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Found 29 results

  1. Some problems with the weapons in FE2. When I'm flying on Anatra DS in "Bomb target" mission, I cant't select "bombs" and I can't even see the bombs. In FE1 is "All Correct". The same problem in FE2 is with "bomb target" mission on Camel F1 (150). In FE1 is "All Correct". Then - a problem with SPAD XII. FE2 can't detect 37mm SAMC Moteur cannon. In FE1 is "All Correct". BUT... When I replace in "SPAD XII_data" 37mm SAMC Moteur cannon to 37mm Hotchkiss M1902 - FE2 can detect this one. In FE1 is "All Correct". Is it any way to fix this problems ?
  2. Hello gents', Thought I'd post some speculations and observations on the FM aspects of some things in FE2 and SF2 that I've recently been tinkering with. This might be an interesting post for those who like to follow these technical threads. I was recently installing more aircraft into my small SF2 install - something I wanted to get to last year but had no time - and I decided to install a couple of the late prop aircraft too, particularly the SeaFury and F4U-5 variant of the Corsair. Overall pleased with the handling of the types, I tweaked a few things such as desensitizing the rudder on them, and also giving them slightly heavier aileron feel - since those late model prop aircraft were fairly heavy, about 4500 kg on average. Further testing involved flying and inspection of the [FlightControl] and [Engine] sections...couldn't get much beyond about 500 kph near sea level or at alt. in the types...so I commented out the MaxSpeedSL entry for the FlightControl, and tweaked prop speeds to close to historical, within the 2000 to 3000 rpm range, also pushed up the value for the SLPowerDry entry for the Engine, usually by a noticeable amount, and then tested further. Some of the things I've noticed, in terms of SF2 specifically (but this post is relevant to FE2 too): a) WEP power is not modelled realistically, since you can keep running it without engine damage b) WEP power doesn't give much of a boost, if at all (although I've only tinkered with the SeaFury and Corsair so far) c) a better way of simulating, however simplistic it is, the potential of WEP power, is to manipulate the AltitudeTableData numbers instead (for example, I plugged in values ranging from about 1.05 to 1.35 around the 6000 m alt. band, which should be where the Corsairs benefitted the most from max. throttle) d) after manipulation of the AltitudeTableData, it's best to get rid of the WEP entries entirely, and set up "throttle gradients" instead under the engine sections, such as: ThrottleRate=0.65 IdleThrottle=0.12 CruiseThrottle=0.45 MilThrottle=0.70 MaxThrottle=1.00 The numbers above I've plugged in, for example, for the Corsair. The space between Military throttle and Max throttle would be where "WEP power" would theoretically in this case be engaged, somewhere around the 0.85 mark for the band I've selected above. For this to work somewhat realistically, the player should restrict themselves to about 85% throttle max. except in extreme situations, depending of course on where military and max throttle are set. Also important for this to work is to make sure that the max SL speed under the FlightControl section is left uncapped (commented out) - otherwise artificial barriers are set up that cannot be bypassed by more than about 20-30 kph. Speed caps work beautifully in SF2 for the jet engines, but, at least from my experience, don't work that well with the late prop planes since you can then never hit top max. recorded historical speeds, not even at alt. - and not at SL either. Also noticeable in the example above is that I've increased the throttle rate from the default of about 0.25. Historically, late prop aircraft would have had better acceleration than early jet planes (not better top speeds, but faster acceleration to their own max speed). By the 1960s/70s, jet engines should surpass the props even in acceleration. I then re-tested by dumping the modified Corsair into my FE2 install. In SF2 it can get into the 760s kph, as historical, using the engine and throttle values I've included in my graded throttle settings above, while in FE2 the same tweaks push the top speed into the 880s kph - a difference of about 120 kph for top speeds, across FE2/SF2. This is why it's not a good idea simply to transfer data inis from one of the sims to the other. I'm assuming that the discrepancy in top speeds means that TK went with calculations to give less air resistance in FE2 (maybe FE as well?) - to fit better with the more fragile and maneuverable WWI aircraft types. One thing that remains constant between FE2 and SF2 is that, at least from my observations, the WEP modelling is not very realistic - there was no high alt. band where I could push the top speed beyond, for example, a reasonable top speed that may have been possible at near sea level (such as 500 or 600 kph). Some preliminary conclusions, to be tested further: a) speed caps at sea level should be kept in place in FE2, as done in the data inis in my FM packs, since they fit better with the lower top speeds of the early aircraft anyway, and mach limits should also be kept fairly low (I have them set at 120% of the "top speed" of the WW1 aircraft....this allows for realistic dive speeds that I haven't been able to push beyond about the 460 kph mark even on the late war types such as the SE5a) b) flying late WW2 and early Cold War prop aircraft in FE2 is not recommended, but FE2 may be good for "Golden Age" stuff, as Geezer speculated upon in another thread (can't remember the link for that now), in other words for aircraft that don't have a top speed higher than about 350 or 400 kph c) the difference between top speeds at alt and at sea level are modelled just fine for the jet engines in SF2, since caps on SL speeds, and Alt speeds, work fine for those (have seen this in some Flogger tweaks that I did for my mini-SF2 install); in other words, SF2 respects the wet/dry mach values and alt table entries beautifully for jet-age stuff d) I think that the MaxThrottle value in SF2, for the prop aircraft, could use some more tinkering/testing...I've set it at 1.00, but will try other values of 1.20, 1.50 etc., to see if this creates more realistic differences between regular power and WEP, or some kind of "accordion" effect e) as it stands, I'm enjoying the SeaFuries and Corsairs but only with SL speed uncapped and giving historical top speeds not at alt. but near sea level (this is a compromise of sorts since, at alt, they still make about 600 kph and sometimes a bit more - so I'm not terribly irritated by not attaining 740 kph at 7000 m alt or so, for example, in the SeaFury, as recorded for that plane) f) a couple of pics included below of the AI in SF2 now losing control of their F4U-5 Corsair during a scrap, and doing several back flips (too much throttle applied perhaps?); he then bails out of the otherwise undamaged plane; so, overall, I'm liking the realism of some of the haphazard maneuvers they now make, and also the increased speed at which these late prop fights now happen, even on the deck g) anything that I find of further use in the SF2 data inis, and if relevant to FE2, I will tinker with more to bring even more realism into FE2 (the lockout speed trick implemented for control surfaces in the alternative Morane-Saulnier type N data ini posted under the FM thread for FE2 is an example of things discovered while combing through the SF2 files) Happy flying, Von S
  3. Hello gents', A quick heads up for those running FE2 in WineSkin on a Mac - keep in mind that FE2 is a 32-bit program. MacOS 10.15 and later will not be supporting 32-bit programs anymore (only 64-bit). This of course is a problem considering that WineSkin (and other Wine programs for Macs) are currently 32-bit. While WineSkin may eventually go 64-bit (this is a slim possibility), there is no guarantee that 32-bit programs like FE/FE2 will be able to run in it even if it is 64-bit, considering that MacOS 10.15 and later are stripping out most if not all of the 32-bit code from their OS. This leaves Mac fliers of FE2 in a precarious position. Options are eventually to go over to Windows and drop fiddling with WineSkin, or to keep running your older Intel Macs (like my 2012 quad-core Mini), or grab another Mac and sort of future-proof yourself, with something like a Mac Pro or the newer Mac Mini (2018), providing you don't upgrade past MacOS 10.14 (last one to support 32-bit). SF2 by the way is 64-bit, and so is WOFFue - so those are good to go into the future of 64-bit OSes, on the Windows side. No guarantees that you will be able to fly WOFF/SF2 in future Mac OSes however because WineSkin may remain 32-bit only (no telling what's going to happen with Wine on a Mac at this point). Have been reading some forums that the Wine folks may move over to Linux entirely if the Mac world drops 32-bit...not good news for legacy simming/gaming. Anyway, I'll probably future-proof myself in some way with an extra Mac or two since I like running FE2 in WineSkin and there's no dropping FE2 once you get the modding bug. Happy flying, Von S UPDATE: The CodeWeaver folks working on CrossOver (a fork of Wine) may be developing a way for 32-bit code/libraries to be loaded into a 64-bit version of Wine - something that may eventually be ported to the general branch of Wine too - but again this is work in progress and no telling what will happen until the dust settles down over the next couple of years, in terms of 32-bit gaming on a Mac, in Wine. Linux has a 64-bit version of Wine that can load 32-bit code for older games, and it seems to have had this for several years already - but this is not relevant to gaming on a Mac. Will update this post further if any (good) news emerges.
  4. For FE/FE2 Flyers interested in little oddities of WW1 flight, Thought I'd open a small mini-post with some interesting info. on cartridge ejection on WW1 machine guns, as related to my tweaked data inis. I usually like to keep the ejection-of-cartridges call set to True on single-seaters, including top-wing mounted Lewis guns, or Vickers or Spandaus that are in front of the cockpit. Toggle that setting under the Internal Gun section of your data inis to preference, either to True or False, if you're distracted by empty flying cartridges while flying. On two-seater and multi-seater types, especially for observers/gunners, I usually have that setting at False, since many observers had setups with cloth or leather bags attached to the guns to catch spent cartridges. One exception to the rule is of course the one-seater pusher type, such as the DH.2 - you don't want spent cartridges from those flying back into the engine or propeller (as historical). A good post on the topic is here: http://cs.finescale.com/fsm/modeling_subjects/f/2/t/150528.aspx?page=1 Also good is the opening, lengthy post on that forum. Happy flying, Von S
  5. Hello fellow FE/FE2 flyers, As a continuation of my experiment to include over-compression tendencies in the 200hp Daimler engine for Geezer's Junkers J.1 model, I did some (successful) tweaking of the previously tweaked data inis for the the BMW-powered Fokk. D.7 and late, 200hp Alb. D.5a. Tinkering with the following values in the data inis is required to get things working well, under the Engine section: AltitudeTableNumData AltitudeTableDeltaX AltitudeTableData The NumData should reflect how many values are present under the AltitudeTableData section. The DeltaX number is finicky, the general rule being that a higher number gives more powerful engine results across wider alt. bands but is perhaps less historically realistic, while in some cases a lower number is required, for example to "unglue" the AI from the ground in case the AI has trouble handling a particular plane, and also to create more subtle and gradual performance drops across smaller/thinner alt. bands. [Edited this section to include more accurate info.] TheAltitudeTableData entry begins with a value of 1.000 - ground level number, and then gradually falls off to 0.000. Correct over-compression of an engine requires that a number higher than 1.0, usually a few entries that are higher than 1.0, are included at the start of the AltitudeTableData entry - to generate the correct effect if an over-compressed engine is at full throttle near sea level. Values under the FlightControl section, particularly top speed values, then become a reflection of top speed at altitudes between about 1000 and 1500m - typical heights at which Idflieg would have over-compressed engines tested. (This also depends on the DeltaX number and where the AltitudeTableData value of 1.000 begins: for example, values of 1.200, 1.050, 1.000, etc., with a DeltaX no. of 500, would mean that 100% performance is at 1000 m alt.) It's no wonder that there is some confusion therefore regarding top speeds of the BMW-powered Fokk. D.7, and if its numbers are reflections of what happens near sea level or at 1 km alt. approximately. [Added important info. here too.] Here is a snippet from TheAerodrome.com for the 180hp Mercedes (au) installed in many Fokk. D.7s: "Climb rate is 5 m/s at sea level, falling linearly to 0 m/s at 6 km, marked as the "theoretical ceiling". Climb rpm begins at 1400 rpm at sea level, falling to 1310 rpm at 5600m." "Level speed: 0 km: 190 km/h @ 1570 rpm 1 km: 188 km/h @ 1580 rpm 2 km: 182 km/h @ 1530 rpm 3 km: 177 km/h @ 1490 rpm 4 km: 167 km/h @ 1430 rpm 5 km: 152 km/h @ 1360 rpm 6 km: 124 km/h @ 1280 rpm" Here are the results for the newly tweaked BMW-powered Fokk. D.7: near sea level: 210-211 kph @ 100% throttle near sea level: 176-177 kph @ 70% throttle (cruise, not using high alt. throttle) 1000 m: 201 kph @ 100% throttle (this is the top speed usually cited for the BMW-powered D.7, but probably refers to at alt., not at sea level) 1500 m: 198 kph @ 100% throttle 3000 m: 187 kph @ 100% throttle 4000 m: 176 kph @ 100% throttle climb rate to about 1000 m, at 70% throttle, is around 3.5 m/s; climb rate remains fairly consistent beyond 1000 m, at 100% throttle, if speeds in 120s and 130s kph are maintained Results are a noticeable improvement over the Mercedes-powered D.7 (no wonder pilots wanted this type). Here are results for the newly tweaked 200hp Mercedes-powered Alb. D.5a: near sea level: 206 kph @ 100% throttle near sea level: 183 kph @ 70% throttle (cruise, not using high alt. throttle) 1000 m: 202-203 kph @ 100% throttle (Goering supposedly reported maintaining over 200 kph in level flight in an Alb. D.5a...perhaps the 200hp variant?) 1500 m: 198-199 kph @ 100% throttle (this is the top speed sometimes cited for the late variant Alb. D.5a, again perhaps referring to at alt. and not sea level) 3000 m: 187-188 kph @ 100% throttle 4000 m: 177 kph @ 100% throttle 5000 m: 165 kph @ 100% throttle 6000 m: 110-112 kph @ 100% throttle (noticeable drop, since exceeding its ceiling here of about 5900 meters) 6025 m: 90-95 kph @ 100% throttle (begins to shudder and stall) climb rate to about 1000 m, at 70% throttle, is around 4 m/s; climb rate is around 3 m/s at 100% throttle beyond 1000 m, in 120s and 130s kph (slamming the throttle to 100% below 1000 m would not have been recommended historically, but gives a climb rate of about 5-6 m/s, similar for the Fokk. D.7...probably used in emergency scenarios) Results for the late Alby. are a noticeable improvement over the 180 hp Mercedes (au) Albies, and similar to results for the Fokk. D.7 - watch the wings though in dives on the Alb., especially with the now excess power. Also interesting is the historical realism of how the speed advantage at alt. for the high-compression engines remains fairly consistent across the altitudes (dropping off in small steps of about 5-10 kph per 1000 m), and then severely drops off close to the ceiling for the type. A gradual, more "curved" drop of speed for high-alt. engines should be seen for WW2 types - but is usually, mistakenly assumed of WW1, over-compressed types too, which would remain fairly consistent in power until close to their ceiling (see relevant discussions on TheAerodrome.com for more info.). Attached are the two tweaked data inis (will roll this eventually into a ver. 9.0 of the FM update pack). I'm still debating if I will tinker with the 180hp (au) Mercedes-powered types...the benefit of over-compression on those types would be small, probably too small to make any noticeable difference in FE/FE2. Happy flying, Von S [Files included in ver. 9.0 and later of my FM updates pack.]
  6. Hello Gents, Here are the steps to take if interested in installing FE2 on a Mac. The procedure is similar to "bottling" of CFS3.1, the ETO and PTO expansion packs, also WOFF ue for the Mac, and of course RB3D, but a little "simpler" with FE2 (and RB3D) since less winetricks are required...the process is at any rate a slow one and requires patience, but is convenient if you want to have everything running on the same operating system. STEP ONE: go to http://wineskin.urge...?page=Downloads and download the latest wineskin winery (ver. 1.7 as of this writing) STEP TWO: double-click on the program; in the menu that opens click on the plus sign to the left of "new engines available," and in the list that then opens choose WS8Wine1.5.1, download it, and then - when you're back in the main menu - choose "create new blank wrapper" (now wait about 3-4 minutes for your Mac to make the custom wrapper; once finished, the wrapper will be placed in an Applications folder that has been made inside your user folder on OS X and/or macOS) STEP THREE: go to the WineSkin wrapper that's just been made and double-click on it; in the window that opens, choose "set screen options"; in the window that then opens choose "override" instead of automatic, and choose "rootless (windowed)," then "virtual desktop at" (whatever resolution suits you), then "use these settings" instead of force normal windows; once happy with your choices, click on "done" at the bottom of that window STEP FOUR: back on the main menu, choose "advanced"; in the window that opens click on "tools"; this will then open another window in which you should click on "winetricks"; in the window that then opens, type in d3d in the search window at the top, then click to expand the "dlls" menu that shows up in the list below your search, and look for d3dx11_43, and click in the box to the left of it, to select it; now click on "run" located towards the bottom of that top screen of the window you're currently in, and let it install the winetrick; once the process finishes it will say "done" in the text window that is visible in the bottom half of that same window; finally, click on the "close" button at the very bottom of the window, and you're taken back to the "wineskin advanced" menu (close that advanced menu by clicking on the close button in its menubar) STEP FIVE: double-click on the wrapper once again and choose "install software" in the main menu; then "choose setup executable" in the next window that opens and locate your exe file for FE2 that you bought (usually called setup.exe or install.exe); now let the wrapper do its thing to install the game STEP SIX: once installed, the wrapper will go back to the main menu and you can click "quit" (it may also prompt you to locate the program before it drops to the main menu, the program in this case being the exe file of the game that was just installed - best thing at this point is just to leave this alone and close that window, if it doesn't drop to the main menu automatically) STEP SEVEN: once the wrapper has quit, don't double-click on it but "right-click" it and choose the option in the popup menu on OS X and/or macOS that says "show package contents" (this will open the wrapper's folder and should list something like a contents folder, the alias to its c drive, and an app/icon called WineSkin); double-click on the app named WineSkin and you will open the main menu window again, of the wrapper, and choose "advanced" STEP EIGHT: under the advanced menu, to the right of the box called Windows EXE (that contains a file path), click on "Browse"; this will open up your finder on OS X and/or macOS, and then you can scroll into the "c drive" of the wrapper into which you've just installed FE2; in "c drive," look for "Program Files," scroll into there and look for "ThirdWire," scroll into "ThirdWire" and look for "First Eagles 2," scroll into there and look for "FirstEagles2.exe" and choose that (click "choose"); then you're back in the WineSkin advanced menu with the proper file path for the game's exe now listed in the box near the top of the window (while you're there you might want to give a name for your freshly created Mac program in the "menubar name" box, something like First Eagles 2 or FE2, and also, later, don't forget to rename your wrapper/app to First Eagles 2, for consistency, if you haven't done so already) STEP NINE: now close that advanced menu window, and double-click the program you just created (not the WineSkin icon in the window that popped open when you right-clicked and chose "show package contents," but the actual, main wrapper that is in the custom Applications folder that was created in your user folder on OS X and/or macOS) - see if the game works, and if all is well, then double-click the WineSkin logo that is visible in the window once you right-click the main app wrapper to "show package contents"; once you're in the WineSkin menu again, click on "screen options" one more time and choose "fullscreen" instead of "rootless (windowed)," also choose your desired resolution in the box below that and leave the other options at 24 bit for color depth and 0 sec. for switch pause; all the other options there should be left as they are STEP TEN: since you've now run the game successfully (in windowed mode), you will find a ThirdWire/First Eagles 2 folder located in your Documents folder (of your user folder under OS X and/or macOS); in that folder you can find, under "ThirdWire/First Eagles 2/Controls," a Default.INI file that contains the keyboard and joystick controls for the game; open this ini file in TextEdit and modify the keys to your liking (also, don't forget to tweak the joystick sensitivity slider within the game's menu too, to get the joystick to behave as you like); and one more thing - it's best to set the game resolution, within the game's menu, to the same resolution that you have set within the "screen options" of your wineskin wrapper - for everything to behave as smoothly as possible STEP ELEVEN: all user mods from CombatAce should be installed into the relevant folders of user/Documents/ThirdWire/First Eagles 2 on your Mac - not into the First Eagles 2 folder that is buried in the c drive of the WineSkin wrapper into which you installed the game's exe and the related files NOTE: Von S makes no guarantee that following such steps will recreate the magic of First Eagles 2 on your Mac, but careful following of the directions listed above should work in 99% of cases NOTE 2: the game can of course be run in windowed mode, as indicated in the earlier steps above....at say 1600 x 900...but why keep such a lovely game windowed - full screen is better for it, but you might want to keep the resolution at 1600 x 900 on lower-end systems, for better frame rates (Red Baron 3D on the other hand is better windowed at something like 1280 x 1024 - full screen is hit-and-miss with RB3D in WineSkin, but the situation may improve since WINE is always being improved) Happy flying, Von S
  7. Hello fellow flyers, Thought I'd open a new thread for this topic...was studying the environmentsys.ini file further this weekend and stumbled upon a few interesting discoveries that help with realism in FE/FE2. Weather speed and patterns for custom missions and campaigns should be tweaked in the relevant MSN files for missions/campaigns, but for single missions here are some good values to use to increase challenges and realism in game. It also gives slowly moving clouds/cloud patterns - set the time factor to x8 while parked at an airfield to notice this, although at windy settings it is noticeable at normal time factor (x1) too. I'm including four zipped environmentsys.ini files, for no wind, light wind, moderate wind, and strong wind patterns. Make a backup of your default environmentsys.ini file before installing. These files can be used with the weather/cloud mods I included with the ver. 8.6 update of the FM pack (to improve frame rates on low-end graphics cards). If you are using the Panama Red environmentsys.ini, make a backup of the original, then make four copies of the file and paste in the following settings. For no wind, include under [Weather]: WeatherAlt=4600 WeatherThickness=460 ContrailAlt=9200 WindGustingAmount=1.39 And under [baseWindSection]: BaseWindSpeed=0.0 BaseWindDirection=280 WindChange[01].ChangeTime=3.5 WindChange[01].ChangeChance=80 WindChange[01].SpeedAmount=18.06 WindChange[01].SpeedRate=36.12 WindChange[01].DirectionAmount=70.0 WindChange[01].DirectionRate=40.0 WindChange[02].ChangeTime=6.2 WindChange[02].ChangeChance=60 WindChange[02].SpeedAmount=22.22 WindChange[02].SpeedRate=44.44 WindChange[02].DirectionAmount=50.0 WindChange[02].DirectionRate=30.0 WindChange[03].ChangeTime=12.3 WindChange[03].ChangeChance=40 WindChange[03].SpeedAmount=26.39 WindChange[03].SpeedRate=52.78 WindChange[03].DirectionAmount=35.0 WindChange[03].DirectionRate=20.0 WindChange[04].ChangeTime=21.1 WindChange[04].ChangeChance=30 WindChange[04].SpeedAmount=30.56 WindChange[04].SpeedRate=61.12 WindChange[04].DirectionAmount=25.0 WindChange[04].DirectionRate=15.0 For light wind, use: [Weather] WeatherAlt=4600 WeatherThickness=460 ContrailAlt=9200 WindGustingAmount=11.11 [baseWindSection] BaseWindSpeed=4.17 BaseWindDirection=280 WindChange[01].ChangeTime=3.5 WindChange[01].ChangeChance=80 WindChange[01].SpeedAmount=25.00 WindChange[01].SpeedRate=50.00 WindChange[01].DirectionAmount=70.0 WindChange[01].DirectionRate=40.0 WindChange[02].ChangeTime=6.2 WindChange[02].ChangeChance=60 WindChange[02].SpeedAmount=27.78 WindChange[02].SpeedRate=55.56 WindChange[02].DirectionAmount=50.0 WindChange[02].DirectionRate=30.0 WindChange[03].ChangeTime=12.3 WindChange[03].ChangeChance=40 WindChange[03].SpeedAmount=33.33 WindChange[03].SpeedRate=66.66 WindChange[03].DirectionAmount=35.0 WindChange[03].DirectionRate=20.0 WindChange[04].ChangeTime=21.1 WindChange[04].ChangeChance=30 WindChange[04].SpeedAmount=38.89 WindChange[04].SpeedRate=77.78 WindChange[04].DirectionAmount=25.0 WindChange[04].DirectionRate=15.0 For moderate wind, use: [Weather] WeatherAlt=4600 WeatherThickness=460 ContrailAlt=9200 WindGustingAmount=16.67 [baseWindSection] BaseWindSpeed=6.94 BaseWindDirection=280 WindChange[01].ChangeTime=5.5 WindChange[01].ChangeChance=80 WindChange[01].SpeedAmount=30.56 WindChange[01].SpeedRate=61.12 WindChange[01].DirectionAmount=70.0 WindChange[01].DirectionRate=50.0 WindChange[02].ChangeTime=8.2 WindChange[02].ChangeChance=60 WindChange[02].SpeedAmount=33.33 WindChange[02].SpeedRate=66.66 WindChange[02].DirectionAmount=50.0 WindChange[02].DirectionRate=40.0 WindChange[03].ChangeTime=15.3 WindChange[03].ChangeChance=40 WindChange[03].SpeedAmount=41.67 WindChange[03].SpeedRate=83.34 WindChange[03].DirectionAmount=35.0 WindChange[03].DirectionRate=30.0 WindChange[04].ChangeTime=26.1 WindChange[04].ChangeChance=30 WindChange[04].SpeedAmount=45.83 WindChange[04].SpeedRate=91.66 WindChange[04].DirectionAmount=25.0 WindChange[04].DirectionRate=25.0 For strong wind, use: [Weather] WeatherAlt=4600 WeatherThickness=460 ContrailAlt=9200 WindGustingAmount=22.22 [baseWindSection] BaseWindSpeed=11.11 BaseWindDirection=280 WindChange[01].ChangeTime=5.5 WindChange[01].ChangeChance=80 WindChange[01].SpeedAmount=36.11 WindChange[01].SpeedRate=72.22 WindChange[01].DirectionAmount=70.0 WindChange[01].DirectionRate=50.0 WindChange[02].ChangeTime=8.2 WindChange[02].ChangeChance=60 WindChange[02].SpeedAmount=40.28 WindChange[02].SpeedRate=80.56 WindChange[02].DirectionAmount=50.0 WindChange[02].DirectionRate=40.0 WindChange[03].ChangeTime=15.3 WindChange[03].ChangeChance=40 WindChange[03].SpeedAmount=47.22 WindChange[03].SpeedRate=94.44 WindChange[03].DirectionAmount=35.0 WindChange[03].DirectionRate=30.0 WindChange[04].ChangeTime=26.1 WindChange[04].ChangeChance=30 WindChange[04].SpeedAmount=51.39 WindChange[04].SpeedRate=102.78 WindChange[04].DirectionAmount=25.0 WindChange[04].DirectionRate=25.0 The weather alt. value is typical of max. height of weather kites (2000-3000 meters) and weather balloons (3000-4500 meters) of the WWI period. 500 hPa (of modern weather forecasts) is at 5500 meters, 1000 hPa is at sea-level or slightly below ground depending on terrain. Typical WWI measurements would be to about 400 or 420 hPa if you look at the ceilings of the kites and balloons, which is about 4600 m alt. Weather "thickness" (a confusing entry that took me a while to figure out) is thus distance between 420 hPa and 1000 hPa, with the last zero removed from the value, giving 460. (For WWII and jet-age, use higher values for thickness, basically the weather alt. value with the final zero taken off, such as 1000 thickness for 10000 meters alt., 600 for 6000 meters alt. and so on.) Some of the effects of the modded environmentsys files are subtle, but improve realism. I did a few more ground loops than usual in a Fokk. E.IIa while trying to take off, with the moderate wind settings, especially if blipping the rotary engine off too frequently or not frequently enough - perhaps the result of wind gusts. Also, at moderate and strong wind settings, I found it more difficult to hit anything in a dogfight. You'll also notice that at higher wind settings, archie bursts and smoke trails, also engine exhausts tend to drift from time to time, or have zig-zag patterns. Will include these mods with a ver. 8.9 update of the FM pack. Happy flying, Von S
  8. Hello FE/FE2 flyers, Thought I'd start a new post for this topic since it's something I was thinking of for several months in FE2 - how to make dives and recovery from dives more dangerous/realistic (reminiscent of RB3D). The tweak is a fairly simple one but requires patience. A MaxG value should be included for upperright, upperleft, bottomright, and bottomleft wing values in the data ini files. I stumbled on this while tweaking the Nieu 12 today - there is a general MaxG value under FlightControl in the data inis that I've modified for previous updates of the FM packs - but the trick is to include such values for the wings as well, and to modify those values further - I am assuming that this would work for wing tip entries as well but I have so far tested only with main wing panels - the results are very good. (I will roll these modifications into a future version of the FM updates, once I am happy with the results.) In the meantime, here are a couple of pics of quick (unsuccessful) recovery from power dives. Happy flying, Von S
  9. Hello Gents', I have been investigating the core string and ini files that make up FE2 - primarily to see if multiplayer can be reintroduced. The relevant files can be found in the MenuData.cat and MenuText.cat files of the "Menu" folder of the actual game (not in the user folder for the game). I managed to restore the "multiplayer" button to the main screen of the game, but it leads nowhere. Also possible to restore was the "network" button under the options settings - but again this led nowhere when you click on it. It seems that each STR (string?) file requires a corresponding INI (initialization) file to work at all. Most of the files have both components, such as is the case with OPTIONSSCREEN.INI and OPTIONSSCREEN.STR - the ini file contains the relevant buttons, lists, codes, placements, lots of other things too, and the str component file contains the relevant data calls that correspond with what is called for in the ini file. I was however stumped to find that most of the network sub-option files have the STR component files in place - but ini files for those are all missing, perhaps having been removed by the game designer - or perhaps there is a more obscure way of calling up those string files that I am not aware of with my very limited knowledge of program/app coding. As an example, the NETWORKCONNECTIONSCREEN.STR file and the NETWORK.STR file - obviously important ones (and it's obvious what they are for) - cannot be called up in game, likely because corresponding ini files for those are missing. Looking through some of those network option str files shows, in some cases, more than 30 or 40 different data calls. I can only imagine then how much time it would take to create corresponding ini files for all of those different data calls in the str files, with all of the relevant buttons, menus, submenus, toggles created in the corresponding ini files - to get mutliplayer up and fully functional in FE2 - a daunting task that while theoretically possible would probably take a good month at least of full-time work on it (and then there is the risk of how stable the setup would be when done). Those who are inclined to tinker further with multiplayer possibilities in FE2 are advised to look at the main Options.ini file first that's in the user folder for FE2. The multiplayer settings should read as follows to be enabled: [MultiplayerOptions] LobbyLaunched=TRUE The following should also be toggled but I didn't experiment with correct values: [Multiplayer] Connection=0 PlayerColor=0 SessionType=0 GameType=0 Password=MyPassword MaxPlayers=8 IPAddress=127.0.0.1 In the OPTIONSCREEN.INI file that should be extracted to your "Menu" folder, the following should be toggled: [NetworkOptionsButton] StickySelection=TRUE Active=TRUE In MAINSCREEN.INI, also to be placed in the "Menu" folder, the following should be toggled: [MultiplayerHotspot] Active=TRUE Enabled=TRUE Also, the following should be modified to look as you see here, from the same file indicated above: [MissionControl] SingleMission=SingleMission InstantAction=InstantAction Campaign=Campaign Multiplayer=Multiplayer And finally, the relevant STR files that are missing corresponding INI files - or maybe requiring some other kind of call that I'm not aware of, are: NETWORK.STR NETWORKCONNECTIONSCREEN.STR MPDOGFIGHTSCREEN.STR MPHANGARSCREEN.STR MPMISSIONSCREEN.STR MULTIPLAYERSTATUS.STR PILOTRECORDSCREEN.STR (this one is to enable flight recording in multiplayer) As far as I can see, it's more feasible to continue improving the single-player side of the game, such as improvements in AI, scenery, also the great plane and skin mods that often come out for FE2. And thanks to all who contribute to this game and make it great. Those interested in pursuing the multiplayer aspect further will hopefully find my email useful. Happy flying, Von S
  10. View File Tweaked Flight Models and Realism Pack for FE2 Hello Gents & Fellow Flyers of First Eagles 2, Included in the same folder with this ReadMe file are over 200 modified data files that I use for aircraft that are available on the CombatAce website for First Eagles 2. I’m very pleased that we have a larger selection of aircraft for the WWI period than WOFFue or ROF – well done modders and many thanks! The installation process for the data ini modifications is now streamlined, with all versions up to 9.5 being included per theater in a large “consolidated” folder. Inside that folder you will find two “Read Me” files that list a version history up to ver. 8.9, also from ver. 9.0 to 9.5, and all of the incremental mods. done to the FMs up to that point. The latest files are found per theater in a separate “DataFilesAdditionsVer97” folder. Also take note of other folders such as “ForFlightFolder,” “ForObjectsFolder,” etc., located in the latest ver. 9.7 update, and install items into the relevant folder hierarchy of your FE2 user directory. Always install older version files first before upgrading to the latest ver. FM pack (if you are missing ver. 9.5, for example, first install the files from the big consolidated folder before overwriting with the files from ver. 9.7). A great many thanks go out to Peter01 and Ojcar, also TexMurphy, for making most of those flight model files to begin with. Also a great thanks goes out to Stephen1918, MontyCZ and Laton for providing lots of beautiful planes and skins that go with those great flight models, to NBell for the many hitbox improvements provided for the planes, also to VonOben, Mike Dora and Crawford for many helpful suggestions, and to the A-Team by SkunkWorks for allowing me to tweak a few of the FMs for their models too. And of course a very big thanks goes out to Geezer for the fantastic, high-quality models that are still being made for FE2. What I've done is tinkered with the data files further. Modifications in all cases, to a greater or lesser extent, include data under the following sections: (a) MissionData (b) FlightControl (c) AIData (d) Sound (e) AircraftData (f) Engine (g) Crew (h) Internal Guns (i) Control Surfaces (j) Landing Gears (k) Fuselage, Nose, Tail, Vertical Tail, LeftStab, RightStab, Rudder, Left/Right/Inner/Middle/Outer/Tip Wing components As always, please read the included "Read Me" file for more thorough installation info. and details regarding the FM tweaks. Enjoy and happy flying! Von S DISCLAIMER: All Von S mods, for FE2, SF2, also WOFFue, are subject to the CombatAce "freeware" terms of agreement. Mods may be shared with others, included on other media devices, also modded further, providing that original documentation and/or credit is included, and providing that the mods remain free to use. Von S mods shall not be sold, resold, etc., and Von S takes no responsibility for injuries or fixations that may result from flying heavily tweaked FMs or from attempts to enjoy real flying without aid or instruction from a qualified flight instructor. Submitter VonS Submitted 10/16/2015 Category Flight Models  
  11. Version 9.7

    616 downloads

    Hello Gents & Fellow Flyers of First Eagles 2, Included in the same folder with this ReadMe file are over 200 modified data files that I use for aircraft that are available on the CombatAce website for First Eagles 2. I’m very pleased that we have a larger selection of aircraft for the WWI period than WOFFue or ROF – well done modders and many thanks! The installation process for the data ini modifications is now streamlined, with all versions up to 9.5 being included per theater in a large “consolidated” folder. Inside that folder you will find two “Read Me” files that list a version history up to ver. 8.9, also from ver. 9.0 to 9.5, and all of the incremental mods. done to the FMs up to that point. The latest files are found per theater in a separate “DataFilesAdditionsVer97” folder. Also take note of other folders such as “ForFlightFolder,” “ForObjectsFolder,” etc., located in the latest ver. 9.7 update, and install items into the relevant folder hierarchy of your FE2 user directory. Always install older version files first before upgrading to the latest ver. FM pack (if you are missing ver. 9.5, for example, first install the files from the big consolidated folder before overwriting with the files from ver. 9.7). A great many thanks go out to Peter01 and Ojcar, also TexMurphy, for making most of those flight model files to begin with. Also a great thanks goes out to Stephen1918, MontyCZ and Laton for providing lots of beautiful planes and skins that go with those great flight models, to NBell for the many hitbox improvements provided for the planes, also to VonOben, Mike Dora and Crawford for many helpful suggestions, and to the A-Team by SkunkWorks for allowing me to tweak a few of the FMs for their models too. And of course a very big thanks goes out to Geezer for the fantastic, high-quality models that are still being made for FE2. What I've done is tinkered with the data files further. Modifications in all cases, to a greater or lesser extent, include data under the following sections: (a) MissionData (b) FlightControl (c) AIData (d) Sound (e) AircraftData (f) Engine (g) Crew (h) Internal Guns (i) Control Surfaces (j) Landing Gears (k) Fuselage, Nose, Tail, Vertical Tail, LeftStab, RightStab, Rudder, Left/Right/Inner/Middle/Outer/Tip Wing components As always, please read the included "Read Me" file for more thorough installation info. and details regarding the FM tweaks. Enjoy and happy flying! Von S DISCLAIMER: All Von S mods, for FE2, SF2, also WOFFue, are subject to the CombatAce "freeware" terms of agreement. Mods may be shared with others, included on other media devices, also modded further, providing that original documentation and/or credit is included, and providing that the mods remain free to use. Von S mods shall not be sold, resold, etc., and Von S takes no responsibility for injuries or fixations that may result from flying heavily tweaked FMs or from attempts to enjoy real flying without aid or instruction from a qualified flight instructor.
  12. First Eagles 2: Farman F40

    From the album Combat Sims

  13. File Name: FE2 "Aces Over North Africa" PhotoShop 1024x768 Menu Templates File Submitter: viper63a File Submitted: 07 April 2015 File Category: First Eagles Hanger, Menu Screens FE2 "Aces Over North Africa" PhotoShop 1024x768 Menu Templates By Viper A set of "Aces Over North Africa" Flight and Menu Templates for First Eagles2. Requirement: Photoshop or other graphics program that can edit Photoshop PSD files. You can created your own FE2 "Aces Over North Africa" menus. Load the Photoshop Menu Template you want to customize. Load the picture you want to use into Photoshop. Edit/Change/Resize the picture you want to use and copy it over the Red Background layer of the Photoshop Menu Template. Merge all the layers and save the file as a jpeg (jpg) image. Copy the new menu screen to the FE2 Menu folder. Done... Also included: 2 minute Prop plane wav sound file in the Flight Folder. Use these however you want, just give me some credit...Thanks and Enjoy! =Viper= Click here to download this file
  14. Version Version 1

    20 downloads

    FE2 "Aces Over North Africa" PhotoShop 1024x768 Menu Templates By Viper A set of "Aces Over North Africa" Flight and Menu Templates for First Eagles2. Requirement: Photoshop or other graphics program that can edit Photoshop PSD files. You can created your own FE2 "Aces Over North Africa" menus. Load the Photoshop Menu Template you want to customize. Load the picture you want to use into Photoshop. Edit/Change/Resize the picture you want to use and copy it over the Red Background layer of the Photoshop Menu Template. Merge all the layers and save the file as a jpeg (jpg) image. Copy the new menu screen to the FE2 Menu folder. Done... Also included: 2 minute Prop plane wav sound file in the Flight Folder. Use these however you want, just give me some credit...Thanks and Enjoy! =Viper=
  15. File Name: FE2 First Eagles2 1024x768 PhotoShop Menu Templates File Submitter: viper63a File Submitted: 05 April 2015 File Category: First Eagles Hanger, Menu Screens FE2 First Eagles2 PhotoShop 1024x768 Menu Templates By Viper A set of "Aces of the Great War" Flight and Menu Templates for First Eagles2. Requirement: Photoshop or other graphics program that can edit Photoshop PSD files. You can created your own FE2 menus. Load the Menu Template you want to customize into Photoshop. Load the picture you want into Photoshop. Copy the picture and place it over the Red Background layer. Merge all layers and save as a jpeg (jpg). Copy the new menu screen to the FE2 Menu folder. Done... Also included: 2 minute Prop plane wave in the Flight Folder. A collection of WWI Pilot photos in the Pilotdata folder. Enjoy! Viper Click here to download this file
  16. Version Version 1

    26 downloads

    FE2 First Eagles2 PhotoShop 1024x768 Menu Templates By Viper A set of "Aces of the Great War" Flight and Menu Templates for First Eagles2. Requirement: Photoshop or other graphics program that can edit Photoshop PSD files. You can created your own FE2 menus. Load the Menu Template you want to customize into Photoshop. Load the picture you want into Photoshop. Copy the picture and place it over the Red Background layer. Merge all layers and save as a jpeg (jpg). Copy the new menu screen to the FE2 Menu folder. Done... Also included: 2 minute Prop plane wave in the Flight Folder. A collection of WWI Pilot photos in the Pilotdata folder. Enjoy! Viper
  17. File Name: SF2 FirstEagles2 Silver Series Hi-Res 1024x768 Menu Screens File Submitter: viper63a File Submitted: 12 March 2015 File Category: First Eagles Hanger, Menu Screens SF2 FirstEagles2 Hi-Res Silver Series 1024x768 Menu Screens By Viper This package contains a new version of my 1024x768 FE2 menus that are in the new Silver Border format like my 1920x1080 menus. This mod includes custom WWI Air War themed menu, campaign and pilot screens. No other (Hangar, Loading) screens or INI files are changed. You should unzip the file and preview the new screens before installing them. I recommend doing this as there are MANY alternate screens (Inlcuding some vintage black/white version) I have in there that you might like better. If you choose to install these screens, I recommend that you back up your MENU, FLIGHT, CAMPAIGNS and PILOTDATA folders in the SF2 Mod folder you're installing this mod into. Just in case you want to go back to your original setup. To install, simply unzip and copy the uncompressed MENU, FLIGHT, CAMPAIGNS and PILOTDATA folders into your FirstEagles2 mod folder. Recommendation: I recommend that you RENAME your original MENU folder. The new copy from my package will then install cleanly and not conflict with any other mod you may have installed into the MENU folder. My Win97 folder was..(yours may be different)... C:\Users\<your_id>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2\ Enjoy! Click here to download this file
  18. Version Version 2 (Final?)

    49 downloads

    SF2 FirstEagles2 Hi-Res Silver Series 1024x768 Menu Screens By Viper This package contains a new version of my 1024x768 FE2 menus that are in the new Silver Border format like my 1920x1080 menus. This mod includes custom WWI Air War themed menu, campaign and pilot screens. No other (Hangar, Loading) screens or INI files are changed. You should unzip the file and preview the new screens before installing them. I recommend doing this as there are MANY alternate screens (Inlcuding some vintage black/white version) I have in there that you might like better. If you choose to install these screens, I recommend that you back up your MENU, FLIGHT, CAMPAIGNS and PILOTDATA folders in the SF2 Mod folder you're installing this mod into. Just in case you want to go back to your original setup. To install, simply unzip and copy the uncompressed MENU, FLIGHT, CAMPAIGNS and PILOTDATA folders into your FirstEagles2 mod folder. Recommendation: I recommend that you RENAME your original MENU folder. The new copy from my package will then install cleanly and not conflict with any other mod you may have installed into the MENU folder. My Win97 folder was..(yours may be different)... C:\Users\<your_id>\Saved Games\ThirdWire\FirstEagles2\ Enjoy!
  19. I have done an experiment to get "First Eagles 2" objects into "Strike Fighters 2" and would like to ask if anyone would be willing to try it and corroborate my findings? To do this experiment you first need to own legal copies of both FE2 and SF2 5 full/merged. Next you need to do the following procedure. Copy “AvionicsWWI.dll” and “wwiComm.dll” from “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\First Eagles 2\Flight” to “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\Strike Fighters 2\Flight” then do the same for “wwiCambrai.CAT” and “wwiVerdun.CAT” from “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\First Eagles 2\Terrains” to “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\Strike Fighters 2\Terrains”. Now for the complicated part, extract everything from your SF2 ObjectData004.CAT, ObjectData005.CAT, ObjectData006.CAT, and ObjectData015.CAT. You will need to place these extracted .TGA files into your MODS directory Decal folder as these CAT files will not be available when you are done. Then take the four ObjectData CAT files that you just extracted everything from, and move them from the “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\Strike Fighters 2\Objects” folder to a safe backup folder elsewhere on your hard drive. Next copy all four ObjectData CAT files from “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\First Eagles 2\Objects” to a separate safe folder. Once copied, rename the copied FE2 CAT files to match the four CAT files that you removed from the “Strike Fighters 2\Objects” folder, like so… ObjectData001.CAT ----> ObjectData004.CAT ObjectData002.CAT ----> ObjectData005.CAT ObjectData003.CAT ----> ObjectData006.CAT ObjectData004.CAT ----> ObjectData015.CAT Be careful about the renaming due to both the old and new file names having one file named "ObjectData004". Now cut and past the renamed copies into “C:\Program Files (x86)\ThirdWire\Strike Fighters 2\Objects”. We are now done with the Install directory. At this point I recommend that you copy the stock Aircraft, GroundObjects, Guns, and Weapons from your FE2 mod directory and paste them into the SF2 mod directory that you intend to use for the experiment. I have attached the FE2 stock Aircraft, GroundObjects, Guns, and Weapons INI files if you don’t want to go through the trouble of generating them yourself. If all the above worked out, you should have the “First Eagles 2” stock Aircraft, GroundObjects, Guns, Weapons, and Terrain available for use in SF2. Please let me know how this works for you. Note1: You may need to extract everything from the terrain CAT’s “wwiCambrai.CAT” and “wwiVerdun.CAT” into your SF2 mod Terrain folder to fix some terrain issues. Note2: In order to get a fully working FE2 install, not just having the objects, weapons, and terrain available requires a lot more extracting and editing of FE2 INI files for SF2. FE2 Objects Folder.7z
  20. Into the Blue: OFF & FE2

    Recreating a classic WW1 pilot's tale flying Sopwiths in France! This mission report was inspired by my reading material on a recent short holiday. I had last read Norman Macmillan's 'Into the Blue' back in the early 1970s along with other classics then available from the local public library, such as my favourites, Arthur Gould Lee's 'No Parachute' and 'Open Cockpit'. While the latter two are back in print, I had to go to eBay to get a copy of 'Into the Blue', and I much enjoyed re-reading it, after all those years. The book comprises segments originally written for publication at or about the time, expanded to book format in 1929, then expanded again for the 1969 edition to include recent research by the author and with real names replacing some pseudonyms used in the earlier edition. This composite origin makes it hard sometimes to distinguish what is or isn't genuine contemporary observation or terminology; but the work is not just a good read, it's a mine of many useful snippets of information on RFC and RAF operations and training, as experienced by the author. The book The story starts with initial training at Netherhaven and Upavon in England, 1916-17, flying first Maurice Farman MF17 'shorthorns' - also known as 'the Rumpety' - then moving on to Avro 504As and Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters, the latter as the type on which the author would expect to fly operationally on posting to France. The main impression is that even by early 1917, flying training was very rudimentary, lacking not just combat training but even basics like spin recovery. This part of the story is brought to life with many experiences and anecdotes. The one I like best is told of one of the COs at Central Flying School, Upavon, the dapper Major Gordon Bell, who had a bad strutter. One day, the story goes, after having been shot down while on operations, he crashed into a tree: "As he shinned down the tree to the ground, a resplendent staff officer rode up to him and said, 'Have you crashed? 'N-n-n-n-no,' replied G.B., 'I a-a-a-a-always l-l-l-l-land like that.' " From training, the author was posted to 45 Squadron RFC, at St Marie Cappel on the northern part of the British sector, not far south of the English Channel coast. He arrived at the end of March 1917 and flew Strutters right through 'Bloody April' and beyond, regretfully finding that the 2-seater Sopwiths, though fine flying machines, were long past their best as fighters. Despite that, they had to soldier on, flying the same types of patrol as the single seater 'scouts', with the added hazard of also flying longer-range reconnaisance missions. For the latter, being fighters, they were expected to escort their own photographic machines, and though they rarely failed to get their pictures, a particularly heavy price was often paid on these missions. For some reason the author records that fellow-Strutter outfit 70 Squadron did sometimes get escorts, but never 45, who had to rely on help from whatever friendly patrols might be operating along their route. In that regard the author is fairly scathing about the failure to make any serious attempt to co-ordinate with or even inform patrols, though he also accepts that such efforts would have been prone to all kinds of difficulties. Among the many interesting details is of course the experience of flying Strutters. They were apparently prone to 'float' on landing, making it too easy to overshoot landings on small operational airfields. The airbrakes fitted to Strutters may have been designed specifically to help with this. But the author records they were too close inboard to have much effect and instead, disrupted airflow over the tail so badly that pilots generally used them once and then never again! Macmillan also records the replacement of the original Ross synchronisation gear for the front-firing Vickers with the more reliable and faster-firing Sopwith Kauper system, though he also notes that the former system left the standard gun trigger in place and this was sometimes used to engage a fleeting target, regardless of the holed propellers which resulted. Macmillan also records the arrival of 130HP Clerget engines which offered little improvement over the previous 110hp versions. Despite this, the squadron performed solidly and even generated some aces, especially those who learned to fight their Strutters as crews later learned to fight the Bristol F2B Fighter, using the front gun as well as the observer's Lewis. The squadron re-equipped with Camels, in the field, only during August 1917. Late in the year, they transferred to the Italian Front after the disaster at Caporetto. However, Macmillan suffered burns in a non-flying accident and when fit again back in England, was posted as an instructor. Here, his accounts of the training regime make a fine contrast to his description of his own initiation, thanks to the improvements made by then Lt Col Smith-Barry whose approach to flying training is often credited with setting the foundation for the modern syllabus, as we know it today. Macmillan primarily trained Camel pilots, and he records that no pilot he was instructing was killed or injured in a Camel crash. Interestingly, he attributes this partly to his insistence that all heavy landings must be reported so that centre-section rigging could be checked and tightened. Apparently the Camel's centre-section struts were not firmly fixed to the upper wing, but set into sockets, where they were held by the tension of the centre-section rigging. The latter could become loose, especially after a heavy landing and the author reports that after the war, the famous Hawker designer Sir Sydney Camm, confided his own belief that this was a cause of many Camel crashes. The mission - Over Flanders Fields Keen to see how well I could re-create for myself the author's experiences of combat in Strutters, I decided to start with OFF (not yet having acquired its recent successor, WOFF). There were two reasons for this. First, in my experience of WW1 sims, OFF is perhaps the best at the 2-seater experience. Second, I was sure that, with OFF's particularly faithful recreation of WW1's air war orders of battle, I would be able to choose a career in 'Forty-Five'. I was not to be disappointed as regards the second point; though with the first, I would be less happy with the results. I started by creating a new pilot and his unit. I found 45 Squadron listed as a fighter squadron ('bomber' being the alternative, under which most two-seater units are listed in OFF, though it is not a very satisfactory term for WW1). I gave my character Macmillan's surname and wanted to start about the same time as he did, just before 'Bloody April'. As potential OFF careers seem to have start dates associated with a change of base or aircraft, this wasn't possible and I started instead on 28 April; near enough! In the briefing screen, I was pleased to see that although I was the only Macmillan on the squadron roster, this included, as historical aces, several of those named as such in the book. Good stuff and typical OFF attention to detail! Kicking off my first mission, came more typical OFF stuff, though not so good this time. Our first mission was a 'scramble', to intercept incoming enemy aircraft. In OFF there are far too many such missions and your own airfield is often the target of strafing fighters, including German ones which generally operated on their own side of the Lines and just did not undertake this kind of mission, not in early 1917 anyway and not much if at all, after that. Unable to change to a different type of mission, I had to start it up, then cancel the mission, after it had loaded. Then start another mission. This wasn't much better - a railyard attack. At this point in the war this would have been a common enough target for a bombing raid, but for BE2s or the like, not our squadron or other fighters. The RNAS operated Strutters in the bomber role but these were I think generally the single-seater version. Besides, 45 Squadron was listed in OFF as a fighter squadron and as Norman Macmillan's book makes clear, that's how they operated, along with southern neighbours and fellow Strutter unit 70 Squadron - as fighters who sometimes also flew longer-range recce missions. Third time lucky, my next effort generated a more realistic mission - a reconnaisance. This was only up to the trenchlines, and thus not really the sort of mission commonly flown by RFC Strutters by Macmillan's account, but it would do nicely. Unusually for the period, we had an escort - four RNAS Sopwith Pups. Here's the mission briefing screen: OFF sometimes assigns rather large numbers to a mission but the five squadron machines on this show was pretty representative of the period. Here we we are at St Marie Cappel - naturally, OFF has the squadron operating from the correct airfield, even though these are now generic layouts not the accurate airfields commonly featured in the previous release, Phase 2. Oddly I think for late April 1917, the default 'skin' for the squadron has PC10 brown wings but clear doped linen fuselages and red and white tailplanes - more accurate I'd think for the squadron's early days, in late 1916. Macmillan several times refers to their planes as being brown and both the operational Strutters pictured in 'Into the Blue' have dark fuselages as well as upper wings. For my own machine, I opted to use a different skin, that for the aircraft of the man who became better known as Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris. He's noted as an efficient flight commander in Macmillan's book and it's a nice OFF touch that I can fly in a plane flown by someone featured in the book. The overall PC10 uppers, with the forward fin in a lighter colour, white fuselage band behind the roundel and white number ahead, nicely matches a 45 Sqdn Strutter pictured in flight in the book, numbered '2' and said to be flown by Garratt and Carey. I don't know how I did it but in fiddling about unsuccessfully to get Ankor's DX mod (which adds self-shadowing to WOFF planes, and has been got to work in OFF and CFS3 by MajorMagee over at Sim OutHouse, but caused my missions not to load) I seemed to have messed up many of my OFF settings. For one thing my 'Always lead' option was not working on this mission. I didn't notice this in the briefing nor did I twig when one of the flight - the real leader - took off ahead of me. Anyway, getting over my irritation at one of the chaps taking off (as I believed) in front of the boss, I checked controls, started up and roared off down the runway and into the air. I say 'roared' but the OFF engine sound is rather muted. Turning to orbit the aerodrome, I found that, although not tail-heavy and stable enough in level flight, she needed a great deal of bottom rudder to avoid her tail drooping badly in a turn. The OFF Strutter is a good-looking bird, with a nicely-appointed cockpit, complete with reproductions of brass manufacturer's plaques and a padded windshield. I suspect many pilots removed the latter for better visibility and hoped not to regret its inclusion in OFF, later! Wing ribs are enhanced by what appears to be bump-mapped textures. Another nice OFF touch is the rendition of the transparent material on the centre section. She has the French Etevée Lewis gun mount for the observer, which was probably something of an antique by Spring 1917, in the RFC anyway. It may better suit the French Strutters; but tho the Aviation Militaire ended up a bigger user of the Strutter than the British, they were late adopters and I suspect most French machines would have had the British Scarff ring mount. I don't know if the WOFF Strutter changes this but I'm sure its textures are much improved. I duly orbited the airfield in a climbing spiral, still not having realised that I was not leading the flight. This may be why I wasn't able to select 'Next waypoint' on the Tactical Display and get my blue route line to skip to the heading of the objective. Or it might be down to my lost settings, which included my joystick key assignments and my lower-visibility tactical display and labels (an Olham mod). So I ended up following all the many waypoints before the leg to the Lines. As I did so, I used the padlock and 'player-target view' to have a look at our escort, the RNAS Pups. OFF uses the limited CFS3 view system which is much less satisfactory for this sort of thing than, say, FE2 or RoF; but I gather WOFF has made some improvements in this direction. Finally, the current route line switched to the direction of the objective and I settled down into a steady climb towards the Lines, still thinking myself the leader and watching to see if I needed to throttle back to let 'my' flight catch me up. ...to be continued!
  21. Flying the German Air Service's premier fighter in First Eagles 2 The Siemens-Schukert Werke's DIII and DIV are described with some justification in Gray & Thetford's 'German Aircraft of the First World War' as 'Without doubt...the best German fighters to reach operational status'. The first SSW D-type (biplane scout/fighter) was basically a copy of the French Nieuport 11 with a German engine and a conical spinner. But the DIII was a wholly-new machine, a barrel-shaped fighter built around the powerful Siemens-Halske ShIII rotary engine. Early operational deployment in Spring 1918 ended with the aircraft being returned for modifications to correct serious engine problems but - joined by the DIV version with a reduced-chord upper wing - the type was back on ops during the summer. The Siemens-Schukert was highly manoeuvrable and had an outstanding rate of climb with excellent high-altitude performance. They served with Jastas 14, 15 and 22, the Marine Jagdgeschwader and, in the home defence role, with Kests 4a, 4b, 5, 6 & 8. Their work in the latter capacity inspired a member of the Independent Force, formed to mount 'strategic' bombing missions into Germany, to pen the following appreciation: 'It's not the Pfalz or the Fokker Scout It's the Siemens Schuckert that we worry about They do fly high, with the beaucoup speed We can thank our stars that it's the pilots they need!' The plane and the mission First Eagles is one of the very few sims ever to have featured this outstanding warplane, courtesy of the A Team Skunkworks. Public assess to their functional download pages is by email application only and once granted, care must be taken to observe the site's download and usage rules, but it's very worthwhile as the A Team's collection includes some excellent and essential WW1 types like the Sopwith Pup and Triplane. http://cplengineeringllc.com/SFP1/ In fact, as the A Team acknowledge, their SSW DIII is based on that featured in Illusion Software/Silver Wish Games's Wings of War. You may remember that when released, this neat little WW1 air war game's great-looking planes and excellent landscapes and envirommentals had many simmers attempting mods to make it more sim-like. Sadly, these didn't get far beyond unlocking all the flyables and killing off the deadly rocket armaments, but it was still great fun and a highly professional and well-produced package, well worth a blast if you can track down a copy: Back in FE2, I wanted to play a campaign mission so opted for Ojcar's 'must have' Armchair Aces month-by-month campaign set. In the FE campaign creation screen, I cycled through those for Flanders in the last months of the air war till I found a staffel flying the SSW DIII - Jasta 14 (which really did fly the type) in October 1918, flying from Masny aerodrome, north of Cambrai and west of the larger town of Valenciennes. When I kicked off a mission, I found that the weather was awful - a few patches of blue sky visible but mostly cloud, rain and general murk. Not for me. I don't much mind bad weather in Over Flanders Fields, but only because - apart from the clouds themselves - it doesn't really hinder your visibility. In FE and in RoF, more realistically, bad weather really does clobber your visibility. It also makes for dull screenshots, because your plane is dull and unlit (unlike OFF, where the planes in bad weather look bright, like they've been spot-lit for a movie). Another problem with bad weather in FE2 is that you're stuck with it for the campaign, as it inexplicably lost the original FE's ability to vary weather, in-campaign. Anyway being stuck with murk is not my cup of tea, really. So I edited the campaign's data file in Wordpad, replacing the starting (and in FE2, unchanging) weather - 'INCLEMENT' - with 'BROKEN'. That did the trick. Things looked better, and there was no murk to blind me. The weather sorted, my first mission was a defensive patrol, behind our side of the Lines, down south to Bonvais, the far side of the town of Cambrai. Two aircraft were allocated to the mission but as I usually do, I opted to pick three to accompany me, selecting Vizefeldwebels Neumann, Heim and Josten from the bottom of the staffel roster screen. Here we are on the grass at Masny. The SSW is one of the relatively few FE planes not to feature individual aircraft markings, and although there is at least one different skin available, I elected to stick with the stock one, with a snake-marked brown fuselage and 'lozenge' pre-printed fabric wings. As usual with FE planes, there's plenty of animation - wheels, pilot, control surfaces, the rotary engine and even the cocking handles on the MGs. And provided you don't have shadows turned off in the plane's .ini file, you get dynamic self-shadowing (in the cockpit as well as outside if you have the sim's graphics/shadows option set to 'high' or better). As usual, FE kicked off the mission with my engine just having started and my prop picking up speed, which is arguably more realistic than the ground-crewless self-starting featured in other sims. In the external view, I paused to let the others take off and then opened the throttle. There was little swing and once my wheels were off the ground, I decided to go for broke and perform an immediate test of my machine's renowned climbing abilities. I yanked back on the stick and up she went, cocking a snook at the row of Fokkers parked outside the canvas hangars to my left. Off to a good start, at any rate! ...to be continued!
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