Recent air combat sim recommendations?


On the way to attack a river crossing about 100 kilometers west of Stalingrad, the La-5s of whichever fighter aviation regiment I joined hold formation at 1,000 meters.

We recently had to fall back across the Volga, from an airfield just beyond the west bank to one on the east side, in the face of German advances.

Things I’m liking about the campaign, number one: ‘success’ is defined broadly for a given mission type. If you’re intercepting bombers, all you have to do is hit them enough to make most of them drop their bombs and turn for home. Number two: there aren’t quite as many ground targets as I would expect, but there are a good number of them along the front lines and grouped behind them. Number three: the world revolves around your flight less than it does in RoF—I’ve come across a few enemies which look to be on unrelated missions, along with friendlies intercepting them.

It still doesn’t have the sheer scale of e.g. Battle of Britain II or even Falcon 4, but at this point, I despair of finding that in modern flight sims.


Who knows what the future will bring. I am flying A-10C red flag at the moment, and it has about 20 planes and at least 50 ground units per mission yet remains eminently playable on my rig. That’s plenty to fill a good sized bubble if they do their dynamic campaign F4 style. Even if they do it Il2 style, it should be fine.


I was about to ask if that was Flying Circus. Duh.

Are they planning any campaign enhancements to that one? I probably asked this already. Just looking for a vague warm fuzzy.


As far as I’m aware, they’re waiting for a Flying Circus Volume 2 before doing a WW1 campaign, sadly.

I should maybe put some Rise of Flight time in, too.


I might have never even known they existed if you hadn’t asked.

Just got them set up today. The instructions are a little vague, and you need to get some good metric Hex wrenches. But once they are together, they are super solid. I also got the mouse extension.

Verdict is they are awesome, and flying with them is dramatically better than having the stick and throttle on the desk. Especially in VR.

They are expensive, and crafty types can find instructions to make similar holders for much less money. But in my case I don’t have the tools or the time, so I’m very happy with the purchase.


Awesome. I will definitely have to grab some.


That’s a nice setup Denny, but your PC being not only on bare carpet, but at floor level is freaking me out. I’d be kicking that thing ALL the time.


I had never even heard of PCs on carpet being an issue. Just looked at some threads about it and it sounds like there are varying opinions about whether it’s a concern. Given that I’ve been running PCs on carpet since I got my first tower PC around 1993, I’m not worried about it. :) I just dust them periodically.

Kicking’s not as issue because your feet are on the rudder pedals. :) Also, it’s way over to the side.

I just got it set up after having the carpet cleaned, so I will be doing some cable management. :)


You never met OCD sufferers, have you?

That is an awesome setup you got there mate. You deadly in the hornet yet? I love it in a small furball but would likely DLAB in a more dynamic scenario because I always end up grovelling about at 110 knots and 30 units of alpha.


Oh, I guess you also don’t have cats. ;)



Damn, a long hair too. I only have shorthairs.

Yeah, my PC is not going on the floor. Nope. Nope. Nooooope.


Shorthairs are worse. Their hair gets everywhere and floats around. Longhairs just drop the hair where they go and it pretty much stays there. ;-)

(I think we need a corollary to Godwin’s law stating that any civil Internet conversation will eventually turn to cats.)

Wally, the guy in the top pic, is a longhair too. But he’s 15 and doesn’t groom well, and he had to be shaved due to tangles.


Huh, my in-laws have a longhair and their hair is EVERYWHERE. Maybe you’re lucky. You’re right about shorthairs though, their hair is also everywhere.


DCS Lunar New Year Sale is on. 50% off of most products. From now until February 14.


If you are looking into transitioning into combat jets from a cessna, a L-39 or C-101 trainer jet might be an option. Almost all DCS modules come with voiced interactive lessons. The simpler jets such as the MiG-15, F-86 and F-5E are huge fun too!

Of course you could also jump in and get something like an A-10C right away, but prepare to be overwhelmed in that case. Those are a lot of buttons!

The so called “FC3” planes (MiG-29, Su-27, Su-25, A-10A, F-15) do not have interactive cockpits and somewhat simplified systems. This does not make them easier compared to “full fat” modules because you will have to work with keyboard shortcuts and hotas buttons instead of labelled buttons or menu’s in the jet’s computer.

Either way. Sales’ on. Go wild!


Already picked up both the P-51 and the FA-18 😄

I have managed to both takeoff and land the P-51 (although not from a cold start). It took a bit of doing. I kept on flipping the Mustang as soon as I took off. After a visit to Google I now know about Ground Effect and how it effects take off. Assuming XPlane and DCS are both fairly realistic, it was way harder getting the P-51 in the air than the trusty Cessna 172!

It was gratifying to watch this video and mostly know what he was doing!

As for the FA-18 Hornet, I’ve flown it around, but have not done any takeoffs or landings. It is pretty fun to buzz around in, and the HUD display is awesome. I don’t know about takeoffs or landings, but it sure does seem easy to just fly around in.

I’m still trying to figure out the basics on flight though. Like when I’m slipping vs skidding vs. being on track for a turn. So I’m mostly focusing on civilian flying.

On the civilian side I’ve been buzzing around southern England with the Cessna 172. I’ve more or less mastered the Garmin 530 enough to get from one airport to another (assuming I can remember their ICAO designation). I did accidentally land at EGKR (Redhill Aerodrome) instead of EGKA (Shoreham) where I meant to, that R looked an awful lot like an A — not sure if that was my fault, the low-res VR’s fault, or the two letters just look similar on a Garmin. As I landed I was wondering where the ocean was, at least they were both in the same direction from Biggin Hill where I started. I can get the different frequencies set on the radio, get weather information, and tune in to the VOR beacons I still don’t feel like I’ve got the VOR mastered though.

I’m going through a book on the Battle of Britain and I’m going to try to visit the various original RAF airfields in XPlane to get a better feel for everything.


As a carrier fighter, the Hornet is pretty dead easy to land on a runway. Put the flight path marker on the threshold, about three degrees below the horizon, and reduce speed until the FPM is in the middle of the E-bracket you get when the landing gear is down (or until you get the green ball on the AoA indexer to the left of the HUD). Once you’ve done that, just fly it into the ground, no flare needed.

It’s not a by-the-book approach, but it will get you on the ground without breaking anything.


I can attest to this. Both my son and daughter, 9 and 13, landed the Hornet on their first try. Actually their first flight.

Not anywhere near the runway, but flat sand counts, yes? They did bring it to a complete stop and didn’t blow it up…


Nor do you need perfectly coordinated turns in your flybywire jet. Just bank & yank. Im amazed you got the P-51 up in DCS without pranging it. You might just have a talent for this Sir!