A couple of months ago I was discussing carrier ops and recoveries with a fellow pilot of the 132nd VW. We ended up considering the weight of the aircraft: the F/A-18 has a fancy MFD that provides information about the weight of the aircraft to the pilot so he doesn’t incur in a potentially dangerous situation. But what about the F-14? How do you determine the weight of the aircraft before landing? Well, the F-14B has nothing like that so the only solution I could thought of was creating a spreadsheet and getting actual values from the sim itself.
This is the link to open the spreadsheet in View only mode.
If you want to create a copy for yourself (necessary to use it) follow this link instead (for obvious reasons I set it as viewable only by default). If you distribute the spreadsheet I’d appreciate if you could keep the credits at the bottom of the table 🙂
The spreadsheet is very easy to use, simply adjust the values of the red column. You can also set the internal fuel value whereas the external tanks can be added as payload, both as full or empty tanks. The gun is expressed as the percentage and 100% = 676 rounds.
Some interesting stuff
The Empty weight in DCS is differs from the value displayed in the manual: in the former is 44040lbs, according to the manual is 41780lbs. I am still looking for an explanation but I guess that DCS might be taking into account the weight of the pilots, various equipment, coolant, pylons, as so on, whereas the nominal weight is relative to the barebone aircraft only.
The Total Weight calculated in the spreadsheet uses the DCS value.
Different pylons, different weight
Weapons mounted on different stations often use different racks. Let’s consider the Mk-83, for instance.
Mounted on the stations 1B and 8B they weight 1393lbs each. Mounted between stations 6 and 3 they weight 1111lbs each. Finally, if mounted by using the MAK79 rack (stations 4 and 5) they weight 1008lbs. This is not an irrelevant difference at all considering that mounting 3xMk-83 on station 6 or 3 weights almost as having 2xMk-83 mounted on the stations 1B and 8B (3023 vs 2789 lbs)!
This simple example should make you realize how choosing the most efficient station for each weapon is a great way to optimize the weight.
As usual feel free to provide feedback and comments!