DCS F/A-18C (Open Beta) Initial Impressions AAR

I have a trackball on my left side when I’m flying, so I can use either hand to manipulate stuff in the cockpit.

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A very valuable skill indeed!

Short report from me:

  • Number of successful aerial refuelings: 3 (but very hard to do with my crappy joystick despite curves 30)
  • Number of successful landings: 10
  • Number of successful carrier landings: 1 (not very good at that yet but I always err on the safe side)
  • Number of Hornets destroyed: 0 (!!!) (although I came close a few time, at low speed mainly)

Haven’t tried weapons yet. I have worked through the basic lessons and I am doing some nav training and a lot of landings for now.

I hope the MPCD contrast is fixed soon, that’s pretty annoying


I really do recognize in myself a propensity to talk about the flying qualities of planes/helicopters that I have not flown IRL. And maybe it gets old reading the same ole garbage from me time after time. I don’t see myself as a complainer though. Most models I love without complaint and always have. This one, given the effort put in by two teams with input by Boeing along with actual bug pilots, seems very dissimilar to the plane that has been described to me ad nauseum . But unlike my complaints about Polychop, on this I KNOW it will get refined to perfection as it gets closer to release. In its current state it really demonstrates to people like me who don’t write code how hard it is to take so many variables and convert them into a plausible output. Part of the fun of beta (if you have faith in the system) is watching the process on the user end with no concept of what’s happening under the hood.


Aha! Mystery solved (a pretty crappy mystery, but what can you do). Here’s where I saw that table:

Jabbers start-up video had it at the end (time put to when table appear).

I thought I was going mad, but it’s good to get confirmation that I am. etc. One thing in the video is that the gross weight is actually displayed on the checklist page (you can see it on his left MFD ironically).


So. Wow. Amazing. That’s my initial TLDR impressions. Wow. Amaziiiing.

For an early access product the F/A-18C is fairly far along and the parts that do work, work pretty well. There’s the issue with the flaps putting the nose down but that’s something that you can keep under control if you stay on top of the power curve changes. There are systems that are working with some level of degradation (a new work that I am learning from the BIT test) but all in all this module is well on it’s way to becoming one of my favourites - sorry Mirage 2000C and Harrier who will still have a space in my hanger).

Visually the F/A-18C is beautiful. You all are posting some supreme screenshots showing just how beautiful this sim has become but, if you will let me, here are some more prime cut examples.

Really (!) want to thanks ED for putting some CF-188 skins in there. I am biased but I think that those skins are some of the best!

Is there any angle or weather that makes the sim look bad? I mean, yeah, probably but why are you looking for those :slight_smile:

Oh course it is easier to get good shots when @near_blind and @Bogusheadbox put up their servers.

That view is going to be the bane of my existence once I make it to attempting carrier landings. Add some functionality here and ED has made the perfect tool for everyone on the servers I fly on to judge me and judge me harshly :slight_smile:

Can’t. Break. Away. From the screenshot. Key.

The systems are working well and my reading of (some) of the NATOPS has bourne fruit. Startup, shutdown, TACAN and ADF are all modeled and, as you can tell above, Air-to-Air weapons (as @near_blind demonstrates) are working.

Flight model wise I am spent the last two days coming to terms with the quirks of the current implementation and I am finding it very satisfactory. There are a few rough edges (open beta … this should be obvious) but as long as I stay focused on the numbers and on paying attention to what part of the flight envelope that I am in, it is manageable. One hint: You do not want to be on the lower power side of the curve as the 18C will lose altitude fast, real fast. Making turns in the break and I have to keep on the airspeed accurately and aggressively to not trap myself into a high sink rate and having to AB my way out of the problem.

All in all, as a consumer and hobbyist flight sim pilot, I want to thank ED and Belsimtek for the hard work that they have put into this module. It, obviously, was a lot of work and it looks and feels like there’s a ton of love in there too. I am confident that work will continue and this is an awesome base to build upon.

Now. Back into the sim and an attempt to drop some iron.


I have found that the course on tacan makes a very useful hud helper for landing (or navigating). Just have to find the correct angle on deck.

Not shown in pictures, the course on hud will show deviations like the localiser on an ILS or VOR

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Oohh, that’s a handy little improvement over having to script it in the lua files…

I created a text version of that no bull startup checklist from the video that fearless linked if anyone is interested.



Is half then considered the “auto” flaps setting?

Has anyone collapsed gears or wrecked coming down too hard on a Carrier landing? I am tending to be Mr Bolter, because I’m not wanting to flare (bad) but also not wanting to plummet like crazy. When I do just ride the elevator to hell and plant it, I never seem to break the aircraft - so was wondering if just me?

Also, with on-speed AOA and good ball, what’s a typical VSI for you guys see before you hit the deck?

I’ve collapsed the left side. So far not both. “Hey, Admiral. Look at the bright side!” I don’t know my IVSI but given the typical speed of 130-135 when I line-up with the deck, I’m guessing about 700 fpm. The only way I can land consistently is to do it perfectly wrong. I find the speed that gives me 8 AoA and I hold that speed with throttle. After finding the proper angle on the meatball I ignore it thereafter and just keep the middle of the deck fixed to a point on my canopy with the stick. I’ll need to ditch this questionable technique if we ever get pitching decks.

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I think it’s rated to withstand up to 1200, but your aircraft chief is going to find you as soon as you disembark and crush your skull with a wrench.


Just installed the latest update… The Hornet wallpaper music…! :astonished: :sunglasses:


Aaaand I finally tried some carrier ops…
What a challenge! I am thrilled beyond words! I haven’t been this excited about just flying around and trying to land…ever! :slight_smile:
This is going to take some dedicated training.
What a blast!

Thank you, EDSimtek, for this!

Being a flightsimmer has never been this good. :star_struck:


Truly exciting times for flight sims, and in particular DCS World. :sunglasses:


Agreed fellas. Last night, I had the supreme pleasure of cold and dark starting my Hornet, taking off, navigating by TACAN and waypoints, RTBing when bingo fuel sounded, shooting a clean approach and touching down with ~ 700 lbs of go juice remaining. Everything worked as it should! Wonderful aircraft! Well done ED! Now to learn how to blow stuff up.


Look ma, I made it! (awesome skin, @SkateZilla!)


Sounds like a fun night. I got committed to a couple parties this weekend (work/social ones, not the fun throwdown ones)…so I’m not able to fly this weekend until Sunday night probably…

My first attempt at parking on deck.

Shots of @near_blind taking off.

And some of @near_blind landing.