DCS AV-8B NA Harrier II Hovering & Landing Training! | VPS and VPN
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DCS AV-8B NA Harrier II Hovering & Landing Training!

DCS AV-8B NA Harrier II Hovering & Landing Training!

Hey guys! This is just some casual training helping my Patron Tex with flying the AV-8B Harrier II and how to get into a hover and land the jet! While I did crash once or twice the experience of being coached and walked through the process of hovering and landing the DCS: AV-8B NA Harrier II really helped him out with gaining confidence in his ability to fly the Harrier in DCS World multiplayer missions!

I do one on one training sessions as a perk of supporting the channel for any patrons who pledge $15 or more on Patreon!

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Current resolution: 2560 x 1080, 144Hz

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CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X @ 3.9GHz
Memory: 32GB RAM

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12 thoughts on “DCS AV-8B NA Harrier II Hovering & Landing Training!

  1. Hey guys! I do One on One training with anyone who supports the channel for a $15 or more pledge on Patreon! I figure this gives you guys back more value than a Tee Shirt with a Spud Logo on it! LOL! Fly safe out there guys!

  2. My golden rule: If you have to setup a deadzone, your hardware is broken (ie spiking pots). 0 all the way. You simply can't fine control anything decently if you constantly have to find that spot the controls actually kick in.

    But 25 curve is a good thing to have for most sticks, but it depends on the plane as well. In the Harrier I do use that as well, some others stay linear (especially Helos because of the trim). Extensions help a lot here to make it more realistic without curve. On rudder pedals it also depends on the hardware. I didn't need a curve on neither my old Simpeds nor my current Crosswinds as those have properly spaced pedals. On things like CH Pro that are much closer to each other, it's probably absolutely necessary to set that curve there as well.

    Some tips I can give:

    Know your weight! A clean and empty 8B is around 14800lbs, with 60% fuel it's 19500, add the gunpod makes it just above 20000 and 4 Sidearms roughly add 1000lbs. You get the hang of it by checking the numbers when arming up on the ground. Try not to use the preset loadouts, but always select everything manually and see the gross weight shown at the bottom of that window. The Harrier does have around 23000lb of thrust, but if you want to be sure to be able to take off vertically and hover without running the engine in excess of continous power, make sure that weight is 20k or less, or at least 21k or less (which just doesn't give you much of headroom). Of course knowing the engine limits then also is critical, but I suggest the most important value to remember is 640°C of JPT. Anything above that is limited. The more you go beyond that, the quicker you'll reach the point of decreasing your engine power which will show in reduced max RPM and JPT. You want to make sure you'll be able to reach at least those 640° when attempting a vertical landing. If you're coming home after some action, just push the throttle while cruising and see how far it goes at low altitude (that's critical – the higher you are, the cooler the thing will run throwing off your decision).

    When I do an approach, I usually slow the thing down with the airbrake and idle throttle. Know that even that provides some thrust and tilting the nozzles down will make you decelerate a bit quicker, which is noticable. Then I usually actually not trim out the plane before or while doing that, but just trimming the nose down with the stick centered so that the little arrow on the stab gauge (lower left one on the panel with the engine parameters just right of the UFC) just flicks down, so it's almost neutral, just a small tad nose down – which is the ideal trim for hovering. That makes you have to work the stick a bit more during deceleration, but if you keep doing that, you'll get a better feeling by muscle memory of your planes state as the stick forces will always be the same when the trim is always the same which makes you learn to fly the thing by muscle memory actually. Then, when the speed drops below 180 KIAS, try to match up the velocity vector with the witches hat. With that attitude you can fly pretty economically and that's also a good point to drop the flaps from Auto to STOVL mode, with the nozzles set to 20° before that (not actually needed in DCS, but very much advised to be done in the real thing just to keep the thrust away from the flaps). As you're dropping the flaps at rather low speed, the plane will balloon much less there and it's very easy to catch. Then slowly and gently pull down the nozzles to ~58-62° and after that throttle up to prevent the thing from dropping, also lower the gear while doing that. Now the trick is doing the same as in the Hornet, control your pitch via the throttle and center the stick while catching it. You'll end up doing somewhere around 120 KIAS and can fly the plane simply by using roll inputs and throttle adjustments alone. With that you can do your approach quite well and it's easier not to overshoot as you're quite slow already. Now there's 2 options from here on.

    1. Get close to where you want to land and bring the nozzles back to 82° and keep a slight nose up attitude with the witches hat above horizon while controlling your sink rate with the throttle. Then literally fly the thing like a helicopter and don't touch the nozzles, just control your forward/backward motion with pitch, so you'll have one lever less to mess around with. Then just do the landing as you would normally do it from a hover.

    2. This is my "how to land as quickly as possible on a small spot that's not as small as a building or FARP pad" which does work on the Tarawa or aprons well enough. Instead of slowing the plane down gradually, keep flying with flaps fully down, nozzles around 60° and gear down, try to maintain 200ft ASL on finals. While flying like that, the velocity vector is pretty much up high around the heading tape. While holding the 200ft, visually pick the spot where you want to touch down, basically the close end of it, be it the ramp of a carrier deck or the beginning of the black skid marks on a runway for example. As soon as your witches hat points at that, throttle down a tad, bring the nozzles down all the way to 98,5° and gently throttle up again as you slow down while bringing up the witches hat to the horizon, but at the same time trying to fly at the point you decided to land at. You'll end up just a bit past that (which is why that should be the back of the boat) and as you get closer to the ground, try to maintain a very low altitude while slowing down, still with the witches hat at the horizon and the nozzles brought fully down and forward. As soon as you killed your speed while hovering at beer crate's height, just chop the throttle while kicking down the toe brakes (or pressing the respective button) and that will make the jet kinda fall down, but when you're low enough while doing that, it will come down gently enough as it takes time to spool the engine down. With that method I usually end up somewhere around the rear end of the Tarawa's island or somewhere in between like 1/3 and 1/2 of the skid marks on a runway. Good enough I'd say, and with some practice, that goes pretty well and literally minimizes your hover time to an absolute minimum.

    Now also, it might be interesting to configure the axes to get the nozzles to 82° easily. I use the left TMWH throttle for it (the right one is the actual throttle itself) and I set it to run as a slider (checked) with Saturation Y set to 83. With that, you'll cut off the range above 82° from the lever, so it literally ends there at the ideal setting for VTOL. Now the trick is to get it past that as well. I figured that I usually just use it anywhere between 0 and 82 and past that I always end up at the max angle anyway. So I weant ahead and mapped the lower nozzles command to the idle detent button of that lever. So if I want to slow down quickly, I simply pull it back to VTOL setting, pull it up and back as if I'd shut down an engine if it was a throttle lever. Then it simply goes to 98.5° and stays there. If I take it out of the detent, the slightest movment past it will register immediately and it will go back to 82° or less directy.

    I also use the grey slider for the STO Stop lever, but I'm not 100% sure at the moment if I got that mapping option from the forums or if it comes with the stock module. I've set that to act as a slider as well and have a user curve, which is 65, 68, 71, 74, 77, 80, 83, 86, 89, 92, 96, 100. With that it's completely out of the way when pulled back and roughly at around 35° when fully forward with the center detent being at 58° which is a good value for short takeoffs for me.

    In the end it all comes down to developing a personal technique that works best for you, but I guess the main difference seen here is that Spud actually plays around with the nozzles while I dont which actually is the official way to do it BTW. Sadly the AFC in DCS doesn't work as described in the NATOPS as it would help controling a hover tremendously as it keeps to null out the bank angle constantly and try to keep your pitch angle within a certain limited range of – IIRC – 2° up to 6° down for the witches hat in relation to the horizon.

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