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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Closed for renovation...

Re-opening soon!

Farewell note from Heinkill:

Dear readers! Thanks for all the comments and messages over the last couple of years, it has been a lot of fun being a gossip and news hub for my favourite flight sims but life is too busy now for me to keep up the work of this blog, so I have chosen someone who will take it in a new direction, to a new audience, though I hope there is some overlap.

James Halliday is a nice Irish chap who is deeply into what I would call sim-lite games: War Thunder, World of Warplanes etc. But this new MMO flight game genre is the new wave in flight sims, and will be the saviour of more hard core sims, as players of these MMOs look for something more challenging and realistic. So I have decided to support this new genre by handing BOBGAMEHUB over to James.

All the best for the future, whichever digital sky you may roam!

April 2014 
Fred 'Heinkill' Williams

Friday, March 21, 2014


Just when you thought DCS updates could not get more bizarre here is the big news from the lead developer -  "I’ve spent all week doing emergency translations and documents." He also posted a couple of shots of instrument panels and a 3D object sketch of an Me 262.

In the update before that, he posted more screenshots from an MS Excel spreadsheet of instrument documentation.

Oh, Good. Looks like it is storming ahead. If this was a backyard indie developer, you could praise this type of limited progress. But it isn't. The DCS WWII project is clearly under-staffed, under-funded, over-ambitious and going nowhere, slowly.

Meanwhile, at the same time the IL2 BoS dev team (their sim is also at alpha stage, but you can already buy in and fly) has added multiplayer, a quick mission builder and a new aircraft, the PE2 - bringing current flyable aircraft to six. Not bad for a project that kicked off only a couple of months before the DCS WWII Kickstarter.

I have actually been blacklisted by the BoS devs for being a 'hater' but despite that, I will continue to report fairly, and fairness dictates that in the race for simmers loyalty and money at the moment, between DCS WWII and BoS, BoS is the hands-down winner.

Pe-2 series 87

Pe-2 series 87

LaGG-3 (series 29)

LaGG-3 (series 29)

Bf 109 F-4

Bf 109 F-4



IL-2 AM-38 (1942 year's model, single-seat)

>IL-2 AM-38 (1942 year's model, single-seat)

Ju 87 D-3

Ju 87 D-3

That said, the best value for money remains Cliffs of Dover with the Team Fusion Mod. 10 USD for the best online or offline WWII simming experience available today.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Malta Megapack for TF Mod version 4.3

Malta Megapack for Cliffs of Dover TF Mod v4.3 is available now:

Research and mission design by Heinkill
REDUX style campaign scripting by Bolox and Gabuzomeu
MTO skins from: Waler, AttFish, Wotan, V@s’OK, and Setback

Welcome to the Battle for Malta REDUX Megapack!

Fully TF Mod 4.2/4.3 compatible.

This package contains two Battle for Malta campaigns, one for the Axis (G.50 and Bf109E/4N) and one for the RAF (Hurricane I and Spitfire Ia 100 Oct). It also contains a single mission pack of 30 missions, with a separate briefing and mission objectives for every flyable aircraft in the mission.


On June 10 1940 Italian leader Mussolini declared war on Britain and within hours the first bombs fell on Malta.

It was to become the most bombed location in history. More bombs fell on Malta during the seige, than fell on London during the entire Blitz.

Opposing Italy's Regia Aeronautica airforce, were a handful of RAF Gladiators. Within a couple of weeks, the first Hurricanes arrived, 'hijacked' by the Island's air commander on their way to Egypt. Within months, the Luftwaffe appeared over the island too.

The campaigns start with the arrival of the first two Hurricanes on the island. The first ten missions cover the Italian attacks. The next ten cover the arrival of the Luftwaffe. The final ten missions are based the dramatic convoy in which HMS Breconshire dashed to resupply Malta, against all odds.

All missions are based on historical records.

You can download the separate components here:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New TF Mod damage effects

Team Fusion effects members have been working hard to enhance the current effects and one of these is a completely new engine fire effect. 

It was reported a few times that when engine fires occurred, it was hard to see if this really had happened. Well, thanks to the effects team, this is now very much a visible effect.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Latest DCS WWII 'nupdate'

When is an update not an update? When it updates you by telling you there is nothing to tell, perhaps...

The latest news from DCS WWII was a little underwhelming.

- website for choosing awards for backers of Kickstarter project - DELAYED
- P47 externals work in progress - DELAYED
- Bf109 cockpit - DELAYED

That was the sad tale of the latest DCS WWII update. Perhaps project lead Ilya Shevchenko should announce he will stop doing updates until there is something to say, and answer some of his 'fanmail' from Kickstarter backers instead?

Here is the latest 'nup-date'

Friday March 07, 2014 Development Update – We're Getting There

These regular updates are really hard to do when you’re in pre-alpha. If there’s one thing I learned during this project, it’s that there really was a very good reason for the industry standard to announce and market projects after they’re ready and playable. 
I yearn for the days of yore when I could just boot up a game, set up a quick scenario, snap a bunch of action screenshots, and be done with a Friday update in an hour. 
Actually, I yearn for the day of even yore-er yore. Seems like it was just yesterday when I could say, hey, I’d like to fly plane X. And a month or so later I’d be flying it. It’s only been, what, 10 years since that was the case. Of course, there’s no going back to that. Even the simplest flying games of today probably can’t do an airplane in a month. I myself can barely stand to look, much less to fly, airplanes from 10 years ago. But I am still a bit sad about all the work that goes into the extra quality. If you were to draw a graph on work hours vs simulation quality, the line grows exponentially. 
And while you’re here, close but not quite at the self-imposed 100%, progress is very hard to show. 
First of all, here’s where we are with the backer rewards section. We really tried to have it operational last Friday, but internal testing showed that once again we had a logical flaw for larger reward tiers with more than one copy of a stock plane selected. Had to drastically redo the flyable selection this week. Lost all the prettiness and ended up with a painfully simple design, but at least it works. 
I guess the page is ready for the world, we just have one final task: to merge the kickstarter and paypal database of backers with the DCS site member list, the hardest part of which is dealing with accounts for backers that do not currently have user profile. 

On the aircraft front, we finally do have a delay on one aircraft model, the P-47 external. We had a long unpleasant saga with trying to get high-quality original blueprints for it last summer. That took longer than anticipated, and what we got was not as thorough as we needed. Once we finally got into animating all the bits and pieces of the aircraft, we’ve realized that our data was not good enough, and that some parts would go out of alignment when moved. We had to go chasing pixels, and start fitting parts back together, animating, measuring, refitting, and trying again. This, again, goes back to my earlier point about standards. In an older game, we’d never care that an aileron slightly clips through the wing when fully deflected. We wouldn’t care that a gear strut does a physically impossible warp a few inches to the side in order to move to the down and locked position. And so with DCS, we have to go and make sure every movement is absolutely perfect, spending more time on these details than on the entire model in an older project. 
The 109, our flagship, the pinnacle of our hopes and desires, is still a bit shiny everywhere. Not nearly as bad as two weeks ago, but it still fluctuates. Graphics programmers are slowly but surely moving DCS over to DX11, and it’s a process. 
The choice for me is extremely painful - show nothing, or show something that does not look great. 


From switch to shining switch
From switch to shining switch
The cockpit programming is complete. All the gauges and switches and systems are working, except, annoyingly from the point of a Friday update, you cannot see it in the cockpit yet. We can see it all in debug mode. However DCS cockpits are done in a peculiar complex way, different from what we’re used to from before, and a programmer cannot simply tell a certain needle to rotate a certain number of degrees. As it is during most of the process, the cockpit mesh is a monolith. In our previous projects, we would simply make each moving part a separate object with a pivot, and the programmer would move that object about that pivot when needed. In DCS, we have to do a lot more work on cockpit animations, doing them manually, and we’re still waiting for them to be complete. 
In the meantime, all the gauges gauge, and the switches operate all the systems, the radio talks, the AFN2 guides you to airfields (the only objects at the moment you can guide to), everything works, and this would have been a great time to make a cockpit procedures video, except you can only see all of that happening in debug readouts and not in the cockpit 3D model. 
So, since I’ve made too many overly optimistic predictions in the past, I won’t this time. I will only say that it’s very frustrating for me to write these kind of updates, that I really want to have a fully functional plane I can take for a spin and screenshot away, and that we really are tantalizingly close.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Team Fusion 4.2 Readme released

'Next Friday' (14 March!)...that is the latest prognostication about release date for Cliffs of Dover Team Fusion Mod 4.2

In the next TF Mod update, early morning mist effects are back, and you can man the AAA guns to beat off those vulchers!

In advance, the team has published the readme, with a feast of detail about new content for the mod:

Updates for TF4.2b:
* Battle damaged and/or shot off parts now comes with a drag penalty, effectively reducing maximum speed.
* Bf110 fuel tanks corrected (but please note that the fuel lamp is still reversed. This will be fixed)
* AI uniforms corrected
* New 3D objects added:
- Blister Hangar (Static->Building->Airfield)
- Dispersal Hut (Buildings->England->Airfield)

Updates for TF4.2a:
* FXAA introduced (just turn it to any other setting than "Off" in your video settings)
* Bf 110 Spinner marking bug corrected
* Flak is now a bit more accurate
* AI pilots "lawndarting" corrected
* Shadows (not trees) should look a bit less choppy (but still). Please keep an eye for any weird shadow introduced by this change
* Redout bug fix (no more pitch black parts)
* Various sound effects has been tweaked.
* Horizon smoke bug fix (no more horizon shining through buildings, trees, cockpit and whatnot)
* Ground fog introduced as in pre-vanilla versions of Clod
* Another horizon bug fixed (smoke no longer get "chopped" at horizon level)
* Re-texture of bf110 cockpit
* Additional bad spawn points fixed
* DCG generator introduced
* BR-20 Top turret fix (no longer inverted)
* FMB option to select both types of empty bomb racks for bf109
* AAA guns can be operated by human player

Bump mapping has been improved on the Hurricanes, Spitfires and 109s

Earlier updates (for TF4.01 versions):

* Windsock now working (see "ground handling" section below)
* Portable air raid sirens now working. (Found in the FMB under Static->Environment/Portable Siren -British/German. It will start sounding when a plane is within 3Km horizontally from where the siren is)
* Added coastal landmarks (see details below)
* Removed gun smoke and contrails from inside the cockpit
* Corrected the ammo lights in all mark of Bf109 and Bf110 (The lights are now ON when there is any ammo left, FLICKERING when firing and OFF when out of ammo (or jammed/destroyed)
* Corrected ammo counter for Bf109E-1B (now works as in the 109E-1, not 109E-3/4)
* Concrete runways made darker in summer and autumn maps
* Brakeshoe0/brakeshoe0 renamed to say brake chocks on/off
* Bail out animations for all marks of Spitfire, Hurricane and Bf109
* Corrections to the Russian translation of German rounds
* Tweaked aircraft reflections algorithms to prevent the whiteout/washout
* Corrected bumpmaps for 109, spit and hurri
* Reduced the moonlight water reflections a bit
* Reduced the night time brightness of the revi sights a notch
* Made a few corrections to night time smoke and water splashes
* Tweaked the aircraft spotting mod a bit by increasing the distance where the aircrafts turn black when using FOV 30 or less (to better enable identification)
* Fixed a small error in the bore of the German AP-H round
* Increased the brightness of tracers a notch
* Increased tracer smoke thickness a notch
* Improved bumpmap of grass fields
* Improved sand texture
* Improved summer map noise texture (bumpmap)
* Added bomb rack options for 109's
* Corrected file format for some aircraft textures
* Corrected slightly off revi sights in axis planes
* Corrections to Spitfire MkI cockpit (boost cut out switch back)
* Added missing markings for 109E-4N-DeRated, Bf-110C-4N-DeRated and Bf-110C-7Late
* LG1 paint scheme fix
* Removed contrail rubber banding under 7000 meters
* Tweaks made to gun dispersions for all fuselage and turret mounted guns (making them slightly more accurate compared to wing and pindle mounts. No guns are made less accurrate)
* Corrected Bf110 turn needle gauge

Smoke effects are much improved


Added to Channel maps:
Margate Harbour
Margate pier
North Foreland lighthouse
Royal Ramsgate harbour
Deal pier
Folkestone harbour
Folkestone pier
Brighton Palace pier
Brighton West pier
Calais harbour
Dunkirk harbour (correct location)
Canterbury Cathedral (Westminster substitute)
Arundel Castle

Spawn Fixes:
Fixed bad spawns (hangar explosions) at Canterbury airfield & 20+ French airfields



The Flight Modeling team has as its motto, "FM's are not perfect, and never will be".

Which means we never stand still, we are constantly looking for ways to improve and refine the virtual aircraft to better replicate the historical ones. Part of this is to do with the learning process we have gone through as we became more familiar with the code, and improve our ability to control the parameters which control the various aspects of aircraft behaviour. It also has to do with the fact we have an ongoing program to re-write the code, to create new parameters and input points which increase the complexity of the aircraft flight model.

The above are the basis of the changes we are introducing in TF 4.2.



There are two major changes implemented in the Flight Models for TF 4.2:

1) We have gone back and re-examined the Aerofoil polars in detail and where necessary, have made changes which bring the lift/drag characteristics of the game aircraft's aerofoils closer in line with those of the historical aircraft.

2) With some code re-writes, we have focused on introducing more realistic behaviour in the takeoff, landing and ground handling areas of the aircraft envelope. These changes are in the area of flap lift modeling, better refinement of stall behaviour when flaps are down, better refinement of drag characteristics when undercarriage is deployed, more accurate modeling of aircraft handling and Center of Gravity characteristics on the ground as well as more accurate behaviour when under heavy braking.



All the aircraft types, but in particular the Fighters, have had the Polar values in their .fmd files examined and compared to charts of the historical aerofoil types. There have been a number of changes, which although they do not change the basic maneuver characteristics of the aircraft, do add subtle changes which will clearly affect the way the virtual aircraft respond and game play.

For example, while both Spitfires and Hurricanes will still outturn 109's in sustained turn contests, a 109 with an advantage in energy will be able to turn with either for a brief period. The revised aerofoil of the 109's is more stable at higher Angles of Attack, allowing the pilot to sacrifice speed for turn performance for a brief moment. However, any attempt to maintain the turn angle will very quickly lead to a loss of speed and energy with the Spitfire and Hurricane then rapidly reversing the advantage.

There are no changes in sustained turn times at lower altitudes... in such a contest, the Spitfire and Hurricane have a good deal of an advantage. However, at higher altitudes, in contests between the Spitfire and 109, the higher lift aerofoil of the 109 will begin to reduce the advantage of the Spitfire. There is still an overall better turnrate for the British aircraft, but it is less noticeable the higher the altitude range. This is less the case with the Hurricane, although the Hurricane's comparative powerloading disadvantage at higher altitudes means that although its aerofoil performs better, it is less able to sustain turns.

Players will also notice the Spitfire responds best when its pilot uses a slightly higher speed when turning than was optimal in earlier TF versions. The Spitfire's aerofoil was relatively low lift when compared to the 109, but the wing did have the advantage of low drag, and combined with the aircraft's very low wingloading, this gave the Spitfire its very good turnrate. But this was best achieved with the wing at a lower Angle of Attack, (ie. higher speed) than the Hurricane or 109. The Spitfire still has a good warning 'buffet' to indicate its wing is approaching stall.

Conversely to the Spitfire, players will notice the Hurricane with its new aerofoil characteristics, is better able to sustain higher Angle of Attack turns, is able to pull more steeply into its turns, and that it now has a slightly better maximum sustained turnrate than the Spitfire. However, it does have a sharper stall onset, and pilots who pull a little too strongly will find the aircraft can respond abruptly.

The Fiat G-50 has also had its aerofoil revised. Players will notice the aircraft can be pulled into very tight turn angles, although its low power to weight ratio will not allow it to sustain those angles for long periods. The Fiat can be a handful when pulled into a sharp turn from high speeds, although with practice it can turn very tightly. A G-50 with an energy advantage will quite handily outturn a Spitfire or Hurricane, although it will not sustain turn with them. The G-50 can also display a nasty stall when pushed too far.

The 110 also has had aerofoil changes to bring it in line with the historical aircraft. Once again, the overall sustained turnrate is not much improved, but the 110 aerofoil displays the same characteristics as the 109, (they were closely related) and the aircraft can now be pulled stably to higher angles of attack without it flicking. This means given enough of an energy advantage, the 110 can give a British fighter a bit of a scare. The Bf110 will of course, not turn anywhere near as well as a single engined aircraft, as its weight is nearly 3 times that of 109, Spitfire or Hurricane.

Overall these changes mean the aircraft are closer to what they were historically. A well flown aircraft of any type, in an advantageous position, will be able to get on the tail of its opponent.

109 and 110 Slat Deployment

The Bf109 and Bf110 have also had their slat deployment revised. In TF 4.0 and vanilla, the slats deployed at a lower Angle of Attack than was historically accurate. They deployed at approximately 7 degrees AoA, whereas the actual slats deployed at approximately 8 degrees AoA. What this means in game terms is that as the pilot pulls G into the turn, the slats will deploy a little later than they did in earlier TF versions. As slats deploy, they add additional lift to the outer wing, (where stall typically begins) and prevent overall wing stall from happening as early. But they also cause considerable drag, slowing the aircraft. With the later slat deployement in TF 4.2, the pilot of a Bf109 or Bf110 will now be able to better conduct low G maneuvers at higher speeds, without losing energy due to the slats deploying sooner than they should. There is no difference to behaviour or lift/Drag characteristics once the slats come out.


Bf110 Rollrate

The Bf110 models have had their rollrates adjusted slightly to better reflect the historical performance. Thanks to Mysticpuma for tracking down a document which shed light on this subject.




Undercarriage drag has been revised for all aircraft from the vanilla game's generic drag value for nearly all aircraft of 0.7 m2 to drag values based on examination of the actual aircraft's a) length and diameter of undercarriage struts, b) wheel size

Players will notice in general more drag when the undercarriage is deployed.


All aircraft have their flaps operation and effects revised to model the increased drag seen at full deployment. As well, lift characteristics are changed. Both should now show the engineering design focus on:

a) high lift at low AoA

b) increased drag, this combined with a) allowing low landing speeds to be more easily maintained with full control of the aircraft.

Players will note that flaps when fully deployed are now not generally conducive to improving aircraft performance in combat maneuvers. Stall speeds with flaps fully deployed have been set based on known historical data. In some cases where data is unavailable, these speeds have been calculated.

Here are the recommended Approach, Boundary and Flare speeds for the various aircraft in the game with flaps fully deployed and undercarriage down.

NOTE: Pilots should not attempt turns at less than 'Approach' speeds and all turns should be gentle.

For these purposes:

'Approach' is defined as the recommended flight speed in a landing pattern when approaching, or established in the glide path and descending towards the airfield.

'Boundary' is the recommended flight speed when continuing the descent to land, and as crossing the boundary between surrounding terrain and the airfield landing area.

'Flare' is the final speed prior to wheels touching just before the pilot pulls up gently on the stick and causes the aircraft to stall and drop the last few inches onto the runway surface in a three point attitude.

Below figures are with full fuel and loaded weapons, no bombs.

German Aircraft


(speeds may vary slightly with the E-1 a bit lower and the E-4N a bit higher)

Add 5 clicks up elevator trim after flaps and gear are down. Use full fine pitch in Manual.

Approach: 180 kmh

Boundary: 160 kmh

Flare: 150 kmh


(speeds may vary slightly with the C-2 a bit lower and the C-4N a bit higher)

Add 10 clicks up elevator trim after flaps and gear are down. Use full fine pitch in manual.

Approach: 190 kmh

Boundary: 170 kmh

Flare: 155 kmh

Heinkel He-111H and He-111P

Add 10 clicks up elevator trim after flaps and gear are down.

Approach: 175 kmh

Boundary: 150 kmh

Flare: 135 kmh

Junkers Ju-87B

Approach: 175 kmh

Boundary: 160 kmh

Flare: 140 kmh

Junkers Ju-88A

Add 12 clicks elevator up trim after flaps and gear are down

Approach: 220 kmh

Boundary: 200 kmh

Flare: 185 kmh


Italian Aircraft

Fiat BR-20M

Add 10 clicks 'up' Elevator trim. Use 75% rad and 50% oil 2200 rpm and 720mmHG for landing in case of a go round or wave off, and be prepared to use emergency power

820mmHG if this occurs.

Approach: 175 kmh

Boundary: 150 kmh

Flare: 140 kmh

Fiat G-50 Add 5 clicks up Elevator trim. Use 2200 rpm and 740mmHG in case of a go round or wave off and be prepared to use emergency power 840mmHG if this occurs.

Approach: 165 kmh

Boundary: 155 kmh

Flare: 145 kmh


British Aircraft


Use 3000 rpm or fine pitch. Add five clicks up elevator.

Approach: 115 mph

Boundary: 100 mph

Flare: 85 mph


Use 3000 rpm or fully fine pitch. Add five clicks up elevator.

Approach: 115 mph

Boundary: 100 mph

Flare: 80 mph


Add 7 clicks up elevator trim after flaps and gear are down. Use fine pitch and +9 boost in case of go round or wave off.

Approach: 120 mph

Boundary: 100 mph

Flare: 90 mph



In TF 4.2 a lot of work has been done to make Ground handling more accurate. This includes a complete re write of propeller slipstream effects at low forward speeds and how rudder authority is affected by it. In short you will find rudder authority with power on on most types dramatically improved.

You need to take note of the wind direction and strength. Get this from the mission brief or the windsock or smoke from buildings etc.
Taildragger aircraft have a unique combination of Wheel position and centre of gravity. This results in them being a little capricious to handle (esp in crosswind conditions). pilots need to be aware that if you don't control Yaw rates quickly and smoothly then you are setting yourself up for a possible ground loop. To this end you must be "on your toes" and use smooth judicious rudder (and differential brake if need be) to stop swings. Taxy speed is also important a good guide is a walking pace. The faster you go the easier it is to get a swing going that might be uncontrollable. In CLOD nearly all of the aircraft have fully castoring tail wheels .... they have a mind of their own. The only thing that keeps them straight is YOU. Using smooth slow input together with good speed management the aircraft can be accurately manoeuvred on the ground. Airflow from the prop has a significant effect on rudder authority the more prop wash the more rudder authority ... but also the more Torque and spiral slipstream effect to counter. So it requires intelligent co-ordinated pilot input to keep things under control. A small trickle of power should be enough for most types to keep then straight under most realistic wind conditions. For tight manoeuvring on the ground keep speed right down use full rudder and differential brake and moderate power. If the swing is accelerating get on to it ASAP, come off the brake immediately and ease off the rudder input.... maybe even reverse the rudder input and apply opposite brake. Taxy with Full back stick in. If you think the rudder is lacking authority at slow speeds a little Blip of power will help slipstream wise.

Some aircraft need a some specific techniques in high crosswind conditions .. notably the BF109/Spitfire and Blenheims. Guidance is given later.

Get the aircraft lined up on the runway pointing exactly down the centreline. If you have turned on to the runway through a large angle there is every chance the tailwheel is offset from the fore aft axis. taxi forward a little to ensure its straight. If required use the “brake Shoe/Chocks option”. Note the direction of the wind from the windsock …. this is vital. A wind from the right is the most critical as it adds to the torque effects. At 6msec crosswind consider pre selecting full opposite rudder. (i.e. wind from the right set full left rudder). On all types once you get above 40MPH/80Kmh you should easily have enough rudder authority to control any swing. When you advance the power do it smoothly and progressively .... get on to any directional changes ASAP with small but prompt smooth rudder work.

If the swing is becoming difficult to control cease any increase in power (or reduce the application rate) until you have things under control... then re introduce the power. Avoid use of Differential brakes unless absolutely necessary. (Differential brake during taxi use is however a prime control method). With crosswind component 6msec or greater then up to full into wind aileron may be required on the narrow track types (Spit and 109)
As you rotate gradually ease the aileron input off …. i.e just maintain wings level. Once safely off the ground ease the rudder off and centre the skid ball.

This is the most difficult of the current CLOD aircraft, but if done properly quite manageable.
The worst scenario is a limit crosswind from the right as this is additive to torque effects.
With limited airflow over the rudder until 40MPH care is needed.
there are a couple of ways to handle it though this is IMO the easiest.

This based on 6Msec crosswind worst case from the right

PRE Take off checks
Boost Cut Out ON
Props Full Fine
Rudder Trim neutral or 1/2 opposite Crosswind (Pilots choice)
I would not recommend more than half rudder trim as it complicates
the lift off case.

1. Rudder trim Neutral or 1/2 opposite crosswind
2. Chocks in or brakes on
3. Pre select full opposite Rudder
4. Advance both engines to +5lbs Boost
5. Release brakes and advance into wind engine to +9 Boost
6. Passing 40MPH advance other engine to +9
7. normal take off

the BF109 narrow and high gear make it a little awkward on take off.
6Msec crosswind should be considered a hard limit.
Note the wind direction and speed.... look at the windsock
Hold the aircraft on the brakes or have the “ground shoes/Chocks” in place
Pre select Full into wind aileron.
Slowly apply power keeping the aircraft straight with smooth but positive Rudder input.
As IAS builds past 80kmh you may start reducing aileron input... dont pre-judge this but react to what you see and feel … basically keep the wings level. As you get airborne again ease of the aileron to keep wings level. Once airborne Ease of the rudder and center the skid ball.

Similar to the 109 but not as critical. You wont need as much into wind aileron.

Know what the wind is and where its coming from … look at the windsock smoke etc. Use this to plan your landing. Approach airspeed and touchdown without skipping and landing with zero drift (i.e. pointing exactly down the runway) are important means to stay safe. If you touch down with ANY drift on you will encounter an immediate swing that needs controlling .... don't set yourself up. Likewise slack control of Airspeed on final increases your chance of a skip/bounce... this then introduces the possibility of getting a little bit of drift on before the final touchdown. So do that "Pilot shit" nail the Airspeed, nail the runway centreline, arrive in the three point attitude. Once under control bring the control column fully back and commence braking as required. Keep the wings level with aileron as required (up to full into wind aileron might be required with the spit and 109). You will be able to use the brakes a lot earlier and harder now then previously. It is still possible to nose over but generally only if you get on the brakes immediately after landing before getting the tail down ... thats why a 3 point landing is desired.

Know the wind if landing at an all over grass field then land into wind. If you are using a fixed runway direction and it is becoming difficult or at limit crosswind then consider diversion to a grass all over field or airfield with a more into wind runway. So A good knowledge of airfields around you is helpful. (VO101_Toms airfield diagrams are invaluable in this regard)

The only aircraft in CLOD at present with Tail wheel locks are the JU87,JU88 and BR20 (new in 4.01). These can be used any time on long straight legs and SHOULD be used for take off and Landing. On take off once lined up and with the tail wheel straight Lock the tail wheel. On landing verify the Tail Wheel is locked. After landing when down to a walking pace and ready to taxi off the runway un-lock the tailwheel. The tail Wheel will not lock unless the tail wheel is aligned with the aircraft's fore aft axis.

CLOD TF4.01 now can use the Brake Shoes or Chocks feature more realistically. You may need to set a keybinding for this. This simulates the Ground crew either placing or removing Wheel chocks. It will only work at zero forward speed. It is of particular use in during Engine Warm up in strong wind conditions, or on line up prior to take off …. though perhaps a little unrealistic in this phase. The Options settings refers to this as "Brakeshoes". In Game the Blue status message now shows "Chocks IN" or "Chocks OUT"

Progressive braking (i.e. on a slider) has been enabled for all RAF types and the Fiat G50 and BR20. This allows progressive application of Braking pressure, Differential distribution to each unit is still controlled by rudder deflection. Differential braking is an integral part of ground handling in these types. You will be using it a lot more than previously especially in the low speed case.

Mission designers need to consider crosswind limits. These aircraft all had crosswind limits in the order 5-6 msec maximum. Not a big deal on Grass all over fields as you just land and take off into wind. Sealed runways however will pose a problem if the crosswind is excessive so be considerate. Most sealed runways are actually designed and laid down pointing along the axis of the statistical average wind. Mission designers should start using the Windsock strong object and place it somewhere logical where pilots can see it. A White X banner under it helps a lot in this area.

The windsock Strong object has been tweaked to reflect the practical crosswind limits we now have in TF4.01. The graphic below illustrates the Wind strength versus Sock deflection. At 10msec or more the Windsock will be horizontal.

This new Ground handling will require practice. Dont expect to have it totally under control right from the get go. initially you may find it frustrating especially if wind is present. These aircraft could be a handfull/bootfull on the ground. Practice practice and you will get the hang of it.


AI Aircraft Flight Behaviour

Some re-writing of the AI routines governing aircraft behaviour at low altitudes. This should reduce the incidence of 'Lawn-Darting'.

The changes however, will not eliminate this from occurring, and I would recommend Mission Builders use the following values for default Skill levels in their mission files.

Rookie: 1 0.47 0.21 0.053 0.053 0.21 0.053 0.053
Average: 1 1 0.74 0.21 0.11 0.74 0.11 0.32
Veteran: 1 1 0.74 0.21 0.21 0.74 0.32 0.32
Ace: 1 1 1 1 1 1 0.89 1


New Aircraft


These two aircraft are the same as the standard versions of these aircraft with their DB601N engines, but have WEP power disabled to represent the 'DeRating' of the engine allowable power settings which occurred on or around the time of the Battle of Britain.

They have the same performance as the fully rated types at the 1.35ata power setting.

These are made available so Mission Builders can have the option of selecting either type. For reference, although there is not a lot of hard data on the dates when the aircraft had the max power settings reduced, it is likely the WEP enabled versions were operating at latest after mid October of 1940, when factory data indicated 110E-1N models under testing at that time were using 1.42ata.

In addition, the standard 110C-4N now has 1.42 ata WEP power enabled.


Radiator Puncture and Drain times

All aircraft have had their radiator drain times revised to better reflect the historical average. This change will see radiators taking slightly longer to drain after being hit by gunfire.


109E-4N and 110C-4N Overheat

The 109E-4N and 110C-4N have their overheat schedules revised to better reflect their cooling characteristics.


Merlin III Engine Overheat

British Aircraft equipped with the Merlin III engine have their overheat characteristics tweaked to better reflect the 5 minute power setting restrictions. Pilots will be better able to sustain full boost and rpm in level flight maximum speed situations, but should exercise caution when using the same settings in low speed, high Angle of Attack maneuver and should monitor their temperature gauges.


Spitfire IA 100 octane Sea Level Speeds

Spitfire IA 100 octane variants have their sea level maximum speeds raised to the historical 310 mph level.


Spitfire IIA Sea Level Speeds

Spitfire IIA variants have their sea level maximum speeds reduced slightly to historical levels.


Hurricane I Rotol 100 octane Sea Level Speeds

Hurricane I Rotol 100 octane variants have their sea level maximum speeds reduced slightly to the historical levels.


Variable Prop Pitch Climb Exploit Fix

British aircraft equipped with Variable Prop Pitch types have been open to an exploit at higher altitudes. In TF 4.0, the Spitfire I's and the Hurricane DH5-20's were able to use higher than actual climb rpms without a concern for overheating.

While it is not a perfect fix, for the moment we have addressed this by reducing the allowable maximum safe rpms for these aircraft. The Spit I's and Hurricane DH5-20's are now limited to 3100 rpm. Players will not notice a large effect in normal flight, but in steep dives, will need to reduce throttle as they approach terminal velocity. Exceeding max. allowable rpms for any length of time will cause engine destruction.

We hope to institute a more permanent and accurate fix when the overheat modelling systems are revised for TF 5.0.


Fiat G-50 revised Climb, Rollrate, Speed and Overheat model

The Fiat G-50 has had a complete revision of its engine, overheat and roll characteristics.

Also translation fixes including:

superficie del piano stabilizzatore -- translation: "surface of the stabilizer" Horizontal Stabilizer

superficie del timone di quota -- translation: "rudder area to share", this is actually the elevator not the rudder

superficie del piano di deriva -- translation: " the surface of the drift" This is the fin

superficie del timone di direzione -- translation: "surface of the rudder" This is the rudder

The original developers had given the G50 overly large fin, rudder, stabilizer and elevator area. As well, the ratio between the fixed surfaces and moveable ones were out of balance. All which resulted in an overly stable and sluggish aircraft. The change to historical values results in a much more harmonized set of controls. In addition, the developers had undersized the ailerons, the game values were 1.3 m2 instead of 1.52 m2 in the real aircraft. The change to correct values gives better rollrate performance.

After entering the correct values, the game aircraft now better reflects the historical aircraft, characterized as underpowered, but very maneuverable within its optimum maneuver envelope of 300 - 350 kmh

Overheat, Climb times and Speeds now more precisely match the original documents.

The G50's 12.7mm Breda Safat Machine Cannon have their sound effect replaced with one which is more characteristic of the type and the engine sound is deepened.


Stuka, Ju88A and Blenheim default Trim settings

The Stuka, Ju-88A and Blenheim have had their default aileron trim setting revised to better stabilize the aircraft in level flight.


Ju-87b Stuka Flight Model

After the discovery the original game did not model drag for fixed position undercarriages, our coders created a mod to allow this.
Climb, Speed, Overheat, Stall and Aerofoil characteristics were then adjusted to take into account the
changed drag factors and to align the aircraft performance with known data.


Ju-88A, Heinkel 111H and P and BR-20M revised Climb, Speed and Overheat characteristics

There are too many changes to go into detail, but all of the above aircraft in a similar fashion to the Ju-87, have had their Climb, Speed, Overheat, Stall, Aerofoil and general performance revised to TF 4.01 mod standards from where they were in TF 4.0.

These changes bring the bomber and Attack types up to the level of accuracy of the Fighters.


Ju-88A Fuel loads and unloaded weight

Fuel loads in the Ju-88A internal tanks have been corrected to amounts carried by the historical aircraft. The game had incorrectly given the aircraft internal fuel equivalent to the amount carried by both internal tanks as well as the amount which could be carried in optional droppable or jettisonable tanks which historically could be mounted in the bombbay or on the wings on the bomb racks. (these are not available currently in the game)

Fuel load is now 415 liters for the outboard internal tanks and 425 liters for the inboard internal tanks.

The vanilla game had also incorrectly reduced the unloaded aircraft weight to artificially compensate for all the incorrect amount of extra fuel carried, the aircraft now has the correct historical unloaded aircraft weight.


BR20M Autopilot, Pneumatic pressure, and Carburetion

The BR20M has had its autopilot generator switched to run off an engine, in order to eliminate the vibration bug which affected it. The aircraft's carburetion has also been modified to allow it to use maximum rpms and boost.


Brakes on incremental controls

Any aircraft which were incorrectly equipped in the game with toggle 'on/off' Brake systems have had them changed to incremental control types.


Increased Drag from Combat Damage

Aircraft with combat damage will now suffer increased drag effects from the damaged parts. This will eliminate some of the anomalies seen in TF 4.0, with aircraft with combat damage seeming to be unaffected.

Gunner Positions G Effects and Reload times

Aircraft gunners are no longer subject to the 5G restriction for firing weapons. This affects both human gunners and AI gunners. Aircraft gunners will now be much more dangerous and accurate opponents.

Aircraft Gunners in upright or seated positions now have their magazine reload times reduced to 8 seconds.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Amazing but true aviation stories

[All illustrations by Mike Caplanis, ©2014]

Truth really is stranger than fiction!

Spitfire Ride

On February 14, 1945, Leading Aircraftwoman Margaret Horton, an RAF WAAF, was assigned a familiar job: sit on the horizontal stabilizer of a Spitfire to help hold the tail down while it taxied on a windy day. Unfortunately, nobody thought to tell the pilot, Flight Lt. Neill Cox, that she'd be jumping aboard. (Horton later admitted that "the squadron was run in a slap-happy way.") The normal drill was for the tail-sitter to grab the aircraft's elevator and waggle it before the pilot turned onto the runway, so he'd know she was hopping off. But this time Cox made a casual gesture out of the cockpit that Margaret took to mean "Hang on, don't go yet." Big mistake. As the Spitfire accelerated down the runway, Horton had the good sense to quickly flop across the tail cone, where she was held in place by the vertical fin, her legs to the right and her torso to the left. Another WAAF who'd seen what was happening dashed off to tell a flight sergeant, who ran to the control tower. Cox was ordered to make a quick circuit and land, but wasn't told why. Between Horton's death grip on the elevator with her left hand plus the Spitfire's tail-heaviness, Cox had already figured that something was amiss, but he couldn't see as far aft as his airplane's empennage. Relieved to be back on the ground, Horton announced that after a change of panties and a cigarette, she'd be good to go back to work. She was later fined for losing her uniform beret during the short trip around the pattern.

More here:

Latest Cliffs of Dover add-ons

New: George Buerling's Blue Malta Hurricane, from Setback

It has been a busy time for uploads at and ATAG in the last month, proving that there is still a very active community engaged with this sim.

Among the gems...

New Spitfire skins from Setback: 

Post Battle of Britain Campaign, by Bolox (skins by Checkmysix)

This 30 mission campaign has you flying for 501 Squadron RAF in Hurricanes in a branching campaign (mission success or failure determines what missions you fly) with REDUX style campaign scripting.

And because it is from Bolox, you know it will be good!

And finally

MTO Skins

A selection of great Afrika and MTO skins from Waler, Attfish, Wotan, V@sOK and Setback. Essential for the Malta Campaign and North Africa missions.

For more skins, such as those below, just search Airwarfare for the prolific skinner 'Setback'.

Stickman's tips for setting up escorted raids with BOBII 2.13 mods

For years, Luftwaffe Commanders in the campaign game in BOBII had to live with 'hit or miss' escort behaviour. The game AI would set both bombers and fighters to take off at the same time and head to the rendezvous point, no matter where they based relative to each other. If they were equally distant from the rendezvous, you got a perfectly escorted raid. But if bombers and fighters were different distances, the rendezvous would go haywire and bombers risked getting slaughtered.

Some said this reflected real life in WWII, where such escorts often went wrong, but it was decided to fix it anyway.

Now thanks to the work of Two27 and tester Stickman, the code has been optimised so that distance to rendezvous is calculated and takeoff times adjusted:

Fighters in this raid take off 17 minutes later than bombers, and make a perfect rendezvous.

Stickman gives the lowdown on how to set up raids with the new system here:

1. In each Raid, the fighters should join up with the bombers at the Fighter Rendezvous Way Point.

2. You can check and see if the fighters and bombers will rendezvous OK, by opening the Mission menu, choose the Raid, then the Route Menu. Then the Take Off menu in there.
If the fighters have the same take off times as the bombers do, which are far away into the rear area behind the fighters, then successful rendezvous will fail, as in old Rowan code.
If the fighters have different take off times than the bombers do (almost always later take off times) then you can be sure that fighters and bombers will join up correctly.
Note! That if you do see a potential Rendezvous failure, with the same take off times for both fighters and bombers, you can delete that Raid and Authorize a new Raid to same Target.
Roll the dice again for that "new-again" Raid, and you will probably get a successful rendezvous. (some serious war gamers may consider this as cheating!)

3. I am a war gaming Commander type of man that tries to take care of all my men, not just my vain glorious self as an individual pilot.
Also I have a healthy disrespect for commanders above me, as many are, and have been.. quite stupid! LW Campaign AI Directives are really stupid!
As a war gamer, I prefer to issue all orders.. where to attack, when to attack, how many aircraft to send forth each Raid, what altitude each Raid should use,
and what each Initial Way Point compass direction of a level bombing Raid to attack a Target is, that can maximize best force destruction upon the Target!

Doing this "micro-managing" style of war game play takes a lot of time and careful thought.
Also, as to getting good fighter-bomber rendezvous, and as I am switching different fighter Gruppen around to be my preferred men to escort a detailed Raid,
I sometimes see that my new fighter escort has bad take off times in relation to the bombers! GGggrrrrhhhh!
OK, I pick another fighter Gruppe to fly with that Raid, and it usually will have good take off time s for successful rendezvous. (I do not consider this evil cheating, but I am no Saint!)

4. If you send an unescorted bombing Raid out (which I do not advise doing so, unless you have the RAF on it's knees and bloodied badly!)
and then make another Raid somewhere that is escorted, you will see that the escorts for this 2nd Raid have no Patrol Way Points!!! Game flaw!
If you have a fighter escorted bomber Raid on a Target, and that Target does NOT have Patrol Way Points around it,
then the fighters will NOT rendezvous OK with the bombers. Game flaw!
Just delete that Raid and set it up again exactly the same. Then you should have the escorts Patrol Way Points show up OK. Rendezvous will now be OK.
Always check and make sure that an escorted Raid has those Patrol Way Points around the Target.
If not.. then it is like leaving your house to go to work without wearing any pants or shoes or boots... and it is raining.. and you forgot your umbrella!

New beta MODS for Battle of Britain II


The BoB Developers Group is still alive and ticking, improving what is still the only flight sim capable of giving you furballs with 200+ aircraft in the sky.

This week member Stickman released (leaked?) all of the 'work in progress' on the future 2.13 patch as a series of beta mods, for enthusiasts to try for themselves, rather than wait for the full update to be completed.

The mods include:

Campaign mod: includes some GUI improvements and the following gameplay modifications:

4. LW fighter rendezvous with bombers works now!
Changed the Fighter escort time of take off relative to bomber takeoff time to do this. This can work 100% successfully all of the time.
100% rendezvous succes unrealistic, so implemented a fixed 5% failure rate resulting in missed rendezvous.
When a fighter unit does fail to rendezvous properly, it uses old Rowan code whereas the fighter unit goes to Target many minutes ahead of Raid bombers, leaving the bombers far behind.

Image5. LW Task Summary dialog fighter and bomber spinner issues now resolved. 26 individual changes and rewrites.
Mystery LW unit lockouts removed. Both fighter and bomber spinners now work properly. Standardized bomber Staffeln to 10AC in all cases, even 110 Jabo.
Code adding and removing Staffeln will now add and subtract the correct number of Staffeln and number of aircraft.
The only LW unit lockouts are those we know about, unit use, low morale, and minimum AC.
If a unit is available for use, Task Summary will allow its allocation to missions without restriction.

6. Removed hard coded LuftWaffe Dogleg Way Points from aircraft factory and fighter field Targets.
These Targets should now have the Dogleg Way Point in a straight path from the Fighter Rendezvous Way Point to the Initial Way Point to Target.
Notable exceptions are the DO17 Gruppen flying from Antwerp and St. Trond.

7. Changed LW Detached escorts to use a block formation and not the Schwarme so the AC are easier to count in 3d.

8. In LW Directives, no major changes, but commented out most of the code dealing with the old Reconn flights.
Basic preparation of clearing clutter prior to examining LW Directives in detail. Reconn elements in the Directives dialog are now dead.
The check boxes can be marked and unmarked, but all four controls have no inputs to the code now.

9. In LuftWaffe Directives and the Task dialogs, the Raid Escorts are given a choice to Strafe Target or not.
This has previously been set ON to Strafe Target by default, which often results in very unrealistic escort behavior, especially from normally default given high altitudes for a Raid.
Now Strafe Target is set OFF by default. Can still be switched to On by the LW player.

10. The RAF and LW skill variables in Options-Sim-Mission are now live in the Campaign. Default setting for both is Medium resulting in no change.

11. RAF delayed activation now live. 302 – 7/13, 303 – 7/22, 310 – 8/18, 312 – 8/29. These units will have 0 AC until activation.
Prior to activation they can not be moved by the AI or receive new aircraft whether newly built or rebuilt.

12. LW AC consolidation code for 109s is working. All LuftFlotte 3 109 Gruppen are candidates.
When a LuftFlotte 2 109 Gruppe drops below minimum AC, a check is made to see if a LF3 Gruppe is available (has activated and still has aircraft).
If so, then the losing LF3 Gruppe's aircraft and pilots are divided among the three neediest LF2 109 Gruppen. Skill and Morale are recalculated.
At any campaign start date beyond 10 July, some LF3 Gruppen will be assumed to have been used up already.
Radar campaign -3 LF3 Gruppen. Airfield campaign -5 LF3 Gruppen, and Blitz -8 Gruppen.

13. Changed Duxford capacity to 3 squadrons. Don't know how AC takeoff spots look.

14. Substituted 312 Sq (Czech) for 245 Sq which was in Ireland during the battle. 312 located at Duxford and squadron markings of DX.
Like the LW OOB changes, 312 Squadron will still carry the original 245 label. Used 310 Squadron unit skill and morale, Veteran skill and Excellent morale.

New Multiskin Mod: Mostly this "fleshes out" all of the ME110C units, and the LW Lehr units involved in B of B.Some RAF changes, too.

Terrain updates are among the juicy new mods from the BDG

Terrain and targets updates: huge range of work by the BDG et al to improve historical accuracy of ports, coastlines, landmarks, airfields etc

1. PV's latest terrain changes at Newhaven and the Ouse River valley; new Eastbourne and Bournemouth terrain; plus a lovely remade terrain for the Sheerness area.

2. Newhaven Docks now properly relocated from the Thames River to the Ouse River on south coast, and built in great detail upon Pete's new terrain.
Ouse river valley churches OA file that Ben made before this terrain remake, relocated to new terrain.

3. Eastbourne "Docks" remade to Pete's new terrain. Targets are now a Gas Works and Rail Yards. There were no Docks at Eastbourne!

4. Sheerness Docks and immediate area within the Queenborough Lines (The Canal) built in detail over that new terrain of Pete's.
Includes a built up Sheerness Town.



The fixes for the Shoreham airfield hangars that got offset onto the field with v2.12 release.
Plus some ObjectAdds fixes at Beckton Gas Works, Filton, and Farnborough R.A.E, that I missed for v2.12.

6. New HAA Troops placed at their historical locations during August, 1940:
-All HAA guns at London, south of the Thames, placed and firing. Nine more 4-gun Troops. ZS1, ZS2, ZS3, ZS5, ZS6, ZS7, ZS8, ZS13, and ZS27.
-Four more firing 4-gun Troops placed at London north of the Thames, at the East End, near the Thames. ZE1, ZE2, ZE4, and ZE9.
-Two more 4-gun Troops with the Thames & Medway South organization at All Hallows, TS12. (In full battery formation).

7. Some texture changes here, too.
- A fix for the little fuel drums with camo cover object. Camo was gray, now green.
- Replaced the old ugly airfield craters that show up after a field is bombed, with a better looking crater.
- Some minor changes to the Stuka and level bomber skins that are used with MultiSkin disabled. A few little somethings so they do not look so "plain Jane".