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Stephen1918

Airco DH9a

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The Ninak has been uploaded. The only real difference between the DH9 and DH9a is the fuselage and cockpit, so it went pretty fast. Ojcar has made an FM with the 400hp Liberty engine. This bird can fly. My thanks to ojcar for his data work, and to Sinbad for a ton of resources for the 9a.

 

 

 

 

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Yes another great new bird for FE from Stephen!

 

This and the 'Nine' can be a right pain to take off, my usual 'Full speed ahead and damn the Dry Martinis!' technique seems often to result in a ground loop and a fireball, but practice makes perfect, no doubt.

 

She's not quite as pretty as the one below but I'm hoping Stephen won't be able to resist the temptation of this classic warbird for much longer...

 

0806508.jpg

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Is it just me or are others finding that the DH9 and 9a are prone to fairly wild swings during the takeoff run - with a bomb-load anyway? i'm still practicing but have to let the otehrs take off first because no matter what i do at some point she just goes off at a wild angle and even if I get her off she still wants to yaw wildly for a bit before settling down. If this is 'pilot-induced oscillation' it's the first time I've seen it.

 

Only other issue I have found is that the FPS dropped badly, when looking back at my flight in the external view. Setting shadows to FALSE in the .ini files killed the shadows of course but the FPS are now fine, so I would recommend that for anyone else experiencing a similar issue, same trick helps with the A Team DH4, too.

 

I have not tried attacking the the new DH's yet, those twin Lewis mounts look a bit scary.

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You are right! with the heavy bombload, the plane is a little unstable in taking off (I think the bombs change somewhat the gravity centre). Use your rudder carefully (they are two monsters of 230-400 Hp) Once you are rolling at 110/120 Km/h, you can pull off very well (you have plenty of power even in the DH9).

 

It requires a little practice, but taking off is not so difficult. I think they are great planes!

 

About the rear guns, I have made a mistake (or not, it depends of your taste). I have given the DH9a gunner the 303CAL_LEWIS_MK2 instead the porked 303CAL_LEWIS_MK2_Gunner I had in mind, so change it if you like

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Will give the rudder a try. The effect seems very sudden, like one of her wheels suddenly went fully braked or locked solid so it must take a very quick reaction with the rudder!

 

Ah yes the '_Gunner' version of the Lewis, that is the 'toned-down' one that comes with Peter01's FMs, it it not? I don't like it as the observers seem to be unable to bring their guns to bear, to the point they are pretty useless. I like flying 2-seaters sometimes so I change them back and I don't mind the better gunners when attacking, tho it can be hard on flight-mates who tend to attack uncautiously...but TWO effective Lewis guns?!! I don't think I will be applying for a home defence staffel or kest, any time soon!

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Real propeller plane pilots use rudder in take off. It was essential in planes like the Camel or even more modern planes as the P-47. Also you can help the plane to gain speed by lowering the nose a little.

An advise: make some thaining missions taking off and landing without bombload. You'll find it's not that difficult.

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If the Cessnas I've flown (just a few lessons) were anything like these DH9s I would not be typing this! Admittedly they were three-wheelers but they didn't need much rudder, the only problem I had was remembering that the yoke was not like a car steering wheel and you had to use the brakes on the pedals to turn or line up for takeoff, instead!

 

I just managed to get off in a DH9 with no bombload and found the sudden lurch to one side was still there, just not quite so bad. Once in the air the Nine is a real barge, even empty, some AI-flown Rumpler CI's were all over me (my gunner was no use, never fired a shot in return, so I have reverted him to stock Lewis Mk2 and told him to do better next time). It was all I could do to keep her from stalling in even fairly gentle turns. The DH9 was supposed to be quite manoeuvrable with bombs gone, able to dogfight with scouts, but I don't think I will be trying that myself!

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As I said, lower the nose same time you throttle up, and the bad effect will go.

 

No wonder the Rumplers CI are more maneouverable than you. These planes alone achieved air superiority in Palestine against British and Aussies in 1917. It was the only "fighter" available there (besides 2 Fokker Eindecker and a Pfalz EI)!

 

The FMs are based in Peter01 FM of Capun's Dh4, with some changes here and there, but very few of them, because the airframe is very alike. The DH9 climbs bad comparing to the DH4, so it's more difficult to dogfight in it., because energy bleeding. The DH9 losses in real life were much higher than the Dh4 ones (both in accident and in combat), so I don't think it was so maneouverable. Nevertheless, I can take a look to the FM

 

By the way, Peter porked gunners machine guns are only lesser precission weapons and have slightly smaller bullets. They are intended to avoid the massacre of entire AI fighter squadrons by the gunners. The gunner should be able to fire them same way than the not porked version. You can go to the Data.ini, open it and edit PitchAngleRate, YawAngleRate and GunRange.

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A lot of airplanes in WWI, especially those with inline engines, like the DH9 and 9a, developed quite a bit of torque on take off and landing. I've read that Camel pilots had to use quite a bit of rudder, or even ailerons on take off, and many crashed before they learned the maneuver. That's why so many planes, like the DH's, have skids at the end of the lower wings.

 

In the picture of the LVG that 33Lima posted you can see a little air at the aileron, he's obviously giving a very small amount of yaw to the plane on takeoff. And if you look at the control wire at the base of the rudder, he may be turning a bit to the right as well. I'm guessing this is to counter the torque caused by the engine.

 

I am still flying in Easy mode, so I don't have this problem :grin:

Edited by Stephen1918

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Maybe it's a bit overdone. I'll rework this today.

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In Squadron/Signal #164 'DH9 in Action', Peter Cooksley reports, after describing some of the operational disasters, that 'Even with the engine problems, the DH9 could give a good account of itself in air-to-air combat. On one occasion, the observer of a No. 49 Squadron DH9 shot down [presumably=claimed] four enemy fighters that were attacking the unit. One pilot reported that, after dropping its bomb load, a DH9 could turn with a Fokker DVII [never mind a Rumpler CI!!] and could be tightly looped.'

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Yeah, pilot reportings...not the most scientific data. I have read reportings like that about Fw 190s outturning Spitfires or Mustangs and Thunderbolts outturning Bf-109s. What they didn't know is if the enemy pilot was injured, a total noob or the enemy plane was previously damaged or dind't see their killer coming...I have read reports about Guinemer's SPAD outturning any German plane. Maybe the British DH9 pilot you have read about was a crack pilot. And about the observer, to have such a marksmanship, I bet the DH9 wasn't trying to make aerobatics. If you are throwing your plane all the place, a real gunner (not the AI gunner of the game. He's not G-affected) will loss the sight all time.

 

Nevertheless, you were right. It was too sluggish. I have the new FM now. I think I solved the problem now. They are much more nice at take off now and more nimble. I have lowered a lot the stall data. Still not capable of turning with a Fokker VII (If it was the case, why didn't equip the fighter units with DH9s instead SE5a, Camels and Brisfits? and if the plane was so good why was regarded as a disaster and re-start DH4 production?). I have sent the FMs to Stephen1918, so he can update the files. I hope the planes work much better this time...and, if you like these, wait for the DH4!!!!

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Good to hear, Ojcar.

 

I think the Nine's bad reputation will have been 90% due to the engine not the airframe. When it was working, the Siddley Puma, even tho down-rated to 230hp, produced a very reasonable HP and power-to-weight ratio for a 1917-18 2-seater. And there's no reason I think to believe that accounts like the ones above, or the ones below from Wikpedia, are any more or less subject to exaggeration, or are examples of extreme pilot skill imbalances, than any others.

 

So I think the DH9, when the motor was running ok, was at least as much a match for a scout as most other 2-seaters could be - for example in 'Winged Warfare' Billy Bishop reports a 1917 fight between his flight of SIX Nieuports and a single German 2-seater, which turned into their attack and then fought them for an estimated 3 minutes, hitting and nearly killing Bishop and another pilot, before breaking off and getting away. So a well-flown 2-seater could get the best of even well-flown scouts. The Nine was obviously no exception.

 

'The DH.9's performance in action over the Western Front was a disaster, with heavy losses incurred, both due to its low performance, and engine failures (despite the prior de-rating of its engine). For example, between May and November 1918, two squadrons on the Western Front (Nos. 99 and 104) lost 54 shot down, and another 94 written off in accidents.[4] Despite this, on 23 August 1918, a DH9 flown by Lieutenant Arthur Rowe Spurling of 49 Squadron, with his observer, Sergeant Frank Bell, single-handedly attacked thirty Fokker D.VII fighters, downing five of them.[citation needed] Captain John Stevenson Stubbs managed 11 aerial victories in a DH9, including the highly unusual feat of balloon busting with one.'

 

'On 23 August 1918, Spurling was flying on a bombing mission when he became separated from his formation. Thinking he was over the British lines, he prepared to land on a German airfield near Lens which he mistook for his own, but was attacked by a German Fokker D.VII fighter. He then saw a formation of thirty more of the Fokkers. Despite the disadvantage of his flying a bomber, and being vastly outnumbered, Spurling launched a single-handed attack (not forgetting his Observer, Sergeant Frank Bell, real name George Stanley Bell), shooting down three of the German aircraft, while Sgt. Bell accounted for two more. Sharing Bell's kills, these five victories immediately made Spurling an ace. It was for this action that Spurling was awarded the DFC and Sgt Bell was awarded the DFM. Two days later Spurling shot down another D.VII over Mont Notre Dame.'

Edited by 33LIMA

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As I said before, you were right. The planes were too sluggish. I think they are fixed now.. I can be wrong and I'm open to suggestions.

 

The report don't say anything about outturning the Fokkers. You can shot down planes without outturning them. P-38s did it with Zeroes, P-51s with Bf-109s, Phantoms with MiG-17.....

The DHs are all about the power an speed. They are fast and rugged planes, and difficult enemies but were bombers!. I can't make them unrealistically maneouverable. And don't forget that sometimes is the man, not the machine. Hats off to Spurling and Bell. They were a hell of a crew. These german pilots can give thanks Spurling and Bell weren't flying a Brisfit!!!

 

For any two seater pilot in the game, flying any plane, best tactic against fighters is to dive like hell gaining speed until treetop. Enemies will not attack you from below and you'll give your gunner maximun field of fire. Some ultra aggressive enemies can dive into the ground as well... Then, use your speed to return home, making hanges in direction and height all time. Don't forget your mission. You have to bomb and return, or bring your front pictures at home, not shot down planes!. The DHs are second to none in the game to do this kind of tactics.

 

I remember to read the Rudel memories time ago. It was the top Stuka pilot of WWII. It had a mate who liked to attack and dogfight the russian fighters in its Stuka. He shot down some Russians in some missions....until he did't return from one mission.

 

I hope do you like the planes now, mate! :drinks:

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For any two seater pilot in the game, flying any plane, best tactic against fighters is to dive like hell gaining speed until treetop. Enemies will not attack you from below and you'll give your gunner maximun field of fire. Some ultra aggressive enemies can dive into the ground as well... Then, use your speed to return home, making hanges in direction and height all time. Don't forget your mission. You have to bomb and return, or bring your front pictures at home, not shot down planes!. The DHs are second to none in the game to do this kind of tactics.

 

Yup, that's my 2-seater tactics in a nutshell, though when flying some of the slower ones you do come home with a lot of holes and get a dirty look from the airframe rigger. :grin:

Edited by Bulldog

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I think what these reports might be alluding to is the fact that many a two seater had a wing loading lower than that of many single seaters. These big two seaters couldn't roll as quickly, because of their long wingspans, and that's why so many times you read of them not being as "handy" as single seaters. They couldn't change direction as quickly as a single seater, but the higher powered ones could probably sustain nearly as tight a turn as a single seater, because of their low wing loading and decent SEP.

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It's a little more complicated. When you are in combat and turning you are normally climbing or diving same time, so it's never about pure turning ratius. In this kind of combat, the lighter the plane, the better, because you'll bleed all your energy in a dime and be a sitting duck.

 

In a heavy plane you'll be better in hit and run tactics. If properly done, you can shot down planes much more nimble than yours. In Palestine terrain I'm doing this kind of combat all the time. My Rumpler CI against Bristol Scouts, DH2 or Elephants. Same in my "Italy" install with Hansa-Brandenburg CI against Nieuports.

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As I said before, you were right. The planes were too sluggish. I think they are fixed now.. I can be wrong and I'm open to suggestions.

 

The report don't say anything about outturning the Fokkers. You can shot down planes without outturning them. P-38s did it with Zeroes, P-51s with Bf-109s, Phantoms with MiG-17.....

The DHs are all about the power an speed. They are fast and rugged planes, and difficult enemies but were bombers!. I can't make them unrealistically maneouverable. And don't forget that sometimes is the man, not the machine. Hats off to Spurling and Bell. They were a hell of a crew. These german pilots can give thanks Spurling and Bell weren't flying a Brisfit!!!

 

For any two seater pilot in the game, flying any plane, best tactic against fighters is to dive like hell gaining speed until treetop. Enemies will not attack you from below and you'll give your gunner maximun field of fire. Some ultra aggressive enemies can dive into the ground as well... Then, use your speed to return home, making hanges in direction and height all time. Don't forget your mission. You have to bomb and return, or bring your front pictures at home, not shot down planes!. The DHs are second to none in the game to do this kind of tactics.

 

I remember to read the Rudel memories time ago. It was the top Stuka pilot of WWII. It had a mate who liked to attack and dogfight the russian fighters in its Stuka. He shot down some Russians in some missions....until he did't return from one mission.

 

I hope do you like the planes now, mate! :drinks:

 

Yes they are much better now, great stuff!

 

Re tactics, ever since I somehow managed to shoot down an Albatros flying an RE8 in OFF, I am often tempted to dogfight scouts and not worry about losing height if necessary. However, in FE with Armchair Aces, low level flight can (realistically) be much more dangerous because of the AA MG fire.

 

And even tho I have increased the gunner yaw and pitch rates to nearly FE stock levels and reverted the guns themselves to stock where necessary, I find that my own gunner is still a bit reluctant to save our bottoms even if I fly nice and level to make it easy; and if he doesn't start shooting I end up dogfighting again. It's a vicious circle - literally :grin:

 

Maybe it is an urban myth but AI gunners seem more effective when flying with AI pilots rather than with the player. May still need a bit more tweaking to find a gunner setting that makes them dangerous but not excessively so.

Edited by 33LIMA

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..and my observer is now doing a better job too, with pitch and yaw rates set at 30 and 45, IIRC that is 10 and 15 less than stock (I usually use 30 and 50 but reduced yaw to 45 for the twin Lewis mount). He shot a Pfalz DIII off our tail during the bomb run last mission, and was doing a good job on what looked like a Pfalz Triplane before I crashed the mission by mistake.

 

Earlier, one of my flight-mates who was being worried by an enemy plane ditched his bombs, broke formation and wheeled away for home. I don't recall seeing that in FE before; the more I see it, the more I believe that the AI in First Eagles 2 is much the most convincing AI in any WW1 sim.

 

The 'Nine' is now one of my favourite FE planes. Amazing to think there are about 90 flyables, all told, if you exclude close variants, about double that if you include them.. Yes it would be nice to have a 1918 German 2-seater, a 1917 configuration BE2c or 2e, a better Albatros DII & Fokker DII, and a couple of others, but it's already just amazing. I doubt any WW1 sim will ever have such a good planeset.

 

Isn't she a beauty:

Edited by 33LIMA

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