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streakeagle

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streakeagle last won the day on October 9 2016

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About streakeagle

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  1. In general, I never liked the flight models of LOMAC/Flaming Cliffs other than the Su-25T, which paved the way to the much more realistic and detailed flight models of DCS World aircraft. This is an important point: simple flight model = very bad, especially compared to the very detailed and potentially very realistic flight model available in the Strike Fighters series. In general, unofficial, unlicensed community aircraft mods for DCS World cannot access the SDK needed to make proper DCS World modules, so they usually exist in one of two forms: borrowing the modeling of a Flaming Cliffs aircraft while using a different 3d model or being completely limited to a simple flight model. Along comes the MB339 and the A-4E-C (c for community mod). These two mods are somewhere between the SFM of the old LOMAC series and the Professional Flight Model of ED's official DCS releases. I believe they have figured out (or were told by ED or a third party) how to use a custom external flight model similar to the way the licensed third parties are able to provide one. So, their flight models can potentially be as good as ED's PFMs in many ways... yet there are still limitations to the systems modeling without the SDK and/or ED's support. The MB339 and A-4E-C are absolutely amazing. You would swear they are a full-blown licensed 3rd party modules... except for some little difficulties. Wheel brakes and radio functionality are two big ones for me. But if you can ignore those little problems, you get amazing aircraft that are far superior to the crappy VEAO Hawk that was fully licensed and supported by ED before they finally dropped out of the market. The A-4E is particularly interesting to me, because its existence represents a big step to what I want: the best of both worlds. I want Strike Fighters's historical environments, aircraft, and ground objects mixed with DCS World's superior engine for modern graphics, terrain, multiplayer, exceptionally realistic systems modeling, VR support, and countless other features TK never got around to adding to the SF series (recording and playing back missions, ejecting, refueling, etc.). DCS World has been slowly, but steadily moving in the direction I want since around the time that TK ceased development for SF2. With the arrival of the P-51D and the announcement of the MiG-21bis, I knew DCS World would eventually surpass SF2 as my go-to sim for flying every night. The F-86, MiG-15, F-5E, MiG-19, Mirage 2000, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14, UH-1, and Mi-8 really sealed the deal. A MiG-23MLA and F-8J Crusader are just around the corner, too. But it has taken a very long time to get this far. The A-4E proves to me that the community can step up and provide great aircraft that rival payware quality without having to deal with ED's licensing obligations or trying to turn a profit. Flying the DCS World A-4E provides everything flying the SF2 A-4E did, and so much more. So, to help support the A-4E, someone is hosting a server with a Vietnam like environment in terms of aircraft, ground objects, and missions. You can fly A-4Es, F-5Es, and MiG-21s. You get a call on what the target is and where it is at. You can dial the latt and long on you A-4E's navigation computer, which is as easy as twisting a knob until the numbers match the message. You can use the ground radar for all of its available modes: search/navigation, terrain avoidance, and attack. You can carry all the appropriate ordnance, including ARMs for SEAD. You have a RWR control panel (primarily audio and light indications) and decoy dispensers with manual and automatic programs. The A-4E is not really compatible with the new hyper-realistic Supercarrier, as ED only works with licensed developers and the SDK to provide support for that payware DLC, but it works great with the existing carrier, providing carrier operations far superior to what you can do in SF2. The thorn in you side is the unsupported radio comms critical to both airfield and carrier operations as well as getting inflight updates, etc. But the experience of flying the A-4E in VR and watching SA-2 SAM missiles lift off and head your way while hearing your RWR and some panicked voice calls is super immersive. If SAMs, MiGs, or SA-2s get you and you are able to eject, you are in for a real treat in VR. I hate to get shot down, but I love to eject. If you are flying high up in an F-86 Sabre and eject, the view is fantastic as well as observing the sequence of falling with the chair, separating from the chair, and having the chute finally open when you are low enough. The A-4 ejection is just as fun/immersive. If you make it past the SAMs and MiGs to your objective, you get to enjoy setting up your weapons delivery, including dialing in your gunsight depression. Rockets, bombs, missiles, and guns all work great. So here is what the A-4E and this great "Vietnam" server tell me: ED needs to get off their butt and provide both Korea and Vietnam maps and modders from other flight sims need to converge on DCS World and fill in the plane set at a pace that can't be matched by professional developers trying to run at a profit. With the right modding community, DCS World free content could explode to fill in the gaps that are going to take a long time to fill with licensed developers while nearly matching their quality. In the mean time, I am going to continue a balance between training offline and flying online in Korea, Vietnam, and Cold War servers that focus on the same combat environments I loved in SF2, but with really good multiplayer. I haven't had this much fun since SFP1 and Wings Over Vietnam were originally released. Unless ED suddenly goes bankrupt and switches to making free-to-play mobile apps, my combat flight simming future is very bright. Now, it could be a whole lot better for me if ED would get rolling on the F-4E that Belsimtek had started but stopped after being absorbed and tasked by ED to focus on the F/A-18, F-16, and Mi-24. Alternatively, Heatblur is in a great position to make an F-4J or F-4S with their experience with the F-14: Super Carrier compatibility, jester AI for the backseat, and older AIM-7E missiles. In the interim, I fly the F-14B quite a bit, because aside from the amazing power to weight, low speed agility, and AWG-9/AIM-54 weapon system, flying the F-14 feels a lot like flying the F-4 with steam gauges and no fly-by-wire. Once the underpowered F-14A is released, it will be darn close to flying an F-4S if you don't carry AIM-54s. Some people think DCS World is too complex compared to SF2, but if you could operate an F-4 or an A-4E/F in SF2, you can fly just as easily in DCS World. There are a few more buttons to push/knobs to turn, but you can use one keypress to complete startup, and after that most of the necessary controls are similar to SF2 controls, or remarkably obvious/easy to use by reading the labels and clicking on the in-game cockpit with a mouse or VR controller rather than trying to memorize the keyboard map, which was actually quite complex in SF2, where most keys had 2 or more functions using <shift>, <alt>, and <ctrl> modifiers. The older aircraft like the F-86, MiG-15, and F-5E are incredibly easy to fly with full-realism: no harder than SF2. The MiG-21 has a cockpit full of switches, but after a few flights it is almost as easy to operate as the other older analog aircraft. If you love SF2 and haven't played DCS World in a while, get the free A-4E and take it for a spin on the Vietnam multiplayer server. It's like SF2 is on graphical steroids, while at the same time being more realistic and equally fun to fly and fight.
  2. I would think the F-5B would be almost as much work as an F-5E, but I will gladly take any variants you can produce to the same standard as this one. The NF-5A and F-5C are the principal variants I would want, so your intentions are very good news to me. It is great to see such amazing progress in a sim that should otherwise be completely dead by now. I don't know what motivates people to work so hard for free, but I am more than happy to take advantage of your generosity and determination. Great stuff, keep it coming!
  3. Congratulations on finishing this project! I am sorry that Sophocles had to go through so much upheaval at home, both personally and economically. But despite the heartbreak, stress, and resulting long delays, this F-5A has turned out to be a top-notch add-on. Certainly among the top 5 aircraft you can get, and arguably the best available at this time. I would have enjoyed a lot more back in 2012 when SF2 was still my primary sim of interest. At this point, I primarily play DCS World, but I still download and try out SF2 mods that interest me. This one most certainly interested me. Are there going to be follow on F-5A addons based on this release to cover other users/variants, which aside from texturing and minor FM/model edits shouldn't be too hard or time consuming compared to the previous effort)? I would love to see an SF2 F-5E completed to this level, but that is substantially different and would pretty much be the same as building a new aircraft from scratch apart from being able to reuse a lot of the cockpit and most of the flight model.
  4. Hellenic Air Force F-5A Volume I

    This is a top notch add-on. I love the F-5 and this is an amazing model of it. Anyone that wants to experience the best that SF2 has to offer should be flying this aircraft. The external model is great, but it is the cockpit that is really outstanding. I have one very minor complaint: the rudder pedals are animated to show using wheel brakes instead of the motion used to move the rudder. I have one technical issue: I can't hear the guns. The wav file sounds ok. If I rename another file that I know works to the same name as the M39E sound file, I can't hear it either. If I remove the Guns folder that was installed with this mod, I can hear the default M39 just fine. I don't see anything wrong in the M39 data ini, so I have no idea why it isn't working. [edit]I just learned why the sound isn't working: it has to be registered in the soundlist.ini. I don't remember ever doing that over all these years. Some of the "complete" mods like Vietnam Air and Ground War provide the necessary soundlist.ini with the package. Having to add each custom sound is a pain in the butt. Of course, there is a readme file I missed that explained exactly what I supposed to do rather than me learning the hard way using the forum search function. Using VorpX, this looks great in VR, too
  5. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 pre-order

    I am enjoying VR right now, particularly with DCS World and to some extent in other sims like IL-2:BoX series, Aces High 3, P3d, and Aerofly FS2. But I want the tech to reach the point that VR image quality matches flat panel image quality with a full natural field of view at 90+ fps... and that level of hardware isn't going to exist for quite some time, if ever. To use VR in P3d, you have to disable all the Orbx terrain addons and lower the quality settings too much. The whole point of the civil flight sims is to have amazing image quality if you are focused more on sight seeing than realistic systems or flight modeling. And even if you are more focused on the systems and flight modeling, neither requires VR. So, it is understandable that MS chose to focus on 2d panel quality and performance. The only question is have they really delivered or is it marketing hype like the in-game screenshots on the back of old PC games sold at stores in big boxes.
  6. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 pre-order

    I looked at the options. I decided to preorder the best one with the 10 extra planes and 10 extra airports. The airplane selection isn't very exciting for me because I like Flight Simulator X having the P-51 and F/A-18 as well as helicopters built in. I also liked the ultralight. Very good variety. But if you are just going to have general aviation aircraft, I want a Cessna 152 and Cessna 172, they have both. Airport wise, they came pretty close to giving me everything I would want. I like airports/cities I know well. I lived near San Francisco and flew in/out of that airport many times. I lived in San Diego, but spent some time in LA and flew in and out of LA a few times. I currently live in Orlando, so it is great that they included that one. Chicago and New York are must haves if you are going to have any US airports/cities at all, and I have traveled to those a few times, too. But I would have loved to have my favorite two cities with their airports: San Diego and Tampa. Now if this looks and runs as well as the trailers, the only thing that should disappoint me is the lack of VR support. But I have to wait for over a month to find out.
  7. The differences between an i5 and an i7 are absolutely useless for an old game like this one. Single core clock speed is the only thing that really matters for cpu performance and an i5 clocked the same as in i7 from a given generation will perfom identically in older games. RAM capacity and speed are both useful. GPU speed and RAM capacity are useful. But there are tools where you can see how hard your gpu is being pushed. If it isn't pegged at its limits, it isn't a bottleneck. I have been flying DCS World with i5 for quite some time and my numbers are only slower than i7 and i9 cpus by the percentage difference in clock rates. I am running 4.4 GHz and most of the "high end guys" run at 5+ GHz. I fly VR on a Rift S, and can do so in SF2 without any limitations from flying with an i5. If I had money to blow, I would experiment with an i3 just to see if it would make a difference in my flight sims. When flight sims start being coded to leverage more than 2 cores, AMD is going to take the title for cost-effective cpus. But until then, single core clock speed combined with the effective work per clock cycle will dominate flight sim performance, and i5s running at the same clock speeds at i7s and i9s will have identical frame rates and graphics quality for a given GPU and a given RAM size/speed. I am not sure what the minimum level of GPU it takes to max out SF2 performance, but I know a plain jane GTX 1080 is practically idling with a stock SF2 setup and my old AMD 7970 GHz edition could hold 60 fps vsync without a problem mixed with my i5 and 16 GB RAM. DCS World will chew up more RAM than any SF2 setup. With maxed out settings, DCS World can easily exceed 16 GB RAM on some terrains and some missions. I have 32 GB RAM. Only in certain cases is that RAM helping me. Most of the time, DCS World needs less than 16 GB RAM and SF2 normally doesn't even come close because its terrain quality, even with mods, is much lower quality and consumes much less resources.
  8. The F-100 isn't the only thing that is better! Many people that had SFP1 failed to see the value in buying SF2, because in theory SFP1 with mods was almost equal to SF2... so why buy the same game twice? Wings Over Israel was a glimpse of what was coming in SF2. It foreshadowed some of the graphics, AI dogfighting behavior, and electronics improvements. Ultimately, SF2 was a step up in almost every area except one: the loss of any multiplayer capability. But only a handful of people ever played SFP1/WoX online, I know because I hosted for years. SF2 had improvements to the available variants: look at how many different F-4s, A-4, F-100s, etc. you can fly. Most of the have realistically unique external 3d models and cockpits, adding things like RWRs, jammers, etc. that early versions didn't have. The electronic systems were made more realistic, most notably the RWRs. The flight model aerodynamic co-efficient tables were re-done at a higher resolution, which makes the flight models much more accurate, especially as you approach the sound barrier. And it kept on evolving with the addition of the mission editor and ultimately the North Atlantic brought the F-14 and much improved support for naval assets, including the functionality of aircraft carriers, which now had parked aircraft. But most people didn't see it that way and wouldn't pay for it. They either stuck with SFP1, pirated SF2, or moved on to other flight sims like LOMAC/Flaming Cliffs. Between the mission editor and North Atlantic, SF2 development costs made Third Wire go into the red and forced TK to switch to free-to-play android games. They are great for what they are supposed to be, but they don't interest me at all. I would have rather seen SF2 keep expanding/improving. It is great that TK is trying to get the ball rolling again, but the failure of the crowdfunding effort for the Windows 10 patch to even come close to the goal tells me how this ends: we only get this patch, which only has one purpose, not to add anything new or patch any long existing bugs, but simply to maximize Windows 10 compatibility because a good number of people have had problems with running SF2 on Win10. After the patch, I expect TK to go back to the apparently much more stable/profitable android apps. If only everyone who ever bought an SFP1/WoX game or pirated SF2 would come back and buy an SF2 game, or better yet this complete collection. That just might generate enough demand/profitability to get TK to spend some more time patching/improving SF2, maybe adding proper VR support.
  9. I am guessing that the radar is not being used correctly. Use search mode to find contacts at long range. Use the appropriate key shortcut or mapped button to move the radar cursor to a detected contact. Use the appropriate key shortcut or mapped button to lock on, which can generally be done at ranges greater than 10 nm for most US/NATO aircraft and later USSR/Warsaw Pact aircraft. The auto search/combat and/or boresight modes are all limited to about 5 or 10 nm depending on the aircraft. But even the long range manual lock has range limits that are usually less than the max search range possible. For instance, a radar with a max search range of 30 or 40 nm might only be able to track/illuminate targets at 20 or 30 nm. Whereas monster like the F-15 can detect contacts at 80 nm or greater, but can't track them at those ranges... which is ok since the AIM-7F/M used by the F-15A isn't going to fly that far anyway. Most SARH missiles are only effective at ranges less than 10 nm anyway, unless you are at high altitudes and/or high Mach numbers when you launch. I prefer to use AIM-7 missiles at ranges where they have been historically effective, which also seems to work fairly well within the game: 8 nm or less, preferably a head-on shot with high closure rate or less than 5 nm for a stern shot. Later Desert Storm AIM-7M BVR shots were about 35 to 45 % successful, but those were generally fired at ranges of 8 to 12 nm. Vietnam had more successful BVR shots than originally claimed because the "Combat Tree" system that allowed F-4s to use enemy IFF to confirm targets was classified, but even the declassified shots weren't that many and were all taken at ranges less than 10 nm, generally 7-8 nm with the AIM-7E2. In the game, the AIM-7E2 is horrible for head on BVR shots, it works much better as a stern chase dogfight missile, whereas the slightly earlier AIM-7E is great for head on shots and horrible for stern chase shots.
  10. McDonnell painted their F-15B test/demo plane in colors patterned after the Thunderbirds' T-38s. I would have loved to have seen the big F-14s and F-15s doing airshows. But it was political death to spend that kind of money. They were lucky to be able to go back to first line fighters instead of cheap, fuel efficient trainers/light attack aircraft like the T-38 and A-4 brought on by the energy crisis.
  11. The skin should be made for the A-4G... that would provide a 3d model reasonably close to the A-4F used by the Blue Angels and its flight model should be close, too since it was up-engined.
  12. So here is what it looks like with SFP1 vs DCS:
  13. After searching, I was surprised to find only two A-4 Skyhawk Blue Angels skins available and they are both for SFP1. The original MarcFighters skin was made to match the original resolution of SFP1 skins. It looks good otherwise, but is clearly far from a Sundowner's F-4 skin level of detail and quality. The other skin is for the A-4F and is of a much lower quality. My interest was piqued after trying out the free DCS World A-4E Community mod, which includes a beautiful Blue Angels skin, but it has the hump. So, that made me wonder if I could find an equally good looking Blue Angels skin for an SF2 A-4 without the hump. The answer is that there is no SF2 skin with or without the hump. TK did great skin DLCs for the F-4s that added respectable Blue Angels and Thunderbirds skins. But he never did the same for the A-4s.
  14. F-4 Cockpit Revisited

    I stumbled on to an F-101 Voodoo throttle quadrant on eBay. It looked suspiciously like an F-4 throttle quadrant, so I bought it to see if I could use it with my F-4 throttle levers. They swapped in perfectly for the F-101 levers. The mechanics for engine off and afterburner engagement are a little different, but this will do fine if I can't ever fine an actual F-4 throttle.
  15. DCS World has come a long way from Flanker / LOMAC. I thoroughly enjoy it. I have finally started to get into multiplayer using the awesome combination of VAICOM Pro for interacting with AI and SRS for interacting with real people using the proper radio controls and procedures. The F-14B and F/A-18C are great aircraft to fly. With Supercarrier, these two Naval fighters shine as the most fun and immersive to fly in DCS World. The Tomcat is a little harder to employ in combat because of the combination of older, complex systems and having to deal with the AI RIO, who can't figure out that if I tell him to track a target and the radar loses track while an AIM-7 or AIM-54 is in the air, that he needs to regain the lock as quickly as possible on the same contact. But the Tomcat is more fun to fly because it isn't fly-by-wire. The Tomcat is my go-to plane to fly until an F-4 Phantom is available. It is actually a half-decent F-4 simulator thanks to the RIO, steam gauge cockpit, and AIM-7/AIM-9 armament. If the F-14A ever becomes available as originally promised, it has very similar power-to-weight with resulting similar climb and sustained turn performance. If you don't use AIM-54s, it will only have the range and TWS benefits of the radar over the F-4 in weapons systems. Whereas the F-14B's big engines make it competitive if not superior to anything else flying if you can handle the lack of fly-by-wire with good pitch and yaw control. The Hornet is only crippled by two things: underpowered and low max g limit. But it is by far the easiest aircraft to use for air combat and one of the most fun to fly because of its high AoA performance. The Hornet really handles well if you can keep the speed low enough to not be limited by max G and fast enough to not be limited by drag and stall speed.
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