Did two 1 on 1 guns only against Flash as a warmup yesterday, me flying the F-16 and him in the newly released JF-17 (henceforth known as Jeff).
I can’t say I’m on top of my game flying BFM in any plane at the moment, including the jets I have flown the most the last couple of months, but I felt fairly confident anyway flying the Viper.
But I was wrong! Ok, to some degree I can blame it on the lack of radar guided gunsight (not released for the Viper yet), I did have a couple of instances where I had a pretty good shooting opportunity, but with the funnel sight I can’t hit shit (that I knew from before, trying to shoot down AI’s before). Some of it was due to my bad flying for sure, but I’m still quite impressed with the Jeff.
The Viper can outrun it going full throttle. I think it can outturn it, barely, at some speeds, but definitely not at others. And if you fly the Viper at full burners, it will run out of fuel before the Jeff.
In the first fight it ended with me stupidly crashing into the ground, I was diving trying to pick up speed to try to be able to turn the table on Flash in the Jeff that had started to creep up on my six, but I misjudged when I needed to pull up, and ended up a couple of meters below ground level before I could start to climb again. Flash didn’t get any hits on me (that I registered at least), and I’m not even sure he fired. I think I fired on him, but no hits (see excuse no 1).
In our second go I actually though I got some hits on the Jeff, but maybe I was only real close, because it didn’t seem to have any impact on performance. But this time I think I actually had fewer shooting opportunities (the one I thought I hit on was semi-headon), and Flash fired at me several times (luckily no hits on me). The Jeff was really sticking to me this time once we started getting into a turnfight. I really couldn’t outturn it in level turns, even when I was pushing the wiper to the edge of black-out. I’m not sure how many G’s I was continually pushing, but my guess is quite a lot…
I tried going vertical but that didn’t help me enough, though I think it might have been better than using flat turns. As I said, the Viper can outrun the Jeff, but it takes a lot of fuel and patience before you have enough distance to be able to return to a neutral position. In the end I ran out of fuel, Flash caught up with me, and despite being out of power I did manage to scissor him a little and almost got a good shot at him, but in the end I was so low and slow that I punched out. Maybe I should have tried that slow scissoring earlier on, instead of trying to pull high G turns at high speed.
I did have problems with keeping visual on the Jeff, lack of training and some glitching in TIR from looking too high (probably obscured one or more of the reflectors), but it is a quite small plane and that does make it a bit harder to see. It’s engines can be quite smoky, at the end of the second fight I didn’t have much problems seeing it thanks to the black smoke coming from it’s engine.
All in all, I still think I will stick with the F-16, but I will not underestimate the Jeff.
And I wish I had that program that records the fights, would have been interesting to have some actual data to review and not just my limited memory…