With so many different aircraft in Strike Fighters it is often the case of selecting an aircraft and fudging it around the skies with only vague recollection of how the radar works and how it is supposed to handle because you didn’t have the time to refresh. The Last of the Lightnings is a mod that unusually for SF2 centers mainly on getting familiar with a certain type of aircraft and its systems. You might even term it DCS lite however I can’t imagine seeing any of the aircraft in this mod featuring in that sim in my lifetime.
So, what is it about?
The Last of the Lightnings (by comrpnt) is a set of scripted single missions (like YAP) that take the player through an RAF Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) training program and is based on the writings of ex Lightning and F-4 pilot Ian Black. This takes place in 1976 and you are flying the English Electric Lightning F.mk6.
The what you say? or as FastCargo once stated before being put under court martial by the USAF for blasphemy [or not].
The Lightning was the last fully designed British supersonic fighter to enter service and its only requirement seems to have been performance above everything else [especially fuel]. Strike Fighters 2 comes with all seven of the single seat variants:
Lightning F.mk1 Lightning F.mk1A Lightning F.mk2 Lightning F.mk2A Lightning F.mk3 Lightning F.mk6 Lightning F.mk53 Okay if you are wondering where your Lightnings are then you didn’t buy SF2 Expansion Pack 2 did you, in which case you are one of the reasons TK is now doing crappy phone games only………[hey his words] not to make you feel too guilty!
Shame really because it comes with some of the best 3D pits Thirdwire ever did, and probably unique as far as combat sims go with the Lightning:
The centrepiece of the mod is a pdf guide that must have taken some time to do and is quite detailed in places.
So the point of this is that you will be learning to fly the Lightning or at least be better at it. On Hard flight model (~SFM in DCS) it can be tricky to handle so you will be dragged through formation landings, flying, A-A refueling and even learn how to use the radar to properly intercept targets and actually read the radar symbology. Some of this should be useful for other aircraft at least.
So yes you need SF2E and SF2 Exp 2 to run this minimum. I was running this from a full merged install, of which I created a separate install by copying the game exe file and running that to create a new Mod folder called LastOfTheLightnings for it.
Full instructions are on the PDF and is mostly drag and drop with some ini file editing. For the training rounds I created new folders in the weapons folder and not the old-fashioned way recommended.
So once up and running I added mods and changed them as I went through the course. Because of the changes that come with the mod I only changed the terrain tiles, runway, and sky using Better Widesky (Cellisky/Orsin). I have also put in mods to give more head movement and darker nights.
Up and running
Firstly, you go to single mission only and choose the missions using the date code e.g.  then ignore the text the game puts in because it is wrong [only go by the date code to get the correct mission per the guide].
Check your loadout - obviously the training rounds should be there otherwise don’t touch or change anything just look at the map and then launch.
So you start either on the runway or the taxi way on these missions.
At the beginning the tricky parts are landing on formation with your Qualified Flying instructor (QFI) and playing chase the QFI. Especially at night you need to be on your feet to keep track of the guy initially!
You are then given instruction on how A-A refueling should be done, e.g. fly in formation on the port side before refueling then fly formation on the starboard wing. You then have to try it at night and in clouds.
Yes the amazing Ravenclaw Bucc is in this pack.
The Intercept phase is interesting and you will be going after low and high targets before flying in formation with them, so you will need to learn what those dots and lines mean
After basic intercepts you get to do ACM against the pesky aggressor F-4Ms, although don’t pay too much attention to the instruction for this because they will spam those AIM-7s at you, luckily they are only training rounds [if you installed them properly] and wont kill you.
Next live weapons are used to intercept remote controlled unmanned drones (Hunters). The early ones fly straight but the later ones give you problems by turning a lot.
After basic strafing there is a pretty cool finale for your graduation, firstly you fly an F-4M as a photo chase plane:
Then you get to fly position 9 in a graduation formation fly over of RAF Jever.
Final salute to comrpnt for a fine job six years later.
View File M-2000C: US Marine Corps Adversary Squadron VMFT-401 "Snipers"
M-2000C: US Marine Corps Adversary Squadron VMFT-401 "Snipers"
for DCS World 1.5.6 and later
VMFT-401 was commissioned in 1986 and in 1987 received the IAI Kfir (designated F-21A) under lease from the Israeli government. The "Snipers" flew the Kfir until 1989, when it transitioned to the F-5E Tiger II. This skin is inspired by the 1987-89 timeframe in which USN and USMC flew the Kfir, a delta-wing aircraft of French origin.
The Kfir was built by IAI based on the Mirage V airframe. The closest flyable substitute to the Kfir in DCS is the M-200C, so this is a fictional skin that paints the M-2000C as a USMC adversary. This skins uses the traditional Israeli Air Force desert pattern that was used on some of the VMFT-401 adversary aircraft. Since the original aircraft were leased and kept much of their original markings, so is the case with the M-2000C skins. No original markings (e.g. rescue arrows and safety markings) were subdued to match US paint schemes. However, minor liberties were taken with the pilot skins in order to make the pilots look more American.
For Compact Installations - A Note About Autoexec.cfg:
Rather than copying texture files to their respective livery folders, I prefer to use a series of common texture folders along with unique filenames. This allows a single instance of many of my common textures, and keeps the hard drive footprint to a minimum (especially nice if you run a SSD for your system drive).
The installer will add a series of folders to the DCS Texture path; if you do not have these folders created, then it is no problem. The autoexec.cfg included will automatically point to the Texture folder in your Saved Games\DCS folder, and regardless of whether you run the Open Alpha, Open Beta, or Release version of DCS, the path will always point to your Saved Games\DCS\Texture folder. Again, this saves space on your hard drive.
If you use your own Autoexec.cfg, then when prompted to overwrite you can click "no". This will create a file called autoexec.new, and you can manually make the updates as you like. Just don't modify the top line with the file date; this is used by the installer for version control. However, feel free to include it in your existing autoexec.cfg, so you don't get prompted to overwrite until there's another update to the autoexec.cfg.
If you inadvertently overwrite your autoexec.cfg, it is actually backed up as autoexec.old. Just open it and copy the appropriate information to the new file.
For Traditional Installations or JSGME Compatible Extractions:
If you don't wish to use the shared texture folder and custom autoexec.cfg, you have a couple of other options available. Selecting the Traditional Install copies all textures to each livery folder, then copies each livery to each version of DCS detected (up to three versions, including release, open alpha and open beta). As a result, the listed hard disk space requirement assumes all three DCS versions are installled. Each skin is independent and portable.
If you wish to install to a location other than your Saved Games folder, you must select the Single JSGME Extraction, or else the installation will fail for not detecting existing Saved Games\DCS folders. Selecting this option will create a JSGME compatible install that can be dropped directly into your JSGME _MODS folder for installation. Each skin is independent and portable.
For either of these installation options, if there is an issue with textures not displaying, then it is likely a problem with the installer. Please let me know what textures are missing so that I can troubleshoot the issue.
If you have any squadron requests, please PM me. If possible, provide top and profile views of the aircraft, preferably line art (much easier to extract color), and for CAG/CO birds, a close up of the tail fin is greatly appreciated.
You are free to use any of these skins in other projects as long as proper credit is provided in the readme file.
Submitter HomeFries Submitted 03/08/2017 Category Misc/AI Aircraft Skins
View File P-51D Colombian Air Force Skin Pack (Fictional)
This is a package of two P-51D skins using the current Fuerza Aérea Colombiana grey paint scheme used for the Super Tucano. One version of the skin has a "shark mouth" on the nose. Nationalities are USA and Spain.
Copy the folders to your Saved Games\DCS\Liveries\P-51D folder.
The release of DCS World 1.2.4 added the ability to add texture paths using the file "autoexec.cfg" in your Saved Games\DCS\Config folder. This will allow you to save hard drive space as long as the skin filenames are unique. My skins support this, so any DDS file with the same name will be identical.
In order to enable this feature, add the following line to autoexec.cfg (be sure to create the file if it doesn't exist):
table.insert(options.graphics.VFSTexturePaths, "C:/Users/<username>/Saved Games/DCS/Textures")
You can use any path (even a different drive), but you must use forward slashes for your path. Backslashes won't work here.
Then, you can move all of the DDS files from each of the skin folders to this new folder you've added to your path. Allowing overwrites is not a problem, as I use unique names for each file. Finally, be sure to go into each description.lua file and change all "false" entries to "true."
You are free to use any of these skins in other projects as long as proper credit is provided in the readme file.
Submitter HomeFries Submitted 06/28/2014 Category Misc/AI Aircraft Skins
Okay so the Rolling Thunder campaign was never my favourite campaign from the series, in fact might be the most bland. The main reason for this was most probably the fact that there is no forward line of troops and tank columns to fight it out, and gain or lose ground after each mission.
Rolling Thunder for real
The campaign namesake this is based on was one of the most disastrous and misguided campaigns in the history of aerial warfare. What was hoped would be a few weeks of bombing missions to get North Vietnam back to the negotiating table to stop them trying to invade the South, turned into 3 or so years of bombing targets selected by Washington. Or to put it another way pussy footing around bombing things that did nothing more than improve North Vietnam's resolve to continue on its agenda and also allow it to build up its defenses with the help of the Soviet Union and China.
So, 3 years of bombing targets – many times the same targets over and over, and never achieving the desired US strategy.
Rolling Thunder in game
In the Strike Fighters game engine this translates to what seems like a string of single missions and yes you don’t have much of an objective other than to try and not get shot down.
However, unlike auto generated Single missions, Campaign missions are more content filled and almost always include strike packages and flights that help you do your job (If you at least meet your timings). Not only that all the units have their markings and decals as they should.
Like history there are no SAMs until mid 1965 and the MiG regiments are limited in number. One great thing about TKs games is the use of "dates", so the game engine can just plonk in the correct objects (Guns/SAMs/MiGs) depending on the date you are flying. This also includes getting rebased and upgraded to better aircraft during the campaign.
Like most things in Strike Fighters World, mods can really help and I am using the Vietnam Gold mod with a variety of my own changes. This comes with quite a fearsome atmosphere with a ton of guns shooting at you with purple stuff, red stuff and grey puffy stuff. A major benefit is a bigger variety of targets and not just the sodding comms building again.
Feb 24 1966 and I am flying from Da Nang in an F-100D (1964 version) for the 416th “Silver Knights”. I don’t know what it is about the F-100D that I like because it is outclassed by pretty much all the MiGs.
The Lang Chi Electric Power plant is my target (a welcome addition from gold pack I think) – and I need to be on target for 09:10 on the dot.
I am maxing out the M-117s here – there are plenty of them available. The SF2 Super Sabre also allows TERS to carry 4 on the inner pylons by default but with extra drag.
How to get there hmmm. Those that played Wings Over Vietnam will know various routes into the North to minimise exposure to the SAMs, some of which had a 90% plus probability of kill if you were not flying at about 5ft off the ground. Luckily the SAMs in SF2 and this pack allow you to fly a bit more as they tended too back then!
With a target near Yen Bai I can use the highlands as cover and cross in over South NVN where there are little to no SAMs.
The Square box waypoint (the Initial Point /IP) is also the spawn point if you use Alt N, so can be moved around if you don’t have time to fly there.
Waypoint 3 is fixed as a rendezvous with other flights. If SF2 had been developed, it would have been nice to change the waypoint details for the flights like in Falcon so you could move the fixed waypoint for all flights.
Another thing that could have been improved was seeing your actual target area before flying. If you consider Jack Broughton spent all night memorising features etc before going on a mission you can understand the point of just marking the actual target with Padlock or a red dot!
As you can see only 2 MiG regiments active with MiG-17F and MiG-21F-13.
First Lt Eldon Atterbury is my wingy today. If you do take time to nurture the pilots their stats do improve (if they survive)
Let's go then
As we fly towards the target other flights are also on route to their targets.
After a while several fights occur
Due to meticulous planning we reach the target just fine and we roll in from above the cloud base
I hit the target but get peppered by a lot of triple A
Phew heading out but think my Wingy is a bit lost.
Try to search, but no sign of him and no beeper! so off home alone
Mystery solved, a MiG-21F-13 gunned him down and I had no idea that was in the area! If only all Vietnam mysteries could be solved so easy!
I then went on to fly A-4C/Es for the US Navy in which you get to take off from Carriers in the Gulf on Tonkin
Mr SAM is always happy to see you
This thud was just lucky!
This thud was not so lucky
What are all those blotches
So still quite intense flying through all the anti air and check 6 for those MiGs as always!
View File Su-32 34 Skin Packs
This is a set of Camouflages for Su-34
THIS IS ONLY TEXTURE SET and decals, There are no other files in this pack. This set is for persons who have this aircraft. I know that it is difficult to find this model last times. Do not ask me how to get it cuz I do not know. I got this aircraft many years ago and do not know its fate and why it is not available.
I tried to make the skins as accurate as possible. But some details missed because of the limitations of the model, some details i was too lazy to tune. As all old aircrafts, it has ugly UV map which is hard to use for texturing. Some early cammuflages can be not accurate too much to real aircraft for some details. There is a long "antiblick" strip over white nose on one photo, and the same aircraft has short strip before gray nose at another photo, one aircraft has "no step" dashes, anothe haven't it etc. Сoloration is often very different from year to year and sometimes from an aircraft to an aircraft from the same serie.
If you ask me why there is a chaos in a decal folder, the answer is that there is a chaos only for a first look ;) I used decals from NATO fighters pack and all decals on places which in that pack. I do not like doubles and i do like in my Mod folder. That is why decals not in one folder.
Skins was drawn based on outlines by Mariusz Wojciechowski and real photos.
Prototype Su-32 1993
Prototype Su-32 1995
Le Bourget 1997
Russia_1 - Standard modern colors
Russia_2 - Standard modern colors with "No Step" marks
Serial Su-34 2006
Aubergine 2011 - old gray skin from pack below looks too black in game. i tuned it and made some decals.
Aubergine 2012 - same with color tunes and some different decals for 2012 with "No Step" marks
BACK UP you original Su-34 folder first.
installation: unpack and copy to your installed Su-34 folder. Be sure to overwrite the decals folder. It is very important! There is a fix for the UV grid of the original model, cause of which the tail had a reflection of the another. All other decals like numbers are not changed and ruins nothing if you overwrite. If you didnt changed them youself.
I used these files:
NATO Fighters 4+
By Dave (approved by Dave, January 20, 2016)
I took some skin details like engines, nozzles, marks, from this skin:
By WINGSOVERISRAEL (approved by Dave, April 5, 2014)
All the best, bazillius
other skins by other users are here:
Submitter bazillius Submitted 04/09/2018 Category Su-34