|MiG Alley: Engagement Report
by Leonard "Viking1" Hjalmarson
No matter, we are still 400 miles from our patrol area and things could change considerably by then. There is hardly a breeze up here and I settle back to enjoy the ride.
Climbing to Altitude
I need to make a slight course correction so I drop my left wing slightly, glancing off my right shoulder to observe my squadron mates. The telltale black trails are more noticeable as the sky grows brighter and the day wears on.
Roughly one hundred miles from our target waypoint I get a call from Dentist that we have bandits at 30,000 feet one hundred miles ahead. I call the squadron to spread out and drop tanks. The tanks are almost exhausted anyway.
At fifty miles I call for a bearing and begin a tactical manouver, gaining some altitude and changing course to bring us in from the west.
Near the Furball
A minute or two after leveling off on course 295 my wingman calls out, "MiGs at two o'clock!" Not much time to plan now, I give the order to engage, jam the throttle to the wall, roll and break left. My wingman follows as I push the nose down then break high. I'm scanning for bandits and pick up a MiG behind me and at about 30 degrees off my tail crossing my path. Perfect!
Eyes fixed (now in padlock view, a semi cheat view which is now looking across the outside of my aircraft toward my target), I complete my manouver and am down to 250 knots. This isn't much energy at 30,000 feet, but since the bandit is not heading directly away from me I dip my nose and begin to gain on him rapidly.
Outside Padlock View
By the way, did I say I hate the way the views are arranged here? There, I got that out of my system. Having said that, it's only a pain because it's unfamiliar, unless you still happen to play Flying Corps, in which case you will LOVE it. The Rowan viewing system works beautifully once you are familiar with it. You can also preset for snap views or panning views. And since you can program macros to your HOTAS or to your voice command software, you'll find you can configure the system to work for you.
The organization of views is like this. F6 to F10 establish camera viewpoints, with F7 as the cockpit camera. F1 to F5 keys modify the camera views. Hit F1 following F7 and you will have an enemy in view, gazing out from your cockpit. Hit F1 following F6, and you will have an enemy view across a Player Track view. If you have realistic view limits selected, you will lose sight when appropriate.
If you have Auto Padlock selected, you will also move from an internal padlock to external Player to Target view automatically. But this ability to see across your own aircraft to the enemy will also be limited by your peripheral vision settings. Finally, using the "d" key you can choose to place a red target box around your selected target. Now back to the fight.
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Last Updated July 2nd, 1999