My Video Critique of Magnitude 3's Christen Eagle II for DCS

I hope this doesn’t come across as troll-like. I was pretty scathing in my short critique of the DCS Eagle II. I’ve been down the road before of trying to explain what it is that I find objectionable and words–my words at least–just don’t properly make the point I want to make. @Sport gave a nice video review of the model here: Eagle II Review

I figured that I would try a counter point. I am not doing this to trash the module and I am certainly not trying to prove @Sport wrong. He is absolutely not wrong. What we all want and expect from these models are very different from each other. In this case, what I want is a model that is good enough to practice competitive aerobatics with and not transfer improper habits to my real flying in the process. That is a huge order to ask of a desktop sim. But claims have been made of this model that it may well be the one. It is not…at least not yet. Post-stall characteristics are better but still weak. Snap-rolls are a mess. Spins are actually pretty decent but I harbor a suspicion that good scripting more than number-crunching aerodynamics are at play. Aerobatics in a light, short-coupled and powerful toy are a constant dance with torque and gyroscopic tendencies. Every time you pull or push, your foot must also act. If it doesn’t, your acro will be a complete mess. But these tendencies are arbitrary in the DCS Eagle. Most of the time, they don’t exist at all. At other times they are there but very weak. Yet in a few scenarios they are too strong to overcome where in reality pushing the stick into a corner would have managed things nicely (the pivot in a hammerhead for instance.) To some, these are niggling points and hardly justification for kicking the diner table over. But to me they make flying the model akin to using a driving simulator that has the clutch between the gas and the brake. Go from that to a real car and the results will amuse your neighbors.

So please excuse this, my first ever video critique:


Oh man, that was awesome Eric. Excellent analysis on a number of points. I’m with you hoping that M3 will continue to tweak the flight model, because I really love joyriding in the Eagle.

Are the power and pitch settings that you used in the video typical of what you would set during aerobatics?

Would you consider doing a similar flight review of the Yak? I’d love to hear your analysis of that flight model as well, time permitting of course.


Very nice analysis there Eric. I hope that M3 sees it and are willing to look into the areas of the flight model that you have pointed out.

I’m kind of coming around to entertaining the thought of buying the CE2.

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In the real Eagle or any other Lycoming aerobat with a constant speed prop, everybody for the most part flies them “25 squared” (25"MP, 2500 RPM) and, except for spins, they don’t touch the throttle for the entire sequence. I ran it full bore just because I could. In my plane with a fixed-pitch prop we really do keep it wide open. Redline is 2700 RPM. It’s not uncommon for us to hit 3300. The general consensus is that overspeeding is preferable to constant, quick power changes. 60 years of Lycoming aerobatics with few failures and common success past TBO bears out the logic I think.


I don’t own the Yak. I don’t think I can do a meaningful review anyway because I have never flown anything close to it. The Yak is big and heavy and probably doesn’t highlight the gyroscopic tendencies the way the Eagle does.

Great review!

True that, but from someone who understands aerobatics and its applied physics, you would be a damn good substitute for lack of a Yak (alliteration unintended) owner/expert.

Nice video review smokinhole. :sunglasses:


Thanks Wheels!

Fully agree !

I know it is not from @smokinhole but I saw on youtube viedo review of DCS Yak done by Yak owner. It was prety good.

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Superb video. I think what is most important about this module is that its attraction and selling point (since it does not have a TGP, or bombs, or an ABRIS, or something to peel back layers of) is its aerobatics capability. So it really does HAVE to be right in my opinion.

You make that sound like it’s a bad thing… :wink:


My mistake was in capitalizing it (now corrected). Everyone agrees that a democrat is a good and noble thing. On the other hand half the world thinks Democrats are close to evil. Same is true here: Trolls–Good!, trolls–BAD.

I edited the video with a little intro. No changes otherwise.


Its hard to say what is ’ right '. I mean lets look at this from other perspective.

The ultimate ’ go / nogo ’ has ED team ( notice the postponed release of MiG19 ).

And it seems that ED team gave GO to CEII, so they were confident with the quality at release date.

Yet still- this time I will be the evil guy here.
I think ED knows the CE II has a “lower customer profile” and cut some slack on this release.
The MiG19 is much “heavier” as a module so…

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Well, props are hard to model. Testing against polars is all well and good, but you can’t test the effects of gyroscopic precession against a chart.


Thank you! :wink:
Good and informative video!
Doesn’t matter that you haven’t flown the CEII in a while. What you are addressing in the video review is really down to physics.
I hope the devs take notice…


That’s one perspective. Mine is for that generic actual pilot out there who has some tailwheel time but no Pitts or Eagle time. Based on this simulation he could confidently feel that these planes have been totally exagerated in their difficulty. And he is going to completely have his butt handed to him on his first real flight. This module and the Yak module are the first where it can be reasonably expected that pilots will use them for training and practice. I cannot speak for the Yak (which is quite easy in reality anyway). But in the case of the Eagle, I think thise pilots should be forewarned. The DCS Eagle is not modeling the squirreliness of the real thing. Plus, if it did, we would all be having a blast. Because mastering it would be a meaningful challenge. That alone would be a selling point.


Btw, have you posted your video over at the ED forums, too?
I am not sure if the devs read here, but they do read over there.
Your analysis is so nice, it would be sad if the devs didn’t see it.

No. I posted the video for mudspikers so that they may know what they are getting in to. If I post a criticism like this at DCS it becomes a marketing block. These guys are on a shoestring and every little bit hurts. Plus, I believe they already know the Eagle’s flaws and strengths. Some of them have likely had some stick time in type. I am assuming that they have consciousnessly made decisions on the handling qualities based on their goals for the model