Sunday, December 31, 2017

IL-2 Cliffs of Dover Blitz - Bury Me at the Beach

Never been a big fan of the Hurricane, but will not pass a chance to sit in the virtual cockpit of one in the Blitz edition of IL-2 Cliffs of Dover.

Quick mission: jump on a flight of Fiat G50s returning to France. My Hurricane is the one in the background.

This is actually a quick mission (semi-canned premade missions in IL-2), but I am compelled to share it because not even the peculiar ending took away the immersion.

Cast of characters: a flight of 3 Hurricane Is, one with me strapped into the tight cockpit of the sturdy bird. With a top speed of 255 MPH, I am expected to compel the enemy into a turning fight. 

Cast of characters II: a flight of Fiat G.50s, with their own problems of maximum airspeed (254 MPH) and range.

After closing in with the unaware Italians, somebody in their flight raises the alarm. They scatter in groups of two, with the acrobatic elegance of airshow performers. From the distance, their flight opens like a vintage ladies' hand fan. They are not trying to impress us but rather to offer us very bad options. 
Whatever pair one could chase it would mean trouble. Pursuing the ones that broke to the left would give the two pairs up and right a chance to get in our six. Nonetheless, I make the snap decision to chase down the pair that broke left. I immediately take my left hand off the propeller pitch handle and leave my bird to fly with a coarse propeller.

All of the sudden, he climbs. I panic at the possibility of losing my chase and and pull my stick. Damn! My Hurricane can't climb so well! I am about to rev up my engine with some propeller pitch adjustment and to my astonishment, neither the Fiat can climb. He bleeds airspeed to the point that it looks like he is just hovering. I overshoot, but being below his line of sight, I just correct the situation by pushing the stick. Surprisingly, I still have enough airspeed left to rejoin the fray.

It took some time to saddle up on the Fiat. Everything looks great, for once it appears I have separated this enemy aircraft from the rest of the others.

The enemy pilot is quite daft at ruining my firing solutions, every single time. He eventually gets hit by my machine guns and a faint trail of glycol traces his line of flight across the channel.

The Fiat is damaged, his low airspeed tells me. He forces me to climb to lose airspeed, gather my thoughts and trim the Hurricane for a low speed shootout.

I then saddle up to him. There is still fight in this Italian pilot: knowing he doesn't have the airspeed needed to turn, he rather climbs and dives to dismiss my invitations to get into my gunsight. Refusing to bounce up and down, I just settle for flying straight and letting him to pass through a snapshot from my guns.  This turned out to be rather consuming in both time a ammunition. By this time, the rest of my flight has rejoined me but they respectfully watch as I try to finish the Fiat.

Eventually, some rounds hit their target and the Fiat goes down slowly into the channel. 

The day is mine. And on my way back to base I test my Hurricane, trying to find sweet spots for cruising and fighting. But unfortunately, I lost my way. Since I am flying full realism (no icons in the map) and I can't hear sh_t on the radio, I spent all my fuel trying to get my feet dry.

I'm back into England, but where? I was out of fuel and trying to emulate Tom Hardy in Dunkirk - but with a running engine, without a last minute shoot down of an enemy plane and miles short from his bad-assery -  I look down at a beach for an impromptu landing. Note the map's available tools. These are great for navigation and plotting courses. Kudos to the Blitz team for that.

Not a single beach goer to witness this, such a shame.

Not a bad touchdown at all, but still devoid of a 3 wheeler. As soon as my wheels were rolling down the beach, my Hurricane tips over and goes under the sand.
It was an anticlimactic end for a mission full of hard piloting and shooting. But it didn't put a dent in the overall fun I had.



Carlos Ribeiro said...

This last image is the best image of your entire site ever. It's the definition of anticlimatic.

JC said...

LOL Carlos. Thanks for reading!


Paolo said...

Ahaha, that was fun. And tragic, but also fun.

Happens to me more than I like to admit.

JC said...

Surprisingly, the game's debrief screen said I was "OK". LOL.