FC3 aircraft provide an easy learning curve for new players and focuses on a broad range of aircraft rather than a detailed single aircraft. FC3 adds a number of new features and improvements to previous versions of the Flaming Cliffs series. New FC campaign and single missions. Improved cockpit art for Russian aircraft.
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Thanks Sryan! The F is a great plane to get started with about air combat in DCS world. Taking only weeks to months to master her avionics and systems, compared to the years most of us need for a full DCS module.
I specialised this guide into combat applications. So things like landing it, starting up or how to navigate is best learned elsewhere, like in the manual. I wrote the guide so that someone transitioning from civilian sims or aerobatics can still understand everything. So some things may appear very mundane to the more experienced here. There are many functions in the F, and many of them are useful in combat.
I will also repeat abbreviations often in order to allow yourself to get used to them. Starting from the bottom left and then following clockwise we are seeing the: MPCD Multipurpose Color Display Useful as it displays current stores and remaining countermeasures and ammunition. After all, no plane gets very far without fuel. A fighter that can fly very far can be useful, and for that reason alone the Russians put over 8 metric tons of fuel in some of their models.
Fuel has disadvantages though. Not very good attributes for a fighter. Drop tanks. These drop tanks allow the F to have decent range, while retaining maximum maneuverabilty and speed in combat. In order to read the level of fuel in the drop tanks, we need to put the system on external.
The red marked displays then read the amount of fuel in the drop tanks. There is also a display that reads the total amount of fuel carried. And an analogue system that reads fuel carried internally. In reality, more fuel can be carried internally, up to around 13 pounds. So if the analogue indicator starts spinning backwards, the drop tanks should have been dropped long ago. This is why it is best to work the grey knob and check drop tank fuel level actively instead of waiting for the analogue system to do its job.
In this case I dropped my external tanks. But kept my central fuel tank. Be careful not to hit that to many times or you will also start dropping stores! You can also drop all three tanks at once with ALT-R. While we are here, it is useful to see that the top-left also has an indication for amount of gun ammo left. And the amount of chaffs and flares remaining on the top-right.
Its most important attribute is that it carries a so called active radar. This means that after the missile is fired, it will communicate with the F for some time, through a datalink. The F can drop the lock and engage something else, or defend itself against missiles or other bandits. If the lock is lost in mid-flight. The most important difference is that it does not carry a radar-tranceiver.
It instead only carries a radar-receiver. The F must maintain the lock all the way to weapon impact. The last missile available to the F is the AIM While much shorter ranged than the previous mentioned models, the AIM-9 is guided by locking on to an infrared light radiation source.
The last weapon carried by the F is the on-board M61 Vulcan. Carrying rounds, the F can sustain fire for about 9 seconds. In these modes, the radar or weapon will lock on the first target in sight. The maximum range is about 10 to 15 nautical miles. The first one I want to talk about is vertical auto acquisition. Note that in vertical AACQ you can lock targets that are even higher than the steel ring where the mirrors are mounted.
This pretty much speaks for itself. The range is the same. The sidewinder also has a couple of his own Auto Acquisition modes. The first one I want to talk about is the Seeker Caged mode. You typically enter this mode the first time you press 6. The seeker-head is fixed and cannot move. The next sidewinder specific AACQ mode is the seeker uncaged mode. In this mode the seeker can look around freely and lock targets in a much larger area.
The last sidewinder specific AACQ mode is the seeker slaved mode. In this mode the radar is active as well. If the radar finds a target, it will direct the Sidewinder seekerhead to the target. This allows by far the longest locking distance for the Sidewinder, up to around 18km in my experience. Note that the radar is on, though.
Unfortunately the only way to check if you are in this mode is by checking if your VSD Vertical Situation Display is displaying any symbols. If there are no symbols, just the grid, you are not in gun AACQ.
If there are symbols like in the image, you are in gun AACQ. M is for Sparrow. It probably means Medium ranged missile. The amount of information can be overloading.
We see A2C. Do you still know what that means? Below that you will find your speed, expressed in Mach. Below that also your g-loading and the maximum G-force you can endure in that configuration. In this case the top of the scale indicates 10 nautical miles. This means Range Probable Intercept. The number next to it indicates the rate of closure. In this case knots. If this number is negative, the target is getting away from you.
The next stripe means RTR. Range Turn and Run. A target pulling 9g moves or even turning around and trying to get away should still be intercepted by the weapon. On the bottom we see another indication for the minimum range. This is called the ASE circle. We also see a small dot, that I boxed in a light blue rectangle. This is called the ASE dot.
The more centered the dot is, the better the shot will be and the less the missile will have to steer right after launch, which is a waste of energy. The ASE circle can grow or shrink depending mostly on range.
Attached to the circle we see a line that indicates the target direction of travel. This is where your bullets will go. The computer draws a line to the circle, which is where your bullets will be at the range of the target. The system is very intuitive, put the circle over the target in order to shoot him down. Note the thicker part on the circle, this is a visual indication of the range towards the target. Use the size of the target and this indication to judge if the range is good to shoot.
The Radar display is divided into ranges. On the top-right. We see 40, that means the top line is 40 nautical miles away. The next line is then 30 miles away, the one below that 20, the next one 10 and the last one zero. If the Top right indicated 80 it would have been and if it had said it would have meant Targets that are further away than the scan distance may still be shown along the top of the VSD display. Along the left side we see 18 and 0. This means that at the distance of the TDC Target Designation Cursor the radar scans between an altitude of 18 and 0 feet.
Note that technically the radar points lower than that. So targets who are closer at low altitudes can still be spotted. In the previous screenshot we could see a target. As a way per example I have driven the radar into the ground now.
DCS F-15C Combat Guide for Beginners
Thanks Sryan! The F is a great plane to get started with about air combat in DCS world. Taking only weeks to months to master her avionics and systems, compared to the years most of us need for a full DCS module. I specialised this guide into combat applications. So things like landing it, starting up or how to navigate is best learned elsewhere, like in the manual. I wrote the guide so that someone transitioning from civilian sims or aerobatics can still understand everything. So some things may appear very mundane to the more experienced here.
DCS FC3 MANUAL PDF
See all of the DCS World products on sale here. The FC3 aircraft provide an easy learning curve for new players and focuses on a broad range of aircraft rather than a detailed single aircraft. FC3 adds a number of new features and improvements to previous versions of the Flaming Cliffs series. New 6 degrees of freedom 6DOF cockpits for all aircraft.