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Thread: AAR

  1. #1
    Retired pilot Ski's Avatar
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    AAR

    Any suggestions on aerial refueling? I'm struggling to hook up.

  2. #2
    Senior Member PFunk's Avatar
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    Nothing but the generic stuff from the ED boards. Don't chase the boom, hold formation with parts of the aircraft behind the boom to maintain depth awareness, trim level before hook up, understand that you have to stay ahead of the power changes because if you just keep reacting you'll end up oscillating. I use a 1:1 stick curve and before I had that I found that inputs felt sluggish as they were dampened along the curve. If you have a split throttle you can "walk" them by moving only one at a time to get finer control of power levels.

    Oh, my best tip is relax, breath, if you're too tense you'll screw it up for sure. Last cliche of the day is that it generally just clicks. One day you can't hook up, then suddenly you're on the boom for 2 and a half minutes and it felt almost too easy. Thats how it was for me. Its been at least a month since my last hook up though so I imagine I'll mess up the next one. It involves a lot of practice. There is hardly a more perishable skill in the aircraft I think.

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    Retired pilot Reaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PFunk View Post
    It involves a lot of practice. There is hardly a more perishable skill in the aircraft I think.
    Exactly what he said here. Throttle manipulation is key and trim for the tanker's speed before you connect.

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    Ski (06Jul14)

  6. #4
    As PFunk has already said, there's no big secret to AAR. One day you can't do it, the next you can, only practice will get you from one to the other.

    There are as many "tips" and "tricks" as there are people, but ultimately what works for one person won't work for the next, you just need to find your own technique.

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    Ski (06Jul14)

  8. #5

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    Well, I actually trim down a shitload before hooking up.
    Doing so forces me to have a continues pull on the stick, making me feel more in control.

    Otherwise, like the guys said: work the throttle. Do it aggressively. Don't wait for the response from the jet, or you will be to late. It's something you have to learn.

    Keyword here is practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, practice, ....

    Providing CAS when you're all out of HUA!

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  10. #6
    76th vFS Pilot Griffin's Avatar
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    There is as much right answers in this thread as there is answers to your question! When I try to not chase the boom, or to breath gently I fail it pretty bad! But it works for PFunk obviously. In my case I need to `stop` breathing, chase the boom and brake others advice - itīs just all about making things done in your own way and find out your own secrets through practice.

    Even tough you have trained as much as possible, you may still have bad days (really bad days). A little tip that helps, is starting AAR practice a bit more heavy, so the ACFT wonīt behave so erratic. It also helps with the psychological bit to refuel `smaller` amounts of fuel in the beginning - cause a small victory is still a victory!

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    Senior Member PFunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuka View Post
    Well, I actually trim down a shitload before hooking up.
    Doing so forces me to have a continues pull on the stick, making me feel more in control.
    Thats probably the result of you having a better stick than me. But on reflection I'd say thats true, I rarely manage to have totally level trim, owing probably to the trim resolution in DCS being coarser than it is in real life (maybe not), and I always prefer to be a bit nose heavy than tail heavy on the boom. If my stick weren't as crap I'd probably prefer nose heavy all the time. With what I have currently for a stick if I have too much nose heavy trim my nose up inputs feel jumpy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snooze View Post
    When I try to not chase the boom, or to breath gently I fail it pretty bad! But it works for PFunk obviously. In my case I need to `stop` breathing, chase the boom and brake others advice - itīs just all about making things done in your own way and find out your own secrets through practice.
    I used to chase the boom, now I just chase the pocket. The boom finds you just fine as long as you're in the pocket and for me the hardest part is being at the right relative elevation to the tanker itself. If I just chase the boom and ignore my relative positioning I'll hook up but eventually drift too high or low or close and that can be awfully dangerous. The thing I pay most attention to on the boom is the coloured paint, but even then I perceive it as my depth within the pocket, no just on the boom. You can be at the right depth on the boom but too high or low on the pocket and get a disconnect that way.

    Nowadays if I'm on the boom but sense my position in the pocket is close to the margins I try to maneuver back to its centre and the boom doesn't tell you this nearly as well as the visual cues from the tanker's fuselage and engine nacelles themselves.

    I suppose everyone has their own way of conceptualizing the process though.

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    Stuka (06Jul14)

  13. #8
    Member ZeroMass's Avatar
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    One suggestion from me is to try and zoom out a little bit. I zoom out till I can see the tanker position lights. With that zoom level, you see what you normally would see in your peripheral vision in real life. It helps me keep track of small bank and fwd/aft errors. Won't say it will necessarily work for you, but yeah, try it out a couple of times. Just make sure you are well trimmed out for the Tanker airspeed before you zoom out, since after zooming out it's hard to read the HUD. You could set up the CDU Repeater to show you the IAS, since it's a bit larger, but still, hard to read.

    Also, I strongly discourage you to chase the boom. AAR is nothing more but flying formation with the tanker. Obviously you can look at the colour indication of the boom for your fwd/aft position, but chasing the boom as in chasing the end point of it, that's just bad practice IMO. You know, just fly to the correct position for AAR and try to set up some references. I, for example, try to keep the "holes" between the tankers fuselage + wings and the A-10 Canopy rail equal and the same size throughout the refueling process. I only look at the boom for fwd/aft corrections.

    I hope this helps. If you have any questions, ask me.

  14. #9
    And avoid a death grip on the stick. If you can't force yourself to relax your grip then wriggle your fingers a little, works a treat

  15. #10
    Member Dojo's Avatar
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    Ski, as others have said, many different ways to tackle this, finding reference points are key. Also, I wanted to point you at Maple Flag Missions (link below). They are "pay to play", but the AAR mission is 99 cents (you could get the entire package of their so-called "advanced flight training" for $5 US.)

    Relative to generally available missions, Maple Flag's productions are quite high fidelity in my opinion.

    What's particularly nice about their AAR mission, is it also teaches the RV Delta procedure (a particular way to intercept the tanker, which from my comparison of public 476th documents, is virtually identical.) That is, not only can you work on your AAR, you can also learn the entire procedure in a fun and realistic way. The miz file comes with a PDF that describes the entire procedure quite straight forwardly (also included in the briefing).

    I've owned their entire package (BFT, AFT, TT) for some time, I've been quite happy, great way to learn and practice on your own.

    Best of luck, practice practice practice.

    http://www3.sympatico.ca/tlaschuk/ma...s/dcsa10c.html

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