F-22 Lightning 3

MiGMan’s Combat Diary


Usually the mission begins with you lined up on the take-off area. You can land at any airport though, head for the taxi-ways and make your way Back to the takeoff area. This is a fun way to check out the various buildings and the other aircraft. I even found Armoured Personnel Carriers parked about the place!

Lined up on the "piano keys" for takeoff. Notice the control tower on the left and further left, a C-5 galaxy transport aircraft.

On the takeoff roll, approaching 150 knots and passing an F-4 Phantom on the taxiway.

Rotate. Ease back on the joystick at 150 knots and the nose will lift, lifting the nosewheel from the runway and tilting the aircraft onto the rear undercarriage.

Liftoff


Adjust the joystick to a 10 or 20 degree climb. Raise the Gear, look out for other aircraft and steer towards the first navigation point.
Once in flight I found the flight model very tame and easy to control. In fact so easy, I felt a bit bored. Perhaps this is an accurate model of a Fly-By-Wire aircraft with all the "nasties" dampened by the computers?

Pyrotechnics

F22 scores pretty well in the fireworks department, except that all the air targets explode , none of them go fluttering to earth wingless or tail-less, and nobody ever bails out!.

Air to Air victims explode spectacularly.

A bridge

An ex-bridge

Dropping the Nuclear payload

In the interests of science I ran this mission a few times to bring you this sequence of pictures.
On the first attempt my aircraft was battered into teeny little bits by the blast wave.... my faithful wingman too. On the second attempt I sent the wingman home but I was still nicked by a SAM and then battered by the nuclear blast shock wave.
On the third attempt I dropped the device from about 20,000 feet then hauled out of there at max speed. I still experienced severe buffeting but the airframe only sustained minor damage.
A nuke causes damage via:
The Nuke has its fall retarded by a parachute. This gives you a bit more time to escape the blast radius... theoretically!
The distinctive mushroom cloud begins to form.
The shock wave expands.
As you can see the blast radius is quite impressive.
At this point I was feeling extreme buffeting in the airframe.
Finally the shock wave has dissipated and the fiery mushroom cloud faded.
Wild Weasel
The High Speed Anti-radiation Missile homes in on SAM radar emissions.

Virtual Cockpit


The Virtual cockpit (F5) allows you to see the target no matter where it is. Here you can see a friendly air target as a green blip on the cockpit radar and as an x-ed out target in the helmet mounted display.

Using the Tactical Map Display

The Map display - M - gives you a quick picture of where you are in relation to targets, airports, SAM sites and the navigation plan. Let's have a look at that information piece by piece.

Here is your F22 Your aircraft
flying towards Navigation point 3
An enemy aircraft.. actually there are two aircraft there. We know they are enemies because the computer has drawn them in RED. The White Circle around them means that they have been designated as a target.
Further to the right we see two FRIENDLY F-18 Hornets flying away.
The Light Blue Rectangle denotes a runway. This alignment of the runway is accurately shown, which is very helpful when planning your approach for landing.

Air to Air - Attack Display


The Attack Display - F11 - can be superimposed over any view and contains a wealth of information, similar in symbology to the Map Display.
When you have an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Command System) aloft in the area the F22 enjoys a 360 degree radar coverage. Without the AWACS download the radar cone covers about 90 degrees azimuth in front of the aircraft.
Your aircraft. Notice that unlike the map, which shows your direction of travel as it changes, the Attack Display shows the position of object in relation to the your aircraft, which is always shown as traveliing "up" the display, towards 12'o'clock in clock terms
Enemy aircraft
Friendly aircraft, heading away
The attack display also shows the range of objects. The range of the display can be adjusted with the S and X keys. In this example the display is showing 42 nautical miles and the selected target is at about 20 nautical miles range.
The CH-47 Chinook is a "heavy lifter" which can move men, supplies, vehicles and even heavy artillery pieces slung underneath.

F-16 Fighting Falcon
M-113 Armoured Personnel Carrier