From: Above and beyond
Thank you very much for your answer and deep research!
Question 1: Is it possible to get aircraft to fly to at least 100' AGL?
Question 2: What is the reason that aircraft in different regions fly higher than others?
Question 3: Can helicopters be programmed to fly at helicopter attack altitudes 10-20' or something like that at slow speeds like for example 30 kts. And certainly in hover.
Option to consider: you may couple altitudes with experience levels of the pilot? But this is a bit stretching..
Q.1: Yes. The aircraft will either one of, or a combo of the following
a. be of a certain type (multi-role|fighter|attack| probably couple others) C-130's are flying at 250 feet, so does it really has to be a high-end- fighter A/C?
b. need to be over sea (This is done also over land, see Goose Bay training area in Canada, my personal experience as a kid ;-) and for example the Mach Loop in Whales to name a few where they are allowed to fly, in peace time..,to 100')
c. need to have a 6001|6002 terrain avoidance flag. (~520 aircraft in the database have one of these)
During the Cold War F-16A/B of the RNLAF where for years stationed at Goose Bay Canady to practice low flying @100'AGL. These A/C had no terrain avoidance avionics, it was eyes and hand coordination. Same for the F-104 and NF-5 aircraft, before the F-16. In the eighties they standard flew 500 and also 250'in certain low flying routes in Germany. If you read a book about Harrier pilots in the RAF or even Hawker Hunter pilots their terrain avoidance was only mental
https://books.google.nl/books?id=f_dsBQAAQBAJ&pg=PA192&lpg=PA192&dq=low+flying+100ft+goose+bay&source=bl&ots=WGIAqHhYon&sig=ACfU3U2bj2LqsFj4SBMNTzFkZ7Sa3ZvxXg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4np7cgqXuAhXK5KQKHekLAoAQ6AEwEXoECD0QAg#v=onepage&q=low%20flying%20100ft%20goose%20bay&f=false (=Tornado in this book is flying at 100'AGL and the TFR cannot go lower as 200'. So this was eyes and hand work also).
d. weather state well generally need to on the clear side (cloud state does not matter, seastate\rainstate do). Understandable.
e. be of at least cadet level (depending on other factors involved) (novice are capped higher than 100ft) Logical, or give a novice pilot a % chance to fly into the ground ;-)
Q.1a - over land (or anywhere elevation is > 0) NO, unless heli or tilt-rotor where you are capped at 50ft and above loitering it's 100.
I do not understand the logic of this. Helicopters that fly in their own, safe area, fine. But when you approach an enemy they go as low als they can. That is their survival, go slow and into the weeds!
The speed will drop but the altitude wil go as low as they dare. Ask any AH-64/ Kiowa pilot. If they hover a helicopter can go as low as 1 feet AGL, this is their quality.. A SR-71 can go very fast and high and is programmed like this in CMO. A helicopter is low and slow, but is not programmed like this?
Q.2. None. This is LOCAL time of day based. Over land the general baseline is 500 at day, and 1000 at night; at sea it depends more but generally becomes 300 at night unless otherwise flagged. The time of day explains more but the numbers are still way too high.
Q.3. Nope. This is a very short answer, which does not adress the real life tactical operations of helicopters.
Q.4. Proficiency matters though proficiency takes a back seat to nighttime, and TA-flagged aircraft (those with terrain avoidance).
For instance a A multi-role TA-unflagged aircraft (f-22) at sea during daytime as a Novice is capped at 150, at Cadet 100, above that 80. Over land the same results would be 500,500,400,vet=300,ace=200. At tagged F-15EX|CX for example at sea during daytime at any proficiency is capped at 100 (loses 20ft by-product of being tagged).
Category can matter - A generic bomber or fixed-wing like say a KC-10A however unlike above would make no difference, over land they are either 500 or 1000 depending on time of day, at sea 300ft regardless of day\night and proficiency or weather. Helicopers and tilt-rotors are min alt are not affected by proficiency or weather or night time, but are by speed (above loiter = 100ft). Good that proficiency is in the loop!
As already mentioned yes sea state and rain-state can matter too (clouds and temp do not). Also as one might expect with non-flagged aircraft night will generally trump weather+proficiency, weather will trump proficiency, flagged aircraft generally by-pass proficiency and nighttime, and get +100 during extreme weather.
A general rule of thumb for weather:
rainstate > 4 =300ft cap sea, 500ft cap land, TA-flagged whatever it was +100ft land or sea.
seastate > 5 =300ft cap sea, 500ft cap land, TA-flagged whatever it was +100ft land or sea.
* exception to rule TA flagged require seastate > 7 to get their +100. I am no pilot, but this is much deeper than I expected, compliments.
Also don't let "night navigation xyz" feature flags fool you, they have nothing to do with altitude, in fact I've struggled to figure out how they're actually used since only 59 aircraft lack one or the other flag types. If I had to guess they were used to indicate if a unit could take off at all or maybe to use their particular weapons after dark, but in testing it seems you can do both even with aircraft lacking either or both flags. I'm thinking due to complaints maybe they were just tossed for that purpose and maybe they're just used to hurt effectiveness of munitions fired at night (extra pok penalty without the flags?), or are dormant flags. Be curious if anyone actually knows. Hmmm.
A thought on why we're hard capped at 50ft and 80ft respective beyond just keeping it 'generally realistic for majority of cases' factor.
When it comes to your point about attack helicopters I do find it unfortunate we can't fly them < 50ft loiter and <100 at cruise, even though MOST of the time that seems a reasonable limitation and realistic. On the flip side however this limitation beyond realism may be a welcome game-balance issue in that the lowest SAM engagement altitudes cap out on the low end at 30ft. So allowing anything to go below that...while it certainly may happen in real-life (where as the missiles in real life ain't gonna stop cause they're at 30ft idt anyway ..or maybe some do as safety feature idk), would make the AI "engage defensive - go min alt" too good at avoidance, and too exploitable on the player side, even though in a limited\very specific situation it might be a valid tactic.
For example, you have a ah-64 parked 12 miles out from sa-21 site who has some elevation on you such that he can paint you. You pop up from 20ft to 31ft, you get fired on, you pop down to 29ft...missile goes away. Rinse and repeat till site has exhausted it's missiles, or just fly in and attack directly with only small arms or lasers to worry about. The same would be true if you allowed aircraft to go < 30ft, too easy to just avoid incoming missiles or them being fired at all. Now sure you could allow it and then have to re-balance other things but I'm not sure there is enough bang for the buck there.
This is a game and you can fool it. I can also fly with an F-4 into the bubble of a SAM and everytime the SAM shoots a missile, I retreat until his lauchers are empty. Is this realistic? No. Is it possible in CMO? Yes!
But this is not the reason behind this game. Also, this is the reason why a Russian S-300/400 has SA-22 Pantsirs and MANPADS or others around. This is why helicopters can pose a threat to SAMs. This is what they do. And to cap these helos just because this is a reason a John nobody could take out that SAM does not make the game more interesting or better but rather worse IMHO. It is how you play the game. How you tactically place the weapons. It is in the details. CMO does not cap a JASSM missile because it has some capabilities. No, it is programmed as much as you can. You do'nt cap a SR-71 because it overflies an SA-2 and this is not fair. It is not fair that a AH-64D is constantly shot down because it is flying too high and cannot get lower or hover at 10'. And frustrating too, because helicopters constantly do strange things, and you have to micromanage every single helo; see post https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4936307
In my country Apaches, Chinhooks fly under powelines, between trees to avoid getting shot, at 10 feet altitude and around 30 kts in danger areas. Possibly a Syrian Mi-24 HIND has different tactics but why not give the opportunity to the user? I do not understand this and find it really opposite against the attitude of the game. I really would like to ask to reconsider this decision. This hurts the game.
As for aircraft though I might be supportive of a change to generic baseline over land to be 300ft day 500ft night |sea 200ft day|300ft night(unchanged), probably get realism complaints though, and one probably has to think though all the possible areas of impact, something I'm not doing while flippantly typing that I might support it. ;)
About flying at night. NVG's have their drawbacks but do you agree that an F-16 with goggles will fly lower than a MiG-23 without at night?
As I pointed out above in the post with data from the Cold War and currently at low flying training areas, a trained fixed wing pilot can easily go down to 250'and really proficiat pilots go down to 100'. So you already have a realism complaint ha ha
If you have data otherwise, I would be glad to hear. My goal is to make CMO better and certainly not to complain, I like it a lot, that is why I contribute!
Are there others forum readers with imput?
< Message edited by Blast33 -- 1/18/2021 9:00:31 AM >