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oc2209

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  1. You don't want to know my typical landing speeds. It's my general policy to do everything as stupidly as possible, and landing is no exception. One benefit of making so many sloppy landings, though, is that I'm pretty good at making high-speed forced landings after being heavily damaged. I rarely flip or break up. Once, for instance, I was in a Spitfire and turning on the deck. I had some large cannon-made holes in my wing, which I think changed my stall characteristics; and as I was still being shot at, I did the suicidal thing of snap-rolling into the opposite direction of the turn I was in. It looked great and shook the aim of my attacker... until I shortly thereafter stalled and hit the ground just ahead of a treeline at about 130-150 MPH. I had just enough control to hit the ground perfectly flat and skid straight forward; tore both wings off on trees and the pilot survived. That can safely be filed under 'dumb luck.' Or maybe 90% luck, 10% skill.
  2. I had no interest in the Hurricane before today; but after reading this thread, I think I'm sold on the idea. I still have no interest in its combat capabilities, but rather I'll try to see if I can fly it as Britishly as possible. Are there any pilot mods that allow us to wear brightly-colored ascots? That'd help. Also, maybe consider adding a thermos full of hot tea somewhere in the cockpit. And then, when you're wounded, the tea could be used to cauterize the wound. You'd be ship-shape, right-as-rain, in no time!
  3. Never thought I'd see Björk serve as a WWII pinup. Nothing wrong with her, mind you; they're nice pics, especially the second one. But still, unexpected. Ah, the wonders of the internet.
  4. Beautiful pic. I try to match the nationality of the woman to the plane; or a close approximation. I've got a no-name British actress in my Spitfire, a Russian model in my Yak and La-5, etc. I only use contemporary pictures, but I try to make them look semi-plausibly retro in style, and always edit them into grayscale. Here's my German photo:
  5. I'm hardly an expert with the Spitfire IX, but I've flown it a fair bit in single player and a few times in multiplayer (where I enjoyed something roughly akin to success even as a total rookie). I can't help you much on engine management, since I fly with it on auto-manage while in single player. In multiplayer, I've learned enough through trial and error to match my RPM to my desired throttle setting (cruise, combat, emergency). Other people here have already explained that better than I could, however. In terms of landing, I have little trouble touching down, but I do tend to loop at the end of the landing run before my speed's totally under control. The 30-50 MPH area most often. For some reason, I find the Spitfire harder to control on the ground than the 109, despite both suffering from the same problem of narrow landing gear. Again, the posts already made are more helpful than I'll be. On shooting: I have my convergence set to 200m. Which of course makes long shots impossible, but I consider 90% of long shots a futile waste of ammo anyway, especially with as low an ammo count as the Spitfire (compared to German planes). The trick, I've learned, to maximizing the efficacy of the Spitfire's .50 guns: try to only use them for engine/cockpit deflection shots on a turning enemy. I find them largely wasted if used from directly behind the target, especially so if you're not firing at the ideal convergence range. The cannon, of course, are valuable from any deflection angle, but still have to be aimed far more carefully than nose-mounted guns if you want to get fatal fuselage hits instead of simply shredding wings. I expect the Yak spoiled you in this regard. For other tips, I find the Spitfire has an irritating 'floaty' feeling, in part because of its very powerful elevators. The lightest touch will be a gross over-correction if you're not careful. So it essentially must be flown differently than any other plane. Where the Yak can be yanked around, the Spitfire must be smoothly guided; both to avoid over-correction, and to avoid blackouts that can come very quickly. I would also suggest learning vertical maneuvers to take advantage of the Spitfire's rate of climb; if all you do is turn with it, you'll be quite predictable.
  6. I voted 'other,' as my choice would be Japan '45. The Zero's a great plane that I'm sure everyone wants to fly, but that said, I personally have zero interest in it. Japan's late war planes sacrificed little in the way of maneuverability, yet included all the modern conveniences of pilot armor, self-sealing tanks, and a generally stronger structure. The only reason said late war planes barely had an impact, was that they were built in tiny numbers, and manned by largely inexperienced pilots. But they were excellent designs. Arguably the best balanced planes in WWII, in terms of speed, agility, and firepower. The Zero lacked armor and speed because it was built from scratch knowing fully that it would be underpowered. The only way to match the Navy's requirements for range was to sacrifice weight for anything considered non-essential, like armor. The only way to get any kind of speed out of such a weak engine (because Japan lacked, and would continue to lack, more powerful ones for years) was, again, to reduce weight by all means possible. The Zero was thus doomed to be quickly outpaced in any arms race; which wouldn't have mattered at all, if the Japanese had the industry and resources to replace it when it should have been replaced, by late 1942. It was unacceptable to have a plane as the mainstay of any air force with a top speed of ~330 MPH in 1942. Replacing it in '43 would already be too late, as the momentum had turned against Japan. But I digress. My ideal lineup for a Japan '45 DLC is as follows: America: Hellcat, Corsair, Avenger, Catalina, and Black Widow (P-61). The Catalina wouldn't really make sense in that lineup, but flying boats are fun. Japan: Frank, George II, Jack, Nick, and the Ki-100 Goshikisen (no American nickname). No bombers for Japan at this stage in the war.
  7. Based on this thread and the non-reaction to my suggestion about a Courland Pocket DLC, the late-war Eastern Front isn't in high demand. Regardless of whether the devs are Russian, there absolutely needs to be the Yak-3 and La-7 in the game. It'd be totally imbalanced to have all the high-performance late war Allied and German planes, but no Russian. Besides that, the late war Russian planes are excellent and deserve to be showcased. I also think the Ta-152 needs to be in the game. It's everything the 190D is, but better. Both the extended wing and shorter wing version of the 152 should be available. The Germans also could get the Do-335, which I'd love. An He-219 would be nice, but without night operations or Lancasters to shoot at, it seems a little pointless. In terms of going back in time, I support a France '40 DLC. It could include an early Spitfire, which I'd like to try versus the cannon-armed ones. I also fully support a Spanish Civil War DLC, even if I doubt it'd ever be made. The earliest 109s handle quite differently than what we've come to expect, I imagine.
  8. I've long wanted to fly the La-7 and Yak-3 in Great Battles, but it appears the possibility is remote for the near future. I have an idea for a cost-effective way to get both planes into the game with a minimum amount of development. My dream scenario would be a Battle of Berlin map, with the ability to use all the Bodenplatte planes, plus new Russian planes, over the city's hellscape. Even better, would be an alt-history scenario where Russian planes could fight the Western Allies in career mode. However, all of this would be pretty involved from a development and technical (Berlin would destroy framerates?) perspective. So, as a compromise, I propose a Courland mini-DLC that would cover a small portion of the region, and include the La-7, Yak-3, and perhaps the IL-10 (as a collector plane?). Of course, the Courland area isn't a necessity; I'm just using it as an example. Any other mostly rural area along the Eastern Front would work. Am I in a minority, in desperately wanting to fly the La-7 and Yak-3?
  9. Here's an example from my P-51. It was a little tricky, but I got through it with some trial and error. I used a simple file converter app, not the methods given here so far. Being free (thus mediocre), it had trouble converting JPG and PNG into DDS, but BMP to DDS worked. Then it had trouble resizing the BMP into a 1024x1024 DDS. So I picked only large photos and cropped them down to roughly 1024x1024 before resizing them to precisely 1024x1024 (to make a 1:1 ratio); there was very little distortion as a result. I included a large dead space (of empty background) on the right side to compensate for the portion that would be cut off. All the pre-conversion editing was done with an extremely basic paint app. It sounds more complicated than it actually is. Glad I did it, though; it's a fun way to personalize the cockpit. I have different photos for each nation, and I made them all black and white so they don't stand out too much from a distance. I didn't use 40s actresses, but I did try to keep my broads classy. Well, classy-ish.
  10. I think I've taken an amount of ridicule not commensurate with my initial comment. Especially because I never claimed to be an expert. For one thing, I subsequently said extreme angle. I think it's plausible that at 350m, aircraft skin would deflect a glancing shot from a .30. I'm not stupid enough to categorically state that aluminum is bullet resistant at angles anywhere close to perpendicular. Should I have phrased my first comment more carefully? Sure. But my point about the gross inadequacy of .30 ammunition--in air combat--at any range beyond ~150m was valid; even if poorly stated. Here's what some quick searching turned up: "Similarly, while both German and British steel-cored armour-piercing (AP) rounds could penetrate up to 12 mm of armour plate if fired directly at it from 180 m, most of the bullets were deflected or tumbled by first passing through the fuselage skin or structure. In consequence, only a quarter to a third of the bullets reached the Blenheim’s 4 mm-thick armour plate at all, and very few penetrated it." And this one: One lesson of early fighting was that the RAF fighters’ battery of RCMGs was less effective than expected. Although the eight guns between them fired no fewer than 160 rounds per second (rps), they were initially adjusted to concentrate their fire at the long range of 365 m which led to the bullet strikes being spread across the target at shorter ranges. As self-sealing fuel tanks and armour became much more common during 1940, it proved necessary to concentrate fire at much closer ranges. Both quotes taken from here: http://spitfiresite.com/2010/04/cannon-or-machine-gun-the-second-world-war-aircraft-gun-controversy.html And the last one: "Armoured glass windscreens were more difficult to make in sufficient strength while maintaining good transparancy, and armoured glass is also very heavy. The laminated glass panels developed for the B-17 were about 40 mm thick, and they would stop a rifle-calibre bullet at 100 yards. But these large panels and weighed 88 kg per square meter (18 lb per sq. ft.). Fighter windscreens were smaller, and could be thicker and better supported; armourglass of up to 90 mm was used." http://users.skynet.be/Emmanuel.Gustin/fgun/fgun-ar.html
  11. Even though my credibility has been shattered in this thread, I intend to follow up with my above advice by putting my money where my mouth was. I set a Ju-88 to average skill. I put myself in a P-47 with extra ammo, and half fuel (for better handling). We started on the deck. I approached from the rear, lower-right side, maintaining a roughly 45 degree angle. I could easily see the tracer coming at me, and I bobbed up and down to, evidently, spoil the AI's aim. I wasn't hit once from this angle. As I got closer, almost flying parallel, I quickly pulled up and into the Ju-88. I almost fired as I was turning through the 88, but not quite. I hesitated to try to get a solid burst, before rolling and turning away. One engine emitted light smoke. I let the 88 get far ahead of me, dropping my throttle to do so, and then I repeated the same attack. On each attack pass I increase throttle to about 85%. This time I killed the rear upper gunner. Again, I wasn't hit with a single bullet. I want to clarify here that I'm pausing and looking at the Ju-88 from external view, so I know what's happening clearly. Yeah yeah, cheating. This is for science. Moving on. Knowing the gunner was dead, I switched from coming in low to high. I was very, very careful to not dip low enough to allow the ventral gunner to get a shot as the pilot banked regularly. My previous two experiments didn't result in my being wounded, but each time I approached too directly, and didn't evade enough, my engine was fatally hit with an oil leak. So I pretty much ended up treating a lowly Ju-88 and its peashooter gunners, like a B-17. In several more passes, I killed the forward gunner, and the plane was losing large amounts of fuel vapor and both engines were lightly smoking. Finally, with ~1500 rounds remaining, I killed the pilot from a high rear attack. Only the ventral gunner was alive of the whole crew. While my gunnery is surely laughable (this whole experiment went much more smoothly in a 109 and Fw-190), the salient point is that I didn't get hit by a single bullet. I believe the key to the AI is that it does not adjust its fire instantly. There is a grace period where, if you come in from a wide angle, it will allow you to linger for a second or two before it adjusts. If you come in from dead 6, there is no adjustment delay. Hence, it pastes you.
  12. Well, I didn't want to nitpick, but I'm not sure I'd trust Luftwaffe claims during the BoB. They were pretty inflated; every nation's is to some extent, but I think the Luftwaffe in that specific time period was under great pressure to deliver, politically. So I have to wonder if the 110 did actually shoot down--and not simply claim--a ratio as high as it appears on paper. The 109 is clearly a high-performing airplane, regardless of kill claims. It was, by most accounts, an absolute equal to the Spitfire in overall ability. The only thing that held it back was fighting at the extreme of its range, over enemy territory that was very well organized with a radar network. The British were to suffer largely the same way as they pushed into France's airspace circa 1941. From combat reports, nothing to me indicates the 110 could even come close to the 109's ability; either to shoot down, or evade, an enemy of the Spitfire's performance. The 110 was much more on par with the Hurricane, in terms of overall ability. So, unless the research definitively matched 110 claims to RAF losses, color me skeptical.
  13. Yeah, the whole 'Lebensraum' concept got in the way of more sensible ways to divide and conquer the Allies. As laughably unrealistic as it is, in Hearts of Iron I like to befriend Poland as Germany, and then play savior to Europe when Russia inevitably attacks Poland. Something like that was possible, perhaps; but zero Lebensraum would have been gained. On the plus side, though, Germany wouldn't have been, you know, bombed off the face of the planet by the British and Americans. The most Germany would get out that scenario is, perhaps, Danzig and the corridor returned to them. Why couldn't Germany have traded Memel and a sliver of land on the east of Prussia, to Poland in exchange for Danzig and the corridor? Germany would then be cohesive, and Poland would still have an outlet to the Baltic.
  14. Practice head-ons like the Germans and Japanese were eventually forced to do versus Americans. A more dangerous alternative is to come in from below and well off-center. Pull up suddenly to do a snap shot at an engine, then roll into a turn away from the bomber. I have found this to be marginally effective. Coming in from dead 6 will either get your engine fatally damaged, or get you wounded/killed, a very large percentage of the time.
  15. Have you practiced fighting the Spitfire in the 109 yet? I'd advise doing so, even with AI being what it is, to prepare yourself for turning fights that you can't easily win. You should also practice head-on passes for the above reason. Last night I put myself in a 109 F4, against a Spitfire V and IX (separately), both on Ace. Started on the deck. The V could outturn me for a while, but then maybe its boost ran out; because after a few minutes of maneuvering, I was able to get on his tail, and stay there; my throttle setting was just a shade under emergency, since the F4's boost mode is also very short and barely worth (safely) using. The IX dragged me up to 10,000 feet, where he finally turned to face me. I couldn't outturn him, but in a head-on pass I crippled his engine with several 20mm strikes. I always prefer to fire up into a passing target, not down. I only fire at point-blank range, which greatly increases the probability of collision. High risk, high reward and all that. When they're coming at you and near collision, pull up briefly to lead them, fire very briefly, then immediately push your nose down. Needless to say, I would not advise head-on passes against planes with nose guns.
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