In these pages we are publishing the bulk of his training program to help those in the flight simulation community in their efforts to become better virtual pilots and to deepen their immersion in this fascinating hobby.
Most of us, as "accomplished combat flight simulator pilots", may think we know how to fly just fine. We're probably correct. Others are new to the hobby and lack the "finesse" involved in pushing the pixels around the screen so skillfully as to justify being called an "ace". All of us, at one level or another, believe that the IL2 platform provides an unsurpassed level of realism, and that when we "strap on our virtual plane" we are, in some way at least, experiencing what it must have been like to fly the "real thing".
Very few of us know how the "real thing" would have been flown, from the moment the pilot first sat in the cockpit before each mission, through the engine start-up, taxiing, take off, and ultimately the approach and landing. The web is full of sites that provide tips on combat maneuvering, situational awareness, and "do's and don'ts", but there is a dearth of information on how to approach the role of simulation pilot from a "real world" perspective.
In the following pages Ramblin' Jack offers the inquisitive pilot, or would-be pilot, an approach to sim flying from the perspective of actual aeronautical knowledge and flight methodology. While some of the information is a bit dry, all of it is helpful and mastering it, or even putting some of it into practice, will make us all better "virtual pilots". At the very least, learning these lessons will make the immersion level of our hobby much deeper.
Here, for your enjoyment, are Ramblin' Jack's lessons. If you have comments or contributions, please feel free to contact RJ by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or join in the discussions on our forum (reachable at the link in the menu above).
PURPOSE OF FLIGHT TRAINING
There are a number of training publications available to the Sim Pilot explaining in great detail the aerodynamic principles of flight. For those interested, the following two FAA publications are available from any pilot shop that might be located as near as you local airport.
FAA-H-8083-3A, Airplane Flying Handbook
FAA-H-8083-25, Pilotís Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge.
The Sim Pilot who has acquired necessary airmanship skills during training, and demonstrates these skills by flying training maneuvers with precision, will be able to experience all that is offered within the virtual world of the flight simulator.
The flight simulator used in this training program is IL2 Forgotten Battles with the addition of the Aces Expansion Pack and Pacific Fighters. The airplane being used is the 1941 P-40 E. I have chosen the P-40 because it is representative of the high performance single-engine fighter of the era. To get the most out of this training, I suggest that you fly with the full cockpit on. Some of the maneuvers will require instrument interpretations, and this arrangement takes advantage of the P-40ís instrument panel and excellent flight visibility.
Undoubtedly you are already flying the flight simulator and have probably scored a number of victories against the enemy. The goal here is to demonstrate some of the basic fundamentals that are too often overlooked when you just hop into an airplane and chase someone around the sky. The wonderful flight modeling within the program allows us to recreate maneuvers associated with slow flight, stalls, spins, and accelerated maneuvers just to mention a few. This information will be presented is such a way that each lesson builds upon the other, resulting in an understanding of the aerodynamics that influence the airplane and every maneuver you perform.
It is not my intention to change the way you fly with regards to settings within the simulator. I do hope I can influence how well you fly with regards to the proper handling of an airplane. Be your own worst critic and challenge yourself.
352nd Fighter Group