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beachav8r

Rolling Thunder (A) - Mission 04

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Note - For this mission I've made a small change. I've switched to the Thirdwire A-6A model and imported the RAZBAM A-6 cockpit. The reason for this is simple - the RAZBAM A-6 3D model only supports the original RAZBAM paint schemes. There were a couple of problems with this - most notably not having the period specific paint of the squadron being flown during the campaign, and also the inability to see different tail numbers on each aircraft. Thanks to Homefries and malibu43 for putting together the superb A-6 Superpak 1.51 that provides us with all these great campaigns, skins, and other modifications. I wish I could name all of the modders that contributed to that package, because it is a collaborative effort drawn from dozens of resources. I'd also like to thank CrazyhorseB34 for providing me with a specific 1965 A-6A VA75 skin you see in this report...

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Our mission for today is to strike the POL storage facility at Ben Thuy. This is another big strike package in the southern region of North Vietnam.

 

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For this flight, I'm going to try the low and fast tactic since it is such a short distance from the shoreline to the target area. As such, I load up with 20 500 lb. Mk-82 Snakeye retarded bombs. As a backup, I load my wingman with a pair of 2000 lb. bombs in case his clean-up is necessary.

 

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Having lost my most experienced squadron member on the last sortie, I try a change in strategy and give the FNG with the least experience a go at the mission. I'd pack an overnight bag if I were you Ensign Greer.

 

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Our first look at the awesome VA-75 skin provided by CrazyhorseB34...sweet!!

 

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And off we go..

 

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We tick off the waypoints in the flight plan and I order my wingman to widen out and drop back a bit to give us room to maneuver after we cross the beach..

 

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I put the wing leveler autopilot on and hit the F12 key - which is great fun since it zooms around the theater picking up on all the action going on. I watch with some surprise as a flight of F-4s manages to get the drop on a flight of MiG-19s..they pull right in behind the MiG flight without them even noticing until the last second..

 

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Meanwhile, I stay a few miles behind my escort which is a flight of F-8 Crusaders that will clear a path across the shoreline..

 

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We drop down to low altitude and skim the waves at two-hundred feet...

 

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As we flash over the coast something catches my eye. Oh man..that is a Jake Grafton target right there! To my surprise, the cluster of torpedo boats is also coming alive and firing sustained bursts at the F-8s and us..!

 

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Despite the temptation to drop a few bombs on the boats, I stick with the mission plan and forge ahead. The city area is jam packed with AAA and the explosions pop all around us. I lean a bit more on the throttle and realize it is all the way forward...

 

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The flak is withering even at low altitude, but at least they don't have a long opportunity to track us as we pass quickly overhead...

 

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Another nice touch with the Homefries/malibu43 mod is the addition of the modified bomb dropping symbology. It looks great! I tap the labels key to help me spot the target (a concession to not having the greatest visual acuity in the sim I tell myself..)..

 

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At the last moment I realize I have forgotten my wingman again and I quickly dash off the "ATTACK MY TARGET" command.. I figure there is no way he has time to engage and worry he will yank up and try setting up for an attack - risking getting shot down in the process..

 

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My bomb fall line crosses the POL facility and I don't really have time to adjust to hit anything specific. I just press the pickle button and hold it down while all of my bombs ripple off..

 

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Holy crap! The explosion is massive and I worry for a second that I might have killed myself as the glow flashes in my cockpit. I don't know what the minimum release altitude is for the Snakeye..but I don't think I would want to try that any lower! (Is there frag pattern modeling that you can take damage from?)

 

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My wingman roars over the target and to my great surprise, he pickles his bombs too.. Nice job!

 

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I roll to the left because I know that is a southerly heading. I have no idea what the MiG situation is behind me, but I stay low and pull for all she's worth..nearly blacking out in the process..

 

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I level off briefly and take a quick look to my left and can see the smoke rising from our strike. That looks pretty good!

 

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I realize I've pulled a bit too hard for a bit too long though as my heading is more back the way we came from to the east and I should be evading to the south southeast. I jink back to the right and take up the proper course to get me toward the south side of the DMZ via a direct route..

 

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In case my wingman gets any crazy ideas I ask him to rejoin. I also query him for his status and he tells me he has no more weapons and no damage. Yes!

 

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We head south and I can see a bit of a furball is going on just offshore, so I elect to keep flying southeast to clear the area without attracting any attention before turning offshore..

 

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Feet wet!

 

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Soon I pick up the carrier task force on the air-to-ground radar. I have to be careful though because there are three different carriers out there and it would be pretty embarrassing to land on the wrong one..

 

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Meanwhile, back over the port the Crusaders are paying a steep price for loitering. This one takes a shot from some AAA...

 

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I finally spot my carrier and get configured for the landing. The ship is in mid-turn so I have to make some odd corrections...

 

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The turn throws me off a bit and I end up getting a bit fast and high. I think I have it all sorted out so I'm surprised when I land a touch long and miss all the wires. Bolter!

 

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I hit the power, stay configured, and come back around for another pass...

 

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This time the pass is pretty good - maybe even a three-wire..!

 

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The mission is a great success. The low level attack was really exciting and I was very happy my wingman came through unscathed. The timeline is pretty compelling to study because it shows just how compressed the action is - basically 60 seconds from getting shot at while crossing the coast to getting shot at as we leave the target area. Our bombs were released nearly simultaneously but mine did the damage. He might not have gotten credit if my bombs destroyed the target first (?).

 

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I'm now a decorated aviator!

 

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Can't wait to fly the next sortie. Once again, thanks to all the modders that have worked to make this Vietnam campaign so much fun..I appreciate all the advice, suggestions, and assistance. <S>

 

BeachAV8R

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Congrats on the medal man and nice writeup! I know what you mean about keeping your wingies alive too, feels good to keep those dudes flying. Sometimes I wish there was some more squadron building elements, sort of like Jagged Alliance to give a bit of a personal touch

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Congrats on the medal man and nice writeup! I know what you mean about keeping your wingies alive too, feels good to keep those dudes flying. Sometimes I wish there was some more squadron building elements, sort of like Jagged Alliance to give a bit of a personal touch

 

Indeed - I always liked the ability in Jane's F-15 of renaming your squadron mates. I always enjoyed making them my best friends...and..uh..sending ex-girlfriends out on SEAD.. give_rose.gif.pagespeed.ce.z_8nT3CXgE.gi

 

BeachAV8R

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great AAR and very nice screenshots, love tchem, keep tchem posting Beach!

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Hey Stary - do you know of any darker color water textures that I can use? The ones I'm using now seem a little too "cyan"-ish..so I'm desaturating the cyan a bit when I post-process the screens to make the water a bit less brilliant. Just curious if there is a darker water color available I could experiment with?

 

Before and after post process editing..

 

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BeachAV8R

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Beach, water colour is part of the tiles, so you can edit it yourself in any paint program (GIMP which is asshole to work with or PSP or PS) just keep it single colour as it was or you'll get tiles edges visible. In fact I think I could change the colour just gimme some samples or idea

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A little mea culpa..I thought I was using Crazyhorse's A-6A skin, but in fact it was the one from the package malibu and Homefries had put together. Seems that I'm not able to alter my skin selection until I reach a certain rank. I remedied that by making the Crazyhorse A-6A VA-75 skin the default one...

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BeachAV8R
 

Edited by beachav8r

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Beach, water colour is part of the tiles, so you can edit it yourself in any paint program (GIMP which is asshole to work with or PSP or PS) just keep it single colour as it was or you'll get tiles edges visible. In fact I think I could change the colour just gimme some samples or idea

 

I gave it a shot - I initially thought I got it..but it has some annoying shimmering effects and is better at lower sun angles than high ones.. I'll experiment with it a bit more later tonight..

 

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BeachAV8R

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For your question about low drops. For MK82s stay above 500 feet, for 1,000 pounders, stay above 1,000 feet. As for fragging your self, yep it does happen in the sim.

 

Falcon

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For your question about low drops. For MK82s stay above 500 feet, for 1,000 pounders, stay above 1,000 feet. As for fragging your self, yep it does happen in the sim.

 

 

That's good to know. I must have been pretty close to the minimum release altitude on that Snakeye pass. Good to know that it is possible to frag yourself.. Thanks!

 

BeachAV8R

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I bet a real aviator would have been pretty scare after that LOW level deop. Good job mate, thanks for posting!

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I can't speak for the Intruder, but for a fast jet like say the Mirage 5 you can drop retarded bombs at a very low alltitude as long as you keep up the speed -> higher speeds enables you to drop even lower with Snakeyes.

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Beach as you were wondering at one point if during high altitude drops wind affects bombs trajectory -yes totally it does; just fire up mission editor and set wind to >20 kts; tested for high level bombers (B-52s) and they miss the target runway by hundreds of meters (as for 20K ft drop altitude)

 

one of those little neat finds under the hood other simulations obviously miss

 

edit: typos

Edited by Stary

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Beach as you were wondering at one point if during high altitude drops wind affects bombs trajectory -yes totally it does; just fire up mission editor and set wind to >20 kts; tested for high level bombers (B-52s) and they miss the target runway by hundreds of meters (as for 20K ft drop altitude)

 

one of those little neat finds under the hood other simulations obviously miss

 

edit: typos

 

That's good to know. So far I've been pretty good at hitting my targets..but then again they have been very BIG targets (buildings, oil containers..) so it doesn't take much accuracy to take them out.

 

Thanks for the reply..

 

BeachAV8R

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