Books & Media DCS F-14 & RIO Gaming

Virtual Backseaters Volume I: F-14 RIO – First Public Draft

The first public draft of the book is waiting for you! This version is still heavily Work-In-Progress, and aims to collect feedback and comments.
Let me know what you think about it!


This version of the book is outdated.
A new dedicated page is located here.

After more than a month of work, 85,000 words, 500,000 characters, 349 pages; the first public draft of “VBSvI: F-14 RIO” is now ready to be presented to the public: you!.

This is a very early version of the book. Lots of content are still missing and the long work necessary to update and standardize lexicon, grammar and style is not even started yet. However, this release aims to collect feedback, opinions and better understand if the structure of the document works or amendments are necessary, before proceeding further.

For this release, I removed a couple of Chapters with no content yet, but left others barely started and marked with three asterisks.
Going forward, the focus will be on finishing the Air-to-ground chapter and the Intercept Geometry. Later, improving the initial and introductory parts, to smooth the transition from basic concepts to more in-depth notions, and therefore easing the learning curve.

You can download the book here. Any feedback is welcome!


  1. If you need an editor or proof reader I would be happy to help, free of charge. With all due respect to your work the article above has several errors in it.


    1. “Several”? I call it a win!
      Jokes aside, the last 18 months saw my spare time steadily progress towards zero, so I often don’t even re-read any more. I write when I can during the night and hope for the best.
      If you want to dive into the masochistic endeavour of proofreading my manual, by all means, be my guest! Myself and every reader will certainly appreciate your effort 🙂


  2. Great work so far! I’ll skip over small spelling/grammar mistakes and offer some notes I took as I read:

    -ARC-182 is explained to have a direction finder but it wasn’t expressed what the ability was meant to do.
    -The TID in ATTACK mode is explained to have additional symbology. Is this just the artificial horizon on the TID or is there more? Is there any purpose to this for the RIO or Pilot?
    -VSL Hi/Lo, this is only one of the many ACM modes for the Pilot (but this one can be activated by the RIO) is there any reason to go into VSL LO during a >5mi merge rather than telling your pilot to go into, say PAL instead?
    -Minor note from mission making: When people place units on custom TACANs they can cause certain frequencies to lock up and block related TACAN channels and even datalink. Should be noted that if everything seems right and datalink is still BENT then to try and see if the mission uses any special TACAN channels out of the norm. This rears its head more frequently in the Hornet but I wouldn’t be surprised if it could happen in the tomcat as well. Here’s a chart that my squadron has been following to try and get better TACAN usage:


    1. Hey mate, thanks for the suggestions. About grammar / typos yeah, I’m still in the “content-throwing” phase, I don’t have time to review anything, unfortunately.

      About your notes:
      1- I added a short passage about non-precision approaches and mentioned FLIPs and TCN approach in Draft II (I plan to release it today or tomorrow). The ADF is quite a niche thing, especially considering that the F-14 has an INS, a TCN and can have a GPS depending on the setting. But yes, I can add a few notes about the ADF.
      2- The differences are explained in the manual. I tried to skip any repetition (unless it was needed for explanation purposes). This book will be over 600 pages otherwise! 🙂
      3- There’s a chapter (not public, atm) about WVR and Merge. It’s mostly about the handover and comms. VSL High and Low will be covered there. I’m not rushing to complete it though, I find dogfights very tedious and pointless (even when I’m piloting myself): the outcome should be decided even before the beginning of this phase, and it is determined by how the aircraft enters the merge, the level of SA and so on. Besides training sessions, in fact, the initial setup is never symmetric.
      4- This is a very interesting point, I’m not sure where to put it, though. I can add it to the appendix perhaps, maybe along other info about the F-14 itself (like INS prealigned, CM settings, etc).



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