Heatblur F-14 and Forrestal Update



That’s great to hear Chris! I’m itching to get my hands on it myself. Hopefully my new PC will arrive before they release it to the rest of us.

I have a pretty brutal week ahead myself. Should make for an interesting AAR though :).


This Makes ME…


I’m not sure what the old school naval aviators were taught. I’m sure you can just trap in close with just the AOA (I just tried it), but I don’t know that I would put all of my faith in it. The Hornet has altitude (MSL and radar) and vertical rate all concisely put together. In the F-14, the VSI, airspeed indicator, and standby ADI are all mounted there at the top of the panel so it is just a flick of the eye down (in real life they might even be in your periphery such that you don’t need to really look at them). I’m not sure either what weather minimums the F-14 operated to, but again, you’d need a better and faster scan than the “easy” Hornet.

I think the ball has gotten a bit better after the last few versions of DCS World, at least, I seem to be able to spot it a little bit further out. I still wouldn’t mind an inset window “cheat” that shows a zoomed in picture of the ball given our monitor and VR resolution challenges.

My impression was that they were readable without zoom, but might require you to sort of dip your head. It helps to turn the cockpit flood light on and the instrument lighting just to give a bit more contrast. Will test more today.


add to that LSO and you are covered :slight_smile:


And we can go to the source…!

@boomerang10 - The Hornet might be different, but do you cross check anything once you go to the ball or are you just locked on it, AOA, lineup, and the LSO? And have you ever had a HUD failure that would require you to shoot an approach on the DDI?


From the F-14B NATOPS, this part is interesting:


So it sounds like even with the ball in site initially, you do pop a look at the VSI perhaps, and then maybe once the ball is definitely clear, you might transition fully to it?


Anyone know what the normal F-14B flap setting is for a cat launch? Page 10-10 of the NATOPS item #37 says:

Flaps - Down.
a. Verify stabilizer shifts 3 (degrees) noseup (ITS).

I can move the flaps to whatever position I want via the mouse…is there an intermediate position that is “normal” or is it full flaps for catapult launches?


I’ve read full flaps as well.


Genuine question, why not? AoA is directly related to stalling, while airspeed is weight dependent. Shouldn’t AoA be the most reliable way to fly to lowest possible safe approach speed? In addition, the Flight Path Marker or VSI (does the Tomcat has this in the HUD in landing mode?) helps in foreseeing ball trends.

Frankly I never understood why the AoA doughnut was not widely adopted in civil aviation. It seems to be such a nice tool. In military aviation is its very widespread, also outside of naval aviation. Neither in the F-5E or the Viggen you need to ever look at your speed during landing.


Well, not everything is related to stalling or not. You can fly the correct AOA and fall out of the sky if you have ice on your wings or tail. And AOA might not give you the proper speed for steady state wind + half the gust + whatever you want to add for each of your kids. And I wouldn’t rest my hat on a singular point of failure. We have two AoA indicators in our airplanes, one is the lights and donuts on the glareshield, the other is an AoA gauge right next to the airspeed gauge. A crosscheck of any two instruments is a pretty normal part of a scan. If I’m on AOA, but my airspeed is saying 160 knots, I know one or the other is wrong.

Anyway, what I’m saying is, at least in civil aviation, at 120 to 140 knots of Vref, it isn’t like you don’t have time to cross check things in the cockpit. AoA is a great tool, but it is part of a collection of tools.


Yeah, I would at least cross check the AOA against the recommended indicated airspeed for a certain weight. (Probably can be looked up in some chart in the manual).

As for the HUD: IIRC in most planes the HUD is not considered a primary flight instrument, so you are never allowed to rely on it anyway. Might as well learn to live without it.


And it isn’t a factor in the planes I fly…but transport category and maybe some certain GA jets might have limitations of flying AoA because of tail-strikes - ie: if you are flying at the “best” wing AoA, you might have a pitch attitude that would hit your tail. I assume maybe in those cases either you must fly a factored speed, OR maybe there is software that biases the AoA indicator to fly a green donut at X weight that is calculated to not exceed that pitch angle (?)…

I don’t know if it is true or not that the Citation X can actually hit the wingtips if flown at to high a pitch on takeoff or landing…might be an urban legend.


Hit with the wings??
…sounds hard to believe, based on the silhouette of the aircraft, but… who knows…
(Crosswind landings may cause it though. But that can happen to a lot of aircraft of course)


Started a thread here to discuss the user tracking thing in a bit more depth:


Yeah…this photo sort of illustrates it - at a high pitch attitude, the extreme sweep and length of the wing brings them close to the ground if any roll input is also in there. (Edit…and the relatively short landing gear legs I guess…)



I still think that if you fly straight then the tail should strike before the wings strike.

But yeah, I see that high AOA + roll is a bad idea there.

Beautiful plane though. One of my favourites.


Some Googling says the tips will strike at a combo of 5 degrees pitch and 7 of roll. I’m sure landing flat with very little side slip is drilled into those guys in the sim.


Beastly engines on that thing. They just look enormous on that thing when looking at that front on view…



…as in, “amazing” that the plane captain hasn’t had the Line CPO chew him out for not properly preparing the cockpit? Which includes cleaning the canopy and major gauge glass? Especially since those fingerprints are probably the plane captain’s fingerprints since the aircrew should be wearing Nomex gloves in the aircraft??!!

-1 for Authenticity and Accuracy! What was Heatblur thinking?! :angry: I expect your review will highlight this glaring error.

(Just kidding BTW :wink:)


Honestly, I don’t think you can pin that one on maintenance. I swear to God, having flown lots of glass cockpit planes now over the years, it is maddening how many pilots touch the MFDs with their fingers when they are trying to point out something. Like moths to a flame…I’ll never understand it. Every plane I get in looks like the previous crew had BBQ and decided to fingerpaint on the screens.