Author Topic: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.  (Read 7477 times)

Offline bozon

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So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« on: March 19, 2014, 08:42:05 AM »
So, you want to fly the wooden wonder...

"The almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH mosquito."

Don't read it all at one time...  ;)

About this guide
===================
<Bozon, standing on a podium, speaking into 17 microphones>:
"Ahhmmm..Ahhmmm.. is this on? ...<feedback shriek>...
In 2008 I wrote the first "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" mosquito guide. It was not really a guide - it was conceived as an over-elaborated rant, part of my campaign to fix the flight model and affect some modeling decisions of the AH Mossie VI. Eventually, the mosquito was completely remodeled, much for the better, and got new 3D graphics. Plus, we got the lovely Mossie B.XVI bomber"

- Excited journalist on the front row:
"So, why write a new guide NOW?"

- Bozon:
"I discovered that in a recent tour I sampled in the AH stats page, merely 4 players were responsible for 35% of all mosquito kills in that tour. I also feel that a mosquito is such a rare sight in the arena, that I am often singled out and ganged. My solution is simple - to encourage more players to fly the mossie in order to act as a diversion, draw attention away from me, and act as my bait."

- Excited journalist from the back:
"But everyone knows the mossie is unsurvivable in the MA and only by your sheer awesomeness and bursting charisma you manage to land kills in it!"

- Bozon:
"It's just from players who cannot gang a HO vulch[1] as well I. The mosquito is the ultimate instrument for this winning tactic, and others can be awesome too."

- Another, puzzled looking journalist:
"If a tree falls in the woods and there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?"

- Bozon:
"Yes it does. It also makes a mosquito, but there's no one there to fly it."


[1] "gang HO vulch", or "gang-ho" for brevity is a tactic in which a player, together with at least 3 others, perform a head-on attack on an enemy plane that is trying to take off.


Appology: there was supposed to be a motivational cinematic vid that comes along with this guide. Turns out that my movie making skills are even worse than my flying, so that vid will come out at a later time. Coming soon to an AH forum near you.


Chapters list
------------------

0) Introduction: Mosquitoes fly, but flies don't mosquito!

1) Mosquito Performance: Bite me!

2) (Mis)handeling the Mosquito: Suck blood sweat and tears

3) Attack of the Mosquitoes: It's Da Bomb!

4) Bugfighting in the Mosquito: Balsa vs. Aluminum

5) The Mosquito bomber B.XVI - Put the "B" in Blockbuster!

« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 09:00:12 AM by bozon »
Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 08:42:55 AM »

Introduction - Mosquitoes fly, but flies don't mosquito!
===================================

You always wanted to land many kills, strike fear in the hearts of your opponents and be congratulated by your country men as your kill messages spam their text buffer. Read no further! go grab an La7.

If on the other hand, you always wanted to fight against the odds, risk ripping your wings, be singled out, targeted and ganged in a furball, hunted by players seeking revenge, and do all that while looking damn sexy - the Mosquito is the plane for you. So yes, it is not the hottest fighter. No, in a 1945 arena it is not the fastest plane in the sky. You are a big target with a red "Moss" neon sign above it, which I think is the Greek word for "Shoot me".

In return, you get to fly the most extraordinary plane, a legend in its time. Used in almost every thinkable role in WWII, in all theaters of operation. This is a plane that forever changed the concept of bombers and multi-role aircrafts. I would like to point out, that while often mentioned as an "unarmed bomber", more armed fighter and fighter-bomber mosquitoes were built than unarmed variants (a lot more!). Night fighter mossies were in service before the bombers. It was, is and will be a fighter.

What is in a Mossie? You have the range of a bomber, the speed and climb of a fighter, the guns of Satan and the looks of Adonis. It was built by furniture and piano makers and it shows - they essentially made a deadly couch that flies to the tune of Merlins duet and the beat of cannons! As an added bonus, you get to tease the tree-hugging environmentalists by cutting down their forests and turning them into flying killing machines. Just be sure to check the air intakes for squirrels.

The Mosquito VI in Aces High is actually a very capable fighter - once you learn to avoid/exploit its limitations and quirks. Like in "The Big Lebowski", it has many ins and outs that I will try to explain in this guide. When mastered, you can engage any fighter in the arena knowing that if you lost, it was the other pilot that beat you and not your plane that failed you. It is also a decent JABO platform. Even though some other planes can carry more ords, you can do it faster and carrying bombs in the bay cost no drag, so you can always carry bombs just in case.

You also get a perked full-bomber version (B.XVI) that players use to milk-run strats and HQ. That is mind bogglingly boring. So instead I will describe how to use the "unarmed" bomber Mossie as a tactical bomber in the presence of enemy fighters. I say unarmed in double quotes because it is armed - it is armed with speed, nimbleness, charm, and a coolness factor so large that HTC had to perk it - and you do all this in a 10-15 minutes sortie (round trip!). This is so much more fun than 20 minutes climb to altitude with a heavy bomber, followed by 20 minutes of sitting in the gunner position pointing and clicking, followed by 10 minutes of RTB flight, during all of which the player pilots the plane for maybe 3 minutes cumulative.

Seriously, you get to fly the coolest plane ever.

Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 08:44:47 AM »

Chapter 1 - Mosquito Performance: Bite me!
=================================

You made it this far. Good. We may yet make a mossie pilot out of you.

WEP:
======
We start with the WEP because this is the most important resource you have - more than fuel! If fuel runs out you RTB or ditch. If your WEP runs out you get shot down.

It is both your offense and defense, it is your alpha and omega, yin and yang, Riggs and Murtaugh... you get the idea. It makes a HUGE difference in performance! The mossie like all RAF merlins get imperially screwed with 5 minutes of WEP and 15 minutes to cool. 5/15 is the worst use/cool ratio in AH - learn to live with it or die horribly.

Never waste more than 2 minutes of WEP on climb-out - this will give you over 6 kft of alt and then cool it in the next 6 minutes on the way to the target. My own rule is to use it for the first 5k only. Do not use WEP if you do not have to, and keep an eye on the temperature gauge.


Speed:
=======
The most important quality in a fighter. You are not too bad here. With WEP. On the deck. 354 mph sea level speed is almost decent. Who is faster than you? lets see:
109G14/K
190D9/Ta152
P51B/D
Spit14
La7/5
Yak3/9
F4Us
P47M/N
Typhoon/Tempest
These are basically all the heavily used Late-war arena planes. So much for the "Mosquito fastest plane" legend - the main arena is not an easy place for a 1943 plane. However, most of these opponents are not THAT much faster, so if you get a little head start you can go a long way before they catch you.

Without WEP you do a measly 315 mph - EVERYONE that has WEP will catch you and many will catch you without their WEP. OK that was not fair: Stukas, Storches, SBDs and I16s you can still outrun.

It is not all that bad for one reason: E retantion. The Mosquito seems to be holding its speed very well. High mass and very clean airframe do count for something. If you dive to high speed, most chasing planes will bleed their speed faster than you do. So, for a little while you can pull ahead, or at least make this a surprisingly long chase for them - enough for a wingman to clear you, or to take your pursuer to a remote place where you can show him some of that pilot s#!t.

Know that your *relative* performance drops incredibly fast with altitude! On the deck you are the king of the twins, but it only takes a few kft (almost ground level on some maps) for the P-38 to take that title away from you. As early as 5 kft many more models join the faster-than-thou list, the worst of which is the Spit16. At 15K that is not funny anymore. Really, the VI is a low altitude bird.

Climb:
=======
With 50% or less fuel on board (read: always), you get 3500/2500 fpm with/out WEP. YES, the WEP adds 1000 fpm to you climb rate! and 3500 fpm is decent for any 1943 fighter. The beauty here is that even if you climb at 200 mph, you lose almost nothing in climb rate. The Mossie really excels at high speed climbs. Basically, unless you DON'T want to get anywhere while climbing, you can always set your climb speed to 200 mph (IAS). Saves some time in Jabo runs and you are always at maneuvering speed in case you are bounced. Load the plane up with 4*500 lbs and 50%, set the climb speed to 200 and you still can climb at 3200/2200 fpm on with/out WEP, covering 3 1/3 miles per minute. Within 2 minutes of WEP climb, you are at about 6500 feet. Keeping a 2000 fpm climb on MIL power, you can cruise at about 240 mph indicated (250-260 true at typical alts) while doing so, and that is WITH fuel and bombs.

Dive:
=======
Magnificent*! The dive acceleration is good enough to notice you pull away from many pursuers. Then there is the "*" footnote: low critical speed. Old wooden cabin creaking sounds start at 440 mph, vibrations at 480 mph and at 540 mph you'll loose elevators, ailerons and/or rudder. Pulling more than 3G at 480 mph or above may rip your wing off. Thanks to the great dive acceleration, this comes surprisingly fast. Even before 540 mph, if you pull out too hard, you'll loose plane parts - be VERY careful when you have bombs or more than 50% fuel! This is a problem in JABO since it forces you to aim and release quickly.

It is critical that you learn to control your speed in a dive! More about how to do this in the next chapter.

Zoom:
=======
Magnificent again! The high speed E retention, high mass and good climb combine to make this plane a great zoomer from high speed. It also means that when you dive bomb, you can zoom back up without much E loss. You can really prepare a nasty surprise here when you zoom up into your opponent poking him with your devil's guns.

Caveat: You cannot hang on the prop like some other planes. Once you reach the top, there is no hanging in there. The torque at slow speeds is strong and stalling with the nose pointed high up tends to lead into difficult spins. If you are trying to rope one of those helicopter-like planes (Spit16, La7, Yak3, zekes, etc) you HAVE TO make them point high up and cross the vertical! In a 70 degree zoom they will claw their way right up to you (more on that in the fighter chapter).


Turn:
=======
Not brilliant, but good enough to surprise many players. The problem is the non-linear behavior of the mossie - It seems that at high speeds, the E retention is good, so you don't dump speed fast enough.
Then, when the speeds drop below 160 or so, you start to feel massive drag, the plane feels very tail-heavy and just sinks. Always try to keep speeds above 150-160 mph in sustained turns.

Flaps can help turning by using up to two notches, but they cost a lot of drag. You really benefit from the flaps only when you have WEP to pay for the drag penalty. 1st notch comes out at 190 mph - use it. Don't be quick to lower more flaps though, unless you are trying to hover.


Roll:
=======
Mixed. Not impressive at slow speeds, pretty nice at mid speeds, sucks at high speeds. Verdict: good enough to work with. Aileron damage will be your curse - your ailerons are waaaay out there, so what should have been a near miss in a smaller plane, will shoot off an aileron in the Mossie. With one aileron the Mossie rolls like a beached whale. Rudder into the turn and snap rolls can help (see next chapter).

<to be continued>
Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 08:46:28 AM »
<continue>

Range:
==========
543 gallons. That's right 543. That is almost the internal fuel load of *5* 109s, or 2+1/3 fully fueled 110s, or 35% more than P-38. The only fighter to beat you by a hair is the P47-N with absolutely ridiculous 550 gallons (for one very hungry engine). Why do you need that much? You don't. You are not flying to Berlin. At MA settings you get 17 minutes per 25%. Taking 50% will give you 34 minutes at full power. Do you need more? WEP eats a lot of fuel, so with typical WEP usage you can expect 30 minutes flight time if the throttle is constantly firewalled and you keep RPM maxed.

Another viable option is 25%+DT fighter mode. However the DT mounts still leave some drag after you release the tanks - just take the 50%, no DT instead. 75% internal is for special occasions. The DT are an overkill in most cases.

If you want to save fuel, fly on "normal" settings as defined in the E6B - that will give you 24 minutes (per 25% loaded) and a range of ~125 miles (per 25% !) cruising at ~315 mph. That is almost infinity. Want more? lower the RPM to 2000 RPM with full throttle. You'll be cruising at 240-260 MPH with almost twice the duration as with full RPM. She will not accelerate this way, so get her up to speed first, but she will maintain speed very well. That is my standard "fast-eco" RTB setting, using a shallow dive to maintain 300+ mph.

High speed, long range cruise is your "thing". The Mosquito was the only bomber that had to slow down in order for the escorts to keep up without dropping their DT or flying on a higher power setting and running out of fuel. A P-51 will beat you in a dash, but will lose a 1500 miles marathon, not that it is very relevant in AH. Use up your fuel to the max and don't carry too much of it. The difference in performance can be significant.

A few comments regarding the standard 50% load:
You have 5 tanks: right/left outboard, right/left inboard, and aux.
With 50% the auto setting will burn the aux first and then the outboard tanks - this is good. Note the point when the the selection switches to the inboard tanks (RI/LI indicator) - you will have 21 minutes left and your handling in yaw and roll improves with only the inboard tanks left. Also, I believe that the more fuel you have in more tanks, the greater the chance of catching fire from damage. So, more empty tanks means less chance of a fire (not verified!).


Guns:
=========
4 Hispanos in the nose with 175 rpg. Say no more.
You can take 150 rpg, but would you? 175 is not as much as it sounds. Fire short bursts and conserve ammo.

Oh yes, almost forgot: 4 times 0.303 pea shooters. Very fun for shooting chutes. The other use is to annoy enemies with the sound of a hail storm on a tin roof (and as effective). Near useless most of the time, but they have their moments. More on that in a later chapter. In fields that have been de-acked, I love firing all 3000 of them into the control tower, just to tease the players watching from the tower.

Forward visibility is excellent. If you set the "forward" head position slightly up and close to the gun sight you can pull very good deflection shots that will net you some hilarious PM or ch200 messages. You can get an almost "no cockpit" view by going full forward and a little up. You won't have the gun sight to aim with though.

Aiming is not great. With every correction the nose swings a little from side to side, making sniping more difficult that I would have expected from nose guns. It also spills my beer.


Visibility:
=============
This will feel awkward to some - you are not sitting at the centerline of your plane! left and right views are different and generally, your views to the left are much better than to the right. Your navigator should be covering that side, but his empty chair indicates that he is still hang-over from last night and did not show up for the sortie.
This creates a preference to keep your target to your left and circle a fight or ground target to the *left*.

Forward visibility is among the best there is.

Rear sector visibility has two problems:
1. There are A LOT of canopy bars in the way and in a snap view you may not spot a plane behind a bar. The bars are thin though, so when I check 6 I roll just a few degrees to make the bars move a little and reveal what's behind them.
2. Unlike other fighters, you are sitting in front of your wings, so in the low 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 o'clock directions you only see your beautiful self. Again, you'll need to weave a bit to check those angles.


Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 08:48:13 AM »

Chapter 2 - (Mis)handeling the Mosquito: Suck blood sweat and tears
===============================================

Counter rotating props? Bahh, too complicated for carpenters to install. A stable platform? you mean training wheels for beginners. Combat flaps? RAF pilots do not need bloody flaps. WEP? it will be like crack - get you as high as a Amy Winehouse and when it runs out, will leave you like a desperate junkie on the curb.

The mosquito handling is complicated. Instead of simply doing what you ask of her, you have to tame her. She is an attention craving mistress, but treat her right and she will please you like no other.


Take offs:
============
The two fans rotating to the right create a very strong left yaw. Trim rudder *full* right and only a small additional right rudder input will be needed initially. She will quickly straighten herself and then a little left rudder will be needed, just before you lift off.

Landings:
============
Surprisingly tricky for a silly reason - you are either too aerodynamic and can't slow down, or create more drag than Pricilla queen of the desert, and sink like a deflated baloon. It really depends on what your props are doing at idle, and your speed. If at full RPM then the props are windmilling and create a huge amount of drag that together with the flaps/gears and lots of induced drag make a very steep angle of descent. If the props are at minimal RPM or feathered, the Mossie form has zero drag and it will feel like landing a 262.

Recommended approach: I come at a relatively steep angle, throttles at idle with full RPM. Cross controls (rudder opposite to bank angle direction) to drop the speed below 190 and start extending flaps and gears as available. Keep the speed at 120 mph against all that drag by pointing down quite steeply and straighten out just as you are about to touch - you will do a two-wheels "roller" landing, raise the flaps and when under 80 mph pull on the stick to plant the tail wheel in the ground for better stability and to slow you down faster.

Dead stick (two feathered props) landing require a shallow approach and a lot of rudder input and flaps to slow you down. You'll be surprised how difficult it is to slow the mossie when starting above 200 mph. One engine landing is tricky in its ground handling. Once rolling, the plane will yaw towards the un-feathered engine - be prepared to counter with opposite rudder and differential breaks (especially the breaks) to keep it straight. Shutting down or cutting RPM (feathering) the other engine while already rolling on the ground is also an option.


Combat Trim:
================
In Yiddish "combat trim" means "death by your own hands". Extreme care should be used with the combat trim. What it does is trim you for level flight - regardless of your current flight conditions! If you leave it on in a dive, it will keep trimming you nose-down as speed increase till you will not be able to pull out of the dive. Generally, it will make the elevator feel ineffective as speed increases. If you leave it on in a stall fight and stall the plane with the nose pointed high up it will trim you full nose-up and make recovery difficult.

I recommend to use it only for rough trimming - turn on for a second and right back off. Never turn it on while you are pulling G, or when the stall buzzer is yelling. If you do - hold on tight to your panties.


Accelerated stalls:
====================
In simple terms, that means pulling too much on the stick while at speed. She will violently flip to the left (usually) and loose a lot of energy. Beware of accelerated stalls with rudder applied - if rudder is applied into the turn (a skid) you will make a very violent roll which will take you a few seconds to recover from. If rudder is applied opposite to the roll (a slip / cross-control) and you hold this a little too much, then OH MY GOD...

The old Mosquito center of gravity (CG) bug has been fixed, but the plane is still tail-heavy and unstable in the yaw. The latter, a general feature of planes with a high wingspan/length ratio. Stalling one wing before the other combined with rudder induced yaw will spin the aircraft replacing heads with tail.

An accelerated stall with rudder into the roll throws the plane into an uncontrolled roll with the nose precessing around the original flight direction. This often happens when you try to kick the rudder during loaded rolls (e.g. rolling scissors and skid turns). An accelerated stall in a slip "slip-snap-roll" (rudder opposite of the roll) should not happen often, but this one (especially left roll and right rudder) throws the mossie all over the sky, often into a flat spin that is difficult to recover from if allowed to fully develop.


Stalls and spins:
===================
Unlike the P-38, the two same-direction props induce a very strong yaw at slow speeds and while single-engine fighters can pull some neat moves using such torque and stalls, the Mossie will go completely bonkers. Hammerheads should be done with care - they are slow to the right and dangerous to the left. Stalling the plane with the nose pointed high up can also lead to a flat spin.

In a flat spin the mossie is falling belly-forward while rotating around the yaw axis like a gawd damn dreidel. It is difficult to lower the nose and stop the rotation. If you have your combat trim on, it will trim you full nose-up making sure you will never recover.

Recovering from deep stall / flat spin - a quick reaction is vital. Once you feel the plane start yawing uncontrollably (usually to the left) react immediately:
  1. Full stick forward, full rudder against the spin (usually full right).
  2. Retract flaps if extended.
  3. If combat-trim is on, slap yourself across the face and turn it off. trim a lot forward.
Your first objective is to get the nose below the horizon and into a dive. If after 2 seconds you get no response, throttle full back (still holding stick forward and full rudder). You can try adding roll in the same direction as the rudder (stick forward right).
Still spinning? Ouch! lower the gear and open the bay doors. Last desperate effort - differential throttles: try throttle to full and then throttle back the engine outside the turn (usually right engine).
Once the spinning stops and the nose is pointed down, center all controls and open throttle. Pick up some speed and smoothly come out of the dive.


<to be continued>
Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 08:49:16 AM »
<continued>

Snap rolls:
=============
The Mossie roll rate is too slow in some parts of the speed range and if you suffered aileron damage, it may be difficult to roll out of a dive or even do an effective break turn. A snap roll can help a lot in those situations. However, unlike most other planes, a snap roll can lead to a sudden spin. There are two ways to do it in the mossie:
1. Roll and stall the plane (stick at 4:30/7:30 O'clock position) with the rudder *centered*. Release back pressure and she will come out of it easily.
2. Roll and snap stall the plane with rudder into the roll (stick like in #1 with added rudder), and *immediately* reverse all control inputs - stick full opposite position and full rudder the other way. Do not wait for her to reach the roll angle you are aiming for or else the snap roll may end up in a spin. This is a risky move that if gone wrong may lead to loss of control for a few seconds and quite some loss of altitude. It works a lot better to the right and very difficult to control when done to the left.


Differential throttles:
========================
Like sex in a trio, this sounds more promising than it really is. At speeds well above stall, the effect will be nil. Only very close to stalling speed you can make effective use of this and it is still tricky. Can help with hammerheads to the right, but dangerous if you throttle back the left engine for a left hammerhead. At a slow speed with flaps out, applying full rudder into the idling engine you can really make the Mossie fly sideways like a crab. I know, I know... but if crabs could fly, this is how they'd do it.

I don't use dual throttles, but I have the #1, #2 engine selection mapped to my stick - select engine, throttle back (leaving the other at full), pull your move, select all engines again, throttle back up... usually too much work load for me to be used effectively in combat, but others may make it work for them.

Differential throttles can help with controlling a damaged Mossie. For example, in the case that you lose the outer wing section. The other case is when you lose the vertical stabilizer (tail) along with the rudder. The mosquito can actually fly and land without the vertical tail, and it is much easier to do with a bit of differential throttles to keep the skid/slip ball centered.


One engine flying:
===================
The Mossie flies very well on one engine, as long as you are well above the stall speed. It will even climb decently. Remember to trim the rudder and center the skid/slip ball, or she'll suffer from much drag. Be careful when flying on the starboard-side engine (#2), as the plane will have a very strong left yaw, so stay well above the stall speed. If you have to evade attackers, always try to turn in the direction of the working engine - i.e. break right if you are flying on the #2 engine.

Taxiing with one engine is very difficult. You will not be able to turn into the working engine, and in order to go straight you'll have to apply full rudder and left/right differential breaks.


(Not) Over speeding:
=====================
This is a skill you'll have to master - speed control. Do not let that TAS indicator (red mark on the air-speed dial) get out of the scale! The scale ends at 480 mph by the way. Also, above 450 mph do not pull 6G (blackout) or you may break the wings - this is especially dangerous if you carry more than 50% of fuel and/or carry bombs. Trim nose-up and pull gently out of the dive. With a smooth hand, centered rudder and keeping low-G, you can exceed 500 mph a little, but the risk is high.

Tools for speed control:
1. Throttle
2. Rudder
3. Bomb bay
Start by chopping throttle in the dive. It is required, but in all but shallow dives will not be sufficient. If the TAS needle continues to advance into the danger zone, apply full rudder and opposite ailerons. It is difficult to shoot like that in the dive, but your first priority is not to fall apart. Be warned not to pull any G's while you are cross controlled and at shaking/creaking speeds, or the plane will break.

The bomb bay doors add drag and can help (or just delay) over-speeding. There's a catch - you can open the bay doors **only if you had bombs in there at the spawn**. Yep, that's right, otherwise you get the "your plane does not have a bomb bay" message - REALLY HTC?!

Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 08:50:45 AM »
Another long winded chapter in the termite infested saga:

Chapter 3 - Attack of the Mosquitoes: It's Da Bomb!
======================================

JABO. Some people think it is an abbreviation for "Just, Another BOmbing Attempt". You might think: "yeh! the mosquito was known as a bomber and as an attack plane and we have the Fighter-Bomber VI version. It must be good!". Be prapared to face reality. Most fighter-bombers will carry more ordnance than you and dive bomb better than you. The P38 will carry 2000lbs like you and top that with 10 rockets. Make sure to shoot at any P38 you come across just for this reason (friendlies also, killshooter be damned). The Me110 will carry more ordnance than you and has better guns for strafing. The 410 has some really big nasty guns to have fun with. Now, if HTC gave us the Mossie XVIII "Tze-Tze" with the 57mm, armor piercing BFG, then we'll see some real barrel envy.

Just a side note about the 110. With the two engines and a crew of 2, you might think of it as a German version of the mosquito. This is entirely wrong. Little known fact is that Willy Messerschmidt designed the 110 to be crewed by elderly German couples. They sit back to back so they don't have to engage in small talk about their day.

In the chatter that will follow below, I will attempt to give a few advice as how to make a successful dive-bombing attack in the Mosquito VI and take the long route to the tower by actually landing the plane. We start on the ground:

Load out options:
===================
Guns - always take the large ammo package, 175x20mm rpg. Period. Except in.... no except or buts - always! take it I say!
This package comes with 3000 tiny little 0.303 bullets. You get that many because in case you want to bring down an A20 with these guns you'll need every last one of those 3000. They do come in handy on rare occasions which will be mentioned in the next chapter. Otherwise, they act as ballast.

Bomb Bay - You can choose between the 500 lbs and 250 lbs. You will hardly feel the difference on the climb out so you might as well get the big ones. I often take these even if I intend to go A2A, just in case I pass by an enemy GV or base without finding a fight. Also, bomb-vulching is a great sport!

Wings - Here you can choose between a pair of 250lbs, a pair of 500lbs (again, no real dilemma), 8 rockets and two types of DT. In theory, the 8 rockets total more potential damage than the two 500 lbs bombs. I really don't know and generally I feel that they are less effective than a big bomb, so that is usually the two 500lbs for me.

A few words about the rockets:
They do not converge, which means that they hit off the mark according to the distance off center at which they are mounted - which is a lot. Unless you practice and keep account from which wing the next rocket will come off, they are useless against vehicles. The rocket-rails remain on the wing and add *a lot* of drag. Not worth it in my opinion - never. In real life, the best use of rockets was against ships, but they used a different, AP version for that and scored "wet" (underwater) hits for extra points, which will not work in AH.

A few words about bombs:
The wing mounted bombs will leave a little drag after you drop them. Also, releasing only one wing-bomb will make the plane want to roll towards the heavier wing, which is annoying. This is in contrast to the bay bombs, that are centrally mounted and will not induce a roll tendency if you release just one and cost no drag whatsoever. That's another reason to roll with the bay bombs on casual runs just-cause-I-can, but if the mission is JABO, take everything.

Fuel - 50%. No more, no less. Sometimes, if the target is close (attacking GVs at the perimeter of the field), 25% (17 minutes mil) will do. Remember, 50% = 34 minutes at full power. JABO is dangerous and you often won't live that long anyway. 75% is for really boring missions. 100% is for going out to the pub, while leaving the Mossie on auto pilot.


Setting up the views:
=======================
The mossie has great views for an attack plane. The two most useful are: Forward-Down, which you set to be as far forward and up as you can, so you can look down over the nose (lying on the dashboard) and Left-Forward-Down, which you set so you peek down between the nose and the port-engine with your cheek against the glass. The mossie's asymmetry starts to play here - views to the left are generally better. You will always want to keep your target a little to the left, circle to the left and roll into the attack to the left.


Climb-Out:
===========
Your auto-climb default speed is 170 mph. You might as well climb at 200 mph since you loose very little FPM (command is ".speed 200").
The altitude you want is at least 8k above base alt (can be displayed on the map). The reason is you want to arrive higher then the acks (reach 7k) and high enough so planes climbing out of the attacked field will not just pull up and take a shot at you. Use no more than 2 minutes of WEP on the climb (will give you about 6kft) and let it cool enroute to the target.

One important note: You want to get to the designated alt at some distance from the target. Leave the last miles for picking up speed. For this reason I climb only 5kft on WEP and use about 20 seconds of WEP after leveling for acceleration. If you arrive over the target at 200 mph you might as well drive a Lancaster - Mosquitoes come with a thunder! No reason for you to arrive with less than 300 mph on you. In practice, the idea is to come so fast that you get to the drop before anyone is quick enough to get his guns on you. That is true to all JABO planes, but you are cooler.


Passing the time en route:
==========================
While auto-pilot is engaged and your Navigator/barman/DJ is preparing something for you, this is a good time for some intel. What do you want to attack? You have only 2000 lbs worth of damage to do, so you better make them count. Right click on the target field in the map and select "AXXX Status". There you can check if the VH/Dar/Ammo is up. Lets assume we choose the VH on a small field. Right click anywhere on the map and choose "clipboard maps". On the pull-down menu, select the small field. Learn the visual ques to find your target structure (VH) on the field.

If you are already familiar with the field layout or finished early, this a good time to talk some smack on channel 200.


Ingress:
=========
I always thought "Ingress" was the name of a Swedish lady, but turns out I was wrong. She is a slut.

Remember? You come with a thunder, tearing the skies at 300 mph (or more!). If you need a little more speed, shallow dive a couple k feet. Keep your head on a swivel, look for enemy planes. Are they engaging you? will they be able to catch you before the drop? Will they be a threat after? Did they vote for the 410 in the last HTC poll? and most important: What is the best direction to egress to?

Locate your target structure from as far as possible. The Forward-Down view will come in handy. When you get near, I prefer to place the target in the Left-Forward-Down view, between the nose and the left (port, #1) engine. You can track it there till its almost below you - then it will be the time to attack.

When you feel that you will get to do the delivery, select the bombs. Try to get rid of the wing bombs first. Now, this part is confusing to some people: The wing bombs show as "B50" in the selection indicator, the bay bombs, on the other hand, show as "B50" in the indicator... But remember that this is the Mosquito and its British, so all logic is reversed: the bay bombs are selected before the wing bombs - opposite of how you'd like it.

Open the bay doors. Even if you think you just want to use the wing bombs, open the bay. The only thing more frustrating than hitting the release button on a perfect setup and seeing the "Doors are not open" message, is sitting on the toilet doing your #2 and then realizing you are out of paper. The doors will also act as a speed break (not a good one), slow you down and delay overpeeding on the dive.

<to be continued>
Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 08:51:38 AM »
<continued>

The plunge of death:
Do we want to survive? Yes we do. If we didn't, we'd be flying a P38 and lawndart into the target. Therefore, and this is soooo basic, we make the attack **in the direction we want to egress to**. You will pick up great speed, which the mosquito is very good at keeping. What is the point of using all this speed to run in the wrong direction making your situation even worse, and then blowing all you E away in a sharp turn? In other words, if we want to escape in the direction we came from, we fly PAST the target and then dive to attack. Also, take into consideration the number of acks on the way. If the target is on the edge of the field, attack in a direction that will take you away from most acks and not across the entire field.

Trim a good measure forward, but not all the way! - the bottom of the "L" mark near the trim indicator is good. Under no circumstance use the combat-trim during the dive. Start with a zoom climb (assuming you are not at an immediate danger from fighters). You want 2 things: more alt is more time to aim before you drop into acks range, and slower initial speed will give you more time to aim before the plane falls apart in the dive. If there are no threats, you can also pull throttle back, but if there are, you want to save every Joule of energy you have. If you kept the target in the Left-forward-down window, this will be a sort of high wing-over. Don't stall, but complete the maneuver at ~200 mph and in the desired direction, pointing closer than the target. You are now diving steep towards the target and need to work fast, or fall apart. This will happen much quicker than with most other planes - what an acceleration!. If you come in too high, you will be forced to release from high altitude. In that case you have to throttle back in the zoom climb and the dive.

Under the threat of enemy fighters, a more shallow approach is desireable, though hitting the target is more difficult, especially if releasing from a high altitude. Since you do not zoom up much and instead start the attack already at a high speed, the angle has to be shallow in order not to over speed. 30-45 degrees is fine for this purpose. Keep an eye on your speed and throttle back when TAS reaches 450 mph.

Roll your wings level. The artificial horizon will be useless in a steep dive, so a quick look forward-up at the horizon will tell you your bank condition (angles, not dollars). Pull the nose steadily past the target. When it looks good, hold for a split second and release. You can quickly hit the switch and release the other pair of bombs too, though the delay hurts the accuracy and your health. Remember that if you selected the wing bombs first, you have to tap the weapon selection twice to cycle through the cannons and back to the bay bombs.

Immediately after release, start to pull up. Be ready with the elevator trim to assist. If you hear the creaking sounds, pull up gently but immediately, before the plane breaks. It is usually not recommended to pull straight back up, even if there are no enemy planes. Use the built up speeds to clear the acks as fast as possible. Do rhythmic weaves, to prevent the acks from leading you and use the opportunity to check 6 and general SA. An exception can be made if you released the bombs and were able to level higher than 5K AGL. In that case, the quickest way out of the acks is sometimes UP, zooming to 7K AGL. Practice high altitude release! Hitting a hangar from 8-7K AGL and pulling out at 5+K is not so difficult when you can go through the maneuver without interruptions.

Just one note about avoiding acks. You are a big target and a vulnerable one. Don't mess with acks! get the hell out of there. The quicker you release the bombs, the higher you are and the farther the acks need to lead you.


The Egress:
============
A successful JABO run is one in which you got to the target, released the bombs and got out of danger. If you want to go fighting afterwards, that's your problem (I highly recommend), but the attack mission was accomplished when you were out of harms way. Often at this stage, you'll have someone on your tail. You just came out of the dive, going level, or shallow climb at full steam (already headed in the right direction, if you were following orders!). Zooming up and starting a fight is one option (a fun one), though dangerous in a crowded environment. The other is to get away from the crowd a bit and THEN turn to fight at your leisure. If you choose the second, do not climb, and maintain your speed.

Remember, if you have to defend and turn into a chasing plane, do it when it is at least 1.5k out. Do not wait till it is 800 yards behind you and shooting!

To learn how to kill your pursuer, continue to the next chapter.

Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 08:54:00 AM »
Chapter 4 - Bugfighting in the Mosquito: Balsa vs. Aluminum
==========================================

Ever noticed that "F" in "Mosquito FB.VI"? That stands for "Fighter". The Mosquito is a fighter. You'd think that the speed and the 4 Hispanos in the nose are a big hint, but some people still don't get it. Better known as the best allied (and possibly over all) night fighter of WWII, mosquito fightes and fighter-bombers also had a lot of success in day operations as hunters on "ranger" missions, long range fighter sweeps over the bay of Biscay and the North Sea, furballing in Norwegian fjords, and on a few occasions even as an escort fighter.

Here's a little tidbit about the wooden "unarmed bomber" - there were more armed mosquitoes built than unarmed ones. *BY FAR*. 4 Hispano cannons is about as "armed" as it gets. Oh yes, you also get the 4 0.303 machine guns... <pfffffff>

Just some legal stuff to get out of the way:
If you look closely below the canopy on the side of the fuselage you'll find the following printed in black fonts in a red frame: "Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined that Dogfighting the Mosquito May be Hazardous to Your Health". A sticker on the back of the pilot seat saying: "Danger: High Frustration Levels" and another at the wing root: "Do Not Sniff The Glue". Better take these seriously, since a lot of Mosquito pilots ended up on the glue as an escape from the harsh (virtual) reality. If you are 18 years of age or older, not pregnant and don't mind an addiction to adhesive substances, please read on.

Now that we got that out of the way, let me tell you a different truth - the mosquito is a great fighter. Not an easy one, but a very capable one, an order of magnitude better than what players in the arena give her credit for. She is an interesting fighter to learn because she comes with a lot of restrictions to her effective flight envelope, but if you can keep her inside that envelope, she is a match for any fighter in the game.

So, how does an armed pile of balsa and plywood fare as a fighter? Let us count the pros and cons:

Pros:
1. Best air-air gun package. No convergence issues, excellent ballistics, enough fire power to take out anything in very short burst, adequate ammo load. Plenty of 303 ammo for chute shooting practice.
2. Very good energy retention.
3. Decent roll at medium speeds.
4. Surprisingly good turn rate.
5. Very good frontal view for deflection shots.
6. Good speed at sea level.

Cons:
1. Yaw instability makes aiming your wonderful guns difficult.
2. Very good E retention, with much difficulty scrubbing speed at 300+ mph. Horrible induced drag below 160 mph.
3. Poor roll rate at slow speeds. Total brick if got below 160 mph.
4. Large minimal turning circle. Total brick if got below 160 mph.
5. Terrible views to the lower rear. Many canopy bars in the rear and right side views.
6. Good speed  - only at sea level. Advantage quickly lost with altitude.
7. Big target.
8. Flammable target.
9. Vulnerable pilot sitting in the target.

As you can see, most Pros are about offense and most Cons are about defense. What does that tell us? Mosquito pilots must be offensive - I am not only talking about insulting other players on ch200, that's a given. I am talking about the attitude in combat.


Offense: How to make holes in Aluminum
=======================================
If you are the "sniper" type, you'll have no trouble to adapt to the mosquito. This plane really complement your types. Keep advantageous position by managing your E and punish the opposition for any mistake with the nose guns. Not much to it. If on the other hand you, like me, graduated from the "Ray Charles School of Aerial Gunnery", you'll have to get close and pull some moves.

Ropes:
To rope some of the helicopter-like planes, you have to do it at a very steep angle! You'll start very fast going up, but will not be able to stay at the apex and start falling before they do. For this reason you must make them cross the vertical and turn this into a pure zoom with no climbing component. So try to pull up past the vertical and then roll 180 degrees. Also, learn to use the sun - you are a big target to aim for and anything to ruin their aim, like having the sun in their reticule, is good.

At the top of the rope, be very gentle when applying rudder for left hammerhead. Over usage of left rudder, combined with stick back pressure will lead to a spin. To the right is safer, but slower or even impossible in some conditions. To do a very efficient hammerhead to the right, get slow, chop throttle and kick right rudder while pulling the stick into a stall (no roll). She will flip 180 deg in a roll - release some stick back pressure, slam the throttle forward and build some Gs again. Done right, the nose will come down (inverted) very fast.

Never use combat trim in the rope, it will trim you nose-up and make you get stuck there. Do not get fully stalled with the nose high up.

Turning:
As long as your speed is above 160 and below 250 IAS, the mosquito will turn a lot better than what other players expect. *A LOT*. Below 200 mph, use 1 notch of flaps. More flaps are used only to wallow (i.e. fly very slow with little turning) or with a lot of WEP to maintain the speed, or in a descending spiral. If you use flaps without WEP you will fall out of the sky very quickly. This is the hardest part in learning to fight with the mossie - how to keep it inside the 160-250 IAS range. Forget about stupid turn rate/radius lists that rank the mossie low. At that speed interval, and especially at 180-200 mph with a notch of flaps you can hang in a sustained turn with all but the pure turn-fighters. Unfortunately, spitfires relative turn performance also peak at just under 200 mph, so they will be a tough nut to crack. Again, I must warn about the 150-160 mph line, that if you drop below it, all the oomph will come out of your sails - the plane's behavior is very non-linear below that speed.

If you are going for angles at the expense of energy, add full rudder and skid into the turns. The rudder is quite effective around 200 mph and combined with WEP, the two big props will pull you into the turn. If you are going for an energy-draining small radius turn and starting from speeds where you are G-limited, chop your throttles. You *have to* chop your throttles. Your airframe is contributing very little drag for its size, so you need the drag that the two windmilling props provide (and a lot of it at high speeds) to help slowing you down.

Guns:
In tracking shots (holding the enemy steady in the gunsight), fire short 0.5 second bursts in rapid succession: shoot - correct - shoot - correct. Just one of those bursts is enough to take out a fighter. In snap shots (enemy flying through your gunsight), pull a good lead, unload (release stick back pressure) and fire a 1-2 second burst allowing the enemy to fly through the stream.
I tend to fire only the cannons, but read more about the 303s debate below.
By moving the head position up, you get a very generous over-the-nose view, allowing you to track the enemy while pulling even a very large lead. For players who use fixed views, I recommend setting the "forward" view (different from the "neutral" forward view) close to the gun sight and up so that only the bottom of the aiming circle is showing in the HUD. This is your large-deflection shot view. Players with track-IR can simply move up when shooting.

Head on shots:
Avoid, it is not worth it. You have the guns for the job, but you are also a big vulnerable target and likely to sustain damage. I am not talking about front-quarter shots! I refer to a situation where the other plane can hit you back. In addition, there is a real problem of collisions with the wreck of the enemy plane because of your large wing-span.
There are a few clear exceptions:
1. 262s. HO the heck out of those. Someone who brings a jet to a prop fight gets no curtsey.
2. Sometimes it is funny to see a KI43 or a Brewster try to take you HO. They usually do this trying to zoom up to you. Laugh hard as you evaporate them with your four guns of the apocalypse.
3. Players that you know that shooting them in the face will net a funny PM or comment on ch200 <giggle>. Of course, they had to accept the HO and there is a 95% chance that they'll be firing too (watch them excuse it on ch200)... When they complain, advise them that if they do not want you to HO them, they should simply turn around and give you their 6.

Avoiding HO shots:
Here we have a nice dirty trick. Remember those useless 303 guns and their 3000 bullets? start spraying them out (no cannons, just the pea-shooters) from 1.5K, or even 2.0K out. Don't bother to aim. Most players will panic and break away from the HO. If they make a half-ass effort of moving out of the way, the HO has turned into a completely safe front-sector shot. Take it if you do not intend to execute a lead turn. They will then call you a HO-tard on ch200 because of that harmless 303 squirt. Laugh, but don't tell them the truth - you want to be able to do it again next time... Some players will be fixated on a HO attack on you and should you choose to accept (again, usually not a good idea), spraying the 303s will give you a good feel for the aiming once you start adding your cannons. Don't get your hopes up, you will likely collide with their wingless burning wreck.

<to be continued>
Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 08:55:04 AM »
<continued>

A few more notes about the 303s:
There is an argument whether they should be fired together with the cannons. The pro argument is that every little bit of damage helps and they do have a knack for inducing pilot wounds. The con argument is that it is difficult to tell if you are hitting with the cannons or only the 303s, making you shoot longer and waste cannon ammo. If you are hitting with both, the added damage of the 303s is negligible.
I normally fire only the cannons, but when I get low on cannon ammo I switch to "fire all guns". That way, if the cannons run dry in the middle of a burst, I simply continue to fire with the 303s without missing a beat.

You CAN take out an enemy with the 303s alone. However, it takes a very long and sustained burst from short range in order to do any critical damage. What usually happens is that you pour a few hundred to a thousand rounds into an enemy, wounding him a bit, then a friendly finishes him off and you get the kill (or assist). An La7 can simply fly away from you straight and level before you do enough damage to bring it down. Forget about using them against bombers, unless it is for pure comedy. Remember that the enemy will not tell the difference between one tracer and another. If you are out of cannons you can still clear a friendly by raking the enemy plane with 303s. A mosquito bearing down on someone spewing tracers out of her nose will get most players attention. You can also use them to spray at a fleeing enemy in an attempt to make him panic and turn.


Defense: How to not get holes in Balsa
=======================================
Here is your real problem. you are being shot at and you are a big target. The other player WILL NOT MISS - even the 30mm spud throwers will seem to shoot like Wilhelm Tell. You have to completely move out of the way. The first rule of defense in a big twin engine fighter, and I'm sure P-38 experts will agree, is to make yourself smaller. Since you can't shrink like a sweater after a hot wash, you'll have to give the enemy your profile and take one to the ribs. By that I mean break early to get some angles off and if you cannot move completely out of the way, roll to give them your side instead of your top, just before they open fire.

See, your top is a huge area. If they take your wing - game over. If they set the wing tanks on fire - game over, if they take off your elevators - game over, if they hit the cockpit - game over. Your top exposes everything valuable to you, but that is what you expose when you go for a break turn. This is why it is absolutely vital that you have good SA and spot the enemy coming early enough. Last second break will only make it easier to kill you. Your side on the other hand gives the enemy mostly fuselage area that can take hits a lot better. You expose only 1 engine, very small wing area and less cockpit. If you give them your starboard side, maybe you can hide behind your DJ/barman/Navigator as a human shield. You do expose more rudder and vertical stabilizer, but it is a much better trade off (you can even fly and land without it!). So what you need to do is to balance the effort of maneuvering out of the way, with becoming smaller.

Creating overshoots:
Another big problem. Your good inertia which serves you offensively or passive-defensively become a hindrance when trying to make someone overshoot you. This is definitely not your game. Almost all planes will find no difficulty in slowing down to stay behind you. If you find someone saddled up on you, and they know what they are doing, only acts of desperations remain. Never ever break turn in this situation, see the above paragraph. Chop throttle, fake a break turn and start doing barrel rolls and lots of skidding and slipping maneuvers. Use a lot of rudder to try and slow down and work it into rolling scissors - not your strongest move, but with no other options... If they don't press the attack and pull away a little to stay behind, go full throttle and dive! You will NOT make them overshoot you. If they are slow planes you might just escape due to the great dive acceleration. Otherwise, you might just built a little separation to allow a break turn to get some angles off for a fighting chance. Don't get your hopes too high though - You are very likely to die.

Acts of desperation:
One really dirty desperate move when someone is all over you - snap-roll with full rudder applied (see chapter 2) and "TIMBER!" the wooden wonder falls cartwheeling out of the sky. It will make your mosquito flip-flop around the skies, making the pursuer ramming you a real possibility. Start recovery procedure immediately and when you finally get the nose into a dive - keep diving vertically while rolling. If by a miracle he didn't get to shoot you, and didn't collide with you, he has over shot you and will turn back with a vengeance. By the time you regain control he'll be back on your tail, guns blazing. Your rolling on the dive does 2 things: Allow you to look back and find him, and get your plane banked relative to his. If you get a 90-180 deg off in the roll relative to him - pull out hard and try not to get into another spin. You might just got yourself another fighting chance.


WEP management:
================
Do not waste your WEP. If it is gone you are neutered! Yes, it is that bad. Do not waste your WEP. Get out of danger and spend some time climbing, while cooling your WEP. Your WEP is on a 5/15 cycle, so 3 minutes out of combat will give you 1 minute of WEP back. Not a lot, but enough to hop back into the action. Do not waste your WEP. There, I have said it thrice and what I tell you three times is true.


Fuel management:
=================
Let the auto fuel selection work by itself. With initial 50% you'll have a few drops in the AUX and the rest in the inner and outer wing tanks. Once the outer tanks (OR/OL) are burnt and you are sipping from the inner ones (IR/IL), you'll have 22 minutes of MIL power, your handling improves a bit and you are light and ready for a good knife fight. I also believe that emptying the outer and aux tanks reduce the chance of catching fire vs. having fuel in 5 tanks, though I never tested it. 75% internal will feel heavy and it is not recommended to get into knife fights until the fuel state is down to 50% (about 270 gallons shown in the E6B).



Conclusions:
===============
Mosquito VI in aces high can be used as a fighter, and a very effective one at that, though it requires some adapting to. It is best used in small number engagements, with a wingman or in an offensively oriented scenario where your offensive capabilities shine and defensive vulnerabilities minimized. Your biggest problem is close in defense. The solution is good SA in order to avoid it altogether, or have someone to clear your 6.

Always remember that the greatest weakness of your enemy's plane is the pilot. After 5 seconds in combat you can tell if this guy knows his business or not. If he's a dodo, teach him. If he's good it is your choice whether to die and learn something, or to run away. Having said that, do not fight a losing battle and wait to die - try to extend just enough to start the fight again from a better than hopeless situation.

The bottom line is that once you master all the weirdness of the Mossie VI, she is not a bad little fighter. OK, she's not little either. My point is that the VI is good enough in the fighter role to allow me to accept any 1 on 1 fight I can find, knowing that if I lost the fight, it is not because I was in an inferior fighter. One versus many however is very very difficult, so try to fly with a wingman and know when to disengage from the combat area. Another option is to fly next to P-38s, 110s, 410s and C47s - these are the only planes that may pull some aggro away from you :) The lives of twin-engine fighters are not easy...



Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 08:57:28 AM »

Chapter 5: The Mosquito bomber B.XVI - Put the "B" in Blockbuster!
================================================

"What's that other Mossie in the hangar? B.XVI? Great Scot! it doesn't carry even a single gun!"

Yes, since the original "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" guide/rant, HTC gave us a bomber variant - and a good one at that. The XVI is a late model bomber that can carry the "cookie", the "block buster" (as in busting entire city blocks), or as I like to call it, the "Holy Cow".

First, this bomber is perked. Second, being a bomber, it has formations enabled. I highly recommend against formations when used in the tactical role since  the drones eliminate your greatest asset and only means of defense - maneuverability. In this guide I will only refer to its use in the tactical role and generally in the presence of enemy fighters. No one needs a guide for milk runs.


The Holy Cow
=============
The Holy Cow is a big barrel stuffed with explosives and dirty underwear. 4000 lbs of fun. You'll notice it in the hangar labeled as "4000 lbs HC", HC stands for "Holy Cow!" of course. Some people say that HC stands for "high-capacity" and in AH this means it does only 75% of its weight in damage, but in 125% of the blast radius for its weight. I say these people have no panache. Now consider this: blast radius increase with bomb weight. 4000 lbs is the biggest bomb in the game. 125% of a lot is more than 125% of a little. The result is that the blast radius is HUGE! A single one of those will completely wipe out the entire center of towns, together with any GVs that are hiding there. My personal record is 23 structures destroyed (plus two field guns) with one bomb.

Really, this bomb is so awesome that every time I release it, I hear a Gregorian a-Capella chanting "HALLELUJA!", as it tumbles in the air towards the target in bullet-time. A pair of doves in a backlit scene take into the air in slow motion, a man with his mouth open slowly turning to look up, a woman drops a basket of oranges that bounce and scatter in slow-mo. Cut to normal speed - WWHHAAAMMM! super Hollywood explosion in red and orange, played 3 times from different angles. Tears in my eyes, hands clapping. Summer blockbuster. 4 Oscar nominations.


Other loadouts in the hangar
===============================
In the bay, instead of the Holy Cow you can place 4 500lbs bombs. Of course in terms of pure damage, this is a net loss. However, if your mission is to pork certain soft structures on the field (radar, barracks, ammo bunkers, etc) this loadout can be more useful than the big juicy one. It can also be useful in town busting if the structures along the main road are already down and you have to kill the other isolated structures that are scattered around. Sniping GVs from just a few kft with the level bombs sight is also a great sport, best played with the 500 lbs - though the satisfaction from dropping 4000 lbs of explosives on a perked tank is hard to beat.

On the wings you can load another two 500 lbs. Generally you'll want to take them, though should know that their shackles will cost you around 2 mph to the top speed after they are released.

As with the VI, every 25% of fuel equals 17 minutes on MIL power. You will not need more than 50% in a tactical bombing mission. Sometimes even 25% can be enough, though I still recommend 50%.


Mission profile
================
Takeoff - climb - pick up speed - look pretty - drop the bombs - get the hell out - land - get some beer - ask on country channel the B17 player that took off with you if he got to his combat altitude yet.

Quick, and simple. Typical total round-trip time should be about 15 minutes (sometimes less), attacking a base 1 sector away. You cannot shoot anything down, and you do not run away from fighters - you dodge them. Your game is to put as much damage on the target in as little time and be ready for a 2nd sortie, while that 4-engine bomber that took off with you is still struggling to climb to a "safe" altitude. In the town busting role, if the town is fully up you'll do just as much damage as a formation of B17s in a fraction of the trip time.

You will NOT use formation drones. Flying as a single mosquito, you pretend to be an FB.VI model. I'd even wear one of the camo skins to look like the default fighter skin. Now, especially if you have previously visited the area with the VI and left some planes burning, players will be more cautious in approaching you and will not realize it's a scam until very close.

It is not a good idea to fly into a red cloud alone. You'll need friendly fighters to draw some attention away, and perhaps clear you on the way out. Think of your tactic as a "running back" in American Football. You are looking for the hole in the defense to run through it and deliver your cookie, while your friends block and clear for you, even if they do not realize it.


Climb out and Ingress
=====================
You can use WEP to climb, but I will not use more than 3 minutes of it. With typical loadout (50%, the holy cow and 2x500) you will be climbing at 2700 fpm. The 3 minutes climb will get you to about 8K. Save some WEP for the escape. Your target altitude is between 8k and 14k AGL. While the XVI is good at alt, do not waste time to get to "safe" altitude way above enemy fighters. The whole point is to make a quick run and return to rearm.

Speed: The deck speed of the XVI and VI is almost the same on MIL power, but the VI fighter is faster on WEP. Still, the XVI can pull a respectable 340 mph with WEP. Starting at 7K the XVI is faster than the VI! 15k is a local peak in the MIL max level speed - you will not need fly any higher unless it's a stupidly high terrain. At this alt you can pull 375 mph on MIL. The local WEP peak is at 13k and 390 mph. This means that you should be able to make your bombing runs at 340 mph MINIMUM. 13-15k is high enough in most missions. If friendly fighters got a solid CAP, you can come lower, 8-10k and your typical speed on the bomb run will be around to 330-340 mph.

Make sure you reach your intended alt about 15 miles from the target. You'll have to pick up speed for the bombing run and execute it at the highest speed you can, for two reasons:
1. A high speed leaves a small time window for fighters to intercept you before you drop your bombs.
2. A high speed means you release the bombs from farther away!
That is the key! you will not fly over the target like all other silly bombers - instead you will release the bombs as a stand-off weapon, WAAAYYY before the target, break away into a shallow dive and clear out at 400+ mph, without ever passing over the target or through the fighters that are hovering over it. Got it?

While you are steaming towards your target, do a first rough calibration. The only reason is to be able to look through the bomb-sight and have a rough estimation to how long before release, and that you are aligned with the target. Look ahead and assess the situation. Enemy presence is OK, as long as they are not directly between you and the target and preferably are looking at other friendlies - let them take the heat. If you think there is a problem, turn away in a level turn to keep the speed up and try a different angle, or wait for a friendly fighter to draw attention. Enemy players will not be quick to chase a single mossie, that they believe is a VI model, that is 5-6K away and is very fast, while other targets are abundant. If they get within 3.0 they may get excited enough by your red "MOSS" sign to give chase (still can't tell you're an XVI).

Once you see a clearing, set a bombing path again and go for it. It is really a short bombing run - much shorter than with heavy bombers. On the way, keep looking around to keep SA up. Calibrate again - you have no guns to man, so the only things to do is calibrating and looking around. Already plan your escape route. Enemy fighters coming towards you is fine, as long as they do not reach you before the drop. Note the calibrated speed and current speed in F6 view, upper left screen. If you gained a few mph, you can throttle back a bit to lose them, or with a bit of experience, compensate by dropping earlier. Pickle the bomb, HALLELUJA!... doves take to the air... oranges scatter... 4 Oscar nominations... etc.

Now make your escape.

<to be continued>
Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline bozon

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 08:58:36 AM »
<continued>

The great escape
==================
Do not wait for the bombs to hit! Immediately break away. Even if not currently engaged by fighters, you may want to break away and set another bombing run for the wing bombs perhaps. Usually the safest approach to the target will be from the direction you came from, so you want to head that way to set it up. It will take a long time for the bombs to reach the target - you'll be surprised how far away you'll get before the structure destroyed messages-spam fill your text buffer.

What are the enemy fighters doing? if they are in a long tail chase, put the plane into a shallow dive and go 450 mph, or even 500 mph. From 10-12k AGL, you can go like that for a few minutes, and it will take a chaser forever to close the gap, even if their terminal speed is higher. Some planes will not be able to go faster than you at those speeds (P-38s, 109s, KI84s, etc). Even if not chased, keep the plane in a shallow dive to get back to base as fast as possible! A good XVI mission is a short XVI mission.

If however enemy planes are close, or were already closing on you during the bomb run, things get interesting! Remember that until they are within 1K, they do not know your model. Even then, "MOSS XVI" looks awfully like "MOSS VI" and many will not notice or know the difference! So break into them and pretend to be offensive... Having no guns does not mean you can't dogfight. There's a VERY good chance that they will do something silly like try to rope you, or extend from you. Once you recognize such opportunity, break away into a 500 mph dive (The XVI holds together at high speeds better than the VI for some reason) and run towards friendlies.

You do not need to get away completely, just create a prolonged chase to allow friendlies to clear you and/or discourage a pursuing plane from blowing away all his altitude and putting himself at risk just to get little you. If you do not get the break to get away, continue maneuvering and evading the attacker, hopefully long enough for a friendly/squaddie to clear you. Remember - the safest place to be is on your opponent's 6. Yes, there is a very real chance that you will lose your plane, but hey! bomber perks are cheap.


XVI as a JABO
==============
In principle, you can use the XVI for dive bombing like you do with the FB.VI. One problem - the XVI does not have a gun sight, so there is no aiming reference point! There are two possible solutions:
1. Bomb from F3 view. This should be disabled by HTC and is cheesy, so don't do it.
2. Save the head position in one of the forward views in such a way, that a piece of the cockpit is close to the screen center and is used as an aiming point. This has to be set up in advance though, and takes some practice to use properly.
3. Go to F6 view and raise the clipboard. Place you mouse cursor on the center of the crosshairs. Now go back to F1 cockpit view and use the cursor as your aim point (you'll have to leave the clipboard up). Clumsy, but it works - just don't move the mouse until you drop the bombs.


XVI Mad Max mission
====================
It's vehicle busting time! In this mission, there is no enemy fighters threat and you are on the prowl, hunting GVs. Prime targets are perked tanks sitting on the pavements ready to exit if damaged, or camping a spawn among crates of supplies, and/or Flak vehicles. You do this with your wing 500 lbs, or also with 500 lbs in the bay if you took them and left the Holy Cow to graze in the hangar.

First, you spot. Use a lot of zoom and mouse view to pan in case you do not have track-IR. Sometimes friendlies will call out the location of GVs. Places to search are the pavement next to the VH, the rearming pads, and town center. I especially like wirbles on the rearm pads since they are so easy to spot from afar. The F6 view can also be used for spotting. TIP: if you want F6 view to scan directly under you, put it in calibration mode ("U" key) which makes it point straight down.

Now set up a bombing run. If the GVs are on an enemy field/town, you do not have to be higher than the acks. From 5K, if the target is on the near side of the base, you can come at 300-330 mph, release the bomb and break away on the edge of the acks range to quickly get out of it. You will also keep out of the range of the wirbs. It is immensely satisfying to snipe from orbit a wirble or a perked tank that is sitting on the pavement in a field full of auto-acks, thinking it is completely safe. Very non-historical, but so is the whole situation and I hate wirbs.


XVI as a strategic bomber
============================
Who cares? You? good luck and enjoy.


About formations
=================
Yes you can take two XVI formation drones with you. However, in the tactical role the benefits are not very significant (many disadvantages actually), and the risks are high - There is little to gain by dropping 3 tightly clustered cookies on a town. The extra damage is only helpful against hangars, CVs and HQ. In terms of survivability, consider this:
1. Formations prevent you from maneuvering, thus you cannot do the stand-off release routine. It also takes much longer to set up a bombing run once you spot a hole in the defense due to the large, slow turn.
2. Formations prevent you from dodging an attacker that caught up with you and limit your ability to dive away and escape at terminal speeds. With a formation it is a "milk-run or bust" deal.
3. Formations immediately give you away as a bomber and attract attention while still out of icons range.
4. A lost formation is 3 times the perk loss of a single bomber. Most chances are, that if you lost one, you'll lose all three.

The only way you can benefit from a formation is by completely avoiding any contact with the enemy. This in turn means climbing very high and relying on the enemy not waiting for you. This is often the case in HQ or strats raids. Such missions are incredibly long and boring, and I never do them, so I cannot give any tips. In the tactical role, I cannot see any benefit in taking a formation.


Conclusions
============
The XVI is a very fun and unique tactical bomber that requires a completely different mind set from any other bomber. It is an excellent tool for base takers that want to get the town down, or a single hangar, or strategically pork a base quickly.

The new Tu-2 can be used in quite a similar way and carries better payloads for taking down hangars. In spite of being considered a fast bomber, it is *significantly* slower than the XVI, and speed is both your offense and defense. Arados can also be used very much like the XVI, but the XVI is much cheaper perk-wise and can bust a town like no other.





Mosquito VI - twice the spitfire, four times the ENY.

Click!>> "So, you want to fly the wooden wonder" - <<click!
the almost incomplete and not entirely inaccurate guide to the AH Mosquito.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGOWswdzGQs

Offline danny76

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 10:22:53 AM »
Oh god, I laughed all the way through that, what a fantastic post :old:

Loads of info and wit and when I got to "A mosquito bearing down on someone spewing tracers out of her nose" I almost got an excitable patriotic tear in my eye, mind you I am cutting onions and peppers for a Jalfrezi so thats my excuse.

Love flying a Mossie and now I've read this I intend to attempt, poorly no doubt, to put some of this into practice

Superb work Bozon. Thank You  :salute
"You kill 'em all, I'll eat the BATCO!"
The GFC

"Not within a thousand years will man ever fly" - Wilbur Wright

Offline BluBerry

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 10:25:48 AM »
oooo Jalfrezi

Offline danny76

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Re: So, you want to fly the wooden wonder - again.
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 10:38:31 AM »
oooo Jalfrezi

Beef skirt has been cooking in the clay pot since 10.am, serving about 6.30pm. Chunks of bell peppers and red onions and a bundle of fresh coriander :old:
"You kill 'em all, I'll eat the BATCO!"
The GFC

"Not within a thousand years will man ever fly" - Wilbur Wright