Xis version 5 was my 800 x 600 cockpit of choice and there is a small 1.08 patch available if you still wish to use it. Some may not like the realistic positioning of the indexers. Similar to Xis version 5 you must look down in order to see them when landing. The layout changes also make the 3D cockpit look wrong. I suspect it will not take long for 3rd party skins to fix this.
The terrain looks sharper than ever with little or no sparkling compared to 800 x 600 resolution. Incoming missiles are easier to see at launch and in the terminal phase. I would still highly recommend the mistrail.gif file for easier visual acquisition of missiles.
First the bad news. The rear aspect and all aspect missiles are still broken. When a 1 on 1 dogfight is setup between yourself and an ace Soviet aircraft the enemy will fire missiles at you from head-on when you select rear aspect only. Selecting all aspect missiles, I haven't had an enemy aircraft fire a missile at me from head on yet. If an American aircraft is chosen as your adversary everything works fine.
The good news is that because of the improved missile envelopes introduced in the patch, I haven't been hit by a head-on shot yet. Two flares and a slight jink was all it took to spoof the head-on shot. A little detective work with the labels on indicated that AA-8 Aphid missiles were fired in the rear aspect only setup (Figure 1).
Checking the tactical reference this is an all aspect missile with a cooled IR seeker. Clearly this missile should not be used for a rear aspect only dogfight. All aspect IR AA-10b missiles were fired when all aspect was selected. The allied aircraft correctly fire rear aspect AIM-9P and all aspect AIM-9M IR missiles. BVR fighting with radar missiles seemed to work fine with the enemy aggressively locking you up and engaging.
I find it extremely irritating that this bug (which has existed since day one) is not fixed. It took me less than one hour of detective work to see what was wrong and how to reproduce it.
Since the more realistic missile envelopes seem to be working it is not a showstopper but should have been fixed nevertheless. It was certainly a well-documented bug. For those of you that dogfight online this bug will not affect you since both players fly American F-16C aircraft.
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TE: Wingman AI and RWR
In order to test the wingman AI and the improved RWR, I fired-up one of the
most difficult TE missions I have ever seen: Wild Weasel from Hell. This is
a modified version of "In Harm's Way" by DewDog provided by the ACCW 16th
Flying Tigers with multiplayer in mind. With the poor wingman AI in version 1.07 the chances of survival were almost nil in single player.
The objective of the TE is to destroy the Sinan-ni radar station. It is heavily defended by all manner of SAM sites and AAA, both Soviet and American. Enemy Su-27, MiG-29 and F-16C aircraft are stationed at various airbases within intercept range. Your package will be assisted by AH-64D Longbow Apaches on interdiction and pre-plan CAS, F/A-18D SEAD escorts and strikes, and a F/A-18A BARCAP.
The plan will be to ingress at high altitude carrying 4 AIM-120 Slammers, 2 AGM-88 HARMs, GBU-24/Bs and a jammer pod. Ingressing at 430 knots at 20000 feet my TOT will be early and I should be engaged by the high altitude Nike SAM site 5 miles north of steerpoint 4.
Figure 2 shows the AN/MPQ-43 search radar from the Nike clearly painting the aircraft with radar. Longbow helicopters on the pre-plan CAS are scheduled to destroy this site and can be seen in action in Figure 3. The next screenshot (Figure 4) was taken only seconds after the longbows had finished their work. Note that the S on the RWR is clearly extinguished.
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