I can't finish (putting the thing in the thing)

Out of all of them I find the harrier the easiest. The tomcat seems slightly easier than the 33. But every time I fly the tomcat outside of simple circuits it finds new ways to confuse me.

Has anyone else noticed that the tomcat handles like a sports car during taxi! You can really get a shift on round the bends :joy:

That’s what my chair mount was meant to solve - it bolted between the chair’s base and the seat using longer bolts (hence the four drill holes). This allows me to “sit” on the baseplate, but with the stick closer to my knees on that little shelf/extension marked “stick”. The sharpie line marked the front of the seat bottom. A downside was that method starts interfering with rudder pedal usage a little bit, as I like my pedals further away. If you ankle is more upright, that may not be as much an issue.

My general principle for all aerial refueling is:

  • Get in close formation with the tanker first, preferably on the wing you intend to refuel from. This will get your speed and trim on the ball, making it easier to get into place.
  • For the F-14: when ready, slightly throttle back, drop down behind the tanker, and align the pod with the top of the windshield frame. Make the radio call to pre-contact; you should simply have to wait for the drogue to extend.
  • Once the drogue is extended, apply a bit of power and maintain the pod in the same spot on the canopy frame. Don’t let it veer off to the side too much. Ignore Chester’s calls of where you need to shift around.
  • Don’t focus on the basket. Seriously, do not do it! This probably mistake #1 when aerial refueling. Focus on the pod, use your peripheral vision for the basket.
  • Don’t go too fast, don’t go too slow! You want a fair closure rate of the tanker in your windscreen, otherwise you’ll do too much dancing as you get antsy trying to catch the basket. Once you’ve got the basket, gently relax the throttle by a teeny tiny little bit. Naturally, if you’re gaining too quickly, feel free to slam the throttle back so you don’t have an accident.
  • If you miss the basket, don’t try to back off slightly and then play whack-a-mole. Back off, then come at a slow approach again. You will do better than trying to chase the basket with the probe.
  • Once you’ve got the basket, keep the pod in the same spot. You will likely have to constantly adjust your throttle; this is normal. Just use small, light changes and remember that doing so will induce motion in the other axises as well, so be prepared to adjust the stick and pedals a bit.
  • If the tanker goes into a turn, you will likely lose the basket. If you don’t want to wait, remember to kick in some rudder to hold your position under the wing.
  • The worst thing is to get impatient. Relax! Breathe and take it easy. If you’ve ever shot a firearm before, the same principles generally apply.

Ideally, your view should look like this:


I find air-to-air refueling the Tomcat to be harder due to visibility limitation imposed by the canopy bow. Makes it harder to judge position and speed (for me, obviously - everyone else may be different). For a long time when I started trying to learn the techniques for the Tomcat, that was my biggest obstacle (approaching the basket too aggressively, or dropping away from the basket too aggressively).

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I am learning to fly sitting on the warthog base plate. Thinking very seriously about finding a way to mod a mounting onto my IKEA office chair. It’s more comfortable, feels more natural and precise and is overall awesome.

Got ridiculed for the obscene scene I made :stuck_out_tongue:

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One of my early mods was a Christmas tree stand and some old aluminium pipe to clamp into stand was about 4inch dia. Screwed some old shelf brackets to it to mount a square piece of plywood and screwed the warthog base to it. :grin:

I know they are a bit pricey, but the MonsterTech mounts are awesome.

It’s the price we pay. :wink:

They dont call it joystick for nothing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Oh man, the ribbing I got when I brought my first stick home, I was like 11 or so. Back in those days you got your computer stuff at conventions. So I came back from the con with me dad, and I put my prize on the table: a Logitech quickshot. Two buttons. Analogue. I was going to be a pilot!

My sister and my ma just fell off their chairs laughing at it. They thought it hilarious I paid over 40 bucks for a ■■■■■ without a motor.


I took a hack saw to the warthog base plate and mounted it on two 8020 rails under my seat. My seat is an old Bowflex adjustable bench with an 8020 structure mounted to it.


Yes that’s what I’m gunning for as well.

That’s a nice extension - where did you get it?

Oh, sorry, that’s a memory test that I’m failing. It’s got to be 8+ years. I think I got it from a guy in Australia who was machining them out of aluminum. But I might be confusing him with the fella that made the Uber II NXT mod.

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So resurrecting an old thread, but the problem remains the same. Making a concerted effort to learn how to refuel, and I’m finding the wake turbulence is making it challenging to get stabilized behind the tanker. How are people coping with that?

Which plane are you practicing on - and which tanker?

Hornet and KC-130 most recently. Figured I’d get the basics work done in that one, then branch to other planes after I’ve got the fundamentals down.


Anytime I have trouble refueling, the issue is that I’m looking at the basket/boom before contact instead of flying off of the tanker. Do you find yourself switching your focus to the basket?

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When you are within 20 yards of the basket or boom, wake has no roll to play. A few things I do (some are opposite what others who I admire will suggest, showing that there are few wrong ways to do it):

  1. Feet on the floor. Predictable and small heading changes are much easier with small applications of bank.

  2. Keep the smallest rate of closure possible. Rushing to connect makes connecting unlikely.

  3. Whatever input you make, immediately reduce it by half. This is especially true of throttle. If you pull it back an inch push it forward half an inch. This is the secret to smooth formation flying.

  4. Never look at the basket. Try driving in traffic by staring at the left brake light of the car in front of you. Same thing.

  5. Keep a light touch on the stick. Concentrate on that light touch and concentrate on breathing comfortably.

  6. If it gets too frustrating, shoot the tanker down.


Absolutely true. If you correct throttle, never just leave it there, immediately counter control. Throttle inputs have integrative behavior, that means if you increase throttle your delta v will increase linearly, that means position with regards to the tanker changes to the second power, so first it changes slowly, then all of a sudden you overrun.

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