Virtual Reality Multi-Function Color Display
Early MFDs in real life were monochrome analog CRTs. Hence, the reason "color" is such a big deal and indicated in the acronym.
Buttons are located on the bezel surrounding the screen and their functions are labeled and changed depending on the currently chosen display. These may toggle between two states, or cycle sequentially through several states.
The MFD is turned on using the knob on the bottom left corner. Brightness of all MFDs can be adjusted by another knob in the cockpit. The MFD turns on to the HOME menu containing options to enter the following pages. Pressing HOME on any page returns to this first page.
This page initially opens to a screen representing the scan area not to scale and relative angle only. There are numbered division rings indicating range in the user's chosen units. Similar to the RWR, The scan area rotates relative to the movement of aircraft. However, the units are added to the screen once detected, but they are not updated until the next sweep. This means that although turning the aircraft moves the positions on the RADAR, those were the last seen positions of the targets relative to the aircraft. Compare this behavior with the latency free live view of units on the NAV map. For more frequent radar updates, users should opt for a smaller scan angle.
Setting the Radar as SOI will allow the user to move the cursor using the controller's directional input. The cursor can snap to targets like the TGP. The user can do one of the following.
- Center press once to save the target to memory or Track While Scan (TWS) mode.Targets will continue to be populated on subsequent sweeps. Up to 4 targets can be saved to memory for TWS.
- Center press twice to save the target to memory and simultaneously enter Single Target Tracking (STT). Alternatively, a tracked target can also be chosen for STT by pressing the corresponding bezel button. This mode locks the radar on the target to provide live tracking for launch authorization and guidance for the AIM-120 AMRAAM. This is visualized as a bolder and brighter colored green line. Information for the locked target is given in the bottom right.
- The unit's name
- B: Bearing (Heading)
- R: Range
- A: Altitude
Untracked targets are erased from the screen and cannot be repopulated in this mode. However, the radar still seems to sweeping in the background to remember tracked targets. Double clicking again exits STT. Tracked targets are instantly brought back to the screen, while other targets are displayed as they are (re)discovered.
- R(+/-): changes maximum range that will fit on the display. Beware that your radar signal still continues to move through space beyond the range displayed. Units that don't appear on your radar may detect your radar signal on their RWR. This only affects what is displayed.
- SCAN ANGLE: Cycles through various horizontal sweep angles. The data is mapped out to maximize screen utilization, so the player will not see the scan cone getting narrower. Instead the sweep beam cycles faster. The cone on the display is a relative measurement of angle, not the actual shape of the sweep cone. The vertical scan angle is seems to be almost 180 degrees,as all altitudes are visible from any reasonable nose pitch.
- UNLCK: Unlocks the currently locked target, but does not erase it from memory.
- CLR: Clears all tracked targets. Units will be repopulated on the next sweep.
- MODE toggles between a sweep and bore sight mode.
Boresight fixes the radar forward and automatically locks onto the first target it sees. This search area is denoted by the circle on the HUD labeled "BORESIGHT" and reaches out to about 7.5km. This will immediately feed into the gun's fire solution or authorize a missile launch. In bore sight, holding center press on the controller will unlock the current target and prevent the radar from acquiring anything until released. The scan angle and range cannot be adjusted by the user as a compromise to allowing quick target acquisition when dog fighting within visual range (the range when IR missile start to become the better choice over AIM-120s)
Anti-Radiation Attack Display (ARAD)
Units appearing on the RWR will also appear on this page. Units can be selected with the cursor to set them as a target for anti-radiation missiles. The weapon range and launch authorization will appear or update the next time the target pings the player. For the Fire Control Radar with a rotating dish, this may take about 2 seconds until the dish comes back around.
The HUD button toggles the appearance of green diamonds on HUD to mark the location radiation sources in the world. All types of radiation sources count, so this can be used to locate air units visible on RWR that have not appeared on the RADAR. The display is persistent even when the ARAD page is not on any MFD, allowing this to act as a passive way of detecting units, and as a way to visualize the RWR in 3D space.
Spectator Camera (S-CAM)
The desktop window defaults to mirroring one of the images from the headset.This screen provides the option to render a separate image from a different camera (extra performance overhead!). This camera will replace the desktop window's view, or be set to a second monitor.
Screenshots are saved in the VTOL VR directory in their own folder.
- Q (Quick) Save and Load are currently disabled
- Center allows the player to reset their VR position similar to the wrist watch button.
- Restart restarts the current scenario
- Quit game returns the user to the main menu rather than exiting the game to desktop.
Logs game events such as unit destruction.
This is the destination of GPS-S(end) from other pages. GPS points are created and seen in the currently highlighted group. All points within a group can be sequentially connected by toggling PATH.
Arrows on the bezel allows a point to be highlighted for other actions.
- Slew the TGP to the point with TGP > GPS-Acquire
- Pressing WPT will set the highlighted GPS point as the current way point. In PATH mode, reaching the the current WPT will automatically select the next point in sequence on the list and set it as WPT. This means that autopilot can also be used to fly a PATH automatically in order with no further user input.
Targeting Pod (TGP)
This page controls the targeting pod. The TGP on the AV-42C Kestrel is built into the nose and therefore always equipped. The TGP on the F/A-26B is equipped as needed via the configuration hangar. It has to be powered on before the screen displays anything, but will stop rendering when the TGP displays to the visor.
|Thumb Directionals||Slew||zoom in/out|
|Centerpress||Track target or ground||Track target or ground
Exit to Visor Mode
- WPT: Slews TGP to the current waypoint
- SOI : Sets TGP as the sensor of interest for control with the right hand thumb directional.
- Zoom (+/-): increases or decreases zoom
- GPS-S: Uses the location of the ground or target at the cross hair to create a GPS point in the active GPS group
- GPS-A: Slews the TGP to the the currently highlighted GPS point
- PWR: toggles TGP power on/off. The M230 can still still slave to head tracking with the TGP off.
- HEAD: Allows the TGP to be controlled through head tracking. The image is projected onto the visor when it is down. There are additional control mappings.
- Zoom is mapped to the controller's directional up and down controls
- Center press saves the center location or target to tracking, and exits HEAD mode.
- SENS: Cycles sensor mode
- NIGHT: extra IR sensor sensitivity for low light conditions
- DAY: normal IR sensor sensitivity
- COLOR: visible light spectrum sensor
- There is no way to swap between BLACK or WHITE is HOT for the IR.
- MODE: Cycles TGP Modes
- TGT: The TGP snaps to and tracks units or stabilizes about a point on the ground.
- PIP: The TGP's cross hairs are centered on the current weapons predicted impact point.
- Guns and Rockets: PIP essentially acts as a zoomable gunsight
- Bombs: PIP acts as a zoomable bomb sight.
- FWD: Centers the TGP forward parallel to the the aircraft's nose as indicated on the "w" in the HUD. Essentially the bore sight mode of the TGP.
Onboard Cameras (CAM)
Cycle between outside views of the aircraft using PREV or NEXT .These can be used to check hardpoints and equipment, or view the undercarriage during taxi.
Objectives that have started appear here in white. They turn red if failed, and green if completed.
Tallies and quotas for objectives appear here.
WPT sets the current way point to the objctive's if one is specified in the mission editor.
Defaults to a MAP screen. Navigation related I/O mainly occurs through here.
- MODE: toggles between fixing the map's orientation to "Up = North" or relative to the player orientation in the world as in "Up = forward".
- GPS: A shortcut to open the GPS page. This button becomes MAP to return to this page.
- GPS-S: Uses the screen center and chosen altitude to create a GPS waypoint.
- ALT (+/-) is used to specify the altitude
- The MAP is normally centered on the player and moves with it. This behavior is turned off by using SOI or the bezel buttons. Cross hairs will appear to indicate where the screen is centered.
The left bezel has buttons that set a waypoint to important scenario related locations. These waypoints are configured in the mission editor.
- OBJ: Sets the objective waypoint as the WPT.
- RTB: Sets the airbase as as the WPT. The destination is specified in the mission editor. Players must manually land the aircraft.
- FUEL: Sets the the aerial tanker as the WPT. The tanker is configure in the mission editor. The NAV autopilot can navigate to the tanker within reason, but throttle and finalizing positioning for refueling needs to be done by the player.
Communications and Radio (COMMS)
The player can use this to command wing men and communicate with logistics.
- Attack Target: Commands wingmen to attack the target currently locked and tracked by the TGP.
- Engage: wingmen will attack enemies at will. This locks out other commands and the wingmen are flagged as busy.
- Disengage: wingmen will stop attacking and await orders.
- Orbit Here: Wingmen break formation to orbit around the current location.
- Form Up: Units fly in formation with the player
- Spread: Changes spacing between aircraft in formation.
- Go Refuel: commands units to refuel from an aerial tanker designated in the mission editor.
- RTB: return to base. Units stop responding to commands once in a parked state.
- RTB & Re-arm:
- Radar: Commands wing men to turn their radar on or off. This is independent of the Engage command, and units will use other weapons if possible. Useful for trying to avoid detection as units will path towards radar sources seen on their RWR.
- Request Re-arm: The player spawns outside the aircraft similar to the configuration hangar before loading the game.
- Landing: Request vectors and landing clearance to the nearest rearming point (airbase or carrier).
- ATC gives the player a vector to intersect a line projected from the runway. The WPT is set to the ground at the end of the runway.
- Once the player nears the intersection, they are cleared to turn towards the runway and land
- The F/A-26B will also display ILS information on its horizontal situational indicator.
- Upon landing, WPT will be set to a rearming point. ATC will tell the player to taxi there.
- Takeoff (Carriers)
- The player is assigned a catapult via way point, and as they are available
- Once attached, the player is instructed to prepare for takeoff
- The player may trigger the catapult by activating afterburner
- Takeoff (Airbase)
- The player is told to taxi to a runway as shown on the NAV and a waypoint on the HUD.
- AI units will yield to the taxiing player, but the player may be to hold short of the runway when in queue.
- Player will be cleared for takeoff.
- Landing: Request vectors and landing clearance to the nearest rearming point (airbase or carrier).
- Cancel: Cancels the current request. This is important because you can affect the queue of ground operations of other units during taxi and takeoff. Units will attempt to land as long as the player is not fouling the runway and they will try to avoid colliding with other units.
Allows the player to change the measurement units used on displays.
Specifically, the F/A-26B has a center flight stick option. The ejection handle is moved to the sides of the chair.
This shows pylon mounted equipment. Each weapon is mapped to a different bezel button .The MODE button allows the player to change the action of the these buttons.
- CONFIG: The bezel button opens a page to configure the weapon
- ARM: Allows players to toggle the arm state of the weapon. This overrides the master arm switch.
- JETTISON: allows the player to flag a weapon for an unarmed jettison state. Toggling again will remove the jettison flag from the weapon, and leave it in an unarmed state.
Pressing CONFIG will enter the configuration page for that weapon. Below are the modes available for each weapon type, or specific to a weapon.
- CCIP: Constantly Calculated Impact Point. This is the default reticle on the HUD that shows where the bomb will impact upon release. Because of limitations in the HUD and visor field of view, this is best used at low altitudes or in a dive so that the impact point will render in the HUD.
- CCRP: Toggles Constantly Calculated Release Point HUD overlay and release mode. The target is specified using a GPS point or where the TGP is pointed. The user will focus on flying towards the target and aligning the lubber line and trajectory. The pilot may fly at any pitch allowing this mode to be used to toss bombs over obstacles for concealement. The HUD will cue the player to release the bombs.
- Manual: Player holds the trigger as long as "RELEASE" appears on the HUD. This means that with extensive carpet bombing the player will be cued to follow through with the trigger pull before, during, and after the diamond crosses the chevrons.
- Auto: Player holds the trigger and the computer will automatically release ordinance at the right time.
- Release Area: Sets the length of the carpet bombing strip in meters centered on the target.
Salvo and Ripple (Unguided Munitions and Hydra 70)
A trigger pull releases a salvo, or group of munitions. The time between trigger pulls is the ripple rate. Rather than manually time trigger pulls, the user can just hold the trigger and program these settings settings ahead of time. This is usually used for carpet bombing, but applies to rockets as well.
- Ripple (release rate)
- Single: exactly one salvo per trigger pull
- 120 (bombs per minute): 2 bombs per second
- 240 (bombs per minute): 4 bombs per second
- 480 (bombs per minute): 8 bombs per second
- Salvo: hardpoints per pulse. For example, using bombs or rockets in pairs, triplets, or quartets per trigger pull.
GPS Bombs (GBU-38 Bomb and GBU-39).
Launch authorization is only available when the target is within the HUD reticles.
- Dumb: Ignore launch authorization and allow bombs to be dropped without a GPS target. Aiming is done using CCRP or CCIP.
- Auto: Highlights the next available GPS targets after every bomb release. Holding down the trigger will cycle through GPS targets at the ripple rate until all bombs are exhausted. E.g. three targets will cycle 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3, etc until the trigger is released or until there is nothing left to drop. GPS points not within the HUD reticle are not skipped over, but no bomb is released.
- Manual: Does not cycle through GPS targets. This allows one to focus several releases on one target such as a docked ship.
Trigger Uncage Mode
Turning on this mode will change the weapon's firing behavior from single action to double action. By default, sensors will automatically try to lock a target within its gimbal limits, and trigger fires the weapon.
- Holding the trigger will uncage the weapon's sensor. Launch authorization lights and tones will cue the player to fire when ready.
- For Air-to-Ground Missiles (AGM), the sensor will slave to the TGP. The AGM will attack the currently tracked ground or target.
- For IR missiles, the sensor will snap to a target. How this target is chosen depends on the configurable seek modes discussed below.
- While continuing to hold the trigger, pressing the "next weapon" button will fire the weapon once.
Air-to-Ground Missiles (AGM-65D Maverick, CAGM-6 Cluster Missile)
- Manual: Two step release process. Hold trigger to uncage sensor and then press 'next weapon' to fire weapon.
IR Air-to-Air Missiles (IRIS-T and AIM-9 Sidewinder)
- Caged: Seeker is fixed forward centered on the nose.
- Uncaged:Seeker orbits the nose on the HUD.
- VerticalScan: seeker scans vertically centered on the HUD.
- HeadTrack: seeker head is slaved to head tracking and the reticle appears on the visor's center.