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A Brief DCS A-10A Review by Eric J

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A Brief DCS A-10AWarthog Review

By Eric J

 

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                With the push to “break up” the aircraft out of the Flaming Cliffs title (Currently Flaming Cliffs 3) ED has started to turn the direction (in my view anyway)  away from the study sim into more separate modules in order to update them as well as improve upon them.

 

Flight Model

                The new 1.2.11 patch compared to 1.2.10 has in my mind improved the handling of the aircraft better as well as better thrust, In order to improve the flight dynamics.  The plane now oscillates less and is more stable, and with a balanced load (or an asymmetric load coupled with the necessary trim as well) is a stable aircraft.  Overall when I started 1.2.10 I had major issues with mountain flying as then the aircraft (I soon adjusted my flying profile and style) had to be led more than now.  What I mean is that if you are to climb you needed to start very early in your climb if you felt like cresting a mountaintop.  For 1.2.11 it now takes less time to lead a mountain for a climb and the less oscillation when pulling hard is gone as well, however it is recommended to take it easy as sometimes a firm hand on the stick is better than a hard pull.  Otherwise the aircraft is very responsive and doesn’t require excessive trimming to suit your style of flight.  It’s not a speed demon so take that into consideration when planning attacks or avoiding enemy fighters or SAM/AAA assets when dodging or avoiding enemy fighter.  The aircraft is robust but a hard landing will jar the aircraft and in some cases damage it.  The level of damage and physics is good and more than likely to be improved down the line.

 

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3D Model/Textures

                The current model is of course well done and represents the late model A-10A before conversion to the C model.  Otherwise the texture work of course is topnotch and while the official DCS site offers C model templates, the templates are usable on either the A or C versions (the only notable difference is the wedge-shaped antenna behind the cockpit on the C as opposed to the A model).  Regardless they are laid out very nice (the images are from a texture that I uploaded here on CombatAce as well as the main DCS site, the “77-234 81st TFW skin) and once you figure out how to install them so the simulation can read and apply them.  Having been in the field of texture work for 13 years I can say that having done work for them both hobby and professionally I have no critiques of their methods of mapping as well as textures.  While ten 2048 x 2048 is a bit much, it offers the inexperienced to experienced texture artist the ability to make his or her aircraft how they want.

 

Functionality

                Like the Beta Su-27, the cockpit still has the same functionality that started out with Lock On: Modern Air Combat. In the practical sense this is okay as while not as laid out and not 6DOF as the C model, a novice pilot who wants to get familiar with the Warthog can fly the A model to get a feeling and when he or she is ready, move on to the C model aircraft to get into the fully useable cockpit.  Otherwise the aircraft works well as well the cockpit is laid out as per the real aircraft.  The only noticeable difference between most of the newer updates is the lack of a “pilot” such as the Su-27 where a basic 3D model is to give some immersion but realistically in my view that’s only window dressing.

 

 

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Major issues so far

                The only major bug I’ve noted and brought up was that the gun seems to be always off safe.  So even when you don’t press C (default mapping for the gun) you still can fire the gun with the trigger pull.  And the only other notable bug is that the Autopilot indicator stays displayed on the HUD regardless  of which mode that you select.  Given that you have only three doesn’t stop the show, but again it’s noticeable.

 

Final Thoughts

                The A-10A Warthog is a nice plane to fly and when I feel ready I’ll move on to the C model, but as I’m returning back to the series I’ll take it easy and just re-learn the aircraft and go from there, and the A model is a great start in that direction.

 

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