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

Move the throttles back past the idle cutoff. Probably RALT/RSHIFT End.

I lift up my hog throttles and bring em back all the way, doesnt do jack schmitt. It does on the hog tho. Perhaps I should fiddledytweak with the curve settings on the throttle?

I filed down my AB detent to become a hump and that seems to work pretty darn nice for the bug. about 99% mil before and full burner after.

It seems to be twitchy in both directions - I had to take the throttles over the hump twice on startup

Yup the idle stop bindings are wonky right now.

I was able to shut off the left airborne but not the right, even though they’re bound to identical left/right functions.


My first impressions after a whole 45 minutes of entire play time (live a little!).

  • I love it.
  • If the US Navy needs a place to put a Bouncy Castle for birthdays etc, then I would recommend the back of the carrier. Would have saved a lot of lives.
  • Throttle feels nice and responsive, but my goodness is there a ‘plunge’ at low speed that you need to catch.
  • The Harrier seems liked a really nice warm-up for systems familiarity, given the family McD’ness.
  • Sounds and audio (betty, flyby etc) are fantastic. Seriously good.
  • Only ever flow it in VR :vr: and it works well, with (as others pointed out) a lot of static aircraft causing some perf dips. Cockpit looks great. Can’t read the map but everything else is pretty good.
  • In VR the IFLOS / ball is about 1 pixel of nothing. Very hard to use. Also, the levels of detail on the deck markings on the Carrier are too grey during the day, making it very hard to line up even in good VFR. A tiny tweak in LOD needed here I think.
  • The Stennis is on 127.500 AM for manual Comms2 fans. Took me ages to find that. Unless changed in the mission editor then it is also channel 1X by default in TACAN.
  • A weird funny was that I had an old mission with the ‘wrong’ old CVN-70 Vinson carrier set up to play around with. I was using that (because I just flipped the aircraft to F/A-18C Lot 20 from the Su-33 I was playing around with) and had all sorts of weird shadow-world spock-with-goatee non-bugs. The Hornet TACAN channel 55X would come up but not allow a course line, the number of bolters was extreme (could be me though) and I couldn’t use the ‘U’ key to set up a launch. Obviously user error, but I mention it in-case anyone else makes the same mistake. Use CVN-74 then, Doh!
  • I didn’t bother setting up an axis curve for pitch/roll so resorted to using guns on the poor A-6 S-3 refueller. I need to git-good on that obviously.
  • The systems are remarkably intuitive and easy to use so far. Start-up is not too weird to remember. As all things should be, etc.

Great fun and a good start.


I have no idea of the validity of the claims, but I guess the flaps lunge is a bit violent. Dunno.

@boomerang10 - is the speed brake ‘should not be incremental, it’s an off or on’ thing quite right here? It’s at 2:53 to save watching it all. I wonder if the guy is remembering the 2005 model and the Ops docs are talking about newer builds? It’s not really that important in the grand scheme of things but thought it interesting anyway.

PS Apologies if this is video has already been posted. I have 1500 posts unread here, so going to have to claim ‘post read bankruptcy’ soon and dismiss them all…

Ok I figured it out! @Navynuke99 too :nerd_face:

As I was running the cold start tutorial (not voiced by Wags, sadface) It told me to right-alt-home and right-shift-home to turn the engine on. So I jumped into the controls screen, pressed right-alt-home and that took me to the right control, engine idle/stop. Cool beans. So I pressed bind, lifted my throttle over the idle hump and voila presto! The throttle now behaves much like it does in the A-10C!

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My first impression was like most of you. Low speed handling is difficult and, I guess, a bit off. For the last two nights my sim partner was a former F-16 guy and our sim instructor was ex-Navy: F-16N (never heard of that one!) and F-18. The F-18 is point and shoot. They both went on and on about how it can easily be steered around the sky at 70 knots. I am guessing “easy” might be understating things a bit. “Our” F-18 turns into a lead cannonball above 10 degrees AoA. I don’t buy that it is anywhere close to accurate. But it’s beta and its a beauty for sure.

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Apologies @smokinhole, I got my RL pilots mixed up and edited it to @boomerang10 on the minutiae of that switch… :blush:

Some other notes/funnies/misunderstandings on my initial playing:

  • When to do a FCS reset? After carrier landing (after getting out and kissing the deck many times) I did a cold start again but didn’t do a FCS reset and BIT test (the switch on the right hip). Is that reset and test required at every cold start? I did hit the FCS Take Off trim before the cat launch, but something wasn’t quite right on round 2.

  • Talking of which weird flying, when deselecting an autopilot mode is there significance in using the ‘AP disconnect paddle’ rather than just toggling a mode off? I got some weird ‘would not climb’ sort of behavior, so I’m thinking there are some FCS rules around this I’m not clear on.

  • Does anyone have a quick reference table for take-off trim on the Carrier per weight, just as a rough guideline. I do, like a good sailer, make sure I am hands-off at the cat, but after that I do need to catch the trim, and I think I remember seeing somewhere some sort of weight/trim guideline that I can’t find again.

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Check your FCS page. My understanding if any of the control surfaces come back with an X, you need to reset. I’m shaky on this facet of the jet though.

Preeeetty sure there’s a nice big button on top of the rudder trip rotary that will automatically set it for you :slight_smile: (or I could be wrong)


I just remembered vaguely seeing something about catapult trim being set by gross weight, as that rotary seems to set stab 12 regardless of weight. I might have dreamt it though, especially as I can’t find it again. No worries! :slight_smile:

I’ve seen enough people mentioned it that I’m less convinced I’m correct. If you find it, let us know!

EDIT1: Nothing in the ED manual. I’ll use the mighty CTRL-F on NATOPs when I get home.

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Excellent idea - got it. https://info.publicintelligence.net/F18-ABCD-000.pdf

Page III-8-5

Now I’m fairly sure I’ve never read the entire thing, but sort of recognize that table at the top. :thinking:


Yeah…it would be kind of cool to have a “pop up” IFLOLS view.

Indeed. The sounds are just awesome. Coupled with the new bomb effects we got with World 2.5 and things are looking fantastic. And the ocean…just looks awesome.

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Can’t comment on the Hornet’s flight characteristics, or avionics, as I’m no expert, but this was money
well spent!

The PG terrain is superb. You can feel the heat of the dessert while sitting on the runway, and the
water effects are so believable.

Flying the Hornet off the carrier is a rush waiting for the catapult to go off. And the Hornet’s detail…
Been waiting for this sine Jane’s F/A-18.

Great job ED/DCS. Hope it doesn’t take “years” to finish.


Finally got the performance back to where it is playable in VR again, and tried the Hornet.
I really like it! Looks really nice in VR. The HUD is very easy to read in VR! Good job there!
Other details are of course harder to read, but zooming or leaning in works. And the cockpit layout is really intuitive, which makes it easy to remember which switch does what. :slight_smile:

As other have commented, you need to mind your speed in the pattern. Surprisingly easy to fly the AoA, I think.
Setting half flap causes a very abrupt pitch down, which I find a bit strange, especially on a FBW aircraft. I’m guessing it will be tweaked. Or does it behave like that IRL?

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I have never flown an f-18, so don’t know. But an a320, even though fbw will upon selection of flap 2 experience a huge “balloon” in vertical speed. You can be descending at -500 ft per minute and momentarily see +300 ft per minute on configuration change.

So, not knowing if the f18 half flaps pitch down is real or not, in my mind its in the realm of possible.


I think it’s the pitch down effect that is confusing people mostly given how FBW the aircraft is overall. I would expect ballooning no matter what. Although perhaps that is exactly what the FBW system is trying to counter.

Absolutely plausible.
I just didn’t expect it to pitch down that hard and fast.

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Its Love at first flight. MiGs 21 Ai is Super fun to fight against.

As a real DCS fan I have to find something to complain about…

It makes the F-15 feel like a dog… THERE, I found something.

Congratulations to Wags and the ED team. This is a Home Run way over the fence and the crowd is going WILD. Thanks ED!!!