Apologies for not posting much lately. Real life is what it is, spare time is zero, so I decided to stop checking Discord or forums for the time being to reduce distractions.
In the meantime I am slowly making progress on a series of articles about the Intercept Geometry. The plan is splitting this huge topic into 5 to 8 chapters (depending on how it seems more readable and clear) and covering:
- Introduction and definitions: a stupidly long recap of the basic definitions, plus a more in-depth look on how variables such as the TA are calculated, how a scenario looks in the sky and how it is transposed to the TID, and so on;
- Lateral separation: why it is a fundamental component of the intercept, along the two variables that compose it;
- Intercept doctrine: starting from the common but only introductory P-825/17, then P-825/02 and further backwards using different sources.
I may include an analysis of the intercepts mentioned, for example, by Robert Shaw; adding to those constructs info and tests useful to make them work in DCS, based on the known relations between TA, ATA, SR.
This would also partially satisfy one of the main issues I am encountering whilst putting together this series;
- Timeline updated: the BVR Timeline I discussed at the beginning of 2020 is an extrapolation of that concept from the Intercept Geometry, an attempt to use that useful structure outside the more complex “shell” of the Intercept Geometry. Therefore, it did not take into account the spatial relationship between the fighter and the target, and it did not prompt the fighter to manoeuvre to obtain a positional advantage.
The discussion about the intercept geometry will feature, as usual, analysis, sketches, examples, tests and so on. The goal is making it understandable to everyone (myself in primis, as I do not write about stuff I am not comfortable explaining): in fact, although it may sound like a very complex concept, at the end of the day it is actually quite simple and the biggest obstacle is getting familiar with it without feeling overwhelmed.
The Real Big Issue
The problem I ran into quite early is the lack of sources. The ubiquitous P-825/17, for example, features only the very basic introduction to the challenges of the geometry. It can be useful for an IQT-level qualification perhaps, but it is not directly applicable to DCS. Therefore, as I did with the Timeline, I will try to fill the gaps caused by the lack of documentation and training and present the Geometry as something useful and applicable even in a simulation.
Introduction and definitions are pretty much done, as the initial parts of the other chapters. I set a deadline to the end of the February/beginning of March to finish this series. It is a bit optimistic, but I will do my best to complete everything by that date.
In the meantime, HB and ED should be able to wipe the bugs affecting the new missile API (there is an important patch coming soon), so the next major articles will be about the new PK model for the AIM-54 (this time much more useful as it will be deeply connected to the geometry) and the new Fuel Consumption model for F-14A and its pair of Pratt & Whitney TF30. Considering how temperamental this engine is known for, I’m really looking to put that model together.