Saturday, October 3, 2009

DCS Black Shark: Nap of the Earth (NoE) Flying with the Radar-Altitude-Hold Flight Mode

The best way to deal with enemy radar-guided missiles while piloting the Ka-50 featured in DCS Black Shark is not to get shot at. Nap of the earth (NoE) flying reduces the chances of an enemy radar getting a lock at the Ka-50. NoE flying is very exhilarating, but requires a lot of concentration. This blog entry is about the use of the radar-altitude-hold flight mode to make that NoE flying a bit less stressful.

NoE flying. Click the image to expand it.

As soon as you get the Ka-50 flying straight and level (and low), hit the altitude hold button in the autopilot panel (see image below). Make sure that the mode of holding altitude is based on radar and not on barometric readings.

The altitude hold button on the autopilot control panel and the altitude source switch. Click the image to expand it.

The upper panel lights up with an easy-to-see reminder of what you have switched on. Click on the image to expand it.

Once the altitude hold flight mode has been engaged and you are flying straight, level and low hit the collective brake lever ([F] in the keyboard) to set your current altitude as the desired altitude. Your Ka-50 will now fly at the altitude you just selected. Your airspeed can be adjusted by slightly pushing (increase airspeed) and pulling (decrease airspeed) the cyclic. I repeat "slightly": if you move the nose of the Ka-50 more than 5 degrees up or down from level, your Ka-50 will climb or sink. In this screenshot I'm making 200 km/h at 7 meters of altitude without any effort. Click the image to expand.

The time has come to reduce the airspeed: pull the cyclic, but don't let the nose to go up more than 5 degrees or you will climb. Note the aircraft datum in the HUD display: nose is no more than 5 degrees up. In this example, I reduced the airspeed from 200 to ~120 km/h without changing my altitude too much (just one meter up!). Click the image to expand it.

Nose up to stop the Ka-50. Note the low altitude. Click the image to expand it.

Surprise! The radar-altitude-hold flight mode will automatically fly your Ka-50 over hills of moderate slopes. Click the image to expand it.



PFF said...

This is the contour flight and not NOE.

The contour flight has low level, constant heading and constant height above ground level.

The NOE flight is lower and slower than contour flight, has no defined parameters and use the terrain and trees to mask the helicopter movements.

JC said...


Thanks for your comment.

My altitude is 7-8 meters. I may have violated the speed parameter, but this is still NoE flying.