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Thread: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

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    A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    I remember learning to fly the Spitfire. It was hard! For a while. The help from multiple YouTube tutorials and just trial and error slowly helped me learn to fly the wonderful aircraft of the Spitfire. However, the lack of written guides compelled me to make my own for people who are in the same boat that I was in when I tried to learn to fly this plane, and I hope all you new pilots will appreciate this guide. Therefore, I present . . .

    A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO FLYING THE SPITFIRE IN CLIFFS OF DOVER

    I will continue to update and improve this guide as needed, perhaps with pictures.

    PART ONE - THE SPITFIRE The Supermarine Spitfire was designed by R.J. Mitchell, the famous designer of the Schneider trophy winning seaplanes. Thus, from the beginning, the Spitfire was destined for speed. It first flew in 1936 and was loved by test pilots and ground crew alike. It played a vital role in defending Britain from the Nazis during the Battle of Britain. We will be focusing on the early mark Spitfires, specifically the Mark I and II aircraft. Let's start learning how to fly her.

    PART TWO - THE COCKPIT AND START-UP The cockpit of the Spitfire is extremely well laid out. All the buttons, levers, and switches that you will have to use are easily in reach, and with CloD's labeled clickable cockpit, it is easy to learn to use them. The main gauges you will have to monitor are the airspeed indicator, the altimeter, the RPM meter and the temperature meters. In the Spitfire, always try to keep your speed above 100 mph, and your altitude above 0. The oil temperatures should be kept between 40 and 90 degrees, and the coolant temps below 110 degrees. Other useful indicators are the compass, the undercarriage lights, and the artificial horizon.

    To start up the Spitfire, first, open the radiator all the way by using the (6) key and holding it, or by dragging the radiator lever forwards. Second, turn on both magnetos using the in-cockpit switches. Third, open the fuel cock, also with the in-cockpit button. Fourth, make sure the propeller pitch is in the fine (forward) position, and the throttle is open just a tiny bit. We'll leave the mixture control alone for now, but you can look up mixture controls yourself for better engine efficiency. Also, this is a good time to close the cockpit (O) and turn on the gunsight (L).

    Now, you can turn on the engine. To do this, hold the starter button (I) until you hear the engine catch. Congratulations, you've started the Spitfire. Now, idle the engine until your oil temperatures reach about 45 degrees. If you don't do this, the engine may sound VERY rough as you throttle up, and can result in engine damage.

    PART THREE - TAXI AND TAKEOFF To taxi to the runway, slowly advance the throttle until you start to move. You can turn your aircraft with the rudder, and slow it down with the wheel brakes (B). Slowly taxi until you reach the runway, or if you see a reasonably long stretch of flat grass ahead of you. Now comes the fun part. Smoothly advance the throttle to maximum power, while using the rudder to keep straight. In the Spitfire, because of the engine torque, you will not need to use left rudder, only right, as the plane will automatically want to turn left. Once your aircraft reaches about 90 mph, the tail will lift off the ground and you can slowly pull back on the stick. You're airborne.Once you are in controlled flight, raise the landing gear with (G) and reduce your propeller pitch to 85% (around 2800 rpm). Keep the aircraft in a steady climb to your desired altitude and then level off. Now let's get to the good stuff.

    PART FOUR - AIR COMBAT TACTICS The Spitfire is a kind of plane called a turnfighter, because, guess what, it turns very well. If you see a contact in the sky, head towards it until you can figure out if it is a friendly, or a bandit. If it is a Bf. 109, you can either choose to engage, or stay out of the fight. If you do decide to engage, make sure your gunsight is turned on and properly adjusted. Then head towards the 109. It is a good idea to climb a bit so you have the altitude advantage, and you will have the element of surprise if you attack from the direction of the sun. Remember, the 109 can outclimb and outdive the Spitfire, so don't chase him all the way to France if he's getting away unless you have the energy advantage to get a speed jump on him. When you close to firing range, which means you are close enough to see the black crosses on his wings, lead your target the right amount, and open fire. If done right, you should see strikes on his aircraft. Chances are, though, you will miss, and your tracers will alert the enemy pilot to your presence. He will then try to evade your line of fire, and you will have to follow him in order to shoot him down. The Spitfire will always be able to outturn a 109, so turn with him all you want. If the 109 tries to outturn you, he is at the mercy of your guns, and you will most likely be able to shoot him down. If he tries to climb or dive away, you can't follow, and your best bet is to keep him in sight and wait for him to attack you again, where your superior maneuverability will be able to be put to good use. If you have the energy advantage, which is more speed or altitude, you can move in to attack him. For instance if the Messerschmitt has lost a lot of speed trying to outturn you and then tries to disengage, you can follow him down and make the shot. If a 109 gets on your tail, TURN TURN TURN. Perform as many evasive maneuvers as you can, and once he loses some energy, you might be able to reverse the fight and get on him. Don't try to use the scissors against the 109, as his superior roll rate will have you for breakfast. Use the Spitfire's low speed turning to get on his tail. If you do need to escape, well, it's pretty hard to escape from a 109. You'll need to disengage when he's heading to opposite way from you so you can have the most separation between you and the 109. Then dive a bit form speed and punch the throttle to escape.

    PART FIVE - GENERAL FLIGHT AND LANDING The Spitfire is very easy to fly. The low wing loading and wing shape makes it easy to know when you are about to stall, and it is very easy to recover. (Opposite rudder, nose down) The visibility is quite good, although when on the ground the long nose can be a problem. You can taxi in a zig-zag pattern to see what's ahead of you when on the ground. Normal engine management for the Spitfire is to keep the mixture at 0% all the time, 100% throttle, 85% prop (2850 rpm), and 85% rads for climb and fighting. This is a great set and forget setting for the Spit. In the IIa the radiator can be closed a few notches further. It can also be closed more at altitudes above 20,000 feet. The Spitfire IIa can actually run at full rpm and 50% rads on the deck for quite a long time if you keep your speed up. It's good for running away from a sticky situation.

    The engine will cut out under negative G's, but this is only temporary and the engine will restart within a few seconds. This is because the Merlin engine is carbureted, not fuel injected.

    To land the Spitfire, decrease your speed to about 150 mph, and your altitude to about 500 ft AGL. Lower your flaps and landing gear here. Slowly descend with by reducing throttle and decrease your speed to about 100mph as you reach the runway. Now increase propeller pitch to maximum and cut the throttle. Pull the nose up a bit, and try to make the plane stall just as you touch down. Final touchdown speed is around 80mph. You may bounce a bit, and maybe even crash if you are a beginner, but once your plane is rolling down the runway, use the wheel brakes to slow down. Make sure you don't nose over by using too much wheel brakes though. Once you are on the ground and stopped, taxi off the runway, as others may wish to take off or land, and stop the engine by turning off the fuel cock, and then the magnetos. For some reason, once your engine is off, it is a good idea to CLOSE the radiator, as I think a bug in the sim makes the temps heat up if you keep it open. This won't happen though, if you turn into the wind. Then, put your wheel chocks in, open the canopy, and you're done. To rearm and refuel, make sure you've done all these shutdown procedures, and type in the chat. <rr100 . It rearms and refuels you, but only if you do not have any damage.

    Congratulations! You should now know how to fly the Spitfire in CloD.
    Last edited by ATAG_Flare; Sep-05-2017 at 17:55. Reason: Some small edits.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    A good start, but don't forget to let the plane warm up until the oil temp shows about 45-50 degrees C before starting your roll. After you are airborne and get the wheels up, pull your prop pitch back (assuming this is the ROTOL prop) until your RPMs are at about 2700 or lower or you will very quickly have a blown engine.

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Flare's Avatar
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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by =FI=Murph View Post
    A good start, but don't forget to let the plane warm up until the oil temp shows about 45-50 degrees C before starting your roll. After you are airborne and get the wheels up, pull your prop pitch back (assuming this is the ROTOL prop) until your RPMs are at about 2700 or lower or you will very quickly have a blown engine.
    Fixed temps part, see part 5 for engine management.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Nice job, Flare. Very succinctly explained.

    I mainly am a Blue flieger but oh occasionally I spoil myself and fly Red, though my choice mount on such occasions is usually the Hurricane. Choosing the 109 E-3 or the Hurri is mainly because of the tougher learning curves of both machines. Yeah, I probably am a masochist. But, thing is, I'm still sorting out my gear for CLoD and figure that if I master the ropes with tougher machines, I'll do better when everything's in place (I.e. my long awaited gear). Oddly, I have a far better success rate (kills and damages) flying the Spit than any other kite and dunno why!

    So, while my torment lasts, I'm always glad to read up stuff like yours that simplify the entire mystery and magic of successful a/c management on CLoD. I virtually drink in the versions on the 109. Thanks all the same, mate.

    Pirabee.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Thread stickied for easier future reference.

    Speaking as a fellow Clod Spittie pilot, this is a fantastic piece of work, Flare. I'll check with Lewis (who knows a thing or two about Clod Spits himself) and see if we can't get this incorporated into the ATAG Beginners Section.

    Cheers,

    Snapper



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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Snapper View Post
    Thread stickied for easier future reference.

    Speaking as a fellow Clod Spittie pilot, this is a fantastic piece of work, Flare. I'll check with Lewis (who knows a thing or two about Clod Spits himself) and see if we can't get this incorporated into the ATAG Beginners Section.

    Cheers,

    Snapper

    Thanks! I hope people will benefit from this guide. I guess I'll have to update it a bit if it's to become an "official" ATAG beginner's thread!

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by flare2000x View Post
    Thanks! I hope people will benefit from this guide. I guess I'll have to update it a bit if it's to become an "official" ATAG beginner's thread!
    Good intention and a hugh effort. The question is, if it make sence to mix together again already existing informations. See a results of a quick search:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/51503478/IL2CoD-MANUAL-UK#
    http://www.2gvsap.org/flea/OP2GvSAPINST_3710.1B.pdf
    http://www.plane-design.com/document...e%20Manual.pdf
    http://www.a2asimulations.com/wingso...ire_Manual.zip
    http://www.rodocapsa.cz/pdf/WoP3_Spitfire_Manual.pdf
    http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Im...pit2Manual.pdf
    http://www.zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Im...PIT9MANUAL.pdf

    What I mean is, you can write as many manuals as you like. What good does it, when players jump into the game without making himself smart in advance. Anyway..I wish you a lot of success for your new project!! It could close a gap here.

    Last edited by ATAG_ProArmis; Sep-03-2014 at 03:46.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Agree, tons of info out there on the Cliffs of Dover aircraft, including the Team Fusion Wikipedia which is linked at the top of this forum: http://www.theairtacticalassaultgrou..._ia_100_octane

    I liked the OP's own take on flying the Spit based on his own experience with Cliffs of Dover. Lots of new players just want to get flying right away and aren't up for navigating links to various outside sources, dealing with popups, etc. They just want the quick lowdown to get started quickly.

    I always appreciate someone's effort like the OP's to do this. Thanks to you, as well, for taking the time to provide the links in your post for those of us who enjoy delving into as much background info as we can.


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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by ATAG_Snapper View Post
    ... Lots of new players just want to get flying right away and aren't up for navigating links to various outside sources, dealing with popups, etc. They just want the quick lowdown to get started quickly.....
    Yes you pointed out how it is.

    So in this way I look forward to see more succinctly explained facts. Thx Flare!!!!!

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    I have to ask, and I don't know if it's because the plane is bugged but the Spitfire 1A (100oct) when I try to adjust the prop pitch, it's like it only really has two settings even though the lever has a whole range that it can be slid.

    If the lever is at the "0" position then the prop goes into that position where it can't really move air efficiently. If the lever goes even slightly over 0 then the prop seems to automatically go all the way to the other position. I don't see any option for selecting 75% pitch.

    This is the only airplane I have tried flying with complex engine management on so I don't know, is this a bug or not?

    EDIT: Never mind, apparently there's a bug where if the user turns on complex engine management then they have to reset CLOD for all of the features to be on.

    Also, at least for the Spitfire 1a (100oct), the bug where your water will build up heat if you keep the radiator extended after you land (counterintuitive) doesn't seem to apply. I don't know if there's been an update since the original post was written that fixed the bug.
    Last edited by Tausendberg; Mar-26-2015 at 03:40.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Wait, false alarm.

    Yeah, apparently the radiator bug upon landing is still in effect. I "perforated" my radiator because I didn't lift it up.

    I have to ask a question I bet a lot of newbies wonder. What's the deal with the rear view mirror? It doesn't seem to do anything other than make the airplane slightly less streamlined.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    What's the deal with the rear view mirror? It doesn't seem to do anything other than make the airplane slightly less streamlined.
    Not true - it does a great job of reducing your FPS Im kidding - its not functional in this patch but i believe it will be in TF5.00 Basically you should switch it off as it just gets in the way and reduces your frame rates

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Thank you for the clarification.

    Also, what I'm finding after several landings is that the radiator upon landing bug is pretty inconsistent. Sometimes it overheats with the radiator closed, sometimes it builds heat with the radiator open. Haven't found a pattern.

    Is there any reason to touch the fuel mixture or radiator in flight?

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    Thank you for the clarification.

    Also, what I'm finding after several landings is that the radiator upon landing bug is pretty inconsistent. Sometimes it overheats with the radiator closed, sometimes it builds heat with the radiator open. Haven't found a pattern.

    Is there any reason to touch the fuel mixture or radiator in flight?
    Upon landing point your plane into the wind direction with the rad open. That seems to work for me though i know other players have tried other methods with sucess.

    Leave the mixture where it is for general flying and combat- you would only ever adjust this if you are running low on of fuel. You can adjust your radiator in flight. the less open it is the more speed you gain...but the greater the risk of you forgetting to open it again at a later point in the flight / battle and blowing your engine...if you are flying a spit mk1a 100 a decent setting to use is 110% throttle (boost cut out disabled), 80 to 85% prop pitch and 100% rad. That will give you good speed and performance and a low chance of blowing your radiator unless u engage in sustained very hard climbs / slow speed manouvering when you will need to back off on the throttle / prop pitch a bit to manage temps.

    Good luck

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Thank you, I'm going to experiment with different radiator/pitch/throttle combos

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    I keep screwing up nine out of ten of my takeoffs.

    If I fly a spitfire 1a 100 oct, then what keeps happening is that as I build speed towards takeoff, my airplane will lean to the left and the wing will drag on the ground. This is obviously not ok but I can't help it, I just keep feeling like it's mostly just a matter of luck whether or not my left wing scrapes the ground.

    What am I doing wrong? It seems like just using my rudder isn't enough.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    I keep screwing up nine out of ten of my takeoffs.

    If I fly a spitfire 1a 100 oct, then what keeps happening is that as I build speed towards takeoff, my airplane will lean to the left and the wing will drag on the ground. This is obviously not ok but I can't help it, I just keep feeling like it's mostly just a matter of luck whether or not my left wing scrapes the ground.

    What am I doing wrong? It seems like just using my rudder isn't enough.
    Tausendberg, try to give it right aileron to keep the wings level, and be sure to take off directly into the wind (check the windsock and yellow boards at the side of the runway). This can be frustrating at first, but feels pretty good when takeoffs start coming easier, which they will. If you sit in your plane or bofors and watch the field for a while, you will see that many of us struggle with takeoffs and landings from time to time. I probably shouldn't say this, but it can be pretty funny watching what goes on..... i laugh cuz i just see me when a plane does a loop or runs into a gun emplacement or whatever.
    Last edited by farley; Apr-21-2015 at 07:55.
    "If you want to fly, give up everything that weighs you down"......

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Gonna sound like a total noob but it didn't even occur to me to check for wind. And here I am wondering like a dummy why in a different quick mission my plane seems much easier to take off but in the one I've been practicing I'm just having the worst time.

    Also, it's reassuring to be told what experience was revealing to me, that under certain conditions the rudder REALLY isn't enough and that I'm not a failure as a pilot for also using ailerons.

    Ok, with that in mind, hopefully my practice will yield more progress. Thank you.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    I keep screwing up nine out of ten of my takeoffs.

    If I fly a spitfire 1a 100 oct, then what keeps happening is that as I build speed towards takeoff, my airplane will lean to the left and the wing will drag on the ground. This is obviously not ok but I can't help it, I just keep feeling like it's mostly just a matter of luck whether or not my left wing scrapes the ground.

    What am I doing wrong? It seems like just using my rudder isn't enough.
    Your elevator trim is not set with enough Aircraft Nose Down (AND). The recommended setting is one trim gauge division AND. This will trim the airplane for the recommended climb speed of about 185 mph. To prevent your early roll problem, use even more AND than prescibed.

    My personal technique is to use about 13 key presses AND from the default position (1.5 gauge divisions visual). It prevents early liftoff and left wing drop, as well as trimming the climbing airspeed for about 244 mph. This is cornering velocity.

    Here's how I teach the normal, upwind Military Power (Boost cut out-Off) Spitfire Takeoff:

    Recite the "TemperFlaps" check to yourself...frequently! RAF pilots did, and there is none better!

    "Trim, Mixture, Prop, Radiator, Flaps" CHECK THEM ALL!

    Point the plane down the runway... precisely down the runway!

    Try letting go of the stick completely during the initial takeoff roll before 60 mph. Don't over-think all this rudder business; help yourself to takeoff straight ahead by selecting an object like a cloud in the front windscreen or better yet, in the gun sight. Make yourself keep that object absolutely still with rudder until you sense the nose beginning to drop as trim takes over. This happens around 50-60 mph, but we're not looking at gauges, are we?. Do not fight the nose drop...just let it happen. Then you can look around... not before! If the plane starts to roll even when tracking straight, use the ailerons. Don't just let it crash because someone said to use rudders...Fly the plane, don't let it fly you!

    Rotate the airplane for takeoff at 90 mph. To do this, start gentle stick back pressure at 80 mph (We call it "Taking up the slack"), then align the bottom of the center windscreen with the horizon. Now, get the gear up and close the canopy without gazing at the controllers. Hold this "bottom of the windscreen on the horizon" picture until the red gear up lights illuminate, then lower the nose to put the horizon in the center of the gunsight disk while reducing RPM with the prop control to 2850. This all happens simultaneously, and requires a little practice.

    With the horizon cutting through the center of the gun sight, the Spitfire accelerates smoothly and quickly while climbing at about a hundred feet per minute. At 185 mph, you may close the radiator shutter somewhat (I put the end of the radiator handle even with the foot well bulkhead) and either climb at the normal 185 mph or continue to accelerate to the speed of your choice. (I like 244 mph).

    Here endeth the lesson. Go in peace!
    Last edited by Baffin; Mar-23-2017 at 09:30. Reason: Trim setting 13 AND
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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    I gotta ask. The poster who opened this thread says 160 mph is the ideal climb speed. You say 185.

    What's a newbie to think?

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    I gotta ask. The poster who opened this thread says 160 mph is the ideal climb speed. You say 185.

    What's a newbie to think?
    172.5 mph


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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    For Spitfire MkI or for Spitfire MkIa?

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    I gotta ask. The poster who opened this thread says 160 mph is the ideal climb speed. You say 185.

    What's a newbie to think?
    160 is the best rate of climb speed (L/Dmax)

    185 is the "Normal" climb speed as determined by RAF ops in 1940.

    Source: Air Publication 1565B (Pilot's Notes) Free at: http://zenoswarbirdvideos.com/Spitfire2_Manual.html

    Similar resources are available all over the internet.
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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Thanks for the guide OP and for the roll correction problem. I seem to get the roll on take off.

    What about navigation though?
    Last edited by big_country; Aug-23-2015 at 20:08.

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Flare's Avatar
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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Updated engine management and radiator bug sections.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Thanks ATAG_Flare for this quides


    about part 4

    PART FOUR - AIR COMBAT TACTICS

    I think it is n't...
    A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    it is...
    A New Pilot's Guide to the BF-109

    I rename (do it) to (do n't do it)
    I rename (do n't do it) to (do it)

    and now I got very good Guite to BF-109 pilots

    you say...

    If a 109 gets on your tail, TURN TURN TURN.

    and I say

    if a spitfire TURN do not follow him
    Last edited by sw1ive; Feb-12-2016 at 13:44.

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    I am a new pilot still struggling with the spitfire, so thanks for this information. So much to learn, but I guess I will get there in the end

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    I am a new pilot still struggling with the spitfire, so thanks for this information. So much to learn, but I guess I will get there in the end
    I think I can safely echo a lot of other people who fly this game by saying that overcoming the very steep learning curve is very satisfying and what keeps people coming back. Once u are ok with flying the aircraft the next steep learning curve is 'combat' but if you keep persevering , asking questions and thinking about what works and what doesn't you will find yourself making progress on this curve as well.

    Beware that for most players - there are a gifted few for whom this might not apply as much- that the combat curve is never ending and always challenging. And again I think this is what keeps people interested.

    Good luck and have fun!

    Ezzie

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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Tausendberg View Post
    I gotta ask. The poster who opened this thread says 160 mph is the ideal climb speed. You say 185.

    What's a newbie to think?
    The newbie (horrible term, no one is more or less than anyone else in here) is to think Fidget knows his shizzle and is to remember that he should be watching his six as well as his gauges

    160, 185, 172.5....if Im going up its all good to me.
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    Re: A New Pilot's Guide to the Spitfire

    Quote Originally Posted by big_country View Post
    Thanks for the guide OP and for the roll correction problem. I seem to get the roll on take off.

    What about navigation though?
    France is that way - England is back way you came from (reverse as required). if your unsure of where you are - fly in a straight line until the AA starts then turn around.


    The sun is also useful as a rough guide as its nearly always out and your plane has a clock.

    There are plenty of good tutorials about basic navigation online and in Lew's beginners guide.

    <S>
    My Rig: Samsung 40" TV, Asus Z170 Pro Gaming Mobo, I5 6600K @ 4.4Ghz on a Coolermaster 212 Evo, MSI GTX1080 Gaming X, 16B Vengeance DDR4 RAM @3000Mhz, Couple of meh SSDs, Corsair 550W CX PSU, MFG Crosswinds, TM WH Throttle, Virpil Mongoose T50CM w/100mm extension, TIR5, EDtracker pro.


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