Sunday, November 29, 2015

Falcon BMS 4.33 - Aerial Refueling

The new 4.33 update has brought some surprises, at least for me. All good if I must tell you. Your mileage may vary.

I don't know if it's me, but my semi-decent precision flying/aerial refueling skills took a big dip after the update. Overshooting the tanker, porpoising near the refueling boom, blown away by the tanker's downwash ... The works!

So, with plenty of time this past week I went back to aerial refueling school and practiced the hell out of it.

There is plenty of advice out there in the web about aerial refueling for Falcon BMS. Some additional observations that may help you:
  • Fly your aircraft. Emphasis in "fly". It's too easy to get too confident in the computer flight control of the Falcon or to just surrender to the instruments. Fly. Put your aircraft near than tanker and keep a position. Use the instruments as a side show. Keep you eyes in the distant horizon and your side vision on the tanker.
  • Small inputs are for when you are near the tanker. Elsewhere? Fly! Seriously, it's neither fun nor acceptable to spend 20 minutes closing to within a mile to the tanker. It is OK for when you are learning, though. "Tanker is entering turn" :)
  • Let the flight control computer and its surrogate flight control surfaces do their thing. We grow too accustomed to the seemingly instantaneous responses of the Falcon during air combat. These responses are muffled a bit when you open the refueling door in the back of the Falcon. The extreme precision required to do an aerial refueling also contributes to the perception that those tiny adjustments take a while to happen. I usually move the stick, wait for a second to get a feeling of what the Falcon will do and then ... Next bullet point!
  • Move the stick, wait to see what the Falcon will do, then get ready to correct back. Is like flying a helicopter or riding a bike: you must get a feeling of what your ride will do next, correct if needed but always, absolutely always be ready to compensate for your correction.

Up? I just made it here! :)

By accident. This is how it happens during your first time.

It's a pity that I can't take a selfie while doing this.

Whatever level of zoom helps you to have good perception of your relative position to the tanker, take it. From the airspeed I have during this screenshot (310ish KIA) I can tell you I'm going to bust this attempt.


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