Trapping in the Tomcat

Flying Case 1’s in the Tomcat is so much fun!
Carrier operations has always been a fascinating aspect of military aviation.
The brutal cat shots, and the controlled crash of the trap.
To be able to do this in VR is increadibly fun and almost overwhelming.

I managed to trap on my very first attempt. It was a one wire, but I was happy.
Since then I have been practising. I read a document on the ED forum, written by Victory205, a former F-14 pilot and one of the Heatblur SME’s. He provided some helpful tips. One tip was to dim the HUD and disregard it. This is good advice! I find that just eyballing the carrier and flying on the AoA indexer makes things easier. Not easy, but easier. :wink:
Been able to do some 3-wires now. Hearing Jesters comments is so rewarding! I’m really starting to like the guy.
He sometimes call bolters, when he shouldn’t. I don’t think he’s teasing me because he thinks I should’ve boltered. Seems more like a bug. Has anybody else noticed this?


Had him do that tonight while I was trying and failing to get the Cat on deck in a reasonable and controlled manner. I waved off close in but still touched the deck and caught a wire. After a couple of side to side skids I came to a stop, not quite sure what had happened, and ‘ole Jester pipes up from the back with a “Hook skip bolter!” I really had the urge to turn around and throw something at him. :rofl:


It’s also fun to watch others fail to do it in multiplayer. The splash is massive. And the scene feels very real as the boat floats through the spray. But instead of shirts running ‘round exitedly there is an eerie sense of calm, as if nobody cares about the loss—which of course we don’t.


It is very rewarding when is “More beautiful than Meg Ryan!”


Yeah, I chuckled at that one.
Also got the comment that I shouldn’t look back at the LSO… :wink:

Celebratory post for my first trap on the Tomcat! If it wasn’t for my diet I would open up a beer right now…


I managed to trap a 2 wire yesterday on my 2nd pass. I was flying high :herb: at the time, so perhaps that made it easier :wink: my previous attempts last week were a 1 wire, a 4 and a &(#$# ramp strike.

Congrats, this stuff aint easy!


I tend not to be able to get the plane in a hands off - level configuration (hard enought to do it in regular flight, especially tough to do it in dirty mode). I thought it had something to do with the G940’s awful FFB deadzone, but in the hornet I’m able to keep it dirty and level and work the throttles. In the Tomcat, I trim to a general ballpark but have to apply constant pitch to keep the AoA. That makes me loose control of the AoA for the last turn and stall the aircraft, loosing my descent rate… So, a lot of sloppy dangerous traps that would probably get me arrested in real life. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I can’t get to keep this plane level no matter what I do!

I have found that at the sort of AoA the kitty needs when landing any lateral (sideways) stick movement will screw you dearly. It dutch-rolls, it yaws adversely, it goes all over the place. I do tend to have constant backpressure on the stick, but that’s mostly because it feels just a little more precise when out of the middle.

Hardly any lateral, really careful on the stick, using DLC to keep it on slope and pray. The turns, rudder pedals are my best buddies.

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For me, it helps to keep an eye on the slip ball and turn coordinator. Also, when landing, put as much as you can into the setup so you can minimize the changes needed during the final.

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I also have a very hard time controlling the Tomcat with my G940. The FFB effects are actually one of the best in all DCS aircraft. But that deadzone is murderous. I really have to wrestle the stick to get some (ugly) results. I guess compared to the Hornet the F-14 is more sensitve in the low speed regime small changes in pitch affect sink rate and airspeed.

Carrier pattern work and especially A2A refueling is a nightmare so far…


I could not be happier with the X-56 after two years. As pricey hotas setups go, it is pretty reasonable.