Sunday, October 5, 2014

DCS MiG-21Bis (beta) - Preview: Takeoff and Navigation

Not even the sound of our engines dares to catch up with us. The exhilaration of supersonic flight and the adrenaline rush stab my flight suit into submission against the ejection seat. The "Balalaika" takes off, aching for a fight. May the top of our wings be lenient of our errors of judgement and pilotage. May the weapons under those very wings find their way to the harms ahead of us. We hold no grudges but to non-destroyed targets and the law of gravity.

DCS Mig-21Bis (beta), by Leatherneck Simulations. A DLC for DCS World (Eagle Dynamics).

Recently released, this DLC is Leatherneck's first project. Featuring a thorough study of the Cold War's iconic interceptor, this DLC is the only and best hard core simulation of the aircraft.

In this entry, a preview of the module delivered in the form of a debrief. The purpose is two-fold. As a preview, to show what is so remarkable about this module. As a debrief, to show what an interception mission feels like from the cockpit of the Mig-21Bis.

It is a summer's day early morning. The cockpit of the Mig-21 is alive as we briefly sit idle in the runway of the Sukhumi airport. The cockpit is part english, part russian. But the tooltips are all in english, which is a great help.
The left corner of the cockpit. The gauge at the bottom shows the fuel remaining. In this case some 3,800 liters of it. The Mig-21 can go through a lot of fuel in a short period of time, so it is good to remember to keep an eye on that gauge.

The right wall panel of the cockpit shows an impressive array of switches. Almost all of these are functional. In this screenshot I am setting up the Mig-21's radio compass navigation system (also known as the ARC). B sets up the global navigation region, A selects the specific radio navigation station (3 in this case).
The ARC radio compass navigation station I tuned into is north of Zugdidi.
Last checks before takeoff. Flaps already into position. I forgot to change the small RSBN/ARC switch into the ARC position (down).
Takeoff, full afterburners. Landing gear up shortly thereafter.
Turning around after the takeoff that consumed 600 liters of fuel. It was worth the thrill! Below, the Sukhumi airport.
The big round gauge in the center is the KPP or HSI. One of the white needles in it indicates the direction of the ARC navigation station. As seen in this picture, I am flying straight into it. Receiving the signal from an ARC station depends on the distance to it and it is affected by terrain masking. It is recommended to fly at around 3,000 meters to avoid terrain masking. In this case, I'm flying at 1,180 meters but I am lucky that the station is quite close.
Fencing in. The weapons control panel is in the left of the front panel. Switches include combat mode (air or ground), type of missiles (infrared IR or semi active radar SAR) and firing up pyro charges (buttons grouped as "reloading 1, 2 and 3") for the gun. These pyro charges are single use: the first one for setting up the gun and the other two to un-jam the gun. Note also the rotary control for missiles and rockets. At the time of this screenshot, pylon 1 is selected. Pylon 1 carries a SAR missile so the switch to the left should go down to the SAR position.

Our mission is to stay on station on the proximity of this GCI unit, which will vector us towards threats coming out of Georgia. The location of the GCI unit is very close to the ARC unit shown above, that's why we are navigating towards that radio station.
And speaking about the GCI, I tune into channel 3 with the x-shaped red switch. Channel 3 is set to the frequency that the station will be transmitting.

We can still see our airport from here (distant background), but the GCI is already vectoring us towards a hostile enemy flight. We start to climb towards the targets, watchful of our fuel.
Stay tuned. More coming soon.



Anonymous said...

Is she not a beautiful aircraft with so many buttons and switches.

It is a shame, that we have not a proper opponent for the Fishbed yet.

JC said...

Exactly on both counts. I flew an air to ground mission today and it was hard to pick believable targets for this beauty.


Phaeden said...

Great write-up. Looking forward to more.

What do you think about the overall modeling, sound, visuals, etc?

When in afterburner, do you "feel" that thrust or is it just sound?

JC said...

Thanks, Phaeden.

I think that the model's quality is outstanding and to the level of previous aircraft from Eagle Dynamics.

For the afterburner, off course there is no senses feedback. But the aircraft accelerates like taken by demon when in level flight.

Climbing doesn't feel that powerful (the speed is lower). But when the aircraft maintains 600-700 Km/h and still climbs it really feels powerful.


RangerX3X said...

Those are some beautiful screen shots of an awesome looking product.

Unknown said...

I love the DCS MiG-21. Keep up the great posts and try a YouTube video sometime!