I had a few health issues; I am still recovering, and I am not very active these days. Therefore, I did not touch my book, but I managed to spend 3-4 hours doing some manual labour, putting together a new simple F-14 CAP / F-15E UFC, just to relax a bit.
Virtual Backseaters V1: F-14 RIO
I haven’t done any work in the last couple of weeks. The last internal version saw a substantial resizing operation to reduce the number of pages and improve the layout. Eventually, I “lost” about 120/130 pages. On the other hand, the book is still perfectly readable when printed as an A5 (thus, two pages per A4 sheet) and the text flow looks much better.
A new version is almost ready, I just need to complete a couple of chapters introducing Air-to-ground basics (pop-up, dive, toss, etc). However, due to my present condition and the incoming holidays, I doubt I will be able to deliver it before September.
Setup updates & new Arduino panel
I am not particularly fond of the F-15E (Tornado über alles), but at least the Mudhen has a GiB! RAZBAM is publishing a series of videos discussing the F-15E UFC, and it looks quite neat. This, and the fact that I always wanted to build an F-14 CAP, led me to spend about 3-4 hours building a new panel. I am actually surprised of how quick this panel took to be planned, wired and tested.
This is the result. Quite rough because it’s all callipers, hand drill and cutter, but it gets the job done (I’ll get a small CNC one day…). The wiring is incredibly simple: a 6×6 matrix, plus three rotary encoders. Total cost, probably around £30 (TFT excluded, it is controlled by a separated Arduino Uno, so I can remove it and use it in other projects).
At some point, I will write an article about it, with the wiring diagram and the firmware.
DCS: Mirage F1
The glorious Mirage F1 has finally been released (Early access, of course). As I mentioned a few times on this site already, I am not interested in dogfighting with jet aircraft (I prefer warbirds), but the F1 is a surprisingly capable air-to-ground asset. Even the first flyable version, the F1CE, can carry a plethora of different weapons, from Belouga to Durandal, to GBU 10/12/16 and rockets. However, the release is old school: set the mils, fly the planned numbers, and drop!
On a similar note, it has no INS, but has a couple of neat NAVAID tools. It thus requires learning the basic of navigations.
I am actually tempted to use it in the Iran ’87 campaign instead of the F-5 (that AN/ALR-67 really does not make any sense).
Btw, I just noticed this little detail on the F1 pilot’s shirt. Nice!