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Old 08-07-2019, 03:23 PM   #1
ET2SN
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Icon10 Flying the B-52 in MSFS

If anyone is interested in trying something challenging in the older versions of Flight Sim (FS2002 and FS2004 /FS9), learning how to properly fly the old Alphasim/Virtavia B-52 can be a very rewarding experience.

This is one of those things where you won't learn it in a day. You'll need some persistence and a lot of free time because you'll need to gain experience to get it right. It took me the better part of 100 logged flight hours to get where I felt comfortable and about 200 logged hours before I felt I was getting good.

A couple of days ago I completed a ten hour mission from Eielson AFB (Fairbanks, AK) to 80 degrees North, then a simulated attack on the old DEW Line after an aerial refueling followed by a low level simulated attack on Vancouver using the IR-654 low level training route then home to Fairchild AFB for some touch-and-go's and a landing in the recovery area. So, yeah, ten hours of real-time sim flying and I didn't miss any way points by more than one minute.

If this sounds like something you'd like to try, I'll keep the thread going. All of the files used are freeware and I'll show you where to find them.
The only things you need are a stable (capable of 12+ hours of real time gaming) install of MSFS. I'm running FS2002 on a Win 10 64 bit OS, FS9/FS2004 will work with minimal hassles, FSX and later *should* work but I would expect a lot more hassles. After that, you'll need patience and a desire to get it right.
There is also some "school room" time in the form of three books you can read. I highly recommend them, but this is optional.

So, like I said before, this is a challenging way to play FS. You should already have 100 or so logged hours in a Cessna or Piper. Having some "jet time" would also be handy but its better to learn the BUFF the hard way from "day one" (The B-52 has VERY unique flight characteristics and is also heavily weight dependent).

You start off in Ground School at Mather AFB sometime in 1985. Your primary task at Mather is to learn how to use a stand alone flight planner ( I use a program called Nav 3.0 but you're free to run what you like as long as you can compile flight plans where you can enter way points manually in DEG-MIN-SEC format) and a stand alone GPS ( I use ACS-GPS). You're free to choose your own stand alone progs for these jobs but I recommend they don't have a lot of bells and whistles. How they look isn't as important as how they work. From there, you'll learn to build a flight plan and to look for tell tale waypoints in pre-canned flight plans (more about this later) as well as being able to fly a flight plan so you don't miss any way point by more than two minutes.

After ground school, you're off to your first jet for flight training. Using a Cessna T-37 "Tweet" would be ideal but I had better luck re-purposing AlphaSim's old (FS2002) A6 Intruder. Its very basic but very stable and you won't be spending a huge amount of time in it. Your first flight will be a "five dollar" check ride to get used to the plane (and to see if you'll barf) as well as being able to use your GPS and get used to a concept I call "the one man team". You'll wind up flying 3-5 VR and SR training routes over Calif. and Nevada. Each flight builds on the concepts learned previously. You "bust" a flight by either getting lost or missing any of your way points by more than two minutes (too soon or too late). You get two shots at re-flying busted flights, total.

After that, its off to the T-43 (basically, an old Boeing 737) for long range flight planning and flights. In the real world, you would be learning how to navigate over long distances above FL200 while using a nav radar and celestial fixes. In our case, you'll be using your stand alone GPS and flying in a way that usually won't conform to FS's built in flight planner. Its fun, trust me. After 4-6 flights in the T-43, its time for a promotion and a transfer to Castle AFB.

Castle was "all things B-52". They ran the ground training and all of the initial flight training. For your initial B-52 training, I highly recommend using the B-52G variant. The engines in the G didn't produce as much thrust as the H variant, meaning that learning how to taxi the beast and take off was a lot more of a white knuckle experience. I'm not kidding, learning how to taxi the BUFF is hard with no surface winds and it just gets tougher as surface winds get higher than 4 knots. There's no other way to learn this than by doing it so your first two "missions" should be getting the beast fired up and learning how to taxi around the flight line and taxi in different wind conditions.
You'll also learn how to modify your panel and aircraft config files to add some goodies that make your life easier as well as making some changes to the sound folder. Next, you'll learn why the BUFF is so weight dependent and how to properly calculate fuel loads and how to refuel off the boom of a KC-135. I use a program called ARRCAB to do mid-air refueling, I'll show you where to find it and how to get it running.

After that, you're off to the flight line for your first training flights in a B-52. You should do at least one of these flights in a B-52G and at least one in a B-52H. Both planes are mostly the same but there are some differences you should experience. This next part is important- your training flights will run at LEAST six hours and I don't recommend using time compression, there's just too much going on and too much info to absorb.

After all of that, you'll be notified which BW's are "hiring", any mission specialties and where they are located. If needed, I can hook you up with repaint textures unique to that wing and scenery files and edits for your new home base.

Depending on where you go, you'll learn about your place in the SIOP, why "Peace Is Our Profession" is actually accurate, and how to get qualified as a combat capable crew. All of this info is available publicly, BTW.


So, is anyone interested or are there any questions?
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