The hardest things to do when writing in a blog-like format, is conveying a sense of organization, avoiding the feeling the content is spread all over the place and almost randomly and with no logical connections. Grouping articles in series work sometimes, but after ~150 articles, even that is not enough.
In fact, pages such as Procedures and Operations, the The F-14 Radar Intercept Officer or something as simple as DCS Articles are very limited solutions. I sought an alternative for a very long time.
Introducing, Virtual Backseaters Volume I: F-14 Radar Intercept Officer.
This book aims to provide a logical progression, starting from the basics of the avionics, to the most complex aspects of the operative employment. This is not, however, an easy task: the book can easily become hundreds of pages long, so I put extra effort into avoiding overlaps with Heatblur’s F-14 Manual. In fact, this book aims to be a complement to the excellent manual, to the point that reading it first is almost a prerequisite.
Initially, the book will be composed by plain copy-and-paste from FlyAndWire, and the missing chapter are written ad hoc (the ratio is about 30/70 between new and old at the moment), later every sentence will be reviewed and standardized. Another issue of using articles written in the span of years is that the style changes (e.g. sometimes I used the first person and sometimes not).
The knowledge and the understanding of systems and avionics also changes and improves with time (some of my early articles are… Well, never mind!).
The images are another issue: they are often too small to ensure a good quality if printed, and most of them can be converted to vectors for better quality and flexibility.
I put together over 300 pages so far in a couple of weeks, along 240 images properly captioned and linked where necessary. I think it is too early to share the draft of this book, but you can see the table of contents below, and what is not marked with three asterisks is not ready yet. Then it needs a good scrub – grammar and typos checked, the style will come later – and I will share the draft.
Once finished, it will be freely available on this website.
The following are a bunch of pages semi-randomly extracted for the manual.
No content has been reviewed yet. Kip from Sabre Squadron masochistically volunteer to proof-read the book.
More than one volume?
The very long-term plan is writing a volume for each of the upcoming multicrew modules from Heatblur: F-14, A-6 and F-4. Yes, the Intruder is not a tandem seats aircraft, but bear with me: “Virtual back-or-right seaters” does not sound superb.
…About the F-4 Phantom II
Hear me out on the F4: it will come from Heatblur and we’ll get 3 versions:
- F-4B: or F-4E because it is iconic and fills Vietnam period quite well;
- F-4J: or more modern version, because the Forrestal needs a third Heatblur aircraft, along the F-14 and the A6;
- German F-4F Modernised: because TrueGrit is working with Heatblur on the Typhoon. So, why not an AIM-120 F-4 later?
Mark my words!