Topic outline

  • General Information

    MB-339 for DCS, Picture from kaltokri, Public Domain

    The Aermacchi MB-339 is a light, single-engined training and ground attack aircraft with a low-wing design. The manufacturer is the Italian company Alenia Aermacchi from Lombardy, which merged completely into Leonardo at the beginning of 2017.

    About half of the MB-339s produced are used by the Italian Air Force as trainers and, in its more well-known role, by Frecce Tricolori, the Italian aerobatic team. The remaining MB-339s were delivered to export customers as trainers and fighter aircraft, e.g. to the Argentine Air Force, which used the MB-339 during the Falkland War.

    The model Aermacchi MB-339 for DCS is a free modification (MOD) with detailed external flight model, developed by the Frecce Tricolori Virtuali provided voluntarily for free. The aircraft is being continuously developed and increasingly replicates all systems of the real aircraft. Informations about how to freely obtain and install the modification is available in chapter Installation.

    At the Open Flight School we use the MB-339 as the ab-initio (initial) training aircraft for beginners. The moderate system complexity and lower flight speed, compared to a modern multi-purpose combat aircraft, in combination with the two seat cockpit allow a flatter learning curve and thus better learning environment for the students.

    This course is intended for beginners who have little or no knowledge of the Aermacchi MB-339. The course deals with the introduction to DCS simulation, Start up procedures of only the necessary systems, as well as take-off, circuit and landing at the airport. Further topics like radio, navigation or weapon systems will follow in later courses.

    We recommend beginners work through the course from the beginning in order to lay a solid foundation for further training sections on the MB-339 or later on more complex aircraft.

    In the beginner courses only the most necessary systems and switches are explained. In later courses we extend and deepen these procedures.

    The authors and tutors of this course will be happy to answer any questions you may have. You will find them at the upper right corner of this page in the “People” block.

  • Technical Data

    Public Domain, MB-339

    Version: MB-339A 
    Construction (All Variants): 1978 - today

    CharacteristicData for MB-339A
    Type / Crew: Light Trainer and Ground Attack Aircraft / 2
    Length: 10.97 m (36 ft)
    Wingspan: 10.86 m (35 ft 8 in)
    Height: 3.60 m (11 ft 10 in)
    Wing Area: 19.3 m² (208 ft²)
    Maximum G-Loading: -4 g to +8 g
    Empty Weight: 3,075 kg (6,779 lb)
    Normal Take-off Weight: 4,400 kg (9,700 lb)
    Maximum Take-off Weight: 5,897 kg (13,001 lb)
    Maximum Weapon Load: 1,815 kg (4,000 lb)
    Maximum Speed: 0.82 Mach
    Climb Rate: 6,500 ft/min
    Service Ceiling: 46,000 ft
    Take-off / Landing Distance: 550 m / 480 m (1,805 ft / 1,575 ft)
    Stall-Speed (Landing Configuration): 100 KIAS
    Maximum Fuel (Take-off): 1,100 kg (2,425 lb)
    Range / Transit Range: 950 NM / 1.140 NM
    Maximum Endurance: 3:45 h
    Engine: Rolls-Royce Viper Mk. 632 Turbojet
    Thrust: 17.8 kN (4,000 lb)

    Source: Wikipedia

    • Installation, Configuration & Cockpit Overview

      Cockpit, Image of Brodo, Common FreeIn this section we will deal with the different areas of the cockpit together with the instruments and switch groups of the MB-339. If individual functions are necessary for the basic course, we will deal with them in detail. Of course, this also includes the necessary settings for the MB-339 in the main menu of DCS, the keyboard layout and the setting of the different axes and buttons on the joystick. For the Basic Course a simple joystick is absolutely sufficient. If desired, individual switches can also be assigned several functions via modifiers.

      The cockpit of the MB-339 presents itself traditionally with analogue pointer instruments. The built-in navigation systems are simple, but effective and even if a GPS is installed, the use of elaborate glass cockpit instruments has been dispensed with. The MB-339 is a low-cost and robust aircraft with low system complexity and is therefore ideal for learning basic flying skills and unfiltered, manual flying.

      Traditional controls are provided in the cockpit of the MB-339. For example, there is a control panel for VOR / ILS, IFF or lighting. All switches that have to do with the navigation system or lighting are logically located on this control panel. 

      For this course we only deal with the absolutely necessary. Therefore, we will only deal with the relevant displays and controls and system settings to the extent necessary for this course. In later Advanced and Weapon Courses we will deal in more detail and follow the checklists accurately. This course is only about take-off, the circuit and landing.

    • Standardised Procedures

      Ramp, Image of Brodo, Common-FreeStandardised procedures help to complete all necessary steps in the correct order. The execution of these standard procedures and checklists can take a few minutes both in reality and in this simulation, and can involve many individual steps. In contrast to the other Basic Courses, we use the original and unabridged checklists here, since we believe that the processing of checklists in a pure training aircraft should be learned right away and that you don't have to change any detail later.

      The procedure from the start of the engines to the request for taxii is supported here with pictures of the positions of the switches and levers. A basic knowledge of the layout of the cockpit is nevertheless a prerequisite and basis for building a routine in the cockpit.

      In order to ensure a smooth process on the manoeuvring area of an airfield, some standardized procedures are also required, for example transmitting to the tower (ATC) or moving on the taxiway to the Hold directly in front of the runway.

      In the individual sections of the standardised procedures, everything is described, from starting the systems to taxiing to the runway and the takeoff, but also the landing and shutdown of the systems at the parking position. Once these processes have become ingrained, you can also apply this basic knowledge to many other aircraft types.

      Straight take-off and landing require some practice. It's not uncommon to struggle even after 10 or 20 attempts. In real life you probably would have crashed or the flight instructor would have intervened. If you still can't handle the this after many attempts, please don't hesitate to contact us (see next section). We will certainly be able to help you.

    • All-in-One Training Mission

      All-in-One, Image from Brodo, Public DomainSo, enough of the gray theory and exercise in the quiet little room. Our final practice mission includes everything from the start of the cold aircraft to the landing and is well suited to consolidate the process with a few practice flights. You can also use it to prepare for the optional exam in the next section by starting it and practicing all the points you need in a single flight (see Exam Procedure), asassessed in the exam.

      If it does not work out right, you can ask questions. For example, in the course forum you can request mail from other OFS members or tutors or join with other students for a common practice session. The mission can be started online and used by multiple players to practice together, help each other, or simply because it's more fun to fly in the team.

      To complete the exercises on your own, simply host the mission yourself as a server or start it as a mission, select a slot and go. In the team one player will host the mission (usually the tutor or one of the group) and everyone else can join the server. The How to Host a Mission explains how to do that.

      Please study the briefing exactly, including the mission description in the game itself.

    • Course Completion

      Kursabschluss, Image from Brodo, Public DomainWe hope you enjoyed getting involved in this plane. After reading and practicing everything, there are two ways for you to complete this course:

      1. Without a practical exam.
      2. With a practical exam

      Without a practical exam

      We hope this course has helped you master the handling of this aircraft. You can attend the other basic or weapons classes to continue working in DCS. This material is also available to you without any practical tests. However, the Advanced Line courses are only available if you pass the practical exam (see below). We want to make sure that all student pilots who are attending an advanced-line course are proficient in the basics. This makes it possible to effectively use the common online time of practical training there without having to repeat the basics.  

      In order to remove the course from the course list, please select the link Log out from <Course name> in the menu on the right under Course administration.  

      With a practical exam

      Now you can show what you have learned. For a description of how the hands-on exam runs, see the course " General Fundamentals (DCS)" in the section Audit Flow. The Practice Exam can be downloaded above (see All-In-One). Instructions on where to drop the mission files and how to launch them can also be found there.

      If successful, you will receive the badge MB-339 Basic Course as a credential.

      We're still working on exam regulations. Therefore, we are not yet able to accept any examinations. Please come back later.