|MiG Alley: Engagement Report
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson
With the MiG beta having just been updated, stability has increased greatly and I decided it was time to write a more complete mission report, especially detailing the flight experience and dogfight experience. In general my impressions are overwhelmingly positive.
I spent forty five minutes setting up and then flying this mission in the fifth and latest campaign. I'll describe the mission from an "I was there" perspective. All the actions I describe will be actual actions I took in the mission, including COMMS and aircraft avionics actions.
MiG Alley, by the way, does not support Glide under 3dfx. Rowan has gone completely to Direct3d for this simulation, so all Voodoo boards run via Direct3d. I tested Campaign mode at 1024x768 on both a K6-3 450 system with TNT2 and a PII 400 system with 16 MB Banshee and Logitech Wingman Force. Frame rate was not an issue on either system, even with multiple aircraft in a dogfight.
Mission Report: January, 1951
It's January 15th and I am piloting an F86E Sabre on an air superiority mission flying almost eight hundred miles into North Korea. On this particular mission I am commanding three flights of four aircraft.
MiG Alley Directives
My position as tactical commander, unusual for a squadron leader (VBG) allows me to determine the strategic priorities for this phase of the campaign, and you can see where I placed my emphasis in the screen shot above. While Air Superiority and even Close Air Support are important, they are really secondary to choking the enemies supplies.
Prior to flight we went through the usual briefing. I boned up on the tactical picture as well as checking INTEL for the target area. I knew what SAM and AAA threats to expect and also what airborne threats were likely. Naturally, I also checked the weather and wind conditions! Korea in the winter is hell, by the way.
Now I am on the runway and going through a visual check of my squad mates when I get a call from the tower that I am jamming the runway. I spool up the engine and hear it respond, but nothing happens!
After a few seconds I realize I need to release my wheel brakes, but a punch of the brake toggle (B key) only extends my air brakes. About fifteen seconds later I have a flame out, just as I finally locate the wheel brake toggles! Too many things on my mind this morning.
I restart and throttle to fifty percent. The engine seems fine, so I release brakes and throttle to 100% for take off. In less than a minute I am airborne, and I throttle back to 80% and begin a lazy circle around the base.
On the Runway
Inbound for Seoul
As my squad mates take off we form up and I gradually swing up onto a heading of 360. I check in with Dentist (ground control radar) for a picture and he informs me that there are no bandits anywhere near us. I then asked him for a vector to my patrol area, and he gave me a heading of 324.
As I level off at 20,000 heading on 324, I call to Viper squadron to check in. All my pilots report in, and I notch up my elevator trim for a gradual climb to 30,000 feet.
Notching the Trim
At this point I jumped out to the MAP view to check out the options. MAP view is an interface that allows you to continue to control and communicate with your flight, the tower, or FAC but cheat using time acceleration features. I accelerated to the next waypoint, then jumped back into my aircraft.
MiG Alley MAP Interface
I found myself half way to my target waypoint and at 30,000 feet. My trim adjustment was no longer effective at the altitude I had set and I had to take manual control to level off. I found that the Sabre is a much more twitchy aircraft at 30,000 feet and I induced some nasty shaking before leveling off. I then notched the trim back to obtain level flight around 29,500 feet.
Checking my fuel level I found I could still run on the external tanks. I checked in with AWACS again and discovered a couple of bandits 100 miles north at 1,000 feet. Since they weren't a threat and not in my frag order, I ignored them and continued to target. I was cruising at 85% throttle around 420 knots.
The old bird is beginning to feel familiar, and I'm enjoying the view. I notice that the cloud layer has moved up. Initially we were flying around 15,000 feet over the clouds, but now there are some clouds much higher, around 25,000 feet. This could complicate the scenario in a dogfight since the F86E is already at a disadvantage at high altitude.
Go to Page Two: Bandits!
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