1)Would you say that the digital readouts for the bombsight are essential? (I'm not keen on them as they spoil the realism for me, although I always used them in old IL2)

2) There are two readouts for both bombsight altitude and bombsight velocity on the digital readout, one set matches your instruments, one doesn't. Have you changed these to match changes in your instruments, or is there another reason for it?

I'm going to use some time today to practice an offline mission using the bombsight if the wife'll let me. I'll video the results and post, for good or ill!

Edit: Well the first attempt was a dismal failure - I entered 10000ft and 200mph into the sight before take-off, then found at that altitude 200mph IAS was way too fast. 130-140mph would've been better. Dropped my bombs anyway, then realised I'd not opened the doors, then the engines started rattling through neglect, so I dived down and shallow dive bombed the target. Sheesh. Will try again later.

Edit 2: Attached is the mission I'm using to practice level bombing from 10000ft. The target is a collection of armour next to a large factory west of Dunkirk. Ctrl/F2 will give you a ground level camera view to check your accuracy.

Feel free folks!

kestrel79
12-27-2011, 04:48 PM
So there's no "Leveler Stabilizer" key in CloD bombers? Or just in the Blemheim? Loved that feature when flying a bomber by myself in IL2.

I always liked flying bombers online in IL2 I look forward to doing this online when I get some freetime.

Flanker35M
12-27-2011, 05:32 PM
S!

Another way to speed up the bombing run is to set on the ground the rough settings, for example altitude and speed. So when you are in the air and lined up for target only minor adjustments are needed basically thus lessening the control input oscillation etc. Just my opinion..

jimbop
12-27-2011, 08:34 PM
I rely on the digital readouts on the interface and have not checked what the readout on the instruments is (will do next time I play). I tend to tinker with these a fair bit on the way into the target although Flanker35M’s suggestion of pre-setting these on the ground is excellent - thanks for that.

Regarding realism, I figure that by the time I have acted as both the pilot and the bombardier I deserve a bit of digital assistance! Nothing realistic about the current situation without the horizontal stabilizer IMHO but still a lot of fun!

Edit: Well the first attempt was a dismal failure - I entered 10000ft and 200mph into the sight before take-off, then found at that altitude 200mph IAS was way too fast. 130-140mph would've been better. Dropped my bombs anyway, then realised I'd not opened the doors, then the engines started rattling through neglect, so I dived down and shallow dive bombed the target. Sheesh. Will try again later.

Yeah, I know the feeling. Have done that many times… At least you get a nice tight cluster of bombs when you eventually release the bomb door though! Thanks for the practice mission. I will start using it - I want to start going after the ATAG server #2 targets.

jimbop
12-27-2011, 08:36 PM
So there's no "Leveler Stabilizer" key in CloD bombers? Or just in the Blemheim? Loved that feature when flying a bomber by myself in IL2.

I always liked flying bombers online in IL2 I look forward to doing this online when I get some freetime.

No stabilizer. IMHO this should be included since it is hardly realistic to have to fly and bomb simultaneously. Having said that, the pics above were after a few hours practice and it is fairly reproducible so it isn't impossible without it.

I think the key is to trim well using the rudder and elevator. You can basically fly hands off and remain dead level for 5-10 sec at a time (which is all you need in the final release stage).

jimbop
12-27-2011, 08:40 PM
I forgot to mention in the notes that I also adjust the altimeter. I think we discussed this above (or perhaps in the ATAG thread) - the altimeter is often set 200-300 feet too high. I click it left three times so am ~300 feet lower on instruments than default settings. I have edited above to include this.

ATAG_Dutch
12-28-2011, 05:16 AM
I flew my own mission three times today, and got absolutely bloody nowhere.

Lots of practice and experimentation required methinks. Hmmmm........:rolleyes:

jimbop
12-28-2011, 06:33 AM
I'd set it up as an airstart just a few miles out from the target. Then you can rinse and repeat the drop. I must have done about 30 bomb drops before I started getting the hang of it.

jimbop
12-29-2011, 10:17 PM
You guys are flying a very different Blenheim than I am then.

And do you really think it was that hard to keep the engines alive in the real thing?

Poppycock!!!

The model is broken, plain and simple.

It's even worse than the G.50 and I won't try to sugar coat it and say well yes you can fly it, sort of.

It's garbage. I sort of have the feeling that the devs never intended it to be flyable, then thought better of not letting the RAF have any bombers at all, and patched it together for release.

ElAurens, I've been flying the Blenheim exclusively for a few days now and have become quite used to it. I am finding it quite forgiving! If you control the temps with the radiator to keep them at 190-240 you can pretty much do what you want with the boost. All the recommendations about only using 1.0 boost are rubbish - they just aren't using pitch and rads correctly. Keeping the temps under control means not too hot OR too cold. A lot if my early troubles were due to not having enough engine temp since you can't increase boost without adequate temperature.

I routinely climb at over 1000 feet per minute with 4.0lbs and 1800 RPM with the cylinder head temps at 210. I can easily firewall when need be and have no trouble taking off. Does this sound more like the sort of thing you would expect?

ElAurens
12-30-2011, 04:02 AM
So you can take off 100% of the time without blowing an engine?

Amazing.

jimbop
12-30-2011, 04:27 AM
So you can take off 100% of the time without blowing an engine?

For sure. Warm up with rads closed, no carb heater until ~160 degrees. Open rads, full left trim and throttle up to slow taxi for runway alignment (probably need a spot of brakes now and then). Temps 190. Open throttles to about 70%, build speed, wheels up. Throttle down and cut prop back to coarse.

You will be doing 120 mph max so stay level until 150. Close rads to 60% when temps fall to 210 (about 30 sec at this speed if that) then start climbing.

The risky bit is fine pitch (high rpm) without good airflow. This will cook your cylinder head very fast (I think faster than realistic) so move to coarse as soon as you can after takeoff. After you have cooled down you can fiddle the coarse prop pitch to increase from 1600 to 2000 between coarse and fine and climb all day.

What threw me for a while was the awful engine sounds when increasing boost. I thought it was too hot but turns out it was too cold! Curse the designer who thought that was a good spot for cylinder head gauges...

Certainly not a perfect model and should not be that sensitive to temp but it is still flyable. And if I can do it I'm damn sure you can. I had some fun with the HE111 and tank targets on ATAG #2 last night! Well, until the flak had fun with me...

Hooters2
12-30-2011, 12:24 PM
Agree with jimbop, his routine sounds the same as mine. It was a struggle to start off with but now no problem at all, you can scream in pretty quick for a skip bombing attack and the temps stay quite stable. As with many things it's when you change configuration, take off to climb, climb to cruise etc that you have to be careful. I like the Blenheim a lot.

ElAurens
12-30-2011, 02:35 PM
Well, at least we finally have radials that can get too cold, unlike IL2 where you had to have the cowl flaps open all the time at any speed.

ATAG_Dutch
01-02-2012, 01:00 PM
;)So you can take off 100% of the time without blowing an engine?

No. But that's only because I keep forgetting to open my bloody cowl flaps!:rolleyes:

But Jimbop is correct. The +1 boost guide in my vid is only really there so that when you select coarse pitch after take-off, the boost goes to +3, which helps establish temperature control habits - oil temp, head temp, cowl flaps, oil temp, head temp, cowl flaps etc..

It's actually much steadier on the temperatures when running at +4 or +5.

The only other thing to watch is that as IRL, the faster you go, the cooler your engines. So again when accelerating, watch the temps and adjust cowl flaps accordingly.

Once you're up and flying straight and level, +5 boost and coarse pitch can pull you along at 240-250mph quite easily at 300ft, without any temperature fluctuations to speak of. That's a pretty good speed compared to the Spits and Hurris in the game.

Blackdog_kt
01-02-2012, 02:48 PM
There are problems with the model (actually, there's one main problem and it's got to do with how the temps fluctuate at given ranges), but it's not unflyable.

I don't have the sim currently installed due to a hard disk failure, but i was probably among the first 20 people to get a Blen off the ground in the stock cross country mission (that many people claim is bugged), bombload and all. That mission has a notoriously short runway and a crosswind and to be honest, it was an exercise in masochism, but i fancied the challenge and it was doable once in every 2-3 attempts.

In other scenarios (longer runways, taking off into the wind, managing your bomb and fuel load to get a lighter aircraft), things were much easier even some patches ago.

So, there are some problems and some workarounds which make the aircraft flyable despite its issues.

The problems:
1) Lack of intermediate flap positions: It's true the real aircraft had a two way switch similar to the Spit (full up or full down), but the lever could be "jammed" by the pilot into an in-between position to give partial flaps (at least i remember reading something like this in a manual). This would be excellent for those take-offs, as no flaps deprives us of lift but full flaps deprives us of speed, which deprives us of airflow to cool the engines and prolongs the take off run (which equals more time at rising temps, you get the idea).

2) "Funky" temperature modeling in the sim: It seems that temps rise slowly and drop fast at low power settings, while they climb really fast at higher ones. Now i'm not a real life pilot, so take this with a grain of salt, but from reading various accounts and flying a few expensive piston-engined add-ons on a friend's FSX installation, it seems there needs to be some revision here.

First of all, ambient temperature is a factor but that's got to do mostly with how difficult it is to get the engine started in the first place (especially for radials). Once it starts however, temps should rise sooner or later to the appropriate levels. Sooner or later in this context means within a minute or so.

The only time i've had a hard time starting pistons in a sim and having to deviate from checklists in those FSX add-ons was in two occasions. Both were when flying with real weather downloaded from the internet and selecting my home town during a winter night.

In the first such case, local weather was about -10 celsius at 6am simualtor time with a lot of humidity in the air (hence, high danger of carburetor icing). I tried to start up a Catalina and i had to give it 4-5 tries just for the first engine. After that, i had to apply carb heat and keep the cowl flaps closed, contrary to what the checklists specified.

Bear in mind that the add-on i was using is modeled after data gathered from a restored Dutch Catalina and used by its real-world pilots when they want to brush up on their technique without stressing out the real one, so it's got to be somewhat accurate.

The second case was with the A2A simulations Boeing 377 Stratocruiser (essentially a transport/airliner version of a B29 with improved engines). In that case, starting proved difficult too because the ambient temperature was below zero and i had to apply carb heat while actually turning the engine over during starting, just to thaw the ice in the carbs and get them to start. That add-on is also highly spoken off in terms of engine management.

Actually, everything i learned about CEM before CoD was even released, i learned it from flying these things on my friend's FSX installation.

Anyway in both cases, using a bit of extra power and carb heat, or closing the cowl flaps a bit enabled me to raise the temps to their appropriate range without problems.

Second, during daytime having the ground radiate heat back onto the aircraft could result in Spits overheating on idle just sitting on the tarmac. That's why they were periodically started by their ground crews when on alert: they should be warm enough to be able to start easily, but not so warm as though to overheat during taxi.

All in all, the temp model seems in need of a slight revision of its "response curves" so to speak.
The foundation is solid, it just needs a bit (and it really is not much) of fine tuning: temps should probably be easier to change during low power settings, the cooling effect of airflow should maybe be a bit more pronounced and finally, the "window" of permissible temps should be a bit wider. As it stands now anything below 180 degrees makes the engines sputter and cough on high boost, plus the expected temps for specific power settings are a bit off when compared to the manual (that last part about the manual is me going by memory, i might be wrong).

After all, the Blenheim manual states that taxi should be done with cowl flaps open and take off with cowl flaps closed! This tells us two things:

a) overheating is possible even on idle/low power if the flaps are closed (in the sim, it's almost impossible to even warm up unless the cowl flaps are closed)

b) once the aircraft gets moving, you have enough of a time window thanks to the cooling effect of airflow before you overheat (in the sim, it's impossible to attain the expected boost values for take off if you don't open them)

So, maybe what really happened is that the engines were a bit harder to start on a cold day, but after that it was easy to get 150-180 degrees within a couple of minutes or so and get rolling almost right away, then idle with the cowl flaps open to drop it down to let's say 150 so you have a bit of a "buffer" (and since the engines wouldn't sputter that easily at lower temps), before finally going full throttle with the cowl flaps closed for the take-off and opening them up again after taking off and throttling back to cruise.

These temp issues are apparent in all aircraft in the sim, but the radials are the ones mostly affected.

3) The outboard fuel tanks in the real one were mostly used for 100 octane fuel, while the inboard tanks were filled with 87 octane fuel: The outboard tanks were a modification (they were not even present on Mk.Is i think, but introduced on Mk.IVs for long range raids) and since they added weight, they thought they'd fill them up with 100 oct fuel, because the overweight aircraft couldn't get off the ground without using higher boost values (and high boost needs higher octane ratings, etc).

That's why enabling boost cut-out in the sim is a sure way to cook your engines. Our Blenheims come tanked up with 87 octane fuel, so they can't take the extra boost. Due to the temp funkiness described above, they can't even take the normal +5 boost that the real ones specified as WEP and take-off power. However, in our map we don't need that much fuel anyway.

Arguments to the tune of "but i bet they would use +9 when in danger, so they would have to keep at least a bit of 100 oct in the outer tanks" probably don't hold much weight, because that kind of fuel was reserved for the fighters mostly. I bet they wished they could engage WEP over Calais, but i highly doubt they were given priority for 100 oct fuel. The bombers were only using it because they couldn't get off the ground at lower boost values in the first place, in the event they were loaded for long range.

Long story short, for cross-channel raids just load up 50-60% fuel to keep the outer tanks empty, save yourself the weight and don't go above +4 boost and you're historically accurate for the most part. Long range raids where they needed to fill the outer tanks would probably be something like the raid on the Cologne power station, but we don't have anything to bomb that far in the sim due to the map size.

The workarounds in the case of the Blenheim:
1) Anticipate power and airflow changes: If it's one thing i learned flying FSX it's this. Don't wait to see the needle creep into the dangerous zone of the dial, expect it and preempt it.

You want to pull the power back and dive? Give it a few notches of cowl flaps less in advance, just as you pull the throttle back. Then, check the dials after 30 seconds to see if it needs further fine tuning. You want to exit that dive and climb at high power settings? Open the cowl flaps a few seconds after you start the climb and throttle up. It gets really easy with a bit of experience and after a while you'll have your own pre-set scenarios in your mind and thinking like this: "i'm doing about 250mph, i should keep cowl flaps below 50% open", or "i'm pulling up from a skip bombing attack at high power, once my IAS drops below 200mph i know i have to open cowl flaps 100%". Etc, etc, it just takes practice, so just do it offline, pause frequently at key points during your flight and look to your gauges to identify the notable patterns and trends.


2) Use an accelerated warm-up: Once your engines are running, keep the cowl flaps closed, step on the breaks and advance throttles until you hear the engines sputter, then back off a bit until they stop sputtering. Essentially, you are throttling up to the top of the engine's "comfort zone" for your given temps. However, throttling up raises the temps too, so every few seconds you can repeat this and increase throttle a bit more. Before you know it, you'll be pushing +1 to +2 boost while on the brakes, have a temp of 180 degrees and be ready to roll out.

At that point, open cowl flaps (maybe not 100% but open them), give it +1 boost or so to get it rolling and taxi to the runway. If you do a straight-in run that lets you use part of your taxi run for extra acceleration (like in some videos i've seen) all the better, just remember to open cowl flaps when you go to higher boost.

Otherwise, wait your turn at the runway and use that time to cool the engines down to 170-180 degrees, so that you have a sufficient "time window" available for high power during the take-off run.
DON'T start the run unless the engines can get to +2 boost or thereabouts without sputtering (step on the brakes and test this). If they are couching, they are not delivering enough power. If they throttle up nicely, then just let go of the brakes and after 3-4 seconds the temps will have risen sufficiently to enable you to push higher boost for the rest of the take-off roll.

Hope it helps. Jeez, you guys will get me reinstalling on my system partition and i really have to study these coming days :-P

ATAG_Dutch
01-03-2012, 07:55 PM
Here's a vid of my first successful level bombing run in the Blenheim, although it may be more luck than good technique.

If you look closely in full screen @ 1080p you'll see the targets in the bombsight next to the factory.

You'll also see that I'm finding it difficult to trim the thing adequately. This might be me or the notorious G940 trim adjustments. The altitude and airspeed are going up and down no matter what I do!

Bombing height is 6000ft, roughly (!).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnyYTZNjQJQ

ATAG_knuckles
01-03-2012, 08:49 PM
Dutch: Again very well done: Perhaps thats the best the real Blenheim could do, and thats certainly the exact results I have been getting. So here's the point I have been suggesting: For the amount of time spent climbing to target and attempting to line up< could we not have achieved the same results or certainly better by just going in low level high speed, and then straight on out ?? again this is mainly for the purpose to instruct those that get interested in the Blenheim ???


ATAG_Knuckles

ATAG_Dutch
01-03-2012, 09:00 PM
Dutch: Again very well done: Perhaps thats the best the real Blenheim could do, and thats certainly the exact results I have been getting. So here's the point I have been suggesting: For the amount of time spent climbing to target and attempting to line up< could we not have achieved the same results or certainly better by just going in low level high speed, and then straight on out ?? again this is mainly for the purpose to instruct those that get interested in the Blenheim ???


ATAG_Knuckles

Agree completely my friend. Low level shallow dive bombing/skip bombing is so much easier.

Still like to try level bombing with multi-crew though! :)

ElAurens
01-03-2012, 10:55 PM
could we not have achieved the same results or certainly better by just going in low level high speed, and then straight on out ?? again this is mainly for the purpose to instruct those that get interested in the Blenheim ???


ATAG_Knuckles

This has been my plan all along. The BlitzPigs have always flown our missions as low level, deep penetration interdiction raids.

Now, if the "high level" bombers could deal with the flak concentrations, the low level units could go after parked planes, or better yet those on the ground warming up.

Jerry needs some of his own medicine methinks.

jimbop
01-03-2012, 11:16 PM
This sounds good to me as shallow dive attacks are definitely more reliable.

However, I tried some low level runs last night and the flak is brutal on ATAG #1. We could easily take out AA concentrations like the one at Saint Inglevert from ~3000 feet first which would leave the field open for low level, high speed, attacks. It's a shame we don't have Wellingtons for some real high level attacks.

Add a couple of Spit/Hurri pilots to draw the 109s (doesn't matter who they are, really, whoever is on the server at the time would likely be willing) and it would be even better!

jimbop
01-03-2012, 11:43 PM
Sounds like ATAG #1 will soon be improved for bombers and Blenheims in particular so that could be a good place to get a bit more organised. See these posts (http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/showthread.php?926-Mission-on-the-second-server&p=6595&viewfull=1#post6595) on their forum.

Blackdog_kt
01-04-2012, 03:09 AM
Well, it certainly looks realistic. It is confusing for me too, having to fly the plane and aim the bombs at the same time, but i think having a human bombardier wouldn't do much to improve things. But, i think it's cool, let me explain.

Take into account the typical human reaction time of 1 second, add some milliseconds more for the voice comms transmission and you get the idea. You're flying in multiplayer, you have your buddy guiding you to the target like they did in real life ("left, left, right, steady" etc) while you take care of flying and you are still missing :-P

But this is the whole reason they used formations and carpet bombing in the first place, or devised more sophisticated machinery to equip bombers with ;)
You either fly with an autopilot through the bombsight (like the LW and US bombers did), or you have a guy in a glass nose passing instructions to you.

I think that might be one of the main reasons the RAF was traditionally bombing from lower altitudes. It's much easier to get accurate corrections if one guy does the whole thing, rather than two people who need to attune their reaction timings to each other.

I tried the mission posted by Dutch yesterday night (i was relieved i hadn't forgotten everything :-P ), got into the air fine, engine management was a breeze and i even made a split-S evasion after dropping the eggs at +9 boost, skimming the waves back across the channel at a constant +4.5 boost, temps steady at 190-210 degrees and no engine trouble whatsoever. But i still missed the target by a couple hundred meters.

I came in at 5000 feet, aligned the best i could (read: paused and use ctrl-F2 to locate the target's exact location) and i still had to do a few last moment corrections, which threw off my aim. However, if i had a wingman on my 8 o'clock position, he would have hit squarely on those tanks ;)

I'm not exactly disappointed here, i think it's awesome that we'll have to use just a dash of historical tactics and operational doctrines to be successful. I mean, these crates were not meant for lone-wolfing it like we do and it's good that the sim reflects the limitations if we do: either go low and risk the flak, or go high and risk a miss.
Plus i think i did really well for a first try after such a lengthy absence, didn't blow any engines and got a near miss, so i was all the more excited about the whole thing :-P

I think the trick is to get a few people from the same timezone, get some practice in so that they can all hit within 500m of the target, then get flying in vics of three and go in at 5000ft or so.

By comparison, when i was testing the 111 i made an autopilot assisted run from an altitude of 3km (approx. 10000 feet). Comparing with last night's Blenheim test, i can say that the 111 hits as close as, if not closer than, the Blenheim but at double the altitude. Both of these tests are a "first run" test, i didn't practice before. So, technology does make a difference and if its lacking, different tactics have to be used :grin:

I really like the whole "low to medium altitude bombers" vibe and all the dangerous aura with the flak and all, that's why i like the Blenheim. However, i think that if the gyrocompass on the 88 is fixed to enable use of its autopilot i might switch to blue again, as i have a few nifty ideas for that one too: approach the target for a normal, level drop, if engaged by fighters use dive bombing instead and escape like a boss, otherwise stay high and level bomb :grin:


I think the only thing we need for the bombers in general (regardless of whether they have autopilots or not) is an "unstable level stabilizer": something that will keep the plane level like it did back in IL2, but not rock solid level, something that is not a gaming contraption/feature but a more refined solution. Imagine level stab, just not on rails like it used to be.

When you would engage it the plane would fly roughly level, still get shaken up by nearby flak explosions and (best part of all), you would use three keys for left/right/steady commands, with a bit of a built-in delay or "fuzziness" in the motion to simulate a human being doing the piloting.

This way we kill three birds with one stone

1) all bombers can now level bomb with relative ease without having to look for human crew members

2) we simulate a bombardier guiding the pilot to the target, like it used to be

3) the autopilot capable bombers with gyro-stabilized bombsights are still more accurate like they historically were, it's just that the non-AP bombers can also bomb with some ease in-game

jimbop
01-04-2012, 04:03 AM
I'm not exactly disappointed here, i think it's awesome that we'll have to use just a dash of historical tactics and operational doctrines to be successful. I mean, these crates were not meant for lone-wolfing it like we do and it's good that the sim reflects the limitations if we do: either go low and risk the flak, or go high and risk a miss.

Yes, this is the key. Maybe shouldn't expect to do single-bomber precision strikes from 10,000 feet since this was not what the Blenheim was used for (as far as I know).

I am undecided about the horizontal stabilizer. It is certainly possible to trim so you get very steady flight right now. The hardest thing (which a stabilizer would remove) is keeping one eye on the horizon and the other on the target.

My initial gripe with the absence of the horizontal stabilizer (i.e. that you were not expected to fly the plane at the same time) is somewhat lessened with the realisation that being able to make accurate corrections from the bombardier's position is actually a huge advantage. It would be interesting to see statistics of how accurate Blenheim bombing runs were IRL. I wouldn't be surprised if we were already more accurate.

I tend to lower my view on the way in so that the gap between the top of the screen and horizon is reduced. It allows easier estimation of divergence from true horizontal. If you click on the pic and look at the full size version of below you can see that the inactive alpha of my single-line high chat window provides a good point of reference at the level of the black pencil line at top left.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7141/6632509993_39f0e5a010_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/61319592@N06/6632509993/)

JG53Frankyboy
01-04-2012, 08:38 AM
and the Blenheim was 'known' for its not very accurate bombing because of its bombbaydoor system. The weight of the bombs opened the doors, there was no manual dooropening before release possible. And this caused some kind of noncalculateable delay.

kestrel79
01-18-2012, 04:57 PM
Wow some great info here. I got airborne for the first time in the Blenheim last night on the Cross Country quick mission.

Some noob notes:

Hard to turn while on ground. I had full rudder and trim to keep it straight down the runway.

I cooked one engine after lowering the cowl flaps to 50% for about 5 seconds...I had to fly with them full open all the time so keep the engines cool. Surely I was doing something wrong...I think it was me flying with a 80% fine prop pitch. Seems most of you guys fly coarse pitch, that is correct? I'll try that next time.

And also I probably didn't allow that much warmup time.

ATAG_knuckles
01-18-2012, 05:33 PM
Kestrel: Welcome to the world of the Blenheim, its a tricky bugger for sure BUT with practice it can be a hoot.

Take off: crank in at least 1/2 left rudder trim (and leave it there for the whole flight unless you go about 6,000.00.

you will need full left rudder on take off roll until you get to about 70 mph then you will be able to gradually ease off.

To turn on the ground: you will need brake: push full rudder pedal in the direction you want and press the brake, that will give you a somewhat sharp turn.

Takeoff: Fine pitch and no more that 22 hundred rpm. lift off at 90-100mph. when established in a SHALLOW climb say 120-140 mpg go to full coarse pitch, leave it there until you land.

The ATAG forums has some great videos under the heading of "Planes,Planes,Planes

Go to the ATAG server in multiplayer: get on TS3 Comms: look me up, as I will be happy to fly with you to get you up to speed in the Blenheim.

Knuckles

JG53Frankyboy
01-18-2012, 07:11 PM
Wow some great info here. I got airborne for the first time in the Blenheim last night on the Cross Country quick mission.

Some noob notes:

Hard to turn while on ground. I had full rudder and trim to keep it straight down the runway.

I cooked one engine after lowering the cowl flaps to 50% for about 5 seconds...I had to fly with them full open all the time so keep the engines cool. Surely I was doing something wrong...I think it was me flying with a 80% fine prop pitch. Seems most of you guys fly coarse pitch, that is correct? I'll try that next time.

And also I probably didn't allow that much warmup time.
the CoD Blenheim propeller works as following:
0-5% is full coarse pitch
5- ~35% its a variable pitch
35-100% is full fine pitch

i use these 5-35 settings for climbing after the start. on mission, i fly full coarse.
when full coarse, throttle 65-70% throttle , the engine stays between 200 and 250 degrees with cooling flaps 1/4 or 1/3 open.

Megahurt
01-27-2012, 06:25 PM
No wing leveler... no artificial horizon. What were these clowns thinking. What A waste of time making bombers that cant bomb.

kestrel79
01-27-2012, 10:50 PM
Thanks guys that's what my problem was, not flying full coarse pitch after takeoff. The engine sounds wayyy too quiest on course pitch, it didn't sound like I had any power. I guess I should look at the gauges more.

How do you guys set the compass? Is this something you have to do before takeoff every time? Mine is reading wrong...which explains why I was heading "south" and never saw the channel haha.

ATAG_Dutch
01-27-2012, 11:45 PM
How do you guys set the compass? Is this something you have to do before takeoff every time?

The course setter and gyro in all the RAF planes needs setting up prior to take-off.

1) Click the outer ring of the course setter (compass) and line up North with the 'T' shaped end of the compass needle.
2) Read off the heading straight ahead on the course setter (or run your mouse cursor over the compass to show heading).
3) Adjust directional Gyro to match this reading.
4) Now set course setter to the heading you require.
5) Take off and turn the aircraft so that the yellow bars are again parallel with the compass needle (check that North is still lined with 'T' shaped end of needle, not South!).
6) Check Gyro once the instruments have settled down. The Gyro needs to be reset periodically to match compass due to 'precession' being modelled, also any manoeuvres tend to send it out of sync.
7) If you use the map tools in the game, add 10 degrees to the geometric bearing to give a magnetic heading.

Here are a couple of links to help, although I made the mistake of saying 'Trust your Gyro' in the course setter vid, this should say 'Trust your Compass'!

http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/showthread.php?854-Setting-up-RAF-compass-and-DI-gyro

http://theairtacticalassaultgroup.com/forum/showthread.php?992-CoD-Map-Tools-for-Navigation

There's a vid clip I did at post #7

Hope this helps. :)

kestrel79
01-28-2012, 06:03 AM
Wow great stuff Dutch thanks!

Those crazy Germans really made some great instruments, knowing which way you're going in a 109 is so much easier. Not a compass BEHIND the flight stick...

ATAG_knuckles
01-28-2012, 02:47 PM
Just a British thing: Us Yanks used the "Whiskey" compass and a DG.

I have found it rather easy to work with the British Compass when you have the "Increase/Decrease mapped to a joystick button.


Knuckles

Kestral: if you ever see me on comms, give me a holler and we can do some one on one (that sounds awful doesn't it)

Blackdog_kt
01-28-2012, 09:30 PM
I've taken to using only the compass and ignoring the directional gyro in RAF aircraft. The reason is that it takes time to align the DG after obtaining a reading from the compass, time during which the aircraft drifts.

Furthermore, the compass course setter lines can serve as a heading selector too. If you align them with the T-bar it reads your current heading, but you can also do things in reverse: turn the course setter lines to the heading you want to fly and then turn the plane until the T-bar aligns with the lines.

Compare the methods and you'll see it's simpler.

Case 1: Using the DG
I align the course setter lines with the T-bar, read the heading, input that heading into the DG and then fly by turning the aircraft until the DG reads the heading i want to fly. Rinse and repeat every 5-10 minutes, or after violent maneuvers that upset the instruments.

Case 2: Using only the compass
Turn the course setter lines to the heading you want to fly. Turn the aircraft until the T-bar aligns with the compass lines.

That's it, you're done. No need to recalibrate, no nothing. Just turn your course setter to your desired heading and turn your plane around.

In the Spit and Hurri, i do this by leaning to the side with freetrack and pause my view there so i can have a look behind the stick. The on-screen messages and mouse-over tooltips are helpful, since i play with reduced texture resolution and some of the instrument markings are blurry. If you don't have a head tracker available, you can also do it with the mouse: middle mouse button lets you move your view to the side.

In the Blenheim there's an even easier way: there's a second magnetic compass in the bombardier's station, on the base of the bombsight. So, you can set your course setter to the desired heading and then just hop into the front seat to take a look at the compass. You can be hopping back and forth as needed between cockpit and bombardier station to check the compass, instead of trying to look behind the yoke wheel.

That compass is also more clearly marked, the needle has an arrow on the side of it that points north.

It's also easy to take magnetic variance into account this way, which is 10 degrees for our map. What i do is get a rough flight plan going once i spawn, then i measure the required bearings with the map tools while i'm still on the ground.

Let's say i want to take off from Littlestone on ATAG and fly a heading of 120 degrees true to some target. Since true hdg = magnetic hdg + variance, my desired true hdg is 120 and the variance is 10, it follows that:

120 = mag hdg + 10
Hence, the require Mag hdg is 110 degrees.

I just set the course setter for 110 before i even take off, then i just turn around until the course setter is aligned with the compass needle.

jimbop
01-28-2012, 10:16 PM
Good post, Blackdog. I might start using this method in the fighters. I find the DG is reasonably stable in the Blenheim but it drifts very easily in the fighters. I tend to use navigation in the fighters only when I am inland and can't see the coast or am mid-channel and very low.

A few weeks ago I was on ATAG, sputtering low on fuel in a hurri and approaching the white cliffs in as slow a descent as possible with the engine cutting out. I drifted in and had chosen a nice flat field for landing when I noticed flak around me. I thought there was someone on my six but couldn't see them. And then the realisation slowly dawned: I was landing in France with about a thimbleful of fuel remaining.

It is a good idea for red pilots to ensure they are heading west on the way home!

ATAG_knuckles
01-28-2012, 10:34 PM
Jim

Dont feel bad, days ago I was in the bomb aimers position training a new kid: Got confused in my directions, found an airfield pointed it out and told him to land, flack all around so I said get it down fast !!! to our surprise we landed just as a 109 was taking off OOps !!!!
Great teacher i am :confused:

jimbop
01-29-2012, 01:24 AM
Ha, that would have inspired confidence!

ATAG_Dutch
01-29-2012, 02:16 AM
Furthermore, the compass course setter lines can serve as a heading selector too. If you align them with the T-bar it reads your current heading, but you can also do things in reverse: turn the course setter lines to the heading you want to fly and then turn the plane until the T-bar aligns with the lines.

That's what I just said you bu**er! That's why it's called a 'course setter'!

'Blimey!'. As the cockneys say. :rolleyes:

jimbop
01-29-2012, 02:22 AM
Didn't see your earlier post, Dutch. Nice vids.