Sunday, June 26, 2016

DCS SA342 Gazelle - What if They Gave a War and Nobody Came?

Heads up! the DCS Gazelle module has a new update that you can try in its beta status at DCS World Beta 1.5.4.

Main attractions of this update: new weapons (M621 cannon and SNEB rockets) mounted on the SA342L variant. And noticeable modifications to the flight model/SAS stabilization system.

In this mission, a French Gazelle is sent to investigate reports of insurgent activity in a remote village some 35 miles northwest of the Batumi airport.

The formidable M621 cannon fires 20 mm rounds of pure destruction power.

The SNEB 68 mm rockets are also a good tactical option for area fire. Mounted on the left side station/s, these unguided rockets produce a lot of recoil when lauched.

Taxiing at Batumi. The modifications to the flight model are very extensive and the Gazelle now is possible to maintain a stable flight with relative ease.

Takeoff from the airport. 

Turning is now easier. The modifications to the flight model include a revision of the SAS authority in general. That was what (allegedly) made turns so tricky in the past.

Heading towards waypoint 1. Rock solid flight.

I like to set the artificial horizon source selector to DOP (wheel below the torquemeter), which shows a line in the artificial horizon indicating the active waypoint.

Switching the weapons control on (central panel). Weapon selected: cannon (green light).
Checking the cannon sight. The cannon is fixed and operated by the pilot.

Flying along riverbeds, roads and power lines is one of those simulation moments that stick onto your memory of good times. 
Cue in some hard rock, please.

OK, turn off the music as I start negotiating summits and peaks. Thank goodness for this light helicopter.

And while trying to take a shortcut, my NADIR went crazy and useless. So I had to relay on plain coordinates and the help of ground control officer Eften (read I fubared the NADIR and had to use the F-10 map). 

From there, the mission continued as a search of the right village. How much I missed my NADIR. 
Until I found it (top of the dashboard). After a search with the VIVIANE sight, the officer did not find any enemy activity. So I started a flight around the village to see if we did draw fire.
No fire from the left. Nothing at all.

Turning onto the village again, now for another check witthe VIVIANE targeting system (small monitor operated by the officer on my left), in search for enemy activity.

A fruitless search. Nothing of interest has been spotted.

So then I flew straight into the lion's mouth, fuel was running out and we didn't still locate the enemy. Again, nobody shot at us.
We decided to make a show of force and fire some ordnance where everybody could see it. First the cannon on the riverbed crossing the village.
And then rockets on the slopes surrounding the village.

I spent so much fuel trying to find the village that I had to head to the alternative airstrip (Kobuleti). Any of these small streams lead to the valley where Kobuleti is located.

After the exhilaration of mountain flying, the flight over the plains surrounding Kobuleti felt so underwhelming.

But fuel is short (red warning light) so we had to land.

Welcome to Kobuleti!
The new update is fantastic and it brings this module closer towards perfection. The tweaks on the flight model are worth praise. I notice myself flying more efficiently, even at the heights of the mountains where the air is thin.



Erich said...

Sounds like a typical COIN mission. Fly to the target, rearrange some scenery, refuel and wait :)

Christer said...

I find it strange that the SNEB 68 mm rockets have a lot of recoil. From what I know of such unguided rockets, they tend to be recoil free as the rocket blast vent out the back of the pod so they don't transfer energy to the aircraft. As for the cannon with its off-axis mounting I can imagine firing it will pull the aircraft to one side and as such have a noticeable recoil that needs to be compensated for.

JC said...

Erich: That's a good one. Loved your comment.

Christer: Exactly. The rockets have an insane amount of recoil. I think they will fix that.