STEVEN P. OLSON
Hi-Tech Writer for Hire

Portfolio

MARKETING | TECHNICAL | GAMES | KIDSTUFF | et cetera | corner


Home
Resume
Recent Work
Skills & Tools
Startup Specialist
References

About This Site
Email
Last Update:
11/02/07 [log]


Site Map

Site problems? Go here.


User Docs:
Make It Clear


Company: 

Electronic Arts

 

Project: 

Israeli Air Fighters

 

Platform/Format: 

Windows

 

Description: 

This manual sample comes from the section on operational controls for a flight simulator, titled Israeli Air Fighters. Flight sims are an odd breed of software--neither game nor application. While they are sold among games software, their criteria for success belong elsewhere. Accuracy, attention to detail, and suspension of disbelief all determine whether a sim makes the grade. These demands place additional pressures on the writing of the manual, as flight-simmers are the people who actually read the documentation. They must; the software is too complex to wade through blindly. So, the documentation must be thorough, correct, and informative. While this flight sim was not as deep as others, you can see in the sample a significant amount of detail in the various systems.

 

Notes: 

For this project, the development team was located in Israel, and the publisher, a brand-new client, was in the Silicon Valley. Somehow, 60 pages got finished in six days.

 
  Jump to...     


 Sample 



Example: The F-15

For the sake of simplicity, the controls for all planes in the game operate in a similar manner. When you have learned the controls of one plane, you can fly all of the planes. There are small differences between the planes which are described in the following sections. To illustrate the controls in the cockpit, the F-15 is used as an example.

For keyboard commands, see the enclosed Keyboard Summary.

[{Art: ##: f15pit} 1. HUD, 2. MFD]

The Israelis have modified the F-15 Eagle to improve her avionics and weapons for the twenty-first century. She can carry up to eight missiles, including the AIM-7F/M, AIM-120, AIM-9L/M, Python-4 and Python-3. To control these and other systems, the F-15 has one of the most sophisticated cockpits in the world.

You are fed information about your plane and the outside environment through four mechanisms: the Head-Up Display (HUD), the Multi-Function Displays (MFDs), the panel instruments, and what you can see outside the plane.

Views

The twelve different views in the game permit you to maximize your situational awareness in the game. Below, you can review a quick summary of how to best utilize the different views. For a complete set of cockpit views, see the Command Summary enclosed.

  • Standard views: The F1 key toggles between the standard view looking out over the cockpit panels into the outside world and a full-screen view where the screen is filled with the HUD overlaying the outside view. Switch to HUD view when you are closing for a close quarters kill.
  • Check six: Use the Back view (F2) to check your tail for bandits and missiles. It is useful for timing hard breaks from bandits.
  • Follow an object: Use Padlock view (F3) to follow the object in the center of the screen, even if it flies behind your plane. In Padlock view, the camera is controlled with the ARROW KEYS or the Hat button on the joystick. To lock onto a new object in the center of the screen, press F3 again.
  • Missile! Missile!: When a missile has been launched against your plane, press F5 to position the camera so that it is behind the missile and facing where the missile is headedóat your plane. Itís a good tool for timing your breaks.
  • Wingman: Press F6 to find your wingman. If you get lost, a computer-controlled wingman knows where both of you should be.
  • Find the Target: The F7 and F8 keys allow you to see your current selected radar target.
  • Chase Yourself: To look at your plane from the outside, press F10.
  • Follow Your Missile: To track where your most recently launched missile is headed, press F11. If you lose track of a missile, Missile Chase view can inform you if it has acquired another target.
  • I Mode: Relevant only for Standard view (F1), Back view (F2), and Padlock view (F3), I Mode draws lines from your plane to targets and your wingman, if they are in visual range. Press F12 to toggle I Mode.

Keyboard, Mouse, and Joystick Controls

You can manipulate the controls of the cockpit with your keyboard, mouse, or joystick. To learn the keyboard commands, please see the enclosed Keyboard Summary.

While the joystick is used to maneuver the plane, the buttons on the joystick can be configured to operate cockpit systems. For information on maneuvering the plane, see the In the Air section on p. xxx. For information on configuring the joystick buttons and calibrating the joystick, see the Devices section on p. xxx.

  • The mouse can be used to control cockpit systems, too. To activate mouse control in the cockpit, press the ALT key or lock the CAPS LOCK key in the down position. Now, when you move the mouse over a hot spot in the cockpit, the cursor changes to an appropriate symbol for that function. Pressing a mouse button activates the selected function.

Head-Up Display

While flying, the most important data gets placed in front of the pilotís eyes on the Head-Up Display (HUD). A transparent screen between the pilot and the windscreen, the HUD displays important numeric and graphic information on altitude, speed, radar activity and weapons status.

Get familiar with HUDís controls and displays; they are critical. For basic training in the HUD systems, use the Training area in the game and consult the Training section on p. xxx. To learn how to fire weapons using these HUD modes, see the In the Air section on p. xxx.

For keyboard commands, see the enclosed Keyboard Summary.

HUD Modes

The HUD has nine different modes for different flight situations and weapons systems. The pilot does not have to change HUD modes; when the player selects a weapon, the HUD mode changes to that weapon automatically.

  • Landing Mode: It is activated when the landing gear handle is down and is used for landing and take off.
  • NAV Mode: Used for navigation, NAV mode assists you in arriving at waypoints on time.
  • SRM Mode: For firing short-range missiles.
  • MRM Mode: For firing medium-ranged missiles.
  • HARM Mode: For firing the HARM missile, an anti-SAM site specialist.
  • AA GUN Mode: For firing the internal gun at air targets.
  • STRAFF Mode: For firing the internal gun at ground targets.
  • TV Mode: For launching TV-guided missiles at ground targets.
  • CCIP Mode: For firing general-purpose and laser-guided bombs at ground targets.

General HUD Symbols

[{Art: ##: HUDBas} 1. Air Speed Scale, 2. Left Alphanumeric, 3. HUD frame, 4. Heading Scale, 5. Altitude Scale, 6. Right Alphanumeric]

The following symbols appear in all nine HUD modes.

  • Air Speed Scale: Indicates air speed in knots per hour.
  • Left Alphanumeric: Contains important information such as G-loading. The contents of the left alphanumeric depend on the HUD mode.
  • Heading Scale: Displays the direction in which the plane is headed. In the center, a three-digit number indicates that exact heading while the scale scrolls behind it. A small caret appears below this scale to indicate the next waypoint.
  • Altitude Scale: Displays the altitude above the ground.
  • Right Alphanumeric Scale: Contains information such as waypoint data. The contents change depending on the HUD mode.

Landing Mode

When the landing gear is lowered, the on-board computer automatically activates the HUD Landing mode. As indicated by its name, Landing Mode is most important for getting safely back onto the ground.

[{Art: ##: HUDLand} 1. Vector Velocity, 2. W Symbol, 3. ILS Cues, 4. Artificial Horizon]

In Landing mode, the following symbols are added to the HUD:

  • Vector Velocity: This indicator, a small circle with three notches on it, shows the vector in which the plane is headed.
  • W Symbol: A "W" on the screen represents the position of the planeís nose. Whether landing or taking off, keep it up!
  • ILS Cues: These sets of horizontal and vertical lines help the pilot to steer towards the runway by adjusting both direction and pitch of the plane.
  • Artificial Horizon Lines: A series of lines communicates the planeís position with respect to the horizon.

NAV Mode

For most flight in non-combat areas, put the HUD in NAV mode to aid you in moving between waypoints. Be sure that your radar is in a mode that is suitable for the environment

[{Art: ##: NAVHUD} 1. Gun Cross, 2. Waypoint Cue, 3. TOT Caret, 4. Speed to Waypoint Caret, 5. TD Box, 6. Laser TD Box, 7. TLL, 8. Pitch Ladder]

In NAV mode, these symbols are added to the HUD:

  • Gun Cross: A cross symbol on the screen indicates where the gun is aimed.
  • Waypoint Cue: A small caret that floats beneath the heading scale, the waypoint cue points the direction to the next waypoint.
  • TD Box: Target Designation boxes on the screen appear to show each target on the ground and in the air. These boxes assist you in visually finding and tracking targets, based on the radarís electronic sightings.
  • Laser TD Box: A box illustrates the radarís line of sight to a laser designation point on the ground.
  • TLL: Short for Target Location Line, the TLL appears on the edge of the HUD when a target has moved outside the frame of the HUD. The line is drawn from the center of the HUD to the edge and remains in place until the target is destroyed or moves back inside the viewing frame of the HUD.
  • Pitch Ladder: A series of horizontal lines and numbers indicate the degree off of horizontal in which the plane is headed. A reading of "-90" is straight down.

In NAV Mode, the following information is displayed in the alphanumeric data at the bottom of the HUD:

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Air Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Waypoint Range (nm)

HUD Mode

Time to Waypoint (Min)

SRM Mode

SRM Mode assists the pilot in finding and locking short-range missiles on enemy targets. It is used for weapons with ranges up to five miles. These weapons include AIM-9 Sidewinder, Shafrir 2, and the Pythons.

[{Art: ##: HUDSRM} 1. Gun Cross, 2. Waypoint Cue, 3. TOT Caret, 4. Speed to Waypoint Caret, 5. TD Box, 6. Laser TD Box, 7. TLL, 8. Pitch Ladder]

In SRM mode, these symbols are added to the HUD:

  • Gun Cross: A cross indicates where the internal gun is aimed.
  • Waypoint Caret: A caret below the heading scale marks the heading needed to reach the next waypoint.
  • AA TD Box: A box on the screen shows the air target that the radar has acquired.
  • Target Range Scale: A line next to the altitude meter brackets the maximum and minimum range of the missile.
  • Target Range Caret: Next to the target range scale, a small caret shows where the target is located inside that range.
  • Rmin and Rmax: Two hash marks on the range scale denote the maximum and minimum distances at which the selected missile can be launched at this target.
  • ASE: A circle in the center of the HUD, the Allowable Steering Error indicator represents the zone in which the missile warhead is seeking targets. To launch a weapon, steer the aim dot into this circle and check to see if the target range caret is inside the target range scale.
  • Aim Dot: A small dot shows the possible off-boresight angle for launching the missile. If the aim dot is inside the ASE circle, it is likely that a launched missile will hit the target. If the dot is outside the circle, it will probably miss.
  • IR Seeker Symbol: A diamond symbol shows the selected missileís current line of sight. When the missile has no target, it floats across the HUD, scanning for targets. When it acquires a target, the diamond appears inside the AA TD Box for that target.
  • Shoot Cue: A caret appears underneath the IR seeker diamond when all of the launching parameters for the missile have been met, and a hit is likely.

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Air Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Aspect Angle (degrees) OR if target acquired with heat seeker, then AUD to indicate audio tone

Selected Weapon and Remaining Stores

Time to weapon impact (Min)

MRM Mode

MRM Mode is used for arming and launching missiles against targets at ranges over five miles. Radar data is fed into the computer which displays the information on the HUD that you can use to launch AIM-7 and AIM-120 missile types.

[{Art: ##: HUDMRM} 1. Gun Cross, 2. Waypoint Caret, 3. AA TD Box, 4. Target Range Scale, 5. Target Range Caret, 6. Rmin and RMax, 7. ASE, 8. Aim Dot]

In MRM Mode, the following special information appears on the HUD:

  • Gun Cross: A cross indicates where the internal gun is aimed.
  • Waypoint Caret: A caret under the heading scale shows where to turn to reach the next waypoint.
  • AA TD Box: A box shows where the target is located inside the HUD frame. In the box, you can visually acquire the target that has been locked by the radar.
  • Target Range Scale: A line next to the altitude meter brackets the maximum and minimum range of the missile.
  • Target Range Caret: Next to the target range scale, a small caret shows where the target is located inside that range.
  • Rmin and Rmax: Two hash marks on the range scale denote the maximum and minimum distances at which the selected missile can be launched at this target.
  • ASE: A circle in the center of the HUD, the Allowable Steering Error indicator represents the zone in which the missile warhead is seeking targets. To launch a weapon, steer the aim dot into this circle and check to see if the target range caret is inside the target range scale.
  • Aim Dot: A small dot shows the possible off-boresight angle for launching the missile. If the aim dot is inside the ASE circle, it is likely that a launched missile will hit the target. If the dot is outside the circle, it will probably miss.

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Air Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Aspect Angle (degrees)

Selected Weapon and Remaining Stores

Time to weapon impact (Min)

CCIP Mode

The Continuously Computed Impact Point (CCIP) mode is the main interface in the HUD for targeting ground objects. Dumb and laser-guided bombs are dropped through this mechanism. Derivatives of it are used to target the HARM and TV missiles.

Please see the Using Air-to-Ground Weapons section on p. xxx for information on how these weapons are launched.

[{Art: ##: HUDCCIP} 1. CCIP Reticle, 2. Bomb Fall Line, 3. Delayed CCIP Symbol, 4. Laser TD Box, 5. AG TD Box, 6. FLIR]

CCIP Mode contains the following additional displays:

  • CCIP Reticle: The computer calculates the point of aim for the ground weapon that is represented on the HUD by this circle.
  • Aiming Piper: A dot inside the reticle where the weapon is targeted to impact.
  • Bomb Fall Line: A vertical line from the aiming Piper to the horizon that connects the target to the vector at which the plane is traveling.
  • Delayed CCIP Symbol: An indicator that the target cannot be reached given the planeís current position and weapon parameters. If the CCIP goes into Delayed mode, the bombs are automatically dropped when launch parameters are acquired. A figure on the right side of the HUD indicates the time until the plane is able to launch the weapon.
  • Laser TD Box: A box illustrates the radarís line of sight to a laser designation point on the ground. It is used for the laser-targeted weapons.
  • AG TD Box: A box appears around ground objects which can be designated as targets. When a box and the Aim Dot are inside the ASE circle, drop the bomb.
  • FLIR: This symbol shows the FLIR line of sight.

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Ground Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Range to Waypoint (nm)

Selected Weapon and Remaining Stores

Delay Time

AA Gun Mode

The AA Gun mode is used for firing at air targets with the internal machine gun. Within a range, the gun can follow the radarís tracking. The on-board computer calculates adjustments to the aiming piper for relative speed and distance, so the boresight rarely appears directly over the target. The radar also conveys whether the target is friend or foe by placing an X through the TD box of friendlies.

[{Art: ##: HUDGUN} 1. Gun Cross, 2. Waypoint Cue, 3. AA TD Box, 4. Target Range Scale, 5. Target Range Caret, 6. Rmin and Rmax, 7. Gun Reticle, 8. Gun Piper, 9. Gun Boresight]

The additional displays for AA Gun mode are the following:

  • Gun Cross: A cross indicates where the internal gun is aimed.
  • Waypoint Caret: A caret under the heading scale shows where to turn to reach the next waypoint.
  • AA TD Box: A box shows where the target is located inside the HUD frame. In the box, you can visually acquire the target that has been locked by the radar. An X is placed in this box if the target is identified as a friendly one.
  • Target Range Scale: A line next to the altitude meter brackets the maximum and minimum range of the missile.
  • Target Range Caret: Next to the target range scale, a small caret shows where the target is located inside that range.
  • Rmin and Rmax: Two hash marks on the range scale denote the maximum and minimum distances at which the selected missile can be launched at this target.
  • Gun Reticle and Piper: The reticle is a circle inside of which is a small dot, the piper. The reticle indicates the gun boresight and the range. The piper shows where the gun is aimed.

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Air Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Aspect Angle (degrees)

Selected Weapon and Remaining Stores

Time to weapon impact (Min)

STRAFF Mode

STRAFF mode is used to attack targets on the ground with the planeís machine gun. The STRAFF Mode appearance and usage are similar to the CCIP HUD Mode. Please see that section on p. xxx or Using Air-to-Ground Weapons on p. xxx for more information.

In STRAFF Mode, this information is also displayed:

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Air Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Aspect Angle (degrees)

Selected Weapon and Remaining Stores

Time to weapon impact (Min)

TV Missile Mode

TV Missile Mode is used to attack ground sites with the television-aimed missiles, like the Walleye and the Popeye. The HUD displays only the missile boresight when the missile is on-board. It has no effect on the missile during its flight.

[{Art: ##: HUDTV} 1. TV Piper, 2. FLIR, 3. Laser TD Box, 4. AG TD Box]

The additional information for the TV Missile HUD mode:

  • TV Piper: A circle with a dot in the middle of it shows you where to aim in order to launch the missile towards the target.
  • FLIR: The symbol that indicates the FLIR line of sight.
  • LASER TD Box: An indication of the line of sight to a laser mark on the ground.
  • AG TD Box: This symbol represents the line of sight to a radar ground object.

Alphanumeric Contents

Left Side

Right Side

Thrust (%)

Range to Ground Target (nm)

Current Gravity (G)

Distance to Waypoint (nm)

Selected Weapon and Remaining Stores

(empty)


MFD

The MFDs, or multifunction displays, are small video screens that appear on the front panel of the cockpit. Usually, a cockpit contains two MFDs to allow you to track multiple ship systems at the same time.

[{Art: ##: MFD} 1. Mode Button, 2. Menu Button]

Surrounding each MFD are buttons that activate different functions depending on the MFD mode. A buttonís function is described in the text next to it on the video screen. Two buttons are consistent in every MFD mode.

  • MODE: Toggles between different modes of the MFD, depending on whether the radar is in Air-to-Air Mode or Air-to-Ground mode.
  • MENU: Opens Menu MFD which allows you to access any of the MFD modes and screens.
  • To change the MFD mode, use the mouse and left-click to press the MENU or MODE buttons on the MFD. Or, use the keyboard.

The following keyboard commands toggle MFD modes.

  • Z: Toggles full-screen MFD mode.
  • R: Toggles radar air-to-air and air-to-ground modes.
  • Q: Cycles through radar modes under AA or AG.
  • I: Toggles FLIR mode.
  • D: Toggles Damage Report MFD screen.
  • N: Toggles NAV (Navigation) radar mode.

Selecting any weapon except the gun activates an MFD mode. Air-to-air missiles have their own MFD mode, and so do bombs. FLIR and the TV missiles have their own MFD modes. For more information, please see those sections.

Menu MFD

[{Art: ##: MFDMENU} 1. Go to Navigational MFD, 2. Go to FLIR MFD]

Pressing the MENU button on the MFD brings up a screen of options indicating the different MFDs that you can access by pressing the buttons next to the text. Most MFDs can be accessed directly from the keyboard.

Air-to-Air Radar MFD

When you toggle the air-to-air radar modes or select Radar from the Menu MFD, you can access the three main Air-to-Air modes: Long-Range Search (p. xxx), Track While Scan (p. xxx), and Air Combat Mode (p. xxx). Please see those sections for details.

  • The bracket keys ([ and ]) change the range of the radar.

FLIR MFD

Through the FLIR MFD, you control the aim and targeting of the Forward-Looking Infrared Radar that must be attached to a hardpoint in the Arming screen prior to the mission. For more information, see the Forward-Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) section on p. xxx.

  • To activate the FLIR MFD, press the I key.

TV Missile MFD

[{Art: ##: MFDTV} (no callouts)]

When a TV missile is launched, the MFD automatically displays the TV missile camera picture. To steer the missile to its target, press the CTRL key and use the joystick to control its flight. Make sure that your plane is headed on a level path before switching over the joystick control. To regain control of the plane through the joystick, release the CTRL key.

  • Maverick missiles: When a Maverick missile has been selected, the MFD becomes the TV MFD. To aim the TV camera at a target, press the SHIFT key and then the ARROW KEYS. When the target is aligned in the crosshairs, press the SPACEBAR or the joystick button to lock onto the target, and press it once again to release the weapon. After release, the Maverick is self-guiding.
  • GBU and Popeye missiles: These missiles require human steering to reach their targets. Aim and fire the weapon like a Maverick missile. When the weapon is released, press CTRL and the ARROW KEYS or joystick to drive the missile to target.

HARM MFD

When you select a HARM missile to launch, the MFD switched to the HARM MFD. It is used exclusively for aiming the AGM-65 Shrike and the AGM-88 anti-radiation missiles. When you have locked onto a target within the missileís parameters, you can launch the missile. The missile homes in on the radiation from the SAM siteís radar. While the AGM-88 has its own internal homing device, you must steer the AGM-65 Maverick to target. See Using Air-to-Ground Weapons on p. xxx for more.

[{Art: ##: MFDHARM} 1. ASE, 2. Aim Dot, 3. AG TD Box, 4 Target]

The HARM mode is a ground-targeting mode that has the following extra information:

  • ASE: A circle in the center of the HUD, the Allowable Steering Error indicator represents the zone in which the missile warhead is seeking targets. To launch a weapon, steer the aim dot into this circle and check to see if the target range caret is inside the target range scale.
  • Aim Dot: A small dot shows the possible off-boresight angle for launching the missile. If the aim dot is inside the ASE circle, it is likely that a launched missile will hit the target. If the dot is outside the circle, it will probably miss.
  • AG TD Box: A box appears around ground objects that can be designated as targets.

RWR MFD

Through the Radar Warning Receiver MFD, you can track threats to your plane. When another radar has locked onto your plane, the RWR is activated in the MFD.

The RWR system is only available on the F-15 and the Lavi. For more information, see the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) section on p. xxx.

AG Weapon MFD

When an air-to-ground weapon mode is selected, the MFD screen switches to AG weapon mode. The contents of the MFD depend on which bomb has been selected. See the MAP Mode section on p. xxx or the GMT Mode section on p. xxx.

  • The bracket keys ([ and ]) change the range of the radar.

Damage and System MFD

[{Art: ##: MFDDAM} 1. System, 2. Status]

The Damage and System MFD lists the most important systems on the plane and their current status. Functional systems are listed as GO, while damaged or malfunctioning systems are listed as NO GO.

  • To bring up the Damage and System MFD, press the D key.

Navigation Information MFD

In the Navigational Information MFD, you can review the waypoints for your mission. For a clear view of how they are positioned relative to each other, press the TILDE (~) key to go to the Tactical Display. See Tactical Display on p. xxx for more.

[{Art: ##: MFDNAV} (1. Scroll to other waypoints, 2. Miles to waypoint, 3. Bearing to waypoint, 4. Estimated Time of Arrival, 5. Menu MFD button)]

The navigational computer constantly updates waypoint information in this MFD. You can see the miles and bearing measures change as you fly.

Use the buttons next to the arrows on the screen to scroll to other waypoints. In the bottom-right corner is an estimate of your time to arrive at the next waypoint.

Tactical Situation MFD

[{Art: ##: MFDTACT} (1. Toggles SAM sites, 2. Toggles Waypoints, 3. Toggles Map, 4. Toggles the limits of your scanning range)]

The Tactical Situation MFD displays a series of overlays the center of which is the plane. It is a good tool for maintaining a high situational awareness as you fly. From a set of buttons on the right, you can overlay the following information.

  • SAM: Displays known SAM sites.
  • WPT: Displays waypoints that are visible in the current range of the screen.
  • MAP: Shows a rough topographical map of the terrain over which you are currently flying.
  • SCL: Shows the limits of your radarís scanning range.

On the left side of the screen are two arrows on the screen next to buttons that change the magnification of the map.

Attitude Indicator MFD

In modern planes like the F-15 and the Lavi, the Attitude Indicator is an overlay in the MFD instead of a separate instrument.

[{Art: ##: MFDATTI} (1. Attitude Indicator bar)]

The Attitude Indicator is simply a straight line across the MFD that shows the aircraftís position relative to the plane of the ground. At each end of the line, two short lines point in the direction of the ground. In older planes, it is a flight instrument.


Radar

Most dogfights are won and lost before the fighters even visually acquire each other. You want to use your radar to detect the bandit and to get behind him before he even detects you. Knowing how to use your radar can be the key to success.

In its nose cone, the F-15 holds one of the most sophisticated airplane radars in the world. While the radar has nine different modes, you generally move between five modes during the game.

Other planes in the game have different radar functionality. Those differences are listed in the sections following this one.

Air-to-Air Radar Modes

LONG RANGE SEARCH (LRS): Long Range Search mode facilitates the discovery of enemy targets before they discover you. Use it when you are flying in what seem to be clear skies.

TRACK WHILE SCAN (TWS): To track and prioritize targets by threat, switch to Track While Scan. This mode has a shorter range than LRS.

AIR COMBAT MODE (ACM): In Air Combat Mode, the radar fully automates the selection of targets so you can concentrate on aiming and firing weapons.

BORESIGHT (BORE): A short-range mode, BORE mode can get you a fast lock on a target if it is within the frame of the HUD. The radar rapidly targets and acquires any object within ten nautical miles if it is visible inside the HUD frame.

SINGLE TARGET TRACK (STT): A sub-mode of LRS, TWS, and ACM modes, Single Target Track helps to acquire and hold onto a feisty enemy. When you have acquired a single enemy on radar, it shifts to this mode automatically.

Common Elements in Air-to-Air Modes

[{Art: ##: RadCom} 1. Range scale, 2. Waypoint symbol, 3. Horizon line, 4. Antenna Carets, 5. Cursors)]

Each Air-to-Air mode has common elements which are listed below.

  • Range Scale: Next to two arrows on the left side of the screen are buttons which change the radar range control. Available ranges (in nautical miles): 5, 10, 20, 40, 80, and 160.
  • Waypoint Symbol: A small triangle indicates the current point towards which you should steer, environment permitting.
  • Horizon Line: On all radar screens, a line in the middle of the screen simulates the horizon. When the plane is flying parallel to the ground, the line is horizontal.
  • Antenna Carets: A vertical and a horizontal caret show the current scanning position of the radar antenna in azimuth and elevation.
  • Cursors: When you move the cursor over the MFD, two vertical lines appear as the cursor. Moving the cursor over a target and pressing the left mouse button acquires that target.

Air-to-Ground Radar Modes

MAP (MAP): Map mode scans the terrain and displays the radar image of it on the MFD. Large or radar-reflective objects appear as synthetic targets on the map display.

GROUND MOVING TARGET (GMT): When objects move on the ground, you can track their progress when the radar is in Ground Moving Target mode.

Other Modes

OFF (OFF): When the planeís power is turned on, the radar is in OFF mode. When the radar is powered up, you can no longer turn the radar to OFF mode.

STANDBY (STBY): Standby mode turns off the interrogation functions of the radar so your plane no longer emits radiation. Thus, you are harder to detect. Use Standby to sneak up on bandits.

Main Radar Functions

The following are the main radar functions, organized by how you might use them while acquiring, targeting, and attacking an enemy.

  • Toggling between Air-to-Air and Air-to-Ground: You can switch between air and ground radar modes by pressing the R key.
  • Switching radar modes: In air-to-air mode, you cycle through LRS, TWS and ACM modes. In air-to-ground mode, you toggle between MAP and GMT modes. To switch modes, use the Q key or press the MODE button on the MFD.
  • Switching air targets: To switch to a new target, press the ENTER key. The radar chooses which target is the next highest priority and designates it as the Priority target. In the short-range AA modes, the radar automatically switches into Single Target Tracking (STT) mode.
  • Switching ground targets: To choose a ground target, you must be in Ground Moving Target (GMT) mode. To let the computer designate the target, press the ENTER key. To reject that target and to acquire the next closest target, press ENTER again.

Player Controls

[{Art: ##: RadOFF} 1. Mode Toggle Button]

Since the radar is vital to a pilotís survival in the air, it is important that you are comfortable with managing your radar systems. You can activate radar functions with joystick, mouse and keyboard. Most flyers use the keyboard the cockpit systems and the joystick for flight control, but you should find the setup that works for you.

In the Preferences box, you can configure a joystick button to switch between radar modes or to switch between targets or both. Experiment with the configuration of your joystick. For more information, see Preferences on p. xxx.

By pressing the ALT or CAPS LOCK button, you can activate mouse control over the cockpit. Clicking on buttons in the MFD activates those functions. Please see the Radar MFD section on p. xxx for how to operate those screens.

From the keyboard you can perform these radar functions.

R: Turns radar on; afterwards, toggles between air-to-air and air-to-ground modes.

S: Switches radar to Standby (STBY) mode.

ENTER: Cycles through targets, if you make a short press of the key. Do not press and hold the key, as a longer press performs a different function.

\: Switches to Boresight (BORE) mode.

BACKSPACE: Breaks lock on current target; rejects target.

Q: Switches radar modes within air-to-air and air-to-ground. For example, if you are in air-to-ground mode, this key toggles between GMT and MAP modes.

<: Decreases radar screen scale.

>: Increases radar screen scale.

OFF Mode

[{Art: ##: RadOFF} 1. Mode Toggle Button]

When you start a mission on the ground, your radar is OFF. Pressing the button above the OFF text on the MFD turns the radar to Standby (STBY). Pressing the button again turns the radar into Operate mode; it is now receiving and processing radar data. Continuing to press this button switches between the three main radar modes: LRS, TWS and ACM. OFF is no longer available.

Standby Mode

[{Art: ##: RadSTBY} 1. Mode Toggle Button]

Standby Mode limits the emissions that come from operating the active modes of your radar. If you want to sneak through an area, put the radar in Standby mode.

You can still detect objects passively; objects detected when the radar is in STBY mode appear in the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR).See Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) on p. xxx for more.

  • To toggle the radar in and out of Standby mode, press the S key.

Long Range Search Mode

Long Range Search mode seeks to acquire targets beyond visual range, giving you the maximum amount of time to identify the target and to prepare for combat against identified bandits. Of all the air radar modes, LRS provides the best detection capabilities, but it provides no information about targets other than their locations.

[{Art: ##: RadLRS} 1. Radar Mode, 2. Screen Range, 3. Cursors, 4. LRS-Target Symbol]

When a target appears on the MFD radar screen, you can press a mouse button to acquire the target. Keyboard commands in LRS include the following:

ENTER: Acquires the target nearest to the plane and automatically switches to Single Target Track (STT) mode.

BACKSPACE: Switches from STT back to LRS mode.

If you suspect that there are multiple targets out there, it is best to return the radar to LRS mode to acquire these other targets.

Track While Scan Mode

In Track While Scan, you can gain high resolution of the target environment in front of you. The radar performs multiple detections of targets to calculate their vectors within the radarís field of view. The radar can track up to ten different targets simultaneously. Because of the greater precision of this mode, TWS has a shorter range than LRS mode.

[{Art: ##: RadTWS} 1. Priority Target Speed, 2.Priority Target Aspect, 3. TWS Target Vector, 4. Current Weapon Maximum Range, 5. Priority Target, 6. Closure Speed, 7. Your Mach Speed, 8. Your Altitude, 9. Radar Mode]

You can designate one of the targets on-screen as the Priority target to which the radar pays close attention. The Priority target is treated as if the radar was in STT mode following this target.

  • To select a Priority target, left-click the mouse button over it. Or, press the ENTER key to allow the planeís computer to designate the Priority target for you. Pressing ENTER again changes the Priority to the next closest target. If you fire an active radar missile on a target, the radar switches to STT on the target. You must illuminate the target for the missile until it can acquire the target with its on-board homing systems.

Air Combat Mode

When you are in close quarters combat, switch to Air Combat Mode to turn almost all radar functions to the computer. When reaction times are paramount, you donít want to have your eyes glued to the MFD.

[{Art: ##: RadACM} 1. ACM Mode, 2. Range Scale, 3. Horizon line, 4. Waypoint]

In Air Combat Mode, the first target that enters the radarís scan zone is locked into STT mode. You then can deploy your selected weapon. To switch targets, press BACKSPACE to re-enter ACM mode where the radar selects the target with the next highest Priority and promptly returns to STT mode. If there is no target in the scan zone, ACM waits until one enters the scan zone before returning to STT.

You automatically enter ACM when you switch to the air-to-air gun.

Single Target Track Mode

Single Target Track (STT) mode assists you when you need to constantly acquire a single target. When you are ready to shoot something out of the sky, switch to STT and launch your selected weapon when you are inside its parameters.

[{Art: ##: RadSTT} 1. STT mode, 2. Screen Range, 3. Cursors, 4. Waypoint Symbol, 5. Antenna Caret, 6. Heading, 7. Closure Speed, 8. Min and Max Range]

STT cannot be activated from MFD menus or keyboard commands. In one of the air-to-air modes, you must acquire a target and designate it as the Priority target. In so doing, you enter STT mode.

Only one target is shown on the screen in STT mode, and the search range on the screen automatically adjusts depending on the range to the target. Data from the radar is fed directly to the systems of the selected weapon and to the gun aiming device. STT is designed to give you the best chance to make the kill.

How to utilize this screen to your advantage depends on what you are trying to accomplish with this target. For targets at longer range, it can be useful to identify the targetís intentions and whether it is friend or foe. At shorter ranges, STT allows the radar to focus on the target so that you can launch missiles against it. At the shortest ranges, use STT to make the kill, or switch to BORE mode for targets that you are trying to keep in front of your plane.

Boresight Mode

At some short ranges, you may want to get a fast lock on a target that is directly in front of you. Boresight (BORE) mode is useful if you can keep the target in front of your plane and close to it. Boresight radar mode has a very narrow and short scanning code, but it is highly effective for finding targets.

[{Art: ##: RadBORE} 1. CALLOUTS]

  • To enter Boresight mode, you steer your plane to a point where the target is visible inside the frame of the HUD and at a distance of no more than ten nautical miles. To enter Boresight mode, press and hold the BACKSLASH (\) key. When the target is acquired, release the key, and the radar enters STT mode. If you have not acquired a target, releasing the key returns the radar to the previous mode.

Identify Friend or Foe

Identify Friend or Foe is another interrogation function that is important in air-to-air engagements. IFF allows a plane to interrogate another to determine its nationality.

  • To IFF another plane, designate that plane as your target and then press the U key. You hear distinct tones if the interrogated plane is friend or if it is foe.

Map Mode

MAP mode is the primary Air-to-Ground radar mode and is suitable for striking at stationary objects. MAP interrogates the terrain below you and reports the contours onto the MFD radar screen, regardless of the weather and visibility conditions. In hilly terrain, it is a good habit to periodically check MAP mode.

[{Art: ##: RadMAP} 1. NORM/EXP mode, 2. Reflecting target, 3. Designated spot, 4. Antenna Caret, 5. X,Y Cursors]

Large objects such as runways and buildings appear in MAP. These objects can be targeted and designated for the weapons system.

When entering MAP mode, change the range scale of the screen. Designate a spot on the screen by clicking on it, or allow the computer to do so by pressing the ENTER key. A designation spot remains on the MFD screen, and the AG TD box in the HUD points to the location. To break a target designation, click on another spot or press the BACKSPACE key again.

  • To change the scale of the map, press the zoom mode toggle on the MFD display.

Ground Moving Target Mode

Use GMT mode to track, acquire and attack targets on ground or water surfaces. GMT is useful against tanks, convoys and ships.

When a target is detected, you can designate it as GMTT, the Priority target for the mode. The GMTT option facilitates weapons delivery and enables easy visual identification.

[{Art: ##: RadGMT} 1. Moving Targets, 2. Horizon Line, 3. X, Y Cursors, 4. Designated Target (GMTT), 5. Antenna Caret]

When you enter GMT, the radar begins scanning the ground for moving targets. You can change the radar screen range to your requirements. Targets that are detected are displayed on the MFD. To designate the Priority target (GMTT), press the ENTER key or click on it with the mouse. Pressing the ENTER key repeatedly cycles through the identified targets as the GMTT. To break the lock and begin the scan again, press the BACKSLASH key.



 
Home
Top of the Page
Email
  corner

(c) 2007 Steven P. Olson. All rights reserved. Samples are for demonstration purposes only.