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ShamrockOneFive

Mastering the art of the furball

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I flew a couple of short (and sometimes frustrating) sorties in the Pfalz during this Sundays great multiplayer event and it revealed that outside of the Sopwith Camel... I'm a terrible WWI fighter pilot. So I'm look for some help flying the Pfalz D.IIIa against Camels and SPADs.

 

I'm pretty understanding that this is not the best of the fighters available but I seem to have an issue with my tactics. First, I do what I'm used to doing which is approach with altitude advantage and attempt to use that to dominate the fight. Except... I find that I just can't dive fast enough to surprise the enemy or I do but on the zoom climb out I don't retain enough speed to get out of gun range.

 

I tend not to blame my tools as much as I can and rather regroup and learn some new tactics. Any suggestions out there? :)

 

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43 minutes ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

Any suggestions out there?

To be completely honest you're doing the right thing, starting with altitude and diving on your opponents. The Pfalz has a very sturdy wing structure so it preforms rather well in dives. My advice would be try to get a good burst in to weaken the camel or spad. If you face the spad keep yourself slower and try to get them to loose their energy since the spad is quite awful at turning at slow speeds. For the camel I'd say try to weaken it with the first pass and stay aggressive since the camel will out turn you in most scenarios. You're sturdier so try so harder maneuvers to get the camel to stall and spin, leaving you an opening. 

Good hunting.

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6 hours ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

I find that I just can't dive fast enough to surprise the enemy or I do but on the zoom climb out I don't retain enough speed to get out of gun range.

 

 

You're not alone. BnZ attacks are even difficult in a Spad now (compared to RoF). 

I believe a number of factors in FC contribute to this.

 

First, all planes seem to lose energy faster in FC. A boom and zoom runs out of puff very quickly, and extending takes longer.

 

Second, handling stability, especially at slower speeds is better(easier) now. This is helping the 'dodge and prop-hang' brigade.

 

Third, lower bullet dispersion makes guns accurate at longer ranges, so a feeble zoom, or a long extension keeps you in-range for a lot longer, definitely over 600m.

In one example I was being fired at accurately from such long range that I could wait for him to fire and maneuver to dodge before the bullets arrived!

 

All these factors combine to make BnZ and even Hit n Run a more dangerous proposition in FC.

 

 I don't know whether normal BnZ or hit n run  tactics will work with the Pfalz against Camel and Spad, but to fight from above you need to know how to stay there safely until an opening occurs. There are techniques for this.

When you do get a shot, as Old Crow suggests, it has to do critical damage. The Camel's engine/pilot/fuel tank is probably where to concentrate. Don't go shooting at Spads!

 

I'd also suggest watch the JG1 guys as they're getting dangerous in those Pfalzs. They're happy to circle below in pairs, close enough to protect each others 6. When you dive on one he'll break early so the firing window is real short. Meanwhile the other one is bringing his guns onto you. Nasty business really!

 

 

Edited by US103_Baer
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  • You need to have space to continue your steep dive, to get away from your opponent as fast as possible.
    Only when you have grown a good distance, you climb up to better altitude again.
    Don't climb too steep - you don't want to loose too much energy/speed.
    Mind you, you cannot expect to be able to make more than one dive attack on a Camel -
    a good pilot will know how to evade your attacks, once he knows you are there.
    What do you think, why they had so few victories?
    Twelve in one week (as in sims) is crazy; that didn't happen.
  • You cannot dominate a fight against a Camel - you can only have superior height. That is a difference.
    You can decide, whether you stay above him, or get away from him.
    That is something - it can mean "life" for you. Victories were not everything for them...
Edited by Wolfram-Harms
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3 hours ago, ShamrockOneFive said:

I flew a couple of short (and sometimes frustrating) sorties in the Pfalz during this Sundays great multiplayer event and it revealed that outside of the Sopwith Camel... I'm a terrible WWI fighter pilot. So I'm look for some help flying the Pfalz D.IIIa against Camels and SPADs.

 

I'm pretty understanding that this is not the best of the fighters available but I seem to have an issue with my tactics. First, I do what I'm used to doing which is approach with altitude advantage and attempt to use that to dominate the fight. Except... I find that I just can't dive fast enough to surprise the enemy or I do but on the zoom climb out I don't retain enough speed to get out of gun range.

 

I tend not to blame my tools as much as I can and rather regroup and learn some new tactics. Any suggestions out there? :)

 

 

if you are up for some practice, ill fly camel in Training server 72AG sometime, give you more stick time against a camel, always up for a dogfight me 🙂 just give me a shout, on FC chat in irregulars. personaly i hate zoom and boom but you are in trouble if the camel does not follow you down after first pass but keeps altitude and just circles without following you down, just waits for you to gain altitude. then camel has advantage. dont fly axis planes much , manly concentrating on camel atm, so my only advice i can give is, for what its worth, dont miss on first zoom, use rudders little bit to fly more iratic while maintaining air speed, and if you do get into fight with camel pull the fight down low and use your rudders more aggressively as Pfalz is strong and can do turns with rudders a camel can just not stay with. AT low level causes camel to break lock or try and follow you and if he spins out , you get a mobility kill.

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You can dive with the Pfalz at full throttle without breaking your wings or seizing the engine (as vertical dive as you can get). This is an advantage that most other planes don't get so far. And against an experienced Camel, the best you can do if you want to hang around and fight is to attack in pairs. Even if you are not on coms with everyone, wait for others to arrive to attack. 

Edited by SeaW0lf

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You absolutely must dive with engine revving, or you will not retain enough energy to get out of range of the inevitable snipe as you try to pull out.

 

Also ensure you are not going into zoom climb on the way out, but a 45-ish degree climb to increase separation vertical and horizontal.  Only if you are up against a complete noob Camel do you get a second chance, so after your first attack, job is to stay alive and try to reset.

 

The low dispersion and low-speed handling in FC is a killer for BnZ flying.

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D.IIIa isn't a dogfighter, or Camel killer. It's two-seater killer and top cover plane. Best approaches to camel fighting is teamwork, and working with Dr.Is from above.

 

Historically, most Jagdgeschwederen were equipped with Dr.Is alone - 40 Dreideckers working together - but MvR himself kept one Staffel of JG1, Jasta 10 IIRC, equipped with Pfalzes as dedicated top cover unit. They stayed above Dr.Is and DV.as and dived on targets of opportunity.

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I like the little Pfalz.

 

My impressions:

 

I find it a tough little aeroplane and will take a surprising amount of damage before coming down and, unless you are unfortunate enough to be badly wounded or to catch fire, can usually be brought down in a reasonably successful crash landing.

 

It is quite predictable as long as you keep the speed up and can be flown very accurately.

 

It is a predictable little aeroplane.

 

Real life roll rate is good. 

 

It stall turns nicely, rarely spins and is easy to recover. It can be flown sideways.

 

Use of the throttle often causes an EA to overshoot. Often, not always.

 

Flat, skid turns are possible at surprisingly low speed.

 

As long as you keep the air flowing over the wings, it keeps flying.

 

Climb rate in a combat situation is poor by comparison with the other three aeroplanes currently in game, I completely second Hrafnkolbrandr's observation that trying a steep climb after a diving attack will kill your airspeed very, very quickly indeed, which will, in turn, get you killed very, very quickly indeed.

 

The low level nature of furball engagements do not really suit the Pfalz.

 

A SPAD will out dive and outclimb you every single time, a Camel will out turn you.

 

Loss of energy will get you killed. 

 

The engine is sensitive to breakdown if you mismanage radiator, but is forgiving compared to the the Camel and Dr1 in terms of fragility.

 

The engine will break eventually. Going over 1600 rpm will break it, but that isn't likely to happen in combat manoeuvers. 

 

It is slower than anything else in a straight line, it seems,  and acceleration is sluggish. 

 

It is a stable gun platform although I find the gunsight seems set a little low.

 

I find it a delight to fly, more so than anything else in the current stable and I would think a PAIR of Pfalz working together would be quite formidable.

 

Added this in an edit:

 

You see out of the Pfalz in practically all directions.

 

I'm a little nerfed in the vision department, because I don't have VR or a TrackIR and am thus restricted by the hat switch's speed and un-natural motion, especially in the vertical plane, but the Pfalz is to my mind, the easiest aeroplane to see where you're going and what is behind you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by SP1969

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2 hours ago, J2_Trupobaw said:

D.IIIa isn't a dogfighter, or Camel killer. It's two-seater killer and top cover plane.

 

...and it was used with good success as a balloon killer.

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1 hour ago, Klugermann said:

The Pfalz over revs quite easily in ROF, is that not the case in FC.

 

Because the Pfalz we have here was, as it all indicates, rolled back to the pre-1.034 patch state we had in ROF last month. The current ROF Pfalz got a boost in speed after the 1.034 patch, hence why it got here with 178km/h or so. Now, after the 'bug fix', it was throttle down to 171km/h, which is the approximately the same speed if they have ported the pre model before the 1.034 patch.

 

So the ROF Pfalz over revs because it got a boost in rpm I believe. I'm not sure if the inicial Pfalz we had here, before the 'bug fix', could also dive full throttle. But I think not.

Edited by SeaW0lf

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2 hours ago, Klugermann said:

The Pfalz over revs quite easily in ROF, is that not the case in FC.

Seems to break if you exceed 1650 or so, but it takes a while for it to wind up to that, you have to be diving full open throttle for quite some way.

 

I've done it trying to catch a SPAD.

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1 minute ago, SP1969 said:

Seems to break if you exceed 1650 or so, but it takes a while for it to wind up to that, you have to be diving full open throttle for quite some way.

 

I've done it trying to catch a SPAD.

 

How long do you think it took to blow the engine ?

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Then it might have to do with the BOX game engine atmosphere that is halting things. If the planes are getting faster here, might be a 'thicker' atmosphere, with retards the over rev and gives more traction in level flight (although I no physicist).

 

I have dived a few times with the Pfalz in here from 3.000m, vertically until the deck, and I did not over rev.

Edited by SeaW0lf

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Yes, full throttle and I'd guess it took over thirty seconds to get there. I'd guess I was coming down from about 1,500 m.

 

When one compares it with breaking the Camel engine coming out of a loop - which has happened to me - quite robust.

 

 

Edited by SP1969

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I agree, and I find the behaviour of the rotaries in FC odd in this respect - constantly switching the engine on and off or blipping it in the shortest of dives doesn't feel quite right to me, but I don't have the technical expertise to explain it. 

 

They certainly break a lot faster than the RoF model - in my experience. It has put me off flying the Camel.

Edited by SP1969

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The Camel in ROF can dive full throttle because it was nerfed to the gills. She lost so much torque with the nerfing that she climbs like an Albatros D2 and a Halb D2 (the latter climbs faster after 1.000m, to the point that it arrives at 3.000m 40s faster than the Camel in my tests. So there is no problem to dive vertically, but she will lose her wings after a while if I'm not mistaken (I've been flying the Camel a lot in ROF).

 

IIRC, the Camel pre-nerfing in ROF also had an engine prone to seize in shallow dives, and here she got even more rpm than pre-nerfing in ROF.

 

From what I read in books, they often account to "dive almost vertically at full throttle". So I find this behavior (glass engines) a bit strange, but I'm no mechanic or technician of such engines. 
 

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I'm used to 'babying' engines in RoF - my 'honey' is the SE5a - but the rotaries in FC both seem to be on the delicate side.

 

I'm hoping the SE5a engine behaves in a more SPAD like fashion than the RoF model.

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Sorry if I'm part of the source of frustration. You put up a great fight against my Camel and when I finally got into a good position I ended up ramming you! Still kicking myself on that one 😂

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I did extensive testing of the Pfalz airframe, and she can withstand extreme g loads when diving.

 

In fact, she can't achieve structural failure speed in a zero lift dive, as she simply lacks enough elevator authority to maintain the nose down, and she will begin to gently pull out of the dive at around 275km/h.

 

If you then pull up sharply, she will quite happily take 8.5 g (confirmed by Requiem using Tacview).

 

L9penGq.gif

 

r2cnuHJ.gif

 

 

 

If you absolutely must destroy her (for science), then immediately enter a rolling dive to negate the lift vector as much as possible.

 

You will black out quite rapidly, yet somehow maintain roll authority, after which you can push her beyond her structural limit at around 295km/h.

 

hQxy1VJ.gif

 

C3e4Bhl.gif

 

 

 

The Camel by comparison accelerates faster in a dive, even with engine off and will continue to accelerate until structural failure. Since the Pfalz is a much heavier aircraft than the Camel, it must mean that the Camel has far less air resistance during a zero lift dive (a function of its windmilling propeller, angle of incidence of the wings, deflected control surfaces, rigging of the bracing wires etc.).

 

However, the Camel does disintegrate if you attempt a sharp pull out at speeds similar or lower than the Pfalz'.

 

QgJEp9f.gif

 

 

 

A few closing thoughts:

 

  • Having a g load limit close to that of a WWII fighter appears odd for the Pfalz. Then again, she matches the Rise of Flight model quite accurately and I already got her nerfed once.
     
  • Even though she was described as a good diver, she's in fact a very slow (but robust) diver. It's hard to say whether or not this is what was intended as "good".
     
  • Apart from the above, she excels at rolling scissors and sharp directional changes at low airspeed. Always use this to your advantage when facing Camels. 
Edited by Hellbender
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7 hours ago, GarandM1 said:

Sorry if I'm part of the source of frustration. You put up a great fight against my Camel and when I finally got into a good position I ended up ramming you! Still kicking myself on that one 😂

 

Only a tiny bit really. :) Of five deaths you were the fourth to ram me. I was in part finding myself exceptionally low on energy and then everyone seemed to be smacking into the back of me.

 

6 hours ago, Hellbender said:

I did extensive testing of the Pfalz airframe, and she can withstand extreme g loads when diving.

 

In fact, she can't achieve structural failure speed in a zero lift dive, as she simply lacks enough elevator authority to maintain the nose down, and she will begin to gently pull out of the dive at around 275km/h.

 

If you then pull up sharply, she will quite happily take 8.5 g (confirmed by Requiem using Tacview).

 

L9penGq.gif

 

r2cnuHJ.gif

 

 

 

If you absolutely must destroy her (for science), then immediately enter a rolling dive to negate the lift vector as much as possible.

 

You will black out quite rapidly, yet somehow maintain roll authority, after which you can push her beyond her structural limit at around 295km/h.

 

hQxy1VJ.gif

 

C3e4Bhl.gif

 

 

 

The Camel by comparison accelerates faster in a dive, even with engine off and will continue to accelerate until structural failure. Since the Pfalz is a much heavier aircraft than the Camel, it must mean that the Camel has far less air resistance during a zero lift dive (a function of its windmilling propeller, angle of incidence of the wings, deflected control surfaces, rigging of the bracing wires etc.).

 

However, the Camel does disintegrate if you attempt a sharp pull out at speeds similar or lower than the Pfalz'.

 

QgJEp9f.gif

 

 

 

A few closing thoughts:

 

  • Having a g load limit close to that of a WWII fighter appears odd for the Pfalz. Then again, she matches the Rise of Flight model quite accurately and I already got her nerfed once.
     
  • Even though she was described as a good diver, she's in fact a very slow (but robust) diver. It's hard to say whether or not this is what was intended as "good".
     
  • Apart from the above, she excels at rolling scissors and sharp directional changes at low airspeed. Always use this to your advantage when facing Camels. 

 

That is all very interesting to know. I knew the Pfalz was stronger than most but I was still being a bit gingerly protecting the engine and airframe and maybe I should have been a bit more rough with it to get me out of the situation.

 

Thanks all for weighing in. I need to keep working on my WWI technique as its clearly a different kettle of fish from the WWII that I'm used to.

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