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Multiplayer Aircraft Guide — Flying Circus Edition — by Bender & Trupo [UPDATED 12/09/2019]

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Posted (edited)

E9BTTUK.png

 

 

UPDATED 12/09/2019

  • Bristol F2B (F.II) + Bristol F2B (F.III) and Halberstadt CL.II + Halberstadt CL.II 200hp added to Gold and Silver, respectively
  • Various changes and corrections (see post)

 

 

About this guide

 

Spoiler

This guide serves as a continuation of the Newcomer's Multiplayer Plane Buying Guide for Rise of Flight, originally written in the "good old days", which is now lovingly maintained (and mercilessly edited into a 2.0 version) by @J2_Trupobaw on both the Rise of Flight forum and on Steam.

 

And now, we're back for Flying Circus.

 

As there is currently no real buying advice to give – other than: yes, you should buy Flying Circus Volume 1 – we are focusing on the capabilities of each individual aircraft currently released, the ✓ Good and the ⨯ Bad (and at times the † Ugly). In order to judge how a machine measures up against any rival it might encounter whilst flying online multiplayer, we have come up with a tiering system.

 

 

Why tiers?

 

Ranking WWI fighting aircraft against each other is complex, in no small part due to the leapfrogs in technology which happened during the war. Simulated versions of these aircraft flown in a multiplayer environment – which all come with their own features, quirks and unique piloting styles – even more so. A purely chronological or historical ranking would not make much sense.

 

  • To make a clear and easily understood distinction between tiers, they are named GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE.
     
  • Additionally, we have left room to include a superlative DIAMOND tier, as well as a BRASS tier (as in: you need brass balls to fly this).
     
  • For every tier, Entente planes are listed first, Central planes second – then single-seaters first, multi-seaters second.

 

While the scope is currently limited to the planes as of yet released for Flying Circus Volume 1, there is room to accomodate all of Rise of Flight's existing planes which may eventually be brought over, and more if 1C/777 chooses to develop them.


 

I disagree!


Fine, so do we.

 

We don't think a tiering system is perfect (this was my idea, Trupo was more or less against it), nor that every plane can be easily categorised. However, we have tried to reach a meaningful consensus and have added our own comments where applicable. 

 

The goal is to allow pilots – newcomers especially – to learn about a machine's capabilities at a glance, and find out whether possible shortcomings are due to their own lack of experience or due to the plane's design. A fighter plane is only ever as good as its pilot, obviously, but even the best pilot is limited by his (or her) machine.

 

Lastly, we invite all manner of respectful discussion and constructive criticism, but this is not the place to debate FMs or push agendas. Yes, we know that the Camel is fast (it says so right there). This guide is meant as an opinion piece, based purely on our own observations, and hopefully a helpful guide to someone. It will in time be updated when new planes are added or changed, and to reflect the dynamic nature of multiplayer.


 

S!

 

@J5_Hellbender & @J2_Trupobaw


 

P.S. Artwork shamelessly stolen from the Rise of Flight website.

 

P.P.S. You can use this guide or portions of it in any way you see fit, as long as you link bank to the source.

 

 

DIAMOND
" Outside Category "

 

Spoiler

Fokker D.VIIF

" F You "

 

kFMHVln.png

 

 Exceptional high altitude performance (altitude throttle + oxygen)
 Exceptionally easy to fly
 Exceptional climb

✓ Very fast
 Good maneuverability
 Parachute

 

⨯ Requires careful engine management (altitude throttle)


There is very little ugly about the Fokker D.VIIF's characteristics, and it completely eclipses the standard Fokker D.VII. It does require careful handling of the altitude throttle, especially at sea level, and much like the D.VII only has decent sustained turn and dive. None of this makes it a thoroughbred turnfighter or boom 'n zoomer at low to mid altitude. That said, at altitudes of 3000m and above (service ceiling 9000m – 30,000ft!!), where the pilot can still breathe thanks to the oxygen system, it walks all over the competition – provided it can find any up there. This is perhaps the easiest plane to pick up for the sheer joy of flying, and one which can help a beginning pilot get better without too much adversity. While not considered a real advantage by some, it's also comforting to know that one has the option to bail out and live to F another day.

 

 

GOLD

" The Champions "

 

Spoiler

S.E.5a

" WWI Spitfire "

 

mtzP0AP.png

 

 Exceptionally fast
 Good maneuverability
 Good armament
 Good visibility
 Good climb
 Easy to fly

 

 Prone to wingshedding when pulling out of dives
⨯ Poor sustained turn


The Royal Aircraft Factory Scout Experimental 5a is perhaps Britain's finest Great War scout. Built from the ground up as a high speed interceptor, it loves to fly fast – especially at sea level – shines in vertical engagements and is perhaps the best Entente teamplay platform available. Of course, it isn't without shortcomings. It has a good but unremarkable climb, doesn't turn very well and is easy to overspeed in a dive, which can lead to a busted engine at best, or a wingless lawndart at worst. Nevertheless, it is a forgiving machine that offers good visibility and many options to experienced and less experienced pilots alike. The fact that it looks like the love-child of an early racecar and a doghouse is a definite plus.

 

 

 

Sopwith Camel

" Camel Fag "

 

8WnfTUa.png

 

 Exceptional retention of energy
 Excellent sustained turn

 Excellent climb
 Good forward visibility
 Good maneuverability
 Fast

 

 Unstable and requires finesse on the controls to fly
⨯ Poor upward visibility in a dogfight (without mods)
⨯ Requires careful engine management
⨯ Prone to enter stalls and spins


The Sopwith Camel deserves its reputation as King of Dogfighters. Deadly in the right hands (and wrong hands), it can turn a good pilot into an ace (and a bad pilot into a corpse). The Camel is in equal parts turnfighter and energy fighter. It truly shines at sea level, right above the treetops, where its retention of energy is peerless and it is fast enough to run down almost all competition. It is, however, not invincible and a Camel driver needs finesse on the controls and careful handling of the throttle in a fight. In the end, there is hardly any excuse for losing a fight, beyond the pilot's own recklessness.

 

 

 

SPAD XIII

" SPAD "

 

z6wmFUV.png

 

✓ Exceptional dive
✓ Excellently fast
✓ Excellent climb

 Good durability
 Good armament (with mods)

 

⨯ Terrible forward visibility
 Poor maneuverability
Poor sustained turn


A deceptively compact plane which sports the interior of a pleasure boat, the SPAD XIII is about as modern and subtle as a half-brick in a sock. It is really not much more than a powerful 220hp Hispano-Suiza V8 with a plane attached to it. Balloon guns with incendiary ammo (and the papers to carry them) are optional. The SPAD is fast in all phases of flight. Very, very, very fast. It can dive away from virtually any danger, provided it has the altitude to do so. Visibility and maneuverability are both problematic, and as such it requires patience, discipline and careful energy management to score kills. However, and almost above all, this is a plane that gets you home.

 

 

 

Bristol F2B (F.II)
Bristol F2B (F.III)

" Bristroll "

 

jTdCFnF.png

 

✓ Excellent armament (with mods)
✓ Exceptional field of fire (gunner)
 Very fast (F.III) / Fast (F.II)
 Good maneuverability
 Stable gun platform
 Good visibility
 Good climb
 Easy to fly

 

 Prone to wingshedding when pulling out of dives
⨯ Requires a human gunner for optimal use of the turret


The Biff, Brisfit, or Bristol Fighter in full, is the Great Air War's first and foremost heavy fighter. Originally conceived as a recon two-seater to be deployed in large rigid formations, it failed spectacularly in that role, in spite of its all-round excellent flight characteristics (for a two-seater) and defensive armament. Before being labelled as inferior, crews instead opted to fly the machine rather like a scout and use the offensive capabilities of its forward firing machinegun(s) and Lewis gun(s). This proved more successful. Hence, the turret fighter was born. This has made a lot of people very upset – and still does so to this very day – as it fundamentally changes the rules of the dogfight and is often considered an "unfair" opponent by enemy scout pilots. The Lewis gun(s) turret in particular, mounted on a Scarff ring, provides the gunner with an exceptional field of fire and the ability to hit a target within range from almost any angle. In-game, a lack of g forces on crew means that some truly improbable shots can be attained whilst maneuvering heavily or even flying inverted. If the turret has no human gunner manning it, the AI is serviceable enough, although susceptible to stop firing during heavy maneuvers. It is also possible to pilot directly from the gunner seat with the joystick and operate the turret simultaneously using the mouse (third arm preferable), which disables the forward firing machinegun(s). In the end, it is the essential (death) platform for a pilot and gunner team to coordinate their efforts and game play the game together, which creates a unique experience not found in many other flightsims.

 

 

SILVER

" The Runners-up "

 

Spoiler

Sopwith Dolphin

" Flipper "

 

FrAv897.png

 

 Exceptional forward and upward visibility
✓ Very good armament (with mods)

✓ Very fast
 Good maneuverability
 Good sustained turn
 Stable gun platform
 Good climb

 

⨯ Prone to enter stalls and nearly unrecoverable spins
⨯ Prone to wingshedding when pulling out of dives

⨯ Prone to flip on hard landing

 

Ah, the lovely Sopwith Dolphin. Butt ugly or uniquely beautiful depending on who you ask, this is a true jack of all trades, master of none. Thanks to its amazing visibility and heavy armament, combined with good all-round handling, stability and speed, it shines as a team fighter. It does need to be handled with care when nearing stall speed, as a particularly nasty spin looms. There is a well-documented recovery procedure, but it is known only to those who refuse to fly it. Pulling wings off in a dive can happen, especially when one loses track of speed in a fight at higher altitudes, but this should be a rare occurence. As for the Flipper flipping on landing, it's largely apocryphal both in real life as in-game – either way your head should stay reasonably intact.

 

 

 

 

 

Fokker Dr.I

" Clown Wagon "

 

ciKvMgu.png

 

 Exceptional sustained turn
 Excellent energy retention
 Excellent maneuverability

 Good visibility
 Good climb
 Parachute

 

⨯ Unstable and requires forward stick to fly
⨯ Difficult landing and ground handling

 

† Very slow compared to original release in Rise of Flight

 

Still the consummate turnfighter, the Fokker Dr.I is light on the controls during a dogfight. It conserves its energy remarkably well in and out of fights. Far from perfect, it is unstable and it can take some time getting used to its level flying gait, which requires plentiful forward stick. Perhaps one of the most unique planes to fly, the Dr.I falls short from the top simply because it is far too slow to pose a real threat to Entente inline scouts, who can disengage at will. This is contrary to the original release of the machine in Rise of Flight (pre-1.034) which had decent enough top speed. Particular care is needed for all ground handling, especially to avoid a ground loop after landing. Should you find yourself overwhelmed by better performing machines, the parachute is a plus.

 

 

 

Fokker D.VII

" WWI X-Wing "

 

MD0tc6m.png

 

 Exceptionally easy to fly
 Good high altitude performance (oxygen)
 Good maneuverability
 Good climb
 Fast
 Parachute

 

⨯ Underpowered
⨯ Not an F


Bender: At sea level, the Fokker D.VII really struggles to maintain energy, especially against Camels. At altitude it has an oxygen system for the pilot, but lacks any real advantage against the far better engine compression of a rotary engine scout or the higher raw power of an Entente inline engine scout. That's not to say it's all bad, but the standard D.VII without engine overcompression is completely irrelevant compared to the F.

 

Trupo: Fokker D.VII is very capable, and marvel to fly. I fly planes by force feedback, trying to conserve energy by minimalising strain on the stick, as I imagine it's strain put on control surfaces as they force the plane into maneuver. In D.VII there is no strain. It does not produce the energy like Camel, but it does not lose it to drag either. She has very gentle stall behaviour, never makes my stick shake and can really hang on the prop. Seriously, you can put her vertically nose up and shoot, shoot, shoot at zenith for long seconds before she gently levels herself up. Like Pugachev's Cobra. For pilots that fight by conserving their energy (as I do, and all German pilots likely will) rather then beating opponent to death with energy surplus, she's master tool. Given her forgiving behaviour and complete controllability at low speeds she may be good against Camel in rolls and scissors. The real question German pilots will now ask themselves is: will D.VIIF be restricted by server runners, and if so, how will D.VA and vanilla D.VII compare? But by the look of things, vanilla D.VII is already the "X-Wing of WWI" – queen of all trades, ace of none, able to make decent pilots from inferior material.

 

 

 

Pfalz D.IIIa

" Pfalzcopter "

 

nu0QcYL.png

 

 Exceptional durability
 Excellent dive

 Good energy retention
 Good maneuverability
 Good sustained turn
 Stable gun platform
 Easy to fly
 Parachute


⨯ Underpowered
⨯ Difficult to enter but unrecoverable spin
⨯ Poor forward visibility
⨯ Slow

 

Underpowered and slow, the Pfalz D.IIIa is nonetheless a hard target as she was apparently built from the condensed remains of lesser planes. She is easy, almost lazy to fly around, mostly due to her lack of proper elevator authority. She is still quite capable in a turnfight or doing rolling scissors if she starts with an energy advantage and doesn't get dragged all the way down to the deck. On top of that, she can take a right proper beating and pull out of almost any dive (close to 9G wing tolerance – excellent even by WWII standards), where anything else would have long since shed wings or control surfaces, including the almighty SPAD. If you manage to ram someone with her: good for you, now jump! And if you manage to put her into a spin, which takes some real effort and an awful lot of prophanging: also jump!

 

 

 

Halberstadt CL.II
Halberstadt CL.II 200hp

" WWI IL-2 "

 

pC1DYjJ.png

 

✓ Excellent armament (with mods)
 Good maneuverability
 Good durability
 Easy to fly
 Parachute

 

⨯ Underpowered
⨯ Very slow / Slow (200hp)
⨯ Terrible climb / Poor climb (200hp)
⨯ Requires a human gunner for optimal use of the turret
⨯ Requires careful engine management (200hp)
⨯ Difficult to enter but unrecoverable spin
⨯ Prone to flip on hard landing

 

† Poor field of fire (gunner) compared to original release in Rise of Flight

 

Built by the previously joint British-German Deutsche Bristol Werke (renamed Halberstädter Flugzeugwerke in 1913), the Halberstadt CL.II is not, in fact, a German Bristol Fighter. Designed initially as a light attack / escort two-seater "CL"-type, it excelled in that role. Sure, it refuses to climb, can't keep up with similarly powered scouts or even with the other two-seaters it is meant to escort – not even when it is equipped with an overcompressed 200hp engine – but it does a good enough job at escorting other Halberstadts and wreaking all sorts of havoc on the ground. It is also easy to fly and maneuverable enough to fight off enemies without needing dedicated scout protection. That said, an unexplained restriction on the vertical angle of the gunner's machinegun means that it is unable to effectively defend itself. The solution, as always, is to deploy in large numbers. As an escort fighter it fits the Bronze category like no other, but since some trenches do need bombing from time to time – even in multiplayer – it just barely makes Silver as a ground attack plane. Since the plane is a cheap build and the lives of those on board are even cheaper (it was meant to be flown by inexperienced NCO crews), it's best to bring a human gunner along to improve your chances somewhat. A lack of g forces allows for some fleeting prophanging shots, if you and your gunner are into that sort of thing. And on the plus side, you both have parachutes. Use them.

 

 

BRONZE

" The Also-ran "

 

Spoiler

Albatros D.Va

" Old Workhorse "

 

m4355Qz.png

 

 Excellent maneuverability
 Very easy to fly

 Good sustained turn
 Parachute

 

⨯ Slow
⨯ Underpowered
⨯ Prone to wingshedding when pulling out of dives

⨯ Difficult to enter but unrecoverable spin


† Unreliable engine (overheat and seizure at normal temperature while climbing) compared to original release in Rise of Flight
 

Bender: The Alby. [Insert long pause.] On paper it's just not a good machine. In reality, the people who built it also recognised that it wasn't all that great (or even structurally sound, for that matter), and the unlucky ones who flew it protested against it. The Albatros D.Va is first and foremost a punisher. It punishes, capitally, those who make mistakes in its presence. It is perhaps the only 1918 Central inline scout that can throw off a Camel in a dogfight at sea level – even one whose pilot knows what he's doing – by virtue of its low speed maneuverability, even if it is prone to unexplained engine seizures. Not all that glitters is Gold and it fits the Bronze category. It's a plane that nurtures bad habits. It rewards recklessness and teaches that you can get away with almost anything as long as you don't run into someone who will patiently counter your spastic maneuvering. It's also slow and underpowered and cannot survive against a properly coordinated team effort. But is it ever a joy to fly! And does it look sexy or what? Nothing impresses those French field hospital nurses more than a smooth hardwood spinner and a freshly lacquered tail (green looks best, in my opinion). Definitely something to consider when you're hanging in your chute while watching your smoldering, wingless wreck plummet to the ground.

 

Trupo: The Flying Circus version of Albatros D.Va is an old, tired once faithful workhorse in need of retirement, going against younger, rested racing and war-horses. In mid-1918 enviroment which FC simulates, it's the oldest design still flying, equivalent of Hawker Hurricane or P-40 in Africa or on Eastern Front, and it shows. Back in 1917 (and in Rise of Flight where she was my first and beloved plane) she used to be jack of all trades like the Dolphin is - and a 200hp Mercedes D.IIIaü version could still easily bring some unique quality to FC enviroment. She also suffers from an unspecified engine bug, and may start shining more once the engine is fixed. At the moment, through, she's almost a Sopwith Dolphin, almost 180 hp Fokker D.VII, but underpowered. In fact, almost is the word that describes FC D.Va best. Perhaps she has qualities as teamwork plane, but things she can do a Fokker D.VII or Pfalz D.IIIa can probably do better.

 

 

BRASS

" The Rest "

 

Spoiler

This tier is currently empty. Honourable mention for the U-2VS (Po-2).

 

Edited by J5_Hellbender
Added Bristol(s) and Halberstadt(s), other changes and formatting
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Posted (edited)

Thanks gents!

 

If it can help out even one lost WWII flyer who strolls in here by accident and it gives them the itch (the good kind, not the kind you should get tested for), then it was a great success.

 

And thanks again Trupo for making me see the light on a great many things (maneuverability ≠ sustained turn).

 

By the way, I maintain that your “marvellous” Fokker D.VII needs to get F’ed. 😄

 

 

Edited by Hellbender
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Great resource....drinks on Mai's account for all!

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Thank You great Stuff. 

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7 hours ago, J5_Baeumer said:

Great resource....drinks on Mai's account for all!

Agree, ..and a special thank to Mai!

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Posted (edited)

Hi M8s,

I don't understand your comment about the Spad XIII >

"A deceptively compact plane which sports the interior of a pleasure boat, the SPAD XIII is about as modern and subtle as a half-brick in a sock. It is really not much more than a powerful 220hp Hispano-Suiza V8 with a plane attached to it."

On the contrary, its design gives it an excellent aerodynamic performance, its weight/power ratio is unparalleled. These are two very modern qualities at this time.

As for the subtility, it is rather the Camel which was missing since the pilot had to be in in her place lol

I'm always impressed by the ability of anglo-saxons to denigrate the french contribution to the 1918 victory. I recently saw a documentary produced by the BBC. It was distressing...


 
 
 
Edited by PatCartier
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, PatCartier said:

Hi M8s,

I don't understand your comment about the Spad XIII >

"A deceptively compact plane which sports the interior of a pleasure boat, the SPAD XIII is about as modern and subtle as a half-brick in a sock. It is really not much more than a powerful 220hp Hispano-Suiza V8 with a plane attached to it."

On the contrary, its design gives it an excellent aerodynamic performance, its weight/power ratio is unparalleled. These are two very modern qualities at this time.

As for the subtility, it is rather the Camel which was missing since the pilot had to be in in her place lol

I'm always impressed by the ability of anglo-saxons to denigrate the french contribution to the 1918 victory. I recently saw a documentary produced by the BBC. It was distressing...

 

Thanks for your comments and substantiated criticism, Pat.

 

I should say that as a Belgian (Trupo is a Pole), my only real patriotic bias lies with the Aviation Militaire Belge, even though their actual contributions to the air war were slim by comparison to the rest of the Entente — though technically speaking Belgium remained neutral throughout. Since they did operate both French and British scouts, it did place them in a rather unique position. To me it says enough that SPADs were used in dedicated SPAD squadrons (mostly SPAD VII and a few SPAD XIII by 1918), and that most other types (Nieuport 23, Sopwith Camel, Hanriot HD.1) were relegated to either escort duty or very experienced pilots.

 

 

As for the SPAD itself, I really do agree that the plane was ahead of its time back when it saw the light of day in 1916. With a straightforward, compact construction which was faster, could dive better and required little rigging compared to the Nieuport rotary scouts, it really managed to capitalise on the most powerful engine available at the time. As an evolution of the SPAD VII, the SPAD XIII with its additional synchronised machinegun and even more powerful Hispano-Suiza reached late war performance and firepower standards as early as mid-1917, never to be truly paralleled by any other nation, except maybe by the British S.E.5a under certain circumstances.

 

However, the "little SPAD" (as Rickenbacker used to call) is a brick — or at least flies like one. The reasons for that are pretty simple: it was made compact with straight wings precisely to minimise the length of struts and bracing wires required, reinforcing its construction and improving its dive performance. And while a solid design decision, it does lack any kind of modern features such as wing dihedral, or unequal wing design, which would have granted it better maneuverability.

 

 

Nowhere is its compactness and design difference with a Sopwith Camel more apparent than when viewed in the Brussels Air Museum, where the two are displayed next to each other:

 

3dob3Vv.jpg

 

 

 

For the record: these modern designs were French innovations, found first on Nieuports. The decision to gradually phase out Nieuports and similar types by the Armée de l'Air was sound, in my opinion, as it allowed them to focus their efforts on a single type. While the French may be underrepresented in Flying Circus by the number of different types available (I would have loved to have the Breguet 14), most Nieuport scouts had indeed been retired by late 1917. As such, the French secured air supremacy over the front by 1918 using only the SPAD — if not total air superiority where the Germans operated pockets of resistance.

 

As for which plane won the war, that is simple: the humble and often obsolete two-seater did, without which the ground forces were essentially blind. In that respect, the SPAD is a much better two-seater interceptor than "King Camel", which is really better suited at attacking other scouts, and became a light trench attacker by the end of the war.

 

In the end, I agree mostly with the Italians, who along with the Belgians and Americans, also received the SPAD XIII in limited numbers along with the Hanriot HD.1 (Nieuport 28 for the Americans), but preferred the Hanriot for its versatility.

 

 

In actual Flying Circus multiplayer, which is really the only purpose of this guide, the SPAD indeed suffers from its lack of versatility in dogfights. It's absolutely deadly in the right hands (I'm looking specifically at @US103_Larner and his squadron, who excel with it), but it is still a handful for a newcomer, who must overcome its forward visibility and must learn to preserve energy at all costs. It is, still, one of the best planes around, and frankly untouchable with judicious use of its dive.

 

Last weekend I had a bit of stick time in the Fokker D.VIIF and this confirmed my impressions. While I found the D.VIIF almost untouchable over 3000m and managed to score two victories over SPADs, both of them got safely back to their lines. In both cases it was a single engine hit which did them in. This, perhaps, says more about the scoring system and damage model than anything else, but again, all we can do is observe and report our findings.

Edited by J5_Bender
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Ahem, the 103rd in my squadron, Larner is our highly paid, eagle eyed, tea drinking adjutant!

 

We have some concerns about the FC SPAD at the moment. It seems to have really lost some of it's edge in the new flight engine. Energy retention is not as good and the Hun machines seem to be gaining ground on our old SPADs. If we could the the 235 HP Hispano...... ;)

 

We will have to wait and see how it turns out.

 

S! Hunter

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16 hours ago, US103_Hunter said:

Ahem, the 103rd in my squadron, Larner is our highly paid, eagle eyed, tea drinking adjutant!

 

We have some concerns about the FC SPAD at the moment. It seems to have really lost some of it's edge in the new flight engine. Energy retention is not as good and the Hun machines seem to be gaining ground on our old SPADs. If we could the the 235 HP Hispano...... ;)

 

We will have to wait and see how it turns out.

 

S! Hunter

 

Apologies, Hunter, I meant no disrespect. Still, your man Larner has left quite an impression with my squadron.

 

And when I say my squadron, I mean @J5_Baeumer's squadron, of which I am only a very recent recruit. 😁

 

 

Speaking of energy retention in the SPAD, I must say that I've not really thoroughly tested how it compares to RoF's SPAD — but this has more to do with how I fly the SPAD, which is basically hit and run, climb back up again, repeat. I did find it quite capable to stay well above a Pfalz or Dr.I and come down for slashing attacks, though it's also quite easy for them to prophang and score hits. Obviously a Camel is still better at the pure energy fighting game, in fact, that's how the Camel in my opinion should be used rather than as a turnfighter.

 

Where I think the real problem with the SPAD lies, is with bullet spread, or lack thereof. Even a disengaging SPAD will remain within firing distance long enough for the enemy to score a few hits, enough to eventually get his engine to seize. While the SPAD is a bit more stable than it was in RoF and equally benefits from reduced bullet spread, you still have to be damn precise to kill in one pass. Balloon guns do help. I've always hoped to see a XII "SPAD Canon" with 37mm cannon down the line, though they were exceedingly rare. An uprated Hispano-Suiza on the XIII would indeed make more sense.

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My own experiments with Spad were largely positive - she seems much more tolerant to scissoring and non-BnZ energy fighting. 

How is she in dive against D.VII  these days? 

I think in worst case scenario the Spad purists will find themselves in the same place where Albie pilots were in ROF before 2014 - more emphasis on teamwork, tactics and discipline. 



 

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5 hours ago, J5_Bender said:

 

Apologies, Hunter, I meant no disrespect. Still, your man Larner has left quite an impression with my squadron.

 

Ignore him, he's full of hot air! Back to peelin' Taters, Corporal Hunter....

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My wild guess is that with a higher fidelity flight model flying coordinated with the ball centered is going to be much more important in FC than RoF and plays a bigger factor in energy retention than before; though having the higher compression engine wouldn't hurt.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/29/2019 at 1:03 AM, Garven said:

My wild guess is that with a higher fidelity flight model flying coordinated with the ball centered is going to be much more important in FC than RoF and plays a bigger factor in energy retention than before; though having the higher compression engine wouldn't hurt.

 

Yes, think so too and it would.

 

Since FC i've been trying to fly the Spad much more coordinated using the bubble. Think it helps, but still feels marginal. Good thing is you can practice same thing in RoF.

That higher revving 235hp engine was probably common from July 1918 and the 300hp was available by October.

Edited by US103_Baer
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Posted (edited)

The Spad’s dive speed abilities and engine allow it to come in with more speed than some planes can survive, let alone attain in level flight, shoot and easily out-zoom the target, dive again and repeat several times before things even out.

 

The pitfall, much like as it was in RoF, is that while it has the ability to create a lot of vertical separation by WWI standards, the range at which dangerously accurate fire while hanging on the prop is possible is more akin to WWII standards than what we read of in the Great War.

 

We can debate back and forth whether or not being able to break hard with a WWI scout, then prop-hang and fire fairly accurately at a zooming plane 200-300 meters above is realistic, and I’m not sure what could be done about it anyway. But the fact of the matter is that it makes a bnz/energy fight geometry decidedly more difficult, dangerous, and less rewarding to apply than is generally the case with WWII bnz planes.

 

Consider the possibility that the intended *victim* of a Spad bnz attack might *also* have more fun in maneuvering for his neck, if the French brick had a little more leeway to prosecute an aggressive series of vertical resets, rather than pulling one dodge then  watching an attacker who feels his only prudent option is to dive on through recede in the distance,  possibly while pulling a cheesy “phone a friend” trick on our Hun in this scenario.

 

Much the same thinking applies to the prospects for a high Fokker DVII or Pfalz tackling a lower Camel, especially FC’s Camel, which I think of as having a Bentley under the bonnet.

Edited by Rattlesnake

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Posted (edited)

Meybe it's not about guns much accurate dispersion (Devs said they researched it when they worked on BOS ballistic - historical data ) but prop hanging is to much effective.

Spray and pray with shotgun like dispersion is dangerous too because chance of hit by one bullet is greater than with smaller, and one bullet was enough to do significant  damage (leaks or engine).

Edited by 307_Tomcat

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 307_Tomcat said:

Meybe it's not about guns much accurate dispersion (Devs said they researched it when they worked on BOS ballistic - historical data ) but prop hanging is to much effective.

Spray and pray with shotgun like dispersion is dangerous too because chance of hit by one bullet is greater than with smaller, and one bullet was enough to do significant  damage (leaks or engine).

When I first came to RoF from playing a lot of WWII games I was surprised that the slowest but best turning planes in a mission (typically the Camel and Dr.1) were frequently some combination of the most feared/numbers limited/popular. Typically in WWII games the highest performing plane available to each side will top the charts, rather than the best level turner. (Spitfire is kind of the exception that proves the rule here, being a great turner versus most of it's historical foes while *nearly* as fast, often just as fast or faster at high alt). Quickly became apparent why though. In most WWII sims MP play most of the time effective shooting is pretty much limited to historic effective ranges, mostly 300 meters,  500-600 tops. With the performance possible with the planes separation isn't too hard to generate if you mind your energy state. In one very simple example, imagine a Hellcat going flat out level speed or even better in a dive making a head-on pass against a Zero and then just continuing on. His speed is gonna get him out of the slower plane's effective shooting range quickly, really no matter how fast the Zeke turns.

OTOH, a Spad going hell-for-leather does a nose to nose pass on a Dr1. It was demonstrable in RoF and may also be true in the FC that the latter could often effectively damage the former long before it got out of range because the speed difference is much less than WWII planes but accurate pinging at 300 or even 400meters was/may still be far from impossible.

Again the realism and all the factors that went into historic writings about effective guns range in WWI is a very complex and debatable subject. But the effects on gameplay aren't really debatable. Fighter aircraft development gradually prioritized speed and power over turning ability in order to be able to generate separation both horizontal and in the vertical, but a sufficiently long-range weapon system possessed by the better turning bandit will render that separation-creating ability largely irrelevant. And again I don't really know what to do about it.

*There's a couple variations on the theme of using the vertical to get out of the bandit's reach and roll back in on him for another shot. One is simply having more horsepower and using climbing turns and similar maneuvers against bandits with less engine. In WWII sims this is a 109 specialty. This sort of thing worked and presumably will still work tolerably well with the Spad against Albs and the like planes with  inferior horsepower, since you could get them so slow they couldn't raise their nose at all and then hoist yourself above them for the pass.

The other variation is using a lot of built up dive-speed to outzoom something you may not have any horsepower advantage over at all. In WWII sims this is a Mustang/Jug/Corsair/190 specialty. Woe betide any bandit who breaks against your initial screaming pass and then tries to just follow you up, he's just gonna stall out beneath you and be a dead duck 9 times out of 10. With the Spad vs. Central whatever this doesn't seem to work near as well. It can build up a whole lotta dive speed for a WWI plane alright, but I've seen times when I'd dive on a lower Fokker to the point the plane is shaking with speed, they'd break and I'd head for the angels at full throttle, yet they would still be able to get the nose up and fire with dangerous accuracy for a disturbingly long time before stalling. Sometimes even Albs could be fairly dangerous doing this.

Edited by Rattlesnake
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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, Rattlesnake said:

When I first came to RoF from playing a lot of WWII games I was surprised that the slowest but best turning planes in a mission (typically the Camel and Dr.1) were frequently some combination of the most feared/numbers limited/popular. Typically in WWII games the highest performing plane available to each side will top the charts, rather than the best level turner. (Spitfire is kind of the exception that proves the rule here, being a great turner versus most of it's historical foes while *nearly* as fast, often just as fast or faster at high alt). Quickly became apparent why though. In most WWII sims MP play most of the time effective shooting is pretty much limited to historic effective ranges, mostly 300 meters,  500-600 tops. With the performance possible with the planes separation isn't too hard to generate if you mind your energy state. In one very simple example, imagine a Hellcat going flat out level speed or even better in a dive making a head-on pass against a Zero and then just continuing on. His speed is gonna get him out of the slower plane's effective shooting range quickly, really no matter how fast the Zeke turns.

OTOH, a Spad going hell-for-leather does a nose to nose pass on a Dr1. It was demonstrable in RoF and may also be true in the FC that the latter could often effectively damage the former long before it got out of range because the speed difference is much less than WWII planes but accurate pinging at 300 or even 400meters was/may still be far from impossible.

Again the realism and all the factors that went into historic writings about effective guns range in WWI is a very complex and debatable subject. But the effects on gameplay aren't really debatable. Fighter aircraft development gradually prioritized speed and power over turning ability in order to be able to generate separation both horizontal and in the vertical, but a sufficiently long-range weapon system possessed by the better turning bandit will render that separation-creating ability largely irrelevant. And again I don't really know what to do about it.

*There's a couple variations on the theme of using the vertical to get out of the bandit's reach and roll back in on him for another shot. One is simply having more horsepower and using climbing turns and similar maneuvers against bandits with less engine. In WWII sims this is a 109 specialty. This sort of thing worked and presumably will still work tolerably well with the Spad against Albs and the like planes with  inferior horsepower, since you could get them so slow they couldn't raise their nose at all and then hoist yourself above them for the pass.

The other variation is using a lot of built up dive-speed to outzoom something you may not have any horsepower advantage over at all. In WWII sims this is a Mustang/Jug/Corsair/190 specialty. Woe betide any bandit who breaks against your initial screaming pass and then tries to just follow you up, he's just gonna stall out beneath you and be a dead duck 9 times out of 10. With the Spad vs. Central whatever this doesn't seem to work near as well. It can build up a whole lotta dive speed for a WWI plane alright, but I've seen times when I'd dive on a lower Fokker to the point the plane is shaking with speed, they'd break and I'd head for the angels at full throttle, yet they would still be able to get the nose up and fire with dangerous accuracy for a disturbingly long time before stalling. Sometimes even Albs could be fairly dangerous doing this.

 

Camel and Dr.1 after December 2014 patch were not  that dangerous to pure b@z aeroplanes but in FC they gonna be back to before December patch , Camel is Dr.1 will be , so they will be very dangerous to extending attacker without enough separation because of speed/climb and turn .

I don't won't to loose accurate aiming and one pass kill just because of that and actually B@Z aeroplanes can actually benefit from it .

Edited by 307_Tomcat
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I spent a bit of time with both the SPAD and Dolphin over the weekend in multiplayer. I am truly hopeless with the SPAD as soon as I attempt anything beyond pure diving hit and run attacks. It really is an engine with wings and balloon guns attached to it. Respect for those who make this their main ride and enjoy it, I can’t stand the bloody thing.

 

The Dolphin remains one of my favourite rides. She’s maneuverable enough against a D.VII and plenty fast, though really not enough to outfight or outrun trouble. I find that engaging a Pfalz is generally a very dangerous affair. It can easily build up energy while the Dolphin is busy spending all its energy to maintain separation. Lose your altitude and/or patience and you will soon after lose your head.

 

I’m hoping the SE5a will end up somewhere in between the SPAD and Dolphin as the best all-round inline scout. The Albatros is almost certain to become a slightly faster and even more maneuverable (but more fragile) Pfalz. If it can send the Camel packing at sea level with sharp rolling scissors and other aerobatic tricks, we might have a semblance of “fair combat”. If nothing else, it will keep the Camel on its (camel)toes. 😁

 

The poor Dolphin will no doubt suffer for it. That’s okay Flipper, I still love you — at least till we get your bigger meaner brother Biff, then you’re dead to me.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, J5_Hellbender said:

I spent a bit of time with both the SPAD and Dolphin over the weekend in multiplayer. I am truly hopeless with the SPAD as soon as I attempt anything beyond pure diving hit and run attacks. It really is an engine with wings and balloon guns attached to it. Respect for those who make this their main ride and enjoy it, I can’t stand the bloody thing.

 

The Dolphin remains one of my favourite rides. She’s maneuverable enough against a D.VII and plenty fast, though really not enough to outfight or outrun trouble. I find that engaging a Pfalz is generally a very dangerous affair. It can easily build up energy while the Dolphin is busy spending all its energy to maintain separation. Lose your altitude and/or patience and you will soon after lose your head.

 

I’m hoping the SE5a will end up somewhere in between the SPAD and Dolphin as the best all-round inline scout. The Albatros is almost certain to become a slightly faster and even more maneuverable (but more fragile) Pfalz. If it can send the Camel packing at sea level with sharp rolling scissors and other aerobatic tricks, we might have a semblance of “fair combat”. If nothing else, it will keep the Camel on its (camel)toes. 😁

 

The poor Dolphin will no doubt suffer for it. That’s okay Flipper, I still love you — at least till we get your bigger meaner brother Biff, then you’re dead to me.

What kind of joystick do you have? I’ve got a Sidewinder and I  found the key to accuracy in the Spad is reducing the feedback force from the 100% I use in WWII planes to 30%. That way Im not having to main-strength to keep the nose down in a high speed dive and it bounces less.

 

The Albatross with an alt advantage would be quite dangerous to Camel but for the bedamned prop-hanging long range sniping on every zoom. This will no doubt cause the peanut gallery to wail and gnash their teeth but it is demonstrable that the  non super-turners would be a lot more playable and the whole thing would go a lot more like actual WWII air combat if there were a simple cut off of guns effectiveness beyond 200 meters. As a stopgap until all the factors that made firing at ranges beyond that generally a non-starter in WWI can be successfully modeled.

Edited by Rattlesnake

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It is a fine balance to separate these aircraft. I exchanged a few e-mails with Alex Revell and he told me that 'bullet dispersion' is bullocks to him. And reading High in The Empty Blue there is the passage when McCudden takes Irwin's SE5a for a flight and comes back with no kills after shooting some two-seaters. He took it to the firing range and the guns were hopelessly misaligned (I think Irwin lost a rank for that IIRC). From what people say, they could be very precise with the guns in stable platforms like the SE5a.

 

What might give us the idea that we need 'bullet dispersion' is that in-game we fly planes on a rail, literally, while in real life there was micro turbulences, wind, turbulence and the jitters of combat maneuvers. So he told me that not only for that, it would be impossible to dogfight with the Lewis gun at a 45º degrees angle.

 

Regarding the current speed of the Camel and Dr1 in ROF (post-nerfing), I don’t consider it realistic either. If takes you forever to catch a Page or a Gotha (at first I found it to be so odd). Then I consider the nerfings to be very detrimental to the game (look what happened to the Pfalz – now we have two nerfed planes on the German side in FC it seems). The Camel got too fast in FC because it was too fast in ROF, but the nerfed Camel is a shame when we consider a good amount of fuel and full ammo. On this regard I found HITEB also interesting, in the fact that I saw several accounts of them seeing squadrons of Fokker Dr.1s (sounded like a relevant plane in the area for that time frame), and I don’t think they liked them either. They seldom engaged it. The impression is that they avoided it unless they had to engage. It might be the reminiscence of Voss’ fight, but they warned novices about not engaging Dr1s at the same level.

 

So I imagine it is a fine balance in between reality and simulation.

Edited by SeaW0lf
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As I understand it (may have it wrong) the Camel was made slower by reducing engine power, which of course lowered the top speed but necessarily also hurt climb and sustained turn, important when dueling with its DR1 nemesis. I don’t know precisely what the FM entails but if too speed could be lowered by increasing parasitic drag in level flight instead of lowering engine power that would accomplish the same thing while leaving climb and sustained turn largely intact. 

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The S.E.5a and Albatros D.Va have been added — to Gold and Silver, respectively.

 

After careful consideration, I've also decided to move the Fokker D.VIIF up to Diamond. Not that the S.E.5a is such a letdown, but in view of what's still coming (the two-seaters, one in particular), the F has total supremacy over 6000m where nothing else can even climb up to it. That in itself nets it a spot higher than the competition, and obviously allows room to categorise a higher compression variant of the SPAD XIII. *wink wink, nudge nudge*

 

Other than that, I've adjusted the scale to the revised speeds and sought to mostly standardise the [Good — Very good — Excellent — Exceptional] scale, though I'll admit that "Excellently fast" sounds dumb. I wasn't expecting to have to put the SPAD and S.E.5a in different speed categories.

 

For the record, in terms of speed at sea level the scale used is:

 

-165km/h: Very slow

166-175km/h: Slow

176-185km/h: (nothing)
186-195km/h: Fast
196-205km/h: Very fast
206-215km/h: Excellently fast
216km/h+: Exceptionally fast

 

This way we have the Dr.I on the lower end (165km/h) and the S.E.5a on the high end (223km/h) and many planes who fall almost exactly on a round number (Albatros, Camel, D.VII, Dolphin) end up being in the middle of a category rather than on the fringes.

 

The negative scale is a bit harder to work with. I'm not going to say a plane is "Excellently slow", that's something to work out down the line. When it comes to things that are simply bad, especially in terms of visibility, it's more of a binary variable and we can use "Poor". Except for the SPAD's visibility, which remains "Poor" without the final r. I've also corrected a few things that were just plain wrong, most notably the Fokker D.VIIF's climb, which was previously only categorised as Good, but is in fact Exceptional — it's the best climber in the game.

 

As always your constructive comments and criticism are welcome!

 

 

P.S. For this update I've yet to receive feedback from Trupo, who currently has a few things going on in his personal life and can't really dedicate much time to multiplayer. Hopefully that all clears up soon and we'll get to fly together again, sir!

Edited by J5_Hellbender

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17 hours ago, J5_Hellbender said:

I wasn't expecting to have to put the SPAD and S.E.5a in different speed categories.

Exactly.

 

Anyway, in mock fights against Spads, we found the DVII(non-f) to be a step above the Alb, having good climbing scissors and prop-hang ability. But that's a Spad pilot's view. 

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21 minutes ago, US103_Baer said:

Exactly.

 

Anyway, in mock fights against Spads, we found the DVII(non-f) to be a step above the Alb, having good climbing scissors and prop-hang ability. But that's a Spad pilot's view. 

 

From my limited time in FC thus far, I agree - the DVII feels more competent than the RoF one, and it feels more plausible that it and the 'f' are variants of the same plane.. unlike in RoF.

About 15 mins in the Alby so far, and it seems a bit 'stiffer' than it's older brother.

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On 6/21/2019 at 2:13 AM, Zooropa_Fly said:

 

About 15 mins in the Alby so far, and it seems a bit 'stiffer' than it's older brother.

 Almost downright arthritic.😉

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Posted (edited)

Trupo's comments have been added for the Albatros D.Va!

 

I've also slightly reworded my own comments and we've decided to move her down to Bronze, which would place her on the same level as a (hypothetical) Albatros D.III and Albatros D.II. In many ways, she now matches the historical description of an Albatros D.V -- which is (more or less) an Albatros D.Va without the 200hp engine -- in that it wasn't an actual improvement over previous Albatrosses. Albatri?

 

We've also changed Exceptional maneuverability to Excellent (leaving room for the truly exceptionally maneuverable Albatros D.II), mentioned the engine overheat/seizure issue, and we've added Good energy retention back to the Pfalz D.IIIa. Not because the Pfalz is that much better at retaining energy, but it's easier to do so with the much sturdier airframe.

 

I do maintain that the Alby is a very easy machine to fly and one which you can score kills with, provided you have some energy, but it comes at a tremendous cost of airframe and engine reliability.

 

 

Edited by J5_Hellbender

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Posted (edited)

Albatrosen. I've been doing alright in it but having to throttle back for overheats in the middle of a scrap is beat.

Edited by Klugermann
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Bristol(s) and Halberstadt(s) have been added to Gold and Silver respectively, which completes the Volume 1 planeset!

 

While both machines have two engines available, their true strength lies in their armament, which is the same between engine variants. The most notable difference with Rise of Flight from a multiplayer perspective is not directly related to two-seaters themselves, but rather to damage modeling: more specifically how aircraft wings are now far more resistant to machinegun fire. The Bristol is still very much the heavy fighter it was in Rise of Flight, although it has more staying power in a dogfight and doesn't immediately shed its wings at the first sign of damage. Likewise, it takes more precision on the part of the gunner to score kills. The Halberstadt, by comparison, is a significant departure from Rise of Flight, and is now more of an expendable ground attack machine with limited defensive capabilities, not the slow but tough "German Bristol" (and Bristol-killer) it once was. Whether this was an intentional change or not could probably be clarified by the developers. Remains to be seen how the future implementation of g forces will further affect two-seaters and gunners.

 

Some minor changes:

  • Fokker D.VIIF. added (oxygen) to "Exceptional high altitude performance" to denote the breathing system
  • Fokker D.VII: added "Good climb" (it climbs better than the Fokker Dr.I) and "Good high altitude performance (oxygen)"
  • Fokker Dr.I: we've highlit that its "Very slow" speed is not expected compared to pre-1.034 Rise of Flight (thanks, @SeaW0lf)
  • Corrected some minor formatting and image issues 
     
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First my disclaimer. Everyone has their own preferences opinions etc. Some may exvel in a plane others suck at etc.

The Dr I. My god I almost wept. A real joy to fly in RoF its janky and slow in this. Do not recommend.

What I totally disagree with is your assessment of the Dolphin. The Dolphin is love! Great visibility. Good speed ajd handling.  Regular armament is fine but the 2 underwing lewis' make it a beast! You can add 2 more overwing too but I prefer not.

Opinions like assholes everyone has em and they all can stink. That said I think this guide was a little too harsh on the Dolphin as besides the DVII F and regular thats by far the most effective plane for me.

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18 hours ago, Sublime said:

First my disclaimer. Everyone has their own preferences opinions etc. Some may exvel in a plane others suck at etc.

The Dr I. My god I almost wept. A real joy to fly in RoF its janky and slow in this. Do not recommend.

What I totally disagree with is your assessment of the Dolphin. The Dolphin is love! Great visibility. Good speed ajd handling.  Regular armament is fine but the 2 underwing lewis' make it a beast! You can add 2 more overwing too but I prefer not.

Opinions like assholes everyone has em and they all can stink. That said I think this guide was a little too harsh on the Dolphin as besides the DVII F and regular thats by far the most effective plane for me.

 

I love the Sopwith Dolphin, it's probably my favourite Entente scout – in no small part because it's the plane our squadron used before its dissolution. It's far more versatile than the S.E.5a and a better team platform than the Camel, thanks to its visibility. If you look at the planeset we have right now, I consider the Dolphin at least on-par with everything on the Central side, except for the Fokker D.VIIF. Then again nothing climbs like an F... and keeps climbing to 9000m. I dearly miss the Fokker D.VIII (E.V), which was probably the closest match for the Dolphin, almost a 1:1 in terms of speed, turn, climb and maneuverability, even if they couldn't look any more different.

 

Herein lies the problem, really. The Dolphin is great at everything, but shines nowhere. You can use that amazing visibility, good handling and heavy armament aggressively and be successful with it, but the moment you're defensive against an F, my money is on the other guy. He has everything on you except for dive and sustained turn, but it's close enough not to matter. That is, as always, provided you are both of a reasonable skill level, which I would venture to say you are. That same encounter in an S.E.5a or Camel (or SPAD XIII if you're flying French/American, I don't judge) is going to leave you with far more options. The Camel can force a turnfight if your opponent isn't disciplined enough, and the S.E.5a can run away way, way faster (the SPAD, too, but more bravely). If you're including two-seaters, the Bristol has comparable performance to the Dolphin, similar weapon options and a turret in the back. We're still trying to figure that one out for ourselves because gunnery is very different from RoF, but it's still comforting to know at least that you can keep firing backwards during your retreat.

 

Now that you mention the Fokker Dr.I, it's currently a close match for the Dolphin, simply because it is so very slow and leaves the Dolphin with the option to retreat or not engage at all until you have a decent energy advantage. I would still like to see the Dr.I restored to its former glory and become the supreme angles fighter it once was and a true match for the Camel, even if it means that the Dolphin is left with an even smaller margin of error.

 

All I can recommend is: for the love of Sir Thomas Sopwith, keep flying the Dolphin! Keep doing what you're doing and fighting what I often consider to be a disadvantage. There's no other way to "win" at this game than to find a plane you love and put the hours in to get better at it and beat the odds.

 

In closing, here's an old stream excerpt from the early days of Twitch featuring our squadron engaged with Fokker D.VIIFs. The years have not been kind to the framerate and I sadly lost the original, but you should get the idea. If voice comms and being helped by insanely skilled pilots (including Requiem and Captain Darling) came standard, she'd top any list.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Cynic_Al said:

 

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but in this case I have to admit: good catch! I was afraid you were going to dig through my entire RoF post history to quote that the Hanriot HD.1 is in fact my favourite. Nevermind, I did it for you (06 December 2009):

 

https://riseofflight.com/forum/topic/5090-nieuport-28-turn-rate-and-realism-vs-plane-balance/?p=51276

 

 

P.S. Can we have an Hanriot HD.1 collector plane? Pretty please, with Belgian waffle syrup on top?

 

Edited by J5_Hellbender
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