Topic outline

  • Introduction

    DCSThe F/A-18C Hornet was developed by McDonnell Douglas (which merged with Boeing in 1997) and is a supersonic combat aircraft flown by one pilot. It has extreme maneuverability, can carry a variety of weapons and can be operated from aircraft carriers.

    The DCS: F/A-18C Hornet module has a very detailed flight model and is the first real multi-purpose combat aircraft from Eagle Dynamics for DCS.

    This course is intended for advanced students who have already acquired knowledge of the F/A-18C Hornet in the Basic Course. The course goes into detail about the simulation, take-off procedures, systems, as well as take-off and landing at an airport. A separate course will follow for operation from an aircraft carrier.

    For beginners we recommend the Basic Course as this course assumes that level of knowledge has been attained.

    If you have any questions, the authors and tutors of this course will be happy to answer them. You will find them in the top right hand corner in the persons block. A large part was created by Eagle. Unfortunately he is no longer with the OFS and is therefore no longer shown as an author.

    Please note that this course is still in the creation phase. Whenever a section is finished, we will unlock it.
    That way, finished sections or pages can be studied ahead of full completion. Unfortunately, it takes a long time to create a course.
    Once the course is finished, we will remove this notice.
  • Autopilot, Radio and Navigation

    Navigation, image by kaltokri, Public domainNavigating in an aircraft (as well as on a ship) is a major challenge. Determining one's position and course to the destination accurately are critical skills. If you get lost and don't have enough fuel to fly to a suitable landing site, you are in grave danger. It is therefore all the more understandable that increasingly sophisticated procedures and technical aids have been invented to simplify navigation.

    Navigation by Sight

    Initally, there is navigation by sight.

    See it. Fly to it.

    It is the simplest form of navigation. The pilot looks out of the window and compares the features of the terrain with a map. Since this form of navigation can be done with any aircraft, we describe it in the theory section of the SFO (see Navigation by sight).

    Navigation by sight also uses a compass. However, it serves more as a support instrument.

    Navigation by Map

    The navigation by map, compass and stopwatch was developed to be able to approach a destination safely in poor visibility (including at night).

    Clock, Map, Ground

    This procedure is also applicable to any aircraft and is described in the theoretical advanced courses.

    Ground Based Navigational Aids

    A pilot of a modern fighter jet such as the F/A-18C can usually rely on modern systems for navigation. These include the older navigation by radio direction finding (ADF & NDB), as well as by TACAN.

    Space Based Navigational Aids

    Above all, F/A-18C navigation is by GPS/INS.  The initial position is from satellite signals and kept accurate by continuously being updated by onboard avionics that detects the aircraft's movement. 

    The location is fed to the aircraft's mission system can where waypoints are displayed in the HUD or on the HSI. The pilot can then easily find and navigate to them. This allows him to focus his attention more on threats and/or the use of weapon systems.

    However, every player should be aware of the risks involved with loss of navigational accuracy.

    Every pilot should master the simple forms of navigation. This is because modern systems can fail, for example, due to damage. In such an emergency situation, a trained pilot with a map and a compass can still bring the aircraft back to the airfield or deck safely.

    The subject of radio is closely related to navigation through radio navigation (ADF & TACAN) and is therefore also covered in this section. Autopilots are a great relief in many situations. If the pilot needs to concentrate on the avionics or weapons systems, or wants to take a look at the map, the autopilot can be engaged to keep the aircraft safely on course and at altitude.