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Author Topic: FMB Tutorial 03 - Carrier Takeoffs and Landings  (Read 5834 times)

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KiwiBiggles

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FMB Tutorial 03 - Carrier Takeoffs and Landings
« on: February 16, 2012, 01:45:18 PM »

FMB Tutorial - Home

Okie Dokie.  Carrier ops are a snap to set up, once you know the tricks of the trade.




Open 'Ford Island Scramble' and save it as 'Carrier Scramble'.  Edit your mission description to reflect that we are stationed on the USS Essex, we're pulling deck alert duty, and we're gonna intercept that hapless Ki-46 that is still determined to recon Wheeler Field.  (You don't need my help to edit the mission name, short and description files by now I hope!  :D ).

Let's add the USS Essex to our mission, and we'll have the USS Kidd fill in as guard ship:



Open the 'Object' window and select 'Ships' from the top drop down menu.  Select the 'USS Essex CV 9' from the bottom drop down menu, and plot two waypoints like so.  To help keep things organised to start with, you might like to use the map grid.  Note that the default speed for the Essex is 28 km/h.  At this scale, the grid is 1 km.  Add the USS Kidd too, and plot waypoints for her in echelon to the Essex.





Here's a tip:  Ships can be tricky to keep in formation.  You can really help yourself out here, by making sure all your ship waypoints are the same speed.  When you plotted waypoint '0' for the Kidd, I hope you noticed the default speed was 35 km/h - hopefully you changed it to 28 km/h so she would keep station with Essex, and if you did, the waypoint properties would have carried over to waypoint '1' - just as we observed with the planes in the previous missions.  If you didn't adjust the waypoint speed - give yourself an uppercut and go back and change them now.  :)

Of course, the mission might look a bit more interesting and natural if say the Kidd was very slowly overtaking the Essex, rather than just sailing along in perfect formation like a mindless drone... so you could set the speed for each of Kidd's waypoints at 29km/h for example - just be aware of what you're doing.

'Ship Tip' no.2:  There have been more internet posts on ship station keeping in IL-2 than you would ever credit. For now, keep it simple stupid and have just two waypoints for each ship.  You can set zig-zag anti-submarine courses for hundred-ship convoys and their escort battle-groups when you're an expert (just have plenty of aspirin on hand!).  But for now - two waypoints each!  It'll work fine - trust me! ;)

'Grid Tip':  As you zoom in, the map grid will change from 10km, to 1km, and finally to 100m.  Use it to estimate distances, and remember, thanks to our old pal Pythagoras the hypotenuse (diagonal) of a grid square is ratio 1.4:  i.e 14km, 1.4km and 140m.  (You have no idea how long that took me to work out!  ;D )



The USS Essex is an 870 foot/270 metre fleet carrier. '870.0' and '871.0' denote the 1 km grid.


Here the grid is 100m.  The developers have done a nice job with the scale of the USS Essex - which is dead on.  Note that most maps in IL-2 are not to scale, being less than 1:1 so don't let that fool you... like rear view mirrors, geographical features are closer than they appear.  ;D



To have our Bearcat take-off from the Essex, all we have to do is drag the takeoff waypoint '0' near the Essex, then click 'Target - Set' which will turn our cursor in to a white 'target'.  Move the target cursor over the Essex and left-mouseclick, the green target icon will attach itself from the takeoff icon to the ship icon:







If we were creating this mission from scratch we would plot waypoint '0' and set the waypoint to 'Takeoff' at which point the waypoint would jump to the nearest runway, just like when we built the 'Ford Island Scramble' mission.  Often, the waypoint will jump to the nearest airfield, ignoring the nearby carrier - at which point you would drag and set the waypoint as above - make sense?

We can use the same process as 'Ford Island Scramble' to complete our flightplan, just bearing in mind that approach and lineup points aren't quite the same when the runway is moving and there aren't any landmarks!  Here's how I finished the flightplan for 'Carrier Scramble':





Drag red waypoint '1' (the Bearcat) to twelve o'clock of the carrier deck. 2-3000m should be enough room to climb out, the only obstacle out here is the ocean itself!  Normally, I would set the climb-out waypoint at more or less 12 o'clock from the carrier deck.  Here I've offset it here a little to port, just to make the waypoints easier to see in the screenie.





Then it was just a case of dragging the navigation checkpoints to suit our slightly longer flight.  I used the headwaters in the re-entrant northeast of Ford Island for waypoint '2' and a river mouth southwest of Ford Island for waypoint '7'.  I recycled waypoints '3' thru '6' (initial point - target area - rally point - nav checkpoint) from 'Ford Island Scramble' employing the 'template' concept.


Waypoint '8' isn't so much a 'lineup' point (as it was in the last mission) rather, waypoints 7 and 8 form a 'carrier approach' which will bring you into the vicinity of the carrier for a visual line-up.  Particularly with carrier landings, if you aren't happy with the lineup 'go around' and try again.





Waypoint '9' is our 'Landing' waypoint again, and I have dragged it across from Ford Island and set it on the Essex in the same fashion we set the takeoff point.  I've adjusted all the waypoints so the timings for the Bearcat and the Essex coincide (at 07:16 in this example) - which should make for a nice efficient mission.  :)

Don't forget to adjust blue waypoints '0' and '1' too, so the timings take into account our slightly longer red flight plan and the blue and red target waypoints still coincide over Wheeler Field (at 07:07-07:08).



Once everything is setup to your satisfaction, the last step is to extend out the ship waypoints.  We need to allow for the action over Wheeler Field and any missed approaches - we don't want the ships to stop dead in the water just as we arrive.  20-30 minutes (07:36-07:46) should be plenty!



There you have it! A quick and easy carrier op - time to jump in and take a test flight...

Next time, we'll take a look at setting some objectives for our mission.  C U soon.  :)
KB

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snachito

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Re: FMB Tutorial 03 - Carrier Takeoffs and Landings
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 11:35:58 AM »

KiwiBiggles, I don't know if you are still around, but I wanted to give you Big Props for your FMB tutorials, they helped me IMMENSELY, especially this one as putting an aircraft on a carrier and making it homebase was driving me crazy without this tutoria (they just kept on falling through the carrier until you gave us great/easy to follow instructions)l!! THANK YOU!!!
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KiwiBiggles

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Re: FMB Tutorial 03 - Carrier Takeoffs and Landings
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 11:45:52 AM »

Hi Snachito,

Glad the tutorial helped.  One of these days I need to get around to adding some more stuff.  :)
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WWII44

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Re: FMB Tutorial 03 - Carrier Takeoffs and Landings
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 10:46:43 AM »

what if I have multiple flights taking off from the carrier(for instance two or more flights of bombers) how to I get them to fly to the target as a cohesive group?
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KiwiBiggles

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Re: FMB Tutorial 03 - Carrier Takeoffs and Landings
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 01:31:07 PM »

Hi WWII44,

To get your group to fly together, the basic idea is to 'set' your subordinate flights to 'escort' the lead flight, using the 'set' command in the waypoint editing window. 

One quite interesting way I have seen to do this is to 'set' the subordinate AI flights to the lead flight's (player's) second-last waypoint only (the one before the landing waypoint).  The AI flights had only two waypoints, take-off (waypoint '0'), and one navigation waypoint (waypoint '1') - AI waypoint '1' was set to the player's flight.  I'll post a picture tonite.  The AI behaviour I observed was that the subordinate flights would then fly to each of the players waypoints in turn, then wait for the player's (lead) flight before flying on to the next waypoint.  AI flights could then be manually ordered to attack ground targets, for example, using the command menu in-game.  This method can make for pretty interesting 'tactical' missions.  The AI flights will even land at the player's landing waypoint (a carrier in this case).

You may get varying results depending on the aircraft you use (bombers or sturmovik types for example - each aircraft belongs to one of several different 'types' that can behave in different ways) and the mods you have installed, so, the best way is to experiment with with different combinations of waypoints and 'AI sets' to see which gives the best results for you.  AI pathfinding can be a bit tricky (sometimes the AI will 'jump ahead' a few waypoints) so you may also have to experiment with the layout of your waypoints - I often find that a wide circuit with less than 45 degree corners and fairly wide spacing between navigation waypoints works best in order for the AI to follow every waypoint in turn.

The other way to get your group to fly together is to not use 'set', but very carefully test-fly your mission, making notes of mission timings for the lead flight (I recommend that the player is always the leader of the lead flight) then carefully adjusting the waypoints for AI flights (for example as to altitude and speed) to be in proximity to the player.  Then the challenge is for the player to fly in a disciplined manner to maintain the integrity of the mission.  Usually mission integrity will be shot once you join combat, but this seems to correspond with real-life accounts where getting 'back to base' was a case of every man for himself.  You often read that after combat pilots found themselves completely alone in an empty sky.

For a simulated bomber 'stream' I even like to have every aircraft as an independent 'flight', which for me seems to give pretty realistic results.

Hope that helps, or at least gives you a few options to try? Let us know. :-)

I'll post that pic of the 'two AI waypoint method' later.

Cheers
KB
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