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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight

 
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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 3:16:17 PM   
AlmightyTallest

 

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This might help illustrate some capabilities: It's a circa 1973 U.S. Air force video on how to use the F-111's terrain following systems, it does mention use below 100 feet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7p5kWPl7Xw

quote:

This technology is primarily used by military strike aircraft, to enable flight at very low altitudes (sometimes below 100 feet (30 metres)) and high speeds, avoiding detection by enemy radars and interception by anti-aircraft systems. This allows the pilot to focus on other aspects of the flight besides the extremely intensive task of low flying itself. It can also enable low-altitude flight at night and in other low-visibility conditions.

Some aircraft such as the Tornado IDS have two separate radars, with the smaller one used for terrain-following. However more modern aircraft such as the Rafale with phased array radars can look forward and at the ground simultaneously.

Most aircraft allow the pilot to select the ride "hardness", to choose between how closely the aircraft tries to keep itself close to the ground and the forces exerted on the pilot. The F-111 used a switch to select for a hard, medium or a soft ride.


quote:

The radar emissions can be detected by enemy anti-aircraft systems with relative ease once there is no covering terrain, allowing the aircraft to be targeted. The use of terrain-following radar is therefore a compromise...


Hope this can help.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 3:16:48 PM   
ComDev

 

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Fun thread indeed. Been a while hehe.


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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 3:42:21 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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Honestly I'm ok with the current model.

It looks like we're mostly correct anyways which is where we ought to be.

Mike

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 3:50:02 PM   
Kitchens Sink

 

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In the current v1.11 825 Build, I have seen certain planes go to 80ft if I put them into "Run Away" mode with a missile chasing them (afterburner and min altitude). Same with some of the previous Builds also.

Don't have a save, but it only happens over certain terrain with certain types of fighters.

I also think the current model is good FWIW.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 4:30:11 PM   
thewood1

 

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The actual F-111 stated a hard min altitude of 100 ft loaded for a hi lo hi penetration. Just like in the other videos, you might be able to do it manually if you have a clean airframe with only fuel. But as soon as you have warloads, you have issues with being able to get a feel for the massive forward inertia.

I was also remembering something my friend mentioned to me...any airframe that exceeds 400 kts for extended time below 500 ft gets pulled from service for inspection. He said an F-111 will require 48 hour turnaround after a long penetration flight. He said the wings take a huge beating down low and might even have to be reskinned.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 4:42:05 PM   
thewood1

 

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Also noted in the F-111 video, the clearance level settings bottomed out at 200 ft. So the only way to be at 100 ft would be manual following after hitting the paddle switch.

I also noted warnings about terrain hidden by the initial obstacle. It was a great video to post.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 4:43:11 PM   
thewood1

 

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cocked up editing my post...

< Message edited by thewood1 -- 6/4/2016 5:08:32 PM >

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 5:05:13 PM   
thewood1

 

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It was also interesting to note the limit of 10 deg turns in TFR without special set ups. I have seen this mentioned before for high speed TFR...Limited ability to maneuver.

Thanks for posting that video.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 7:38:26 PM   
FoxZz

 

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200/100 feets seems the minimum for the terrain following mode in hilly terrain. Also, on modern terrain following system, preloaded maps can allow a terrain following flight with the radar turned off, like the american TERPROM.

But fighters can go under it, especially when the terrain is relativelly flat the Jaguar pilot say he was at 20 feet just after releasing its bombs and did not go up before leaving the danger zone.

Here a footage of tornados at roughly 15 feets above the ground during GW1 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTPlk70eSLY#t=4m47s
Here above sea, you can see planes that are merely 15 feets above water : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeYnhMC_nM0#t=0m27s
Here in hilly terrain and in mountains : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVgSlaNXHeg#t=1m08s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQU1f_bgPFE
Skyhawks attacking Brirish ships : http://i.imgur.com/phezd5z.jpg
Or you have the famous example of the Russian SU-24 buzzing the US Navy planes.

You also missed this in the artciles :
quote:

On the night of May 16, 1943, 19 RAF Lancasters from 617 Squadron took off for Germany in darkness. This was no ordinary bombing raid. These 19 aircraft were tasked to fly low into Germany to hit Ruhr Valley dams with a “bouncing bomb” developed just for the purpose. To avoid detection the aircraft flew at low altitude — so low that more than one wingman observed the tops of the treeline above other Lancasters’ twin tails and several Lancasters flew under powerlines that would have destroyed the aircraft. No radars detected them; no night fighters were scrambled to intercept. Alerted by the drone of the four-engine bomber, only gun and spotlight crews knew they were there. Delivering their weapons at a scant 60 feet above the water, the attacks successfully breached two of three primary dams and flooded the Ruhr and Eder river valleys.


And this :

quote:

B-52s received a structural modification to strengthen the fuselage for routine low altitude flight, where B-52s training for penetration of Soviet airspace flew so low that they needed to climb to turn the aircraft lest they drag a wing on the ground


My point being, when the conditions are good, planes do fly very very low if necessary, it's not exceptionnal.

But If you don't want your plane to fly this low, you could siable the NOE setting, and then, they won't. Otherwise, it will all depends of weather, skills, etc, like in real life.
Furthermore, ingame the relief layer even though precise, still doesn't allow for a very precise path plotting across the valleys, unless it's big vallleys, so allowing the planes to fly lower would compensate for this.
Even though we have proof ofaircraft flying operationnally at 10 feets ASL and 20 feets AGL or even lower, I think 50 feets ASL and 100 feets AGL would be a good minimal theorical altitude for the OPTION 2.

And about heavy loaded plane maneuvering at low altitude, it all depends of the airframe.

A Rafale with an heavy load with 3*2000L fuel tanks, 4 AAMs and 6 250kg bombs or 2 cruise missiles can still pull +5.5G, 20° AoA, 150°/s Roll rate, which is largely enough to stck to the ground.

When it comes to aicraft airframe fatigue, it doesn't work like that. Every aircraft has an airframe life expectancy, often counted in hours (usually about 30 000H). Military planners try to keep their fleet in an homogeous state. After each flight, depending of the mission profile, the airframe fatigue is registered.
Now, during operations, planes fly low as long as necessary, they are largely able to take it, however the airframe fatigue of the aircraft will be more important than if the aicraft had flew high altitude mission, but when they came back home, the planes that eated more of their potential will stand down in controlled athmosphere hangards, until the rest of the fleet airframe fatigue reach their level, then they will fly again.
Meaning that if you want, you could fly an aircraft at low level during all its flight time, but you will have to refurbish the airframe after 10 years instead of 30 years. That's why airforces use stand down times, and make aiframes fly different kinds of missions, to preserve the global potential of the fleet.
But, on the scale of C:MANO, aircraft airframe fatigue doesn't really matters, because those things are managed on 6 month periods, not after every strike. Now, the 3rd world war was supposed to last at max 2 weeks, the life expectancy of a pilot was 45 minutes on the european theater, do you really think military planners would have care of the airframe fatigue ??

Well, I gave my opinion, bring sources, proposed solutions, I think ther is no point carrying on this. Hope it will make it in though.

Meanwhile, this thread can still be used for anythings that is talking about tactics of penetration of the ennemy territory, Hi vs Lo, Stealth or jamming, or combinaison of those solution, etc, etc

< Message edited by FoxZz -- 6/4/2016 8:07:09 PM >

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 8:15:27 PM   
thewood1

 

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I got it directly from a guy who flew them...400 kts and below 500 ft...the airframe easily gets overstressed. They are pulled off line for inspection. This is both B-1 and F-111. There are very specific guidelines on G's pulled and low-level flying that require pilots to report to ground cheif if limits were exceeded and for how long. This is outside airframe life fatigue tracking.

As to your videos, again very ambiguous. One video shows Mirages flying fairly low over calm seas. But it looks like more hot dogging for the video than anything. The A-4 has no way to tell how low it is and that was already discussed...remember, one A-4 was lsot from trying to maneuver too low.. And the other videos show little to judge height.

Stop googling sexy videos of planes flying. We get it. People like to post oooh and ahhhh shots of pilots playing top gun. What we want is some documentation that this is a regular occurrence or even a war emergency release that pilots use. So far the only sources you have brought to the table are youtube videos and one story from 1991 where it was stated the flight minimum was 100 ft.

I expect the devs have better use of their time to focus on things that are more common and have some real source in the real world.

btw, where is the proof of a plane flying at 10 ft on mission? I have yet to see that.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 8:19:22 PM   
cf_dallas


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This is EXACTLY like the discussion on speeds. Theoretically possible for a MiG-25 to go Mach 2.8? Sure. Operational at all relevant? Nope.

The Devs got it right on both topics.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 9:13:58 PM   
FoxZz

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1
I got it directly from a guy who flew them...400 kts and below 500 ft...the airframe easily gets overstressed. They are pulled off line for inspection. This is both B-1 and F-111. There are very specific guidelines on G's pulled and low-level flying that require pilots to report to ground cheif if limits were exceeded and for how long. This is outside airframe life fatigue tracking.


Once again, you're taking the very specific example of bombers, B-1 and F-111 are airframes limited to 3G, considering in low level you might need to pull more than that to avoid an obstacle, it's logical that they guet and exam, it's very easy to go over 3G, and the plane is not designed for it, hence possible dammage.
But not all the planes are the same, Fighter bombers can pull +9G, +5G in heavy configuration, this means it's very unlikely that they go above their limit, they'll stay in their flight enveloppe, which doesn't need a spcific inspection.

quote:

ORIGINAL: thewood1
As to your videos, again very ambiguous. One video shows Mirages flying fairly low over calm seas. But it looks like more hot dogging for the video than anything. The A-4 has no way to tell how low it is and that was already discussed...remember, one A-4 was lsot from trying to maneuver too low.. And the other videos show little to judge height.


No A4 were lost from trying to maneuver too low, all were shot down or detsroyed on the ground. Wha tyou're talking about is probably a plane taking dammage and crashing because of that.
http://www.naval-history.net/F64-Falklands-Argentine_aircraft_lost.htm

The 1991 article states several thing. The pilot says that they did their approach at 100 feets, (which is already half of the ingame 200ft AGL), that he is trained to fly at the height of a standard lamp, which is around 10 meters high >> 30 feets, and finally, after saying several times that he was very low during the attack, seeing the muzzleflahses and the crewmans from the guns, he says he was at 20feet just before being hit, and that his mates told him to stay at this altitude until they reached a safer place. This is a war operation, you cannot do more relevant than this.

Again, In the 3 series of articles, several quotes talking about flying under the treeline and weapon release at 60 feets, and B52 flying at an altitude that is lower than its wingspan, this is actual sources.
Even in the F-111 video they talk about heights under 100 feets.
The Skyhawks on the picture are between 5 and 20 meters, you can tell from the splash around them and on the videos you can see several time planes at 1 meters from the water, and flying constantly at approx 10 meters above the ground. You can tell this from the shadow the the ground, the height of the lighthouse, the wingspan of the plane, etc. Those videos are from training, not a funky low pass to make your mates laugh.

Also, what about the helicopter tactical flight ? At heights of 10-20 feets ? Hiding behind treelines, etc. I posted a video of an helicopters performing a tactical flight during operation Epervier in Chad, in the OP, that shows this.

I think decreasing the minimum altitude achievable (depending of the conditions) to 50 feets ASL and 100 feets AGL, would be reasonable.
The devs are already working on a new strike planner and stuff, this is linked, and would not take a ton of work to implement.

And this has nothing in common with the speed debate. On the speed debate, there is proof that the planes fly very rarely at their max speed, even in war operations. In this case, planes fly very low in many cases, including war ops. We have pilots testimony, footages, articles.




< Message edited by FoxZz -- 6/4/2016 9:21:16 PM >

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 9:14:58 PM   
mikmykWS

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: cf_dallas

This is EXACTLY like the discussion on speeds. Theoretically possible for a MiG-25 to go Mach 2.8? Sure. Operational at all relevant? Nope.

The Devs got it right on both topics.


I think so to.



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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/4/2016 10:32:58 PM   
thewood1

 

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Third...all anecdotal and possibilities. Not worth the effort.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 1:35:16 AM   
Rory Noonan

 

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The rest aside, the practical effect of this is negligible. Flying at 100ft gives you a radar horizon of about 12nm and a visual horizon of about 7nm for a target at sea level. Flying at 50ft gives a radar horizon of about 8.7nm and visual horizon of about 7nm. At 480kts this equates to less than 30 seconds difference.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 2:09:29 AM   
FoxZz

 

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I would say 30 seconds is quiet significant.

I'll quote the wikipedia page on NOE flying : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nap-of-the-earth
quote:

at a typical low-flying speed of 450 knots (800 km/h), 200 feet (60 m) is not unusual and 50 feet (15 m) is possible in relatively flat terrain


50 feets is possible in relatively flat terrain.

Could at list the minimum AGL altitude above flat terrain like desert or fields be brought from 200 feets to 100 feets ?

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 2:49:09 AM   
AdmiralSteve


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dysta

I think it should have a click-box option to check/uncheck something like "ALAP" (as-low(-altitude)-as-possible) or "surface-skimming (if allowed)" option. When it is on, the altitude adjustment will be disabled, and the pilot in different plane size, loadout and proficiency will depends to the minimum flight height.

Yeah, I was hoping for something similar called "Balls Factor." A rookie pilot in an F-15E may have little balls and can't get below 300' AGL while a veteran could get 100' or lower. Mix a "Luck Factor" in with it. The rookie might be able to get that fighter to 100' but runs it into the ground 90% of the time while the veteran can keep it airborne 99% of the time. From what I've read, Iraqi pilots in '91 had pretty big balls but little luck as they lost spatial awareness.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 3:14:36 AM   
thewood1

 

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Again, I am going to ask anyone to bring real documentation beyond a couple web stories and videos that are edited beyond belief. It took me maybe a total of an hour to find hard documentation from full pilot interviews, pilot online discussions, ops manuals, histories, etc. I am sure the OP will show up with a Blue Angel video next as documentation.

And I know Fox-man likes to selectively pick out what he reads, but go back and see my comments and source on the F-16, unless that is a big bomber also. See, I bring actual technical and tactical sources, not unofficial heavily edited videos to the discussion.

Again, the point is...there might be times a couple hot dog pilots went below 100 ft. But there is almost no validation or proof that it was a consistent tactic. Somehow a claim of 10 ft is now claimed. There are so many variables and consequences that are being overlooked, its almost amusing how stuff gets dismissed.

This is mostly myth and legend. The original poster has OCD on this one narrow topic and he can't see the absolute parallel between what he is doing and Herman Hum does with the max speed issue.

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 3:22:45 AM   
thewood1

 

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If any more proof of the OCD-ness is needed...

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4075003&mpage=1&key=�

He obviously has not learned much.



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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 4:02:05 AM   
FoxZz

 

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Here we go personnal attacks ...
Well, outside footages, I did brought evidence that altitudes lower than the ones we have ingame are operationally in use ... But it seems you're good at cherry picking too.
Well are you saying that missile range and speed, or any weapon, are not effected heavilly affected by speed of the plane and lauching altitude, and that's also a myth and legend ?

Anyway, what about the helicopters, will their minimal altitude be tweeked down or not ?

I found another source by the way : https://books.google.com.eg/books?id=DOssAQAAIAAJ&q=tactiques+de+p%C3%A9n%C3%A9tration+%C3%A0+tr%C3%A8s+basse+altitude&dq=tactiques+de+p%C3%A9n%C3%A9tration+%C3%A0+tr%C3%A8s+basse+altitude&hl=fr&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj168On-I_NAhWGtxQKHYDxC1sQ6AEIOTAH page 209

It talks of penetration altitudes between 15 and 30 meters >> between 50 and 100 feets at speeds of Mach 0.8 / 1

< Message edited by FoxZz -- 6/5/2016 4:32:46 AM >

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RE: Low altitude penetration / tactical flight - 6/5/2016 4:43:09 AM   
mikmykWS

 

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Hey guys thanks for all the posts. Command team will look at all the relevant stuff posted and make a decision.

Mike

< Message edited by mikmyk -- 6/5/2016 4:45:19 AM >


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