Saturday, September 22, 2018

DCS World - Air Refueling in the Sukhoi Su-33

Air refueling in the Su-33 is significantly easier than in other aircraft, and the reason has nothing to do with it belonging to the Flaming Cliffs series.

Let's be honest, Flaming Cliffs has great aircraft and -despite the many simplifications on them- there are as realistic in simulated performance as their full fledged simulated cousins. The scoff of the so-called "hardcore" crew is often unwarranted. Procedural avionics simulation, the very feature a good portion of the hardcore loves and does not find in Flaming Cliffs, has very little connection with good airmanship, tactical aptitude, and the overall experience of a flight combat simulation environment.

Going to the point, the Su-33 has a switch that enables a special flight control system that is used for air-refueling. See picture below, the switch is indicated with a green arrow.

This switch enables a control system that keeps the Su-33 in straight and level flight. It allows fine adjustments with ease and the results are of the "nailed in the first attempt" type.

You will still need that fine throttle management for airspeed. But the oscillations in the vertical plane are almost gone.

To pull out the refueling boom, press [LCtrl] [R]. To activate the refueling FCS, press [RCtrl] [R].

Give me that gas, Innokenti, and I will be on my way.

Returning to base after a successful air to air refueling training session.



Dimitris said...

Hey JC :)

Is there a reason for not having that "stable" flight mode as default during normal flight? Does it hinder normal maneuvers in some way?

JC said...

Hi Dimitris,

Good to see you around here.
The problem with air refueling is that a vertical speed change of just one feet per second will derail you. Even in fly-by-wire aircraft you will get that change with a subtle change in airspeed.