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Aircraft readiness - 6/23/2020 6:13:29 PM   
SunlitZelkova

 

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I have one more question after my one about realistic communications delay. In the game, what does "Aircraft Ready" mean? Is the aircraft loaded, has its engines turned on, etc., and basically just waiting for the go ahead to start taxiing to take off, or is it loaded and sitting on the tarmac ready to go, but still would need to turn its engine(s) on and so on. Or, is there not any specific "situation" at all?

I was wondering, because in a scenario I plan to build, there is a ballistic missile strike on Naha AB on Okinawa. It takes around 10 minutes for the missiles to get there. Apparently at least 2 but possibly more fighters at each JASDF base are ready to scramble at any time. It feels a bit weird to have them take off immediately after the missiles are detected, as they don't sit with their engines on while on QRA duty. I don't feel the need to request the developers to add something for this type of situation, not only because there are more important things to do, but also because it would probably mess with alot of existing scenarios. However, because I play both sides, acting as an umpire, I could manually launch the F-15s after waiting a certain amount of time. So I have another question, about how long does it take to get an aircraft on QRA duty ready "to go" (turn on engines etc.).

This is not a criticism of the way aircraft readiness is modelled in the game, I am just curious.

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/23/2020 7:42:08 PM   
TheOttoman

 

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"Aircraft Ready" means that the airplane is ready to taxi and take-off with the current fuel and loadout. These would be your "ready" aircraft with pilots in their seats. Keep in mind, there still is the taxi time and take off time. Depending on the airport, (and number of runways) there is a maximum rate of planes that can take off at the same time.

Using the editor, you can edit the ready times to a manual amount of time, or you can re-ready the aircraft with a new loadout and the time to ready will then be shown.

< Message edited by TheOttoman -- 6/23/2020 7:43:50 PM >

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/23/2020 9:08:45 PM   
BeirutDude


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Also there are surge operations and quick turn around for certain types (Fighters and ASW/MPA) so you get to "Ready" the aircraft (turned around) faster, 3 vs. 6 hours, but with a loss of use later on. Good for short scenarios, but for longer scenarios not so much. That is under Doctrine and can be set for a side, a Mission or a single aircraft.

< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 6/23/2020 9:10:20 PM >


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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/24/2020 1:29:55 AM   
apache85

 

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If you want to play super-duper realistic you can have a majority of aircraft on 'reserve' and only load them up when you have specific tasking for them. You could have a small number readied in AAW config for scramble.

In an 'emergency' you could set all reserve aircraft to 'ferry' if you wanted them to just get off the ground, which is a 30 min ready time IIRC.

Or you could elect to have ferry as the default 'empty' state on the ground so those aircraft can get into the air quickly

There's lots of options, trying them out in the editor is the best way to learn

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/24/2020 6:33:28 PM   
SunlitZelkova

 

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Thanks for the answers guys.

For my question about how long it takes an aircraft on QRA duty to get ready "to go" (turning engines on, etc.) I meant in real life. Does anyone know?

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/24/2020 7:32:21 PM   
thewood1

 

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The nuclear fighters in USAF TAC from 1953 to 1986 sat at the end of a runway and had to be airborne in 15 minutes. So that is pretty good guide. That 15 minutes included the start of the engine and prep of the systems.

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/25/2020 4:06:03 AM   
AKar

 

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There can be several 'stages' of readiness; when they are entered into, and the exact response times are obviously not public information, and even information on the historical figures are hard to come by, as in many cases, for example, the limiting infrastructure is still used. The idea is that it makes little sense (and is expensive!) to keep the jets and the crews on high alert 24/7, so they are on duty and prepared but the aircraft are not necessarily crewed nor powered up. When the early warning or other sources of intelligence get some hints of possible need of responding, the readiness level is risen step by step as the developing situation is monitored.

Generally speaking (and not talking about any kind of nuclear response), that 15 minutes airborne response mentioned is very quick for peace time 24/7 readiness, but somewhat slow for crewed interceptors standing by on some high alert.


If I was to play on the idea of simulating this, I'd allocate the units "readiness points" that are consumed at different rates at different levels of readiness. Higher alert would consume these quicker so an aircraft standing by for very fast reaction would need to stand down sooner than one retained on more longer response time. But this certainly is beyond the scope of the simulation. (When we do get a Cold War Intercept Command Simulator [CWICS, pronounced 'quicks'], remind me on the subject!)

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/25/2020 10:51:00 AM   
thewood1

 

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Just keep in mind it takes at least 10 minutes to start and spool up a modern jet turbine. And thats if everything else is set. Even in wartime with pilots sitting in the cockpit, its not going to be any faster unless engines are running. But older jets are going to chew through fuel and life very quickly.

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/25/2020 1:50:59 PM   
vettim89


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It makes me wonder how to set this up within the confines of the CMO system. You can "ready" aircraft which set a a timer based on aircraft, loadout, and surge/no surge operations, but once the timer starts it counts down to "0". At that point the aircraft can be assigned to a mission or cued manually for take off and it will taxi to the runway and take off. So if this was a planned strike then that makes sense as it is easy to see that the briefing and pre-flight are all incorporated into the readiness count down. However, "alert" aircraft really fall into a different category as the aircraft are locked and loaded but not necessarily running and ready for take off even though their readiness timer has counted down to 0. I can think of ways to do this with an even using "time to ready" but seems like it would be a bit clunky. So I guess feature request would be to have ATA loadouts be set up to count down to "Alert+5", "Alert+15", or even "Alert+30". Which of course would add another layer of clunkiness to the system which would only be useful in a very particular set of circumstances

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/25/2020 6:31:03 PM   
Randomizer


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This seems to me like a complete non-problem. If you want your aircraft to sit for whatever delay before rolling then just Don't Launch Them. There, realism issue solved. For the AI, you can adjust the activation distance for an air intercept mission to impose whatever delay that you wish just by converting time travelled by the incoming threat into into distance and using this range to trigger the mission activation.

Less than five-minutes to airborne was expected during the Cold War for interceptors and in 1980 witnessed a pair of CF-101B Voodoos leave the runway at CFB Comox in under three after the alarm sounded. To be honest though, I was not privy to any advanced arrangements which might have been part of the scramble. Massed MITO launches by SAC were expected to complete 15-minutes after the alert sounded and I would wager that in most cases the first B-52's were rolling in less than five as startup was generally performed by the ground crews concurrent with the transport of the air crews to the flight line.

Did not the original B-1 have a Big Red Button on a nose gear strut to auto-start the engines as the crew boarded? I recall seeing this in a Rockwell propaganda film on the B-1A but not sure if this feature was carried over into the production B-1B.

If you chose to impose realistic (whatever that means) delays launch times then just do it and quit trying to get the Devs to fix that which is not broken.

-C

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/25/2020 7:21:45 PM   
thewood1

 

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My son is a pilot and I asked him. His is commercial and private experience.

1) It takes 5 minutes just to get an APU up to speed with enough power to crank the turbines.
2) From a cold start, it can 5-15 minutes to get oil and coolant pressure/temperature at operating levels.
3) You can use preheat to keep turbines warm for a quick start.
4) number of engines is a big factor also.

He said the only way a B-52 back in the SAC alert days got off the ground in five minutes is if at least two engines were already running. They basically use the running engines to start the rest.

He also said you could do 5-10 minutes at the end of the runway with running engines or ground APUs running and keeping oil at the right temperature. He said oil temperature and pressure is the critical component. He saw one cold weather system that was a continuous loop of warmed oil being fed to the engines to help them get started on a cold morning.

He also said that modern CPUs, displays, etc. can also take 5-10 minutes to come up from a cold start. He said the most critical one is the gyros taking forever from a cold start.

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/25/2020 7:44:05 PM   
stilesw


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Good information for us non-aircrew types. Thanks.

-WS

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/26/2020 3:55:34 AM   
AKar

 

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On the above, depending on the aircraft, starting up the APU and having the first engine running and its generator online is a matter of seconds, not minutes, when speaking of fighters for instance. A properly prepared fighter jet with crew in can be ready to taxi in order of few minutes from the command, it is nothing like ten minutes to just fire up the engines. Engine startup times are hardly the critical factor in typical response times.

This is from experience with small tactical aircraft, I know nothing about the bombers and such.

Having worked with civilian airliners, though, when on the APU and otherwise ready waiting for startup clearance, from the beacon coming on to initiate the startup sequence to first rolling off, for most types it is in order of two to three minutes (though certain engine models do indeed have annoyingly long starting periods). Obviously, these tend to represent decades newer technology than typical large military aircraft.

< Message edited by AKar -- 6/26/2020 4:01:05 AM >

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/26/2020 2:45:07 PM   
vettim89


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Randomizer

This seems to me like a complete non-problem. If you want your aircraft to sit for whatever delay before rolling then just Don't Launch Them. There, realism issue solved. For the AI, you can adjust the activation distance for an air intercept mission to impose whatever delay that you wish just by converting time travelled by the incoming threat into into distance and using this range to trigger the mission activation.

Less than five-minutes to airborne was expected during the Cold War for interceptors and in 1980 witnessed a pair of CF-101B Voodoos leave the runway at CFB Comox in under three after the alarm sounded. To be honest though, I was not privy to any advanced arrangements which might have been part of the scramble. Massed MITO launches by SAC were expected to complete 15-minutes after the alert sounded and I would wager that in most cases the first B-52's were rolling in less than five as startup was generally performed by the ground crews concurrent with the transport of the air crews to the flight line.

Did not the original B-1 have a Big Red Button on a nose gear strut to auto-start the engines as the crew boarded? I recall seeing this in a Rockwell propaganda film on the B-1A but not sure if this feature was carried over into the production B-1B.

If you chose to impose realistic (whatever that means) delays launch times then just do it and quit trying to get the Devs to fix that which is not broken.

-C



I agree with what your saying. That was what I meant when I said "clunkiness" which I meant to mean unneeded added layers of complexity that would likely not enhance the game. I agree with you that just shortening the distance a intruder might trigger an event is a very easy work around. Some times you just need to make the game do things a that model a real life scenario without actually making it do the exact things that would occur in reality

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/26/2020 5:40:58 PM   
Schr75


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quote:

Did not the original B-1 have a Big Red Button on a nose gear strut to auto-start the engines as the crew boarded? I recall seeing this in a Rockwell propaganda film on the B-1A but not sure if this feature was carried over into the production B-1B.


You mean this button?

You beat me to it. That was also my first thought.
Yes. It was also a feature on the B-1B. I donīt know exactly how fast the plane would fire up, but definitely faster than 15 min. The feature was announced as the plane would be ready to taxi as soon as the crew was strapped in. This is of course propaganda from Rockwell, but it should be a reasonable assumption that the start-up process would take as lot less than 15min.

About aligning an inertial platform. I read a story somewhere (canīt remember where), that the Soviets couldnīt figure out why the American first gen. ICBMīs had a much shorter reaction time than their own, and not until after the cold war they learned that the Americans kept their INS platforms spun up.

I donīt know if this is true, but it would be reasonable to assume that alert bombers had their INS spun up and aligned just to save precious minutes.
A modern ring laser gyro based platform should also be able to "spin up" instantly, only needing a location input to be ready to roll. I donīt know if the B-1B had that system in the early 80īs, but it sounds reasonable considering itīs intended role.

One final point I think need to be included in this discussion regarding start up times.
Iīm a pilot my self and I perform a series of pre-flight checks before take-off to minimize any risk.

If I was told that there was a lot of thermonuclear RVs inbound, I would cut all the corners there where to get airborne and out of dodge ASAP. Itīs a risk, yes, but not as risky as staying behind in the target zone.
My point is.
I think itīs more than plausible to scramble a big multi engine bomber from a "pseudo" cold start with perhaps preheated engine oil and aligned INS platform, in less than 5 min.

The risks in this situation is the "lesser of two evils" choice than staying on the ground and performing a "by the book" start-up and taxi.

Thatīs my 2c

Søren

EDIT. Sorry for the initial massive image. Reduced in size for better viewing.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Schr75 -- 6/26/2020 5:47:11 PM >

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/26/2020 7:49:03 PM   
stilesw


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quote:

About aligning an inertial platform. I read a story somewhere (canīt remember where), that the Soviets couldnīt figure out why the American first gen. ICBMīs had a much shorter reaction time than their own, and not until after the cold war they learned that the Americans kept their INS platforms spun up.


True. USAF retiree, first assignment (1969) 321st SMW, Grand Forks AFB, ND.

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“There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it.”

Charles Edward Montague, English novelist and essayist
~Disenchantment, ch. 15 (1922)

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/26/2020 7:56:50 PM   
thewood1

 

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I think common sense would say that if you are on hot standby, they have the checklist done already. I have also wondered about the gyro being spun up. My son's comment was in a cold start, it takes longer for the instruments to come up and stabilize than an engine.

The hot standbys I have seen have ground crew stationed with the aircraft and when the alert comes, the crew chief gets the engines lit. The pilot jumps in and does an abbreviated check, mostly on the engines and weapons.

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RE: Aircraft readiness - 6/27/2020 2:13:54 AM   
SunlitZelkova

 

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Thank you all for your responses.

To Randomizer and everyone else, just to clarify again I am not requesting this to be modelled in the game. I am asking so I can "manually" do it myself by holding aircraft back (not launching them) for a certain amount of in game time. I think modelling engine startup and everything would be overly complex (because it changes with the situation) and would be a waste of the devs time.

Based on all of the info so far, I am planning to go with a 10-15 minute "wait" before launching F-15s in the case of Naha AB. In the scenario, the Chinese attack is a bolt from the blue with no prior abnormal tension between China and Japan or any warning from intelligence (and the fighters are on their normal readiness status), but within the scenario's back story, the JASDF has taken special measures for Naha AB fighters because the potentially very short travel time for ballistic missiles from China is known.

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