Harrier nerf

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Xpendable
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Harrier nerf

Post by Xpendable »

So in one of the last 2 patches they severely reduced the power of the Harrier's engine. I don't know if the FM is more realistic now or not, but I do know some things were not right before. For example, I used to be able to stay in a hover for a really long time without overheating the engine or using water, and still having a decent amount of fuel (like 70%). That is no longer the case. I'm unable to even get it into a hover with more than 30% fuel (no stores, no water). Again, not sure this realistic or not. Definitely it is not as much to fly anymore (at least in the hover). I've recently become friends with a real former Harrier pilot who also happens to fly DCS, and I've asked him to checkout the Harrier after the recent patch and give me feedback on what he thinks. He's already told me a bunch of things are not right about the FM prior to the patch - it'll be interesting to see what his views are now.

I used to perform a Harrier airshow where half the 9 minute performance was done in a hover. That will no longer be possible unless I fly with a significantly lower fuel level and drop the smoke pods. I don't really care anyway, I'm more interested in combat these days anyway.
Grifter
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Grifter »

Yeah, it has to be bittersweet. I can imagine it was fun having that ability and it kind of sucks they took it away. Not sure the changes are more realistic. Having a hard time trusting RazBam these days. I'm hesitant to get back into the Mirage for that reason, but it does seem like it's working the way it should for the most part. I'll be very interested to hear what your ex-Harrier pilot friend has to say about the Harrier's new FM.
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Jedi Master
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Jedi Master »

TBH I don't know if I ever really saw a Harrier in a hover for more than a couple of minutes, and that was usually at airshows only. Operationally they seemed to be only at the end of a flight when fuel was low already.

Can't speak to the water situation as you can't tell from outside if they're using it or not.
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Hammer
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Hammer »

I have seen them hover longer than 2 minutes at the Miramar air show. Never timed it, but definitely longer than 2 minutes. Talk about LOUD.

Xpendable, I would be interested in your buddy's feedback. Any chance he might join us for flights? That would be awesome, but we would probably need to set ground rules about enthusiastic questioning. :)
Helmut
Xpendable
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Xpendable »

Yep, I have seen them hover for longer than 2 minutes at EAA Airventure, multiple times, multiple years. Of course I have no way of knowing how much fuel he had. Could be realistic the way they have it now, I have no idea. My "friend" Harrier pilot is maybe misleading... I should have said he is more of a new acquaintance. I was put in touch with him by my actual friend who is the CEO of AOPA Australia. This Harrier pilot apparently flies sometimes on our MVP servers. Anyway, I'm hoping to become friends with the Harrier pilot, but so far we've just been chatting back and forth over Discord. As of yesterday he hadn't had a chance yet to check out the changes on the Harrier. I would probably have to get to know him better before I could get him over here.

That said, I do have a 3 friends that are retired military that I do fly with in DCS on a semi-regular basis. They are a hoot to fly with. One of them was a flight engineer on the V-22 Osprey and later a flight test engineer on the Osprey. The other two are fighter pilots, but they won't tell me what they flew because they are both still involved with the military even though they are retired. I know one still coordinates airforce flyovers at big stadiums, and the other is involved in training pilots somehow. Anyway, they are a whole level above when they fly combat. It's hard to keep up! I always learn something when I fly with them.
Hammer
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Hammer »

dude, any real experience is welcome. it is up to you when/if you would be ready to ask them along, and as long as they do not mind our amateurish attempts. :) of course you need to be enjoying the flights with us as well.
Helmut
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Jedi Master »

They won't say what they flew? That's unusual. It's one thing to not give specifics about where they flew them, or what they saw, or how the planes did things, but to stay mum on the actual platform is odd.
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Xpendable
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Xpendable »

It's because they are still involved with the military as private contractors, I think. And they don't really know who the person is on the other end of the Internet, to be honest. As they get to know me better, they might tell me. I was able to independently learn the Osprey guy's story, and he later opened up about it, but he doesn't talk about it on purpose. There's a reason for that, but I can't say anything more than that.
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Jedi Master »

When I worked as a contractor for the USAF, I met a wide variety of people, from astronauts who'd been on the shuttle and ISS to those who worked on the B-2 and even the semi-mythical Aurora among other things.

While they didn't say much about details, they were hardly what I would call cagey about it. Granted the B-2 guy had been off the project for over a decade and everyone knew they existed by then, and I didn't ask him anything in particular other than talk about how hard it had to have been to not be able to talk to his family about his work, which he confirmed was probably the hardest part about the entire job.

The Aurora guy volunteered to me that he'd worked on it when I'd been talking about the SR-71 for some reason and mentioned the whole retirement-brought back-retired again deal. His comment was along the lines of having worked on its replacement that got canceled. When I said I figured it was because the cost to develop them was too high compared to what we were getting from satellites and other platforms by then, he just replied "yeah pretty much."

So they told me nothing really that I didn't already know besides their personal involvement with the programs.
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Grifter
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Grifter »

Interesting. Well, we'd obviously respect their privacy and need to not talk about this stuff should they ever decide to join us for some flights. Would love to have experienced people join us. I'm sure we could learn a lot from them about flying combat.
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Jedi Master »

FWIW I have a 10 volume set I'm self-publishing on Amazon soon containing everything I don't know about flying.
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Grifter
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Grifter »

What will be the title?
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Xpendable
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Xpendable »

I talked to my Harrier guy again this morning, just briefly. He finally got to try out the Harrier with the new changes, briefly. He said the performance feels more realistic now. People flying around with 5000 lbs of fuel in a hover was not realistic - although it was fun as heck, it wasn't realistic. He said that below 150 knots, the flight model still needs work. For example, the nose pitch should change quite a bit when you move the nozzles, and it doesn't in this sim. He wishes that was fixed.
Xpendable
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Xpendable »

I talked to my Harrier friend some more. Last week he live streamed DCS on our MVP Discord channel so I could watch him fly the Harrier and ask him questions while he was flying. I learned a few things I didn't know, especially around pre-takeoff checks. I recorded it on my computer so I can study what he was doing. Unfortunately, it didn't pick up mouse clicks so it's hard to see what he was doing sometimes.

At any rate, I chatted with him a lot yesterday and learned that he flew a lot of combat missions in Afghanistan in 2003 but rarely got to drop anything, which was true of his whole squadron. I just finished reading "A Nightmare's Prayer" by Michael Franzak, which was his squadron XO at the time and the book is literally about the 12 months the squadron was there at Bagram. Any way, I asked if he ever got to drop on any of his sorties, and he did, but it was rare. He only got to drop Mk82 slicks and Snakeyes (never JDAMs) and fired a couple of mavericks. They always flew in pairs, and only 1 of the pair would get to take a Tpod. They didn't have many and they were expensive. There were only 6 Harriers total (out of 12) and 10 pilots (half the squadron) sent to Bagram, which the book confirms. He is not mentioned in the book by name, but there is a reference to 2 pilots having hard landings in bad weather at night and breaking the planes - I believe he was one of those pilots since I know he had an accident and broke his back while he was there.
Hammer
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Hammer »

very nice to be able to hear some of that first hand. if i only had time to read...
Helmut
Grifter
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Re: Harrier nerf

Post by Grifter »

Sounds fascinating. Feel terrible for the poor guy who broke his back. That must've been excruciating and I'm sure it still bothers him to this day to one degree or another. I will definitely add the book to my Kindle/Amazon wishlist.
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