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Spitfire Ground Handling?

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Anyone else having issues with the Spitfires spinning a bit too easily? It really feels like it has two separate issues:

 

1. It feels like it takes an excessive amount of throttle to get it rolling... this one seems to be a lot of planes.. way more throttle than I’d ever expect to get them rolling.

 

2. Runaway tail wheel seems to happen a lot faster than expected and at really low speeds. In some cases I’m barely even moving forward and it’ll spin around.

 

I mean I’ve never flown a tail dragger IRL but even just watching the videos of people online.. the MkV and IX just seem off. Anyone else having similar issues? Just finished the 4th mission of Achtung Spitfire, even the AI can’t land them cleanly..

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"She's a princess in the sky but a bitch on the ground"

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Ground looping in this Sim has been an issue from day one.  Be careful complaining about it, lest you incur the rath of the "harder is more real" crowd, who will ignore what real pilots say about it.

 

That said, the Spitfire and 109 should be more difficult than most other aircraft in the Sim, but this is still an overdone "feature", that sadly won't be changed because simmers in their desk chair aeroplanes know better than real pilots do.

Edited by BlitzPig_EL
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6 minutes ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

Ground looping in this Sim has been an issue from day one.  Be careful complaining about it, lest you incur the rath of the "harder is more real" crowd, who will ignore what real pilots say about it.

 

That said, the Spitfire and 109 should be more difficult than most other aircraft in the Sim, but this is still an overdone "feature", that sadly won't be changed because simmers in their desk chair aeroplanes know better than real pilots do.

 

Not challenging your main complaint but just curious. A plane that is infamously bad at ground handling can be mastered in this sim with less than twenty minutes of practice. How is that over done?

 

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I certainly don't belong to the crowd mentioned above... we have had real pilots with shed loads of real time experience flying tail draggers, and it's been stated many times that the taxying needs attention.

And yes, you can soon find a way to 'game the game' to be able to taxi all the planes available, but that doesn't mean it's correct.

Having said that, I fully understand we are playing a flight sim game, and it may never be possible to make taxying like real life aircraft... I can live with that.   :)

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15 minutes ago, Trooper117 said:

I certainly don't belong to the crowd mentioned above... we have had real pilots with shed loads of real time experience flying tail draggers, and it's been stated many times that the taxying needs attention.

And yes, you can soon find a way to 'game the game' to be able to taxi all the planes available, but that doesn't mean it's correct.

Having said that, I fully understand we are playing a flight sim game, and it may never be possible to make taxying like real life aircraft... I can live with that.   :)


If I had to describe it better.. It’s like taxiing on Velcro or something... you’re stuck or you’re rolling too fast.. 

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Please remember that wind direction needs to be taken into account. If the mission has wind and/or turbulence included, that will factor in. Make Spitifre quick missions with crosswind component and try a few circuits.  Make one with calm air and I think you will notice a difference in degree of difficulty. If there is a wind sock at the field it is best to pay attention to it. Don't try to land downwind. The landing gear is placed such that once a crosswind unloads a main wheel you cannot recover no matter how much you "dance" on the rudder pedals.

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The best way to deal with the spitfires on the ground, as they are in game right now, in my experience is as follows: Set your RPMs to full, give it full break and push the throttle forward until the plane starts to move then leave the throttle there for the duration of the taxi. While holding the breaks you can transfer break force from wheel to wheel with the rudder. Go slow and you will get there. Try to go fast you will probably break something and have to start over again; slower is faster. This works for the Tempest too in my experience. I don't know if this is a true to life method, and I rather expect that it isn't, but it works and at the end of the day that is what counts here.

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On 2/19/2020 at 1:11 PM, R3animate said:

1. It feels like it takes an excessive amount of throttle to get it rolling... this one seems to be a lot of planes.. way more throttle than I’d ever expect to get them rolling.

 

Make sure that your RPM is set to full (prop lever all the way forward).

 

On 2/19/2020 at 1:11 PM, R3animate said:

2. Runaway tail wheel seems to happen a lot faster than expected and at really low speeds. In some cases I’m barely even moving forward and it’ll spin around.

 

Tips:

  • When you start a turn, start to stop it. For example, if you start a left turn, start to apply some right brakes before you reach the direction you want to go.
  • Don't make tight turns at higher speeds. If you need to turn while taxiing quickly, just apply a very small amount of left or right brake and quickly release the brakes again and then apply some opposite brakes to stop the turn.
  • Start off with just small amounts of throttle and brake and get used to how the plane responds while taxiing.

 

 

 

Note:

  • For some reason, I do not get audio when I play the video in the post. I have to open the video in YouTube to hear it.
  • The weaving is deliberate, to see that the way ahead is clear.
  • I'm being very gentle on the throttle, using only about 10% or so most times.

 

 

 

Edited by JimTM
Added "Spitfire Taxi and Takeoff" video
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The Spitfire has very narrow landing gear and no toebrakes, so when it leans its weight more onto one side (and thus that wheel digs in a bit) it's a lot harder to bring it back under control. Spend some time practicing in it and you'll eventually learn to pre-emptively correct problems before they become problems

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15 minutes ago, =621=Samikatz said:

The Spitfire has very narrow landing gear and no toebrakes, so when it leans its weight more onto one side (and thus that wheel digs in a bit) it's a lot harder to bring it back under control. Spend some time practicing in it and you'll eventually learn to pre-emptively correct problems before they become problems

 

It doesn't have toe brakes but it does have differential braking linked to rudder position. so you can tease her back into straight using that.

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Also Tapping  the brake button helps with the rudder position already applied

don't hold it down it will make matters worse

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12 minutes ago, pfrances said:

 

It doesn't have toe brakes but it does have differential braking linked to rudder position. so you can tease her back into straight using that.

 

Not as elegant or easy to use. If a toe-brake equipped plane starts to turn you can gently ease in the brake on one side. If the Spit starts to turn you have to use the rudder and brakes at the same time and it's just a wee bit more fiddly

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The brakes are just plain ineffective for all planes. What's happening is that the engines are becoming more powerful and brakes are not. I don't have real life pilot experience but I find it hard to believe the brakes were actually that weak.

 

I had to update a few of my missions because the AI cannot handle high power planes like the Tempest or the Dora so they cannot taxi in a straight line and veer off (sometimes hitting other objects).

 

I have been suggesting the brakes revision for a while, I do hope they become a bit stronger.

 

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1 hour ago, pfrances said:

[...]

can be mastered in this sim with less than twenty minutes of practice

[...]

If you can 'master' a plane with 20 minutes of practice, man I envy you.

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1 minute ago, ME-BFMasserME262 said:

If you can 'master' a plane with 20 minutes of practice, man I envy you.

 

LOL, well I was speaking specifically about ground handling/taxiing but I'll accept envy any day of the week 😛

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48 minutes ago, Jade_Monkey said:

The brakes are just plain ineffective for all planes. What's happening is that the engines are becoming more powerful and brakes are not. I don't have real life pilot experience but I find it hard to believe the brakes were actually that weak.

 

I had to update a few of my missions because the AI cannot handle high power planes like the Tempest or the Dora so they cannot taxi in a straight line and veer off (sometimes hitting other objects).

 

I have been suggesting the brakes revision for a while, I do hope they become a bit stronger.

 

This. The brakes are simply not effective enough. Regarding the Spitfire for @R3animate... you can pretty much hold full brakes upon landing, and you really should until brake strength changes, in order for you to have differential braking when using the rudder to stay on centerline. As soon as you touch down if you hold brakes all the way until you stop and use the rudder you will not ground loop. Guaranteed.

 

In RL if you do that it's a safe bet the plane will nose over and prop strike, so that's just a technique for Il-2 as it stands right now. The problem is that the Spitfire brake is on a lever...so to replicate it properly it should be assigned to an axis instead of a button. When it's a button it's all or nothing, so you can't really modulate exactly how much brake pressure you want without having to press the button, release it, press it, release it, etc... The other side effects of the weak brakes are that taxiing in general is made more difficult across all the airplanes because you don't have the brake strength to counter the airplane's tendencies from the engine. @busdriver can attest to this...we often lament the fact that we have to basically taxi around holding the brakes the whole time to feel in control LOL

 

Also, I don't know about anyone else...but I've never been able to taxi single engine comfortably (or at all in some cases) in the twin engine airplanes either in Il-2. I've actually had to do that in RL when I was instructing after the left engine wouldn't restart in-flight in a Piper Seneca (twin engine) and then brought it back to the airport for landing. Sure it sucked with plenty of rudder and brake involved once on the ground, but I was able to taxi the airplane and park it where it needed to go with no problems. I haven't been able to do that in Il-2 when the situations have presented themselves and I have to just "finish flight" on the runway.

Edited by SYN_Requiem
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5 minutes ago, SYN_Requiem said:

 

 

Also, I don't know about anyone else...but I've never been able to taxi single engine comfortably (or at all in some cases) in the twin engine airplanes either in Il-2. I've actually had to do that in RL when I was instructing after the left engine wouldn't restart in-flight in a Piper Seneca (twin engine) and then brought it back to the airport for landing. Sure it sucked with plenty of rudder and brake involved once on the ground, but I was able to taxi the airplane and park it where it needed to go with no problems. I haven't been able to do that in Il-2 when the situations have presented themselves and I have to just "finish flight" on the runway.

 

I have the same observation. Taxiing a twin with one dead engine is impossible in game though the twin planes at my local airport quite often will taxi around on one screw.

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6 minutes ago, SYN_Requiem said:

This. The brakes are simply not effective enough. Regarding the Spitfire for @R3animate... you can pretty much hold full brakes upon landing, and you really should until brake strength changes, in order for you to have differential braking when using the rudder to stay on centerline. As soon as you touch down if you hold brakes all the way until you stop and use the rudder you will not ground loop. Guaranteed.

 

In RL if you do that it's a safe bet the plane will nose over and prop strike, so that's just a technique for Il-2 as it stands right now. The problem is that the Spitfire brake is on a lever...so to replicate it properly it should be assigned to an axis instead of a button. When it's a button it's all or nothing, so you can't really modulate exactly how much brake pressure you want without having to press the button, release it, press it, release it, etc... The other side effects of the weak brakes are that taxiing in general is made more difficult across all the airplanes because you don't have the brake strength to counter the airplane's tendencies from the engine. @busdriver can attest to this...we often lament the fact that we have to basically taxi around holding the brakes the whole time to feel in control LOL

 

Also, I don't know about anyone else...but I've never been able to taxi single engine comfortably (or at all in some cases) in the twin engine airplanes either in Il-2. I've actually had to do that in RL when I was instructing after the left engine wouldn't restart in-flight in a Piper Seneca (twin engine) and then brought it back to the airport for landing. Sure it sucked with plenty of rudder and brake involved once on the ground, but I was able to taxi the airplane and park it where it needed to go with no problems. I haven't been able to do that in Il-2 when the situations have presented themselves and I have to just "finish flight" on the runway.

 

I've never had much luck with single engine in a twin either, but in general (for all planes) it's to the point now where (unfortunately) I just can't get a good enough handle on things to bother taxiing any** plane. I finish missions on the runway in almost every case. 

 

PS - @SYN_Requiem Just taking the opportunity to say thanks for all of your videos, not only did your videos help me get into IL-2 from other games but they're in the pool of resources that inspired me to start working on my PPL :).

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3 hours ago, BlitzPig_EL said:

Ground looping in this Sim has been an issue from day one


not alone in this problem. Cod and DCS got same issues. Cod is more a wind thing. 
I  remember in the start of this game some aircraft felt like flying a hydrogen baloon. I wonder if the ground handeling is a leftover from that. 
Partly I feel we have problems with planes that should have been easier than those we have a problem with. Take the P 47, more than one show pilot say it require a technique to be able to land and take off. And you need to lock tailwheel , something I firget all the time with no problem. 
In the other hand JU 88 was as I recall a problematic plane to handle in ground and take off. So if that is cirrect they are spot on

In general if I mess up I do it because I font do checklist. And to be honest 50% of  People flying online take off from parking lot. Even in so called serious servers

Edited by LuseKofte

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22 minutes ago, SYN_Requiem said:

The problem is that the Spitfire brake is on a lever...so to replicate it properly it should be assigned to an axis instead of a button. When it's a button it's all or nothing, so you can't really modulate exactly how much brake pressure you want without having to press the button, release it, press it, release it, etc... The other side effects of the weak brakes are that taxiing in general is made more difficult across all the airplanes because you don't have the brake strength to counter the airplane's tendencies from the engine. @busdriver can attest to this...we often lament the fact that we have to basically taxi around holding the brakes the whole time to feel in control LOL

 

 

This is why I've been saying for a while that the should make it a realism option for those of us who have an axis for braking and want a more realistic experience. 

 

(I also think they need to add in something like a "brake lever" control, something separate from "wheel brakes" which doesn't affect toe brakes so we can add the Me262 front wheel brake to the same axis and not have it apply toe brakes when you depress it.)

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This thread reminded me of this story: “Amazing But True Stories” by Stephan Wilkinson - Aviation History magazine - May 2014.

 

“Spitfire Ride

On February 14, 1945, Leading Aircraftwoman Margaret Horton, an RAF WAAF, was assigned a familiar job: sit on the horizontal stabilizer of a Spitfire to help hold the tail down while it taxied on a windy day.  Unfortunately, nobody thought to tell the pilot, Flight Lt. Neill Cox, that she’d be jumping aboard.  (Horton later admitted that “the squadron was run in a slap-happy way.”)

The normal drill was for the tail-sitter to grab the aircraft’s elevator and waggle it before the pilot turned onto the runway, so he’d know she was hoping off.  But this time Cox made a casual gesture out of the cockpit that Margaret took to mean “Hang on, don’t go yet.”  Big mistake.

As the Spitfire accelerated down the runway, Horton had the good sense to quickly flop across the tail cone, where she was held in place by the vertical fin, her legs to the right and her torso to the left.  Another WAAF who’d seen what was happening dashed off to tell a flight sergeant, who ran to the control tower.  Cox was ordered to make a quick circuit and land, but wasn’t told why.  Between Horton’s death grip on the elevator with her left hand plus the Spitfire’s tail-heaviness, Cox had already figured that something was amiss, but couldn’t see as far aft as his airplane’s empennage.

Relieved to be back on the ground, Horton announced that after a change of panties and a cigarette, she’d be good to go back to work.  She was later fined for losing her uniform beret during the short trip around the pattern.”

 

Perhaps we could convince the developers to create a “tail-sitter” mod for the Spitfires to assist us in our ground handling adventures!                 😄

 

 

Rod

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1 hour ago, pfrances said:

 

LOL, well I was speaking specifically about ground handling/taxiing but I'll accept envy any day of the week 😛

even if its only about ground handling. Actually, I dont ground loop with the Spitfire while taxiing. But I do it every single time of my damned life when I land, even if I tried landing with it almost 50000 times.

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8 minutes ago, ME-BFMasserME262 said:

even if its only about ground handling. Actually, I dont ground loop with the Spitfire while taxiing. But I do it every single time of my damned life when I land, even if I tried landing with it almost 50000 times.

 

This is exactly what happens to me.  I can taxi up and down as long as I care with no problems at all, around all sorts of bends, but on landing, just as I've almost got the plane to fully stop; she goes with a wing strike to boot.  I've taken the advice from another thread of throttling up very slightly, and it seems to help, but I've only got a couple full stops since then so can't say if it's completely solved the issue or not.

Edited by Dijital_Majik
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1 hour ago, Dijital_Majik said:

 

This is exactly what happens to me.  I can taxi up and down as long as I care with no problems at all, around all sorts of bends, but on landing, just as I've almost got the plane to fully stop; she goes with a wing strike to boot.  I've taken the advice from another thread of throttling up very slightly, and it seems to help, but I've only got a couple full stops since then so can't say if it's completely solved the issue or not.

 

Try this technique.

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Lol gotta stay on top of those rudder pedals when taxiing with the Spit.

It gets easier the more you do it and get used to it.

I thoroughly enjoy the PWCG Cold Start and taxi to runway option now and have many , many hours in the Spit.

Edited by dburne
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2 hours ago, JimTM said:

 

Try this technique.

 

Thanks, will give it a go!  It all looks and reads pretty much like what I normally do, except that I'm probably too long on the brake each stab.

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7 hours ago, pfrances said:

 

Not challenging your main complaint but just curious. A plane that is infamously bad at ground handling can be mastered in this sim with less than twenty minutes of practice. How is that over done?

 

 

A good point.

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5 hours ago, Dijital_Majik said:

 

I've taken the advice from another thread of throttling up very slightly, and it seems to help...

In my experience this makes a big difference -- you lose virtually all rudder authority at 0% throttle, so never completely chop it... one other tip I've seen before (didn't see it in this thread) is to maintain full up-elevator at all times while taxiing.

 

In addition to the narrow landing gear, the Spitfire also has a very long tail moment, which leads to significant weather-vaning when landing with a crosswind... this can easily set up a groundloop. I've stopped flying my 1/5-scale Spitfire in crosswinds due to the extremely high likelihood of dropping a wing on landing. Never had such issues with my AT-6 and Gypsy Moth.

 

 

Edited by kurtj
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If you think the BoS Spits are bad on the ground you should try the DCS one, that is a whole higher level of hurt...😀

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1 hour ago, Georgio said:

If you think the BoS Spits are bad on the ground you should try the DCS one, that is a whole higher level of hurt...😀

 

At least the brakes work (a bit too much) so you can actually control it.

 

Personally, there are a lot of things I dislike about the DCS Spitfire (FM in particular), but the ground handling is not one of them.

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19 hours ago, -SF-Disarray said:

The best way to deal with the spitfires on the ground, as they are in game right now, in my experience is as follows: Set your RPMs to full, give it full break and push the throttle forward until the plane starts to move then leave the throttle there for the duration of the taxi. While holding the breaks you can transfer break force from wheel to wheel with the rudder. Go slow and you will get there. Try to go fast you will probably break something and have to start over again; slower is faster. This works for the Tempest too in my experience. I don't know if this is a true to life method, and I rather expect that it isn't, but it works and at the end of the day that is what counts here.

how does that work for the tempest when it doesnt have axis brakes? I had to bind a key to brakes for the tempest and use the rudder while holding the key to make the differential tail swing to one side or another. 

The other poster was right about crosswind taxiing though. There is a mission on Combat box in Winter. I cant remember which one but, if you spawn as tempest, you are on a part of the airfield that is practically impossible to make a left turn out of. I have to go right every time 

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3 hours ago, Babayega said:

how does that work for the tempest when it doesnt have axis brakes? I had to bind a key to brakes for the tempest and use the rudder while holding the key to make the differential tail swing to one side or another. 

The other poster was right about crosswind taxiing though. There is a mission on Combat box in Winter. I cant remember which one but, if you spawn as tempest, you are on a part of the airfield that is practically impossible to make a left turn out of. I have to go right every time 

 

The breaks on the Tempest work the same way they do on the Spitfire: One break handle with a system to divert break power from one side to the other via the rudder controls. Seems the Brit plane designers found this system better than toe breaks for these planes for some reason, but I don't know. Someone here might have insight on that, though.

 

There is also code in the game that lets people who don't have pedals with toe break axis to work by sorting out toe break input the same way, hit the master break button and shift side to side with the rudder. Works for 109's, P-51's the whole lot.

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Taxiing 190s with the tailwheel unlocked is also very cinematic - for the bystanders...

 

I also think the brakes are too weak for low-speeds. You should be able to catch a developing swing at taxi-speed with a good-hearted stab of brakes, but it won't work in game.

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20 hours ago, Hot_Rod said:

This thread reminded me of this story: “Amazing But True Stories” by Stephan Wilkinson - Aviation History magazine - May 2014.

 

“Spitfire Ride

On February 14, 1945, Leading Aircraftwoman Margaret Horton, an RAF WAAF, was assigned a familiar job: sit on the horizontal stabilizer of a Spitfire to help hold the tail down while it taxied on a windy day.  Unfortunately, nobody thought to tell the pilot, Flight Lt. Neill Cox, that she’d be jumping aboard.  (Horton later admitted that “the squadron was run in a slap-happy way.”)

The normal drill was for the tail-sitter to grab the aircraft’s elevator and waggle it before the pilot turned onto the runway, so he’d know she was hoping off.  But this time Cox made a casual gesture out of the cockpit that Margaret took to mean “Hang on, don’t go yet.”  Big mistake.

As the Spitfire accelerated down the runway, Horton had the good sense to quickly flop across the tail cone, where she was held in place by the vertical fin, her legs to the right and her torso to the left.  Another WAAF who’d seen what was happening dashed off to tell a flight sergeant, who ran to the control tower.  Cox was ordered to make a quick circuit and land, but wasn’t told why.  Between Horton’s death grip on the elevator with her left hand plus the Spitfire’s tail-heaviness, Cox had already figured that something was amiss, but couldn’t see as far aft as his airplane’s empennage.

Relieved to be back on the ground, Horton announced that after a change of panties and a cigarette, she’d be good to go back to work.  She was later fined for losing her uniform beret during the short trip around the pattern.”

 

Perhaps we could convince the developers to create a “tail-sitter” mod for the Spitfires to assist us in our ground handling adventures!                 😄

 

 

Rod

 

I have sat i that very spitfire with the engine still ticking. The spitfire in question is in the BoB memorial flight, and a few years back a group of dangerdogz were at manston when it was still open, and said spitfire landed there to stay overnight. 

 

We helped push it back into the hanger, and the pilot then asked if any of us wanted to sit in it.

 

You can guess the replies!!!!!

 

I'll try to dig out the photos later.

Edited by DD_fruitbat

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1 hour ago, DD_fruitbat said:

 

I have sat i that very spitfire with the engine still ticking. The spitfire in question is in the BoB memorial flight, and a few years back a group of dangerdogz were at manston when it was still open, and said spitfire landed there to stay overnight. 

 

We helped push it back into the hanger, and the pilot then asked if any of us wanted to sit in it.

 

You can guess the replies!!!!!

 

I'll try to dig out the photos later.

 

Very Cool!       👍

 

 

Rod

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3 hours ago, -SF-Disarray said:

 

The breaks on the Tempest work the same way they do on the Spitfire: One break handle with a system to divert break power from one side to the other via the rudder controls. Seems the Brit plane designers found this system better than toe breaks for these planes for some reason, but I don't know. Someone here might have insight on that, though.

 

There is also code in the game that lets people who don't have pedals with toe break axis to work by sorting out toe break input the same way, hit the master break button and shift side to side with the rudder. Works for 109's, P-51's the whole lot.

ahh so the master brake button along with a push on the rudder axis will lock the wheel on the side you pushed and allow the tail to swing? pretty cool!! I was hammering the toe brakes on the tempest for the longest time trying to figure out why I was ground looping. Only to discover...it has no toe brake! 

 

So, if you ever saw a guy spinning in circles on Combat box in the spit or tempest...it was likely me. I even spun out on the runway and was telling guys to go ahead and take off because I couldnt get the bloody thing to straighten up and taxi right! 

Edited by Babayega

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6 hours ago, Babayega said:

. I cant remember which one but, if you spawn as tempest, you are on a part of the airfield that is practically impossible to make a left turn out of. I have to go right every time 

Simple. Pivot turn the plane when it is standing, opening throttle and keep left wheel brake, full left rudder. Once you turned sufficiently, stop and let the plane come to rest.

 

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