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Sopwith Camel and Spad XIII

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Are we certain that the Sopwith Camel killed more pilots thru "flying incidents" than by enemy action? :wacko:

 

So far, I have been shot down in a Camel during combat several times, but never stalled one that I could not recover from.

 

In the Spad, however, I have never been shot down, but have killed myself numerous times due to stalling and spinning into the ground.

 

AAHHHHHHHHH!!!

 

Back to flight school..................!! :flyer:

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In the Spad, however, I have never been shot down, but have killed myself numerous times due to stalling and spinning into the ground.

 

Yeah, I've noticed the Spad tends to do that to you, especially if you're flying low and too slow and try some sudden manoeuvres. Otherwise it's a very easy and forgiving plane to fly, but as it is an energy fighter, you need altitude to make it work well.

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Try the SPAD VII, if you want to turn better. Much more agile - but then only one gun.

 

The Camel is for my oppinion very tame here in BHaH. It is THE British fighter, and so

everyone wants to use it. But I don't think I would get to grips with her as easily as it

was in my first sorties. Wonderful flying that was - am I such a good pilot already?

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Strange how people have totally different opinions about our Camel. Some say it has no quirks and is tame others say it is too quirky and hard to control. Good eh.

Guess it comes down to many people flying sims for years and 1000's of different PC combinations of hardware and software settings. Don't use Auto trim for a start..

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Yes, I noticed that too, Pol. Those who say, it was quirky and hard to control, can't be that much

worse pilots than me. But one thing I noticed, is the difference in flight model, between stick controlled

rudder (easier on mine) and real pedals (the Albatros is a lot trickier to fly with those, I found).

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well, apparently it was very easy to have the SPAD XIII end up on its nose. unfortunately, since OFF uses CFS3 as the basis for game-play, it's probably nearly impossible to simulate some of the crash-landings that were typical of the First World War and have pilots walk away from it alive.

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Strange how people have totally different opinions about our Camel. Some say it has no quirks and is tame others say it is too quirky and hard to control. Good eh.

 

Maybe it's because I learned to fly on the "Traumahawk", but I find the Camel to have zero bad habits, quite a few strengths, and has the very useful quirk (historical as I hear it) of the upwards spin. She's different from other planes, but any experienced pilot should have the beast in hand after a couple of Cuban 8s over home drome, and then go from strength to strenth. I don't fancy a Camel agaist a D.VII; that's like a Spit Mk V against an FW0-190A5. But other than that, her only real challenge is the Dr.I, which does all the same things only a bit better.

 

The Spad XIII also has no vices an experinced pilot shouldn't expect after a single walk-around. You can tell just by looking at her that she goes fast, dives hard, zooms well, stalls if turned hard at low speed, and likes to land low and hot. She's like an FW-190D9 in a world of Spit Mk IXs and Zekes, except with no better firepower than, well, a Spad or any other fighter with 2x synchronized Maxim RCMGs. And, of course, the D.VII plays the La-7 to her Dora.

 

Seriously, there are only 2 planes in OFF that I consider potential deathtraps: the E.III and the DH 2. Both of these aircraft seem to want to kill you at the least provocation, easily getting into unrecoverable spins or slides. Even the notoriously stall-prone R.E. 8 is benign when ripping up an aerodrome barnstorming.

 

In WW1, when even the so-called E-fighters weren't enough faster to get out of range before their turn-fighting opponents could turn around, the Camel is a true warhorse. The Spad XIII, OTOH, IS fast enough to play WW2-style E-fighter, but you have to remember that she's no better armed than anybody else.

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Good Bullethead that's exactly how the Camel should be, tricky to novice pilots ( I think none of us are that thesse days) and deadly in experience hands.

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Good Bullethead that's exactly how the Camel should be, tricky to novice pilots ( I think none of us are that thesse days) and deadly in experience hands.

 

I think you all did a fine job on the Camel. Sure, you can get yourself in trouble with her, but every aircraft has its no-go regimes. If you know just how far you can push the Camel and stay within those limits, you should have no problems. But just remember what happened to McGuire and his P-38. Even experienced pilots can go too far.

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Pol and Bullet - you just convinced me, that I'm a good pilot then, as I can handle the

Camel nicely. And I like her flying very much. Only the rather poor overall view, with

the use of an "attic window", is a little setback.

But anyway - I'll do more campaigns with her.

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Pol and Bullet - you just convinced me, that I'm a good pilot then, as I can handle the Camel nicely. And I like her flying very much. Only the rather poor overall view, with the use of an "attic window", is a little setback. But anyway - I'll do more campaigns with her.

 

I'm sure you'll find the Camel about the same as the Dr.I in general characteristics, and might have an easier time in the campaign with it than with the Dr.I. For most of the war (as in well into or even beyond 1917), the most common Entente fighters, when compared to their main adversaries, are slower, very weakly armed, and rather more fragile, but significantly more maneuverable. So you get used to being bounced by and then playing dodgeball with swarms of Albatri, suckering them into blowing their E to try to get a shot at you, and then your maneuverability can come to the fore.

 

AI programming for an E-figthter is significantly harder to do than for a turn-fighter, and most flightsims fail miserably at it. This isn't surprising because most humans fail equally miserably. Hence the preponderance of turnfighters in MMOFS games. In fact, I recall a while back you were having difficulty surviving in the Albatros, but look at you now! :minigun:

 

OFF is one of the very few SP flightsims I've played where AI E-fighters actually use E-tactics fairly well. But they still get greedy, and that's when the slow, weakly armed, but better-turning Entente scouts score. But when you're in a Camel, the extra performance and firepower of the machine make this happen sooner. OTOH, it would seem that the Dr.I would have to work harder to reach that point against the usually more-agile Entente machines. Now, later one when the Entente was mostly flying SE5s, Spads, and Brisfits, it might happen sooner, too :assassin:

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AI programming for an E-figthter is significantly harder to do than for a turn-fighter, and most flightsims fail miserably at it. This isn't surprising because most humans fail equally miserably. Hence the preponderance of turnfighters in MMOFS games.

 

True. Turn fighters are more suitable for aggressive hotheads like me, because you just can't challenge a bunch of Fokker Dr.Is in a turn fight when you're flying the Spad. Or you can, but don't expect to live long.

 

In my Yank careers in OFF I learnt to fly more carefully with the Spad, and even more carefully in the Pfalz as a Hun. But the temptation to go after your enemy when you fail to shoot him down in one pass is always very great! In WW2 it's completely different, because if you have the full arsenal of a FW-190 at your disposal, you don't need to make more than one pass and you can shoot every single opponent down in flames if you hit them.

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I've tried to fly the SPAD and do the "boom and zoom" but it always turns into "stall and spin". I feel helpless against a Fokker D7 with the SPAD. But the Camel on the other hand seems to fit my flying and combat style much better. I enjoy the SE5a also.

Any one else having much success in the SPAD with the D7?

 

Crossbones

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BnZ tactics are nearly impossible for me because I have flown the turn fighters so much over the years. Every time I climb into a Spad I have to tape a note on my monitor... "DO NOT TURN FIGHT!"

It seldom works. I inevitably wind up trying to outturn a DR1 or some such ridiculousness and I get my large Spad arse handed to me. :black eye:

 

I will also say again that, based on all reports I've read by RL flyers, I find the Camel in BHaH to be as close to the real bird in flight characteristics as any sim I have ever flown. I think it is a valid point others have made here that most of us are now "experienced" WWI pilots and so we tend to find the quirky buses such as the Camel and DR1 easier to fly than we feel they should be. Kudos again to the OFF development team on their top-notch efforts and results with the FM's in this sim, and every other aspect of it as well.

 

Now then, speaking of quirky buses, where can I find a Zeppelin around this place? :smile:

 

Cheers!

 

Lou

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Good thoughts, Bullethead !

The only bit I wondered, was: do you find the Camel in any way superiour to the Fokker?

Cause, I made the opposit experience - Camels are no problem for the Dr1.

 

Hasse, when you made it in a Pfalz, the SPAD would be a good plane to change to.

Hit and run tactics, but with a very fast, very good climbing and diving plane.

You'd be a killer on her! The Dr.1 is the absolute opposite plane to that.

That plane is an acrobat, a monkey with wings.

 

Crossbones and Lou - don't bank your SPAD much, when flying slower, or don't fly slow at all.

Make your attack from above (with full speed you may follow your opponent a 45° turn, but not much more), and climb away at a climb angle of 20° or even more, checking six all the time.

When you're out and free, dive on the opponent again, when he offers the right chance (turns away from you, flying a wider turn).

Very important: best shooting and rudder skills. Hit him fast and real hard - then one attack might do the job.

And back out and up again!

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All this talk about energy fighters has inspired me to start a new campaign in Esc. 3, late 1917, flying the Spad XIII. (Esc. 3 is among the first squadrons to receive that beast.) I've never made it to ace in a Spad campaign, but maybe this time things will be different (Yeah, right...). Cause of death has usually been my own stupidity, ie. not following the rules of energy fighter tactics.

 

Olham, as you seem to be shooting down the world's entire stock of Spads in your 1918 Albatros D.Va 200 campaign, you probably have an opinion on the quality of their AI. Have the computer opponents been able to take advantage of their crates strengths (speed & toughness), or have they succumbed to the lure of dogfighting Nieuport-style?

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They do come from high above first, and I teel yer, it can make your blood freeze to see them bulky

planes grow very fast. They attack, and then zoom further down (what I wouldn't do), to tangle with

my wingmen, who follow slower (fragile wings). The average pilots don't use the SPAD to it's best.

 

But in some previous campaign, I had a flight of 3 or 4 aces, and they forced me to do an emergency

landing. I'm very keen on meeting such aces again, as I know, I have become better.

Those aces remained high up, or climbed back up to me, and I aleays had more than just one to fight.

 

If you want to get the most fro your wingies, call them to stay near you, and then "attack" again. If you

call them back or assign higher targets for them, you may be able to do a great fight. Also, try to help

THEM - they can't help you too much (except your direct wing1 - press "H" help, and he'll be with you -

and shoot at your targets as well! Lol!!!)

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In my Yank careers in OFF I learnt to fly more carefully with the Spad, and even more carefully in the Pfalz as a Hun. But the temptation to go after your enemy when you fail to shoot him down in one pass is always very great! In WW2 it's completely different, because if you have the full arsenal of a FW-190 at your disposal, you don't need to make more than one pass and you can shoot every single opponent down in flames if you hit them.

 

The vast majority of my flightsimming is MMO, and I flew the FW far more than anything else. In my experience with it, you usually need 3 passes to kill a spit. This isn't because they don't die immediately under the weight of an FW's fire, it's because in MP games it takes that long bleed the spit down to where it holds still long enough for you to get your sights on it without wasting a bunch of your E.

 

The main mistake beginning E-fighters make is blowing E for a snapshot on the 1st or 2nd pass. By that I mean that the target is turning hard out of your way as you come screaming in, and all you think you have to do is pull a little to get the sights on him. And that's true, because you're still far away, but your still too far away to be in range. By the time you get in range, that little pull rapidly becomes a big pull due to the angle having widened. But having already started this from far away, you just keep doing it as you get closer. So there goes a bunch of your E. And having now screwed yourself this way, you've also totally screwed your position and attitude to start your high yo-yo at the correct time and place to set up your 2nd pass, AND you don't have enough E now to do that right even if you were in the right position and attitude.

 

And remember, this is even flying an FW-190A8, whose snapshots can be quite fatal. It's just not worth it in the long run to blow E to take a snapshot. Keep you E, because the target likely has friends. Use E to work yourself into position, NEVER blow E to "buy" position. Only take tracking shots, and always keep yourself ready for the other enemies in the neighborhood.

 

The Dicta Bullethead (for E-fighting)

1. SA, SA, SA, SA, SA

2. NEVER fire a shot while in a dive, unless your target is diving straight away ahead of you.

3. NEVER blow E for a snapshot opportunity.

4. NEVER allow yourself to become co-E with the enemy, unless he's in an E-fighter himself and you want to turn-fight him, AND there are no enemy turnfighters in the offing.

 

And BTW, maybe it's just me, but "boom and zoom" is what an Me-163 does. Come screaming in, totally ignoring angles, take whatever shot you get, and extend into the next county before reversing. Energy fighting is the opposite of that. The E-fight has you maneuvering every bit as much as a turn-fight. The difference is, you're doing your turning in the vertical and expending very little E doing it. The goal of E-fighting is to keep your own E while bleeding the enemy. Any turn-fighter with a modicum of E can turn out of your way, so you have to take his E away.

 

The only way to do that is to force him to turn hard and often, and the only way to do that is to seize the initiative and press the attack over several aggressive passes that give him the choice of turning hard, RIGHT NOW, or dying. And the only way to press the attack is to keep maneuvering, doing all sorts of high yo-yos and lag rolls. If you don't press the attack constantly, the enemy will have time to catch his breath (as in regain some E) between your passes, so you don't bleed him down. Then eventually you get impatient, blow your E for a snapshot, and die.

 

So in E-fighting, always go in thinking you won't take a shot unti your 3rd pass. Only take good, low-deflection shots. If you catch the enemy napping, go ahead and blast him on the 1st or 2nd pass, but never expect that to happen, and NEVER try to force that to happen. But by the 3rd pass, if you've been pressing your attack correctly, the enemy will be pretty much a wallowing, stationary target, and then you can really light him up. And when you've done so, you should still have enough E to repeat the process on one of his buddies.

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Good thoughts, Bullethead !

The only bit I wondered, was: do you find the Camel in any way superiour to the Fokker?

Cause, I made the opposit experience - Camels are no problem for the Dr1.

 

I don't like fighting Dr.Is in the Camel, but I'll take them over D.VIIs. The Dr.I is a 1-trick pony; although it does that trick very well, even a little better than me, I always know what it's going to do so I can try to out-mart it, even if I can't out-do it. And if that fails, I can out-run it. The D.VII, OTOH, can kill you in several different ways, and it can do them all better than I can. The Camel is obsolete in the D.VII timeframe, and shows it.

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Yes - for the D VII, Widowmaker should get his Snipe if that helped (I'm afraid, it won't - Lol!!!)

I don't fly the D VII, cause I don't like it easy ways - and cause she looks like a soap box racer.

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I don't fly the D VII, cause I don't like it easy ways - and cause she looks like a soap box racer.

 

There's a reason the D.VII was specifically named as one of the toys the Germans weren't allowed to play with any more after the war :biggrin: . However, considering the late-1918 environment from the Germans' POV, I doubt I'd want to fly anything else then.

 

For prop fighters, and even into the Viet Nam era, Uncaring Bog Himself laid down the law: E-fighter and turn-fighter created He them. A plane is supposed to do one or the other, but never both. It's supposed to be all about the classic match-up of speed vs. power, echoing the gladiatorial bouts between the retiarius and the secutor or murmillo.

 

But every so often, a plane came along that "swung both ways". It might not have been the best at either, but it was good enough at both to use either set of tactics as the mood struck it. In a contest of individual skill with nothing on the line except reputation and bragging rights, I'd never fly such a thing. But as a real-life German in late 1918, with my life and entire way of life at stake, hugely outnumbered by the best the other side had yet come up with, you damn betcha I'd be all over it. And seeing as that's exactly the situation in the OFF campaign at that point, I have no hesitation in flying the D.VII then. :ok:

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Well, if I should survive long enough in my 1918 campaign, I will have to hand out my beloved

Albatros (now: D Va 200) for a Soap box D VII. And of course will she help me a lot then with

further survival. But I wouldn't know how to skin that bulky crate. I think I'll fly an overall Lozenge

in greyish understatement tones.

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But I wouldn't know how to skin that bulky crate

 

I find it one of the easiest to do, because it's got so few curved surfaces that distort things.

 

I'm working on my personal skin for it, which is metallic green with gold and red flames all over, and the words "MALE IN SE" in a big, bold, black Frankenstein-type font across the top of the upper wing. Then it has the Latin lyrics of "Ave Satani" (them from The Omen) on the fuselage sides, in place of the usual data block of name, model, serial number, and weight. And all the Balken Crosses have short lower legs, so they look like inverted regular crosses. I might end up making them broken, too, or surrounded by flames, depending on how the rest of it comes out. I figure that's an appropriate scheme for such an instrument of the Devil :blink: It wouldn't be such a killer if Tony hadn't sold his soul.

Edited by Bullethead

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Thanks for your post Bullethead, you make some very good points in it regarding energy fighters. This forum is great for education! My biggest problem with energy fighters has always been how to restrict my urge to go chasing after enemies who are able to turn better than my plane. Some form of target fixation syndrome, I suppose. I know the theory, but how to put it in practice is another thing.

 

Olham, I agree with you that the D.VII is not a particularly beautiful scout to behold. And what were they thinking when painting all those pink spots all over the planes? :biggrin:

 

I haven't yet shot down anything in my latest Spad campaign, but I love the speed that French monster!

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