Bones' Ride: "The Numbers"
It's my turn, The first thing Pete wanted to check out was the drag numbers and how it matched up with
the drag numbers in Falcon. Pete Had me climb and hold the jet at 20,000ft 400kts. With timer in hand
Pete instructed me to pull the throttle to idle and report my deceleration in 50kt increments until I
reached 200kts. As expected Falcon's numbers were very very close (factor in my loss of 500 ft during
the exercise adding a sec or two the final number).
The F-16 is a very sleek jet and in this exercise
the jet was clean and had about 5900 lbs of fuel on. The main factor in the F-16's drag coefficient is
the fan blades and the intake. With out the GE/Pratt pushing the jet. Speed bleeds quicker then you
might think. Fan and Intake drag is modeled in Falcon 4.0 and the nose Fall off is the same as the fall
off in the UTD and the Jet.
My Maverick Shot
Next Was my turn to fire the Maverick. Oh My! its a tuffy.. It's one of the harder things to do in the F-16,
because of the required workload. In the F-16 to prepare to fire the Maverick, you must follow a series of
steps. Fire Control Modes Setup and Display Setup. Sensor of Interest Selection and the Hard part, target
If you have your radar in steerpoint mode you have a idea where to look for your targets because
your systems point you in the correct direction and a diamond appears over the target area. The main things
is you have to trust your instruments. Do a few cross checks to make sure you are on speed and that you have
good altitude.. you are heads down in the cockpit looking at you HSI and Right MFD at the target. you are
area looking for dots that turn into shapes. At the same time you are working the HOTAS and stick to hold
attitude and speed.
My Maverick Shot
YOU MUST FIGHT THE URGE TO LOOK out the cockpit. I was corrected many times by Pete "down here, look down here",
referring to the Electro Optic Cam Display (Maverick Cam).
While in the (PRE) Slave mode you have to trust your
instruments. Once you have spotted your target you ground stabilize the radar and change the Mavericks field of
view (Zoom) if needed. Then slew the designator over the target and designate. Now watching your DLZ, Pickle the
MAV and start searching again.. The Maverick is a standoff WEP so you want to do your work and get your shots off
in one pass. That way you don't expose yourself to threats anymore then you have to.
Mike and I both got two Mavericks off and two target kills in one pass.. Pete Informed us that we did good because
that hard to do. What I have describe to you is what we did in the UTD, this is what Pete does in the Jet.. and this
is what you will do in Falcon 4.0.
Col. Martin vectored me to final.. I ran through my landing check list.. 300kts Gear down.. Brakes out holding fuel intake
on speed... all is well. uh-oh.. I got a little slow, sinking fast!! All the Pilots in the room starting yelling power! Power!
POWER!... BOOM!!! Bones is dead!
Click to continue
What is that show from the 70's, "The Bionic Man?" The show started with him being blended into a metal and concrete beverage served with a large order of flame and smoke. Well call me Steve, Crash Boy, Mr. Smudge, Runway
Closer, Sparky, you name it, I crashed. With all the Lt. Cols in the room, it was pretty embarrassing. Spooky was laughing his ass
off no doubt!! :-) Lucky for me Col. Martin gave me a good excuse.. He pointed out that I had way too much fuel aboard, I was way
to heavy.. yeah that's it, I was heavy, Yeah! :-)
Col. Martin paused the sim, time for more academics. He pulled out the green marker and on the white board he took us through landing
the F-16 the right way. He explained where on the runway we should place the velocity vector, and where the AOA "Staple" needs to be
during each portion of the approach. The number of degrees of AOA to have during Pre-Flare and Post wheels down Flare. Each instruction
had a purpose, to get on the Runway in one peice, and setup for proper Aero-braking and full stop.
Back into the cockpit..
Mike was able to translate the academics into a good approach and a high speed bounce but he did not crash. He kept the jet within the
accepted landing parameters. During a debrief of the flight Pete explained to us about the transference of tactics from the sim to Falcon.
I did crash in the UTD due to fuel weight. But I was crashing In Falcon because I was outside of the parameters Col. Martin briefed us on.
Now when we land in Falcon we follow what we learned.. and I have been having mad success!! It's that Transference that Pete was talking about.
In my observations and study of flight simulations I have found that many sims allow the user a large margin of error when it comes to the dynamics
of the Flight Model. You as the user can pretend to fly the jet with in the specified parameters. If you decide to stray outside of those limits of
physics you pay very little penalty if any.
I have heard many in the flight sim community say, "Why would you want to do that? NO good pilot would land upside down or try to takeoff at 70 kts.. Why approach the carrier at 300kts... and catch a three wire? Why would you do that?" I counter with: "Why CAN YOU DO THAT?" (Oh Behave Baby)
Hmmm... Well friends, the reason it happens is that the sim has failed and its flight model is far from real. I like to point out that if you stray in Falcon,
you pay, Just like you would in the real F-16.
Let me be the first to welcome you all back to the real world. With Falcon's settings at maximum realism you will be happy with the simulation, and happy knowing that your experience is as close as you can come to hopping into the real jet. Furthermore, you will get a good lesson in Newtonian Physics at the same time! NOTE: This article is based on the sim set at max realisim.
So we end this article in this way. I have had lots of time in both the F-16 UTD and in Falcon 4.0. BOTH are amazing: the UTD for its fully functional cockpit
and awesome flight model; Falcon, for its ultra realistic modeling of both flight and workload.
To those that want to know, and to those that ask, How do you know?" we can say with a high level of confidence that Falcon 4.0 has the most realistic F-16 flight
model ever produced for a PC. It has the Numbers- it has "the feel." And with the proper stick and stick setup, Falcon 4.0 faithfully models what it is like to fly
the F-16 Fighting Falcon. This is the most amazing simulation you will see outside of the Military!
Are you 4.0 Ready??
*Article based on actual facts. Opinions stated are our own
and are in no way the Microprose' company line. If it
sucked.. we would express that to you!
Elabs: By Christopher Bonner/ Micheal Scott © Dec 5.1998 22:07HRS
Visit the 808th
For more selections on Falcon 4 go to: F4 Index