Air to air refueling TE
I’d like some help in creating a simple TE with 1 tanker and 1 F-16.
I’ve done 2 TEs using the, but had 2 problems.
First TE - The tanker kept flying in circles, even after I requested for refuel, so basically I’m trying to hook up with the tanker that is constantly doing an orbit.
Second TE - The tanker did not fly any orbit around a steerpoint waiting for me to call for fuel. Instead it flew from STPT 2 to STPT 3 and back again in a straight line (which is good, since it flies straight between STPT 2 to 3, but I’d like it to orbit at STPT 2 until I call for fuel, then he should fly the ‘tanker track’ from STPT 2 to 3.
Anyone can give me a guide on how to create the TEp pls?
Tanker will flight direct (turn and straight to it) between it’s two tanker action waypoints. It doesn’t change this behavior during refuel, only airspeed and altitude to the refueling values (often descent and slow down). If there is only one waypoint I bet he keeps turning to fly through it (like autopilot if you don’t let steerpoint advance). If tanker waypoints are less than 30nm apart he will be doing more turning than straight.
Normal tanker flight plan is:
3 Tanker A (duration X hours)
4 Tanker B (duration X hours)
The idea of flying a hold at a waypoint (or between two) and then a radio trigger to depart a hold to move to a tanker track is not a function of Falcon. If you wanted this to be timmed (not triggered) then you would schedule a tanker track between 1 or more waypoints and then later it will move on to different waypoints and do a new tanker track. But this cannot be triggered by radio menus.
There is slight functionality like that: if the tanker is on station (= between tanker steerpoints), he will fly shortened track on the initial point. That is 1 or 2 minute track (I’ve measured, but don’t remember). After he gets a radio call for fuel, he starts to fly full action points track. And after the last chick in tow calls done, he resumes to shortened track on the initial point.
It is not a separate hold point, but it is short track until needed.
Frederf is correct: you have to have two tanker steerpoints, and some duration to stay on those. If the track is too short, he will turn often. If the tanker track is >100Nm, it will not anchor, but act as moving transfer tanker. (Never tested this, but this is what Boxer wrote here.)
About 50Nm track is good, you have good time to refuel. With practice refuelling in turn becomes easier, and you can use short tracks where it is operationally required.
There is some problem: for unknown reasons the tanker resets to either steerppoint when the thirsty bird changes. The logic is not obvious or robust: it should be the next steerpoing in sequence, and not start an extra turn. But it sometimes does. In worst case the tanker resets at a wrong time, and starts to circle around one steerpoint. Probably because he can’t reach it correctly because he is too close, and thus does not switch to the next steerpoint. The tanker tries to fly OVER the target steerpoint and then turn, so if it turns in very close, it may not have room to do 180+[proximity overturn]° and may get stuck circling.
If you look at the map, the tanker will fly oblique box around the two steerpoint line. The box orientation depends on the first approach to the initial point! You can choose the race track orientation by designing initial point approach vector. Once he turning direction is set, the shortest turn geometry stays stable. (It might change if the tanked diverts for some reason, but in practice it never does.)
We in the Stray Dogs try to switch the tanker between players only after the tanker has stabilized into level, and has extended a bit. Especially away from the initial point. If it resets to the previous steerpoint, it should have enough turning room to reach it then.
I personally design usually 50Nm legs, set the approach vector to initial point, and then draw an approximated obligue box around the steerpoints.
I never knew the tanker will hold at the first tanking waypoint until it activates the tanking dance. It always seemed like he was going the entire track while waiting. That could be very useful in practice. What point does the tanker resume holding at the end of the AAR activity? If it was always the first then you could keep the tanker anchored in a sensible spot between ARR events but still have a long track.
I think the “resetting between receivers” might be because not all of the flight was within 10nm when the group leader calls for rejoin. The correct way to refuel a 4-ship of human players is to give exactly 5 radio commands (1 rejoin, 4 dones). I’ve seen human pilots give too many commands.
The tanker holds on first point. It may or may not fly to the current stpt first, but then fall back original hold point. Yes, they made it like that to have some coarse control over its position.
I’m not sure about that. Stray Dogs do some large missions with refueling, but it also may do the extra turn even with two ships. The tanker control swaps, it continues to give fuel to the new guy, but turns. And if it turns at the wrong time, it may get stuck into constant turn.
Good tip anyway!
Measured the holding track: it’s 2min track, the tanker flies straight (towards next stpt) for 2min, and turns. Since this is his holding altitude and speed, it goes about 18Nm, possibly 20Nm when considering the turn circles. The turns are also about 2min (slightly less), 8min total. But the times are not exact: he flies it fluidly, as AI is really flying, not going in a rigid track. There are (very) minor variations, due to winds, turn overshoots and such. But since the AI is so good pilot, it is almost solid racetrack.
Couldn’t test any multiplayer ownership changes alone. But I have done it a lot with the Stray Dogs, and I can say it is nothing simple. I think it is the new owner of the tanker causes (or does not cause) the tanker current stpt switch. I’ll have to test that theory the next we fly refuel tests within the Wing.
Kenguan, have you got the TE working and Tanker keeping long track?
Kenguan, have you got the TE working and Tanker keeping long track?
Not yet, maybe in 3-4 weeks
Tried my TE, made the TGT steerpoint 2 & 3, 150nm apart, tanker does not anchor, flies from TGT stpt 2 to 3 and back again, for the duration of the patrol time.
Made another TE with TGT stpt 2 & 3 80nm apart, same thing, tanker does not anchor at TGT stpt 2…
I read that if the tanker steerpoint is more than 100nm, it will not anchor. But how come when I make the TGT stpt less than 100nm, it still does not anchor?
Have you tried changing the task and enroute_task for the waypoints to things like timing? Changing DTOT times?