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HitR update 1.46 - fuel

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As far as I know, fuel wasn't touched. To be honest, I don't think you should go out with less than full fuel. Certainly not if you were flying for the RFC - you were sent out on patrol, either to try and carry the fight to the bally Hun far on his side, or to bomb his rear echelons, or to act as the eyes of the artillery. Patrols were normally an hour and a half or two hours, and they certainly did not go out without full fuel. Neither should you. I don't know for sure, but I suspect even the Jastas went up ready to stay and fight - certainly they were set up to intercept when the forward observers saw a raid coming, but they also flew standing patrols.

Cheers,

shredward

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Think it could have been changed back only by withdrawing the real personal skin.

But you could try the old AI setting in workshop. Perhaps you get it then?

 

I have meanwhile learnt a bit better to manoeuver my now heavier Albatros - with

some good success.

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I agree with what Shredward wrote, and in OFF I usually fly German and I go up with full tanks, always. However, if one can disable the wind, select auto rudder and auto mixture, then one ought to be able to select fuel amount. Doesn't matter for me; I'm just saying.

 

Now I'll let you guys get back to work on that P4 Friedrichshafen G.III.

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To be honest, I don't think you should go out with less than full fuel. Certainly not if you were flying for the RFC - you were sent out on patrol, either to try and carry the fight to the bally Hun far on his side, or to bomb his rear echelons, or to act as the eyes of the artillery. Patrols were normally an hour and a half or two hours, and they certainly did not go out without full fuel. Neither should you.

 

Forgive me, but I entirely disagree. I think fuel was selected based on the mission. If you were going to be out for a long time and needed it, then sure. But if your mission wasn't very long, then I just don't see it happening. First off, everybody knew even back then that weight hurt performance, and performance was key. There are enough documented cases of pilots modifying their planes to reduce weight and drag (such as Albert Ball lowering his seat) to make that clear. Second, none of the Europeans involved, and not even the US at that time, had as much gasoline as they wanted. By 1918, the Germans were running extremely low on it. Excess fuel above mission requirements is wasted if it ends up just helping burn a shot-down plane. And third, it's known that WW1 bombers, just like bombers ever since, have adjusted their fuel and bomb load depending on the range to the target. The closer the target, the more bombs and the less fuel, same as today. I'd be willing to bet that some WW1 planes, just as some later planes, were incapable of flying (at least off the typical runway) with full loads of both fuel and bombs. Why? Because they were never intended to carry all of both.

 

Now, in the campaign, we're never supposed to be on patrol for more than about 18 minutes, even at objectives within 10 miles of home drome. And even for targets further way, most times (at least in 1917 and later) you don't even reach the objective before getting into a fight and either being damaged or using all your ammo.

 

Except for the early, light-weight planes, most planes have WAY more fuel capacity than they need for most missions. For instance, flying the DFW in the DiD campaign, I've bombed targets on the Channel coast about as far from home as possible. Yet before HitR, there was no need to load more than about 40-45% fuel because that not only covered the trip, but included a 20-30 mile reserve.

 

There's also the issue of how weight affects players compared to the AI. From what I've seen, the AI is not affected to the same extent by the weight of fuel as the player is. Right now, when you meet the enemy, you've still got about 95% aboard most times, and you fly like a complete pig while they're zipping around unimpeded.

 

So I submit that forcing players to fly with 100% only makes sense if there are drastic changes to the campaign. First off, missions would have to require much more air time than they do now. Second, the amount of air activity would have to be MUCH less than at present, so you're not always bumping into the enemy 10-15 minutes after taking off, before you've had a chance to burn off much fuel. And third, the AI planes would also have to be burdened with the weight of their 100% fuel loads, because if I meet them so soon, they can't have flown very far themselves.

 

At this point, I could care less about having my own, personal skin. I'd gladly trade that for the ability to vary my fuel load again.

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Forgive me, but I entirely disagree. I think fuel was selected based on the mission. If you were going to be out for a long time and needed it, then sure. But if your mission wasn't very long, then I just don't see it happening. First off, everybody knew even back then that weight hurt performance, and performance was key. There are enough documented cases of pilots modifying their planes to reduce weight and drag (such as Albert Ball lowering his seat) to make that clear. Second, none of the Europeans involved, and not even the US at that time, had as much gasoline as they wanted. By 1918, the Germans were running extremely low on it. Excess fuel above mission requirements is wasted if it ends up just helping burn a shot-down plane. And third, it's known that WW1 bombers, just like bombers ever since, have adjusted their fuel and bomb load depending on the range to the target. The closer the target, the more bombs and the less fuel, same as today. I'd be willing to bet that some WW1 planes, just as some later planes, were incapable of flying (at least off the typical runway) with full loads of both fuel and bombs. Why? Because they were never intended to carry all of both.

 

Now, in the campaign, we're never supposed to be on patrol for more than about 18 minutes, even at objectives within 10 miles of home drome. And even for targets further way, most times (at least in 1917 and later) you don't even reach the objective before getting into a fight and either being damaged or using all your ammo.

 

Except for the early, light-weight planes, most planes have WAY more fuel capacity than they need for most missions. For instance, flying the DFW in the DiD campaign, I've bombed targets on the Channel coast about as far from home as possible. Yet before HitR, there was no need to load more than about 40-45% fuel because that not only covered the trip, but included a 20-30 mile reserve.

 

There's also the issue of how weight affects players compared to the AI. From what I've seen, the AI is not affected to the same extent by the weight of fuel as the player is. Right now, when you meet the enemy, you've still got about 95% aboard most times, and you fly like a complete pig while they're zipping around unimpeded.

 

So I submit that forcing players to fly with 100% only makes sense if there are drastic changes to the campaign. First off, missions would have to require much more air time than they do now. Second, the amount of air activity would have to be MUCH less than at present, so you're not always bumping into the enemy 10-15 minutes after taking off, before you've had a chance to burn off much fuel. And third, the AI planes would also have to be burdened with the weight of their 100% fuel loads, because if I meet them so soon, they can't have flown very far themselves.

 

At this point, I could care less about having my own, personal skin. I'd gladly trade that for the ability to vary my fuel load again.

 

 

I agree-- on certain missions you don't want the weight of a full tank. For example, I take very little on scramble missions. I want as light and agile a plane as I can get in those circumstances and I need very little range. The ability to get up and down quickly and effectively is vital in those missions, as is the ability to shake a pursuer. I usually hang close to the defensive help of the field guns, so a bullet hole in the tank just causes a quick landing. This fuel business was a bit disappointing to find. But I really do like the content of the add-on, a lot.

Edited by SirMike1983

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I agree completely with Bullethead's opinion. If we are forced to always use a full fuel load from now on, then there should be some changes made to the sim - the AI is now getting a major advantage against human players who have too much fuel to burn practically in every mission.

 

Unfortunately I don't have any historical sources to support my viewpoint, but I would be amazed if the air forces of WW1 didn't do any kind of fuel management. Thanks to the Entente embargo, Germans had such a huge problem with their fuel supplies throughout the war (synthetic fuels were in their infancy back then) that it's hard for me to believe they always filled their tanks to the brim. But I will of course change my opinion if somebody can prove fuel management was out of the question during the Great War.

Edited by Hasse Wind

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Well, JFM - you could make up your fuel/weight ratio calculation here, that you posted

in our DiD chainmail. That was very detailed.

After that, it seemed to be little difference between half filled and full tank, if I remember right.

 

My disappointment there was/is about the fact, that OFF simulated a very different behaviour,

which I got used to and which made my fighting dangerous.

I never went up with more than 50% - and I could dogfight much better than with a full tank.

 

So, what needed to be cleared (but who experienced it?) is the question: can an Albatros

with half filled tank perform a lot better against turn fighters, and can it climb much better?

If so, I'm sure I would have used that to my advantage in real life.

Edited by Olham

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Exactly, Olham. And we must always remember OFF is a simulation, nothing more, nothing less. It's not the same thing as the real WW1 - how things actually were in the war (for example did it matter much whether the real Alb had a full tank or a half-full tank) is different from how they are in OFF. And in OFF, it definitely does matter how much fuel I take in my crate. The Alb for example becomes noticeable more maneuverable in OFF with less fuel.

 

And devs, if you read this, please don't misunderstand my criticism. I really like the improvements HitR made to the game - OFF was the best WW1 flight sim before HitR, and it's in many ways even better now with the expansion pack. Especially the wind effects make flying and fighting more exciting.

 

But this fuel/ammo management issue is a big disappointment for me, and apparently also for some others. I don't want to hide that fact.

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But this fuel/ammo management issue is a big disappointment for me, and apparently also for some others. I don't want to hide that fact.

 

Somehow, I feel strangely confident that they are working on it. I will readily give them the benefit of the doubt that it was taking longer to address the issue of fuel load than they wanted and decided to release the patch without the fuel fix so that AI and other issues were addressed in a very timely manner. I don't think they've let us down yet on quality. Some things just take time.

 

Hellshade

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never cared about the fuel, I prefer a personal skin. I am sure there will be a solution for this problem so that we can have both

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My disappointment there was/is about the fact, that OFF simulated a very different behaviour, which I got used to and which made my fighting dangerous. I never went up with more than 50% - and I could dogfight much better than with a full tank.

 

Forget player vs. AI performance for the moment. My big disappoint with the current fuel situation is the loss of the feeling that I'm flying something made of sticks and canvas. What I like most about WW1 sims is the feeling they give me of having as much freedom of motion as a bird. Float like a buzzard, dive like a hawk, and turn like a swift. Of course, this depends on the particular plane, but even the Fee gives you some of that if not overloaded. That's what makes just barnstorming in free flight so much fun for me.

 

But now it feels like I've got concrete shoes on. Instead of flying being freedom, it's now work to get any altitude, and all the joyful aerobatics have to be deferred until the plane is light enough to do them, hours after takeoff. I don't have that much patience, so my barnstorming is at an end right now this.gif

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I can't for a minute imagine 2nd Lt Fokker Fodder saying to himself: "self, I'd like my crate to be more manoeuvrable, so I'm just going up with 2tbsp of petrol, and I'll just leave my mates after fifteen minutes and return home for tea. The army just doesn't work that way.

If we can find a way to allow both options, we will, but don't turn blue while holding your breath.

Cheers,

shredward

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Not 2nd Lt Fokker-Fodder, surely. It rather makes sense on the German side, when you know

you won't have to cross the line and only to fly to defend the neighbouring airfield.

In real life, there may not have been such a difference between half full and full - but in OFF

there was. And I developed my whole fighting style in the Albatros around that.

 

 

Shredward: If we can find a way to allow both options, we will, but don't turn blue while holding your breath.

 

Yahooo! I knew you loved us!! Don't panic - I'm breathing properly! :grin:

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Guys it's being looked at what more can we say ? I know you expect instant fixes but I guess that's our fault for releasing patches quickly.

I'd just like to say we busted a gut to get this patch out soon (and being a software user of course I know how long you wait with other products out there).

 

We could have waited and not released this patch, to see if the fuel could also be fixed, but wait for how long? (Christmas holiday period starting)

Wait another 2 weeks, or 2 months, or 6 months until that is fixed assuming it's possible to fix!?

 

On a personal note if I found a setting that makes my a/c behave much better, I won't use it as not as it should be. We have improved the performance of the craft a lot along the way they are now much more responsive and lighter in feel generally than they used to be. FMs are made with 100% fuel in mind, not with 30%.

 

I understand how some want to have a more manoeuvrable craft but if I find a magic setting, I'm going to feel I'm "winning the war" with my uber craft. AI may have less disadvantages but remember they do have one major disadvantage in that they are not human ;).

 

If using less fuel makes an a/c that much more manoeuvrable maybe it shouldn't be there anyway.

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May well be, that flying with less fuel only made such a big difference in OFF, but not in RL...

That may be right. A pity that it was not mentioned in the books I read so far.

But I' ve ordered another German pilot's book and when he mentions it, I will get you informed.

 

I have little hope though, cause neither Shredward nor RAF_Louvert jumped in, saying:

We know how it was done - we have the details in our books!

 

If you come to the conclusion, that you want to drop fuel management, cause it was not done,

then I will trust your wholeheartedness and seriousity and try to forget about it.

(With a heavy heart - my "lady" doesn't perform so nice with belly full...)

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I can't for a minute imagine 2nd Lt Fokker Fodder saying to himself: "self, I'd like my crate to be more manoeuvrable, so I'm just going up with 2tbsp of petrol, and I'll just leave my mates after fifteen minutes and return home for tea. The army just doesn't work that way.

 

I'm afraid you misunderstood my point. Everybody in the flight would take X amount of fuel, being what was needed for the trip there and back, the time spent at the objectice, and a reserve of about 15 minutes. Any more was known to be both inhibiting to aircraft performance and therefore likely to result in the plane's loss, plus would do nothing towards the war effort except help cremate the pilot carrying it and thereby slightly reduce the disease potential of the mud in which the PBIs had to live.

 

I urge you to read Independent Force, about the IAF. It expressly states several times, and implicitly states it dozens of times (on the assumption that you've read the introductory chapters) that IAF planes carried no more fuel than what was needed to get there and back, so they could maximize both bombload on the way in and speed and agility on the way out.

 

So, I envision your conversation above going rather differently, as follows:

 

Brigadier Whosittithattherighthandofgod: "I'm so sorry, Lt. Fodder, but I'm afraid I can only let you take 35% fuel on this patrol. The Sopwith Pup can easily get there and back with room to spare on that amount, so there's no need hazarding any more than that to the Hun bullets, eh? Haven't you heard how many tankers the U-boats have sunk this month? As a result, what petrol we do have available is mostly earmarked for the army's trucks, bringing up supplies for the next big "push", which will surely break through this time. We in the RFC must get by on the spillage, as it were. Besides, the more petrol you take, the more likely you are to be shot down. Do you have ANY IDEA how much money His Majesty's Government has spent on training, equipping, and transporting you already? Now you want to take reckless risks with that investment, not to mention the cost of the aircraft that shares your fate? I should transfer you to the infantry for such disregard for His Majesty's coin!"

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On a personal note if I found a setting that makes my a/c behave much better, I won't use it as not as it should be. We have improved the performance of the craft a lot along the way they are now much more responsive and lighter in feel generally than they used to be. FMs are made with 100% fuel in mind, not with 30%.

 

I understand how some want to have a more manoeuvrable craft but if I find a magic setting, I'm going to feel I'm "winning the war" with my uber craft. AI may have less disadvantages but remember they do have one major disadvantage in that they are not human ;).

 

If using less fuel makes an a/c that much more manoeuvrable maybe it shouldn't be there anyway.

 

I agree with Pol and Shredward. It shouldnt be an option.

Lessening the fuel is more of a "cheat" than many other options in the workshop.

Even if it is optional in the workshop (I'd rather that time be used for far more productive and needed things), it should carry a HEAVY subtraction in realism % (50% or more would be appropriate, since claim forms are 40%, etc).

 

BuB

Edited by Broadside uda Barn

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Hello, All,

 

I've not read Independent Force and thus bow to Bullethead's deeper knowledge and appreciate the info. It helps show that one could alter fuel to play with weight and balance and that it was done. I was just reading about it with SBDs at Midway.

 

Regarding the RFC, early/mid-war and RFC machines sometimes bombed-up and flew without the observer to save weight. Also, I just went through my No. 20 Squadron (FE2d) and No. 24 Squadron (DH2) Squadron Record Books and both reflect beau coup sorties of 2.5 hours (even with the FE2ds bombed-up). I.E., they were going out with a helluvalotta fuel. So it's not an absolute that planes took off with reduced fuel.

 

As Olham mentioned, the following from the DiD chain mail: I've done fuel calculations regarding Richthofen sorties and I know he and his pilots didn’t fly on fumes to save weight. For one instance, when he was shot 6 July he wrote that it was an hour before he contacted the enemy, then he stalked them and was involved in a combat that went on for some 15 to 20 minutes. Endurance depends on throttle settings, of course, and we can never determine a pilot’s throttle settings exactly. Likewise, performance data for Albatrosses vary, and actual performance varies with air pressure, air temperature, engine condition and pilot technique, but from NASM the Albatros endurance was roughly 1.5 hours under combat conditions. That means, roughly, MvR flew 88% of that endurance. Since fuel burn was roughly 14 gph, and fuel capacity was 21 gallons, then MvR used about 85% of his fuel capacity that day (not including any reserves [reserve tank of 6 gallons]). Or, to even it out, 88% endurance and 88% capacity. Of course, those figures reduce when you factor in a 6 gallon reserve. (I've seen a maximum endurance of 2.4 hours, too, which ostensibly occured in flight situations when you weren't hammering around at full throttle.)

 

Based on performance data, flying with only 25% fuel, or about 5.25 gallons, gives you an endurance of about 22 minutes. It took that long to climb to 4000 metres in a D.Va, and eight minutes longer in a D.II. MvR’s Jasta 2 combat reports reveal that he was frequently engaging the enemy at 3,000 metres and it took a D.II 20 minutes to get there. I know we’ll never know many finite aspects history but I guarantee that MvR didn’t climb to altitude, find/fight/shoot down the enemy in two minutes, then glide back to base with a dead engine, out of fuel.

 

At half tanks, ca. 11 gallons, you’d get 44 minutes endurance. Again, not much time to climb to altitude, find an enemy, fight, and then get home. I don’t know the weight of fuel used by the Germans but my speculation is it can’t differ appreciably from fuel used today, which for 100LL is 6 pounds per gallon. Thus, at that fuel weight, by using half tanks you’d save 66 pounds, which is about 3% the total weight of an Albatros and 13% of its useful load. A 3% reduction in weight and 13% reduction in useful load and an Albatros can turn with a Nieuport? Any weight reduction increases nimbleness, but based on those figures would the increase be appreciable? The Albatros wasn't built for maneuverability; it was built for speed and twin-gun firepower.

 

For patrolling scouts it made little sense to hamper their effectiveness by reducing their ceilings and/or endurance via fuel limitation. Just when you finally spot a patrol of RE8s, the fuel runs out so now you are gliding home--just as the top-cover SE5a escort dives on you. This doesn't mean it (pre-takeoff fuel reduction) couldn't be done or wasn't done on some occasions/situations. As Bullethead wrote, it makes sense to play with fuel if you have a known target and wind forecast (although good luck with its accuracy!) to deliver a pre-determined ordnance load. Still, with OFF, many say the fuel management drastically affects all airplane performance, so even beyond the various historical considerations I recognize the importance of this feature as regards the sim, and it's great the devs are working on it. Again, I takeoff with full tanks, but if one can select auto-rudder, no wind, pilot never dies, etc., why not reduced fuel? After all, it's been an OFF setting for how many years?

 

One thing I don't know and please chime in. With my experience in general aviation we always topped the tanks at night to evacuate as much air from them as possible to minimize/prevent water from condensing out of the trapped air and falling into the fuel. Would WW1 planes need like consideration? The tanks were pressurized, which is different than, say, a Cessna, which (in a 172) has vented gravity tanks, but the air going into those pressurized tanks came from the atmosphere. If the dewpoint was 60F then the air in your tanks had the same dewpoint, and with a close temp/dewpoint spread at night you'd have water condensing into the fuel. These tanks required some air headroom to pressurize them, but (I'm thinking aloud) the less the air in the tanks the less the water vapor to condense. The fuel systems had screens, drains and sumps to capture/bleed water, but why initiate a practice that allowed the most amount of water to enter the fuel system every night? Again, I am pondering aloud--I've not researched this nor do I remember reading about this so hopefully someone will chime in with info.

Edited by JFM
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FMs are made with 100% fuel in mind, not with 30%.

 

I don't mean to sound harsh, but you might want to check your math on that. That is not my experience at all.

 

The Fee has a ceiling of 11000 feet, according to all the references I can find. OBD apparently thinks the same, because that's what the game says it will do. And I remember way back when OFF 1st came out, the Fee couldn't get that high even with empty tanks, and you all fixed that in one of the early patches.

 

Well, now we're back to that situation again. The Fee will not come close to its real life ceiling with anything over about 40% fuel. And all other planes I've flown since getting HitR are equally afflicted. Climb rate is diddly divided by squat, ceiling is much reduced, and you always feel like you're on the verge of a stall so are afraid to maneuver. And when you do try something more aggressive than a 45^ bank, you either do stall or lose so much altitude you might as well have stalled. The only thing that saves the player at all is that the AI is so non-aggressive, even with the patched "historical" setting, that it doens't take advantage of the player's discomfiture.

 

The attached pic is what happened on my last mission with 20 Squadron. Note that is was about as long a mission as the OFF campaign ever gives you, AND that I added a lot of distance to this with long detours both going and coming. Despite this, I still landed with over 50% fuel remaining, after over 1.5 hours in the air. and having full throttle all the way. As I said earlier, you can do any OFF campaign mission with 45-50% tops, except in those early-war featherweight planes.

 

I did the detour on ingress because I could not get above 4000 feet at the lines, despite doing all the circling waypoints to start with. When I got to the lines, my ROC with 88% fuel aboard was less than 100fpm. IMHO, this is absurd. And note that even though this was an airfield attack, I didn't load any bombs because of previous experience with the Fee and 100% fuel. So I followed the lines south, gradually inching upwards. By the time I got down near Arras, I could tell I'd have to pump bilges soon so turned to the target even though I was still only a bit over 1/2 of my plane's real life ceiling.

 

Forgive me if I have trouble seeing that anything like this would have happened in real life.

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I don't mean to sound harsh, but you might want to check your math on that. That is not my experience at all.

 

The Fee has a ceiling of 11000 feet, according to all the references I can find. OBD apparently thinks the same, because that's what the game says it will do. And I remember way back when OFF 1st came out, the Fee couldn't get that high even with empty tanks, and you all fixed that in one of the early patches.

 

Well, now we're back to that situation again. The Fee will not come close to its real life ceiling with anything over about 40% fuel. And all other planes I've flown since getting HitR are equally afflicted. Climb rate is diddly divided by squat, ceiling is much reduced, and you always feel like you're on the verge of a stall so are afraid to maneuver. And when you do try something more aggressive than a 45^ bank, you either do stall or lose so much altitude you might as well have stalled. The only thing that saves the player at all is that the AI is so non-aggressive, even with the patched "historical" setting, that it doens't take advantage of the player's discomfiture.

 

The attached pic is what happened on my last mission with 20 Squadron. Note that is was about as long a mission as the OFF campaign ever gives you, AND that I added a lot of distance to this with long detours both going and coming. Despite this, I still landed with over 50% fuel remaining, after over 1.5 hours in the air. and having full throttle all the way. As I said earlier, you can do any OFF campaign mission with 45-50% tops, except in those early-war featherweight planes.

 

I did the detour on ingress because I could not get above 4000 feet at the lines, despite doing all the circling waypoints to start with. When I got to the lines, my ROC with 88% fuel aboard was less than 100fpm. IMHO, this is absurd. And note that even though this was an airfield attack, I didn't load any bombs because of previous experience with the Fee and 100% fuel. So I followed the lines south, gradually inching upwards. By the time I got down near Arras, I could tell I'd have to pump bilges soon so turned to the target even though I was still only a bit over 1/2 of my plane's real life ceiling.

 

Forgive me if I have trouble seeing that anything like this would have happened in real life.

 

Looks damning...except BE2's used to fly missions of 3 to 4 hours per "Wind in the Wires" so 50% after 1.5 hours may not be "unrealistic". Dunno about tank sizes or rate of consumption on either AC though.

 

Perhaps the weight of the fuel is being over-modeled?

 

It certainly would appear there is a problem of some sort based on Bulletheads "test"?

 

EDIT: "The Fee will not come close to its real life ceiling with anything over about 40% fuel."

Upon further reflection, knowing how manufacturers and historians do AC performance stats, this may not be "unrealistic" either. Weight was crictical for max alt on these AC IIRC.

Edited by DukeIronHand

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Surely the point is that this is a simulation of a machine (in a wider context of course). The designers choose which parts and functions to simulate, to give the most "realistic" simulation of what the real thing could actually do. The real thing had a fuel tank and a filler cap and could be filled from 0-100% with fuel. The amount of fuel affected the flight characteristics.

 

Previous versions of the sim modelled the way the FM for each plane is changed by the fuel load (and not just from the starting fuel level but throughout a flight as fuel gets used up). I thought it did this rather well. I note our splendid developers intend to fix what is presumably an unintended consequence of the HiTR patch.

 

An entirely different, but interesting, point, is what the individual sim pilot decides to do with the flexibility offered by OFF (!) to start a flight with any particular fuel load. This might range from "I'll carry a bare minimum so as to maximise aerobatic/combat performance" to "I'm only ever starting with 100% fuel". Where this gets interesting I think is in the discussion based on available historical evidence of what pilots actually did do. Presumably this was influenced by both doctrine and individual decisions. Hard to think that individual pilots didn't do whatever they thought might maximise their chances of individual survival and success, if they were able/allowed to.

 

So my point is, the sim should simulate variable fuel loads, and its upto us chaps to decide how to use that function. Of course I have complete confidence our marvellous developers will fix it in due course, so Merry Christmas chaps and thanks for all the enjoyment you've provided in 2009!

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