We have begun to enter an era of jets, where many either did have or will have some form of Auto-pilot but currently the game doesnt have any kind of support for this and wanted to raise this question. Should the game get this feature?
The two main examples that come to mind are the Tornado Gr1 (IDS variants) and the EF Typhoon
The Tornado Gr1 had an advanced radar for its era that allowed for TFR (Terrain following radar) This allowed the aircraft to maintain a low altitude automatically in all weather conditions and is what made the Gr1 so infamous. The same auto-pilot could be used for a number of things, including maintaining position during a loft manuever to throw bombs with incredible accuracy at long ranges.
The second is the EF Typhoon. This jet had a full auto-pilot suite but most importantly, the jet would take control of itself if the aircraft was about to stall. This would include both pitch and throttle. This one of the reasons why the Ef Typhoon is impossible to stall. it Phystically doenst let you without overriding it.
So what does everyone think? Is it time we see basic auto-pilot features added to the game?
I think this would mirror the Fly By Wire issue.
All planes in game can safely go to 1.5× their rated load limit. This means ~15G turns for plenty of modern fighter jets. In reality the F-16 is famously limited to 9G by the fly by wire system, but implementing this correctly would be a massive handicap as even rather mediocre 3rd gens like the F-4 Phantom can exceed that loading safely in game.
Stall protection systems would face a similar issue: Stalls are not really properly modeled in WT, it’s basically always possible to recover from any (non damage induced) stall. What a stall protection system would do in game is prevent the plane from stall fighting effectively, but without providing any actual benefit because, unlike in real life, stall fighting is perfectly safe here.
Navigational autopilot systems wouldn’t have that issue but would have very questionable utility. In the case of terrain following I’d wager the kinds of altitudes viable for that are not low enough to dodge radar missiles (in game anyway), so you wouldn’t really want to use this ever. I suppose a Heading Select mode might be situationally useful for Sim, but not by that much.
Sure, Autopilot would be nice for those aircraft that have it, but I find before that it would be more interesting and important to add any navigation functionality, especially for SIM.
Atm we’re only able to navigate towards a target or an airbase by constantly jumping between cockpit and map, and on the map one roughly guesstimates if the arrow points where you want to end up.
Should add Mirage 2000D and Mirage 2000-5F to the list of aircrafts with this feature. But I think there’s more important things that should be done than for devs to expend time and efforts on this. They still have not modeled air to ground radar modes for aircrafts that have had it. They also have not implemented all the fixes needed on existing radar and missiles/weapons reports, and are at this point running 7+ months late on these open reports that have been acknowledged but not yet fixed.
I play Air SB, so with that in mind, my preference would be to add some other cockpit navigation aids first:
- Compass waypoint, target point displayed on navigational instruments as appropriate.
- Ground mapping/clearance radar modes
- Instrument landings
- Elevation hold (this is an autopilot feature)
Next, I would add all-weather and night situations. Finally, autopilot features.
Im in the same boat and couldnt agree more. In arb autopilot might seen unnecessary, but in SB it would be amazing
And yep, at least in ec 8 and 9, id love more weather and time of day encounters than we have currently
Flying yesterday, I realized that addind trim to damping and leveling SAS modes would be great and possibly a reasonable first step in this direction.
Yeah it would, damping mode doesnt stop a slight drift in the stick, that you cant address with trim