MDC Generator v2 – Overhaul

A new version of the MDC Generator is available here.

Hello ladies and gentlemen!
In these quiet days of quarantine the spare time is still quite a mirage but I managed to put some hours into my MDC Generator. Its structure is drastically changed by splitting the Kneeboard Pages from the MDCG itself, I also improved and adjusted a few other things and introduced some new features.

Before going through the details of what changed, the usual disclaimer: this is a simple MDC Generator I made for my own use, it wasn’t originally conceived to be shared so the user interface is sometimes wonky and not really friendly. Its primary goal was creating a more readable MDC page with the info I wanted, and embed a fuel model into it.

This is a brief list of what changed:

  • Bingo calculation adjusted:
    • Added “Manual” settings;
    • Added low level egress.
  • Joker adjustable for tasking, plus manual option;
  • Added playtime calculator;
  • Wind adjusted: the wind brackets are now editable to match the weather conditions at different altitudes.
  • Structure changes, such as:
    • Spreadsheet split, Kneeboard pages are now in a separate Google Drive file, so they are not changed every time the MDCG changes (i.e. easier customization);
    • Kneeboard expanded with additional pages, Aerodrome charts can be included or excluded with a single click or customized;
    • The split speeds up the export (i.e. the whole spreadsheet can be opened with GIMP as separated images, you just have to save each and that’s all).
  • Added Flightplan tools:
    • Added the option of hiding a WP in the Kneeboard pages. This is useful to include every WP that can affect the fuel/time calculations but it’s irrelevant in the Kneeboard pages;
    • Duplicate WP. Tired of manually copying the details of a custom Entry/Exit point? This should solve the problem. It’s still WIP but it gets the job done.
  • Added Flightplan latlong display. This allows to input or edit the latlong of Departure, Arrival and Divert airfields.
  • Added Aerodrome Charts for the Persian Gulf map.

Details of the new Version

Here are a couple more info about the changes I made to the MDCG.

Playtime

Playtime is calculated as the fuel remaining after bingo and the fuel used to get to the IP have been subtracted by the initial load. The result is then divided by the fuel flow estimated whilst holding to get the time. As for other fuel-related calculations, it is not meant to be precise but rather give a general idea.

Latlong display for Departure, Arrival and Divert

These values can be customized immediately, rather than going into the details of the Airfields Sheet.
This is especially useful to calculate the fuel needed to compensate for the moving CV: input the initial position of the CV, its speed and heading, estimate the duration of the mission and copy the calculated latlongs in the Flightplan. The MDCG will do the rest.
Usually the additional (or reduced) flight time induced by the moving CV is a non-factor, but having the general position of the CV in latlong is a good backup plan in case of comms or TACAN issues.

Wind

Its effect is still calculated by means of trigonometry but now the altitude brackets are configurable. There is still a lot of improvements but I’m waiting for the new DCS Clouds & Weather system before spending time on it.

Persian Gulf Aerodrome Charts

Charts for the Caucasus Map are already available in the Kneeboard but there are none for the PG. Therefore, I asked Papi (Papi#1288 on Discord – Alliance of Virtual Squadrons) the permission to include the amazing Charts he made for his FLIP into my MDC – Thanks mate!
Now you can include the Charts of the Departure, Arrival and Divert airfields, choosing each time which one you want to include (since Departure and Arrival usually match).
Unfortunately not every airfield is included:

  • Al Dhafra;
  • Al Minhad;
  • Al Khasab;
  • Fujairah;
  • Al Ain Int.;
  • Ral Al Khaimah;
  • Al Safran (Liwa AB);
  • Kerman;
  • Jiroft;
  • Kish Int.;
  • Jask;
  • Bandar Abbas.

Video tour

Since this version has changed a lot of things and I haven’t done it before, I put together a simple video showing how to generate a simple MDC and export it into DCS.

Using the MDC Generator

Using this MDC generator is quite easy. Simply save your copy of the MDC spreadsheets following these links:
Planning Suite
MDC Kneeboard Pages
Then, open the ‘MDCtgt’ sheet in the second Spreadsheet and change the source (cell E1) to match the URL of your copy of the Planner (just the URL, nothing else). It will ask you allow access to that URL, confirm the request.

Both MDC pages use simple scripts for showing or hiding pages or restore the data queries after manual inputs. Check the script file itself before allowing it to run.

If you have any issue, just let me know (and if you break something, just fork it again) 🙂

4 comments

  1. First, thanks for this wonderfull work. We are learning fuel management and this tool looks great!
    This page is a reference in serious gaming with F14.
    Everything works fine but one thing : I have the text “Loading…” in some cells on the MDCtgt
    TAS , Mach, ETA and Hour on each WP.
    I think we will add some missing coordinates on airfield we will share you them once done.

    Thanks for all!

    Like

    1. Hi, that’s a quite old version of the MDCG (this is versions 2b, the latest public). I have a new one almost ready to go but I can’t find any spare time for polishing it out. The new version supports any number of aircraft, different payloads and fuel models, expected threats can be added to the kneeboard with their details (min/max range and altitude, etc). Also, the flight plan can be exported to Google My Maps with custom icons and it also draws the NAVGRID, so the RIO can correlate the map with what he will see in the cockpit. This is an example generated by a friend of mine (waypoints are placed randomly): https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/745217437300949104/777889105316937738/unknown.png

      This is another example, from a casual mission:

      The error you see, if the permissions are set correctly, is usually due to Google Docs taking ages to compute the functions. I replaced most of those with spreadsheet functions in the new versions, so that error does not occur.

      Hopefully I manage to get a couple of hours to polish the new version 🙂

      Like

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