Our Bermuda event was completed on November 14 after a week of flying FA-18 jet fighters and refueling them in mid-air. Many new pilots took part in the tanker chase and we hope you all had a great time and will come back for future events of the Multiplayer Adventures Forum.
All screenshots from the event have been consolidated into a single companion post called Refueling Event Screenshots. N3306TX (Mike) won the screenshot competition.
Thanks for joining in and we'll see you in the skies.
Our sixth sanctioned multiplayer adventure is a week long screenshot competition that ends with a fly-in to Bermuda on November 14, 2004. The event will test your patience and flying skills to the limit. The scenario is very simple. The execution is quite challenging.
You are the pilot of an FA-18F Super Hornet jet that is low on fuel. Your job is to locate an FA-18F REFUEL tanker, ease up behind him at 15,000 feet, put his trailing fuel boom on your fuel intake port on the nose of your aircraft, and shoot a screenshot for submission and judging.
During the week before the Bermuda fly-in, an FA-18F REFUEL tanker will be in the air somewhere over the North Atlantic or the United States on our multiplayer server each day during the week. Use FSNav to locate it. You may dock with the tanker and get your screenshot anytime it is in the air. A schedule for the tanker flights is provided later in this announcement. You may also use the files provided in the registration packet to work with a partner in the refueling operation if you like. Your best screenshot must be submitted by Saturday, November 13 at 2400 GMT. The winner will be announced in Bermuda.
The fly-in event will be held on Sunday, November 14 at 2100 GMT. The event is limited to twenty players on the day of the event. The FSHost server will be set for that maximum and additional players beyond that limit will not be able to join the session. To participate, you must register for the event as described later in this announcement.
PREPARING FOR THE EVENT
This event requires that you have Flight Simulator 2004 installed and that you are experienced in the use of the program. Additionally, you should have FSNavigator and Teamspeak client as well.
You will need to download and install two aircraft to participate in this event. The first is “fa18e_sh.zip” and the second aircraft is “fa-18f.zip”. Both are by Team FS KBT and both are available as freeware in the FlightSim.com library. The file “fa18e_sh” is a FlightSim.com gold medal Developer’s Award winner from March 2004. Install it first. Then install the second aircraft which uses some of the files from the “fa18e_sh” plane. For our event we will use the Boeing FA-18F aircraft.
At the time of registration you will receive the following tanker files:
FA-18F REFUEL Tanker Jet (Pause).FLT
FA-18F REFUEL Tanker Jet (Pause).WX
Place these files in your My Documents\Flight Simulator Files folder. You can call up the situation in the Flight Simulator 2004 Flights\Select a Flight dropdown menu. The situation will put you in the cockpit of an FA-18F refueling tanker 100 NM east of Bermuda on a heading of 297 degrees at a speed of 170 knots at FL150. The refueling boom will already be extended. The situation begins in pause mode. Once released, the aircraft will fly on autopilot until the refueling operation is completed or until you change the AP settings.
You will also receive the following fighter files:
FA-18F Fighter Jet (Pause).FLT
FA-18F Fighter Jet (Pause).WX
Place these files in your My Documents\Flight Simulator Files folder. You can call up the situation in the Flight Simulator 2004 Flights\Select a Flight dropdown menu. The situation will put you in the cockpit of an FA-18F fighter jet 120 NM east of Bermuda and 30.5 NM away from the tanker. The fighter is flying on a heading of 286 degrees at FL170 at a speed of 250 knots. The situation begins in pause mode. Once released, the aircraft will fly on autopilot until you change the AP settings.
There is some freeware add-on scenery for Bermuda if you want to make Bermuda more scenic. (The default scenery is very sparse.) The add-on is called “bermands.zip” by Barry Wells and it is available in the FlightSim.com library. It was made for FS2002, but will run well in FS2004 with only a few minor issues.
This is a combination screenshot competition and fly-in.
During the week before the fly-in take your best screenshot of the refueling operation and email your picture to both Capn_Sonic and LJ922 anytime before 2400 GMT on Saturday night, November 13. The email addresses are Capn_Sonic@flightsim.com and LJ922@flightsim.com.
We will meet at Bermuda International Airport (TXKF) at 2100 GMT on Sunday, November 14. You may fly to TXKF from any airport of your choice. Please use the FA-18 in any livery as your aircraft for the fly-in. You do not have to enter the screenshot competition to join in the fly-in to Bermuda. But it will make for a better event if all have an entry. Be sure crash detection is turned off before joining the session. (Select Aircraft/Realism Settings and then tic “Ignore Crashes and Damage”.)
The event will begin at 2100 GMT sharp, so please be a few minutes early in your arrival.
All screenshot entries will be put on the forum at 2100 GMT. A trophy will be awarded to the pilot who submits the winning screenshot entry.
Note: If you would like to couple your flight to Bermuda with a little formation flying practice, plan to meet LJ922 at Norfolk International Airport (KORF). The flight will depart at 1930 GMT and should arrive in Bermuda just before 2100 GMT. Check the forum for flights departing other cities for the Bermuda event.
In the fighter, as the sortie begins, the autopilot is on. The altitude is set to 17,000 feet and the airspeed is set at 270 knots. When you enter the sortie, release the pause key and immediately set the altitude to 15,000 to match the tanker's altitude, switch off the airspeed hold, and set the throttles to max. Your speed will rise quickly to over 500 knots. Switch off the heading hold and close rapidly on the tanker. As you begin to close, turn on the airspeed hold again and it will bring the speed back down automatically to 270 knots. The tanker is speed is set at 170 knots with his flaps partly deployed, so you are 100 knots faster when things settle down.
As you get close, press your F7 key twice in succession to fully deploy your flaps. Your speed will drop quickly to just over 180 knots with the airspeed hold still engaged at 270. As you close in slowly, now 10 knots faster than the tanker, use your spoiler (/) to fine tune your speed and your NUM keypad to adjust your heading. Ease up to the boom and shoot the screenshot when you have the best position. You will find that keyboard control will improve your precision in this maneuver.
In summary, you have three ways to adjust your speed:
Coarse adjustment: airspeed hold off and on, speed range is 500 - 270 knots
Moderate adjustment: airspeed hold on and flaps off and on, speed range is 270 - 180 knots
Fine adjustment: airspeed hold on and flaps on, spoiler off and on, speed range is 180 – 160 knots
Keep your left hand on the "/" key, and your right hand on the NUM keys. You can ease right up behind the tanker by pressing the spoiler key off and on. The spoiler will alter your altitude a few feet, so you have to get the feel of how and when this happens through a little trial and error. You can also use keypad 7 and keypad 1 to override the autopilot a few feet to get the best position. Hold the keys down to get the full effect. Release them and the AP will move the aircraft back to the set altitude. Get it in the right spot, and shoot the screenshot.
Since the best screenshot wins, be sure you have a screen capture utility installed so you can take multiple screenshots quickly and then choose the best one. A popular freeware example is FSScreen (fsscreen.zip), available in our library, but there are several others to choose from as well, such as RapidShot and SnapShooter.
THE TANKER SCHEDULE
The FA-18F REFUEL tanker will be in the air seven hours each weekday from 1700 GMT to 2400 GMT and on weekends from 1200 – 2400 GMT, from Sunday November 7 through Saturday, November 13. It will begin its flight near Bermuda and fly over the North Atlantic and across the United States.
Simply logon to the server with both FS9 and FSNavigator, and then use the FSNav map to locate the tanker’s position. Right click near the tanker’s position on the FSNav map and select “Move Aircraft to Here” from the dropdown menu and you will be all set.
The flight server IP for this event will be 126.96.36.199. The TeamSpeak server will be 188.8.131.52. Backup servers will be in place should they be needed. The servers will be online the day before the event from 2100 – 2300 GMT to provide an opportunity to test your connections prior to joining the Sunday event. Forum moderators will be online at that time to provide assistance, if needed.
The FSHost flight server and the Teamspeak server will be in operation all day on the day of the event. If you have a problem joining either server, come to the other one and announce the problem. Check in on the Flightsim.com Multiplayer Adventures forum for information on alternate server operations.
PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS
If you have problems installing any of the components for this adventure or you have questions, simply post a message on the Multiplayer Adventures forum and one of the moderators will respond promptly. You may also send a private forum message to Geoff or Ed or email them at either Capn_sonic@flightsim.com or LJ922@flightsim.com.
An advance registration is required to participate in this event and participation is limited to twenty pilots. To register for this event, simply send an email to both Geoff at Capn_Sonic@flightsim.com and Ed at LJ922@FlightSim.com. Your registration will be immediately confirmed and reconfirmed a day or two before the event. The session password will be sent to you as part of the final confirmation packet. Be sure to check the Multiplayer Adventures forum for any last minute information or changes prior to the event. Please note that the password is not needed during the week before the fly-in event.
SPECIAL THANKS to John Thuot II (Ragtopjohnnie) for suggesting this event idea and assisting with the test of the aircraft and flight parameters. Glad to have you with us, John.
We look forward to receiving your entry and seeing you in Bermuda on November 14.
Here's the guy you will be looking for: