DCS Blackshark 2 Flight Training

For the past couple of days I have been dusting off the cobwebs from Blackshark 2, the attack helicopter flight simulation from DCS. I have the game on Steam and it is now completely integrated into DCS World. While I have DCS Blackshark 1, that game has major graphical issues now that I am on a Windows 10 machine and is in an unplayable state (perhaps it is something I can relegate to my Windows XP machine).

For the flight simulation purists out there, I am a casual flier and with this specific title I am flying in the Game Mode which is closer to arcade than it is simulation (especially with the target acquisition subsystems).

While I do have a Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X flight stick solution, it is sitting in a dust proof bag in my closet as I am operating with desk space at a premium. Therefore my Logitech Dual Action Gamepad which is serving me quite well presently for racing and other flying games is my control scheme. It takes up a very small amount of real estate on my desk and fits nicely behind my monitor when I am not using it.

While it sucks for shooting people in GTA V, it is nonetheless great for jacking Ferraris and running them through Los Santos at breakneck speeds.

Back to Western Georgia: My familiarization flight will consist of a route programmed into the navigation system which will align me to engage the following targets: 3 X Georgia T-72B MBT, 4 X Georgia BMP-2 IFV, and 1 X Georgia ZU-23 (Ural-375).

This is pretty much my preferred weapons loadout: 12 X 9A4172 Vikhr laser guided anti-tank missiles, 10 X S-13 122mm unguided rockets, as well as the airframe mounted 2A42 30mm autocannon (HE & AP). The paint scheme selected is Russian Army Standard.

The helicopter starts parked at the airstrip where I begin the startup sequence.

Once the bird is airborne and the landing gear is up, I input the first waypoint designation into the PVI-800 navigational computer.

Route mode is engaged and the Ka-50 is underway.

The Ural mounted ZU-23 is taken out by a Vikhr missile (this is a waste of valuable munitions as I could have easily engaged the platform at distance with the autocannon).

Proceeding onward the parade line of Georgian T-72B MBT’s is sighted along a roadway and are well within the effective range of the anti-tank missiles.

It does not take long for the rust to be shaken and the group of tanks is decimated as a result.

I then turn my attention to the remaining armored vehicles; a group of BMP-2 IFV’s that I (again) waste Vikhr missiles on.

It sucks to be them.

They should have called in sick this morning.

Here I am banking the helicopter to scoot down the coast before making my final turn toward the airstrip.

This is a nice shot of the Black Sea (nothing else to see here, move along).

My route input into the navigational computer is not perfect (as I just slapped it down in the mission editor), so I have to take control of the airframe to align it with the runway.

Here I am practicing a shallow approach with a running landing.

The realigned approach allows me to put the helicopter down right on the centerline (much like landing an aircraft).

Once the bird is shut down it is time to exit left and head for the pub.

Although I scored eight vehicle kills during the sortie I did not receive a medal because apparently my superior officers were a bit miffed that I parked the helicopter in the middle of the runway and walked off.

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