I tried one of the single missions, Tomcat Bear Intercept and took a few shots. @Hangar200, this one is for you!
Scramble to intercept an incoming Bear, but don’t shoot unless he indicates hostile action. Classic Turkey mission!
Climb to target was uneventful, though I was a bit excessive with the throttle as I wanted to intercept the Bear ASAP. They can throw out a lot of ASMs in a hurry and I wasn’t about to let that happen on my watch! My wingman struggled to keep up.
That’s a Bear, alright! Had my RIO lock him up, prepped weapons, but kept the safe on.
I’m going to invest in some hearing aid companies in Russia. I’m certain those comrades are going to be deaf after their service is up! Flew in formation, had the gun selected in case they had too much vodka.
Felt that Ivan deserved a bit of a show, flew to his right side and did some barrel rolls. I don’t think they’d be familiar with Starfox! (anachronism stew)
They show off on their own and pull hard to the starboard and I have to hit the brakes and jerk the stick to just barely miss their tail. Yeah, right, show the Americanski how to fly! I lag behind them from this point as they use delta wood engines to accelerate out of range above me, so I hang back to get some speed.
My wingman calls bingo so I tell him to hit the tanker, then he flounders. The hell? Eventually he screams ejecting, so I guess he’ll be flying something nondescript out of Hong Kong soon.
And just like that, my fun with Ivan is over. Weapons to standby, back to cruise, and on my way back to the boat.
Had to make a couple passes this time around and caught the 1 wire. Oh well. At least my RIO didn’t make any cheeky comments.
Analysis: if you’re having trouble with aerial refueling or formation flying, I’d recommend this mission. Keeping pace with the Bear and watching it is good to get acclimatized with handling at lower speeds and in proximity to large aircraft and doing so over a relatively long period of time. I’m not sure if the Bear actually engages if you don’t watch him, but it was a good learning experience.