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Generalized aircraft operation guidelines for beginners (engine management, take-off and landing procedures)

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I have about 80 hours experience flying BoS and BoM. The task of getting an aircraft in the air and then operating it properly can be overwhelming given the variety of cockpit gauges, aircraft operating characteristics provided for each aircraft by the developers in their official aircraft characteristics tables (e.g. stall speed, max. speed, max HP, maximum ground speed at 1800 m, maximum ground speed at 4500 m, etc.), and the countless threads and Youtube videos explaining the how-tos of aircraft management. 

 

While much of this information is useful, I have come to realize slowly that most of it is not. By focusing only on the information that will help you fly aircraft properly, and ignoring information that is useless from a beginner's perspective (and from the perspective of many experienced pilots, I'm guessing), you will eventually be flying comfortably. 

 

So here's a draft of my "generalized aircraft operation guidelines". I have been unable to find anything like this in the forum, but I'm sure it has been written in one form or another in countless threads before. If there is a better thread, please provide a link and ignore this.

 

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Generalized Aircraft Operation Guidelines:

 

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*Note 1: A true IL2 BoX pilot will fly with a flight stick (with integrated throttle and rudder (e.g. Logitech Extreme 3D Pro), or with a separate throttle and rudder (e.g. Thrustmaster Warthog + rudder pedals)) and with TrackIR (or some make-shift variant).

 

*Note 2: A true IL2 BoX pilot will fly without any HUD. With no HUD, you must determine when to stop adjusting your controls by looking at the cockpit gauges (e.g. manifold pressure gauge for throttle adjustment, tachometer for RPM adjustment, etc.) or by looking at how far the control lever moves as you adjust it (e.g. fuel mixture, cowl, oil, and/or water radiator flaps). By choosing no HUD, percentage indicators that flash up on the screen whenever you move a control lever are removed. This is more realistic and immersive. 

 

*Note 3: Ideally, the information listed below would be available for each aircraft (e.g. the I-16 has cowl flaps and oil radiator flaps (no water radiator flaps), the IL-2 has oil radiator flaps and water radiator flaps (no cowl flaps), and the Bf-109 has no manual cowl, oil radiator, or water radiator flap control (all automatically adjusted with engine operation))

 

*Note 4: These generalized guidelines are to help beginning pilots take-off, fly for prolonged periods of time, and land comfortably. If these guidelines are followed, beginning pilots won't end up getting frustrated by blown engines, unstable prolonged flight, and botched landings, etc. To actually get good and truly understand the "feel" of each aircraft and to operate each aircraft optimally, flight time is obviously required. 

 

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Engine start-up:

-Push "E" by default to start engine (make sure throttle lever is pushed up a little from closed position, make sure cowl, oil, and/or water radiator flaps are closed)

*The engine is usually already started at the beginning of the mission anyway

 

Taxiing guidelines:

-Be easy on throttle

-To turn, use rudder, brakes, and tailwheel lock/unlock as necessary

 

Take-off guidelines:

 

-Take-off preparation:

--Get in proper position on runway

--Review map of flight path, target locations, etc. - zoom into area of map that you will need to navigate after take-off, so that you can just bring up map with the push of a button and navigate easily without moving map around in-flight

--Turn on landing lights (R Ctrl + L by default)

--Set wing flaps to take-off if necessary for your aircraft - *you have to do some searching on forums or Youtube, as this information is not provided by developers in their official aircraft characteristics tables (see for example Developer Diary entry #123 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-4?do=findComment&comment=336140)

--Open all air intake flaps necessary to cool your aircraft's engine (engine cowl flaps, oil radiator flaps, and/or water radiator flaps)

--Increase fuel mixture to 100%

--Increase RPM to 100% (if aircraft has a required manual RPM control, sometimes called "prop pitch")

 

-Take-off:

--Gradually increase throttle to 100%, pull back on flight stick when you reach take-off speed for your particular aircraft - you will usually feel that it is appropriate to begin to pull back on flight stick to take off - to be sure, see "Takeoff speed" entry in the official aircraft characteristics tables (see for example Developer Diary entry #123 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-4?do=findComment&comment=336140)

 

-Directly after take-off:

--Bring in landing gear (G by default)

--Decrease RPM to a "safe" level that will not result in your engine being blown after 1-10 minutes (RPM is adjusted with manual RPM/prop pitch control or with throttle, depending on aircraft)

*"safe" RPM level depends on aircraft, all you need to do is find the RPM listed in the "Nominal (unlimited time)" entry in the "Engine modes" section of official aircraft characteristics tables (see for example Developer Diary entry #123 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-4?do=findComment&comment=336140).Do not exceed that safe RPM level unless you really want to push your aircraft during combat or climbing for a short time.

--Decrease manifold pressure to a "safe" level that will not result in your engine being blown after 1-10 minutes (manifold pressure is adjusted with throttle - in some aircraft, manifold pressure is not a concern (only RPM))

*"safe" manifold pressure level depends on aircraft, all you need to do is find the manifold pressure listed in the "Nominal (unlimited time)" entry in the "Engine modes" section of official aircraft characteristics tables (see for example Developer Diary entry #123 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-4?do=findComment&comment=336140).Do not exceed that safe manifold pressure level unless you really want to push your aircraft during combat or climbing for a short time.

--Set wing flaps to cruising position (fully retracted) if they were adjusted for take-off (depends on aircraft)

--Turn off landing lights (R Ctrl + L by default)

 

Cruising (non-combat) operation guidelines:

-Decrease fuel mixture to somewhere between 10-90% - *the best way to set your fuel mixture is to adjust fuel mixture until there is a slight blue coloration in the flames coming out of the engine exhaust - this requires that you move your head to the right or left in the cockpit and focus in on the nose of the aircraft where the engine exhaust is. 

-Make sure that your RPM and manifold pressure (if applicable) are within safe limits as listed in the "Nominal (unlimited time)" entry in the "Engine modes" section of official aircraft characteristics tables (see for example Developer Diary entry #123 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-4?do=findComment&comment=336140).Do not exceed those safe RPM and manifold pressure levels unless you really want to push your aircraft during combat or climbing for a short time.

-"Trim" your aircraft's elevators and/or ailerons so that you can fly straight-ish without continuously moving flight stick (this is next to impossible for some aircraft, but the better trimmed the aircraft is, the less energy and time you will have to put into moving the flight stick around to remain stable and pointing in the direction you want to go)

-Adjust your cowl flaps, oil radiator flaps, and/or water radiator flaps so as to optimize the temperature of your engine/engine fluid - *this is particularly aircraft-specific - pay attention to engine, oil, and/or water temperature gauges and make sure critical temperature limits are not reached during operation - consult forums or Youtube videos if there are any out there concisely detailing this information for your particular aircraft (I am aware of none)

*Do not hesitate to turn on auto-pilot during flight once you are happy with your settings (L Shift + A by default)

 

Combat operation guidelines:

-Push aircraft to its limits for short periods of time, remembering to return to "safe" cruising settings when not engaged with enemy or when you have pushed hard for too long

 

Landing guidelines: 

-Determine your landing approach

-Slow the aircraft down to the speed at which it is safe to deploy landing gear - to slow aircraft down, decrease throttle and RPM and turn hard if that doesn't work (safe speed for landing gear deployment depends on aircraft, not listed in official aircraft characteristics tables)

-After landing gear is deployed, slow the aircraft down further to a speed at which it is safe to open wing flaps to landing position (safe speed for wing flap deployment depends on aircraft, not listed in official aircraft characteristics tables)

-Carefully land aircraft, being careful to touch down around the landing speed of the aircraft (as listed in the "Landing speed" entry in the official aircraft characteristics tables (see for example Developer Diary entry #123 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/168-developer-diary/page-4?do=findComment&comment=336140).

 

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Again, please provide a link if there is concise information like this out there. I am aware of Chuck's guide, but it is only for BoS planes and includes a great deal of information that is not useful for beginner's. I am aware of The Air Combat Tutorial Library on Youtube, but the author does not provide information on engine management during cruising and combat, only engine start-up, take-off, and landing procedures. Feel free to make changes to these guidelines if I'm missing something and if there isn't a better version of this out there. 

 

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Update:

 

After tracing oneeyeddog's recent posts, I have stumbled upon a thread in the forums providing this information for each aircraft: Myscion's BoX guide, first published on Aug.28, 2017 - https://forum.il2sturmovik.com/topic/30773-bom-cockpits-and-operation-quick-guide/?do=findComment&comment=502545

 

Thank you oneeyeddog, for inadvertently leading me to Myscion's BoX guide. 

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I don't think Myscion's guide is complete yet, but it's really awesome. I just printed it yesterday and am pumped to fly with it later.

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gunnery:

 

practice on easy AI in the quick mission thingy. practice until you can take a messer out with one quick burst. that means black smoke and / or bits coming off. black smoke means a crippled engine so you can leave him to to it as soon as you see that.

 

wait with taking your shot. get closer. even closer. a little more. now let rip. think shotgun, not sniper. it often pays to hold off firing until you get a clean shot at the engine, wing root or cockpit. putting holes in his tail wont do it.

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a great deal of information that is not useful for beginner's
 

 

Glad to see my work and Requiem's being reduced to "a great deal of useless information". Thanks for nothing. 

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Glad to see my work and Requiem's being reduced to "a great deal of useless information". Thanks for nothing. 

 

That's only one persons view regarding beginners. I have found all of your guides, for IL2 BOS, and DCS, to be invaluable. I used them all...even when I was a beginner, and refer to them often.

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Glad to see my work and Requiem's being reduced to "a great deal of useless information". Thanks for nothing. 

 

 

I think you are being a bit over-sensitive Chuck.  It is always a dilemma when teaching something whether to give a student just the necessities, in which case he is missing the theory and advanced techniques for when he has learned the basics,  or to give the student everything from the outset, in which case he may drown in information, decide the whole thing is too complicated and never even learn the basics despite them being easy.   

 

We all learn differently and I am one of those people that prefers to know enough to get started and try it out then go back and learn more.  I am constantly fighting the urge to explain things in more depth once I have answered the initial question but sometimes you have to :-)

 

ps I love your work.  Are you planning on a Kuban update?

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Glad to see my work and Requiem's being reduced to "a great deal of useless information". Thanks for nothing.

Love your tutorials Chuck and Reqs also and use them both often. I would really like see more tutorials for specific planes dealing with combat settings and CEM during the fight and WEP use. Specifically on Rad and Oil cooler opening/closing, manifold pressure combat adjustment, prop pitch/rpm combat adjustments. In the German planes it is pretty automated, but with most of the allied planes it is a bit mind boggling. I would love to see someone make an in cockpit video with realtime pilot commentary on the adjustments they are making, maybe with the HUD on so I can see the adjustment percentages as the pilot talks through the fight while doing the CEM. If there is something like this for Combat CEM, please link it here as I would be very interested.

 

S!Blade

Edited by BladeMeister

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Another big plus for Chuck's tutorials as well, that have been of tremendous value for me!

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*Note 3: Ideally, the information listed below would be available for each aircraft (e.g. the I-16 has cowl flaps and oil radiator flaps (no water radiator flaps), the IL-2 has oil radiator flaps and water radiator flaps (no cowl flaps),

 

Will hep with this if the player don't need bother if plane X has cowl flaps or water radiator and set keys for open cowl flaps and water radiators and think in "cool the engine", the operation and result will be the same for any aircraft.

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Glad to see my work and Requiem's being reduced to "a great deal of useless information". Thanks for nothing. 

 

 

Just one view buddy. Your guides helped train an entire generation of new recruits, you should be proud of your work regardless of what is said. They sure as hell helped me!

Edited by Y-29.Sulaco

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Glad to see my work and Requiem's being reduced to "a great deal of useless information". Thanks for nothing. 

 

I personally found the info you and Requiem  produced to be invaluable when making the transition from flying using the simple model to using CEM. I am pretty sure that my learning curve would have included a lot more frustration and grind without it. I would say that by providing a full and thorough explanation of each subject, you help folks to understand not only how, but also why.

 

I often rue the fact that so many folks these days have the attitude 'If I can't master this within 5 minutes of picking it up then it's too complicated or not worth doing'. That often seems to apply to reading/watching the learning resources for something as well.

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