As it currently stands, there are several jets in game that have “functional” 2 stage afterburner. Such as the F-14 and Tornado, but to enter first stage afterburner is more of a chore than it is usually worth and this is mostly due to the lack of functionality within both the controls and within the interface itself.
To enter the first stage of reheat, you need to very gently advance the throttle past 100% and just into WEP. If you go to far, you’ll enter second stage reheat, currently the only way of truly knowing if you are in first stage reheat is by monitoring fuel usage. This stage provides less thrust but also consumes far less fuel, allowing for a compromise when travelling greater distances.
So suggestions for change:
First, update the UI to better display the 2 stages of afterburner. This could be as simple as WEP1 / WEP2
Secondly, modify the gap between each mode, increasing the difference between 100%/WEP1 and between WEP1/WEP2
Thirdly, add options to customise the deadzone between each stage, I’d personally also like an increase in the gap between 100% and WEP. Currently its like going from 100% to 101% needed to enter WEP1 and then only 103ish% to enter WEP2. Being able to customise this margin to have whatever you’d like would be great, especially for those using HOTAS. This way you could have 100%-110% be Non-WEP, and 110+% be WEP. Giving a far larger range to set a throttle before changing modes.
In the future it would also be good to get visual changes to the exterior of the aircraft and any appropriate audible changes too.
I already have a forum post on this exact suggestion created whilst the suggestions were down: 2 Stage Afterburner